Infrastructure players await policy reforms to spur growth

November 23rd, 2011 - 11:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Nov 23 (IANS) The construction equipment industry and the manufacturing sector, which build India’s infrastructure, is looking up to the government for policy reforms to spur growth and boost confidence, industry officials said Wednesday.

“The industry needs policy reforms to boost confidence and spur growth in these tough hard times when it is facing challenges in the domestic and global markets,” construction equipment industry trade body chairman Vipin Sondhi said here.

Though the fledgling earthmoving and construction equipment (ECE) industry recovered from the sluggish growth in 2009 following the global financial crisis in 2008 to post 30 percent growth in 2010, absence of enabling environment was holding up its potential to grow rapidly.

“As the lifeline of the country’s economy, roads and highways play a crucial role in building the infrastructure for rapid growth. Speedy land acquisitions, early dispute resolutions, fast-track approvals for projects of national importance and simplification of tax regime will enable the industry to sustain its growth rate,” Sondhi said at the industry’s sixth international trade fair Excon 2011 here.

With investment in infrastructure development projected to double to $1 trillion during the 12th plan period (2012-17) from $500 billion in the 11th plan (2007-12), Sondhi said the ECE industry was waiting for the government and other stakeholders to make optimal utilisation of its resources and manpower.

“Rapid infrastructure development at national, urban and rural levels will expand the size of the ECE industry to 330,000 units by 2020 from 60,000 units in 2010 with potential to grow its revenues six-fold to $20 billion from $3.3 billion in 2010 and generate two million direct jobs,” Sondhi asserted.

Noting that quality of people, processes and programmes were critical for high economic growth, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) chairman B.Muthuraman said the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the national GDP (gross domestic product) would have to be scaled to 25-30 percent from 16 percent currently.

“World class infrastructure spanning roads, bridges, highways, ports, airports, power and human capital is fundamental to increase the share of the manufacturing sector to the GDP and its contribution to employment generation to 25 percent from 12 percent in this decade,” Muthuraman said.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C.P. Joshi unveiled the mega event and released a special report on ‘Indian Earthmoving & Construction Industry Vision 2020: Commanding New Heights’, prepared by CII in association with global consulting management firm Accenture.

Organised by the CII with the ECE industry, the five-day event is showcasing a range of construction equipment and launching 400 new products. About 630 exhibitors, including 200 foreign firms are participating in the trade fair.

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