Construction equipment industry seeks level-playing field

Bengaluru, Nov 26 (IANS) The government should provide a level-playing field to India’s construction equipment industry for raising capital to spur its growth, a industry representative said on Thursday.

“Treating the private sector as an equal partner, competitive neutrality with the public sector, reversing the build, operate and transfer (BOT) model and unshackling stalled projects will propel the industry’s growth,” JCB India Ltd chief executive Vipin Sondhi said at a trade conference held as part of the eighth edition of Excon 2015 trade fair which began Wednesday.

Noting that public-private partnership (PPP) was a time-tested mode of executing infrastructure projects, especially roads and highways across the country, he said various initiatives of the central government would have a domino impact on the industry to gather momentum after three years of de-growth in a sluggish economy.

Inaugurating the two-day conference on “Rebooting Infrastructure”, Joint Secretary, Commerce and Industry, Atul Chaturvedi said the government was committed to provide quality infrastructure and ecosystem to attract foreign and domestic investments in diverse sectors of the economy.

He cited development projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, and other infrastructure initiatives the central government has taken up with various states for creating the ecosystem for rapid economic growth.

Observing that policies in other sectors would boost the sector’s growth as a spin-off, Chaturvedi said the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme was to make the country a part of the global value chain.

“About 60 percent of items in licensing protocol have been removed for security clearances. Opening up of the railway infrastructure to the private sector with provision for 100 percent FDI through the automatic route will generate huge orders for the construction equipment industry,” he noted.

Delivering the theme presentation, Feedback Business Consulting chairman and managing director V. Ravichandar said that with a current size of $2.8 billion, the Indian construction equipment industry is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2019-20.

“Among earthmoving equipment, backhoe loader tops the list and is expected to grow six percent to reach 22,000 units by this fiscal, as its production capacity has touched 90 percent utilisation last fiscal,” he said.

Organised by the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (ICEMA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the mega event has attracted about 800 exhibitors, including 270 overseas firms to showcase their products and promote latest technologies.

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