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Domestic construction equipment industry to grow Rs 33,175 crore by 2020: Nitin Gadkari

Bengaluru: Government’s steps to clear bottlenecks for bolstering infrastructure development have paved the way for unprecedented growth in the construction equipment industry to over $15 billion (Rs 99,525 crore) by 2020, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.

He said that given the fast pace of development works in the infrastructure space, there is much optimism in the domestic construction industry.

“I am more than confident that given the speed of the projects, the construction equipment industry will grow at an unprecedented pace and exceed $15 billion by 2020,” the Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari told PTI.

Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (ICEMA) has projected the industry to grow to $5 billion (Rs 33,175 crore) by 2019-20 from the present level of $2.8 billion (Rs 18,578 crore).

Gadkari said after addressing the bottlenecks, now work is picking up pace and “this is just the beginning, people cannot imagine how the face of the infrastructure is going to change in the country”.

With this, there would be huge opportunities for equipment manufacturers, he added.

At least 10 new express highways will be built soon, he said, adding that highways worth at least Rs 5 lakh crore will be built next year with Rs 5,000 crore marked for greening of highways.

“National Highways strength would be taken to 1.5 lakh km by March 2016 from the present 96,000 km. Fifty lakh jobs will be created. All these are barely a fragment of government’s plans and one can very well understand the huge opportunities for the construction segment,” he added.

Apart from highways, huge work has been started to overhaul the country’s shipping and ports sectors with a thrust on waterways, he said, adding that the work has just begun and once it picks up pace there would be no looking back.

“We (highways and shipping sectors) are going to contribute at least 2% to the country’s GDP,” the minister said

Gadkari said the industry will be encouraged to play a larger role in ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the back of infrastructure growth.

The decision to build concrete highways would also add to domestic players’ growth, he said.

Government’s efforts have started bearing fruits with many highway players, who were earlier shying away from the projects, starting to bid and take keen interest in projects, he added.

Earlier, CII senior executive and EXCON Chairman Vipin Sondhi said that three-years of de-growth in the sector has stopped and amid proactive measures by the government, especially in the highways sector, the industry is set to grow manifold and bolster economic growth.

“There is much optimism in the industry. A lot of initiatives have been taken in the highways sector with several key policy measures to roll out stuck projects and there is a need to replicate it across various segments,” Sondhi said.

He exuded confidence that similar steps would be taken by other government departments with corrective measures and industry friendly policies.

Gadkari said most of the 380 projects that were stuck at the time he took over the reins of the department have been rolled out.

“We have addressed 95% of the problems pertaining to land acquisition, forest and environment clearances and problems related to railway over bridges and utility shifting,” he added.