India was one of the bright spots in the global economy with moderating inflation, lower current account and fiscal deficits, strong forex reserves and stable tax policies, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday.
“In the aftermath of the global recession, our economy started showing signs of revival. Industrial production, led by the manufacturing sector, also exhibited an upturn in last fiscal (2014-15),” Mukherjee said, while unveiling the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) here.
He said prospects for the Indian engineering sector appeared bright as industrial production was looking up.
“We have to invest heavily in infrastructure, human and social capital to achieve high growth rate over the next two decades. Growth prospects for the engineering sector are immense,” Mukherjee said.
Set up in 1955 as an export arm of the commerce and industry ministry with 40 members, EEPC grew into one of the largest such organisations with 13,000 members, of whom 60 percent are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) while exports zoomed to $70 billion from $10 million over the last six decades.
“The challenges before EEPC are immense, as engineering is the leading segment of the industry and overseas shipments account for 22 percent of the country’s merchandise exports,” the president noted.
Though merchandise exports grew 2.71 times over the last decade, engineering exports increased 3.65 times and its share in the total exports rose to 23 percent from 18 percent in like period.
“A key driver behind the rise in our engineering exports has been the shifting of global manufacturing bases to countries like India, which offer low-cost human resource coupled with high quality engineering aptitude,” Mukherjee added.
Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and EEPC India chairman Anupam Shah were present on the occasion.