The total sales of 72,745 units of construction equipment in 2017 against 66,613 in 2016 brought back some sheen. The easing up of GST rate from 28 per cent to 18 per cent helped breathe but the launch of infrastructure projects brought a smile to the industry. Road projects have already given a leg up to the industry, having been constructed at a pace of 20 km per day. Metro projects too have kept up the momentum. Projects such as the much awaited Navi Mumbai International Airport, the Sewri-Nhava Shewa Trans Harbour link, the Zojilla Tunnel, the Coastal Roads, Bharatmala, UDAN etc, have buoyed the scenario. This has already provided a fillip to the morale of infrastructure construction industry and is already being reflected in the stock at the bourses.
Infrastructure development has been one of the major focus areas of the current Union Government. Budget 2018 accelerated this with an investment of as much as Rs 5.97 trillion planned for next year, from the previous budget allocation of Rs 4.94 trillion.
Driven by the push from the budget proposals this year for infrastructure sector, the construction equipment (CE) market is likely to continue its growth journey. The good news is that the increased focus on railways, ports, airports and rural infrastructure will give ample opportunities for CE market to consolidate its performance in the coming years too. What does this mean to the equipment industry? There will be increased use of speciality equipment along with the general construction equipment in projects. The trend is already set with the ongoing construction of Mumbai Metro Line 3, which is using 17 tunnel boring machines. More mega projects are in the pipeline such as the MTHL, where we will see the use of the entire range of general and special purpose equipment.
The year 2017 started off well for the CE market as the infrastructure sector began de-clogging with easier terms and regulations, plus a host of legal measures including insolvency resolution introduced by the government. The relaxation in loan norms provided by Cabinet decision recently and the redefinition of the SME sector will also infuse new energy in the economy. Excon 2017 saw the smiles on CXOs as they felt optimistic about 2018.
According to Off-Highway Research, the Indian CE market size is going to grow at nine per cent in 2018 to reach a market size of 78,970 units. The market is forecast to cross 90,000 units by 2021.
EQUIPMENT INDIA is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It has observed the transition of the construction industry under its tenure as it grew from 10,000 units in 2002 to nearly 50,000 units in 2007. Over these years, we have seen ups and downs in the industry and today we see the Indian CE market standing tall as one of the fastest growing markets globally. In this Special Edition to mark our 10 years of continuous service to the industry, we have brought together the leaders of the industry to write on scenario of emerging opportunities, challenges, new technology developments, and more. Read the 'Cover Story' section for more details on these aspects. Interviews, technology article, market outlook and news round-up are a few other sections to look for.