It's one year since the unified tax system of Goods and Services Tax (GST) came into force. GST has been a game changer in its vast sense considering the difficulties faced by the industry in terms of multiple tax structure. There were a lot of initial hiccups that the industry had to face after the GST was introduced in July 2017. However, most have been resolved. Now, this month it is expected that building materials too will be brought under the 18 per cent bracket from 28 per cent, providing a fillip to the building industry. New projects worth Rs 1.95 trillion were announced in the January-March quarter, up from Rs 1.20 trillion in the previous quarter. The capacity of companies in delivering larger projects has expanded, improving the prospects for heavy equipment. Equipment makers are working at high capacities and therefore several are planning expansions with new products to be rolled out.
The mobile cranes market is on a revival mode with the market reaching around 7,750 units in 2017, after a muted growth in the previous years. The market is to grow further to reach 8,000 units in 2018, according to Off-Highway Research.
Pick-and-carry cranes continue to dominate the mobile cranes market with over 90 per cent of the market share. However, the recent pick-up in the big size projects in roads, railways, metro and other infrastructure projects has increased the demand for heavy-duty mobile cranes. This is expected to further improve the prospects of mobile cranes market. More than 50 per cent of the mobile cranes market is controlled by rental players. But, the rentals in India are still to pick up as an organised market. Even the number of players addressing the needs remains only a few. This has led to unstable rates and unprofessional approaches in the operation and maintenance of mobile cranes, leading to accidents. More organised approach in rental market and stable rental rates will help the market grow faster, which is important for the mobile cranes market as a whole. Read the Cover story for an overview of the mobile cranes market in India.
Never before had skill development been so important in the construction equipment market. The growing number of equipment in the market and the growing construction activities created a huge gap in the requirement and availability of skilled equipment operators. The Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC) is constantly interacting with the government to do necessary policy changes in the tendering process to resolve this issue of skill gap. The IESC Chairman proposes to make it mandatory to use 'only trained operators certified by IESC or a government agency' in infrastructure projects. Read the Feature on Skill Development for more details on what the IESC and equipment OEMs are doing towards systematic skill development of equipment operators.
The Feature on Bearings brings forth an update on the bearings market
for construction equipment with new products and solutions, current market trends and outlook. Also read other columns to know more on the industry developments.