It seems that we are stuck in the same narrative, which is playing on a loop, told and retold over the past couple of years. The gist of that tale is: even though short-term prospects are not too bright, the slowdown and resultant sluggishness in the CE market is a temporary blip; the long-term growth prospects still look promising; the general elections should definitely bring about change in the business environment, and so on and so on. The political inactivity, policy paralysis, inflationary pressures, plummeting value of the currency, all have done enough damage to the country. What the country as a whole is looking at, is a stable government formed after the 2014 elections, to push through the development agenda. To this uncertain situation, the hung Parliament forecast in The Hindu-CNN IBN Election Tracker Survey 2013, will only act as a dampener. As per the ICRA report, construction activity in the private sector is expected to revive during the latter half of 2013 -14, supported by a relatively benign policy environment. Metro work, on the other hand, promises to create demand across cities like Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. However, difficulties in achieving financial closure, land acquisition and issues related to environment and forest clearance, all continue to act as hurdles.
The transportation infrastructure, basically the development of roads, airports, ports and railways, and the energy sector (thermal and hydroelectric power plants) are sure to add momentum, but unfortunately, the last fiscal saw the deferment/shelving of a large number of projects. Given the current investment climate, many players sound a note of caution and recovery is at a snail's pace. The Project Monitoring Group (PMG) seems to have made some headway as several power and road projects have been cleared. Further, the PMO has given deadlines for several projects too which would make us believe that 2014 would be the year when a majority of projects will see fruition. Currently, only election activity has a sense of urgency and frenzy.
The current edition of EQUIPMENT INDIA takes a comprehensive look at the latest developments in road construction, with special emphasis on compaction and hot mix technology. Experts as well as OEMs vouch for the efficacy of the intelligent compaction technology, lauding the way it has led to improved roads. It offers the potential for a quantum leap in road construction in terms of quality and performance. Upgradation of existing codes and specs plays a vital role in the widespread use of the latest technologies.
The components and accessories industry is a vital cog in the wheel of the automotive industry. As per the latest ICRA study, rather than increasing the price of input materials, it is the slowing of demand that has been hurting industry growth. During the hour of liquidity squeeze, EQUIPMENT INDIA is introducing C.A.S.H components, accessories, spares and hardware which will enhance the coverage of the current CAS section and track the latest trends in the components market.