To ensure ´Make in India´ becomes a reality, it is imperative to grow the mining sector. A forecast.
India is well endowed in terms of most minerals and the country´s mining sector has great potential. While demand for commodities has been strong, supply has been constrained. This has resulted in increased import. While India´s demand for mining commodities will increase rapidly, likely constrained growth of the mining sector will continue to increase the demand-supply gap.
To ensure ´Make in India´ becomes a reality, it is imperative to grow the mining sector. The mining industry can propel the economy by creating employment, meeting the ever-growing demand of the downstream industries such as manufacturing and infrastructure, and also through increased fiscal contributions.
The Indian mining sector has been a success story in waiting for decades. Despite enjoying an endowment of the top 5 or 6 reserves globally across commodities such as thermal coal and iron ore, the mining industry has remained relatively small and stagnant. In fact over the last decade, the contribution of mining to India´s GDP has fallen from 1.2 per cent to 1 per cent.
If properly tapped, the mining industry could help propel growth for the country over the next decade. In fact, the performance of mining sector will be an important factor for India to achieve 7 per cent plus GDP growth. At the same time, the mining industry could contribute an additional $125 billion to India´s output and $47 billion to India´s GDP by 2025.
In 2012, the mining sector accounted for 3 million jobs directly, and induced an additional 8 million jobs. In the business-as-usual scenario (GDP growth of 5.5 per cent), no additional employment will likely be generated by the mining sector, with only productivity increase likely to account for the entire output growth. However, a reform scenario leading to accelerated growth (GDP growth rate of 7.8 per cent) has the potential to create an additional 6 million jobs (direct and induced) over the business-as-usual scenario by 2025.
While demand continues to create the ground for a robust mining sector, it is not supported with requisite supply. Without accelerated growth in mining, India will have to rely on heavy importsù175 mt of iron ore import per year (11 per cent of the global seaborne market), 300 mt of thermal coal import per year (25 per cent of the global seaborne market) and 70 mt of met coal import per year (22 per cent of the global seaborne market) by 2025. This is bound to put upward pressure on the global pricing of these commodities as well as increase the forex spend on account of thermal coal, coking coal and iron ore to $58 billion. This is a staggering 180 per cent of today´s current account deficit.
Mining growth has consequences for downstream industries such as power generation, steel making and aluminium, and therefore on manufacturing (e.g., auto, chemicals, cement) and infrastructure (e.g., road, rail, real estate). Due to import of iron ore and other raw material, cost of production of steel could increase by 15 per cent. A share of this increase in cost would be transferred to downstream industries resulting in a domino effect. There could be a 4 to 5 per cent increase in cost of downstream industries thus affecting their competitiveness.
By 2025, the output from the mining sector could be 1.5 to 2.5 times of the current levels. In the accelerated growth scenario, an additional $47 billion could be generated annually compared to the business-as-usual scenario. The mining sector could contribute $50 to 80 billion to India´s GDP by 2025. In an accelerated growth scenario, it could generate an additional $31 billion over the business-as-usual scenario.
In 2012, the mining and downstream industry generated about $18 billion in taxes. It could contribute approximately $40 to 50 billion as royalties, taxes and duty by 2025. The total revenue to the government through mining and downstream sector could increase from $18 billion in 2012 to $53 billion by 2025 in the accelerated mining growth scenario, which is 30 per cent of today´s revenue receipts. In fact, mining revenues can significantly boost state revenues in mining dominant states such as Goa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.
Exports of mining equipment to India
The Indian market is served for many years, not only because of the need of raw materials to foster the nation economic growth, but also because India is the third largest producer of coal. Difficult regulatory framework and business environment slow the development of coal production. As in 2014, worldwide exports of machines from Germany decreased by 8 per cent in the first half of the year. The exports of mining equipment to India reached by Euro 16.2 million (Rs 1,254 million) in first 9 months of 2014. This amount of decrease correlates with the shrinking imports of mining equipment to India of more than 20 per cent last year. This year also the figures are expected to come to the same as last year, without much change.