Budget 2018-19 rang in on 1st February for the second consecutive year in history. The budgetary expenditure on infrastructure for 2018-19 is being enhanced by Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 5.97 lakh crore against an estimated expenditure of Rs 4.94 lakh crore in 2017-18.
The PM's PRAGATI initiative has been established to fast-track projects worth Rs 9.46 lakh crore. The Budget has provided for plans to complete over 9,000 km of National Highways in 2017-18-this will mean 25 km per day of construction which is more conservative than what Nitin Gadkari told us last month. The Railways' capex has been pegged at Rs 1,48,528 crore; 4,000 km of the rail network has been targeted for electrification, 600 stations are being developed, and elevators are being provided to all stations with over 25,000 footfalls. Airports too will be developed under UDAN while Bharatmala will unleash a parallel set of ground breaking targeting 35,000 kms of roads. Allocations for smart cities have been increased too.
The increasing mining activity and a sustainable growth in the infrastructure construction segment have given a new lease of life to the tipper truck market, which was slightly impacted by the demonetisation and GST. After a short downturn, the market is bouncing back with sales improving month-after-month. Customers are now looking for customised offerings, according to truck OEMs. Major tipper truck manufacturers are now offering features in terms of fuel efficiency, higher load capacity, light weighting and connectivity features such as telematics. Read the "Cover Story" for more insights on the tipper truck market trend and future scenario.
Skid steer loader is still to gain ground in Indian market, in spite of its unique features of compact size and versatile use with various attachments. This machine has major applications in urban infrastructure space and space constrained areas. With many urban infrastructure projects such as Smart City projects coming up and waste management work is gaining momentum, skid steer loaders are expected to gain popularity in the coming years. The "Feature" explains more on the distinguished features of this compact machine and its advantages.
Transmission systems play an important role in construction equipment for better efficiency, enhanced performance, higher durability and improved operator comfort. The "Special Focus" on transmission systems elaborates on the new developments and innovations happening in transmissions. Other columns on technology and industry updates provide more information on the industry.
This month marks the 5th Equipment India Awards and CEO Forum being held in Delhi on 16th February, 2018. The award recognises "Bestsellers" in several equipment categories and also recognises the role of individuals in contributing to their companies and the industry. CEOs will also deliberate on the state of infrastructure and its role in activating the CE market.
Keep watching this space for a complete report on the event in the forthcoming issue.