Indian industrial sector on growth trajectory

Monday, 26 January 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's manufacturing sector led by the automobile industry is doing well domestically and also conquering global markets, according to a survey by a leading industry lobby.

The survey encompasses 134 manufacturing associations affiliated to the Associations Council and member companies of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the nine-month period from April-December 2003.

The latest ASCON survey shows while industrial output is rising, 17 sectors have had "excellent" or over 20 percent growth in the period under study, the CII said.

This compares well with the same period in 2002, when only 13 sectors had reported excellent growth.

In the case of 41 other sectors, a "high" growth or 10 to 20 percent increase in production was witnessed in 2003. Here too the number of sectors has risen by 10 over the previous year.

As against 71 sectors that reported "moderate" or less than 10 percent production growth in 2002, 57 sectors were in this category during the current fiscal.

In 2003, 19 sectors showed negative growth, three more than in the previous year, the CII said.

The fastest growing sector was automobiles (37.4 percent growth), followed by industries like colour picture tubes (20 percent), machine tools (20 percent), sponge iron (17.3 percent) and pharmaceuticals (16 percent).

Overall the automobile industry witnessed 37.4 percent rise in production, while medium and heavy commercial vehicles grew at a lower 35.3 percent. Fluid power component production witnessed a 23 percent rise.

The black and white TV industry was among those that witnessed a drop of 20 percent in production.

"The Indian manufacturing sector is not only doing well domestically but the latest ASCON survey shows it is also conquering global markets," the CII said.

This year's survey covered 60 sectors compared to last year's 57. It showed 29 sectors witnessed "excellent" growth in exports, more than double of last year, when 14 sectors had shown a similar increase.

Twenty-four sectors fell in the "high" growth category of exports as against 20 in the previous year.

Two sectors fell in the "low" growth category, as against 10 in 2002.

"Only five sectors showed a fall in exports. Last year there were 13 sectors that had shown a similar fall in exports. This shows the increasing competitiveness of Indian industry," the CII said.

Utility vehicles were the fastest growing export item with an increase of 183 percent. Other fast growing items were nylon filament yarn (180 percent), cars (69 percent), three-wheelers (63 percent), polyester staple fibre (58 percent) and textile machinery (49 percent).

Government data too has confirmed the ASCON survey trends, showing rising industrial production for the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

In the 12 months to November 2003, industrial output as measured by IIP has risen 7.4 percent. In the previous twelve months, IIP showed a rise of only 4.1 percent.

Source: IANS
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