EDITOR’S NOTE


Govt drawing roadmap for unbridled growth

Fast-paced implementation of economic reforms and improving business climate to drive investment inflows has neutralized any adverse impact of the global turbulence on the country’s growth trend. The confidence level among overseas investors is at an all time high now as can be seen from the sovereign wealth funds turning to India to park their money.

To live up to the expectation of investors,  the government has embarked upon a well-defined infrastructure development plans across sectors like building & construction, transport, power, airports bridges, metro and monorails, industrial corridors and the 100 smart cities. These sectors  will trigger the demand for aluminium in large measures given the metal’s properties of high strength,  lightweight, durability, corrosion resistance and recyclability.

Around 20% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions are generated by the automotive transport sector. Lightweighting  necessitated by the need for energy efficiency and environmental protection, specially in the transportation industry, is now being aggressively pursued all over the world. In India too, where the automobile industry is booming, the awareness is being increasingly felt as light weight automobiles will consume less fuel and lead to reduced emission.

Issues concerning industrial ecology have become more important today than ever before. With rampant industrial development across all sectors the environment problems have become one of the major issues worldwide.

Aluminium sector, which is all set to reshape and redefine infrastructure engineering, too has been roped in by the world environmental bodies to be a part of the “save environment” campaign. The aluminium makers should seek technology upgrades that would help them lower the levels of industrial effluents leading to sustainable development.

The research and development activities related to aluminium sector in India have been primarily government-driven and private sectors have traditionally made little investment in R&D. The outcome has been low practical orientation of aluminium research and lack of technology inputs in the industry.  Investment in R&D is still not considered a cost effective activity by the Indian aluminium companies. The government has to pitch in here to encourage and support aluminium R&D efforts in collaboration with industry, academia & R&D institutes.

However, the substantial inventory and new capacities in China, India and Middle East will continue to prevent increase in prices.  Rising imports from China and the Middle East are a major concern for the industry. Moreover, slowdown in China has resulted in dumping  of surplus production from that country in India and international markets registering a steep fall in prices and distorting the market equation.  Another bane of the industry is that of low capacity utilization  as the industry has invested huge sum to ramp up capacity in anticipation of demand. The government  must bring in protective  measures like anti-dumping steps to salvage  the domestic players who are  already reeling under uncertainties.

With strident economic growth and changing life styles, the consumption of this fascinating  metal is set for a roller-coaster ride adding vigour and excellence to all sectors. And with the Centre ushering a new wave of economic order will revive the investment cycle drawing a roadmap for unbridled progress.