The year 2016 seems promising for the ailing infrastructure sector, but it needs to be driven by proactive action.
TV Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel India and South East Asia
Sanjay Date, CEO, Transportation, Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital Company Ltd
C Sasidhar, Managing Director, Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd
Shashi Kiran Shetty, Founder & Chairman, Allcargo Logistics Ltd
C Venkataramana, Director, Sunil Hitech Engineers
Sushil Gupta, Chairman, Richa Industries Ltd
Arnav Jhunjhunwala, Director, Alom Poly Extrusions Ltd
What is your outlook on business growth in 2016, both for yourself as a company and for the sector?
The pace of economic growth in India is encouraging for the steel sector. In light of the investments in infrastructure building, we can expect an increase in demand next year. Demand in India for steel is expected to grow to 87.6 million tonne (MT) from 75.9 MT in 2014 and 81.5 MT in 2015. The focus for 2016 is to ensure a level playing field for the domestic industry, which is skewed due to the increasing imports.
2016 should see shift in focus from EPC to PPP (BOT and hybrid annuity) projects. This will free up scarce resources for other government programmes in greater need of funds. Highway projects, if packaged properly, are amenable to attract private sector investments. I also believe the government should improve the hybrid annuity model to make it bankable and workable.
GST is very important for the country. India has to catch up with the rest of the world but the point is how much and how fast. The whole idea of schemes like Make in India is to ensure growth. Everyone wants India to grow but differences and opposition arise and that is where we are getting misled. However, the more the delay, the more time India will take to catch up with the world.
Shashi Kiran Shetty
The logistics sector will surely get a big positive boost with the passing of the GST and government initiatives like Make in India, development of inland waterway and the Sagarmala project. Political paralysis does have an impact on economic development of the country and is not warranted in any case. The need of the hour is to build consensus on all issues and move forward.
The government is keen on improving the roads. In this regime, roads have taken a quantum leap. In the last one and a half years, whatever bids have come in for infrastructure, roads ranked on top. The ministry is embarking on 30 km per day. I expect that in the next three-four years we should see tremendous growth.
In 2016, business growth will mostly depend on government spending...and we forecast overall industry growth of around 8-10 per cent. The business environment is not conducive to growth due to uncertainty in bills, policies, banking, etc., which is leading to unease in business operations. Therefore, for our own company, we forecast a normal growth of 20-30 per cent.
The industry is poised for strong growth in the long run. There has been a significant allocation of budget in the AMRUT schemes, which will be key to growth in the next five years. Unfortunately, India has been riled with political troubles and mess for the last seven years, which is creating a huge setback.