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Chambers' surveys find manufacturing sector buoyant

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Nov. 21

CORPORATE India's sentiments have been boosted with the Government's recent announcements such as the new foreign trade policy, setting up of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, Investment Commission, adequate thrust on infrastructure and continuation of the disinvestment process.

Meanwhile, the Indian manufacturing sector continues to be buoyant, having reported good growth figures for the April-September 2004 period, as compared to the same period last year. The country's manufacturing industry is not only experiencing high growth on the domestic front, but is also doing well globally. These are the findings of recent surveys conducted by the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

"The Indian business community is upbeat about the future prospects of the economy, industry and their own firms. The industry is looking forward to similar reformist measures from the Government in the future as well," informed the FICCI Business Confidence Survey for the second quarter of this fiscal.

"Fifty seven per cent of the 378 respondents found the present state of the economy `moderately to substantially' better compared to the last six months, with 65 per cent of respondents expecting a still better performance of the economy in the months ahead," stated FICCI.

Seventy per cent of the participants felt that the Government's commitment to improve competitiveness of the Indian industry would have a positive impact on the performance during the next six months, it added.

Meanwhile, the CII-ASCON survey on the manufacturing industry found that out of the total of 134 sectors reporting production, 33 sectors recorded an excellent growth rate of over 20 per cent, 43 sectors recorded a high growth rate of 10-20 per cent, 43 sectors registered moderate growth rate of 0-10 per cent and 15 sectors reported negative growth.

During the corresponding period last year, only 12 sectors had recorded excellent growth, 47 recorded high growth, 64 sectors reported moderate growth and 29 sectors had registered negative growth.

The sectors growing at over 20 per cent included auto components, power cables, industrial valves, medium & heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs), light commercial vehicles (LCVs), cars, utility vehicles, three wheelers, ball & roller bearings, transformers, machine tools, electrical fans, tractors, machinery, sugar and edible oils, according to a CII statement.

Aluminium, sponge iron, castings, diesel, industrial gases, pumps, transmission line towers, drugs and pharmaceuticals were the sectors that witnessed a 10-20 per cent growth rate.

The latest survey indicates that 18 manufacturing sectors have shown excellent growth in exports. Eighteen sectors came under the high growth category, six recorded moderate growth, while 14 registered a fall in exports.

In terms of sales, out of the 71 sectors reporting sales, 20 sectors registered excellent growth, 20 sectors registered high growth, and 25 sectors reported moderate growth while six sectors recorded low or negative growth. During the corresponding period last year, six sectors recorded excellent sales growth, 21 high growth rate and 40 moderate growth rates, while nine sectors had registered negative growth.

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