Push on infra, logistics to help in demand revival: Industry

New Delhi, Feb 1 () Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's major announcements on infrastructure as well as logistics sector will create rural demand and boost employment opportunities, Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) said on Saturday.

Priorities given to household, roads, railways, economic corridors, solar power, accelerated development of highways should help boost development and wealth creation besides reviving cement demand, CMA said in a release.

"The emphasis on highways and roads development is well placed. This captures the priorities of economic development and an aspirational India. We would hope that rural demand gets revived and it assists in job creation," said Cement Manufacturers Association President Mahendra Singhi.

Over the national logistics policy, he said CMA is already engaged in a dialogue with the government on this.Advertisement

"We are actively engaged in a dialogue with the Ministry of Commerce on the National Logistics Policy and would expect some of our considerations for upgradation and modernisation of rail infrastructure are particularly carried through," Singhi added.

While presenting the Budget for 2020-21, Sitharaman said a national logistics policy will be released soon which will set up a single window e-logistics market and focus on employment generation and making MSMEs competitive.

"We would look forward to these taking shape. The reaffirmation of commitment towards clean air, climate change mitigation efforts are most welcome. More policy interventions to revive real estate and housing would be welcome. Infrastructure development, new 100 airports and emphasis on road would go a long way to revive cement demand", Singhi said.

CMA is the apex representative body of large cement manufacturers in India. CMA Vice President Neeraj Akhoury said focus on project preparation facilities for infrastructure projects and the national logistics policy that will be released soon should help boost infrastructure and have a positive impact on the economy. Advertisement

"Priorities given to household, roads, railways, economic corridors, solar power, accelerated development of highways should help boost development and wealth creation. The cement industry is committed towards playing a strong role in the government's aspirational agenda for transformative economic growth," he said.

Dalmia Bharat Group Managing Director Puneet Dalmia said budget has focused on rejuvenating economic growth and the government has taken focused steps.

"A lot now hinges on the government's ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline programme that aims to attract investments of over Rs 100 lakh crore in the next five years. If the 6,500 identified projects are executed well, this one single programme has the potential to significantly alter the Indian landscape, create lakhs of jobs, provide robust business to ancillary industries like steel and cement, and prime the broad economy," he said. Advertisement

Managing Director Jindal Stainless Abhyuday Jindal said "I believe that the Indian industry will reap huge benefits from the proposed National Logistics Policy. The stainless steel industry is expecting a boost from the announcement of accelerated development of highways, ports, airports, railways and station redevelopment projects along with renewed emphasis on water management measures."

Harsh Pati Singhania, Director JK Organisation said "the budget focus on agriculture to double farmers' income by 2022 and also infrastructure, including affordable housing is welcome. The proposed National Infrastructure Pipeline of Rs 103 lakh crore and setting up Investment Clearance Cell are moves in the right direction". KRH ABI DRR

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