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India should bounce back

By Swati Deshpande,

Added 30 January 2018

As the Union Budget date gets closer, the manufacturing industry voices its expectations. Here is what they think.

budget

From corrective maintenance to predictive condition

Over the past few months, the Railway Ministry has initiated steps towards restructuring and empowering its field offices with the objective of transforming Indian Railways into a responsive, customer-focused and efficient organisation. Implementation of these steps will provide the required enabling environment towards modernisation and upgradation of IR which is truly the life line of the nation.  Modernisation of its rolling stock, electrification of the network and upgradation of signalling systems are some of the key areas, which are already under active consideration of the Ministry. Our rolling stock needs to be upgraded to higher speeds to match global benchmarks and this should see suitable emphasis in the budgetary allocations. Safety being another area of focus for the Government, we should also root for a move from corrective maintenance to predictive condition based monitoring. It would be ideal to see new procurement methodologies that evaluate bids based on total cost of ownership of projects while giving the manufacturing sector and the job market in India a leg up. In the Urban space, it’s time to explore solutions beyond heavy metros towards light rail transit systems, tramways and electric buses. Hopefully the budget will create room for requirement-led solutions. IR also needs to put in place a decision support tool that enables it to prioritise investments based on origin-destination traffic forecasts.

Bharat Salhotra, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, APAC, Alstom

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Hope to boost infrastructure development for EVs

The Indian Automotive industry is no doubt one of the prominent growth drivers of our economy and contributes about 7 percent to the country’s GDP. Auto industry grew 11.27 percent in FY17 and the manufacturing sector grew 7.7 percent in FY17. India is world’s 5th largest automotive market with exciting business opportunities. Abolishment of Foreign Investment Promotion Board and policy initiatives like ‘Make in India’ has given an encouragement to global players like us. Automotive makers are expanding their manufacturing base in India and focusing more on localization. The implementation of GST has significantly improved the effectiveness of transportation resulting in an improved business scenario

Considering the government’s push for electric vehicles we are hoping that there will be substantial allocations of funds for the development of infrastructure that we need for EV. There should be a tax-friendly framework and subsidiaries should be given to EV manufacturers for smooth adoption of electric vehicles in India. The other area where the government has significantly brought in improvements is Safety. The focus on safety will enable India to cut the accident rates and help the automotive industry and ZF to achieve the vision the Vision Zero goal of zero accidents. As the government is also set to launch Make in India 2.0, which will focus on futuristic sectors like robotics, genomics, chemical feedstock and electrical storage the upcoming union budget should also address the capital needs and tax framework for implementation of the same. Overall, the industry is also anticipating cuts in the corporate tax rate and revision in the tax deductions.

Suresh KV, Country Head, ZF India

(Continued on next page)

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