Cargo Talk - - Editorial -

Through its ‘Au­to­mo­tive Mis­sion Plan 2006-16’, the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia has a vi­sion to emerge as the desti­na­tion of choice in the world to de­sign and man­u­fac­ture of au­to­mo­biles and au­to­mo­tive com­po­nents. It also en­vi­sions an out­put reach­ing a level of US$ 145 bil­lion, ac­count­ing for more than 10 per cent of GDP and pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional em­ploy­ment to 25 mil­lion peo­ple by 2016. Mean­while, the In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try has emerged as a sun­rise sec­tor within a few years of the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of the coun­try’s econ­omy. It is ex­pected that the next few years will be very cru­cial for the growth of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try in In­dia.

A Min­istry of Heavy In­dus­tries & Pub­lic En­ter­prises study un­veils that In­dia is emerg­ing as one of the fastest mar­kets for pas­sen­ger cars and sec­ond-largest for twowheeler man­u­fac­tur­ers. It is a home for the largest mo­tor­cy­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers and fifth­largest com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers. Ac­cord­ing to re­cent sta­tis­tics, the in­dus­try is pro­duc­ing more than 13 lakh pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles, 4 lakh com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles and 76 lakh two-wheel­ers and 3 lakh trac­tors per an­num. The au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try has achieved a turnover of US$ 28 bil­lion and the auto com­po­nent in­dus­try has reached a turnover of US$ 10 bil­lion. To main­tain this growth rate, the gov­ern­ment had set up the De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil for Au­to­mo­bile and Al­lied In­dus­try and con­sti­tuted a task­force for the same.

The chal­lenge be­fore the task­force was to give shape and mo­tion to the in­dus­try, which has been fac­ing var­i­ous ob­sta­cles. The ba­sic prob­lem in this re­gard is to put in place a suit­able in­fra­struc­ture and a pol­icy con­ducive to grow the in­dus­try. The in­fra­struc­ture for lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions and recog­ni­tion to it as an in­dus­try, for in­stance, re­mains ma­jor ar­eas of con­cern.

It is an un­de­ni­able fact that in­vestors from au­to­mo­tive sec­tor would only be at­tracted to make In­dia their man­u­fac­tur­ing hub, if lo­gis­tics and trans­ac­tion costs are com­pet­i­tive as com­pared to other parts of the world.

More­over, the de­ci­sion (as an­nounced in the vi­sion doc­u­ment) of hav­ing reg­u­lar di­a­logue with the in­dus­try stake­hold­ers has to be in prac­tice. Proper in­te­gra­tion among the min­istries in­volved for au­to­mo­tive lo­gis­tics for fast clear­ance of projects as well as ship­ments will also be ur­gent tasks be­fore the gov­ern­ment.

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