ECE industry urges for equipment banks

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Bangalore, Nov 15 (UNI) Need for establishment of equipment banks and stepping up the mechanisation levels in construction and mining industry was important to improve the production levels, Ramji Upadhyay, CMD of Mahanandi Coalfields Ltd said today.

Addressing a technical session at EXCON 2007, the construction equipment trade fair organised CII here, he said the level of mechanisation in the Indian mines was a mere 20 per cent as compared to 60-70 per cent in developed countries. It was the same case with the construction industry, which has seen a great spurt in activity, he said.

"The need of the hour for the construction industry is to increase mechanisation levels to meet the demand. We should develop a system of machinery rental and establishment of equipment banks across the country. This should lead to a one-stop shop for leasing equipment to help the smaller operators," Mr Upadhyay said.

J P Nayak, Chairman CII National Committee on Capital Goods and Engineering said the biggest challenge before the industry was to provide affordable finance packages to the customers.

"Providing equipment on rent to operators will be important. This system has largely been restricted to the unorgansied sector. But with the boom in the industry it is imperative for the organised sector to come up with systems that allow for the rent of equipment," he said.

He said the government should simplify the tax structure, lower excise duties and rationalise VAT to a uniform four per cent across the country to help the industry maintain the growth levels.

Large import of second hand machinery into the country was likely to adversely affect the performance of the construction industry and to cause delay in the implementation of Infrastructure projects. A Nodal agency should be created to deal with the import of second hand construction equipment, Mr Nayak noted.

EXCON Chairman and JCB India CMD, Vipin Sondhi, said that providing high quality machinery at an affordable price and not just meeting the increased manpower demand but also retaining the manpower will be a challenge for the industry. Import of poor quality machines could be harmful and the Government and the Policy makers should address this critical issue, he stated.

UNI

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