'Power sector attracts highest investment'

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New Delhi, Aug 24: India's power sector has attracted a majority share in the Rs 6,33,906-crore investment announced by the industry majors during January-June 2008, industry body ASSOCHAM has said. Of the investments tracked by the industry body during the first half of calendar year 2008, the energy sector has attracted 18.64 per cent at Rs 1,95,913 crore.

Power majors like Tata Power, Sterlite Industries, Jindal India Thermal Power and Lanco Group are among the companies that have lined up big investments in the sector. According to ASSOCHAM, the other major sectors attracting huge investments included real estate, steel, retail and telecom.

Undaunted by the high interest rates, the real estate sector ranked second in terms of flow of funds, attracting 14.38 per cent of investments at Rs 1,51,084 crore for the next two to five years.

The firms investing include Omaxe Ltd, Uppal Group Developers and Mahindra World City.

The steel sector followes, with investment announcements worth Rs1,08,609 crore accounting for 10.33 per cent of the total capital expenditure tracked by the study.

''The sector attracted investments from steel majors like Vedanta Resources, Tata Steel, Bhushan Steel and JSW Steel,'' ASSOCHAM President Sajjan Jindal said.

With the retail sector growing at an estimated 25 per cent, corporate retailers and real estate developers like Reliance Retail, Parsvanath Developers and Videocon Industries announced investments worth Rs 89,200 crore for January-June 2008, accounting for 8.24 per cent.

Aggressive marketing and falling tariffs by major telecom players like Reliance Communication, Aircel and Quippo Telecom Infrastructure contributed to the boom in the Telecom sector, which attracted investments of Rs 89,100 crore.

Oil majors the Hindujas, ONGC, Reliance Industries and OIC announced plans worth Rs 88,790 crore during the first half of 2008 for setting up of refineries and expansion of pipeline to increase oil production over the next two to five years.

Likewise, with a number of auto companies announcing substantial capacity expansion as well as investments in the R&D, the sector attracted investments, worth Rs 49,529 crore for the next two to eight years.

Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Fiat India, Mahindra and Mahindra lead the race in lining up investments for this ever growing sector.

Taking advantage of skilled and low cost workforce, the IT firms have also lined up Rs 39,654 crore capital expenditure plans during January-June 2008 for expansion, upgradation and setting up of IT parks and software development centres over the next 2-10 years.

The construction and manufacturing sector announced investments of Rs36,790 crore for the next two to five years, while the ports and shipping sector attracted inflows of Rs30,690 crore by companies like Essar Shipping Ports, Jindal Saw (JSL), Shipping Corporation of India and JSW Infrastructure.

The other sectors that saw investment announcements during the period under review were hospitality (Rs 23,340 crore), aviation (Rs 20,890 crore), engineering (Rs 7,435 crore), consumer durables (Rs 6,000 crore), pharma (Rs 4,475 crore) and education (Rs 2,796 crore).

UNI

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