After achieving unprecedented growth of over 9% for three successive years between 2005-06 and 2007-08 and recovering swiftly from the global financial crisis of 2008-09, the Indian economy has been going through challenging times. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth drifted down continuously from 8.4% in 2010-11 to 6.5% in 2011-12 and to lower than 5% for two consecutive years, i.e. 2012-13 and 2013-14. GDP growth in the year 2013-14 was 4.7% as against 4.5% in the previous year. The two successive years of sub-5% growth was witnessed for the first time in 25 years. A combination of factors which has contributed to such a low growth include persistent uncertainty in the global outlook, caused by the crisis in the Euro area and general slowdown in the global economy, compounded by domestic structural constraints and inflationary pressures and cyclical slowdown in both global and domestic economies.

The slow growth of the economy had impacted various segments of the Industry. As per the Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, industrial growth dropped to 0.4% in 2013-14 as against 1% in 2012-13. The industrial revival may be longer and needs stronger initiatives of all stakeholders to emulate the peak growth achieved in the recent past.

The last two years were particularly disappointing for the manufacturing sector, with growth averaging 0.2% per annum. The growth in manufacturing sector during 2013-14 was negative (-0.7%) as compared to 1.1% in 2012-13.

The growth on the Agricultural Sector was 4.7% in 2013-14 as against 1.4% in 2012-13.

The Construction Sector grew by 1.6% in 2013-14 as against 1.1% in 2012-13.

The Cement Sector plays a vital role in the economic growth of the country and its journey towards inclusive growth. Cement is an essential item to the Construction Sector and to all infrastructural projects. The Construction Sector alone contributes to over 7% of the country’s GDP.

There is change of Govt. in the Centre, for the first time after decades, which an overwhelming majority has mandated. With this change, the Cement Industry hopes that the economy will revive, as the New Govt. has already announced bold steps and measures. Further, there has been optimism in the economy after the 10-point plan charted out by the Prime Minister, which focuses on investments in infrastructure, time-bound action and improved coordination between the Centre and States to ensure smooth implementation of Government policies. With these measures, the growth is surely expected to pick up from the current year onwards.