New Delhi: Chief statistician TCA Anant today expressed concern over slow industrial growth for two consecutive months of August and September, reports PTI.
"I am disappointed by these Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers. We have got poor numbers for two consecutive months - August and September.
As the finance minister has said, I think we need to take careful look", he said.
The chief statistician, however, said that the country would end the fiscal with double-digit factory output expansion and 8.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
"I expect overall IIP growth this fiscal to close at 10% because of the onset of festive season and agriculture produce hitting market in November, December and January," Mr Anant told reporters here.
He elaborated there was a tendency for industrial activity to pick up with the start of the festive season and rise in purchasing power with farmers selling their produce in these three months.
Industrial growth slowed down to 4.4% in September, about half of 8.2% in same month last year. Similarly, the IIP growth for August was 6.91% against 10.50% in the year-ago period.
However, industrial growth for the first six months of this fiscal stood at 10.2% against 6.3% a year ago.
Perplexed by this phenomenon, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said, "We will have to analyse why that is happening. And after that considered comments can be made. But it's a matter of concern."
On the GDP growth this fiscal, Mr Anant said, "It seems agriculture growth would be much better than last year. I will still be comfortable with projection of 8.5% (GDP growth) which is our original estimate."
About high inflation numbers, which had rocked the last two Parliament sessions, he said, "It is coming down and it would be closer to 7% by December."
Kolkata: Demanding level-playing-field, state-run power equipment major BHEL, which is facing uneven competition from cheap equipment supplies from China, today said that Chinese firms should set manufacturing bases in India, reports PTI.
"Since duty on capital goods equipment for power sector is zero, Chinese equipment supplies are posing a price threat and affecting margins," BHEL's executive director A V Krishnan unit told reporters here.
He added that on the top of that the Chinese government is also subsidising their exports.
Mr Krishnan said on the other hand, Indian suppliers are paying sales tax and excise duties. He said that taking everything into account, Chinese equipment is becoming 15% to 20% cheaper as compared to Indian supplies.
This, he said, can be addressed correctly only if Chinese companies started manufacturing in the country.
Saying that BHEL is poised to meet India's energy demand in the 12th Five Year Plan, Mr Krishnan stated that BHEL is increasing capacity from 15,000MW per annum to 20,000MW by March 2012.
He said that this would match the Planning Commission's target of increasing one lakh MW during the next plan period.
Mr Krishnan said that 5000MW capacity addition would involve an investment of Rs800 crore.
Mr Krishnan said that BHEL's order book as of date stood at Rs1,52,000 crore.
He said that the company's Trichy plant, which was the boiler manufacturing unit, is now producing specialised boilers which would suit all types of coal.
The BHEL official said that the company has also designed boilers which would use lignite as fuel.
Mr Krishnan said that the company has six production bases across the country which included Haridwar, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Ranipet near Chennai and Mangalore.
Referring to Chinese power plants, he said that plant load factor (PLF) of BHEL plants are much higher.
The downturn continued today right from the opening bell and dismal industrial growth and global cues added to the woes, pulling the market down further by around 2% by the close of trade.
The market started on a weak note on unsupportive global cues. A recovery attempt in the morning session was thwarted by selling pressure, pushing the indices lower. Subdued industrial growth numbers for September caused further damage to the market. The indices traded sideways in the post-noon session, but negative cues from Asia and Europe resulted in a bleak closing.
The Sensex closed at 20,157, down 432.20 points (2.10%) over its previous close. The index touched a high of 20,594 and a low of 20,108 during trade today. The Nifty was down 122.60 points (1.98%) at 6,071. The index touched an intraday high of 6,202 and a low of 6,056 during the session.
In line with the performance, the breadth was pathetic today. The Sensex closed with 28 losers and two gainers, while the Nifty settled with 45 decliners and five gainers. The broader indices bore the brunt of the sell-off today with the BSE Mid-cap index tanking 2.32% and the BSE Small-cap index tumbling 2.44%.
Hero Honda (up 0.29%) and HDFC (up 0.11%) were the only gainers on the Sensex today. The big losers were DLF (down 5.46%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 4.75%), Hindalco Industries (down 4.72%), State Bank of India (down 4.55%) and Tata Steel (down 3.96%).
There were no green ticks in the sectoral space today. BSE Realty (down 4.76%), BSE Consumer Durables (down 3.53%), BSE Metal (down 3.31%), BSE Bankex (down 2.90%) and BSE PSU (down 2.13%) led the sectoral losers.
Institutional investors were sellers on Thursday. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs60 crore while domestic institutional investors offloaded equities worth Rs269 crore yesterday.
The Asian markets were a sea of red with China's Shanghai Composite plunging 5.16%, the biggest fall in 14 months, on rumours that the government would raise rates to ease economic growth, following higher-than-expected inflation numbers for October. The developments in China triggered a sell-off across the region's bourses.
The Shanghai Composite crashed 5.16%, the Hang Seng tanked 1.93%, the Jakarta Composite plunged 2.10%, the KLSE Composite declined 0.92%, Nikkei 225 plunged 1.39%, Straits Times fell 1.26%, Seoul Composite shed 0.18% and Taiwan Weighted sank 1.43% in trade today.
Industrial growth declined the most in 16 months to 4.4% in September, reflecting a slowdown in demand across sectors, as interest rates rose in response to the Reserve Bank of India's tight monetary moves.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has expressed concern at the sluggish pace of factory output, but reserved detailed comments for want of in-depth analysis. However, many experts remain positive for industrial growth numbers for the next few months due to the festive season and prospects of better farm produce.
The US market closed lower on Thursday, following lower earnings reported by technology major Cisco. The company offered a weaker-than-expected sales forecast, citing lower demand from cable companies and government agencies. Besides, China rejecting suggestions to review its exchange regime at the G20 meet, also weighed on the investors.
The Dow declined 73.94 points (0.65%) to 11,283. The S&P 500 fell 5.17 points (0.42%) to 1,213. The Nasdaq shed 23.26 points (0.90%) to 2,555.
Amara Raja Batteries (down 0.54%) has drawn up plans to invest nearly Rs130 crore by September next year to hike production capacity in a phased manner and on other capital expenditures.
The company, which is aiming to become a global brand, also said it is considering the possibility of setting up a manufacturing unit overseas, preferably in Southeast Asia and Africa.
State-run power major NTPC (down 0.05%) is all set to commission the first unit of Stage-II expansion project of the Simhadri Super Thermal Power Station by March 2011 as the company is planning to double the capacity of the plant to 2000MW by the end of 2011-12.
Presently, the plant has 1,000MW capacity (2X500MW), which was synchronised in 2002. Further, the company is planning to add two more units each with 500MW by investing around Rs5,000 crore.
Infrastructure firm Gayatri Projects (down 2.68%) has received the approval from its board for financial closure for its NHAI BOT Indore-Dewas road project, located in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The total debt of Rs450 crore has been syndicated and definitive agreements have been signed with lenders.
The company had secured the above project under BOT (Toll) with a total project cost of Rs602 crore. The company has agreed to pay a premium of Rs24.10 crore to NHAI annually and has a right to collect toll on the existing four-lane highway through its SPV.