The Economic Survey of India, 1997

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Industrial Policy and Development

Indian Industry is passing through a critical phase of transition and restructuring. After responding to economic reforms with vigour and registering a robust growth rate of 11.7 per cent in 1995-96, industry recorded a growth rate of only 9.8 per cent in April-October 1996 compared with 11.7 per cent in April-October 1995. However, this slowdown cannot be regarded as an onset of a recession, and the industrial growth rate at 9.8 per cent in April-October 1996 is favourable compared with the industrial growth rate of 4.4 per cent in April-October 1993 and 9.6 per cent in April-October 1994 (Table 7.1). The graph in figure 7.2 also indicates that the successive peaks of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) maintain an increasing trend and the valleys are getting shallower over time.

2.  The slowdown of industrial growth in the current year is mainly due to the poor performance of electricity generation and mining (especially crude oil). The manufacturing sector, which contributes 77.1 per cent to industrial production, registered a growth rate of 12.1 per cent in April-October 1996, almost the same as 12.3 per cent in April-October 1995. The relative slowdown of growth in industrial production is neither generalised nor widespread. Within the broad groups of manufacturing sector, food products, transport equipment, electrical machinery, beverages and tobacco, paper and paper products and basic metals and alloys have performed well registering a growth rate of over 10 per cent. As per use-based classification, the slowdown is essentially confined to the basic goods, while all other sub-sectors viz. capital goods, intermediate goods and consumer goods have performed well in April-October1996.

3.  Box 7.1 indicates the reasons as to why the slowdown in certain sectors can not be interpreted as the onset of an industrial recession.

Industrial Policy Reforms

4.  Since July 1991, Indian industry has undergone a sea-change in terms of the basic parameters governing its structure and functioning. The major reforms include wide-scale reduction in the scope of industrial licensing, simplification of procedural rules and regulations, reduction of areas reserved exclusively for the public sector, disinvestment of equity of selected public sector undertakings, enhancing the limits of foreign equity participation in domestic industrial undertakings, liberalisation of trade and exchange rate policies, rationalisation and reduction of customs and excise duties and personal and corporate income-tax, extension of the scope of MODVAT etc. Separate policy measures have been announced in the form of specific packages aimed at upliftment of the small scale, tiny and cottage industries as well as 100 per cent EOU’s (Export Oriented Units) and units located in the EPZs (Export Processing Zone) and Technology Parks. Box 7.2 summarises the major industrial policy changes done during 1996-97 and Box 7.3 summarises the extent of permissible foreign equity under the liberalised foreign investment regime.

5.  During 1996-97 government liberalised further the policies for foreign direct investment (FDI). Until December 1996 only 35 industries as mentioned in the Annexure III of the New Industrial Policy Statement of July 1991 were eligible for automatic approval of FDI up to 51 per cent of total equity. In December 1996 government allowed automatic approval of FDI up to 74 per cent by the Reserve Bank of India in nine categories of industries, including electricity generation and transmission, non-conventional energy generation and distribution, construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, ports, harbours, runways, waterways, tunnels, pipelines, industrial and power plants, pipeline transport except for POL and gas, water transport, cold storage and warehousing for agricultural products, mining services except for gold, silver and precious stones and exploration and production of POL and gas, manufacture of iron ore pellets, pig iron, semi-finished iron and steel and manufacture of navigational, meteorological, geophysical, oceanographic, hydrological and ultrasonic sounding instruments and items based on solar energy.

6.  The list of items for automatic approvals of foreign equity by the RBI has been expanded by including three industries relating to mining activity for foreign equity up to 50 per cent and 13 additional industries for foreign equity up to 51 per cent. These 13 industries include a wide range of industrial activities in the capital goods and metallurgical industries, entertainment electronics, food processing, and the services sectors having significant export potential. These industries specifically include manufacture of food products like dairy products, canning and preservation of fruits and vegetables, grain milling, salt, cocoa products and sugar confectionery etc.; cotton spinning, weaving and processing in integrated mills; wool, silk and man-made fibre textiles; paints and varnishes; coke oven products; fabricated metal products; refrigerators, air-conditioners, fire fighting appliances, primary batteries and cells; support services to land transport like operation of highway bridges, toll roads and tunnels; support services to water transport; cargo handling for land, water and air transport; renting and leasing of transport, computer and industrial equipment without operators; technical testing, research and development services, and health and medical services.

7.  The government also announced in January 1997 the first ever guidelines for foreign direct investment (FDI) for expeditious approval of foreign investment in areas not covered under automatic approval. Priority areas for FDI proposals as mentioned in the guidelines include infrastructure, export potential, large scale employment potential particularly for rural areas, items with linkages with the farm sector, social sector projects like hospitals, health care and medicines, and proposals that lead to induction of technology and infusion of capital. FDI approvals will, however, be subjected to sectoral caps; 20 per cent (40 per cent for NRIs) in the banking sector; 51 per cent in non-banking financial companies without any special conditions (100 per cent with specified minimum levels of foreign invesment); 100 per cent in power, roads, ports, tourism and venture capital funds; 49 per cent (not to be offset against the FDI in an investment/ holding company where there is cap of 49 per cent) in telecommunications (basic, cellular mobile and paging services); 40 per cent (100 per cent for NRIs) in domestic air-taxi operations/ airlines; 24 per cent in small scale industries; 51 per cent in drugs/ pharma industry for bulk drugs; 100 per cent in petroleum; and 50 per cent in mining except for gold, silver, diamonds and precious stones.

8.  The FIPB will allow 100 per cent foreign equity in those cases where the foreign company has expressed inability to find a suitable Indian joint venture partner, subject to the condition that the foreign investor will divest at least 26 per cent of its equity in favour of Indian parties within three to five years.

9.  The new guidelines also allow foreign companies to set up 100 per cent companies on the basis of the following criteria: (a) where only holding operation is involved and all downstream investments to be carried out need prior approval; (b) where proprietary technology is sought to be protected or sophisticated technology is proposed to be brought in; (c) where at least 50 per cent of production is exported; (d) consultancy proposals; and (e) projects in power, roads, ports and industrial towns and estates. The FIPB will also allow proposals for 100 per cent trading firms for exports, bulk imports, cash-and-carry wholesale trading and other import of goods and services provided at least 75 per cent is for procurement and sale of goods and services among group firms.

10.  Industrial reforms have been to a large extent aided and supported by the liberal investment policies undertaken by the State Governments. The States have been encouraging private investment for development of basic infrastructure and management of industrial houses by awarding various fiscal concessions and other facilities. The incentive package generally includes an investment subsidy, exemption from payment of excise duty by new undertakings, tax concessions to units in small scale and tiny sectors, supply of industrial land under easy conditions, waivers or concessional rates for electricity duty, subsidies on purchase of machinery and other fixed assets, special incentives to industries involved in modernisation, technological upgradation and quality control, upgrading the facilities available at the District Industries Centres (DICs), opening of single window type information dissemination centres and several other measures. Box 7.4 highlights procedural and policy reforms undertaken by selected State Governments and the initiatives taken by them for implementation of new industrial policy.

11.  In order to support on-going reforms at the State level, for the first time a multilateral funding agency like Asian Development Bank (ADB) has extended a loan assistance of US $ 250 million for the Gujarat Public Sector Resource Management Programme. The details are indicated at Box 7.5.

Pattern of Industrial Growth

12. Table 7.1 shows trends in growth rates of overall industrial production and its three major components viz., mining, manufacturing and electricity generation. It is observed from the table that since 1992-93, all the major sectors had responded to economic reforms with dynamism and witnessed significant acceleration of their respective growth rates. However, during the current year until October 1996 there has been a deceleration of industrial growth rates due to poor performance by mining and electricity generation.

13. Table 7.2 highlights the contribution made by broad sectors to the pattern of industrial growth in recent years. It is observed from the table that during 1991-96 the contribution of manufacturing sector to industrial growth has maintained an upward trend, the share of mining sector has fluctuated around 6 per cent while that of electricity has exhibited a declining trend.

14. The general index of industrial production (IIP) recorded a growth rate of 11.7 per cent during 1995-96 aided by a growth rate of 7.1 per cent in mining and quarrying, 13.0 per cent in manufacturing and 8.2 per cent in electricity. All of the 17 major (two-digit) groups within manufacturing sector recorded positive growth rates during 1995-96 and 12 groups recorded growth rates exceeding 10 per cent. The transport equipment registered the highest growth rate of 23.7 per cent, followed by non-electrical machinery and electrical machinery with growth rates of 21.9 per cent and 19.8 per cent respectively. As per the use-based classification, capital goods registered a growth rate of 17.8 per cent and the consumer goods 12.5 per cent, while the growth rates of the intermediate goods and basic goods were 10.2 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively.

15. The quick estimates of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) are available for the period April-October, 1996. According to this index industrial sector registered a growth rate of 9.8 per cent in April-October 1996, supported by a growth rate of 1.7 per cent in mining, 3.4 per cent in electricity and 12.1 per cent in manufacturing. As per the growth rates by use-based classification all the sub sectors performed well except basic goods (Table 7.3). Capital goods and intermediate goods sectors recorded growth rates of 16.6 per cent and 10.8 per cent respectively in April-October 1996 as against the growth rates of 15.0 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively during April-October 1995. The consumer durables and consumer non-durables registered growth rates of 9.8 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively in April-October 1996 as against growth rates of 30.2 per cent and 9.2 per cent respectively during April-October 1995. But, the basic goods sector registered a growth rate of only 6.7 per cent in April-October 1996 as against a growth rate of 11.1 per cent during April-October 1995.

Composition of Growth

16. The continuation of high growth rates within manufacturing are well spread and broad based. Of the 17 sub sectors within the manufacturing sector, 6 sectors have registered growth rates exceeding 10 per cent in April-October 1996. These sectors include transport equipment (21.7 per cent), electrical machinery (18.3 per cent), basic metals and alloys (16.1 per cent) food products (15.7 per cent), beverages and tobacco (14.0 per cent) and paper and paper products (11.0 per cent). The two groups which registered negative growth rates are jute textiles (-9.7 per cent) and other manufacturing industries (-6.0 per cent) (Table 7.4).

Revision of the current series of IIP

17. The current IIP (base 1980-81) covers 352 items. It is generally agreed that since 1980-81 Indian industry has undergone significant structural changes and the 1980-81 weights do not fully represent some of the sectors such as automobiles, leather goods and electronics which showed substantial dynamism in the 1980s and 1990s. It is also felt that the small scale industries (SSI) sector, which is a dynamic and fast growing sector of the Indian economy, remains under-represented in the weighting diagram due to non-availability of relevant data. It was, therefore, decided to shift the base to 1993-94 for obtaining a more representative weighting diagram. The revision work has been initiated and the shift is likely to be effected during 1997. To fulfil the emerging need of disaggregated statistics pertaining to the industrial sector and to facilitate comparative studies of industrial growth among different States/UTs, the Department of Statistics has initiated action to compile the comparable series of State IIPs with the common base year 1984-85 and with an appropriate linkage to the all-India IIP.

Industrial Investment and Associated Trends

18. The overall investment scenario in the country continues to be buoyant and promising. The number of Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum (IEMs) and Letters of Intent (LOIs) filed from 1991 to December 1996 totalled 31,157 with overall investment intention of Rs.6,34,760 crore and estimated employment of 5.7 million (Table 7.5).

19.  Transnational corporations and foreign firms have expressed keen interest in investing in India. The total number of foreign collaborations approved during 1991 to October 1996 amounted to 10,041 of which 5,434 proposals involved direct foreign investment amounting to Rs 78,030 crore (Table 7.6). More than 75 per cent of these foreign investments are in priority sectors such as core and infrastructure industries, capital goods and services (Table 7.7).

20.  There has been a substantial growth in assistance disbursed by All India Financial Institutions during the recent months. During 1995-96, the All India Financial Institutions sanctioned Rs. 64,115 crore and disbursed Rs. 36,312 crore of financial assistance, registering an annual growth rate of 12.0 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively over the level of assistance sanctioned and disbursed during 1994-95. During April-December 1996, sanctions by All India Financial Institutions stood at Rs. 34,458 crore and disbursements at Rs. 26,813 crore registering a decline of 26.3 per cent in sanctions and increase of 15.6 per cent in disbursements over April-December 1995. The decline in sanctions is attributable to a fall in assistance sanctioned by development financial institutions over April-December 1995 by 30 per cent. Over the same period assistance sanctioned by investment institutions increased by 2.9 per cent. For 1995-96, the growth in assistance sanctioned and disbursed would have been larger but for a fall in the assistance sanctioned and disbursed by investment institutions (viz. LIC, GIC and UTI) by 31.4 per cent and 6.0 per cent respectively.

21.  The public issues launched during 1995-96 (both equity and debentures) at Rs.14,241 crore registered a decline from Rs. 21,044 crore in 1994-95.  The amount of rights issued also declined marginally to Rs. 6,564 crore from Rs. 6,577 crore in 1994-95. Till December, 1996 the amount of public issues (both equity and debentures) stands at Rs. 8,619 crore and rights issues is worth Rs. 1,750 crore.

Industrial Employment

22.  Table 7.8 gives the status of overall employment in industry.

23.  All the three sub-sectors absorbing industrial population i.e. manufacturing, small-scale and ASI factory indicate a progressive rise in levels of employment over the years. The growth of employment in the small scale sector is highly encouraging as this displays the sector is still very much in a position to absorb large amount of idle labour.

Science & Technology and Research & Development.

24.  The investment in Research and Development (R&D) has increased from a paltry Rs. 20 crore in the First Five Year Plan to about Rs. 20,000 crore in the Eighth Five Year Plan. Presently there are 214 universities, 400 national laboratories and 1300 in-house R & D centres in the industrial sector. Several Science & Technology departments have been set up in the areas of environment, non-conventional energy resources, bio-technology, ocean development, industrial research, space, atomic energy, defence, health, agriculture and electronics.

25.  Identification and promotion of priority areas in R & D is done by Science and Engineering Research Council(SERC) set up under the Department of Science & Technology(DST).DST supports 12 autonomous research institutions as well, for furthering research work in several disciplines. Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council(TIFAC) has been set up for generating technology forecasting and technology assessment documents and enabling a technology information system that is interactive and nationally accessible.

26.  Industrial research in several diverse fields of scientific activity is being undertaken through a network of 40 laboratories and 81 field stations set up by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In the field of bio-technology, more than 24 specialised R & D centres have been developed for pursuing state-of-the-art research. Identical efforts for promoting new avenues of research are being undertaken in the field of ocean development as well.

27.  The Union Budget for 1996-97 has taken various measures to promote R&D facilities. A matching one time grant has been awarded to CSIR and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for modernisation of laboratories and institutes. The Technology Development and Application Fund created in 1995-96 has been proposed to be strengthened by Rs.30 crore. A Five Year Tax Holiday under Section 80-IA of the Income Tax Act has been allowed to companies exclusively created for participation in R&D activities. The existing procedure for awarding weighted deduction under Section 35(2AA) of the Income Tax Act on sums paid for scientific research to a National Laboratory or a University or an IIT has been amended, by deleting the condition of approval by an outside body. In order to encourage R&D efforts, goods developed and patented in India and concurrently in specified countries have been exempted from levy of excise duty for a period of 3 years. The exemption procedure for customs duty on import of equipment and consumables for R&D institutions has been rationalised as well.

Reforms in Public Sector Enterprises

28.  Among the various policies enunciated for restructuring of the PSUs, a major step involved the disinvestment of a part of Government equities in selected public undertakings for improving their performance as well as to increase their public accountability by broad basing their management and ownership. In the process of disinvestment, a major step taken by the government has been to set up the Disinvestment Commission for working out the terms and conditions as well as modalities pertaining to disinvestment of public equities. At present the government contemplates restructuring of equity in 40 major PSUs, including blue-chip companies like ONGC, GAIL, SAIL, MTNL, IPCL, NTPC, BEML, Power Grid, NHPC, IOC, IBP and Bongaigaon Refineries. While the Commission is to determine the modalities of disinvestment, the actual sale of PSU shares would be done through Deptt. of Public Enterprises(DPE). The Commission also intends to identify the non-core PSUs where the Government may even disinvest by more than 50 per cent and may have minority ownership. Box 7.6 indicates the year-wise and PSU-wise details of Government equities in 40 selected public sector enterprises, where it has approved disinvestment since 1991 until the end of September 1996.

29.  Under the auspices of the National Renewal Fund(NRF)set up in February 1992, for mobilising funds to assist voluntary retired persons from PSUs in undergoing re-training and re-deployment,
Rs. 252 crore and Rs.217 crore were released in 1994-95 and 1995-96, respectively. An estimated number of 87,800 workers have opted for voluntary retirement so far and a major portion of NRF has been utilised in the textile sector.

Performance of Selected Public Sector Undertakings

30.  Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) system has been further strengthened. During 1995-96, 104 PSEs signed MOUs as compared to 99 in 1994-95. The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) carries out an exercise every year for assessing the annual performance of the PSEs who have signed MOUs. As per the latest evaluation, out of 104 PSEs, 51 were rated as excellent, 31 as very good and a meagre 2 as poor. Evaluation for 1 unit is still pending. The results indicate a marked improvement over 1994-95 when 39 units were rated as excellent among the 95 appraised. The financial performance of the PSEs has also been better than their targeted levels for 1995-96 (Table 7.9). The gross margin during 1995-96 stood at Rs. 26,137 crore as against the target of Rs. 24,106 crore thereby surpassing the targeted level by 8 per cent.

31.  The profitability of PSUs in terms of ratios of gross margin, gross profit and pre-tax profit to capital employed have shown some improvement recently (Table 7.9).The ratio of PAT to net worth has also improved. Out of the 15 large enterprises which are monopolies and operate in the core sector the loss making ones included Fertiliser Corporation of India, Indian Airlines Corporation, Bharat Gold Mines, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam and Hindustan Shipyard.

Performance of Selected Industries

Petroleum Oil and Lubricants

32.  The production of crude oil during 1995-96 at 35.19 million tonnes recorded a growth of 9 per cent over the production of 32.24 million tonnes in 1994-95. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) contributed 90 per cent of the total crude oil produced in the country in 1995-96 while the rest was produced by Oil India Limited (OIL) and JVCs. The production of crude oil during April-October 1996 at 18.47 million tonnes recorded a decline by 10.2 per cent over the corresponding period of 1995-96 (Table 7.10). The shortfall in the production of crude oil during April-October 1996 was mainly due to frequent power shutdowns by ASEB, increase in water cuts, unexpected adverse behaviour of a few reservoirs, environmental constraints and less base potential because of less number of wells available from ERD in Bombay High. ONGC and OIL have taken several steps to augment the oil production and arrest any declining trend.

33.  The total refinery crude throughput during 1995-96 at 58.58 million tonnes recorded a growth of 3.6 per cent over 56.53 million tonnes achieved in 1994-95. The average capacity utilisation of the 13 refineries was 103.9 per cent in 1995-96 as compared to 105.9 per cent achieved in 1994-95. The total refinery crude throughput during April-October 1996 at 35.96 MMT was 6 per cent higher than the target of 33.91 million tonnes.

34.  The production of natural gas in 1995-96 at 22.31 billion cubic metres (BCM) was 15.1 per cent higher than the production of 19.38 BCM during 1994-95. The production of natural gas during April-September 1996 was 11.35 BCM.

35.  Natural gas is likely to play a major role in bridging the gap between the demand and supply of liquid hydrocarbons in the future. Flaring of natural gas takes place due to several factors such as lack of required compression and transportation facilities, technical requirements of operational safety, non-lifting of gas by consumers etc. The flaring of natural gas is currently down to around 5 per cent, of which the technical flaring is around 2.5 per cent. Efforts are being made to further reduce the flaring of natural gas. The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) along with ONGC, IOC and HPC are actively exploring the feasibility of importing Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to take care of the widening gap between the demand and indigenous availability of natural gas.

36.  Government has taken several steps for opening of the oil and natural gas sector to the private investors. Since 1991, Government has invited six rounds of bids for exploration in order to increase reserve accretion. Government has awarded contracts for 35 exploration blocks. To encourage larger investment in exploration, Government is considering a New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). An attractive fiscal incentive package has been proposed for the exploration in deep water and frontier areas, which have high risk but with a possibility of high hydrocarbon potential.

37.  To accelerate the domestic production of oil and gas, the Government has offered discovered medium-sized oil and gas fields for the development under joint venture arrangement with 40 per cent participating interest for national oil companies, including small sized fields which have been awarded to private companies. Government has so far awarded 30 fields for development. An investment of about US $ 1.8 billion is involved in the exploration and development of these fields/blocks. Government is also encouraging domestic companies to take up equity oil/exploration acreages abroad to achieve the objective of oil security for the country. ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), a wholly owned subsidiary of ONGC has taken up exploration acreages in Vietnam Offshore, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen and is pursuing opportunities in many countries including Russia and Kazakhastan, which are highly prospective hydrocarbon rich countries. OVL, which owns 55 per cent participating interest in Vietnam Offshore block, has already made a gas discovery in this block with a potential of about 2 trillion cubic feet of gas.

38.  The total refining capacity in the country is currently 60.40 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA). Considering the proposed expansion of existing refineries and based on the letters of intent (LOI) issued till November 1996 to various parties, the refining capacity is expected to increase to around 131 MMTPA if all projects materialise, for meeting the estimated demand of 113 MMTPA of petroleum products by 2001-02. As a part of the liberalisation programme in the hydrocarbon sector, Government has issued LOI to twelve private sector parties for a total refining capacity of 70.3 MMTPA, of which 7 LOIs with a total refining capacity of 29.3 MMTPA are of export oriented units. The above LOIs are besides the grassroot refineries expansion in the PSU refineries or their JVCs that are being put up by the public sector. MRPL, which is a joint venture company between HPCL and Indian Rayon, started production with effect from March 25, 1996 with refining capacity of 3 MMTPA at Mangalore. The capacity of this refinery is being expanded to 9 MMTPA. Besides this, Numaligarh refinery in Assam with a capacity of 3 MMTPA is likely to be commissioned by 1999-2000 using the Assam crude.

39. Transportation of petroleum products through pipelines is a preferred mode compared to transportation by rail/road. The Government has approved formation of a holding company and subsidiary joint venture companies for expeditious implementation of new pipeline projects. Formation of the joint venture companies and financing of the same are under finalisation.

40.  The gross imports of crude oil and petroleum products during 1995-96 at 47.68 million tonnes was 15.4 per cent higher than imports at 41.30 million tonnes in 1994-95. The value of POL imports during 1995-96 was Rs.24,095 crore as against Rs.17,838 crore during the previous year. The gross import of POL during April-September 1996 was 26.33 million tonnes valued at Rs.15,547 crore as against the import of 21.66 million tonnes valued at Rs.9,875 crore during the same period last year. The import bill has swollen on account of increasing quantum of import of petroleum products, depreciating rupee value and soaring prices in international markets.

41.  During 1995-96 the consumption of petroleum products was 74.72 million tonnes out of which 2.15 million tonnes were from private sector imports. This showed a growth of 10.8 per cent over the previous year. Out of the total consumption of petroleum products, LPG, Mopgas, HSD and FO showed substantially higher growth rates than the average growth rate of 10.8 per cent during 1995-96. During the period April-September 1996, the consumption of petroleum products was 36.73 million tonnes which was 6.5 per cent higher than the corresponding period of last year (Table 7.11).

42.  The administered price regime continues for marketing of petroleum products. However, to improve the supply conditions and to reduce the fiscal burden owing to sale of subsidised petroleum products, the Government had decanalised import of kerosene, LPG and LSHS and set up a Parallel Marketing System (PMS) for LPG, SKO, LSHS since February 1993. Under this system, private parties are allowed to import LPG/SKO/LSHS and market the same through their own distribution network at market determined prices. Government announced a reduction in import duties on LPG in January 1994 from 85 per cent to 25 per cent to facilitate the operation of PMS. This duty was further scaled down to 10 per cent in the budget for 1996-97. Safeguards have been incorporated into the system to prevent diversion of the kerosene and LPG marketed by the public sector companies. The private sector has also been allowed to invest in the development of infrastructure for marketing of petroleum products. Private investment has been invited for setting up and operation of depots, tank farms, import facilities, product and crude pipeline etc.

43.  The enrolment of new domestic LPG consumers is expected to go up from present 20 lakh to 50 lakh in 1997-98. The marketing of LPG is also being gradually introduced in villages adjoining small towns.

44.  The existing system of pricing of petroleum products is based on the report of the Oil Prices Committee (OPC), 1976 as amended by the Oil Cost Review Committee (OCRC), 1984. With a view to contain the deficit in the oil pool account and thus enable the oil companies to maintain uninterrupted supplies of petroleum products in the country, the Government had increased the prices of petroleum products with effect from 2nd/3rd July 1996. The price of ATF and Naphtha (other than fertilisers) was increased by 10 per cent, MS by 25 per cent and other products by 30 per cent. The price of LPG (bulk) and LPG (packed non-domestic) were fixed on the basis of import parity. However, in order to protect the vulnerable sections of the society, no increase was made in the price of SKO (domestic). Later on, the increase in price of HSD was reduced to 15 per cent with effect from 6th / 7th July, 1996. Despite these increases the Oil Pool account has huge subsidies having adverse effects on additional resource mobilisation and augmentation of their capacities. Box 7.7 indicates the details.

45.  Government has introduced unleaded petrol from April 1995 in the four metros and at selected highways for cars fitted with catalytic converters to mitigate the pollution menace. It is proposed to introduce unleaded petrol throughout the country in phases i.e.

46.  With a view to develop a comprehensive long term perspective for the hydrocarbon sector, and to meet the challenges that may emerge by the year 2010, Government had set up a Reforms Committee (R-Group) to study and suggest reforms in the petroleum sector and the report has since been submitted to the Ministry. It is under the active consideration of the Government.


47.  Coal is one of the primary sources of energy accounting for about 67 per cent of total energy consumption in the country. Coal production at 270.13 million tonnes in 1995-96 represented a growth of 6.5 per cent over 1994-95. Non-Coking coal production, contributing about 85.2 per cent to total coal output, increased by 9.8 per cent. Coking coal production during April-October, 1996 increased by 9.6 per cent (Table 7.12). The underground mines registered a growth of 6.1 per cent while the opencast mines have shown a growth of 10.9 per cent during April-October, 1996, and continued to account for the major share in coal production.

48.  Coking coal production at 12.85 million tonnes during April-October, 1996 was 6.6 per cent more than that in April-October, 1995. Given the trends in the production of coking coal and its high ash content, it is unlikely that imports of coking coal will go down in the immediate future. Imports of coal have been consistently increasing and reached a level of 13.22 million tonnes in 1995-96.

49.  The despatches of coal in 1995-96 at 267 million tonnes increased by 7.5 per cent and increased further by 6.0 per cent in April-October, 1996. The total pithead stocks of coal declined from 31.70 million tonnes as on March 31, 1996 to 25.20 million tonnes in October, 1996 as against 33.5 million tonnes in October, 1995.

50.  One of the major constraints on the profitability of the coal sector is low productivity in underground mines. This has stagnated at an output per man shift (OMS) of about 0.55 tonnes for the last two decades, despite massive investments made in mechanisation of underground mines. The underground mines employ 80 per cent of manpower, but contribute only 30 per cent of total output. Productivity levels can be improved through better utilisation of existing stocks of machinery and equipment, greater flexibility in manpower deployment and rationalisation of the work force.

51.  Indian coal has high ash content and low calorific value. The ash content varies from 25 to 40 per cent and sometimes exceeds 40 per cent. The transportation of coal, containing so much inert matter over long distances, not only leads to wastage of transport capacity and energy, but also results in low efficiency of coal based thermal power plants and adds to air pollution through higher emission and ash disposal. Thermal power stations set up away from the pit-heads of coal are now being encouraged to use beneficiated coal. Two non-coking washeries having a capacity of 11 million tonnes per annum are likely to be commissioned in 1997. Four more washeries having a capacity of about 21 million tonnes per annum are to be set up by Coal India Limited (CIL) under Build-Own-and-Operate (BOO) scheme during the Ninth Five Year Plan. Given our large coal reserves and high import prices of alternative fuels, it is imperative to assess the status of advanced coal utilisation techniques to minimise environmental damage.

52.  In order to encourage private sector investment in the coal sector, the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 was amended with effect from the 9th June, 1993 for operation of captive coal mines by companies engaged in the production of iron and steel, power generation and for washing of coal in the private sector. Production of cement has also been notified as an end use with effect from March15, 1996 for purpose of captive coal mining. Imports of coal under Open General Licence (OGL) are being allowed. The import tariff on coking coal is 5 per cent whereas the import tariff for non-coking coal has been reduced from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. Captive coal mining blocks have been identified for fourteen power generating companies/Electricity Boards and for five companies in the iron and steel sector.

53.  As on September 30, 1996, out of 65 public projects under implementation in the coal sector, 13 projects are bedevilled by time and cost over-runs. On an average, the cost overrun per project is about Rs.51 crore and the time overrun per project is about 34 months. There is an urgent need to improve project implementation in the coal sector.

54.  The borrowings of Coal India Limited (CIL) from the Central Government as on March 31, 1996 were Rs. 3,738 crore. With the reduction in budgetary support public sector coal companies are required to approach domestic and international sources for medium and long term credit to finance their planned increases in production. The cash and carry scheme implemented by CIL from October 1, 1992 enabled the company to slow down the growth of arrears, but the company is required to take steps to realise the large outstanding undisputed sales dues. In order to ensure access to external sources of funds, the coal companies must continue to remain financially viable.

55.  CIL plans to invite foreign companies to form joint ventures in longwall mining projects and mechanised bord and pillar mining to improve underground coal production and productivity. Pricing of coal has all along been revised in accordance with an escalation formula prescribed by the Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices (BICP). This formula neutralises the increase in input costs as indicated by the price indices. However, following a recommendation of BICP, Government has deregulated the prices of coking coal and A,B, & C grades of non-coking coal with effect from March 22, 1996 to enable the coal companies to generate internal resources for reinvestment in coal mining and expansion programmes.

56.  Further liberalisations on pricing and distribution of coal have been announced by the Government with effect from February 11, 1997. These include the following:

  1. The prices and distribution of D grade of non-coking coal, hard coke and soft coke have been deregulated with immediate effect.
  2. The Coal India Limited (CIL) and the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) have been allowed to fix the prices of E, F and G grades of non-coking coal as per the BICP escalation formula till January 1, 2000 and in relation to market prices after January 1, 2000.
  3. The Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 will be amended to allow any Indian company to mine coal and lignite not only for captive consumption but also for sale.
  4. The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 will be amended to set up an independent body to allocate blocks on the basis of a competitive bidding process.


57.  The year 1995-96 witnessed a more impressive performance from the steel industry as compared to the previous year. An encouraging feature for the steel industry was contained in the Union Budget provisions for the year 1995-96, in the reduction of peak rate of import duty on steel from 40 per cent to 30 per cent along with reduction of duty on HR coils from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

58.  Production of finished steel in April-November 1996 stood at 14.75 million tonnes exhibiting an increase of 14.30 per cent over the same period in 1995-96. Secondary producers recorded a growth of 26.9 per cent in the current year as compared to a growth of 15.7 per cent in the previous year, while main producers recorded a growth rate of only 2.6 per cent in April-November1996. Saleable pig iron production in April-November 1996 at 2.06 million tonnes recorded a growth of 14.7 per cent. Both main as well as secondary producers experienced sizeable growth in this category (Table 7.13). Consumption of finished steel in April-November 1996 at 14.46 million tonnes registered an increase of 11.2 per cent.

59.  Exports of steel amounted to 2 million tonnes valued at Rs.1,940 crore in 1995-96. Exports of finished steel at 6.5 lakh tonnes in April-November 1996 recorded an increase of 36.6 per cent. Imports of steel recorded a decline of 7.8 per cent during 1995-96 and are maintaining identical trends in the current year. The continuous reduction in volume of imports is largely attributable to higher production of HR coils/strips. The export basket of steel is in the process of undergoing a transformation with value-added items coming to occupy a more significant share.

60. Moving away from a framework dominated by procedural controls, the steel industry is gradually developing a competitive edge for itself in the global perspective. The prerogatives of import substitution, with the chief onus behind imports being fulfilment of domestic shortages and exports being conceived as mere disposal of surpluses, are gradually being replaced by a more competitive outlook, under the impact of liberalisation and removal of international trade restrictions.


61. The textile industry continues to be the largest industry in the country accounting for about one-fifth of the total industrial output and around one-third of the total export earnings and providing employment to over 20 million people.

62.  Several measures have been undertaken in recent years by the Government to eliminate/reduce controls and bring about greater transparency in the textile sector. The textile industry has already been delicenced as per the Textile (Development and Regulation) Order 1993. Keeping in view the requirement of Agreement on Textile and Clothing (ATC), a new Long Term Quota policy applicable for the three years period 1997-99 for export of textile and garments covered by the Quota system has been announced on October 16, 1996. The new policy not only simplifies procedure and ensures greater transparency, but encourages higher value unit realisation for quota items.

63.  The Indian textile industry continues to be predominantly cotton based with about 65 per cent of raw material consumed being cotton. Cotton production during the season 1995-96 (September 95 to August 1996) is estimated by Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) at 156 lakh bales of 170 kgs. each (provisional), an increase of 13 per cent over the production of 138.5 lakh bales during the cotton season 1994-95. The prices of raw cotton which had showed a sudden spurt from November 1994, was speedily brought under control by Government by taking several steps like permitting import of viscose staple fibre (VSF), a near substitute to cotton, at zero/concessional rate of duty, and tightening selective credit control measures for cotton. With the easing of domestic supply/demand situation, Government released export quota of 15.90 lakh bales for the year 1995-96 (September ’95 to August ’96). Government has announced in the month of October, 1996 the release of initial quota of 5 lakh bales of cotton for export.

64.  The production of cotton yarn recorded an increase of 9.66 per cent in 1995-96 over 1994-95. The production of blended and 100 per cent non-cotton yarn increased by over 15 per cent during the same period. Table 7.14 indicates the details of the category-wise production of yarn.

65.  Table 7.15 indicates the trend in fabric production and the share of mills, powerlooms and handlooms in total fabric production. The production of fabric in 1995-96 recorded an increase of 9.3 per cent over the level of production in 1994-95.

66.  The export of textiles has been increasing at a fast rate during the last few years. During 1995-96, export of textiles (including coir, jute and handicraft) was estimated at Rs. 35,504.6 crore, registering an increase of 13.3 per cent over 1994-95. Among the various items of textiles, man-made fibre textiles achieved a growth of 26 per cent, jute goods 24.5 per cent, woollen textiles 23 per cent, cotton textiles 19 per cent, handicraft 18 per cent, coir goods 14 per cent and readymade garments 6.4 per cent. Provisional data on export of textiles for the period April-October, 1996-97 indicate a significant growth of around 26 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous year.


67.  The electronics industry continued to maintain the positive growth trends in the year 1995-96 as it had done in the year 1994-95. Over the 8th Five Year Plan period, production of electronic items grew by 22 per cent along with an export growth of 41 per cent.

68.  The electronics sector experienced a turnover of Rs. 21,675 crore in the year 1995-96 as compared to Rs. 18,060 crore in the previous year (Table 7.16). Significant performances were recorded by consumer electronics and electronic component sectors. Production of software for exports grew to Rs. 2,550 crore in the aggregate for 1995-96, from Rs. 1,535 crore in the previous year.

69.  Export of electronic items amounted to Rs. 4,585 crore in the year 1995-96 as against Rs. 3,032 crore in 1994-95. Out of the above, software exports exhibited a very healthy growth rate of nearly 70 per cent in comparison to 1994-95.

70.  The Software Technology Park (STP) scheme, initiated for inviting higher investment from entrepreneurs involved in software development and exports, continued to discharge its functions with a high degree of success. Among the 521 units accorded approval so far under the scheme, 157 received approval in 1995-96 only. The contribution to exports from units under the STP scheme are growing at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 160 per cent with the STP units having exported software worth Rs. 727 crore during 1995-96. Besides 153 units have received approval under the Electronic Hardware Technology Park(EHTP) scheme.

71.  The overall electronics production is expected to touch Rs. 28,410 crore in the year 1996-97 with overall exports amounting to Rs. 6,257 crore.

72.  The electronics industry has received a further boost by the recently announced removal of consumer electronics from the category of items subject to compulsory licensing. The industry is experiencing widespread diversification through extensive applications in new areas viz. process control, industrial electronics, information technology, security and telecom. Several foreign collaborations have been established in the sector with prominent multi-national corporations (MNCs) setting up production/design base in the country for exploiting the advantages of cost-effective human resources and other inputs. There has been significant growth in investments in computers, consumer electronics and telecom sectors. Besides, a wide base for R&D and design and development in electronics has been built up as well.

Chemicals, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals and Petro-chemicals


73.  The chemicals and chemical products industry continued to maintain a robust pattern of growth in the year 1995-96. In 1994-95 the sector exhibited a growth of 9.5 per cent as against a growth of 7.6 per cent in the year 1993-94. In 1995-96 the sector witnessed an even higher growth rate of 11.4 per cent. The exports from the chemical sector have shown a buoyant growth as well. The exports of basic organic and inorganic chemicals including agro-chemicals rose to Rs. 1,234 crore in 1995-96 as against Rs. 846 crore in 1994-95. Exports of dyes and dye intermediates however showed a marginal decline to Rs.1,219 crore in 1995-96 as compared to Rs.1,332 crore in 1994-95. Over the recent years particularly high rates of growth have been witnessed for caustic soda, soda ash, carbon black, acetic acid and methanol. The sector has provided a dedicated thrust to modernisation with the objective of reducing operating costs so as to improve efficiency.

Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

74.  In 1995-96, bulk drugs showed a marginally higher growth rate of 20 per cent as against 15 per cent in the previous year. Formulations however maintained the same growth of 15 per cent in 1995-96 as in 1994-95. It is estimated that in 1996-97, the growth of bulk drugs will be at around 20 per cent whereas for formulations it will be 15 per cent. In 1995-96 the production of bulk drugs and formulations were valued at Rs.1,822 crore and
Rs. 9,125 crore respectively.

75.  Exports from the pharmaceutical sector as well have shown significant rise over the years. The exports rose to Rs. 2,337 crore in 1995-96 as against Rs. 2,179 crore in 1994-95. Bulk drugs are estimated to constitute about 47 per cent of the total exports from the sector.

76.  Several foreign collaboration proposals pertaining to joint ventures, R&D, establishment of new undertakings and expansion of existing units, materialised in 1995-96. Subsequent to delicensing of pharmaceuticals industry several IEMs were received for manufacture of various bulk drugs/drug intermediates/formulations. MNCs desirous of initiating production of new bulk drugs from the basic stage are being authorised to set up 100 per cent subsidiaries.


77.  Subsequent to the 20 per cent growth in production exhibited by the petro-chemicals sector in the year 1993-94, there was a slight reduction in growth rate to 17 per cent in 1994-95 and a further reduction to the level of 10 per cent in 1995-96.

78.  Consumption of major petrochemicals in the country is expected to grow at around 14 per cent in 1996-97. Further the industry is also expected to witness significant additions to capacity towards the end of 1996-97. The prevailing low international prices, however, have to an extent resulted in lower profit margins for the industry in 1996-97.

Food Processing

79.  The food processing industry encompasses industries like fruit and vegetable processing, milk, fish and meat. The industry has a tremendous potential for increasing agricultural productivity providing significant and widespread employment and contributing significantly to exports. And all this, using relatively simpler technology.

80.  To encourage private sector initiatives in food processing the Government has taken several steps. Union excise duty on fruits and vegetable products was withdrawn in the 1990-91 Budget. Foreign equity participation upto 51 per cent and approval for foreign technology agreement are provided automatically. There are no entry barriers in the food processing industry. Changes in Import-Export Policy and the liberalised exchange rate have also helped this sector.

81.  Recent trends of production and exports of various segments of the industry are indicated in Table 7.17.

82.  Incidence of duties on packaging material and various State levies are still considered to be impediments for further growth for the fruit and vegetable sector.

83.  Despite an impressive increase in recent years commercial processing of fruits and vegetables has been just over 1.4 per cent of the total production.


84.  The automobile industry has seen a remarkable recovery in the recent years. There has been an increase in production and sales in all segments of the industry. The vehicle industry has registered a phenomenal growth during 1995-96 and the trend is continuing during 1996-97. The industry has registered a growth of more than 25 per cent during the last two years. All the segments of vehicle industry, i.e. commercial vehicles, cars and two/three wheelers, are expected to register marked growth in production and sales during 1996-97 over that of 1995-96.

85.  The estimated growth of commercial vehicles was 7 per cent in 1996-97 over and above the same in 1995-96. The rates for cars, jeep, two wheelers and three wheelers are estimated at 8 per cent, 10 per cent, 11 per cent and 16.5 per cent respectively over 1995-96. During 1995-96, the industry had registered a very high growth of production between 25 per cent to 43 per cent. The total turnover of automobile industry is likely to exceed Rs. 30,000 crore during the current year. The industry is also making a substantial contribution towards export. The export of vehicles has been growing. They have increased sharply from 92,947 nos. during 1994-95 to 1,21,696 vehicles during 1995-96, thereby registering a growth of 31 per cent. A similar trend continued during the current year also.

86.  Considering the immense market potential for automobiles in the country, almost all major automobile manufacturers from all over the world, felt it necessary to set up manufacturing base in India, to meet the growing requirement of the domestic market as well as develop production base for meeting the global demand. The number of new vehicles based on contemporary designs and latest technology which have been introduced in the domestic market include Ford Escort, Opel Astra, Cielo, Peugeot, Uno, Mercedes etc. These joint ventures are likely to have commenced production and the cars are available in the Indian market.

Small Scale Sector

87.  The small scale sector contributes over 40 per cent to the gross turnover in the manufacturing sector, 45 per cent of manufacturing exports and 34 per cent of total exports.

88.  The number, employment, output and exports in the small scale sector as estimated by the Office of the Development Commissioner, Small Scale Industries are given in Table 7.18.

89.  In output terms, the small scale sector recorded a growth rate of 11.4 per cent in 1995-96, as against 10.1 per cent in 1994-95. The growth of the small sector has been generally above the growth rates achieved by the industrial sector as a whole. However, the estimated growth rate of the small scale industries in 1995-96 at 11.4 per cent kept pace with the overall industrial growth rate of 11.7 per cent.

90.  Several new measures have been adopted for improving the efficiency and performance of the small scale units. These include provision of infrastructural support in integrated manner through Integrated Infrastructure Development (IID) scheme, enhanced technology support for modernisation and quality upgradation through opening of five new tool rooms with Danish and German assistance, enhancing entrepreneurship development programmes by involving voluntary agencies, strengthening special employment generation programmes through Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) scheme and enhancing the information and data base of the small scale industries sector. Box 7.8 summarises the facilities and incentives provided to the small scale industries sector.

91.  Investment limits on plant and machinery for the small scale industries have been raised from Rs. 60 lakh/75 lakh to Rs. 3 crore and that for tiny units has been raised from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh. Export obligation on non-SSI units manufacturing reserved items has been reduced from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.

92.  At the end of March 1996, the aggregate bank credit to SSI sector amounted to Rs. 29,482 crore accounting for 15.99 per cent of the aggregate net bank credit, as against Rs. 25,843 crore at the end of March 1995 accounting for 15.29 per cent of the total net bank credit disbursed. The advances outstanding against tiny sector increased from
Rs. 7,734 crore at the end of March 1995 to
Rs. 8,183 crore at the end of March 1996. However, the share of tiny sector in the advances to SSI sector has declined from 29.93 per cent at the end of March 1995 to 27.76 per cent at the end of March 1996.

93.  The number of beneficiaries being extended support under the National Equity Fund (NEF) scheme rose to 685 in 1995-96 as against 536 in 1994-95. The sanctions awarded under the scheme stood at Rs.6.6 crore in 1995-96 as compared to 3.1 crore in 1994-95. The disbursements, on the other hand, amounted to Rs.3.8 crore as against Rs.2.2 crore in the previous year.

94.  Under the Technology Development and Modernisation Fund (TDMF), loans amounting to Rs. 25.46 crore were sanctioned in the year 1995-96 to 64 units by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). Further under the IID scheme, 20 projects have been sanctioned in different parts of the country. Several measures have been taken as well for promoting entrepreneurship development through different courses and schedules.

Industrial Sickness

95.  Since its inception in May 1987, 1,853 references have been registered with Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) upto December 31,1996 under the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provision) Act, 1985, both in respect of private companies and public sector undertakings. Out of 2,692 references received by it, 406 references were dismissed as non-maintainable under the Act. Rehabilitation schemes were approved/sanctioned in 404 cases while winding up was recommended in 496 cases. 184 companies have been declared "no longer sick" on successful completion of the rehabilitation schemes sanctioned for them. As regards public sector undertakings, out of the 188 references registered upto December, 1996, 28 were dismissed as non-maintainable, 36 were recommended for rehabilitation schemes and winding up was suggested for 24. Four public sector undertakings have already been declared ‘‘no longer sick" on successful completion of the rehabilitation schemes. The proportion of cases effectively decided to those registered by BIFR till the end of December, 1996 has improved to 80.41 per cent.

96.  BIFR has taken a number of steps to streamline its internal procedure with a view to speed up disposal of cases registered with it. The time taken for holding first hearing has been brought down to 30 days recently as against 160 days before. The time lag between hearings has also been reduced considerably. The number of hearings has increased progressively over the years. As against 614 hearings in 1988, 1,560 hearings were held in 1995. 1,485 hearings were held upto December, 1996 despite the fact that the Board has been functioning with only three Benches since April, 1996.

97.  The number of cases being registered with the BIFR has been decreasing progressively except in 1994 when 193 references were registered. In 1995 only 117 cases were registered while in 1996 it stands at 97 upto December, 1996. Due to the combined effect of accelerated disposal and reduced fresh registrations, the total pendency of cases in BIFR, which was 436 as on January 1, 1996, has come down to 336 cases as on December 31, 1996. Table 7.19 gives the status relating to private and public sector undertakings registered with BIFR as on December 31, 1996.

98.  As per the information available with the RBI there were 2,71,206 sick industrial units in the country with outstanding bank credit of Rs.13,739 crore as on March 1995. They accounted for 6.7 per cent of the total bank credit and 13.3 per cent of the total bank advances to industry. These ratios were significantly lower than in the preceding two years. While the small scale units accounted for 99.1 per cent of the total number of sick industrial units, their share in total outstanding bank credit to sick industrial units was only 25.8 per cent (Table 7.20). The reasons for industrial sickness are internal factors such as project appraisal deficiencies, project management deficiencies and several external factors like shortage of raw materials, power crisis, transport and financial bottlenecks, changes in Government policy, increase in overhead cost etc. Marketing problems in the form of market saturation, product obsolescence and demand recession are also to be held responsible.

99.  The Reserve Bank has been placing emphasis on a systematic approach to the detection of sickness at the incipient stage and timely formulation of rehabilitation packages in respect of those sick/weak non-SSI units which are found to be potentially and commercially viable. The RBI continues not only to monitor the performance of individual banks through their half-yearly returns but also guide the banks and financial institutions in implementation of sanctioned rehabilitation packages.

Industrial Relations

100.  Industrial relations have shown a steady improvement in the years following the economic reforms. Mandays lost due to strikes and lockouts declined significantly from 22.97 million in 1992-93 to 17.99 million in 1995-96 (Table 7.21). This was mainly due to improvement in the industrial relations situation in cotton, engineering, coal and non-coal mining, beverages, tobacco & tobacco products, jute and rubber industries. During 1992-96, industrial unrest was witnessed mainly in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Government’s proactive role through timely and effective conciliation of industrial disputes and involvement of the social partners in the formulation and implementation of labour and industrial relations policies and programmes has successfully harmonised the interests of employers and workers.

Environment Issues

101.  The rapid increase in industrialisation and urbanisation has exerted extra pressure on the infrastructural facilities of human settlements manifesting in environmental problems like increased incidence of air, water and noise pollution.

102.  The ambient air quality of major towns and cities in the country is being monitored under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) programme. The monitoring results indicate that sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen dioxide levels are mostly within the permissible limits whereas Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) values are higher than the prescribed limits at some places due to vehicular and air pollution, burning of fossil fuel and natural dusty conditions. The pollution caused by vehicles contributes significantly towards air pollution. The problem of suspended particulate matter is more acute during the summer due to local dusty conditions. During the winter months, lower ambient temperatures, lower mixing depth temperature inversion, higher traffic density, higher consumption of domestic fuels, aggravate the pollution problems.

103.  The data on ambient water quality of rivers indicates that levels of coliform count and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) are generally high resulting in deterioration of water quality. This is primarily due to inadequate sanitation facilities and discharge of waste water into the surface water bodies without proper treatment.

104.  Urban noise levels in major cities also indicate an increasing trend due to rise in human population, automobiles and industrial activities. Specific studies reveal that noise levels in industrial areas are generally within the prescribed limits but exceed the standards in respect of commercial, residential and silence zones during certain hours. The problem is more conspicuous near the traffic intersections and commercial centres.

105.  The on-going initiatives of Government to improve environment include preventive as well as promotive measures. Fiscal incentives are provided by the Government to encourage the installation of appropriate pollution abatement equipment in the form of custom waive off and soft loans. While the industries are encouraged and the fiscal incentives are provided for installing equipment for control of pollution, punitive measures including legal action is taken against the defaulting units.

106.  To achieve the goal of pollution abatement, emission and effluent standards for air, water and noise have been notified. Regular monitoring is carried out and the enforcement efforts have been intensified. At present, a majority of identified units have already installed the requisite pollution control equipment. According to the data collected by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on September 30, 1996, out of 1,551 units belonging to 17 categories of highly polluting industries, 1,259 units had facilities to comply with the environmental standards, 112 were closed and 180 were not having adequate facilities. Show Cause notices under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 have been issued to all the defaulting units.

107.  Apart from notifications of effluent and emission standards for the major categories of polluting industries, national ambient air quality standards including ambient noise standards have been notified. Industries have been directed to instal necessary pollution control equipment within a stipulated time frame. More stringent norms for vehicular emissions have been notified under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules which have come into effect from April, 1996. Supply of unleaded petrol in four metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi and Chennai has been introduced with effect from April 1, 1995 for use in four wheel vehicles fitted with catalytic converters. The use of unleaded petrol will be gradually expanded to other cities in the country.

108.  Twenty-four critically polluted areas in the country have been identified and action plans have been drawn up to improve the quality of environment in these areas. Adoption of clean technologies of production and formation of Waste Minimisation Circles is being encouraged to minimise environmental pollution. Under the World Bank aided Industrial Pollution Control Project, technical and financial assistance is provided for setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in clusters of small scale industrial units. An "Eco-Mark" scheme has been launched to certify various products of the industries which fulfil the prescribed pollution control standards to achieve the objective of environment-friendly production, packaging and waste disposal. To increase public awareness and participation, several public awareness campaigns on effects of pollution and measures to control it have been launched.

109.  The Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution indicates adoption of best available clean and practicable technologies, rather than end-of-the-pipe treatment, as the key elements for pollution prevention. As a part of this thrust, the Ministry of Environment & Forests has set up a Clean Technologies Division for identifying cleaner technologies that can be introduced in different development sectors. Techniques like coal beneficiation are being promoted. The programme envisages setting up a National Clearing House for cleaner technologies as the overall co-ordinating agency and sectoral centres in different areas of development to focus on their activities. Another initiative taken to motivate environmentally oriented technologies and practices is mandatory submission of Annual Environmental Statements which would be subsequently evolved into environmental audit.

110.  Prior environmental clearance of development projects based on impact assessment is being increasingly emphasised. Such clearance has been made mandatory for 29 specified categories of development projects through a statutory notification issued in January, 1994. This has been done with a view to mitigating the adverse environmental effects of these projects and in integrating the environmental concerns into development. This mechanism is also of help in catalysing the process of inducting cleaner environment-friendly technologies into the developmental process. (Table 7.22)

111.  The success of the Ganga Action Plan has encouraged its replication for water pollution abatement in tributaries of the Ganga (Yamuna, Gomati and Damodar) under Ganga Action Plan Phase-II. A wider scheme called the National River conservation Plan covering pollution abatement works for grossly polluted stretches in 18 major rivers in 10 States of the country has also been initiated. Further, a programme for conservation of selected lakes has also been formulated by the Ministry.

112.  The National Environmental Tribunal Act, providing relief, compensation and restitution to victims of accidents while handling hazardous substances, and for environmental damages, came into force from 17 June, 1995. The Act provides (i) strict liability for damages arising out of any accident occurring while handling any hazardous substances and (ii) Establishment of a National Environmental Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposals of cases arising from such accidents with a view to give relief and compensation for damage to persons, property and the environment and (iii) matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

113.  The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) has been set up by the Government in January 1997. Public hearings have now been built into the environment impact assessment. The machinery for hearing appeals against environment pollution impact assessment is also being set up. The measures are to ensure greater transparency and faster decision-making in matters concerning the environmental impact of industrial projects.


114.  Industrial growth which remained buoyant in 1995-96 has slowed down in the first half of 1996-97. The slowdown of industrial growth is due to a number of factors including constraints in the infrastructure sector, terms of credit availability, lower demand from exports and other segments. In particular, crude oil production and hydel power generation have declined in the first half of 1996. This negative growth coupled with deceleration in thermal and nuclear power and coal production have contributed to the dampening of industrial growth. A general slowdown of demand due to delayed budget presentation and high interest rates along with slowdown in investment, exports, and private and public consumption expenditure have also dampened industrial growth and have possibly led to unintended inventory build up in the current year. At the micro level a slowdown is evident in automobiles, steel and fertiliser production.

115.  However, the manufacturing sector which contributes more than three-fourths of industrial production is performing well. The slight slowdown of growth in industrial production is neither generalised nor widespread. The slowdown is essentially confined to the basic goods sector which is primarily due to infrastructural constraints in energy and mining. Otherwise, all other sub-sectors viz. capital goods, intermediate goods and consumer goods are doing well in the current year. A temporary slowdown of the industrial growth cannot be regarded as the beginning of a recession.

116.  The warning signals of deceleration in industrial production in certain sectors have been taken very seriously by the Government. Corrective actions have been initiated in the capital and money markets to induce industrial growth. A number of policy measures have been announced by the Reserve Bank of India to ensure that genuine production activities get adequate credit. These include substantial scaling down of cash reserve ratio (CRR), raising of export credit limit, permitting commercial banks to provide foreign currency denominated loans and reduction in Prime Lending Rates (PLR) for all advances and to announce the maximum spread over PLR by banks. A better agricultural performance in the second half of the year is likely to result in increased demand that augurs well for industry. Given these trends, the current year is expected to end up with an industrial growth rate of around 10 per cent.

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The Economic Survey Of India, 1997

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