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Finance Minister outlines prospects for cement industry in India’s Union Budget 2020 – 21

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

The Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) has welcomed announcements on infrastructure, logistics, climate change and environment in the Union Budget 2020 – 21 presented by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.

Mr. Mahendra Singhi, President, Cement Manufacturers Association & Managing Director and CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited said, “The emphasis on highways and roads development is well placed. This captures the priorities of economic development and an aspirational India. We would hope that rural demand gets revived and it assists in job creation.”

“We are actively engaged in a dialogue with the Ministry of Commerce on the National Logistics Policy and would expect some of our considerations for upgradation and modernisation of rail infrastructure to be carried through. The cement industry has also been an active partner to the Government in the Swachh Bharat Mission. Reference and priority in this context being accorded to source segregation and processing should add to creating a more facilitating environment for the role expected of the cement industry in waste management, given that ‘Polluter to Pay’ principle has been outlined in the National Resource Efficiency Policy.”

“We would look forward to these taking shape. The reaffirmation of commitment towards clean air, Climate Change mitigation efforts are most welcome. More policy interventions to revive real estate and housing would be welcome. Infrastructure development, new 100 airports and emphasis on road would go a long way to revive cement demand”, Singhi said.

Neeraj Akhoury, Vice President, Cement Manufacturers Association & CEO and Managing Director, ACC Limited, said, “The special emphasis on infrastructure development that the government has undertaken over the past few months has been strengthened in the budget announcement today by the Finance Minister. The focus on project preparation facilities for infrastructure projects and the national logistics policy that will be released soon should help boost infrastructure and have a positive impact on the economy. Budget 2020 –21 aims at making growth more inclusive while retaining focus on the immediate priorities. Priorities given to household, roads, railways, economic corridors, solar power, accelerated development of highways should help boost development and wealth creation. The cement industry is committed to playing a strong role in the Government’s aspirational agenda for transformative economic growth”.

“The Government’s commitment to invest over Rs. 100 lakhs crore in infrastructure will help fast track the projects that have been identified under the infrastructure pipeline. The focus on disaster resilient infrastructure in the budget is a move in the right direction”, CMA said.

CMA also welcomed the strong push in the budget for doubling farmers’ income by 2022. A strong rural sector is hoped to boost the cement sector. The development of warehouses and cold storage facilities in rural India will boost agri-infrastructure in the country which is a welcome development.

CMA also said the decision on abolishing the dividend distribution tax (DDT) will benefit corporate India and will give a big boost to investment.

Ms. Aparna Dutt Sharma, Secretary General, CMA, commented on the increased allocation for the environment in the Union Budget. She noted, “The cement industry plays a pivotal role in India’s success story and nation-building and has partnered with the government of India for country wide awareness on single use plastic waste management under the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign. The Cement Manufacturers Association and all its members remain inextricably aligned with the government in providing an impetus for sustained growth and development of the country.”

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