INDUSTRIAL SCENE

 

Industrial growth slips to 5.7% in April-October

Despite an upward revision of key indices, industrial growth slipped to 5.7 per cent in April-October 2000 against 6.7 per cent in the corresponding period last year. The quick estimates of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), released on 12.12.2000 reveal that in October, the IIP declined to 6.6 per cent against 8.4 per cent in the same month last year. According to government data the index for mining revised upwards of 1.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent for July and September respectively. In the use-based data capital goods slipped to suffer a negative 1.3 per cent growth in April-October this year against the same period last year. Basic goods, consumer goods, consumer durables and non-durables were on the upward spiral in the April-October 2000 period against the same period last year. Mining recorded an April-October growth of 7.5 per cent against 0.2 per cent in the same period last year. Manufacturing continued its downward spiral with 5.8 per cent April-October growth against a 7.2 per cent growth in the same period last year. Electricity in April-October, slipped to 4.6 per cent against 8.1 per cent in the same period last year. In the use-based data, consumer non-durables posted a 4.6 per cent growth in April-October against 0.9 per cent in the same period last year. And, consumer durables, showing similar trends, posted 20.8 per cent growth in the first seven months against 13.4 per cent in the corresponding period last year. 

Finished steel production up by 12.1 per cent

Finished steel production in the country has registered a 12.1 per cent increase during April - September 2000 over the same period last year.

While Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has shown a growth of 12 per cent, Tata Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) and other steel majors have registered a growth of 9.6 per cent 11.3 per cent respectively.

During the first six months of the current fiscal, the production of finished steel has gone up to 15 million tonne compared to 13.47 million tonne in the corresponding period last year.

Indian leather industry back in the limelight

The leather business potential for growth, it is estimated is as high as a 10 per cent share of world imports in leather and leather products. Exports over the last four decades have risen by more than 250 times to Rs.7,000 crore in 1998-99, from a mere a Rs.28 crore in 1956-57.

In spite of such impressive statistics, India’s share of the global trade in leather and leather products, worth over $ 70 billion, is a paltry 3 per cent, point out industry analysts. 

Guidelines for SEZ units notified

The performance of units in special economic zones (SEZs) will be monitored annually and penal action will be taken against them only if the net foreign exchange as a percentage of exports (NFEP) is negative in the third subsequent years of commercial production.

The revenue department issued notifications on 18.10.2000 to make the SEZ scheme fully operational. The SEZ scheme has been liberalised as follows :

  • SEZ units allowed to utilise duty-free imports within five years against one year earlier.
  • Performance of SEZ units to be monitored by a committee headed by development commissioner.
  • Failure to achieve positive NFEP will invite action from third or subsequent years.
  • Once approval is granted subsequent changes in line of activity only need an intimation to development commissioner, SEZ.
All activities of SEZ units will be through self-certification procedure and will be monitored by a committee consisting of development commissioner of the zones and customs. The committee will ensure that the wastage/management loss on gold/silver/ platinum jewellery and articles are within the overall percentage prescribed in the Handbook of Procedures. 

The gem and jewellery units have to achieve NFEP. The SEZ units may be allowed to sell goods, including by-products and services in the domestic tariff area (DTA) by paying applicable levels of duty.  However, DTA sale by service units will be subject to achievement of positive NFEP. 

SEZ units may also be allowed to undertake job work for export on behalf of DTA units provided the finished goods are exported directly.  For this purpose, the DTA units will be entitled to refund of duty paid on inputs by way of brand rate of duty-drawback.