The Government of India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry has issued the following press release: The capacity and production of the Indian Cement Industry has more than doubled in 2003-04 at 158 million tonnes and 124 million tonnes respectively than the level in 1993-94. It is next only to China in terms of capacity and production. This was indicated by Shri E. V. K. S. Elangovan, Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, while inaugurating the 43rd Annual Session of the Cement Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) here today. Shri B. L. Jain, President, CMA and Shri S. Jagadeesan, Joint Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion were present at the occasion along with representatives of the cement industry.
Shri Elangovan said that the low per capita consumption of cement had constrained the growth of the cement industry during the last year when it could grow only at 6% as against a growth rate of 9% achieved in the previous two years. The per capita cement consumption in India is 110 kg, which is less than half the world average per capita consumption of 278 kg. Pointing out to the rural housing programme as the major potential area for creating demand for cement, the Minister asked the industry to tap this area, which has so far remained neglected. He informed that export of cement and clinker during the year 2002 and 2003 was about 5 million tonnes and 7 million tonnes respectively and is expected to grow to 9 million tonnes during 2004.
Shri Jain in his address said that the push and focus on construction of both infrastructure and housing needs to be accelerated. He listed out the coal & power supply and rail transportation as the major constraints faced by the cement industry. Shri Jagadeesan said that the cement industry is one of the core industries and the government is fully aware of its importance. He called upon the industry to jointly work with the government to face the challenges of constraints in demand generation and capacity building.