CHANGING TRENDS IN ENGINEERING TODAY
The Indian Engineering sector has witnessed a remarkable growth over the last few years driven by increased investments in infrastructure and industrial production. The engineering sector, being closely associated with the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, is of strategic importance to India’s economy.
India on its quest to become a global superpower has made significant strides towards the development of its engineering sector. The Government of India has appointed the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) as the apex body in charge of promotion of engineering goods, products and services from India. India exports transport equipment, capital goods, other machinery/equipment and light engineering products such as castings, forgings and fasteners to various countries of the world.
India became a permanent member of the Washington Accord (WA) in June 2014. The country is now a part of an exclusive group of 17 countries who are permanent signatories of the WA, an elite international agreement on engineering studies and mobility of engineers.
The capital goods & engineering turnover in India is expected to reach US$ 125.4 billion by FY17.
India exports its engineering goods mostly to the US and Europe, which accounts for over 60 per cent of the total exports. Recently, India’s engineering exports to Japan and South Korea have also increased with shipments to these two countries rising by 16 and 60 per cent respectively. Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have also emerged as the major destinations for India’s engineering exports.
Engineering exports from India increased for the sixth straight month at 12.4 per cent year-on-year to US$ 5.3 billion in January 2017, outperforming that of the overall merchandise export.
The Indian engineering sector is of strategic importance to the economy owing to its intense integration with other industry segments. The sector has been de-licensed and enjoys 100 per cent FDI. With the aim to boost the manufacturing sector, the government has relaxed the excise duties on factory gate tax, capital goods, consumer durables and vehicles.
- The Government of India is planning to merge 6 engineering consulting Public Sector Units (PSUs) to create a mega consultancy firm that can take up projects across sectors and compete with the likes of Bechtel of the US and domestic majors like Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
- Steps have also been taken to encourage companies to perform and grow better. For instance, EIL was recently conferred the Navaratna status after it fulfilled the criteria set by the Department of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India. The conferred status would give the state-owned firm more financial and operational autonomy.
- Government of India has also taken initiatives to provide a level playing field to domestic and foreign private players bidding for the government contracts in defence sector. The government has withdrawn excise and customs duty exemptions granted to goods manufactured and supplied to the defence ministry by state-owned defence firms.
The engineering sector is a growing market. Spending on engineering services is projected to increase to US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020.