We are not out of the woods yet. Eight core sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity - slowed to 1.1 per cent in July after a growth of 3 per cent in June, mainly on account of low expansion in coal output and contraction in steel, crude oil and natural gas production, all hinting at weakness in industrial recovery.
The infrastructure sector is the backbone of the Indian economy and its importance cannot be stressed enough. The government of India has earmarked 20 per cent of the investment of $1 trillion reserved for infrastructure in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-17) to develop the country's roads; this is about 10 per cent of the GDP up from 7.6 per cent in the previous plan.
Thirty-one companies, including engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and China Railway Construction Bridge Engineering Bureau Group, have qualified for the final stage of bidding – or the request for proposal (RFP) stage – for the Rs 17,750-crore Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project.
Over the years, this powerhouse has emerged as a leading surface transportation infrastructure company and is widely recognised as the pioneer of public partnership in India's surface transportation sector.
Perceived to be a constructive and good step forward, the Union Cabinet recently approved the Metro Rail Policy 2017 to enable realisation of growing metro rail aspirations of a large number of cities but in a responsible manner.