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`Govt should promote foundry clusters'

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The industry was clocking an annual growth of 11 per cent in India while the global foundry output `is levelling off'.

Coimbatore , Dec. 9

THE Government should facilitate the establishment of foundry clusters across the country and provide the necessary infrastructure, including good quality power, as part of efforts to make the industry globally-competitive, according to Mr S. Viji, Joint Managing Director, Brakes India Ltd.

The Government, instead of being a regulator, should don the role of a catalyst for the development of the foundry industry by tailoring its fiscal and monetary policies, he said.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the `Foundry Conclave 2004', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Coimbatore on Thursday, he said though Indian foundry industry has a sizeable export turnover of goods valued at Rs 2,000 crore per year, it was still insignificant compared to the potential.

The industry was clocking an annual growth of 11 per cent in India while the global foundry output `is levelling off'.

He said the manufacture of metal products has seen a shift from the West and countries like China, Korea, Brazil, Turkey and Taiwan have garnered major share and India has to fight it out to grab its part. The increasing cost faced by the automobile and other industries in the West and the emergence of competitive, skilled foundries in the developing countries have led to this shift. The Indian foundry sector would have the opportunity to address the needs of the auto component industry with a staggering market size of $650 billion- $700 billion.

Referring to the emerging global trend, Mr Viji said a substantial consolidation was taking place in the global arena and the number of direct suppliers was shrinking and outsourcing was increasingly becoming a norm. It was imperative that the Indian foundry industry benchmarks itself against the best in class practices, identifies the gaps and initiates corrective measures to emerge as one of the best in the foundry sector globally.

Mr C.R. Swaminathan, Chairman, `Foundry Conclave 2004', said there was a feeling that the foundry industry was `old, low-tech and polluting' and felt that a positive image building was essential to attract talent and sustain growth and it should become environment-friendly.

Mr N. Krishna Samaraj, Chairman, CII (Coimbatore Zone), said the fortunes of the foundry sector have started looking up and felt that the `best is yet to come' for the industry.

Delegates from India and abroad are attending the two-day conference.

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`Govt should promote foundry clusters'

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