Serious challenges to steel, power, discoms, sugar industries: Jaitley

ArrayKolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the steel, power and the sugar sector along with the discoms remain stressed sectors and the government is addressing the challenges involved.

“There are serious challenges in steel, power, discoms and sugar these are the key areas where we are addressing the challenges of the industry,” he said during an interactive session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

With Chinese imports flooding the Indian steel industry, nearly all steel-makers in the country have posted a negative balance sheet for the quarter ended June 30 while power availability and its connectivity to rural areas remain a concern. However, the minister stressed on boosting the manufacturing sector to help India attain a 8-10 percent growth.

“If we are able to increase our pace of manufacturing, our services are going to be reasonably high,” he said.

Thanking the rain-gods for being “kinder this year”, Jaitley said the agro-based industry will register “significant improvement” as compared to the last year. Further, the minister said changes in the Chinese economy will help India further its manufacturing capabilities.

“There is a transformation of their (Chinese) economy taking place. Besides manufacturing, they are also getting into services and are also becoming consumption-oriented rather than export-oriented,” he said.

Jaitley also said wages in China are increasing which might present a scope for India to enhance its manufacturing competitiveness.

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