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Cement Industry

The Cement Industry globally has immense forward and backward linkages with a Nation’s economy. For a developing and transitioning economy such as India, the value proposition of the Cement Industry is even greater given the immense infrastructure requirements of a growing and urbanising country, as well as its contributions by way of direct and indirect employment. The Government of India has emphasised its focus on infrastructure development with the announcement of several schemes that cut across manufacturing, housing and education. At the heart of all the planned infrastructure development is the cement sector and, as part of the Country’s bouquet of eight core industries, the Cement sector’s value proposition for laying the foundations of a new India is unique.

Accounting for over 7% of the global installed capacity, the Indian Cement sector is the second largest cement industry in the world, second only to China. It plays a binding and pivotal role in both the infrastructure and socio-economic development of the Country; moreover, the Indian Cement Industry is the fourth-largest revenue contributor to the exchequer and the second-largest revenue contributor to the Indian Railways — it contributes nearly US$ 7.14 billion (INR 50,000 crore) per annum to Government via taxes and levies, and about US$ 1.29 billion (INR 9,000 crore) per annum to the Indian Railways by way of freight revenue.

The total installed capacity in the Indian cement sector is approximately 500 million tonnes per annum, while cement production is approximately 280 million tonnes per annum, signifying a capacity utilisation of around 59%. Dominated by domestic players, the Indian Cement Industry has been a first mover with regard to keeping pace with changing socio-economic and environmental paradigms, whether it is adoption of new technologies, adhering to stricter environmental standards or utilising other industries’ waste produce.

Its essential characteristics lend the Cement Industry a fundamental role vis-à-vis its compatriots in the core infrastructure sector basket — the Industry is the foundation, the binding force for all infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, housing, sanitation and water conservation. From the perspective of the Country’s future development, promoting sectoral growth is important for increased investments and capacity additions.

On World Environment Day, at a CMA driven expo in New Delhi co-hosted by UNEP and the Government of India, the cement association was the only industry body in the country to pledge to use all the segregated plastic waste made available to it to the tune of 12 million tonnes of plastic waste in its cement kilns annually by 2025. This would result in conservation of considerable quantities of conventional fuels such as coal.

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