L&T Sees Signs Of Private Capex Growth Even As States Lag


Larsen & Toubro Ltd., India’s largest construction and engineering company, is beginning to see an increase in private investments, a key barometer of sustained economic growth.

The central government has been moving as expected with “almost 35-37% of the center’s capex allocation has been committed and projects have been awarded”, R Shankar Raman, chief financial officer at L&T, told BQ Prime in an interview.

The pace of private capex has been refreshing too, he said. From anywhere between 15% and 20% of the total order book, “we are happy to see” it rise to 37% by September, he said.

This has been largely driven by data centres, steel plants, or renewable energy, he said. Indications from industries show that minerals, metals, railway station development, data centres, healthcare, IT and technology, will be the major drivers of capex for the private sector, he said.

An uptick in the share of private orders for L&T, a bellwether for the economy, is an encouraging sign as India recovers from the pandemic. The government has cut corporate taxes and is offering incentives to boost private investments and domestic manufacturing.

Raman, however, said the progress of states on the capex front has been “little wanting” as they deal with financial constraints, election spends, and expenditure on social welfare programmes. Public sector units are also lagging with their capex allocation, he said. But this picture, according to him, might change in the second half of the current fiscal.

“We do hope that, as in past years, in the second half of the financial year, the states get to act a little more briskly,” Raman said. “Like states, PSUs are second-half-oriented, so we do expect the PSUs to come to the party,” he said.


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