The Indian construction industry recorded a consistent double-digit year-on-year growth (12%) during 2000-2005, and is expected to grow at 25-30% during 2005-2010. The key drivers of this growth are government investment in infrastructure creation and real estate demand in the residential and industrial sectors.
The construction industry is the second largest industry of the country after agriculture. Construction activity is an integral part of a country’s infrastructure and industrial development. It includes hospitals, schools, townships, offices, houses and other buildings; urban infrastructure (including water supply, sewerage, drainage); highways, roads, ports, railways, airports; power systems; irrigation and agriculture systems; telecommunications etc. Covering as it does such a wide spectrum, construction becomes the basic input for socio-economic development. The construction industry is the infrastructure of the infrastructure industry. Besides, the construction industry generates substantial employment and provides a growth impetus to other sectors through backward and forward linkages. It is, essential therefore, that, this vital activity is nurtured for the healthy growth of the economy.
With the present emphasis on creating physical infrastructure, massive investment is planned during the Tenth Plan. The construction industry would play a crucial role in this regard and has to gear itself to meet the challenges. In order to meet the intended investment targets in time, the current capacity of the domestic construction industry would need considerable strengthening.
The construction sector has major linkages with the building material industry since construction material accounts for sizeable share of the construction costs These include cement, steel, bricks/tiles, sand/aggregates, fixtures/fittings, paints and chemicals, construction equipment, petro-products, timber, mineral products, aluminum, glass and plastics.
The construction sector is one of the largest employers in the country. In 1999-2000, it employed 17.62 million workers, a rise of 6 million over 1993-94. The sector also recorded the highest growth rate in generation of jobs in the last two decades, doubling its share in total employment.