New Delhi: Emphasising that it is an opportune time for India to increase self-reliance, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Group Chairman A.M. Naik has said that the government needs to bring in reforms in several areas including land acquisition, competency and skill building.
His statement to the shareholders in L&T's Annual Report for 2019-20, Naik noted that if these measures are adopted and the nation remains united the country will overcome the challenges ahead.
"To ensure that the PM's thrust on self-dependence achieves the desired outcomes swiftly, it is essential for the government to introduce much-needed reforms in several areas including land acquisition, competency and skill building. In tandem, the administration would do well to streamline processes and accelerate the pace of decision making," Naik said.
On the performance of the group in 2019-20, the Chairman said that L&T exhibited growth and strength on all key performance parameters, even in the face of a stressed economic environment.
"Your company's strategically diversified business portfolio, geographical dispersion, robust balance sheet, strong order book position and execution strengths have stood L&T in good stead," he said.
He added that the period leading up to the lockdown and the subsequent stoppage of all economic activity from March 25, 2020 has adversely affected your company's operations in late FY 2019-20 as well as the better part of Q1 FY 2020-21.
The lockdown was progressively lifted from April 14, 2020, with the initial resumption of operations being conducted under restrictions imposed by local authorities.
Currently most of these project sites are active, and execution of jobs is progressing with a reasonable level of labour workforce, Naik said.
From a sub-contracted labour force of around 2,25,000 working at project sites prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the workforce came down to 1,60,000 at the beginning of the lockdown and dropped further as project sites were progressively reopened, Naik said.
He added that normalcy is being gradually restored and is expected to stabilise to near regular levels in the second quarter of FY 2020-21.