Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases are BOLD to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.
‘Construction in India is as old as its civilisation. However, Indian construction underwent a sea-change with the induction of British technology into the country. The post-independence period also provided a fillip with massive projects coming up all over following the launching of the Five Year Plans. Perforce, the contractors acquired expertise in many challenging fields of construction
One result of the boom was that the Indian contractors embarked on construction projects abroad. The oil boom in the Middle East provided further momentum to India’s efforts in project exports.
This had beneficial effects for the Indian economy. Some of these spin-offs were substantial while others were marginal. First, Indian contractors were exposed to new technology and equipment. Secondly, project exports offered scope for large-scale employment of skilled, unskilled and managerial personnel.
An indication to this effect is the outflow of contract migrant workers to the major construction centres. The annual outflow from India went up from ₹ 33.9 thousand in 1977 to ₹ 1.72 lakhs in 1979 and to ₹ 2.68 lakhs in 1981. There has been a decline in the migration rate since then. The number of migrant workers in 1987 was ₹ 1.22 lakhs.
Thirdly, earnings from project exports eased the country’s foreign exchange problems. According to the Exim Bank, an estimated 30% of the project value was repatriated into the country, which means over ₹ 2,000 crore.
Finally, India also exported construction building materials as part of the project export efforts. The precise data is not available. However, the Exim Bank estimates it at 6% of the project value. The low volume of material content in the project export is due to higher price of materials, insistence of the client on local materials and transport problems.
The project exports fall into two distinct phases: The first phase coincided with the oil boom and the second with the post-boom period. The boom phase lasted till 1982. During this period, India’s construction project exports exceeded
₹ 5,000 crore. This works out to projects worth
₹ 1,000 crore annually. The performance in the second phase shows a declining trend. The average volume of work has come down to ₹ 150 crore since 1982. There were 54 project exporters operating abroad during the first phase and 45 in 1989.’
According to the passage, what was the approximate total value of the construction projects exported by India?