IMF calls it the Great Lockdown akin to the Great Depression where most countriescame to a standstill. In its April 2020 release IMF estimated the global GDP growth tofall to 2.9% in 2019 a 70 bps de-growth y-o-y. In almost 170 countries people are likelyto face a decline in average income over the previous year as well.
The complete lockdown in India is one of the most stringent for ~70 days where almosttwo-thirds of all economic activity came to a grinding halt. While the advanced countriesare set to experience prolonged pains India is expected to be one of the few bright spotsin the world economy sustaining positive growth at 4.2% for 2019-20. Unfortunately theCOVID-19 pandemic arrived at a time when the Indian economy was already experiencing agrowth slowdown as reflected in lower discretionary spending over the last 12 monthsparticularly in automobiles consumer durables and high-end FMCG products. Despite thesebottlenecks the paper industry has been growing at a healthy rate of around 6%. Overallsales at JK Paper have been growing at a CAGR of 5-6%. Growth has been quite robust in thecoated paper segment which showed an uptick of over 14% last year.
Your company had achieved a multifold jump in gross sales revenue in the last decade.It is not only the market leader in the copier segment where it accounts for a quarter ofthe market but also among the top producers of coated paper and packaging board. At atime when the manufacturing sector in India is faced with significant spare capacity withoverall capacity utilisation falling to ~68% in the December quarter both JKPM and CPMhave been running at full capacity. This augurs well for our planned expansion where weare targeting to reach 8 lac tonnes per annum (TPA) by March 2021. The impetus will mainlybe in the packaging board segment while maintaining the focus on other segments tooparticularly where we enjoy a leadership position in the market. JK Paper is equallycommitted to the people and the community. We have formed about 170 self-help groups with~1900 members helping create demand for various agro-based programmes facilitating MUDRAloans etc. Through our adult literacy program we have provided free education to 15000tribals mainly women.
Our focus on agro forestry has not only been an important step in securitising our rawmaterial requirement and greening mother earth but also provided farmers an additionalsource of income which in a time of a crisis becomes a crucial safety net for them. Ourplantation coverage cumulatively reached 1.73 lac hectares. Uncertainty prevails over thecontainment of COVID-19 and thereby the global economic recovery. To ensure that theeconomic engine starts moving governments across the world are providing fiscal stimulusof varying magnitude. This is important as the end consumers should be provided anadequate safety net to revive demand. That would determine whether the projected V-shapedrecovery where India's GDP growth is expected to recover will happen or not.
In last year's message I had conveyed that past patterns cannot always be applied tofind answers for tomorrow for which we have to be flexible in our approach. This is allthe more relevant in the current situation when everything is uncertain and volatile. Withyour continued support we will overcome this challenge by better understanding andclarity of our vision.