India

Prime minister targets Infrastructure for more investment


Published

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has held a meeting with his key ministers to discuss the infrastructure programme across India. The Prime Minister’s website has published his closing remarks which indicate the current position and are presented in full below:

“I am very happy that a detailed exercise has been undertaken for finalising targets for the major infrastructure sectors for the year 2012-13. We are all aware of the need to give a major push to these important sectors and today’s exercise is a part of our efforts in that direction. I would like to compliment all those who have been associated with this very important exercise.

After achieving remarkably high growth rates over the past eight years and emerging as the second-fastest growing large economy in the world, we are now running into more turbulent weather. The global economy is passing through difficult times with the Eurozone being the cause of concern all around. There is a flight to safety taking place globally. Then there has been the persistent problem of rising international prices of petroleum and other commodities in the last few years. Domestically, rising demand, along with supply side bottlenecks have contributed to inflationary pressures. All these factors combine to constitute a formidable economic challenge.

In these difficult times, we must do everything possible to revive business and investor sentiment. We must work to create an atmosphere which is conducive to investment and to removing any bottlenecks that may be hurting the growth process. We as a government are committed to taking the necessary measures to reverse the present situation and revive and revitalize India’s growth story. We are aware that we have to act on multiple fronts to achieve this and we will indeed do all that is required of us.

I am sure all of us would agree that development of infrastructure would always be an integral part of any viable strategy for faster economic development. In the short term, development of infrastructure will boost investment rates across the economy. In the long run, it will remove the supply constraints that affect economic activity in agriculture, industry and trade. The needs of the infrastructure sector are vast – estimated at over $ 1 trillion in the next five years. The government alone cannot invest such huge amounts and therefore it is important that we involve the private sector in our efforts, through Public Private Partnerships.

The targets that we are setting for ourselves today are certainly ambitious and impressive. They are a significant scale up over earlier performance. For example in roads, we plan to award 9,500 kms of roads for construction this year and over 4,000 kms for maintenance under the new system. In Railways we plan to award work on the Elevated Rail Corridor in Mumbai, two new Loco manufacturing units and the PPP stretch of the Dedicated Freight corridor, in addition to redeveloping 4 or 5 stations through PPP mode. In shipping we have set for ourselves the challenging task of awarding work for two new Major PPP Ports, the first in decades, in addition to capacity addition targets which are three times the targets for the last year.

In Civil Aviation, work will be awarded on three new Greenfield airports in Navi Mumbai, Goa and Kannur and new international airports at Lucknow, Varanasi, Coimbatore, Trichy and Gaya. Also, two new hubs will be developed in the country making us a destination as well as a transit point. In Power, we plan to add a record 18,000 MW of capacity.

The challenge now is to work together to achieve these targets, and deal with all the bottlenecks that may come in the way. I would urge all the Ministries to go the extra mile in implementing what we have planned. I would expect them to very expeditiously resolve any inter-ministerial differences or turf battles that might arise as we move forward.

I am encouraged by your efforts and I am confident that we will deliver. I wish you all the very best and I look forward to reviewing the second and third quarterly progress reports.”

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