labels: industry - general, economy - general, infrastructure - general
Government doubles infrastructure investment requirement to Rs1,450,000 crore news
07 October 2006

Mumbai: The government has pegged investment requirements for the country's infrastructure sector at Rs1,450,000 crore ($320 billion) against the earlier estimate of Rs700,000 crore ($150 billion). India should double gross capital formation in the infrastructure sector to eight per cent by 2012 to sustain the current pace of economic growth of over eight per cent, prime minister Manmohan Singh said.

Emphasising the importance of public works in speeding up economic expansion and cutting poverty, the prime minister said better infrastructure in neighboring China has helped the country attract $60 billion of foreign direct investment in 2005 alone, compared with India's $50 billion since 1991. He was inaugurating a conference on 'Building Infrastructure' in New Delhi.

China began opening its economy in 1978, 13 years before India, Manmohan pointed out, adding that this country too wanted more investments in roads, ports and factories to generate employment, accelerate growth and improve the lives of a third of its 1.1 billion people who live below the poverty line.

Pegging resource requirements for the infrastructure sector even higher at $363 billion over the next five years, finance minister P Chidambaram called for massive investments by the private sector to support of the government's efforts in this crucial area.

"India's economy is expected to grow at rates above eight per cent in the 11th plan," he told participants of the conference, adding that unless investment grows at the same pace, it would not be possible to sustain the pace of economic growth.

``The infrastructure deficiency is visible because of high growth,'' he said. The country, he added, can absorb as much as $150 billion in direct investment from overseas to upgrade its roads, ports, power plants and airports.

Chidambaram said the rapid pace of economic growth has exposed the infrastructure deficiencies in the country. It is particularly obvious in congested highways, ports and airports, he added.

Infrastructure had long been in the domain of public sector, which resulted in inadequate development. Hence, there was a need for private participation in the sector. He said the country needed investments to the tune of Rs1,100,000 crore for infrastructure development in the Tenth Plan alone while it would require Rs2,200,000 crore for investments in national highways, airports and ports by the year 2012.


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Government doubles infrastructure investment requirement to Rs1,450,000 crore