Govt banks on petroleum, highway and agri infra projects for jobs growth

The government expects a combination of investments in agriculture, oil and gas and highway infrastructure to give a big push to employment generation and lead the economy out of the constraints brought about by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Rs1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund early this month, which is expected to generate new employment opportunities and strengthen the rural economy.
The ministry of petroleum and natural gas has kick-started 8,363 projects, with an anticipated cost of Rs5.88 lakh crore since April this year, which has a potential to generate 338 million man-days of employment.
These oil and gas projects by CPSEs, their joint ventures and subsidiaries, inter-alia, include refinery projects, bio refineries, E&P projects, marketing infrastructure projects, pipelines, CGD projects, drilling/survey activities etc.  The ministry claims that 25 major on-going projects with combined investment of Rs1,67,248 crore have already incurred Rs7,861 crore in capex, generating 76,56,825 mandays.
A total of around 338 million man-days (direct as well as indirect) of employment is expected to be generated towards the completion of these 8,363 projects, out of which more than 9.76 crore man-days of employment generation is targeted in FY 2020-21 itself. In FY 2020-21 (as on 15.08.2020), while more than 2.2 crore man-days have been generated through capital expenditure in the execution of these projects. 
Major on-going projects of the oil and gas CPSEs / JVs include:
  • Poly Addition Project of HMEL
  • Exploratory Drilling in Western Offshore Basin- SW of ONGC
  • Visakh Refinery Modernisation Plant of HPCL
  • Ennore - Thiruvallur - Bengaluru - Puducherry - Nagapattinam - Madurai - Tuticorin Natural Gas of IOCL
  • Development Drilling in Mumbai High Asset of ONGC Development Drilling in Neelam & Heera Asset of ONGC
  • Ethylene Glycol (MEG) Project at Paradip Refinery of IOCL
  • 30'' Crude Oil Pipeline in H-B section of PHBPL and Conversion of existing 18" twin pipelines in H-B section from Crude to Product and Gas service of IOCL
  • Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore Project of GAIL
  • Paradip - Hyderabad Pipeline of IOCL
  • Mumbai High South Redevelopment Phase IV of ONGC
  • Motor Spirit Block Project (MSBP) at Kochi Refinery of BPCL
  • Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi of BPCL
  • Mumbai Refinery Expansion Project of HPCL
  • Development of Surface Facilities for Production and Evacuation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas from Nadua and East Khagorijan of OIL
  • BS VI Project of MRPL
  • Life Extension of well platforms of ONGC
  • Dobhi-Durgapur Pipeline Project (Section 2 B) of GAIL
  • BS VI Project of CPCL
  • NCU(Phase-I)expansion along with revamp of MEG & BEU unit and C2-C3 at Panipat Refinery of IOCL
  • 2 G Ethanol plant (Bio Refinery), Assam of NRL
  • LPG Import Facility at Paradip of IOCL
  • Infrastructure facilities at Gujarat Refinery and Dumad for Koyali-Ahmednagar-Solapur Pipeline of IOCL
  • Barauni Refinery Capacity Expansion from 6.0 to 9.0 MMTPA of IOCL
Similarly, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has set the timeline for 23 new highways, including a network of expressways and economic corridors, which will be ready by March 2025. Four expressways, including Delhi-Mumbai, Ahmedabad-Dholera and Amritsar-Jamnagar are scheduled for completion by March 2023. Nine more will be ready by March 2024.
A status report prepared by NHAI shows that nine other greenfield highways would be completed by March 2025. The combined length of these expressways is close to 7,800 km and would require investment of approximately Rs3.3 lakh crore in the next five years.
This network of expressways is spread across the country connecting Surat, Solapur, Lucknow, Vizag, Chennai, Bengaluru, Vijywada, Raipur, Kota, Kharagpur and Siliguri. Officials said the projects with 2023 and 2024 deadline would be bid out by next year.