Infrastructure growth calls for consistent policy initiatives

Infrastructure growth calls for consistent policy initiatives

Infrastructure growth calls for consistent policy initiatives

Consistency in policies and removal of procedural bottlenecks is very much required for the growth of infrastructure projects, said the Economic Survey. 

“Removing procedural bottlenecks, improving governance, and above all maintaining consistency in government infrastructure policies are some issues that need to be urgently addressed for sustainable infrastructure development,” states the pre-budget Economic Survey tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Expressing concern that as many as 110 out of 239 central sector infrastructure projects, each costing Rs 1,000 crore or above, have reported delays, which range up to 26 months in case of steel, coal, power and petroleum projects.

“The total original cost of implementation of these 239 projects was about Rs 7,39,882 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 8,97,684 crore, implying an overall cost overrun of Rs 1,57,802 crore (21.3 per cent of the original cost,” it said.

Unless sectors like transport, energy and communication sector improves, economic growth and poverty reduction would suffer a set back, said the survey. 

Also, it stressed the need for tackling on war-footing issues like problems in land acquisition, delays in regulatory approvals and environment clearances. “In the road sector, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) posted negative growth of 33 per cent during 2013-14 as compared to the 26.5 per cent growth during 2012-13,” says the Survey.

As the survey highlights lack of consistency in government policies, the Transport Ministry recent white paper on performance of the ministry’s during previous UPA tenure said inconsistency in policies as well as warring ministries has put the road development in shambles. 

Pinning hopes on revival of investment, it said, “Need has been felt to kickstart stalled infrastructure projects by stepping up infrastructure investment and increased private participation will usher in desired funds.” 

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