PM to hold crucial meeting on infrastructure today

NEW DELHI, June 5: Going on an overdrive to address the issue of slowdown in growth, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting of all Ministries connected with infrastructure development here tomorrow to review progress in the infrastructure sector and the status of delayed projects.
The meeting will review progress on meeting timelines of the targets and what needed to be done to arrest any delays, sources said adding that projects worth 1.46 lakh crore were pending because of absence of regulatory clearances in various sectors.
The meeting comes five days after the Prime Minister okayed setting up of an Investment Tracking System to address the issue of delay in major investment projects and ensure speedy implementation of such projects.
The issue had come up at a meeting of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry held in December in which Dr Singh had stated that major projects would be specially tracked to take them forward on a fast track to provide a fresh impetus to the economy.
This was in the context of delays faced by projects on multiple fronts—security, environmental and other clearances, land related matters etc.
Experts have said India could unleash its full potential if it improved the infrastructure facilities which are at present not sufficient to meet the growing demand of the economy.
The demand for infrastructure investment during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-2011) has been estimated at 492.5 billion US Dollars (Planning Commission, 2007).
To meet this growing demand, the Government of India has planned to raise the investment in infrastructure from the present 4.7 per cent of GDP to around 7.5 to 8 per cent of the GDP in the 11th Five Year Plan.
“In general, efforts for infrastructure development continue to focus on the key areas of physical and social infrastructure,” the sources added.


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