Deficiencies in infra is critical constraint: PM
Sounding optimistic about India’s ability to return to 9% GDP growth in 2011-12, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said deficiencies in infrastructure are a critical constraint to achieve faster growth. He, however, cautioned that restoration of high growth should not be taken for granted. “We will need another source of demand to offset slower exports growth and that demand should ideally come from an expansion in investment in infrastructure, both in the rural areas and the economy in general,” Dr. Singh said.
Attending the mid-term appraisal meeting of full Planning Commission in Delhi, he further added that the Eleventh Plan emphasizes the role of expanding investment in infrastructure through a combination of expanded pubic investment combined with private investment whenever feasible.
He said the Plan has a target of increasing the investment in infrastructure from little under 6% in 2006-07 to 9% in 2011-12. “The Mid Term Appraisal reports that total investment in infrastructure is likely do well because of a massive expansion beyond the original target in telecommunications, led by an investment boom in the private sector,” he said.
He, however, said that all the other infrastructure areas investment will be short of the target. “In some areas like power generation, the appraisal shows that private investment may exceed the target while the public sector may fall short of it. We must redouble our efforts to ensure that both the Centre and the States do well in the infrastructure sectors in the remaining period of the Plan,” he added.