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PM Seeks New Thrust to Infrastructure

  • By PTI

  • Jun 07, 2012
  • NEW DELHI, India

    Facing resistance to various key reform programs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said "bottlenecks" needed to be removed to reverse the present situation and revive India's growth story as the nation had run into "more turbulent weather.”

    Taking stock of the infrastructure-related ministries at a meeting here, he said there was need to act on multiple fronts and set ambitious targets to boost the economy through involvement of private sector, too.

    At the meeting, higher targets were set for investments in ports and aviation sectors, power generation, coal production and railway freight carriage for the current financial year.

    For the ports sector, a target of Rs. 35,000 crore investment was set for 2012-13, up from Rs. 16,585 crore last fiscal.

    A target of Rs. 8,798 crore was set for aviation sector through public-private partnerships for 2012-13, an increase from Rs. 4,877 crore last fiscal. It was decided that two new aviation hubs would be created to make India a major transit point.

    "We must work to create an atmosphere which is conducive to investment and to removing any bottlenecks to growth. We, as a government, are committed to taking the necessary measures to reverse the present situation and revive India's growth story," Singh told the meeting attended by ministers of Power, Roads, Shipping, Civil Aviation and Coal.

    Railway Minister Mukul Roy did not attend the meeting.

    Underlining the pressing need for action, the prime minister said, after achieving high growth rate in past eight years, "we are now running into more turbulent weather.” His comments assume significance as a number of reform programs like FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation and pension sector liberalization are stuck because of opposition from UPA constituents like Trinamool Congress.

    Noting that over $1 trillion would be required in the infrastructure sectors in the next five years, Singh said the government alone could not invest such huge amount and it was important to involve private sector.

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