Batting for major thrust to develop infrastructure in the country to match with the growing economy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday pitched for doubling the investment in infrastructure during the XII Plan ending 2017 from the prevailing level of $500 billion.
Asking the authorities concerned to work out the details to entail such a massive influx of investment, the Prime Minister said: “Preliminary exercises suggest that investment in infrastructure will have to expand to $1 trillion in the XII Plan. I urged the Finance Ministry and the Planning Commission to draw a plan of action for achieving this level of investment,'' Dr. Singh said at a conference on building infrastructure hosted by the Planning Commission.
In a foreword to a report on Investment in infrastructure, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia also said the country needed an investment of over $1 trillion in the next Five Year Plan.
Dr. Singh said the XI Plan targeted Rs. 20-lakh crore for infrastructure development, double the amount achieved in the X Plan. The Planning Commission had on Monday stated that investment in the infrastructure sector in the XI Plan (2007-12) will be close to the target of $500 billion, thanks to a better-than-expected show by the telecom sector.
The Prime Minister exuded confidence in the Indian economy saying that it would grow by 8.5 per cent next fiscal and by 9 per cent a year later against 7.2 per cent estimated in the current fiscal. “
Dr. Singh said the government was working towards accelerating the road building programme in the country, especially the North-Eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir.The government, he said, has also initiated an ambitious plan for expansion of the port sector, including through PPPs.