Govt chalks out plan for Rs 100-lakh crore investment in infrastructure over 5 years

The Centre has chalked out a plan to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector over the next five years. "The investment will transform availability and quality of infrastructure at airports, roads, highways, railways, ports, etc. All infrastructure-related sectors (aviation, shipping, electricity, and oil & gas) are going to see a huge thrust in the next five years," said Union Minister, railways and commerce & industry, Piyush Goyal  on the sidelines of India International Trade Fair. He emphasised that Rs 100 lakh crore over the next five years is not a small amount, and added that railways has drawn up a 12-year plan entailing an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore.

The above announcement comes at a time when ratings agency Crisil while releasing its Infrastructure Yearbook 2019 has stated that states need to scale up investments to Rs 110 lakh crore over the next decade to achieve India's massive infrastructure targets. It further said that for the country-wide infrastructure, required spending will be Rs 235 lakh crore over the next decade, and called for average GDP growth of 7.5% and infrastructure spending of above 6% of GDP to help achieve this.

The ratings agency stated that five sectors - transport, irrigation, energy, urban & housing, and water & sanitation - account for two-thirds of states' spending and that the spending trajectory of 15 large states, which accounted for 83% of infrastructure capex during fiscals 2015-2019, will be crucial to the overall goal.

Bucketing these states into three categories - frontrunners, middle of the pack, and climbers - Crisil recommended customised strategies and action sequences to maximise investments. It said frontrunner states such as Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka, need to crowd in private investments, and find new triggers to grow capex sharply from current levels. Middle-ofthe-pack states such as Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana can be growth leaders by sustaining their current spending.  Climbers such as Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which have been high spenders in recent years, could be constrained by surging debt burden, said the report. While states will have to do the heavy lifting, they also need to work with the Centre on sectoral reforms, the report added.

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