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Construction : Web Exclusive | February 2014 | Source : Construction Update

Growth uninterrupted

Finance Minister P Chidambaram in his interim budget credited swift action by his government in setting up the up the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) that paved way for  completion of 296 projects with estimated project cost of Rs 6,60,000 crore by January 2014. Citing infrastructure being a priority area for the UPA government, Chidambaram added that the government in 2012-13 and in the nine months of the current financial year added 29,350 megawatts of power capacity, 3,928 kms of National Highways and 39,144 kms of rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). Emphasizing that there was no policy paralysis in policy making or decision taking, the Finance Minister outlined the framework for the next government’s fiscal plan.

The Parliament was also informed that the economy is more stable than what it was two years ago following several steps taken by the government and that the growth will be higher in the second half of the fiscal. The installed power generation capacity has more than doubled to 2,34,600 MW in the past 10 years and furthermore four new ultra mega solar power projects (UMPPs) were announced that would be set up during 2014-15.

In addition to these, 3,343 Km of new railway tracks were laid and 217.5 million tonnes of capacity per annum was added in the ports sector. In addition to this, seven new airports are under construction and massive progress was made in auction of oil and gas blocks in the country. "We have also facilitated Infrastructure Debt Funds to provide take-out finance for infrastructure projects and ease the pressure on banking sector," he added.

Chidambaram has suggested higher allocations for the infrastructure sector and said massive investment in infrastructure would be mobilised through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) route. Overall, it is estimated that the infrastructure sector will need investment of $1 trillion in the 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-17). The industry hopes that the slew of measures announced will also see implementation to help the economy grow.
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