Montek seeks $ 492 bln investment in infrastructure

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New York, Sept 26 (UNI) Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said India needs nearly half a trillion dollar investments to finance the country's infrastructure.

Addressing a gathering of top CEOs and business persons at the conference 'India@60: A New Age for Business' jointly organised by the CII, Asia Society and the US India Business Council as part of the Incredible India@60 campaign in Newyork yesterday, he said such a funding is possible only through the participation of the Indian domestic private sector and foreign investors.

''Investment by public and private sector in infrastructure is one of the key pillars of India's economic reforms. How can we raise this money from debt markets? It is a challenge,'' Mr Ahluwalia said.

Highlighting the progress made in the telecommunications sector, he said such a success could be replicated in areas like roads, ports, irrigation, power and airports.

To ensure the economic growth of at least nine per cent over the next half-a-decade or so, the investment required in the infrastructure alone is 492 billion dollars, he said, citing a consultation paper prepared by the Planning Commission.

According to him, about half of the amount would be raised as debt by both private and public sectors with the ratio of 30:70.

''This will raise the amount of investment in infrastructure spending from the current five per cent of GDP to nine per cent during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12),'' Mr Ahluwalia said.

The 11th Plan document would likely to be approved by the November-end. Before that the views of several ministries such as the Finance would be sought and incorporated into the document if necessary, the top Planning Commission official said.


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