Bureaucracy impedes growth in infrastructure, defeats PPP

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Kolkata, Aug 8 (UNI) Excessive government control over functioning of PPPs (Public Private Partnership) was a major impediment to creating infrastructure, Mr Gajendra Haldea, principal adviser (infrastructure) Planning Commission said today.

He underlined the need for a fresh look on the PPP initiatives with transparent mechanicism to win over the confidence of private investors, whose opinions should be respected in the planning process.

''There is a huge demand and supply gap and private investors have to play a huge role to meet the ever growing deficits in infrastructures, particularly in ports, both sea and air, railways and roads,'' he said.

Addressing an Eastern Infra Con-2008, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Mr Haldea said unwillingness of incumbents to yield control over project construction and operation, excessive government control, denial of a level playing field and red-tapism among others, were typical issues that will have to be addressed to win over the private investment in the infrastructural growth.

He cited a few infrastructure deficit the country has right now in the 66.590 KM NH (2% of network, 40% of traffic) only 12% four-lane, 50% two-lane and 38% single-lane. Besides, inadequate sea port facilities, airports having dearth of runways and handling capacity by the railways as well were the other impediments, he added.

Absence of competition and dearth of private investment was huge in the power sector which has about 13.8% peaking deficit and 9.6% energy shortage, 40% T &D losses.

Giving a projected investment in infrastructrue in the XI plan, Mr Haldea said the country needed Rs 2,060.193 crore, compared to Rs 871,445 crore in the tenth plan. Of these 32.35% would go for creating electricity, followed by about 15% in roads and bridges and about 13% in telecommunication.

Regarding development of highway of 46,000 KM by 2012 at a cost of USD 59 billion, about 21.036 KM highway was to be executed on PPP basis.

He underlined the need for policy and regulatory framework for attracting private investment, financial support to the PPP and institutional restructing and reorientation to meet the challenges in creating infrastructure.

UNI PC PL RN1620

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