600 billion dlrs required for investments in infrastructure sector: Mukherjee

New Delhi, Dec 22 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the requirement for investments in the infrastructure sector would be about 600 billion dollars during the current five year plan (2007-2012).

"So far as the infrastructure development funds are concerned, myself and Deputy Chairman Planning Commission have detailed out our requirement would be about $600 billion. It is a substantial amount. There is a shortfall, but we are quite confident that in the remaining one-and-half-year of the 11th plan, we will be able to spend the money," said Mukherjee, at an important conclave on public-private partnership here.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who was also present on the occasion, blamed the weather, while talking about the increase in prices of vegetables particularly onions.

"The onion crop is like that and if you get unseasonable rains, one of the crops get damaged then there is a temporary spike in onion prices. I am sure it is going to come down," said Ahluwalia.

The price of onions shot up to Rs 80 per kilogram in New Delhi on Monda, while at other places it increased to as much as Rs 100/kg.

Ahluwalia also spoke about the 'no-go' policy of the Environment Ministry that prohibits mining in certain areas due to environmental concerns.

He said a criterion for the 'no-go' notification should be well defined and based on scientific data.

"The criterion that we use to establish what is no-go should be very carefully defined and should based on some scientific considerations. I have discussed this with Jairam Ramesh (Minister of State for Environment and Forwests) and he's quite willing to be flexible in what the criterion should be," said Ahluwalia. (ANI)

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