Govt to step up investment on infrastructure in 12th Plan: PM

Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Aug 15: The government will increase investments on physical infrastructure in the 12th Five-Year Plan, starting next year, with special emphasis on connecting remote and rural parts of India through rail and road, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Aug 15.

Addressing the nation on Independence Day, Singh highlighted that investments on creation of infrastructure have gone up by one-and-a-half times as a percentage of the GDP during the last seven years of the UPA government''s rule.

"In the 12th Plan (2012-17), we will further accelerate investment in infrastructure. We will pay special attention to the remote areas of our country and to rural areas. Connecting such areas by rail and road will get the top-most priority," Singh said.

The Planning Commission envisions doubling the investment in infrastructure sectors to USD 1 trillion (about Rs 45,00,000 crore) during the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Stating that the government has pursued policies to encourage investment in infrastructure in the last seven years, he said there have been improvements in capacities in the petroleum, power generation, airports, roads and port sectors.

"We are continuously strengthening the physical infrastructure in our country. This is an area which requires very large investments... As a percentage of GDP, investment in this area has grown more than one-and-a-half times in the last seven years," he said.

Singh cited the example of capacity addition in power generation during the current 11th Plan (2007-12), which will be twice that of the 10th Plan.

In its mid-term appraisal last year, the Planning Commission had scaled down the power generation capacity addition target to 62,374 MW from 78,578 MW in the 11th Plan.

However, experts feel that power generation capacity addition during the current Plan would be just 50,000 MW.

Nevertheless, this is two times higher than the capacity addition of 21,000 MW achieved in the 10th Plan.

In the forthcoming 12th Plan, the Commission is eyeing 1,00,000 MW of additional power generation capacity.

At present, the total installed capacity in the country is nearly 1,77,000 MW.

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