New Delhi, Nov.17 : Infrastructure is the key driver for the sustenance of India's growth momentum and for enhancing competitiveness, said N.K. Singh, Member of Parliament, on Monday.
He was speaking at the session titled "Paving the Road: Meeting India's Infrastructure Needs" at the 24th India Economic Summit, jointly organized by Confederation of the Indian Industry (CII) and World Economic Forum in New Delhi.
Singh pointed out that pending regulatory reforms and new innovative implementation models are the important issues that will help realise the full potential of the Indian infrastructure sector.
Anil Ahuja, Managing Director, India, 3i, Singapore, while highlighting India's progress in infrastructure development, spoke about the multiplier effect that the sector has on the economy. He also showed confidence that India's saving rate is high enough to find ways to finance the development of its infrastructure.
Gunit Chadha, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank, India pointed out that in the current global financial situation, it may be difficult for the private sector to finance the development of infrastructure.
Instead, he said, public sector institutions such as REC, IIFCL and PFC will play a paramount role in infrastructure financing.
Chadha recommended that infrastructure be included in the list of priority sectors for banks, removal of interest rate caps on external borrowing and the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in Indian equity.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) serves not only as the financing vehicle but also brings in technology, expertise and promotes bilateral business relations, said Ala'a Al Yousuf, Chief Economist, Gulf Finance House, Bahrain. He stressed that prioritizing public expenditure and working more closely with the private sector will help India bridge its infrastructure gap.
Arun K. Nanda, Executive Director and President, Infrastructural Development Sector, Mahindra and Mahindra, India, referred to the successful project in the area of water supply that was implemented in Tirupur in South India by partnering the community. Projects should be implemented not just as PPP but as PPP-C involving the community around it. The demonstration effect of good project implementation will help inducing confidence.
Rajesh Subramaniam, Senior Vice President, International Marketing, Fed Ex Services, USA, emphasized that an encouraging regulatory environment is what is required at the moment to improve overall infrastructure delivery and quality.
While moderating the session, Shobhana Bhartia, Member of Parliament, Chairperson and Editorial Director, HT Media Limited, India, added that fiscal stimulus in terms of enhanced infrastructure spending would act as a counter cyclical measure to deal with the slowdown in the Indian economy.