The country’s core sector, comprising six key infrastructure industries, accelerated by 7 per cent in October 2010 from a year ago, according to the data released by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The growth was primarily led by a 16.8 per cent increase in cement output and a 6.2 per cent rise in production of finished steel. Electricity generation growth improved to 8.4 per cent in October, the highest growth rate in 14 months.
The Planning Commission has projected that investment in infrastructure would almost double at US$ 1025 billion in the 12th Plan, compared to US$ 514 billion in the 11th Plan. Of the US$ 1,025 billion, 50 per cent is expected to come from private sector, whose investment has been 36 per cent in the 11th Plan.
Infrastructure investment in India is set to grow dramatically. As per Union Minister for Finance, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, India would require to develop a rupee-denominated long-term bond market for funding the infrastructure sector that requires an investment of around US$ 459 to US$ 500 billion by 2012.
The State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) on October 1, 2010 cleared 16 investment proposals worth US$ 1.46 billion while 15 other proposals, each entailing an investment of over US$ 225.35 million were referred to the High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA). The investment proposals approved by SLSWCA include five in the steel sector, four in the cement sector, two in ancillary industries and one each in food processing, power, paper manufacturing and engineering.
Meanwhile, a committee on infrastructure under Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will conduct quarterly review of development of power, road, ports, civil aviation and railways sectors, announced the Planning Commission of India recently. Further, the cabinet committee on infrastructure (CCI) will handle specific infrastructure cases that may require necessary policy correction or solving issues affecting projects.
Notably, truck sales, a key indicator of goods movement, registered a growth of 43.6 per cent at 29,420 units during September 2010, as per the data released by the Indian Foundation for Transport Research and Training (IFTRT).
In order to develop eco-friendly infrastructure for new cities in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Japan-based consultants such as Nikken Sekkei, Mitsubishi and IBM Japan would work along with DMIDC and three state governments. The project, expected to be completed by 2018, as per Mr Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry is “by far the world’s biggest infrastructure project.”
The major ports in India handled 271.29 million tonnes (MT) traffic during April-September 2010-11, as compared to 267.98 MT handled during the same period last year, registering a growth of 1.23 per cent, according to Indian Ports Association data.