NEW DELHI: The Centre on Saturday constituted a high-level task force to devise an annual national infrastructure pipeline for every fiscal year from 2019-20 to 2024-25. The task force, led by the economic affairs secretary and with members from other ministries, has been directed to submit its proposal for the current fiscal year by October 31, and an indicative pipeline for fiscal years 2021-25 by December 31, 2019.
With the economy struggling to break free from a broad-spectrum slowdown in growth, the government sees its plans to spend a massive Rs 100 lakh crore on infrastructure over the next five years as a crucial tool in reviving economic momentum.
“To achieve a GDP (gross domestic product) of $5 trillion by 2024-25, India needs to spend about $1.4 trillion (Rs 100 lakh crore) over these years on infrastructure… The challenge is to step-up annual infrastructure investment so that lack of infrastructure does not become a binding constraint on growth,” said the finance ministry. The task force has been entrusted with planning a pipeline of projects, both greenfield and brownfield, which the government can invest in.
According to the committee’s current terms of reference, it will identify technically feasible and financially viable infrastructure projects that can be initiated in the current financial year; list projects that can be taken up over the next five fiscal years; estimate annual investment costs; guide ministries in securing funding and suggest ways to reduce cost and time overruns.
The task force has also been directed to enable “robust marketing” of the projects which will need private sector investment through vehicles like the India Investment Grid (IIG) and the National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
While the Rs 100 lakh crore investment proposal was first made during Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s maiden Union Budget in July, it had also been reiterated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech and found pride of place among a host of relief measures announced by Sitharaman later in August. The need to increase India’s gross investment on infrastructure has been flagged as critical by both government and private-sector economists.
Planning of Projects
The task force has been entrusted with planning a pipeline of projects, both greenfield and brownfield, which the government can invest in
Projects launched by PM Modi in Mumbai on Saturday
1) PM laid the foundation stone for three metro lines-
- 9.2 km long Gaimukh to Shivaji Chowk (Mira Road) Metro-10 corridor
- 12.7 km long Wadala to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Metro-11 corridor
- 20.7 km long Kalyan to Taloja Metro-12 corridor
2) Together they cost over Rs 19,000 crore and will add more than 42 km to the metro network while providing crucial connectivity to areas surrounding Mumbai.
3) PM also laid the foundation stone for a state-of-the-art Metro Bhavan.The 32-storey centre will operate and control 14 metro lines measuring over 340 km.
4) PM inaugurated Bandongri Metro Station, Kandivali East.
5) PM Modi also inaugurated a state-of-the-art metro coach, the first metro coach manufactured by the BEML under Make in India.
6) The PM released a Brand Vision Document for Maha Mumbai Metro.
(With inputs from IANS)