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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project cloud on core course

Project cloud on core course

Calcutta, March 30: Lack of projects is a bigger challenge than the paucity of funds for the government to meet the $1-trillion investment target for infrastructure in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Infrastructure sector analyst Vinayak Chatterjee today urged the government to come up with more projects to meet the ambitious target for infrastructure.

"The effective cause of concern is that people have not factored in the arithmetic of how much bankable projects are required to meet the $1-trillion investment target (in infrastructure)," Chatterjee, chairman of infrastructure advisory firm Feedback Infra, today said on the sidelines of a CII event here.

Chatterjee said the government needed to attract an investment of $200 billion per annum in infrastructure to achieve the investment target.

While the government has sought greater private participation in infrastructure, it needs to hasten the approval of such projects.

"The private sector cannot create bids (for infrastructure projects). It can only respond to the bids that come from the government," Chatterjee pointed out.

About 48 per cent of the planned infrastructure investment in the 12th Five-Year Plan is expected from private players.

According to Chatterjee, there is adequate capital in the form of infrastructure debt funds, tax-free bonds and private equity funds to finance the projects.

The Planning Commission had set infrastructure spending at $500 billion for the 11th Plan and could achieve 93 per cent of the target.

Bengal study

The Confederation of Indian Industry today released a study on the investment climate in Bengal. It has urged the state government to focus on setting up industrial clusters for small and medium enterprises to reduce operating costs and increase competitiveness of the sector.

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