THE STATE OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN INDIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING AND POLICY

Sanjay K. Singh

Abstract


India is facing severe infrastructure deficit. The country remains far below the world average in terms of both quantity as well as quality of infrastructure. Extending access to infrastructure services to both businesses and households especially the poor ones will be critical to sustaining the country’s high economic growth, and ensuring that its benefits are shared with the country’s large number of poor. Providing access to infrastructure to all would require huge investments in addressing the deficit. Given the huge investment requirement and government’s limited resources, it is essential to explore the scope for plugging this deficit through public private partnerships in all areas of infrastructure like roads, railways, airports, seaports, power, water, and sanitation. To attract significant private investment in the sector, the economic environment needs to be improved through providing more secure policy environment, protection to property rights, and tackling issues related to pricing and subsidy particularly in power and water sector. It is equally important to improve the performance and accountability of the public sector in managing investments and providing infrastructure services. The country can also explore the possibility of having energy trade with neighboring countries to fill the gap between its demand and supply of energy. Bhutan and Nepal have hydropower or hydrocarbon

resources far in excess of their energy needs. Energy import from Bhutan and Nepal would help India to meet its soaring energy demand. Energy trade would also enhance national energy security by diversifying energy forms and supply sources. It would also benefit the environment. Large import of hydroelectric power from Bhutan and Nepal can reduce the increase of carbon dioxide emissions from India.

Key Words: Infrastructure, Planning, Policy, India

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Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce