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FM says pace of infrastructure development is a concern

business Updated: Jan 11, 2011 22:48 IST

Ahead of the Budget 2011-12, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the government is conscious of concerns regarding infrastructure development and investment in research and development (R&D).

"The government is conscious of two major concerns relating to the pace of development of infrastructure and investments in R&D," Mukherjee said while addressing India Inc during the pre-Budget deliberation here.

Both these issues have a direct bearing on the productivity of Indian enterprise, he said, adding investment in the infrastructure sector is also key to sustainable and inclusive growth.

"Our spending on R&D as a ratio of GDP is very low in comparison to other emerging economies and we need to make all possible efforts to invest in R&D and innovate in order to remain competitive," he said.

In both these areas, he said, the government alone would not be able to achieve the desired outcomes without the complementary efforts of the private sector, be it in the form of Public Private Partnership (PPP) or purely private initiatives.

He asked for the suggestions from representatives of industry present to enhance and strengthen the private sector participation in infrastructure and R&D initiatives.

The meeting among others was attended by Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata, Ficci President Rajan Bharti Mittal, Assocham President, Dilip Modi, CII President Hari Bharti, Suzlon Energy Chairman Tulsi R Tanti and Videocon Chairman Venugopal Dhoot.

In his address to the India Inc representatives, the Finance Minister said that a good performance of industry is vital for the overall growth of the economy and for the growth of government revenues to fund critical public expenditure on social and infrastructure development in the economy.

He said that the Indian industry, particularly the manufacturing sector, has been an important growth driver in recent years.

"We have seen the economy clock over 9 % GDP growth in the years prior to the global economic slowdown, which impacted us in years 2008 and 2009," he said.

India has done well in recovering growth momentum from the slowdown and the impact of other external shocks over the last two years," he said, adding, the recovery has been broad based with agriculture, industry and services all contributing to the consolidation of the growth process.

The performance of the industrial sector in the past few months has been satisfactory, he added.