India’s ambitions just got bolder, with the country eyeing a sustainable 9 per cent annual economic growth in the medium term.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Tuesday that the country would need more than 1 trillion US dollars during the 12th Five-Year-Plan starting in 2012. to feed its hunger for infrastructure — twice the amount spent in the current plan.
The commission estimates the number at just short of Rs. 41 lakh crore with the exchange rate pegged at Rs. 40 to a US dollar in view of the stronger Indian currency.
Ahluwalia said in a report released to mark a special meeting on infrastructure convened by the commission.
The amount would translate as 9.95 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
On Monday, Ahluwalia had put the 11th Plan number at close to $500 billion, aided mainly by expanding telecommunications.
While a slew of new operators have entered the business, more than 10 million subscribers have been added every month in the last two-three years.
But, despite a surge in infrastructure investments, officials consider the progress in this as slack, with a clamour for ports, airports, railways, metros and power plants growing.
Redefining the priorities, the mid-term appraisal (MTA) of the Eleventh Five Year Plan, would suggest corrections for each sector with a view to making up for the lost ground in the remaining plan period, the report said. It is not clear what options the government has to plug the holes.