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New infrastructure policy soon: PM

Manmohan Singh says a policy has become imperative due to the massive investments needed for infrastructure.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 20:01 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said a new policy on infrastructure would be unveiled soon, given the massive need for investments of $320 billion over the next six years, especially in energy and roads.

"In the coming weeks and months we will finalise the framework for the remaining areas of infrastructure — like policy, regulatory and institutional framework," the prime minister told a seminar on infrastructure in New Delhi.

The new policy, he added, would ensure competitiveness and complete transparency in the process of inviting bids and award of contracts, besides putting in place a proper regulatory framework and dispute settlement mechanism.

Manmohan Singh said to remove some ills like poverty, India must accelerate its growth to 10 per cent per annum, for which infrastructure plays a critical role.
He also said that the private sector must come forward for this purpose.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who also addressed the seminar, said the Indian economy grew by over eight per cent in the second quarter of the current fiscal year—maintaining the high growth of 8.9 per cent in the first quarter.

Other speakers at the day-long conference—on "Building Infrastructure: Issues and Opportunities"—include Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, Road Transport Minister TR Baalu and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.