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New infrastructure policy soon, says PM

Policy is important given massive need for investments of $320 mn over the next 6 years in energy and roads.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 12:39 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 million 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 percent 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 percent in the second quarter of the current fiscal year - maintaining the high growth of 8.9 percent 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.