Smooth ride for economy?
The new government will ensure that the economy drives on better roads. For starters, it would reduce the cost of making them. “Infrastructure projects are not viable when interest rates are high,” the newly appointed surface transport minister Kamal Nath told reporters after assuming office on Friday. “We will talk to banks and look at new ways to ensure adequate capital inflows for the road sector projects.”
According to Nath, there would be action on the ground for the road sector. “The progress of projects would be measured more on the ground rather than being measured at the planning stage.”
Nath said an economic stimulus package is necessary for the sector, adding that he would also hold discussions with states to ensure that the roads sector is not hindered because of structural bottlenecks.
He refused to comment on why the road sector lost steam in the previous tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government. “I would want to look at the sector prospectively,” he said.
Regarding changes in the private public partnership projects (PPP) models Nath said, “To make road projects more attractive they would be made more investor friendly and workable.” Nath said progress in roads would generate demand and jobs in other sectors as well.