Bit­ing the bul­let

Project Monitor - - FRONT PAGE -

is­cals 2013 and 2014, the first two years of the 12th Five-Year Plan that has tar­geted to spend over $1 tril­lion on in­fra­struc­ture projects only, have ended with nearly two decades' low­est ebb. The new Naren­dra Modi-led NDA govern­ment that has taken over from mid-May thus faces a huge chal­lenge in stop­ping the de­cay and then in­vig­o­rat­ing in­vest­ment ac­tiv­ity. Slow­ing econ­omy and stag­nant in­vest­ment are also likely to lead to a call for a relook at Plan pri­or­i­ties and tar­gets.

How­ever, at this point, we may ob­serve that backed by an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity in the Lok Sabha and a free­hand given in min­istry and pol­icy for­mu­la­tion, Prime Min­is­ter Modi has got the where­withal to re­vive the econ­omy and stage a turn­around in in­vest­ment. In fact, his govern­ment has al­ready ini­ti­ated mea­sures to re­ju­ve­nate ad­min­is­tra­tion, and as re­flected in pre­bud­get hikes in pas­sen­ger fares and freight an­nounced by Rail­ways (since rolled back, it would ap­pear that the au­thor­i­ties are will­ing to bite the bul­let and take some tough de­ci­sions in the in­ter­est of long-term eco­nomic prospects.

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