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nfras­truc­ture bot­tle­necks are a cause of se­ri­ous con­cern in In­dia and con­sid­ered a ma­jor hur­dle in the way of the coun­try’s eco­nomic progress.

In many ad­vanced economies and fis­cal con­strained de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture had been suc­cess­fully de­vel­oped ei­ther through pri­vate par­tic­i­pa­tion or through the pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship model.

In In­dia, till now, pri­vate par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment has re­ceived some­what lack­lus­tre re­sponse ex­cept in a few sec­tors such as tele­com. At present, PPP projects con­sti­tute a very small share in the coun­try’s over­all in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment de­spite ini­ti­a­tion of var­i­ous pol­icy ad­just­ments and sec­tor-spe­cific re­forms by the govern­ment.

It is true that as a re­sult of the var­i­ous pol­icy ini­tia­tives un­der­taken by the govern­ment, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of in­fra­struc­ture projects, par­tic­u­larly in the road sec­tor, were ex­e­cuted on the PPP plat­form dur­ing the last decade or so. There has also been sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est from both do­mes­tic and for­eign in­vestors in the sec­tor. The big ques­tion, though, is whether the pol­icy ad­just­ments and the re­forms car­ried out by the govern­ment so far are ad­e­quate to bring in the re­quired in­vest­ments. In­dia has set an in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment tar­get of $1 tril­lion dur­ing the 12th Five-Year Plan pe­riod (2012-2017), half of which is ex­pected to come from the pri­vate sec­tor.

Pos­i­tive out­look

We are all aware that to­day, the coun­try’s econ­omy is rid­ing high on in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment. It is also well recog­nised that rapid de­vel­op­ment of the road sec­tor is crit­i­cal for In­dia’s eco­nomic progress and for en­hanc­ing its global com­pet­i­tive­ness.

There is hardly any doubt that the long-term out­look for the road sec­tor is pos­i­tive but in the short-term, it is plagued by var­i­ous chal­lenges. The chal­lenges at present in­clude high in­ter­est rates, de­lays en­coun­tered in se­cur­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and other clear­ances, hur­dles in land ac­qui­si­tion, de­lays in award­ing of projects, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of stalled projects and var­i­ous

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