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.
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