INFRASTRUCTURE IN INDIA: THEN & NOW
standardised documents for awarding ppp projects; setting up of an investment tracking system to ensure speedy implementation of infrastructure projects.
Recognising the significant role foreign investments could play in infrastructure development, the Government of India has put in place a liberal policy that permits foreign investments up to 100 percent from foreign/ investor without prior approval in most infrastructure projects including services under automatic route. As a result, many foreign companies have joined the league in expansion of the infrastructure sector in India.
The infrastructure sector enjoys various benefits like permission to sell tax-free bonds, lower withholding tax on overseas loans, easy credit from domestic banks at better interest rates, five-year tax holiday for two, three and four-star hotels, 100 percent depreciation in some sectors, viability gap funding by the government for publicprivate partnership projects and up to $20 With over 3.34 million kilometers of roads, India has the second largest road network in the world. The road network in India is broadly divided into the National Highways and the State Highways and major district roads. Then there are expressways and roads in rural areas that need to be taken into account. Roads in India are the primary means of transport. They account for 85 percent of passenger traffic and 65 percent of freight traffic.
More than 50 percent of this network is built by the Government. The Government’s project, being implemented by the has upgraded about 14,279 km length of the National Highways to four or six lanes at a total cost of 646.39 billion. For improving road connectivity in the remote Northeast region, the ministry has framed a Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the region.
With traffic on roads growing at 10 percent per annum and vehicle population growing at 12 percent, the potential for growth in infrastructure is tremendous. This spells the need for a fast growth of roads network in future. With the government’s focus in investing huge amounts of funds in the road sector, the future looks