Infra investment down from FY11; govt taking steps to boost it

Government has taken various steps such as formation of CCI and introduction of tax-free bonds to boost investment in infrastructure projects that has declined since 2010-11, Parliament was informed today.

The investment was at Rs 5.76 lakh crore in 2012-13 (provisional) and Rs 5.60 lakh crore in 2011-12, down from Rs 6.45 lakh crore in 2010-11, Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs and Planning, Rajeev Shukla said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Shukla said a Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) was constituted in early 2013 to fast track key projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

Besides, he added: "Union Budget 2011-12 allowed NHAI, IFRC, IIFCL, Housing and Urban Development Corp, NHB and SIDBI to issue tax free bonds for Rs 30,000 crore. The sizes of tax-free bonds were raised to Rs 60,000 crore in Union Budget 2012-13 and Rs 50,000 in Union Budget 2013-14."

Shukla also said that Rs 5,000 crore will be made available to NABARD to finance construction of warehouses, godowns, silos, and cold storage units to store agricultural produce, both in public and private sectors.

That apart, he said a high level Committee on Financing Infrastructure has been formed to review the existing framework for financing such projects and a Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee has been constituted for streamlining and simplifying the appraisal and approvals.

Besides, he added, Viability Gap Funding Scheme has been introduced to enhance financial viability of infra projects; India Infrastructure Finance Company was set up as non-banking firm to provide long term loans to such projects; and Infrastructure Development Funds are set up for channelising long term debt from domestic and foreign pension and insurance funds.

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