Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Govt's development agenda: Energy, infra at the core
The NDA government also wants to pick up from Manmohan's pet nuclear programme
Photo: Indian Express
June 10, 2014: The Narendra Modi-led government would soon come out with a comprehensive national energy policy, with a focus on developing energy-related infrastructure, President Pranab Mukherjee said in an address to Parliament on Monday. The government will also operationalise international civil nuclear agreements initiated by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

Besides, reforms in the coal sector will be pursued with urgency to attract private investment in a transparent manner. The UPA government’s last two years in office had seen controversy related to allocation of coal blocks to captive miners. The current policy does not allow private operators to be given coal mines other than those in the listed captive category.

In line with its policy of augmenting electricity generation capacity through a mix of conventional and non-conventional sources, the government will expand the national solar mission and connect households and industries with gas grids. “From the president’s address, it is clear energy will be at the core of the Modi government’s developmental agenda to enable an overall economic revival. A revival on the manufacturing front will largely depend on the government’s energy and infrastructure agenda. This will necessitate a comprehensive review of the integrated energy policy to provide India energy security and sustainable growth,” said Debasish Mishra, senior director, Deloitte India.

The government will also frame an ambitious infrastructure development programme to be implemented through the next 10 years. “A fast-track, investment friendly and predictable PPP (public-private participation) mechanism will be put in place. Modernisation and revamping of the Railways is on top of the infrastructure agenda,” Mukherjee said in his address.

To boost its share in global trade, the government will reduce procedural hurdles and trade infrastructure will be strengthened to reduce transaction time and costs.

Besides, the government will set up a diamond quadrilateral project for high-speed trains. “The country will also have a network of freight corridors, with specialised agri-rail networks for perishable agricultural products,” Mukherjee said.

Investment in the railways will be increased by using innovative financing methods. Railway expansion in hill states and the Northeast, as well as modernisation of rail safety systems, will be major focus areas. The government will also initiate a fast, time-bound and well-monitored mechanism to execute the national highways programme.

To transform India into a globally competitive manufacturing hub, the government will set up world-class investment and industrial regions, especially along dedicated freight corridors and industrial corridors.

 In a thrust on urban infrastructure, the government will build 100 cities focused on specialised domains and equipped with world-class amenities.

“The government will evolve a model of port-led development. My government will facilitate modernisation of existing ports on the one hand and development of new world-class ports on the other. Stringing together the Sagar Mala project, we will connect ports with the hinterland through road and rail,” Mukherjee said.

Courtesy: Business Standard
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