India aims to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025. The basic requirement for economic growth is infrastructure, both physical and social. Cognisant of this fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day 2019 speech announced that India will invest INR 100 lakh crores in infrastructure over the next five years. The direction was set clearly.
Finance Minister constituted a Task Force to draw up 'National Infrastructure Pipeline' for FY 2019 to FY 2025. It was chaired by Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs and held the first meeting in September 2019. It had wide-ranging discussions with stakeholders like banks, financial institutions, infrastructure developers, industry organisations, equity funds, and government departments. Finally, on 31 December 2019, the Finance Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman announced the creation of National Infrastructure Pipeline intending to have total project capital expenditure of over 102 lakh crores by FY 2025.
During these five financial years between 2020 to 2025, there will be a huge investment in various sectors of the infrastructure of which energy (24%), roads (19%), urban (16%), railways (13%) are major areas. Airports, telecommunication, irrigation, rural infrastructure, water and sanitation, ports, agriculture, food processing and distribution, higher education, schooling, sports, tourism, sports, health and family welfare, industries and internal trade, steel, and some other areas will be covered under this ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline.
This will open up opportunities for domestic and foreign investors for investment in India. This development of social and physical infrastructure will boost economic activities, provide jobs and accelerate economic growth in India. There will be a monitoring mechanism for the timely implementation of the pipeline. Review meetings and policy interventions will further help in their success.
India is a vast country with over 1.3 billion people. The appetite of the economy for investment is huge and the potential for growth is incomparable. Various measures to promote economic growth, policy incentives for investors, liberalisation of FDI rules and the possibility of attractive return on investment will help the country grow faster in the future. The goal of being USD 5 trillion economy will be dependent on successes of such initiatives of the government, for which the whole machinery is at work.
(Expressed opinions are personal.)