Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Plan On Rs 102-Lakh-Crore Infrastructure Projects

The economy is struggling against a growth slowdown due to low demand and thousands of job losses across sectors.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Plan On Rs 102-Lakh-Crore Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Rs 51 lakh crore has been spent on infra in last six years

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday released a report on infrastructure projects worth Rs 102 lakh crore. The report was prepared by the task force on infrastructure after 70 consultations with stakeholders, including ministries, states, infrastructure companies and developers in the last four months, Nirmala Sitharaman said in a press conference. The report comes about five months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government's intent to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure over the next five years. 

“This is the country's first national infrastructure pipeline… In last six years, Rs 51 lakh crore was spent on infrastructure, which is 5-6 per cent of GDP,” said the Finance Minister. 

The task force created by the government for infrastructure has recommended projects worth Rs 102 lakh crore under the national infrastructure pipeline, going beyond the government's initial target of Rs 100 lakh crore, she said.

Another Rs 3 lakh crore worth of investment will be added to the pipeline, the Finance Minister said further. The Centre and states will have a share of 39 per cent each in the proposed pipeline, whereas the private sector will account for the remaining 22 per cent, Ms Sitharaman added. 

The Rs 100-lakh-crore infrastructure project pipeline to revive the economy comes at a time when the country's GDP or gross domestic product expanded at a more than six-year low rate of 4.5 per cent in the July-September period. 

Many economists and financial institutions have lowered their growth projections for the year ending March 2020.

The economy needs to grow at around 8 per cent to create enough jobs for the millions of young people joining the labour force each year; yet many economists see the current slowdown continuing for another year or two.

The government has announced a slew of measures in the past months to spur investments to revive growth, including withdrawal of higher taxes on foreign investors, reduction in corporate taxes, a mega merger of state-run banks, a special window for the real estate sector and a massive disinvestment plan.

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