Modern and Efficient Infrastructure

Availability of good Infrastructure is an important factor in attracting investments. Thus, apart from creating jobs, investments in infrastructure also act as a catalyst for future job creation. Moreover, infrastructure is the greatest business-enabler and acts as the most powerful multiplier in any economy. It also provides infrastructure corporations with steady smooth returns, bond investors with opportunities for long-term investments and generates jobs for local population. In India, the potential for investment in the sector is massive, but it needs investment from both government and private players. On one end, the government could not significantly step up the public investments because of lack of funds. On the other side, structural issues – huge NPAs and the absence of a strong bond market limit availability of private funds. Typically infrastructure projects have a long gestation period and financing by banks is not considered appropriate due to asset liability mismatch. But, in India, most of the infrastructure projects are funded through banks as there are no alternative avenues to raise enough long-term capital. These massive investments by banks in infrastructure projects have led to huge NPAs, limiting the availability of capital for new projects. Perhaps the key difference between India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and the developed OECD economies or even China is that the latter have visibly excellent infrastructure, while India does not. Indian infrastructure – roads, railways, aviation as well as energy – have transformed since the onset of liberalization in the early 1990s, but a lot remains to be done in this regard. In the Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16 published by the World Economic Forum, India ranked 81st in infrastructure, far too low for a country whose ambition is to be seen poised for global economic leadership.

AIPC Position

  • The AIPC will advocate for greater public investment as well as facilitation of private investment in infrastructure.
  • India’s growth needs to be sustained by major investments in all transport sectors. The Indian railways needs to focus on safety, modernization, expansion and reliability. It can become an engine of growth for India. AIPC will provide ideas for faster improvements in this vital sector. We will also highlight the need for all million-plus population centres to be covered by High Speed Rail.
  • The road network has seen major improvements but much more is needed. National highways, rural roads as well as urban road networks require investments at a much greater level. Investments in the roads sector can also boost employment. The AIPC could provide a forum for assessing progress on road construction and maintenance and highlight issues that may require attention at the level of central and state governments.
  • The AIPC will create awareness about the need for greater rod safety. Road accidents in India take a heavy toll. The AIPC will initiate an advocacy and awareness program around the country to ensure road safety becomes a national project.
  • Over the last decade, the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model has helped create world-class airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore and the Airports Authority of India has upgraded several others. As the demand for air travel is increasing tremendously, the AIPC will promote upgrading of air travel infrastructure in tier 2 and other cities.
  • The AIPC will advocate for adequate funding and timely development of Regional Rapid Transit Systems. Without greater focus on modernization of urban transport, Indian cities will fall further behind their counterparts in other countries.
  • The AIPC will emphasize development of India’s inland waterways, which totals about 14,500 kms in length, along with coastal shipping.
  • We will promote setting up terminals at major ports and providing adequate road and rail connectivity to inland water and coastal terminals and non-major coastal ports.
  • To promote equitable and inclusive access to energy, the AIPC will support the provision of clean, efficient and affordable energy for all. The AIPC is committed to the establishment of a clearly defined policy for fair, transparent equitable and time bound development of natural resources.
  • We will create greater awareness of the need for energy efficiency in all areas of the economy including power, transport, urban housing, and consumer goods and in rural housing.
  • We will support further improvements in generation of renewable energy, including hydel, solar, wind and nuclear energy.