India has been spending much more than Rs 1 trillion per annum on infrastructure. For example, the Budget Estimate of Government expenditure on Infrastructure in 2018-19 was Rs. 5.97 trillion. As per Interim Budget 2019-2020, India has a vision to become a five trillion dollar economy in the next five years and a ten trillion dollar economy in the next eight years thereafter. Infrastructure investment needs to increase commensurately to attain these targets.
Government has taken a number of initiatives to boost infrastructure investment in the economy:
Government has launched sectoral initiatives such as Bharatmala Pariyojana for development of the road sector, Sagarmala Programme which aims to promote port-led development with a view to reducing logistics cost for international and domestic trade, Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) - Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) which aims at facilitating regional air connectivity by making it affordable, Ujjawal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) for effecting financial and operational turnaround of Power Distribution Companies, etc.
Government has also launched innovative financing vehicles such as Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs), Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs); mainstreaming of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) across infrastructure sectors through viability gap funding; periodic review of Harmonized Master List of Infrastructure Sub-sectors; and establishment of the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
This was stated by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.