New Delhi: India is likely to attract foreign direct investment of about $10 billion for the roads sector in the next two years, transport minister Kamal Nath said on Friday.
“We would need, and I hope we will get, about $10 billion of foreign investment in the next two years,” Nath said, speaking at an event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce in capital.
The minister said all imediments would be removed to get the foreign investment in the roads and highways sector.
“There are some issues people have—in our concession agreement, documents. Some are valid, some are not so valid. I hope they will be addressed in the next one month...there are some very serious concerns like the terminations clause. There are several such clauses which have to be addressed to make it (the roads sector) investment worthy,” Nath said.
Speaking on the food situation in the country, Nath said that India had enough foodgrains stocks to counter even the worst monsoon scenario.
Nath, who has handled issues like the export and import of different farm commodities in his previous role as the commerce minister, ruled out an imminent food crisis because of the poor monsoon.
”There is no panic. We have enough foodstocks to counter even the worst monsoon scenario,“ the minister said, replying to a question on the deficient monsoon and its impact on the country.
Nath said the impact of the poor monsoon could be gauged in the next two weeks. Nevertheless, the income of rural people, most of whom depend on agriculture for livelihood, might be hit. “Whatever may be the assessment, poor monsoon may impact rural purchasing power but not food supply in the country,” he observed.
The minister said the two factors of delay in monsoon in some parts of the country and poor rainfall in others had endangered the prospects of paddy and some other crops, but it was not yet time to be skeptical about foodgrain supply.
States like Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland have already declared either drought or drought-like situation in some districts.
Adding to the worry, paddy acreage already lagged the last year level by over 65 lakh hectares at 191.30 lakh hectares as on July 30, according to official data.