India is facing a huge infrastructure deficit: Nath

India is facing a huge infrastructure deficit: Nath

New Delhi: India is facing a huge infrastructure deficit, a consequence of its economic growth outstripping infrastructure availability, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath told an India-France conference on sustainable development and public infrastructure. "As we move on, the challenges of infrastructure only seem to enlarge,"

Nath said. "With growth preceding infrastructure, we are not buildingf or the future, we are building for the past," he said adding the urban sector currently constitutes 60% of India’s GDP with the figure likely to increase to 75% in the next decade. "This link between economic performance of cities and national economy is increasingly getting stronger," he added given that the numbers of youth in India was growing which would in turn further spur urbanisation.

Last week, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee allocated Rs2.14 trillion to the infrastructure sector for 2011-12 in the annual budget, a 23.3%

increase over the current fiscal year. Projected investment required for infrastructure development during the 12th Plan period (2012-17) is Rs40.99 trillion. Half of this is expected to come from the private sector.

In his remarks, French minister of state for Transport, Thierry Mariani explained the public-private-partnership model adopted by France for managing various infrastructure projects which include roads and urban transport systems.