‘New Indian infrastructure investment policy soon’

New Delhi, October 7 :

Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh today assured a new investor friendly policy soon to meet India’s requirement of around $320 billion for infrastructure development, particularly in railways, roads, port and po-wer, over the next six years.

“In the coming weeks and months we will finalise the framework for the remaining areas of infrastructure — like policy, regulatory and institutional framework,” the prime minister said.

The new policy, he added, would ensure competitiveness and complete transparency in the process of inviting bids and award of contracts, besides putting in place a proper regulatory framework and dispute settlement mechanism.

Convened by the Planning Commission, the daylong conference was attended by finance minister P Chidambaram, railway minister Lalu Prasad, commerce minister Kamal Nath, Planning Commission deputy chairman Ahluwalia and ministerial representatives from all states. The prime minister said while India’s economic growth has been averaging in excess of eight per cent ‘the growth has not been without limitations. He said to achieve a higher growth of 9-10 per cent, additional sustained efforts to boost agricultural and manufacturing growth would be required.

“Our growth potential will be realised only if we can ensure that our infrastructure does not become a severe and critical handicap.”