India’s core sector needs $500 billion

Muscat, November 9:

India needs over $500 billion in investments over the next five years for infrastructure development, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here today.

At a gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Indian embassy here, Singh said, “We are laying particular focus on the development of our agriculture and rural areas. Our financing requirements for the building of massive infrastructure in the next five years are estimated at over $500 billion,” he said.

The prime minister said that with new opportunities for youth emerging every day, the government has embarked on the “largest education, social welfare, skill development and employment generation programmes in the history of our country”.

Regarding the current global financial crisis, Singh said India’s growth rate might come down somewhat in the next five years. “We still hope to achieve a growth rate of 7 to 7.5 per cent next year. fundamentals of the Indian economy are very strong,” he said. “Banking and financial institutions are well capitalised and depositors are secure.”