India addressing infrastructure woes: Jaitley

Arun-Jaitley-ANIDAVOS: Emphasizing that India is taking steps to address problems in the infrastructure sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said multiple institutions are required to meet the funding requirements in this space.

The finance minister also said the country has crossed that stage when change of government in power used to result in problems for an infrastructure project, adding that now the dispute resolution mechanism has been made very robust.

“To add to the comfort of the investors, we have been upgrading our laws. I am working on a new mechanism that would do away with the requirement for going to judicial panels for resolution of dispute… It is at an early stage and it is not proper to divulge more details,” he said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting here.

While acknowledging that there are many problems too on the infrastructure front, Jaitley said the government is taking steps like setting up of infrastructure funds where it has also invited international institutions among others.

Jaitley also dismissed suggestions that the political opposition was any more hurting infra projects in India, as no party can afford to oppose a project being built for the benefit of the people. Today’s aspirational society is rather asking why projects cannot be done faster, he added.

“You require multiple institutions for financing infrastructure. Asian infra was suffering for a long time due to lack of availability of right funds. Infra funding has to be long term in nature.

“Now, we have multiple institutions such as ADB, BRICS Bank, AIIB and even World Bank is there. There are areas that can be given funding from within the country,” he noted.

The finance minister said projects are under way in India to link a large number of villages with roads, highways and other infrastructure and a reasonable amount of finance has been generated for such projects.

Speaking at a session on ‘Asia’s era of infrastructure’, Jaitley also dismissed suggestions that the failure to pass new land law was hitting the infrastructure projects. “Even the existing law provides that infrastructure projects are not impacted by issues related to land acquisition,” he added. -PTI

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