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Media Information
Planning Commission to review 5 key infra projects every quarter

Published & Updated as on - 2010-05-20

The Planning Commission is to monitor on a quarterly basis the progress of five key infrastructure sectors and put the information in the public domain, the Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, said on Monday.

The sectors

Power, road transport and highways, ports, civil aviation and railways are the sectors to be monitored by the Commission. The move comes in the backdrop of the country falling way behind what it expects to add in a number of infrastructure sectors including power and roads.

“This has never happened before. This is not a punitive move. The targets have been set after consultation with the Ministries concerned. There is a possibility that in one quarter there could be a slippage from what is being targeted, but we hope that this will be made up in the some other quarter. We hope that through this the country will be able to achieve a higher growth,” the Deputy Chairman told newspersons.

In the power sector, the Commission estimates that 20,359 MW of capacity addition will take place including 4,126.5 MW in the first quarter of the year and 6,691.5 MW during the fourth quarter of 2010-11.

Incidentally in 2009-10, the Commission had set a target of 14,507 MW capacity addition in the power sector although only 9,585 MW was actually achieved. Key projects facing delays include NTPC's Sipat super thermal and Koldam hydro projects and NHPC's Chamera-III hydroelectric project.

Similarly, it estimates that 830,769 million units (mu) of power will be generated during 2010-11. During 2009-10, the country was able to generate 771,173 mu as against the Commission target of 789,512 mu.

Road target

In the road sector the Commission has set a target of construction of 2,500 km during 2010-11. During 2009-10, the country was able to complete construction of 2008.93 km of roads as against the Commission target of 3,165.55 km.

Ports' poor progress

The Commission has said that the ports sector has seen the least progress of all infrastructure sectors and estimates that only 280-311 mt is likely to be added to the capacity as against the target of 512 mt to be added during the Eleventh Plan.

Railways lags

The Ministry of Railways also fell behind some of the targets it had set in 2009-10. It planned to lay 250 km of new lines during the year although it was able to achieve only 85 km till December 2009. Similarly, it plans for doublings also fell short as it was able to achieve 196 km till December 2009 as against the target of 500 km.

In response to a question on whether quarterly monitoring will help, Mr Singh said that if there were any problems these could be taken to the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure which could then take a political view of getting over the problem. Source: Business Line 17/5/10

Infra investment in XI Plan will be close to $500 b

XI Plan targets 7,000 km of roads to be constructed in 2010-11 62,000 MW of power to be added Rural teledensity target to be met in 4th year.

Investment in the infrastructure sector during the Eleventh Plan will be close to the target of $500 billion, largely due to the better-than-expected showing by the telecom sector, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia said on Monday.

“It does look as if we will achieve (investment in infrastructure sector) not fully, but very close to $500 billion. This will be primarily because of over achievement in telecom,” Mr Ahluwalia said.

Briefing newspersons ahead of a conference on ‘Building infrastructure: Challenges and opportunities' Mr Ahluwalia said the country hopes to award contracts for the construction of 7,000 km of roads during 2010-11 and add about 62,000 MW of power during the Eleventh Plan period.

Roads, power

“The private sector exceeded the target set for building roads, while the Central Government was below the target set with the States, achieving lower than what was estimated. In the power sector, what we hope to achieve is lower than the targeted 78,000 MW. But it is almost three times of the 21,000 MW which was added in the previous Plan period,” he said.

The conference opens here on Tuesday and will be addressed by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee and other Central Ministers.

Telecom sector

Pointing out that the performance in the telecommunication sector has been much better than in the past, Mr Ahluwalia said that the target for teledensity set for the Eleventh Plan was achieved in the third year itself. “I reckon that the target for rural tele-density will be met in the fourth year of the Plan,” he added.

The ports sector is least likely to be able to achieve the targets set for it, he said. On economic growth, Mr Ahluwalia said a growth rate of 9 per cent was expected in 2011-12, up from 8.5 per cent in the previous year.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to chair a full meeting of the Planning Commission here in the evening , where the growth target for the plan period will be considered.

Source: Business Line 23/3/10

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