Government assures steps to help infrastructure sector

November 19th, 2008 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) With the economic recession expected to continue “till the end of next fiscal”, the government Wednesday said it will “respond positively” to the credit crunch in the market, especially in the infrastructure sector.”The commerce ministry is concerned about the health of the infrastructure sector and the government would respond positively to it,” Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here.

The recession would continue till the end of the next fiscal, but the government is doing everything possible and exploring all feasible options to ease the crisis, he said.

The investment needed for infrastructure has been estimated at $150 billion, but the actual requirement could be far higher, Ahluwalia added.

The Planning Commission, in a report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Nov 17, proposed several remedial measures to ease liquidity crunch, including raising money through public-private partnership (PPP) models for the infrastructure sector.

The finance ministry is expected to study the proposal and respond in the next 10 days.

The government has also decided to spend a whopping Rs.500 billion for infrastructure projects to stimulate growth.

Ahluwalia added that inflation was not a major problem now as prices were falling. Prices would come down in the next six months, he said.

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