Friday, February 25, 2011

Infrastructure-A Mixed Bag of Performances :Economic Survey 2010-2011

The Economic Survey 2010-11 states that the infrastructure structure is a mixed bag of performance; some like telecommunications have done exceedingly well and in some others there have been less than targeted achievement. During 2007-08 to 2009-10, capacity addition is lower than the target in power, roads National Highways Developmant Project (NHDP), new railway lines and doubling of railway lines. The sub sectors where physical achievement are above or close to targets are telecommunications, villages electrified under the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGYY), railway lines electrification, railway gauge conversion and new and renewal of road constructions under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadhak Yojana.

The Survey says that the investment in infrastructure has reached 7.18% of GDP in 2008-09 and is expected to increase to 8.37% in the final year of the 11th Plan.

Out of the total 559 monitored Central sector projects costing Rs. 150 crore and above, as on October, 2010 14 were ahead of schedule, 117 were on schedule and 293 were delayed. Of the balanced projects, no dates have been fixed for commissioned. These included projects such as roads, power, railways, petroleum, telecom, coal and steel. In the road transport and highways sector, 51 projects have reported delay in the range of 1 to 36 months; in the power sector 20 projects have reported delays in the range of 1 to 18 months and in the petroleum sector 16 projects have reported delays in the range of 1 to 16 months says the Survey.

There has been a steady decline in the time and cost over runs of Central sector projects costing Rs. 150 crore and above; which the survey says, can be attributed to closer monitoring and system improvements by the Ministries concerned. During April-November 2010 the performance of core industries and infrastructure services have been mixed. The switching capacity addition and cellphone connections in the telecommunications sector have increased by 39.7% and 27% respectively. Crude oil production has increased by 11.5% and natural gas production by 19.8%. The civil aviation sector has also performed comparatively better than the previous year both in terms of cargo and passengers handled. The power and cement sectors have grown at comparatively lower rates. Coal-sector growth has been very low at 0.6 % as compared to the previous year’s 8%. Lower coal sector output has impacted thermal power generation this year. Fertilizer production has also not seen any rise as against the previous year’s 13.2% growth.

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