New Delhi, Jul 4: The Economic Survey 2018-19 on Thursday put thrust on the need for a robust and resilient infrastructure to create a ten trillion dollar economy by 2032.
The survey, presented by Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament, stated that the Government has initiated a number of measures such as Start-up India, Ease of doing Business, Make in India, Foreign Direct Investment Policy reforms in crucial sectors to accelerate higher manufacturing growth and India has considerably improved its ranking to 77th position from the previous 100th among 190 countries in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report in 2018.
It stressed on innovative approach under PPP to bridge investment gaps in infrastructure. In an analysis of the Industry and Infrastructure sectors of the country, it noted, that India needs to build a robust industry with a buoyant and resilient infrastructure.
The industrial growth rate in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) during 2018-19 stood at 3.6 per cent as compared to 4.4 per cent growth rate in 2017-18. The moderation in 2018-19 has been mainly on account of subdued manufacturing activities in Q3 and Q4 due to various reasons like liquidity crunch, slower credit flow.
Meanwhile, the eight core infrastructure supportive industries have achieved the overall growth rate of 4.3 per cent during 2018-19 similar to the increase achieved in 2017-18.
The Government is playing a proactive role in investment promotion through a liberal FDI policy. During 2018-19, total FDI equity inflows were US$ 44.36 billion as compared to US$ 44.85 billion during 2017-18, the survey said.
Building sustainable and resilient infrastructure has also been given due importance with the formulation of sector specific flagship programmes such as SAUBHAGYA, PMAY. Road construction in kms grew @ 30 kms per day in 2018-19 as compared to 12 kms per day in 2014-15. Rail freight and passenger traffic grew by 5.33 per cent and 0.64 per cent respectively in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
About the Road Sector, it noted that highways construction in the country touched a new high of 30 km per day in 2018-19 as compared to about 12 km per day in 2014-15. This was achieved through proactive policies that include process streamlining, better inter-ministerial coordination, steps to address languishing projects, innovative project financing leveraging both private and public funds, streamlining land acquisition processes. The investments in the sector rose from Rs 51914 Crore in 2014-15 to Rs158839 cores in 2018-19.
Some of the major outcomes in the road sector during the period 2014-15 to 2018-19 include construction of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways around Delhi, Delhi-Meerut Expressway, Chenani-Nashri tunnel in Kashmir, Dhola-Sadiya Bridge over Brahmaputra in Assam.
The survey said in the Shipping sector, as on January 31, 2019, India has a fleet of 1405 ships with Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) of 19.22million (12.74 million GT). Ports handle 90 percent of EXIM cargo by volume and 70 percent by value. Expansion of port capacity has been accorded highest priority under projects like Sagarmala, Project Unnati etc. The Ministry of Shipping has taken many steps towards facilitating Ease of Doing Business. These include steps for reducing dwell time and transaction cost at major ports.
India’s scheduled domestic air transport for passengers and goods rose by 14 per cent and 12 per cent respectively in 2018-19.
Domestic passenger traffic in Revenue Passenger KM (RPK) recorded the fastest growth in the world at about 20 per cent for over 50 consecutive months upto December 2018. New Greenfield airports are being developed very fast.
Regarding the telecom sector, it noted that total telephone connections in India rose to 118.34 crore in 2018-19 from just 93.3 crore in 2013-14, registering a growth of 26.84 per cent. 51.42 crore connections are in the rural areas. Wireless telephone constitutes 98.17 per cent of all subscriptions. The overall tele-density in India stands at 90.10 per cent, the rural tele-density being 57.50 per cent and urban tele-density being 159.66 per cent at the end of March 2019. (UNI)