Washington: As part of its goal to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, India plans to spend USD 1.4 trillion (Rs. 99.52 lakh crore) on its infrastructure in the next five years, Union Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Addressing the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington on Saturday, she said that a task force has been constituted in the Finance Ministry that will draw up a national infrastructure pipeline for the next five years.
“As we envisage becoming a five trillion-dollar economy by 2024-25, our focus on creating world-class infrastructure has become even more resolute. If we spent USD 1.1 trillion on infrastructure in the last 10 years (2008-17), we now are going to invest about USD 1.4 trillion in the next five years,” she said.
She said that India has taken various steps to enhance infrastructure investment by launching innovative financial vehicles such as Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs), Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and laying down a framework for municipal bonds.
“We are already applying Public Private Partnership (PPP) models in the country. We have adopted the Asset Recycling model to modernise existing infrastructure, like Highways, while providing Government with upfront capital to support new infrastructure,” she said.
Noting that the rural economy is vital for India, which depends heavily on agriculture, she said the country has achieved high food grains production but returns in the sector are somewhat subdued due to a dip in agricultural commodity prices globally and depressed food prices domestically.
“To provide relief by way of income support to farmers, the Government has announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) this year under which 145 million beneficiaries in total will stand covered,” she said.