nd str and n rastr t re 9.27
the Government in India has always given priority (ii) Introduction of road user charges (either
to the developmental aspects of the sector. But the directly via tolls or indirectly via a cess on
level of preparedness and performance had been petrol diesel), and
always less than required by the economy. Which (iii) Rationalisation of railway fares.
sector are called the infrastructure? Basically, Experts60 have suggested for expanding
the goods and services usually requiring public investment in the sector supplemented
higher investment, considered essential for the duly by a vigorous effort of attracting private
proper functioning of an economy is called the investment (domestic as well as foreign). Creating
infrastructure of an economy.58 Such sector might the conducive environment to attract private
be as many as required by a particular economy investment in infrastructure should include:
such as power, transportation, communication, (i) Simplification and transparency in the
water supply, sewerage, housing, urban amenities, clearance procedures;
etc. (ii) Unbundling an infrastructure project so
There are three sectors which are considered that the private sector may go for only
as the infrastructure universally around the world those unbundled segment of the project
namely power, transportation and communication. whose they are able to bear; and
Since, infrastructure benefits the whole economy, (iii) Providing credible and independent
it has been often argued by the economists that regulatory framework so that the private
the sector should be funded by the government by players get fair treatment.
means of taxation, partly not wholly.
Indian infrastructure sector is clearly officiAl iDeology
overstrained and has suffered from Putting in place the quality and efficient
underinvestment in the post-reforms period.59 infrastructure services is essential to realise the
Infrastructure bottlenecks are always constraint in full potential of the growth impulses surging
achieving a higher growth for the economy. India through the Indian economy. There is now a
needs massive investment, both from the public widespread consensus61 (now clearly accepted
and private sectors, to overcome infrastructure by the Planning Commission) that exclusive
bottlenecks. Investments by the public and private dependence on the government for the provision
sectors are not alternatives, but complimentary to of all infrastructure services introduces difficulties
each other as the required investment is very high. concerning adequate scale of investment, technical
Public investment in the sector depends upon the efficiency, proper enforcement of user charges,
and competitive market structure. At the same
ability to raise resources (capital) in the public
time, complete reliance on private production,
sector and this in turn depends upon the ability
particularly without appropriate regulation, is
to collect the user charges from the consumers.
also not likely to produce optimal outcomes.62
To make this happen following three factors are
extremely important: . One of such major suggestion was forwarded by
Sachs, Varsheny and Bajpai, India in the Era of Economic
(i) Reform of the power sector,
Reforms, p. 79.
58. Oxford Dictionary of Business, ew elhi xford 61. Ministry of Finance, Economic Survey, , ew
niversity ress, . elhi overnment of ndia, .
59. India Infrastructure Report 1994. ew elhi 62. India Infrastructure Report 2007 ew elhi
overnment of ndia, . overnment of ndia, .