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India Cuts Road, Ports Investment Targets as Projects Delayed

March 23 (Bloomberg) — India, ranked below war-ravaged Ivory Coast and Sri Lanka for the quality of infrastructure, lowered its target for spending on roads and ports after failing to complete planned projects.

Projected investment in docks, cranes and wharves may reach 407 billion rupees ($8.9 billion) in the five years ending March 2012, half the original goal, the Planning Commission said today. Funding for road and bridges was lowered to 2.79 trillion rupees because of fewer available assignments, according to a document unveiled in New Delhi.

Failure to lift investment may imperil Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s target of boosting economic growth to the 10 percent needed to pull 828 million people living on less than $2 a day out of poverty. Even as projects faltered, Singh today asked companies and investors to provide half the $1 trillion envisaged in the five years to March 2017.

“It looks ambitious but not impossible,” Singh said in a meeting to review the progress made in building infrastructure. “For eliminating poverty and providing productive employment, we must aim at accelerating the pace of economic growth.”

Inadequate capacity to meet demand for coal, natural gas, power and utilities is “worrying” as it constrains economic growth, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today. India is ranked 89 out of 133 nations for its infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

via India Cuts Road, Ports Investment Targets as Projects Delayed – Bloomberg.com.

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