The Indian government is ramping up infrastructure spending along the China-India border as part of the ongoing master plan to upgrade the subcontinent’s infrastructure standards drastically.

Major trading partners such as Australia are redirecting their commercial efforts to tap into some of this demand for major infrastructure capital investment.

According to The Times of India, an infrastructure review has unearthed a shortfall in road standards, with 73 roads of operational significance being earmarked for construction.

This development is just part of Prime Minister Modi’s drive to upgrade its infrastructure to meet the requirements of an expanding economy. India is expected to have the world’s largest labour force by 2027, according to a recent United Nations report.

Bloomberg reported that about a quarter of 1200 infrastructure projects were running behind schedule. Nevertheless, this represented an improvement from two years earlier, when over 40 percent of projects were not up to speed. Cost overruns had reportedly almost halved, down to 11 percent. The Indian Government is keen to push forward and complete existing infrastructure projects, delegating responsibility at a regional level, setting tougher deadlines and reforming contracts. A spokesperson for PricewaterhouseCoopers suggested private finance is also playing an important role in getting projects up and running, with about $646b overall investment financing required to meet infrastructure upgrade demand, as published by Bloomberg.

Top ten projects instigated by the Modi Government

  • Sagarmala Project aims to improve port infrastructure
  • Bharatmala Project, a country-wide road transportation project covering 5000km with completion date set within next five years
  • Mumbai Trans Harbour Link is a 22.5km sea bridge linking Mumbai’s eastern areas with the mainland, due for completion by 2019
  • Arunachal Pradesh rail connections aims to replace all rail track to broad-gauge in the State
  • Setu Bharatam project is a massive scheme to replace all colonial era bridges and railway crossings with by bridges
  • Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna is a development of 5500km of highways
  • Inland Waterways consists extensive plans to develop inland waterways and create a new port at Paradip
  • Gujarat-Gorakhpur gas pipeline stretches 1987km between Kandla and Gorakhpur
  • Chardham-Highway Project will develop around 900km of national highways to the Himalayas
  • Bridge on River Chenab is expected to be the world’s highest bridge

Source: The Financial Express

India is increasingly being viewed as an ideal place for inward investment by many western countries, and, as part of the recent Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), over 40 Australian infrastructure companies made their intentions clear, as reported by The Hindu BusinessLine. Australian companies are particularly attracted to projects where multinational agencies, such as the World Bank, are participating. Infrastructure projects between Australia and India represent a very small part of present day commercial activities between the two Commonwealth countries.