Availability of adequate, efficient and affordable infrastructural facilities-power, transport, communications, irrigation and others-constitutes the core of development strategy and efforts. Unfortunately, infrastructural bottlenecks remain the biggest stumbling block of industrial progress in India. By their very nature, infrastructure projects involve huge initial investments, long gestation periods and high risk.
Various initiatives have been taken for the development of infrastructure in India after the initiation of economic reforms in the early 1990s. India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) was incorporated on January 5, 2006 to lend funds, of longer term maturity, directly to the eligible projects to supplement other loans from banks and financial institutions. Broad guidelines were issued on September 23, 2011 for setting up Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs) to facilitate flow of funds into infrastructure projects.
Electricity Act, 2003 recognizes trading of power as a distinct activity and permits State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) to allow open access in distribution of electricity in phases that would ultimately encourage efficiency and competition. Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was launched by the Prime Minister on April 4, 2005. This scheme is for rural electricity infrastructure and household electrification.
The National Highways Development Project (NHDP)-the largest highway project ever undertaken by the country-is being implemented by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). National Telecom Policy, 2011 seeks to maximize public good by making available affordable, reliable and secure telecommunication and broadband services across the entire country. Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 seeks to promote value addition component in exports, generate employment and mobilize foreign exchange.
Planning Commission, Government of India, in its Approach Paper released in October 2011 has projected an investment in infrastructure of over` 45 lakh crore (about US$ 1 trillion) during the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-17).