India determined to overcome constraint of inadequate infrastructure: PM

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - India is determined to overcome the constraint of inadequate infrastructure, visiting Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, said on Wednesday.

Participating in the Khazanah Global Lecture Series 2010 on “India’s Development Experience here, Dr. Singh said: “Inadequate infrastructure is a major constraint on our performance and we are determined to overcome it. In the Eleventh Five Year Plan that ends in 2011-12, we had targeted investment in infrastructure of 500 billion US dollars. We hope to step this up to one trillion US dollars in the 12th Plan.”

He further urged the Malaysian Government to come to India’s assistance in this particular sector, as it is a country with well known strengths in building infrastructure.

“We welcome greater Malaysian participation in this sector. There are big plans afoot in India to set up special investment funds that can be used to finance long-gestation infrastructure projects. We hope to attract Indian and international funding into these projects,” Dr. Singh said.

On the issue of agriculture prosperity, Dr. Singh said: “More than half of our population depends on agriculture for the bulk of their income. We are increasing our investment in agriculture. We hope to use our scientific capabilities to create a new growth momentum in agriculture through a second Green Revolution. This is vital for our food security and to ensure an inclusive growth process.”

He also said that the future of the global economy in the 21st century lies in the knowledge economy, and added that India is working to strengthen its competitive advantage in this area.

“We have increased the expenditure on science and technology as a proportion of our GDP. We are investing heavily in both basic and higher education. For the last fifty years, India had seven Indian Institutes of Technology and one Indian Institute of Science. In the last five years, we have established eight more IITs and five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. Both higher education and the information technology sectors are promising areas for India-Malaysia cooperation,” he said.

He said that India would like its development processes to be sustainable.

“We do not wish to go down the path followed by the highly industrialised countries. We seek a model of sustainable development suited to our own needs, circumstances and genius. This is not an easy task for an emerging economy. We want to strike a careful balance between our needs of today and those of future generations,” the Prime Minister said. (ANI)

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