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Low global commodity prices a plus for India infra investment: CEA Arvind Subramanian

Says this is the right time for infrastructure firms to make investments to benefit from lower commodity costs

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Arvind Subramanian

Promising a stable business environment, minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha said on Friday that the government is committed to provide a rules based predictable regime to investors.

Addressing the India Invest Summit 2016, Sinha pointed out that projects worth $100-150bn are at various stages of development, with some of those stressed and looking for new sources of financing.

"Investors have the option of investing in three kinds of projects. Brownfield projects that were nearing completion but are stuck due to lack of finance, greenfield projects where development risk persists and those greenfield projects which are nearing completion and will provide high cash return yields," he said ahead of the Union Budget on February 29.

Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian said that increasing public and private investment is a key priority of the government, adding that it is the right time for infrastructure firms to make investments to benefit from lower commodity costs.

“The government has ambitious plan for public investment. Railways, roads, micro irrigation and other sectors will receive high priority from the government,” he said.

Subramanian argued that while international environment had become very challenging, India
continues to be a haven for stability with strong macro fundamentals including narrowing current account and fiscal deficits.

The external environment provides a positive shock for infrastructure, he said, adding that “low commodity prices means that firms can get greater return on investments”.

Reserve Bank of India deputy governor H R Khan said that the central bank was willing to relax its guidelines to encourage investments. He added that the focus was to bring more long term players in the infrastructure sector.

“No guidelines are cast in stone. If there are any ambiguities or difficulties that are caused by existing regulations, RBI is open to looking at them,” he said

First Published: Fri, February 05 2016. 13:55 IST