India to revisit infrastructure projects: Mukherjee


New Delhi : Promising enhanced spending on infrastructure projects, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday said all such ongoing projects will be revisited, and recalibrated when required, to achieve the desired results.

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“My government will have to focus on implementing and strengthening the infrastructure investments,” the finance minister said in his maiden press conference after taking oath as senior-most minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet last week.

“The pipeline of infrastructure projects will be re-appraised, made more robust. Where necessary, policy and procedures will be calibrated to give a boost to infrastructure spending.”

He said the focus of the exercise will be to address the concerns of stakeholders so that further momentum can be given to help India come back to the high growth path of recent years quickly.

Mukherjee, who returned to North Block as finance minister after 25 years, also sought to assuage fears that India has been trying to spend its way out of the present crisis, which will affect its fiscal position in coming years.

“Prophets of doom have been unduly focusing on increased public spending and the consequent increase in the revenue and fiscal deficits in the recent past. We are hopeful an early return to our recent growth performance will help us come back to our preferred path of fiscal prudence.”

The finance minister said the ground reality today demanded that the process of pump priming the economy continues both during this year and in the next, and that fiscal consolidation would be achieved over the next two-three years.

“Let me also say unambiguously that we are committed to restoring growth and employment and that would not have been possible without increased spending funded by incremental borrowing.”