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16 December 2009

Land issues blight India's infrastructure plans

India's government is likely to miss its target on infrastructure spending for the five years ending 31 March 2012 by at least $100 billion, with the main culprit not the credit crunch but the difficulty acquiring land for key infrastructure projects.

The government plans to spend $500 billion building roads, ports and power supply, according to its most recent five-year plan. But Alroy Lobo, chief strategist and global head of equities and asset management at Kotak Asset Management, reckons the eventual figure will be between $350 billion and $400 billion. In the power sector, for example, he says that at best 60MW to 62MW of capacity will be built by the time the country's 11th five-year plan ends, well below the target of 72MW. While Lobo acknowledges that the infrastructure shortfall will be partly...

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