national-infrastructure-pipeline-nip-to-push-infra-spending-in-india-summary

Context: As part of the government’s plan to accelerate infrastructure spending in the economy, the Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister of India reviewed the progress of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) recently.

More on the news: 

  • The Minister reviewed progress of the NIP, with a specific focus on 34 water and health-related infrastructure projects worth ₹3.6 lakh crore.
  • The NIP has been expanded from 6,385 projects at the time of its introduction (a year ago), to more than 7,300 projects, and is making progress despite the pandemic.

About NIP:

  • Background: Union Finance Minister in her Budget speech 2019-20 announced that Rs. 100 lakh crore would be invested on infrastructure over the next five years. 
  • Atanu Chakraborty Task Force: Recommended the formation of NIP, with projected infrastructure investment of Rs 111 Lakh Crore during FY 2020-25.
  • Vision: NIP is a first-of-its-kind, whole-of-government exercise to provide world-class infrastructure across the country, and improve the quality of life for all citizens. 
  • Objective: It aims to improve project preparation, attract investments (both domestic and foreign) into infrastructure, and will be crucial for the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by FY 2025.
  • How will NIP achieve this?
    • Aggregate the information: Provided by various stakeholders across infrastructure sub-sectors identified in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure
      • The NIP project database is  on India Investment Grid (IIG),  providing visibility to the NIP and helping in its financing with prospective investors (domestic and foreign), being able to access updated project level information. 
      • Each line Ministry or State would further add new projects and update their respective project details at predefined time intervals so that updated data is available to prospective investors. 
    • A bottom-up approach: Was adopted wherein all projects (Greenfield or Brownfield, Under Implementation or under conceptualisation) costing greater than Rs 100 crore per project were sought to be captured.

Significance:

  • Boosting Aatmanirbhar Bharat: NIP will provide a boost to the vision of an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat. 
  • Easy accessibility of information: The availability of NIP projects on IIG will ensure easy accessibility to updated project information and attract investors for PPP projects. 

This is a great step in the direction of implementing NIP - giving a fillip to infrastructure development in the country.

India Investment Grid (IIG):

  • It is an initiative of Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency.
  • As New India has emerged as the world's leading investment destination, the India Investment Grid (IIG) showcases a menu of investment options across India on a single interactive platform. 
  • An initiative to enhance the ease of doing business, IIG connects potential investors to project promoters across India.

Harmonized list of Infrastructure sub-sectors:

Background:

  • Harmonization of the existing definitions of infrastructure sectors will facilitate a coordinated approach, among  agencies providing support to infrastructure, and, thus spur infrastructure development in a more optimal manner.
  • The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in 2009 had asked the Ministry of Finance to urgently consider and resolve the issue of uniform definition of infrastructure. 
  • The Ministry of Finance had thus moved a proposal for approval of CCI of a harmonized master list of 29 infrastructure sub-sectors and also for creating a framework and an institutional mechanism for its updation.