|Open Web-letter from
Shri Jaswant Singh
You might be aware that the Prime Minister of India had announced the construction of a 7000 Km highway from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Saurashtra to Silchar, traversing the length and breadth of the country. He had also announced that 5 worldclass international airports would be established in the country.
2. In order to give effect to this pronouncement, the Prime Minister constituted a Task Force on Infrastructure to primarily concentrate on:
3. The composition of the Task Force was as follows:-
5. The Task Force has met three times since its constitution. The important decisions taken by the Task Force have been :
6. Subsequently, the mandate given to the Task Force was enlarged by the Prime Minister. It was desired that the Task Force should formulate an Integrated National Transport Policy to strengthen our transport infrastructure. The Task Force was asked to recommend steps that can subsequently improve and foster reforms in key segments of the economy. This Transport Policy would combine our existing rail, road and inland water transport system and link them with our ports and airports. Consequently, the Task Force is currently engaged in finalising an integrated transport policy. In a subsequent international conference on the subject, the Prime Minister again emphasised the importance of roads. He said that the Government would spend 42 percent more on roads this year as compared to last year. In addition, an extra Rs. 790 crore have been set aside for highway development, by a cess on petrol. He stated that the Governments policy invites private investment in road infrastructure - both domestic and foreign. He would urged the conference to come up with specific suggestions to increase private investment in expressways.
7. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has identified more than 5 airports, which should be upgraded to worldclass international airports. The Task Force has decided to approach the Prime Minister and take his clearance to upgradation of more than 5 such airports. It has been decided that work on Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore airports will start immediately, within this fiscal year.
8. The Airport Authority of India would be corporatised, and as a first step, corporatisation would begin with Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore airports.
9. A comprehensive airport policy with a view to establish worldclass international airports with 100 per cent private participation is also being formulated.
10. In the context of the above mentioned developments, I am sure, you will be interested in participating in the nation building activities - especially in the development of infrastructure in India. I look forward to your positive response.
With best wishes for the New Year,