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Current Affairs

Core sectors’ growth slows

  • The growth of eight core sectors slowed down to 2.1% in February due to fall in output of crude oil and refinery products by 6.1% and 0.8% in February. Infrastructure sector growth will also have impact on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) as these segments account for about 41% of the total factory output. Coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity has expanded by 5.4% in February 2018.
  • However, coal and natural gas output grew by 7.3% and 3.8% respectively in the month under review. According to the Commerce and Industry Ministry data, during April-February 2018-19, the eight sectors recorded a flat growth rate of 4.3% over the same period previous fiscal.

NIIF-Roadies

  • The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and global transport infrastructure operator Roadies said they would jointly set up a platform to invest up to $2 billion of equity in road projects in India.
  • NIIF role in infrastructure funding has acquired significance in recent years, given that most public-sector banks are struggling to cope with toxic assets and their ability to fund large infrastructure projects is very limited.

Infrastructure projects cost overrun

  • 344 infrastructure projects each worth of Rs 150 crore or more have shown cost overruns to the tune of over Rs 3.16 lakh crore owing to delay and other reasons.
  • Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth of Rs 150 crore and above.
  • The brief reasons for time overruns are delays in land acquisition, forest clearance and supply of equipment.

Massive infrastructure boost

  • Over the last few months, several big infrastructure projects were successfully implemented by the Modi government, giving a major boost to the infrastructure sector of the country, as it saw one of the best times in many years with the completion of as many as 101 major projects. The projects completed during this period were carries out at a cost of Rs 1,06,966 crore.
  • Ministry of statistics and Programme Implementation April 2016, out of 1,061 total projects were on schedule, 326 projects were delayed and a total of 489 projects were without timeline.
  • April 2017, out of 1,247 projects, as many as 338 projects were on schedule, 317 projects were on delayed and 592 projects were on without timeline.
  • April 2018, out of 1,332 infrastructure projects, 429 projects were on schedule, 253 projects were delayed and 650 projects were without timeline.
  • December 2018, out of 1,424 projects, 354 infrastructure projects were on schedule, 384 projects were delayed and 686 projects were without timeline.

Niti Aayog seeks Oil Ministry’s help

  • Government think tank Niti Aayog has asked the oil ministry to help set up electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at 1,000 fuel stations across the country, but industry executives said any such move will require redesigning of stations and a viable business model.

Niti Aayog Formed– 1 January 2015

  • The NITI Aayog also National Institution for Transforming India, is a policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and to enhance cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process