9th Five Year Plan (Vol-1)
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Macro-Economic dimensions and Policy framework
Growth and Investment Targets || Domestic Resources for the Plan || Sustainable Current Account Deficit and External Resources || Structure of Growth and the ICOR || Fiscal Balance, Inflation and the Monetary Stance || Issues in Aggregate Demand Management || Sectoral and Investment Pattern || Strategy for agricultural Development || Infrastructure and Basic Industries || The External Sector and International Dimensions || Issues in Finance Intermediation

Infrastructure and Basic Industries

2.131 The Ninth Plan aims at achieving 6.5 per cent annual rate of growth in the economy with the targetted growth rate for agriculture sector at 3.9 per cent per annum and that for industrial sector at 7.6 per cent per annum. In order to realise this growth rate in GDP and to accelerate it in the perspective period matching infrastructure will need to be created to meet the requirement of different sectors of the economy. The demand for power, petroleum products, roads, ports, urban transport, telecommunication services, etc. is likely to increase rapidly and so will the investment requirements for creating these facilities. It is, therefore, crucial that an efficient, effective, user-responsive and environment - friendly infrastructure is created. In the light of the liberalised policy regime, as well as on account of the inability of the public sector undertakings to raise sufficient resources, the provision of infrastructure cannot be just in the domain of the public sector as has been the case hitherto. Contribution from private sector will become equally crucial. New ways and means of financing these projects will have to be explored, greater competition will have to be encouraged and the performance of the constituent sectors should be benchmarked against the rest of the world.

2.132 As has been pointed out, there has been considerable slippage in the growth of capacity in the infrastructure sectors during the Eighth Plan period. In view of this, even in the baseline scenario of 6.2 per cent growth, there is a need to improve the efficiency and capacity utilisation of the existing infrastructural assets. In the accelerated growth scenario for the Ninth Plan, such steps would need to be taken with even greater vigour. The first priority for augmenting the availability of infrastructural facilities will lie in accelerated completion of the ongoing projects so that they start yielding returns as early as possible. This in itself, however, will not be enough and efforts would have to be made to initiate new infrastructure investments. In view of the resource constraint, the Government will be able to provide only a part of the total requirements. This is even more pressing in view of the fact that a large number of infrastructure projects will be of a long gestation type, particularly in the road and irrigation sectors, which would have to be mainly in the public domain. Substantial private involvement in infrastructure will have to be encouraged, not only in order to provide the requisite capacity during the Ninth Plan but also to create the pipeline investment that would be necessary for maintaining and accelerating the growth rate of the economy in the post-Plan period.

2.133 In order to achieve the desired levels of investment, both public and private, in the infrastructure sectors, it is of great importance that the issues of appropriate pricing and cost recovery are tackled at the earliest. Appropriate pricing policy, on the one hand, will enhance the resource availability with the public authorities so that not only is the necessary finance available for undertaking adequate maintenance and upgradation of existing facilities, but also for providing investible resources for making fresh investment. On the other hand, the revision of prices is a necessary instrument for making the infrastructural projects viable and attractive for the private sector. At the same time, steps would have to be taken to reduce transmission losses, including theft of power, which by themselves are important reasons for raising the average cost of energy. Reduction of such avoidable losses will be critical for reducing the burden on the consumers and ensuring viability of investments.

2.134 There will, however, be other infrastructure sectors where the gestation periods would be long and immediate pay back cannot be expected. In such sectors, either the Government would have to undertake the bulk of the investment or would have to evolve appropriate methods of public-private partnership so as to make such projects attractive for private sector investment. Infrastructure projects are characterised by large investment requirements, inspite of the technological possibility of unbundling the services, as well as long gestation period. So far, the Governments (both Central and State) have owned, operated and financed nearly all the infrastructure as it was assumed that production characteristics and public interests were such that Government provision (and therefore monopoly) would yield better results. In practice, however, it was associated with mixed performance. As compared to the 1950s, the infrastructure sector has expanded rapidly. Be it power, petroleum, telephones, sanitation, roads, etc., these sectors serve a much larger proportion of the population now than 50 years back. However, the sector is also plagued by a number of problems viz. the cost of providing these facilities has been very high, focus has been mainly on creating new facilities and not on maintenance and getting the best out of the existing facilities, waste and inefficiency are rampant, etc. In the Ninth Plan, in view of the requirement of resources for infrastructure sector, greater attention has to be paid to get the best out of the facilities already created rather than creating new ones. The strategy obviously cannot be the same for all the sub-sectors; and for each of these, a different approach has to be followed.

2.135 Energy : Energy is one of the most important inputs required for sustaining the process of economic and social development. The final commercial energy consumption in the economy increased from 20.35 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (MTOE) in 1953-54 to 142.73 MTOE in 1994-95, registering an annual average growth rate of 4.9 per cent. The primary commercial energy requirements of the economy have correspondingly gone up from 25.5 MTOE to 212.9 MTOE during the same period.

2.136 The demand for commercial energy for final consumption in the Ninth Plan and the perspective period upto the end of the Eleventh Plan in 2011-12 will depend upon the targetted growth in the economy based on both aggregate and sectoral, and the concomitant demand from the different consuming sectors. The commercial energy demand estimated on the basis of end-use analysis and co-relation of the past consumption with GDP growth, is given in Table 2-29 below based on the assumption of a sustained 6.5 per cent growth rate of GDP during the Ninth Plan ,7.7 per cent in the Tenth Plan and 8 per cent thereafter.

  Table 2-29 : Projected Demand for Final Consumption
                  of Commercial Energy
                        1994-5  2001-2   2006-7  2011-2
Electricity (Bkwh)        289.4   496.1    756.2  1150.2
                                  (8.1)    (8.8)   (8.7)
Petroleum Pdts. (MMT)*     63.8   104.9    153.0   226.3
                                  (7.3)    (7.9)   (8.1)
Coal (MMT)*                79.6   114.0    140.0   179.5
                                  (5.1)    (4.4)   (5.1)
Natural Gas (MCM)*        12110   15730    18291   20853
                                  (3.8)    (3.1)   (2.7)
NOTE :(1) * Excluding demand for power generation.
      (2) Figures in bracket are the CAGR over the period.

2.137 The installed generation capacity requirement in power Utilities in 2011-12, the terminal year of the Eleventh Plan, is estimated to be nearly 318,000 MW at the present level of capacity utilisation in the Utilities. This is 3.7 times the installed capacity of 85,019 MW as at the end of the Eighth Plan in 1996-97, thereby necessitating a further addition of nearly 233,000 MW in the Utilities in the next fifteen years. In the case of Ninth Plan, the total installed generating capacity requirement by the end of the year 2001-02 works out to 130,763 MW on the same basis, requiring a further addition of 45,744 MW during the Plan period. However, it may be possible only to add 40,245 MW during the Ninth Plan in view of the present status in respect of the ongoing projects as well as of those which can be taken up during the Plan period. The composition of the likely addition by modes is assessed as 9820 MW of hydel, 880 MW of nuclear, 4643 of gas thermal, 16097 MW of coal thermal and 8805 MW of oil thermal capacity. Out of the total additional capacity envisaged in the Ninth Plan, 43.7 per cent is likely to come from private sector.

2.138 The modal mix of power generation in future and the requirement of primary energy for the same will depend on the level of development of these modes in the coming years, the increase in the efficiency of power generation, transmission and distribution and end-use. The requirement of energy imports will depend on the extent to which the primary energy needs of the economy are met through indigenous production. As far as indigenous production of primary energy is concerned, the production profile for the year 2001-02 is on the basis of what is considered feasible within the time span under consideration. In the case of 2006-07 and 2011-12, the production of various forms of primary energy, particularly coal and primary electricity, is assumed on the basis of the growth achieved in the respective sectors during the period 1979-94. Coal production increased at an average annual growth rate of 6.13 per cent and the average annual addition to hydro capacity was around 695 MW during this period. Based on the balance of recoverable reserves of hydrocarbons, the production of crude oil and natural gas in future is projected to increase at a slow rate. In view of this, the production of crude oil, which is targetted at 36.978 million tonnes in the year 2001-02, is assumed to increase to 40 million tonnes in 2006-07 and further to 45 million tonnes in 2011-12. The production of natural gas is projected to increase by one billion cubic metres every year over the level of production in the year 2001-02. These assumptions are summarised in Table 2-30. Such a scenario can be termed as ‘Business As Usual’ Scenario (BAU).

Table 2-30 : Assumptions for Primary Commercial Energy 
             Production in BAU Scenario
                         1994-5  2001-2   2006-7  2011-2
Hydro Capacity (MW)       20837   31456    34918   38380
Nuclear Capacity (MW)      2225    3105     4105    5105
Wind Generation (GWH)       182    1150     1900    2700
Solar Generation (GWH)       -       30       60     120
Crude Oil  (MMT)           32.2    37.0     40.0    45.0
Natural Gas (MCM)*        17339   29165    33915   38665
Coal (MMT)                253.7   370.6    498.9   671.8
Lignite (MMT)              19.1    46.1     61.0    75.0
* Natural gas production is net of flaring which is assessed at 5 per cent of gross production.

2.139 The dependence on energy imports has been increasing in the past to meet the primary energy needs of the economy. Nearly one-fourth of the total primary commercial energy needs are estimated to have been met through imports in the terminal year of the Eighth Plan. In the wake of the limited primary energy resource endowments of oil and natural gas and the increasing demand for petroleum products in the final energy consumption, the dependence on energy imports is likely to increase in the coming years. The dependence on imports may increase to 27.7 per cent by the end of the Ninth Plan and may go up steeply to over 47 per cent by the end of the Eleventh Plan if no concerted action is initiated to increase indigenous primary commercial energy production and higher efficiency of energy production and use.

2.140 The requirement of coal and oil (including natural gas) for power generation will depend on the quantum of power generated from these fuels. The requirement of coal for power generation in 2001-02 is assessed at nearly 300 million tonnes which may go upto around 880 million tonnes with accelerated growth, in the year 2011-12 if there is no acceleration in development of hydro power capacity. Similarly, the requirement of liquid fuels for power generation is estimated to be 13.3 million tonnes in 2001-02 and may go up to 17.9 million tonnes in 2011-12 if no further addition is allowed in capacity based on liquid fuels. However, if the share of hydro capacity increases to 35 per cent in 2011-12 and the liquid fuels based capacity is allowed to increase at the same rate as in the Ninth Plan, the requirement of coal for power generation may come down to 594 million tonnes. However, the requirement of liquid fuels (including LNG and fuel for flame support) for power generation may go up to 39 million tonnes in 2011-12.

2.141 A number of scenarios can be developed in order to assess the demand for imports of primary energy to meet the projected energy demand in the Ninth Plan and the perspective period. Scenario I is the business as usual scenario. Scenario II assumes an accelerated hydro power development in the next 15 years, thereby increasing the share of hydro capacity in total installed generation capacity to 30 per cent and 35 per cent in the year 2006-07 and 2011-12 respectively as compared to nearly 25 per cent in 2001-02. Also, the addition to liquid fuel based capacity increases at the same rate of 8805 MW per Plan during the Tenth and the Eleventh Plans. Scenario III assumes a savings of 10 per cent in electricity and oil consumption to be achieved in the Tenth and the Eleventh Plans as compared to a saving potential of about 7 per cent in the Ninth Plan. A gradual lowering of T and D losses and auxiliary losses is also assumed in the perspective period. The net import requirement of coal and liquid fuels in the three scenarios considered is summarised in Table 2-31.

Table 2-31 : Net Import Requirement of Commercial Energy  
                               2001-02   2006-07  2011-12
Coal (MMT)  
Scenario I                      40.5      161.7    388.5
Scenario II                     29.8       45.2    101.9
Scenario III                  (-)3.5    (-)17.1     11.4
Oil  and  Oil Products(MTOE)

Scenario I                      75.2      137.2    212.4
Scenario II                     75.2      145.6    228.8
Scenario III                    68.3      127.5    205.0
Note: Negative net imports implies surplus availability from domestic sources. However, some coal imports may be required for specific uses.

2.142 Power : The demand for electricity for final consumption in the Ninth Plan will increase to 496.1 Bkwh in 2001-02 from 324.5 Bkwh in 1996-97. The gross generation in utilities is likely to increase to 606.7 Bkwh in 2001-02 as compared to 394.5 Bkwh in 1996-97. The energy shortage in 1996-97 was 11.5 per cent. The peak shortage was 18 per cent. Table 2-32 gives the demand for electricity as well as the generation requirement for electricity at the end of the Ninth, the Tenth and the Eleventh Plans.

Table 2-32:Demand and Generation Requirement of Electricity
                         (Billion Kwh)
                      2001-02           2006-7  2011-12
                I    II      III    IV
Power (U+NU)
Demand         608   616     655    664   1016      1552
Generation     606   614     653    662   1013      1549
Imports          2     2       2      2     2         3
NOTE  : Scenario I   = With Conservation Measures in Demand  and  Supply
        Scenario II  = With Conservation Measures in Demand
        Scenario III = With Conservation Measures in Supply
        Scenario IV  = At present level of losses 

2.143 The generating capacity to meet this requirement will have to increase to 130763 MW by the end of the Ninth Plan from the capacity of 85019 MW in 1996-97. It is, however, expected that the feasible capacity addition during the Ninth Plan is likely to be 40245 MW. This capacity addition will be short of the projected requirement. With this level of capacity addition, the shortage of energy is likely to be 1.4 per cent and the peak shortage will be 11.6 per cent. This will also call for an investment level of about Rs. 300 thousand Crore, including the investment required to upgrade the transmission and distribution system and to provide adequate pipe-line investment for the post-Plan period. Raising resources of this magnitude is not going to be an easy task particularly by the States, given the pricing structure of the different State Electricity Boards. Enhancing the contribution from capacities already created, demand management, rationalisation of prices, encouragement to private sector for greater participation, etc. are some of the steps needed urgently to improve the situation in the power sector. The major components of the strategy in the power sector would be :

i) Greater attention has to be paid to early completion of the ongoing projects than on new projects. There are long delays in the commissioning of the hydro-electric stations as well as in nuclear power plants. This also results in substantial cost overruns. Early completion of ongoing projects will reduce the cost overruns and yield the much needed benefits. The share of hydel in total generating capacity of the country has declined from 34 per cent at the end of the Sixth Plan to 25 per cent at the end of the Eighth Plan. In order to have an optimal hydro-thermal mix in the total system, advance action has to be initiated on some of the hydro projects for benefits during the Tenth Plan.

ii) It is essential to maximise benefits from the existing plants by (a) improving their operational efficiency and capacity utilisation and (b) improving/augmenting the T and D network and reducing the T and D losses to the maximum extent possible. The Plant Load Factor (PLF) has improved significantly over the last few years. As compared to the PLF of 55 per cent in 1991-92, the PLF was 64 per cent by 1996-97 i.e. the end of the Eighth Plan. The Common Minimum National Action Plan for Power Sector prepared by the Ministry of Power envisages further improvement in the PLF since large scope of improvement still exists in some of the states so that the overall PLF in the State sector improves to 65 per cent by the end of the Ninth Plan as compared to 60 per cent at the end of the Eighth Plan. The PLF at the national level is envisaged to improve from 64 percent to 70 percent during the Ninth Plan. The improvement in PLF can be achieved by adopting measures like renovation and modernisation of old power plants in a time bound manner that could result in upgradation and life extension of these plants, regular and timely maintenance, etc. The transmission and distribution losses are higher than the desirable levels. With every reduction of 1 per cent in T and D losses, it is possible to save 800 MW of new capacity addition. One of the reasons for higher T and D losses is the inadequate investment on T and D. Greater share of investment in power sector has to be spent on transmission and distribution system. System improvement is equally essential for improving the quality and reliability of electricity supplies in the rural areas where low voltage and brown outs are more common than in the urban areas.

(iii) Rationalisation of electricity tariff is perhaps the most crucial step that has to be taken for improving the availability of electricity. According to the latest estimates, as given in Table 2-33, the average cost of supply for all the Electricity Boards taken together was about Rs.2.08 in 1996-97. As against this, the average revenue collection is Rs.1.58. While the agriculture and domestic sectors, on an average, paid 22 paise and Rs.1.04, the average tariff for industrial and commercial sectors was Rs.2.63 and Rs.2.60 respectively. The agriculture and domestic sectors are presently subsidised to the tune of nearly Rs. 20,000 crore. While cross subsidy from industrial and commercial sectors does improve the financial health of the State Electricity Boards (SEBs), it is not sufficient to offset the losses incurred on account of sales to agriculture and domestic sectors. There is a limit to which the burden of subsidised sales of electricity to the agriculture and domestic sectors can be passed on to industrial and commercial sectors. It can affect adversely the competitiveness of the industries, especially the energy intensive products. In addition, the SEBs are not able to raise enough resources for proper development of the power sector as well as the expansion of installed generating capacity. The negotiations with private producers will also suffer a great deal if the rationalisation of tariff does not take place. Since Rationalisation of tariff is a pre-requisite for carrying out the reforms in the power sector, an Electricity Regulatory Commission Ordinance 1998 was promulgated on 25.4.1998 for establishment of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) for rationalisation of tariffs and related matters thereto.

Table 2-33  : Average  Cost, Average Tariff  and Agricultural 
Tariff of Different SEBs (1996-97)
                             Average   Average   Agriculture
                              Cost      Tariff     Tariff
 1. Andhra Pradesh           169.7      128.0       14.9
 2. Assam                    373.8      211.8      160.5
 3. Bihar                    302.2      173.4       16.2
 4. Delhi (DVB)              335.8      234.0        -
 5. Gujarat                  205.3      141.0       19.0
 6. Haryana                  219.6      162.0       50.0
 7. Himachal Pradesh         134.8      132.0       50.0
 8. Jammu  and  Kashmir          230.4       36.0       10.2
 9. Karnataka                195.9      140.8        1.7
10. Kerala                   146.7      103.2       23.7
11. Madhya Pradesh           205.6      147.4        4.3
12. Maharashtra              198.7      189.6       24.4
13. Meghalaya                180.1      108.4       50.0
14. Orissa                   254.9      190.1       55.0
15. Punjab                   186.1      137.9       32.6
16. Rajasthan                227.6      175.8       38.0
17. Tamil Nadu               192.3      171.0        0.0
18. Uttar Pradesh            198.9      147.0       51.3
19. West Bengal              210.1      168.8       23.7
    Average                  207.7      157.8       22.2

(iv) In view of the inability of the State sector to provide sufficient power mainly due to the inability to raise sufficient resources, private sector participation was envisaged in 1991 as a part of the process of reforms in this sector. Steps are being taken to make the private investment more attractive . Recently detailed principles for negotiating Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for Indian Private Power Project have been issued to the State Electricity Boards (SEBs). After reviewing the policy on Foreign Direct Investment, automatic approvals for foreign equity upto 74 per cent would be accorded in the areas such as i)Electricity generation and transmission , ii) Non-conventional energy generation and distribution and iii) Construction and maintenance of power plants etc. Private participation would lead to a shift away from discretionary government interventions to greater acceptance of market forces, from controls and administered prices to transparent fiscal incentives and disincentives, greater private investment instead of public investment with a major objective of greater competition and efficiency. Ownership transfer in itself, and by itself need not result in higher gains. The private sector could possibly exploit monopoly power more than the public sector. It is the competition that will help in maximising the benefits to the consumers. Greater participation by the private sector in the years to come will have to be encouraged in order to ensure greater competition. For this, it is important that the financial health of the SEBs improves. It is equally important that credit on liberal terms is given by the financial institutions, fiscal and other incentives are provided in a transparent manner rather than relying on pricing and administrative controls. In order to ensure that the desired objectives of maximising the consumer benefits as well as proper development and expansion of the power sector are met, it is essential to set up independent regulatory bodies both at the Centre and the State levels.

(v) Demand management and energy conservation measures by different end-users will also reduce the need for additional capacity creation. Wide gap is observed in the off-peak and peak demand in Eastern, Western and Northern Regional grids . In order to avoid backing down of base load power stations , inter regional links need to be strengthened for optimal utilisation of the capacity . efforts have to be made to facilitate shifting from regional grid based operations to an integrated national grid. Rectification of pump sets will reduce the demand for electricity in the agriculture sector. Similarly, process changes/technology upgradation, other house-keeping measures will help in specific electricity consumption in some of the major energy intensive industries like cement, steel etc. In the domestic sector too, it is possible to contain the electricity demand by introducing energy efficient lighting viz.. compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and other devices.

(vi) Suitable policy for development of all forms of renewable energy sources including that of hydel needs to be evolved by providing higher financial support .

(vii) Concerted efforts have to be made by the concerned agencies to take appropriate steps in the areas of their responsibility so that the full programme of generating capacity addition would materialise during the Ninth Plan. It also needs to evolve a mechanism through which the languishing unfinished State projects could be transferred to Centre / private sector for its early completion .

(viii) For improving the reliability and quality of power supplies to the consumers in different parts of the country and for increasing access to electricity in the rural areas, greater emphasis both by public and private undertakings would have to be laid in generation, transmission and distribution of power. Also, special emphasis would have to be placed on accelerated electrification of unelectrified villages, exploiting as far as possible, the decentralised non-conventional energy sources.

(ix) In order to supplement the power available from utilities, maximisation of captive and co-generation in various industries is necessary for which adequate fiscal incentives need to be provided to respective industries.

2.144 Coal : The demand for coal at the end of the Ninth Plan is likely to increase to about 412 million tonnes as compared to 296 million tonnes in 1996-97. Production from domestic sources in 2001-02 is likely to be only 370 million tonnes. Table 2-34 gives the demand, likely production and the imports for coal for the Ninth, Tenth and the Eleventh Plans.

Table 2-34 : Demand, Production and Imports of Coal   
                                    (Million Tonnes)
                      2001-2         2006-7      2011-12
Demand                412.12         544.6*       775.3*
Production            370.60         498.9        671.8 
Gap                    41.52          45.7        103.5
* Corresponding to low hydro-generation and high liquid fuel based generation of power. The demand may be higher if there is decline in the liquid fuel ( including LNG) based power generation.

2.145 There is a large unmet gap which has to be met through increasing the domestic production further. Otherwise it will necessitate larger imports and consequent foreign exchange outgo. The investment requirement for meeting the Ninth Plan requirements alone for raising the domestic production would be over Rs.20,000 crore. Therefore, it is essential to get the best returns from this investment. This will call for :

  1. improving the low productivity in the coal mines particularly that of underground mines. The output per mine shift (OMS) is low by international standard and the improvements have been confined mostly to open cast mines. It is important that both the man as well as machine productivity in the coal mines is improved.
  2. There is often a considerable delay in opening a new mine. The long gestation lag is on account of various factors viz. environment clearance, labour problems, problems relating to land acquisition and rehabilitation of oustees. In order to improve the productivity in coal mines as well as to avoid time and cost overruns, it is important that these bottlenecks are cleared with a minimum time lag.
  3. Internal resource generation in the coal sector needs further improvement in order to raise the production. During the Eighth Plan, some rationalisation of coal prices was undertaken. As a result of decontrol of prices of all coals and superior grade non-coking coal, the internal resource generation in the coal sector improved leading to lower reliance on the budgetary support. It is important that prices of all the grades of coal are deregulated. The relative prices for different grades of coal will have to take into account the fact that the setting up of the washeries becomes an economical proposition. The setting of prices of coal has to take into account the relative availability, substitutability and the calorific values of other fuels also.
  4. The coal resources in the country are unevenly distributed and have high ash content. They have to be carried over long distances and this results in burden on the transport infrastructure. Beneficiation and washing of coal at the pitheads will reduce the burden of transporting large quantities of low grade coal to the end-users. The price of beneficiated coal has to be accordingly adjusted.
  5. In order to avoid mismatch between the demand for coal and its supply, it is essential that the critical rail links are established on a priority basis. The coal pit head based power plants with suitable arrangements for evacuation of power to the consuming states would help in avoiding transport bottlenecks. Similarly, in view of the large requirement for coal imports, the port facilities have to be expanded.
  6. Private sector participation in coal mines has been allowed in recent years to fill the gap between coal demand and production. It makes, therefore, imperative to bring in necessary legislative changes to the existing legal framework to facilitate private sector participation in coal production and distribution. Action has already been initiated to achieve this objective. Efforts would need to be made to further streamline the administrative procedures to expedite the necessary clearances and required legislative changes. The role of private sector at present is limited to the extent of allocating captive mines for power generation, steel plants and for cement making. Private participation should be encouraged in coal mining in the years to come. Regulatory mechanism will have to be created to ensure proper and systematic development and exploitation of coal mines, and appropriate pricing of different grades of coal (including fixing of royalty) so that the consumers benefit and greater competition is encouraged. A proper evaluation of recoverable reserves is also important for the purpose of fixing of royalty, the basis of which should not be the quantity of coal actually mined but the recoverable reserves.
  7. Privatisation of the existing coal mines also needs to be considered. A start can be made with the privatisation of mines which are presently fully linked to a limited number of users. The concept can then be extended to other mines which are more merchant in nature.
  8. A regulatory body needs to be established urgently which would perform an appellate function to resolve any price or quality disputes between the producers and the consumers and between the producers and the Government.
  9. Tax incentives that are being extended to sectors like power, telecommunication, ports etc. should also be given for the development of coal mines.
  10. Demand management and conservation of coal by the end-users have to receive priority. This is particularly true for the power sector which uses over 2/3rd of the coal..
  11. Environmental degradation including land subsidence in certain coal fields will have to be given due attention.
  12. The mineable reserves of coal are expected to be around 20 billion tonnes out of the total estimated resources of around 204 billion tonnes . The amount of mineable reserves for project formulation, however, is even lower. Efforts, therefore, are needed to bring the estimated coal reserves into mineable reserve category through acceleration of both regional/promotional and detailed exploration.
  13. In order to attract private investment, financial incentives and concessions as applicable to infrastructure sectors like Power and Telecommunications would need to be extended to this Sector. This would facilitate increased market borrowings and easy access to capital markets . The project cost would also come down as a result of lower import duties on plant and machinery which forms the major part of project costs.
  14. As lignite deposits are generally located away from coal fields , the formulation and implementation of more lignite projects and lignite based power plants , therefore, will be essential to avoid unnecessary coal transportation costs and stress on railway infrastructure.

2.146 Petroleum Sector : In the recent years, the share of petroleum products and natural gas in the total final energy consumption has increased significantly. This share was about 35 per cent in 1980s. It increased to about 54 per cent in 1996-97. Natural gas is a clean and environment friendly fuel and as a result, its use in the years to come could increase. Table 2-35 gives the refinery throughput, indigenous crude oil production and imports of crude oil at the end of Ninth, the Tenth and the Eleventh Plans.

Table 2-35 : Demand, Production and Imports of Crude Oil
                                       (Million Tonnes)
                      2001-2         2006-7      2011-12
Crude Throughput      108.2*         150*         200*  
Crude Oil Production   37.0           40           45   
Gap                    71.2          110          155   
* Subject to creation of refinery capacity.

2.147 The country is heavily dependent on imports of crude oil and petroleum products and this dependence will increase in the years to come. As a result, there will be substantial foreign exchange outgo. Raising of domestic oil production, setting up of refineries, laying pipeline for transportation of gas as well as oil products will raise the requirement for investible resources in the Ninth Plan. The priority areas in the oil sector are as follows:

  1. The indigenous crude oil production will have to be augmented by acceleration of exploration efforts in deep off-shore, unexplored/less explored off-shore as well as on-shore areas, improving reservoir management and enhanced oil recovery (EOR). A New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) with certain fiscal and financial incentives has been announced recently to boost investment in exploration. This could help in accretion of the hydrocarbon reserves. The average recovery factor in India is low by international standards. An improvement in the recovery factor would give additional amount of oil without corresponding accretion of reserves. Simultaneously, exploration and development projects would require to be taken up in other countries as well as to increase equity oil abroad .
  2. A large amount of gas was being flared till the late 1980s. However, in recent years flaring has declined. Gas utilisation would improve further with the commissioning of gas compression and evacuation facilities as well as augmentation of existing pipeline network.
  3. In order to meet the increasing demand for oil products, additional infrastructure viz. port handling facilities for crude oil and petroleum products, pipelines, tankers, rail wagons etc. will have to be established and this will involve large financial requirements. Joint ventures among public sector undertakings as well as between the public and private sector undertakings could go a long way to finance these activities.
  4. In the wake of the ongoing liberalisation programme, the petroleum industry (both upstream and the downstream) has been thrown open to private sector participation (both Indian and foreign). The response, particularly in the downstream sector, has been encouraging.
  5. The prices of oil products continue to be largely administered. In view of the greater need for raising the resources for expansion of oil sector as well as large-scale private sector participation, it is important that the present administered pricing regime (APR) is dismantled at the earliest. The initial steps in this direction have already been taken and these need to be carried through to the logical conclusion. Since the country is a net importer of crude oil as well as petroleum products, border prices should be the guiding principle in fixing the prices of crude oil as well as petroleum products in the economy.
  6. In view of the severe foreign exchange constraints that the country had been facing the conservation of petroleum products has received high priority since early 1970s. It is important that these efforts continue in the Ninth Plan. This will also help in ensuring greater energy security. The transport sector being the largest user of petroleum products needs special attention.
  7. The existing infrastructure facilities for handling petroleum products are inadequate. In order to handle the additional imported and indigenous crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas, including Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), the infrastructure requirements for ports, tankers, rail loading, pipe line and product tankages , would need to be enhanced substantially.
  8. Most of the oil importing countries pursue a national policy to maintain a strategic reserve as an insurance against contingent situations like war, natural calamities and also for hedging against violent price fluctuations in the international market. This is particularly true in the case of oil importing countries. Similar strategies would need to be taken up expeditiously as the gap between domestic production and demand is widening sharply. The present strategic tankage is for 12 days storage of crude oil and petroleum products import. The capacity needs to be increased by at least 15 days of import requirements during the Ninth Plan.

2.148 Non Conventional Sources of Energy: In India, majority of rural population still depend upon the locally available non-commercial sources of energy such as animal dung, crop waste and fuel wood. As the country is endowed with a large potential of non-conventional and renewable sources, there is scope to meet the energy needs of the rural areas through these sources of energy. The potential and the achievements from various sources is indicated in Table 2-36.

Table2-36: Potential and Achievements of Renewable Energy
Source/System	Approximate 		Achievement	
		 Potential		(October 1997)
Biogas Plants(Nos.)	12 million	2.57 million
Improved Chulhas(Nos.)	120 million	26 million
Biomass	                17000 MW	105 MW
Solar Photovoltaic	20 MW/sqm	28 MW/sqm
Solar Thermal System 	35 MW/sqm	4.36 lakh sqm
Wind Power	        20000 MW	925 MW
Small Hydro Power	10000 MW	151 MW
Power from Municipal
Wastes	                1700 MW		3.75 MW

In order to ensure the efficient use of these energy sources in an environmental friendly manner, it is important to promote the programme of non-conventional energy sources on an increased scale. This can be achieved through:

  1. creating necessary institutional mechanism for R and D, demand development through market mechanism, mandatory use of established technologies, amendments of Electricity Act for absorption of non-conventional power into the grid, creation of infrastructure for repair and maintenance, etc.
  2. taking necessary action to remove administrative bottlenecks, if any, and reverse the slowdown in critical areas of promoting non-conventional energy sources, and
  3. giving thrust on co-generation programme in industries to meet their power needs and enable them to sell the surplus power to utilities.

2.149 Transport Sector : The major modes of transport viz. rail, road, waterways and airways have witnessed a rapid growth in the last 50 years and contributed to the development process in the country. The railways have a vast network and carry large volume of passenger and freight traffic. The aggregate road length in the country is nearly 3.3 million kms. However, a large proportion of villages are still without all-weather road connections. Most of the roads comprise of one lane. In a number of urban areas, there is heavy congestion on roads and lack of adequate mass transport system and the consequent explosion of the personalised modes of transport (mainly two wheelers) has resulted in low speed, high energy consumption, traffic jams as well as high levels of air and noise pollution and alarming rate of accidents. The traffic on the ports has also increased over the years. However, much of the equipment at the ports is over-aged and technologically obsolete. Another lop-sided development of the modern transport network is that it caters mainly to the needs of urban areas, and not to those of the rural areas to the desired extent. In the Ninth Plan, the transport sector has to gear itself to resolving some of these problems. Complementarity of transport services in the presence of all round excess demand in every segment presents an opportunity for coordinated planning of all the segments. The aim should be to have balanced excess demand in all sectors. The major issue in transport policy, therefore, is to achieve an optimal inter-modal mix in such a way that the resource cost of movement of passenger and goods is the least. The strategy for the major transport sectors would be as follows:

2.150 Railways The railways are most suitable for long distance traffic. The share of railways in the total movement of passengers and goods has declined over the years due to the inability of the railways to expand their capacity. Priority is given for movement of bulk traffic. One of the reasons for the movement of goods to shift towards roads even over long distances, is the skewed tariff policy followed by the railways in which the movement of passengers is cross subsidised by goods movement. In the Ninth Plan, this trend will have to be contained and reversed. This will call for rationalisation of tariff, electrification of dense routes, containerisation of goods movement etc. It is likely that in the Ninth Plan, greater movement of goods (including foodgrains) will be from eastern to southern regions. The movement from northern to southern region will grow at a slower pace. As a result, greater attention will have to be paid to the eastern and southern regions for laying new lines, multiple tracks, etc. The following measures are contemplated for achieving the goal of greater share in passenger and freight movement :

  1. Capacity expansion in the railways is generally costly and involves long gestation period. However, this is not the case with rolling stock. Unfortunately, the total number of wagons available with the railways has actually declined during the Eighth Plan with the result that the capacity to move goods has been eroded significantly in absolute terms. Adequate funds will have to be provided for this purpose, apart from improving the utilisation of existing assets. The current wagon utilisation rates will have to be improved further and the turnaround time of the wagons will have to be reduced. The quality of control equipments viz. signalling, etc. needs to be improved in order to increase the average speed of trains and to reduce the average time between trains. These measures will enable the railways to provide reliable service at competitive rates.
  2. The tariff policy of cross subsidising passenger movement by freight movement has resulted in several distortions leading to diversification of traffic to roads. This has resulted in an increase in energy consumption and consequent environmental damage. Therefore, there is a need for rationalising the tariff in such a manner that passenger fares are aligned with cost and the need for cross subsidisation is reduced. Alternatively, the ratio between freight and passenger trains will have to be altered significantly in favour of the former, so that the average burden of cross-subsidisation reduces and thereby the railways are enabled to offer more competitive rates on freight traffic.
  3. The railways being the owners of vast tracts of land, can supplement their financial resource by certain non-tariff revenue measures like utilisation of land space for commercial purposes. In addition, the wide network of the railway’s communication system can be leveraged to provide long distance (trunk) capacity for telecommunication purposes at much lower costs than would be entailed in laying new cables.
  4. Priority has to be given to the completion of the ongoing projects, particularly the critical links on the high density corridors. This is especially important in view of the extremely distorted pattern of track utilisation that exists at present, which is affecting the financial position of the railway system.
  5. The productivity in the railways over the years has improved. However, there is scope for further improvement. In particular, the recent tendency to improve wagon utilisation through reduction in the average lead distance needs to be reversed since the comparative advantage of the railways lies in long distance traffic. Wagon utilisation rate can be improved by better network management and improving the average running speed of the trains. The speed of freight trains is very low and the turn-around time is very high, which reduces the competitiveness of the railways vis-a-vis the road sector. Dedicated lines for goods movements can be an option worth considering, besides a reappraisal of the priorities accorded to freight and passenger movement in different corridors.
  6. Although the Ninth Plan assessment of investment requirements has not envisaged any significant private sector participation in railways, efforts need to be initiated to encourage such participation in the future. The earlier efforts, such as the "own your wagon" scheme or leasing arrangements for track, have not performed particularly well. Consideration should be given to allowing private sector to operate trains in the low density corridors to begin with on payment of rental and service charges to the railways. This would not only improve the viability of the railways, but would also increase the utility of the presently underutilised segments of the railway network.
  7. It is important that there is an active coordination and cooperation between rail and road and between rail and port/shipping networks. This will ensure better and speedier movement of goods. The railways could consider the possibility of setting up either a joint venture subsidiary or some other mechanism of tie-ups with private road operators for better services including door-to-door movement of goods.

2.151 Roads : While the vehicle population in the country has grown at the rate of 10 per cent in the last 45 years, the road length has extended by about 4 per cent only. A number of villages are yet to be connected by all-weather roads. Another major problem is the slow movement of traffic on Indian roads. This is not only on account of poor conditions of the roads, but also due to numerous check-posts for the collection of octroi. In the Ninth Plan, the focus regarding roads should be on the following to ensure speedier movement of goods.

  1. Construction of missing links, construction of 4 lanes and 2 lanes where single lane stretch exists, construction of bridges and flyovers. There is a need to focus on the completion of ongoing projects. Multi-laning of high density corridors should receive adequate attention.
  2. Providing all-weather roads wherever they do not exist and promoting energy conservation and environment protection.
  3. It is obvious that the provision of such a large network would need participation not only of the government agencies but also the private sector. For mobilising resources, dedicated levies and user charges will have to be imposed. Tolls can be charged on high density traffic corridors and the major bridges. The revenue thus earned should be spent on the development and maintenance of roads and provision of highway amenities. For encouraging private sector participation, various tax concessions have been offered. These need to be carried further. Consideration also needs to be given to the use of land development as a method of improving the viability of private investment in the road sector. For this, legislative changes may be necessary, particularly at the State-level.
  4. The procedures for acquisition of land for construction of roads, environmental clearance, etc. should be simplified. In particular, issues relating to right of way can prove to be major hindrances to private participation in the road sector. Legislative changes would be needed in this regard before any significant progress can be expected in terms of private sector participation.
  5. Octroi and entry tax are important sources of revenue for many State and local governments. However, they lead to reduced speed of vehicles, higher energy consumption, etc. Abolition of such fiscal barriers to smooth operation of the transport system and substituting them by alternative means of revenue collection and sharing would help in increasing the efficiency and speed of movement on the roads.
  6. Most of the State Road Transport Undertakings are making losses on their operations. This is on account of the unremunerative tariff charged by most of the State Transport Undertakings. In terms of physical performance, viz. energy consumption, there has been some improvement in recent years, but is not sufficient to make up for the losses incurred on account of lower tariff. Therefore, tariffs need to be revised in line with the cost based on minimum productivity norms. Private bus operators are also being encouraged in a number of States, with mixed results. A more rational tariff structure coupled with stricter monitoring of route and timing violations may overcome some of the negative features that have been experienced.

2.152 Ports : As there will be a greater dependence of the Indian economy on international trade (larger volume of exports and imports), it will call for the expansion and better utilisation of the existing port facilities in the country. The productivity of ports in India is extremely low. Both the idle berth time as well as the turn-around time of ships is quite high by international standards. Equipment utilisation has been low on account of various operational constraints such as equipment break-down, over-aging of equipment, power failure etc. The Ninth Plan will have to mainly address itself to improving the productivity at the ports.

  1. Some of the areas that need attention are size of the ships, automation, containerisation, etc. Mechanised loading and unloading facilities would need to be developed at certain ports, keeping in view the likely large increase in volume of imports of certain commodities like coal, oil, etc.
  2. Night navigation facilities would need attention at all the major ports to improve the turn-around of vessels. The maintenance of port infrastructure would also need to be improved.
  3. The productivity of labour and equipment will have to be increased for achieving the desired results. One of the reasons for low productivity could be the absence of dedicated jetties. Introduction of dedicated jetties could improve the productivity. This will also call for introduction of mechanised aids and cargo handling techniques.
  4. Private sector participation will have to be encouraged. This will enhance the competition in this sector and thereby help in improving the efficiency, productivity and quality of service. For greater private participation, joint ventures of Indian and foreign companies, between public and private enterprises and among private parties will have to be considered.
  5. The setting up of an independent Tariff Regulatory Authority of India will help in fixing the various port charges and also the charges to be collected by private providers of port facilities.

2.153 Telecommunication : The telecommunication sector has witnessed a substantial growth rate in the last decade or so. The spread of telecommunication facilities on per capita basis has nevertheless been slow as compared to even the other developing countries. Most of the rural areas still do not have any means of telecommunication. This sector is characterised by near monopoly of the provision of services by the public sector. Even manufacturing of telecomm equipment was mainly in the hands of public sector till 1991. Since then, the manufacturing of telecom equipment has been deregulated. During the Eighth Plan, resource mobilisation in this sector has been fairly encouraging vis-a-vis the target set at the beginning of the Eighth Plan. During this period, the sector has also witnessed rapid diversification of value-added services viz. radio paging, cellular mobile phone, etc. registering a healthy growth. With the opening of the sector, the prices of some of the telecom equipments as well as provision of the services have declined. As a result, the telecom sector is likely to be one of the fastest growing sector in the economy.

2.154 The Ninth Plan would aim at providing telephone on demand, achieving universal coverage, ensuring the world standard services, the emergence of the country as a major manufacturing base of telecom equipments and their exports, etc. Rural connectivity would also be an important goal in the Ninth Plan. The strategy to achieve this objective would be as follows:

  1. The telecommunication activity, being commercial in nature, requires commercial principles to be applied in its operation. The service provision by the public sector will have to be financed mostly from internal and extra budgetary resources with little reliance on the budgetary support.
  2. The private sector is expected to supplement the efforts made by the Government to enhance the telecommunication facilities. The success of different organisations engaged in providing telecom services will depend on the quality of service and the efficiency of operation including billing, fault repairing etc. Computerisation of various sub-activities has to be an integral part for improving the quality of service provided.
  3. Telecom is an area where the technology changes occur very fast. Joint ventures with international companies could help in bringing in the best technology.
  4. To ensure greater competition and efficiency of services, it is necessary that the Department of Telecommunication should function only as a policy making body and not a service provider. The regulatory function has already been entrusted to the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The TRAI is an autonomous institution and it should be made self-financing one. The monopoly of Department of Telecommunication in all the subactivities, viz. distance services, internet connections, basic services etc., should be dismantled and competition has to be encouraged.
  5. Provision of telecom services will require substantial funds and it will not be possible for the Government alone to finance such requirements. New sources of long-term funds and other instruments viz. licence fee, etc. will have to be tapped.

2.155 Steel : The production of crude steel (including from secondary producers) increased from 22.16 million tonnes in 1991-92 to 27.38 million tonnes in 1995-96. The demand for steel in 2001-02 is likely to be 31.06 million tonnes. The production target has been fixed at 38.01 million tonnes. Table 2-37 gives the demand, production and the exports, imports for finished steel during the Ninth Plan and the perspective period. It may be seen that despite a sizeable increase in both production and exportable surplus of steel in India, there will be an increasing trend in imports. This arises essentially on account of the demand for special grades of steel which is expected to rise with increasing sophistication in the manufacturing sector and which would not be possible to meet in an economic manner from domestic sources.

Table 2-37:Demand,Production,Exports  and  Imports of Steel 
                             (Million Tonnes)
                      2001-2         2006-7      2011-12
Demand                31.0           45.6          66.4 
Production            38.0           54.0          80.0
Imports                0.5            1.5           3.0
Exports                7.5            9.9          10.6

2.156 The Ninth Plan aims at producing steel not only for the domestic market but also for exports on the basis of the inherent strengths of the Indian steel industry. For this, the best quality of steel has to be provided at competitive prices. India has certain advantages viz. the indigenous availability of cheap and good quality iron-ore, lower labour cost, etc. On the other hand, the labour productivity is low, the quality of indigenous coal is poor and the energy usage (which is the major component of steel-making), though it is declining, is quite high by international standards. As a result, the energy cost accounts for nearly 33 per cent of the cost of producing steel in India as compared to 20 per cent in the developed countries. The competitive advantage in iron-ore and labour cost is wiped out because of the old age of the plants, obsolete technology, lower degree of automation, poor quality of coal, higher energy cost, etc. In the Ninth Plan and beyond the following areas should receive priority so that better quality steel is available at competitive prices.

  1. Import of larger quantities of coking coal (having ash content of 8 per cent). Similarly, better quality of other inputs required should also be ensured.
  2. Implementation of automation in the process routes, full capacity utilisation, improved maintenance practices, extensive mechanisation in all possible areas and pollution control measures will help in better plant availability, utilisation and in improving labour productivity.
  3. Conventional primary rolling practices have to be replaced by continuous casting technology.
  4. Introduction of quality monitoring, inspection and control measures at all stages of production and operation.
  5. The energy intensity of steel-making will have to be reduced substantially. Apart from the measures listed above, this will also call for recovery of the waste heat energy.
  6. With the considerable increase in the level of competition in the steel industry through decontrol and the emergence of new steel producers in the private sector, the need to maintain substantial public sector presence in this industry has been obviated to a substantial extent. Therefore, consideration needs to be given to privatising specific public sector plants, particularly those which are in need of substantial investment for capacity expansion and efficiency improvement. A beginning can be made with the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO).
  7. The Indian steel industry has historically not undertaken sufficient R and D to improve its efficiency and productivity through its own efforts and has relied essentially on repeated imports of technology. In recent years, however, a change is discernible and considerably greater efforts are being made to develop indigenous technologies for attaining international benchmarks. In view of the sustained growth that is projected over the perspective period, it is hoped that this trend in technology development will accelerate and the country will be able to export not only steel, but also steel technology.

2.157 Cement : The cement industry is vital for the development of infrastructure sector. The present installed capacity of cement is over 100 million tonnes while the production in 1996-97 is 76 million tonnes. The liberalisation policies, which in the case of cement industry started in 1982, helped in the strong growth of the cement sector. The capacity was 27 million tonnes in 1980-81, yielding an average annual growth rate of capacity of above 8.5 per cent. In the Ninth Plan, the production of cement is projected to increase to 110 million tonnes. Table 2-38 gives the demand, production, exports and imports of cement at the end of the Ninth Plan.

Table 2-38:Demand,Production,Exports  and  Imports of Cement
                                    (Million Tonnes)
    Demand                                109.0
    Production                            113.0
    Imports                                 -
    Exports                                 4.0

2.158 The cement industry is characterised by high energy cost, requirement of infrastructure facilities like coal, power, railways, ports for movement, alternative processes of producing cement etc. In recent years, most of the cement plants have shifted away from wet process to dry process. The energy consumption per tonne of cement has been declining, though it still remains substantially higher than the international levels. Shortage of power, railway wagons and good quality coal are the major problem areas that have to be overcome in the Ninth Plan. The strategy for the Ninth Plan would include the following measures :

  1. (i) Improving the capacity utilisation in the cement industry. The cement industry in the past has achieved higher capacity utilisation than has been the trend in the recent years. One of the reasons is the shortage of power. This also results in higher operating cost. Provision of sufficient and reliable capacity utilisation will have to be ensured.
  2. (ii) Ensuring availability of good quality of coal and other raw materials viz. limestone etc. Efforts will have to be made to increase the energy efficiency of producing cement.
  3. (iii) Cement, being a low-value, high-volume commodity, will need to be transported long distances as well as to the ports for exports. Sufficient wagons and enhanced port handling facilities will have to be ensured in order to make these activities viable on an ongoing basis.

2.159 Fertiliser : The fertiliser industry is also highly capital and energy intensive. Because of their use in the farm sector, the prices of fertilisers are kept low. The Eighth Plan had advocated removal of subsidy in a phased manner and creation of free market conditions for fertilisers. The phosphatic and potash fertilisers were decontrolled while the prices of nitrogen fertiliser are still controlled. As a result, the prices of phosphatic and potash fertilisers have increased rapidly resulting in distortions in the use of fertilisers. The over dosing of comparatively cheaper nitrogen fertilisers has serious implications for long-term fertility of soil. Table 2-39 gives the demand, production, imports and exports of nitrogenous fertiliser on the basis of the recent experience.

Table 2-39:Demand, Production, Exports  and  Imports of
           Nitrogenous Fertiliser
                            (Million Tonnes)
                      2001-02        2006-07 
                        I      II
Demand                13.4   17.9     16.4 
Production            14.0   14.0        
Imports                -      3.9
Exports                0.6     - 
Note: 1. Scenario I for 2001-02 assumes that the subsidy on nitrogenous fertilisers is removed in a phased manner,and is consistent with the strategy outlined for agriculture. Scenario II is the counter-factual which assumes continuance of the subsidy.
2. The projection for 2006-07 is consistent with cenario I.

2.160 The pricing policy for fertilisers should aim at maintaining the nutrient contents of soil, reducing the subsidy provided and encouraging fresh investment in the sector. The choice of feedstocks for producing fertilisers is also an important issue. The cost of producing fertiliser by naphtha route is higher than producing fertiliser with natural gas as the feedstock. However, due to the uncertainty about the availability of gas, the dismantling of the APM regime in the petroleum sector would mean that naphtha would not be available to fertiliser sector at concessional rates. The question of domestic production of fertiliser versus imports will have to be looked into in view of the decontrol of fertiliser prices. The economics of setting up fertiliser plants based on LNG will also have to be considered. Import of fertilisers will require proper infrastructure (port and railway facilities) for movement of fertilisers. While setting up these facilities, note has to be taken of the fact that the demand is seasonal. A comprehensive scheme for buffer stocks will have to be implemented in view of the large and rising demand and to facilitate better utilisation of railways and port infrastructure.

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