Infra development gets Cabinet push

To give a push to the infrastructure sector, government today approved private participation to improve rail connectivity, modernisation of 1.55 lakh post offices and developing of additional facilities at Kandla port to enhance capacity for import of crude.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, also approved additional funds for the development of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata.

The government relaxed norms to connect as many as 2,687 unconnected habitations in tribal areas at a cost of Rs 5,929 crore under its ambitious rural roads scheme.

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved the policy framework for private participation in rail connectivity and capacity augmentation projects. It approved the policy proposal which has five models: Non-Government Railway, Joint Venture with equity participation by Railways, capacity augmentation through funding by customers, BOT and BOT annuity.

BOT and BOT annuity will follow the existing appraisal and approval procedure laid down by finance ministry through PPP-AC route.

"The policy would provide much-needed impetus to building of critical links missing in railway network and evacuation from ports, mines, big industrial units and plants," said an official.

CCEA also decided mandatory mixing of five per cent ethanol in petrol will be implemented across the country from next month, a step which will help the country save around 100 crore litres of fuel every year.

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