Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hoped that the Indian economy will grow at 10% in the “near future” and that this “rapid growth” will in “10 to 20 years” will “remove the ancient scourge of poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment.” Speaking at the inauguration of a four-lane Nagpur-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Bangalore highway Singh said that this North-South corridor link was “expremely important” for national development and represents the “first-rate infrastructure” that his Government is building.
Part of growing at such a rapid pace is large-scale investments in infrastructure especially by private sources and mainly from overseas which are opposed by his communist allies and rightwing politicians. India does not have a history of poverty and this crisis has been because of decades of socialism, communist-inspired policies, and poor administration.
Ironically, the prime example of bad administration is the National Highways project where only a small fraction of planned 35,000 kilometer highway system had been completed at a very exorbitant cost. Federal Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T.R. Baalu often gloats over the scope of the project but says little about how much of the project is really done.
Singh should set up a review mechanism based on completed work and not for conceptualizing projects and spending sparse funds.