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Preparation of Draft Development Plan

Keeping in view the increasing demand for infrastructure and services in urban areas and the fact that public sector outlays are becoming inadequate the State Govt. has formulated a policy guideline for private sector participation for infrastructure development.

The State Government envisages to provide a healthy and sustainable living environment to the people of the State, with a focus on the poor and the socially disadvantaged. The provision of infrastructure of different kinds would play a key role in achieving the above vision. It has been amply brought out in various studies and reports that West Bengal needs to focus on development of various infrastructures, especially in the context of the accelerated industrial growth envisioned for the State. Therefore, provision of infrastructure, both physical and social, is a sine qua non for a healthy progress of the State. Needless to mention that state budgetary support alone cannot be expected to match with the requirement of infrastructure development. This is a countrywide phenomenon. According to the India Infrastructure Report (1996), the Ninth Plan could provide Rs.120 billion only for urban infrastructure development against an estimated requirement of about Rs.1400 billion. The Rs.l600-crore Calcutta Megacity Programme, sponsored by Government of India (Gol), has been facing fund crunch owing to inadequate flow of fund from Government of India (Gol). The Master Plan for Traffic and Transportation for KMA, prepared by #KMDA only recently, has estimated an investment requirement of around Rs. 16000 crores over a period of 25 years from 2001. All these point to the need for alternative financing sources, including mobilization of private sector investment in infrastructure development.

Given the increasing gap between demand for and supply of infrastructure, there is a need for providing an increasing allocation of investment to development of infrastructure. In the context of budgetary constraints, it is imperative for the State Government to look for alternative sources of financing. Apart from institutional finances, i.e., loan from domestic financial institutions such as HUDCO, LICI, ICICI etc. and also finances from international bodies like the World Bank, the ADB etc., the State Government is keen to mobilize private sector investment in infrastructure development.

In a limited way, the West Bengal Government has already attempted to enlist private sector participation in infrastructure development. The State Government has enacted the WB Maritime Board Act, which provides for securing private sector participation in development of Ports. In the Housing and Commercial development sector, a number of projects, such as Udayan - The Condoville; Hiland Park; and City Centre, have been taken up with private sector participation. The Leather Complex project is being implemented by the Commerce & Industries Department of Government of West Bengal (Government of West Bengal ) on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis through a private sector entity. The Second Vivekananda Bridge is being implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH), Government of India and the Public Works Department of Government of West Bengal on BOT basis through private sector participation.

Nevertheless, the experience of the State Government in working with private sector for infrastructure development has been rather limited. For a wider involvement of private sector participation in infrastructure development, it is necessary to instill confidence in the minds of prospective private sector investors and also to streamline the process of selection of private partners. To be able to achieve this, it is imperative to have a comprehensive policy on private sector participation in infrastructure development or, in other words, a Policy on Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The State Government has initiated a policy of PPP on behalf of the Urban Development Department. The State Government is also examining the scope of strengthening the policy statement to make it more proactive and supportive towards facilitating growth in infrastructure. A number of initiatives with private sector participation are at various stages of progress: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority have successfully entered into joint ventures with respect to the residential cum commercial projects namely, City Centre at Bidhannagar and Highland Park at Bagajatin. KMDA has also entered into Private partnership in creation of Kolkata West International City. KMDA has progressed in developing a Stadium-based-Commercial Complex at Rajdanga, Kolkata Logistic Hub at Kona and in beautification of Sector-V at Bidhannagar with private participation. Several other schemes to be executed with PPP are at the planning stage. Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority has initiated action in construction of a New Township near North Bengal Medical College and an Amusement Park at Dagapur. with private sector participation. ADDA has entered into joint ventures in constructing City Centre at Durgapur and the new Asansol township. Burdwan Development Authority have taken up works of residential and commercial building at Jail Complex and Court Complex, bus-cum-truck terminal at Nabhabhat, Bus-cum-truck terminal at Alisha and Satellite township at Goda. BDA has also proposed setting up a health city with private participation. The Haldia Development Authority has entered into joint ventures to set up a Food Park complex and an Integrated Waste Management Complex.
 
 
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