INFRASTRUCTURE

INFRASTRUCTURE INFRASTRUCTURE: DEFINITION

Planning Commission:
(Secretariat for Infrastructure)

While Infrastructure is recognised as a crucial input for economic development, there is no clear definition of infrastructure according to the current usage of the term in India. For policy formulation, setting of sectoral targets and monitoring projects, a clear understanding of what is covered under the rubric of ‘infrastructure’ is necessary to ensure consistency and comparability in the data collected and reported by various agencies over time.

The Rangarajan Commission indicated six characteristics of infrastructure sectors, (a) Natural monopoly, (b) High-sunk costs, (c) Non-tradability of output (d)Non-rivalness (up to congestion limits) in consumption, (e) Possibility of price exclusion, and (f) Bestowing externalities on society. Based on these features (except b, d and e), the Commission recommended inclusion of following in
infrastructure in the first stage:
• Railway tracks, signalling system, stations
• Roads, bridges, runways and other airport facilities
• T&D of electricity
• Telephone lines, telecommunications network
• Pipelines for water, crude oil, slurry, waterways, port facilities
• Canal networks for irrigation, sanitation or sewerage.
4. The Commission further recommended that considering characteristics (b),
(d) and (e) also, the above list may be extended to include the following in the
second stage:
• Rolling stock on railways
• Vehicles, aircrafts
• Power generating plants
• Production of crude oil, purification of water
• Ships and other vessels.

Dr. Rakesh Mohan Committee in “The India Infrastructure Report” included Electricity, gas, water supply, telecom, roads, industrial parks, railways, ports,airports, urban infrastructure, and storage as infrastructure. Except industrial parks and urban infrastructure, all these sub-sectors are treated by CSO also as infrastructure.

As per the RBI, a credit facility is treated “infrastructure lending” to a borrower company which is engaged in developing, operating and maintaining, or developing, operating and maintaining any infrastructure facility that is a project in any of the following sectors, or any infrastructure facility of a similar nature;
i) a road, including toll road, a bridge or a rail system;
ii) a highway project including other activities being an integral part of
the highway project;
iii) a port, airport, inland waterway or inland port;
iv) a water supply project, irrigation project, water treatment system,
sanitation and sewerage system or solid waste management system;
v) telecommunication services whether basic or cellular, including radio paging, domestic satellite service (i.e. a satellite owned and operated by an Indian company for providing telecommunication service), network of trunking, broadband network and internet services;
vi) an industrial park or special economic zone;
vii) generation or generation and distribution of power;
viii) transmission or distribution of power by laying a network of new transmission or distribution lines;
ix) construction relating to projects involving agro-processing and supply of inputs to agriculture;
x) construction for preservation and storage of processed agro-products, perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables and flowers including testing facilities for quality;
xi) construction of educational institutions and hospitals;
xii) any other infrastructure facility of similar nature.

For raising external commercial borrowings funds, the RBI has defined infrastructure to include (i) power, (ii) telecommunication, (iii) railways, (iv) road including bridges, (v) sea port and airport, (vi) industrial parks and (vii) urban infrastructure (water supply, sanitation and sewage projects) vide their circular dated 2nd July, 2007.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA):
The IRDA (Registration of Indian Insurance Companies) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2008 defined infrastructure to include followings:
(i) a road, including toll road, a bridges or a rail system.
(ii) a highway projects including other activities being integral part of the highway project.
(iii) a port, airport, inland waterways or inland port.
(iv) a water supply project, irrigation project, water treatment system, sanitation and sewerage system or solid waste management system.
(v) telecommunication services whether basic or cellular including radio paging, domestic satellite services (i.e. a satellite owned and operated by an Indian company for providing telecommunication services), network
of trunking, broadband network and internet services.
(vi) an industrial park or special economic zone.
(vii) generation or generation and distribution of power.
(viii) transmission or distribution of power by laying a network of new transmission or distribution lines.
(ix) construction relating to projects involving agro-processing and supply of inputs to agriculture.
(x) construction for preservation and storage of processed agro-products,perishable goods such as fruits, vegetables and flowers including testing facilities for quality.
(xi) construction of educational institutions and hospitals.
(xii) any other public facility of similar nature as may be notified by the Authority in this behalf in the Official Gazette.

Income Tax Department:
For an infrastructure company, Section 80-IA of the Income Tax allows deduction of 100% profit from its income during initial 5 years of operation and then 30% deduction of profit from income during another 5 years. For this purpose
infrastructure covers electricity, water supply, sewerage, telecom, roads & bridges,ports, airports, railways, irrigation, storage (at ports) and industrial parks/SEZ.

World Bank:
The World Bank treats power, water supply, sewerage, communication, roads & bridges, ports, airports, railways, housing, urban services, oil/gas production and mining sectors as infrastructure.

Economic Survey:
The Economic Survey considers power, urban services,
telecommunications, posts, roads, ports, civil aviation, and railways under infrastructure sector.

Decision of the Empowered Sub-Committee of the Committee on
Infrastructure on definition of infrastructure:
The Empowered Sub-Committee of the Committee on Infrastructure in its meetings held on 11th January, 2008 and 2nd April 2008 under the chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission discussed the subject matter. There was consensus on including the following in the broad definition of infrastructure:
i) Electricity (including generation, transmission and distribution) and
R&M of power stations,
ii) Non-Conventional Energy (including wind energy and solar energy),
iii) Water supply and sanitation (including solid waste management,
drainage and sewerage) and street lighting,
iv) Telecommunications,
v) Roads & bridges,
vi) Ports,
vii) Inland waterways,
viii) Airports,
ix) Railways (including rolling stock and mass transit system),
x) Irrigation (including watershed development),
xi) Storage,
xii) Oil and gas pipeline networks.