In all debates over India's burgeoning economy, PPP is of late the trisyllabic mantra often invoked to address the mess that is infrastructure. But it would be unfair to suggest that PPP, or public-private partnership, in infrastructure is just a catch phrase. On the contrary, there has been a consistent effort at fine-tuning policy and a demonstrable urgency shown at the ground level, especially in the last five years. While the government has provided the momentum and expectations are high, the onground reality shows that the learning curve is very steep. As they say, a lot remains to be done.
The statistics speak for themselves. The department of economic affair's first nationwide survey of 221 PPP infrastructure projects being carried out with an estimated investment of $25 billion reveals that road projects account for nearly 36 per cent of the value (and 78 per cent in terms of number). Among all the traditional domains of partnership—roads, power, railways, ports, airports and telecom—it is only in roads that PPPs have been making good headway. Next is power—it has shown reasonable progress of late. Airports is a fledgling area, making small yet significant strides.