As India moves to extend public-private partnerships to less traditional sectors of the economy, Joint Secretary for Infrastructure in the Ministry of Finance, Sharmila Chavaly, outlines the government's priorities.
Title: Public-Private Partnerships in India
Description: As India moves to extend public-private partnerships to less traditional sectors of the economy, Joint Secretary for Infrastructure in the Ministry of Finance, Sharmila Chavaly, outlines the government's priorities.
Joint Secretary (Infrastructure)
Department of Economic Affairs
India Ministry of Finance
So far we have done the hard core infrastructure sectors like roads, ports, airports, but the way forward we see ourselves going into non-traditional PPP sectors for India like rural health, education, ways to energy, gold chain management – the various things we are looking at and we are mounting pilots in these. And some of it, is supported by technical assistance pilot scheme from ADB.
Q: How do you see public-private partnerships helping the Indian people and economy?
A: We need over a trillion dollars of infrastructure in about five years of investment about 48% of it has to come from the private sector and a lot of it from the PPP side. So in terms of financing that where the PPP is coming for the Indian government and Indian economy. So as far as the projects are concern, the PPP projects we undertake are those that the government is traditionally supposed to provide etiher services or assets to the public. So any PPP project that is taken up is directly related to the service or asset that has to be provided to the public.
Q: What challenges lie ahead in promoting more public-private partnerships?
A: The first phase of PPPs is now done that was when we just started 8-10 years ago. We’ve now entered a more mature phase of PPPs, I think we now have among the largest project portfolios in the world, close to a thousand. The mature phase means, both as the government and the private partners have seen, we need to develop the management techniques to deal with the next phase because neither side was prepared earlier to deal with the implications of being locked in partnership for about 30 years, that’s something they’re looking at. We need to look at the possibility of getting PPPs in services that is when the initial concessionaire contract gets out, we need to look at management services. We also need to look at PPPs in areas where perhaps we haven’t thought of PPPs before. We’ve done that recently in the Skill Development Corporation where we have a skill gap in India, we have a large number of youth, we plan on skilling about 500 million by 2022. So, what we’ve done is we’ve pulled in the private partners into a PPP structure, they identify the gaps, they train the youth, and then they employ them. In one and a half years we’ve done about 400,000 youth who’ve been trained and I think 80% or 75% have already been placed in jobs. So there are various new opportunities opening up, you have to grapple with the problem of dealing with the maturing phase of the old projects that we’ve seen.