Various policy initiatives and regulatory changes brought in by the government in the financial year 2020-21 are hoped to have a positive impact and pave the way for greater investment opportunities in the energy and infrastructure sector in India in the year ahead.

THE YEAR THAT WAS

With the black swan impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, much like other sectors, the Indian energy and infrastructure sector was affected to a great extent. The pandemic disrupted the supply chain and derailed project development, with several projects being delayed or postponed. Various structural reforms were proposed by the government to combat the slow growth rate of renewable energy generation and ease investment norms for the infrastructure sector.

With an aim to achieve a USD 5 trillion economy by the Financial Year (FY) 2024-25, the government is currently working towards implementing the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) which envisages total project capital expenditure in infrastructure in India at approximately INR 111 trillion (approximately USD 1.56 trillion) from 2020 to 2025, in various sectors including energy, roads, urban development, railways, rural and social infrastructure. Recently, during the second review meeting of the NIP, it was highlighted that despite the pandemic, the NIP has managed to achieve substantial progress and has now been expanded to include more than 7,300 projects against 6,835 projects when it was launched in 2019. At present, projects worth INR 44 trillion (approximately USD 619 billion) out of the INR 111 trillion (approximately USD 1.56 trillion) are in the implementation phase and projects worth INR 22 trillion (approximately USD 309 billion) are in the developmental phase. The NIP's progress so far augurs well for the future of the Indian infrastructure sector.

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