Infrastructure Current Affairs - 2020

2nd Meeting of EAC-PM focuses on Job Creation, Social Sector and Infrastructure

The Second Meeting of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has spelt out ‘clear road map’ for government to ramp up job creation and infrastructure financing avenues while investing more resources in health, education and skill development. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Bibek Debroy, Member NITI Aayog.

Key Facts

The deliberations of EAC-PM took stock of economic and social analysis done by theme groups and evolving initiatives led by different Members. It identified key issues, strategies and recommended interventions in respect of these themes.

EAC-PM spelt out clear road map for stepping up skill development, job creation; enhanced resource investment in social sector- including for Health and Education and for boosting Infrastructure financing.

It formulated far reaching recommendations to guide evolving framework for 15th Finance Commission, including incentivization of states for achieving Health, Education and Social Inclusion outcomes.

It is also evolving design of a new Economy Tracking Monitor, linking economic growth indicators with social indicators for last mile connectivity.

It held that improvements are needed in National Accounts and innovative steps for unlocking growth, exports and employment potential including through transformation of India’s Gold Market.

EAC-PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted five member EAC-PM in September 2017 as an independent body to provide advice on economic issues to the government, specifically to the Prime Minister. It consists of economists of high repute and eminence. It serves as an independent institutional mechanism, to provide informed advice to the Prime Minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and related aspects.

Government to adopt land-pooling method for airport expansion

The Union Government is working on adopting land-pooling methodology as an alternative mechanism for development and expansion of airports.

This is being done to overcome challenges that come with unavailability of land due to surge in land compensation cost after Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (or Land Acquisition Act, 2013) came in to force.

If this proposal receives Government approval then states will probably have to adopt some of features of land-pooling in their respective state acts to give it legal teeth.

Need for Land pooling

Currently airports across country are facing high passenger traffic growth and will further grow in future. Most of current functional airports are located in congested parts of cities with no scope for growth and reach saturation point even after being expanded for lack of land availability. Land acquisition in fully constructed areas around airports is very difficult causing severe capacity constraint for expansion of infrastructure at various airports. So Government is looking at land-pooling method as alternative to land acquisition for developing airport infrastructure.

Land Pooling

Under land pooling mechanism, group of land-owners pool their land and hand it over to government agency for development of infrastructure projects. After the development of land, the agency redistributes the land after deducting some portion as compensation towards infrastructure costs. Generally, people who part with their land parcels get 60-70% of their holdings back after infrastructure is developed on it. This is done to develop potential infrastructure to reduce the load on the existing congested and saturated areas. This method already has been used in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.