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3G auction to lead rise in investments: Montek
The Cabinet's decision to auction 3G spectrum in January next year will give a fillip to investments in port, power, telecom and roads in the next 12-18 months, deputy Planning Commission chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said.

"The 3G auction decision taken yesterday is a major one and will open the door to a lot of investments in 12 to 18 months in power, telecom, roads and port," Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here today address via video-conferencing at the CII-Suresh Neotia Centre of Excellence.

The Cabinet yesterday decided to stay with the January 2010 schedule for the auction of 3G spectrum but would allot the airwaves only in August.

He also said the ministry of roads and highways has set an ambitious target to bid for 8,000 kms of road projects in the current fiscal compared to an average of less than 2,000 kms in the previous three years.

Ahluwalia said the Planning Commission lent full support to the demand of the roads and highways ministry to bring some changes in model concession for road projects and agreed to the changes sought.

"This was done after an internal review of the situation after the road programme got interrupted after the Lehman Brothers crisis and we hardly had any bids for the road project that was bid out in the last quarter," he said.

Ahluwalia said he was not satisfied with the progress in the infrastructure sector as it could expand faster but was confident that in one year from now India would definitely be able to say activities in infrastructure had gathered momentum.

Underlining the importance of manufacturing, he said the service sector alone cannot provide sustainable growth of 9-10 per cent.

He also said there should be enabling labour laws to encourage private companies to hire in large numbers and added that he was in favour of benchmarking India with China.

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