Infrastructure will soon have a wider and uniform definition that will encompass some aspects of education and health as well, ensuring asset creation across a number of sectors by making them eligible for various incentives. A panel of secretaries of various ministries is expected to clear the finance ministry's proposal.
The infra tag will allow a number of benefits to the eligible sectors, including access to easier borrowings overseas, ability to raise funds through tax-free bonds, tax concessions, and access to dedicated lenders, and the debt funds.
The finance ministry proposes to divide infrastructure into five categories transport, energy, water and sanitation, communication and social & commercial. These five categories would further have sub-categories with the physical assets of health and education getting an infra tag under the social and commercial head.
The proposal is in line with the finance ministry's plan to remove impediments in the way of infrastructure development. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced a number of measures in the Union Budget 2011-12 to spur investment in creation of physical assets.