Motion picture of still life

In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked about the many steps his government has taken to boost investor sentiment. “A special cell has been set up to help big projects with clearances. The Cabinet Committee on Investment is working to remove hindrances in the way of stalled projects,” he said.

Promises and assurances are regularly made. A few weeks ago, the prime minister had held a meeting to finalise infrastructure targets for the current fiscal. At that time also, he had “highlighted the need to ramp up investment in infrastructure to revive investor sentiment.” But the fact is that infrastructure development has come to a standstill. The government, however, wants to make a motion picture of still life, hoping that somehow the buzz surrounding projects would revive them. Or at least give the appearance that something is being done.

The United Progressive Alliance government’s response is based on the

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