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Tata group bets big on infrastructure, to invest $8B

Tata group's chief Cyrus Mistry is looking to spend a whopping $8 billion (around Rs 48,880 crore) on infrastructure in India that includes development of roads, airports and housing, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Mistry, who took over the reins from Ratan Tata in December 2012, is looking to augment its three unlisted infrastructure group companies, the people privy to the development told the news agency.

Mistry, whose father and elder brother control the $2.5 billion Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a construction conglomerate, also wants group companies to bid for contracts overseas, particularly in Western Asia and Southern and Western Africa.

"Tata Housing Development Ltd, Tata Projects Ltd and Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL), which builds information technology parks, malls and residential complexes, are among the infrastructure units that are aiming to more than triple their order books to Rs 70,000 crore in five years," the news agency quoted Sarika Kapoor Chokshi, a Tata Sons Ltd spokeswoman in Mumbai, as saying.

While Tata Realty and Infrastructure is looking to invest Rs 22,700 crore over the next five years to develop airports, highways, urban transportation and hotels, Tata Housing is developing 26 projects across 10 Indian cities. 

The move by the Tata group is significant since India has plans to spend over $1 trillion over the next five years on infrastructure development in the country and 40 per cent of this is expected to come from private sector.

Besides this, Tata group and other infrastructure companies are hoping that the infrastructure sector will take a new turn after the new government comes into power, after election in mid-May. It may be noted that the developers are reluctant to go ahead with their plans due to delay in required approvals on time.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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