Don’t get your hopes up that India’s infrastructure will start to look like China’s after Narendra Modi’s historic victory. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party made big promises in its election manifesto, among them 100-trillion rupees ($1.4-trillion) of investments in infrastructure by 2024 that would double the length of highways by 2022 and lead to a similar increase in the number of large commercial airports. Despite the impressive show, Modi and his party put up in the lower-house elections, they don’t have a majority in the upper house of India’s parliament. Numbers move more slowly in the Rajya Sabha, with a third of members retiring every two years. That means that passing legislation such as a land-acquisition bill, which is crucial to speed up infrastructure development, will remain a tough ask until at least 2020. Access to land, which is expensive and difficult to acquire, remains the single biggest issue for why road and other construction projects stall in India, according t...

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