PM’s panel will drive execution of infra projects

The Prime Minister’s Project Monitoring Group will now start supervising the implementation of as many as 99 infrastructure projects, with investments worth Rs 3.6-lakh crore, already cleared by it.

The projects, cleared by the PMG and the Cabinet Committee on Investments, include Sterlite Energy Ltd’s project worth Rs 12,000 crore, Adani Mundra’s thermal power plant worth Rs 9,900 crore, Lanco’s Rs 6,000-crore facility, Mumbai Airport’s new terminal worth Rs 12,000 crore and Jhajjar Power Ltd’s project worth Rs 6,600 crore.

Funds locked

Bank funds worth about Rs 7-lakh crore are locked in these projects that were stuck due to various reasons, including environment clearance.

According to the Project Monitoring Group’s head Anil Swarup, now that the projects have been cleared, the next step is to ensure that they are implemented in a timely manner. “We are going to start monitoring it from this week,” Swarup told Business Line.

The growing number of clearances is also getting translated into demand for more funds. Data submitted by various Government-owned banks show that since April, a total of 173 new projects with an outlay of Rs 3.24-lakh crore have approached for assistance. Each of these projects has an investment of Rs 250 crore or more. The projects span across sectors such as power, steel, railways, ports, airports and oil. The iron and steel sector tops the list, followed by real estate, power and petroleum and natural gas.

“The fact that the number of applications listed on our Website has grown to 340 with an investment of Rs 16.5-lakh crore from less than 100 when we started off shows that investors have confidence in this mechanism,” Swarup said.

The monitoring group has created a Web-based information system, for use by both the Government and private entrepreneurs, to provide details of projects that are stuck and point out the problem areas. The information is first accessed by the Ministry or the Department concerned which verifies it and then sends it back to the PMG for further action. The PMG then brings together all Ministries involved to sort out tangles.

The monitoring group has been tasked with the responsibility of clearing infrastructure projects over Rs 1,000 crore.

Sorting out issues

While the PMG tries to sort out problems related to stuck projects on its own, the ones where there is no meeting of minds are referred to the CCI. Of the 99 projects, 34 had been forwarded to the CCI for a decision.

Source: Business Line

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