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Three mega infrastructure projects cleared
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Thursday, 24 Nov 2011
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BS reported that government gave regulatory clearances to three mega infrastructure projects involving an investment of INR 25,000 crore. These are the first among a few projects the government has shortlisted to be put on a fast track.

The projects cleared on were of Hinduja National Power Corporation Ltd in Vishakhapatnam, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, and Simhapuri Expressways Ltd in Andhra Pradesh. These had been held up because of regulatory bottlenecks.

Separtment of financial services secretary D K Mittal told reporters that “The government should take steps to see the clearance of projects is fast-tracked… The clearances have been given for projects that will now be implemented. It is expected clearances for the rest of the projects will be given before the next meeting.”

The first review meeting was taken by the finance minister on October 18, in which 12 projects worth INR 170,000 crore were discussed. At on Friday’s meeting, 12 more projects worth INR 37,000 crore with investments in the range of INR 1,500 to INR 5,000 crore were discussed. The government will take up more projects worth INR 1,000 to INR 1,500 crore in the next review meeting on December 18.

Mr Mittal said that “Bank sanction is already available in these projects, but there were some other issues (in getting various regulatory clearances). The issue came up before the finance minister as these are very important projects. We want to clear them because the money of our financial institutions is invested in these projects. If they don’t take off, that will give rise to non-performing assets.”

Mr Mittal said the Foreign Investment Promotion Board had approved the Hinduja power project envisaging an investment of about INR 6,000 crore, though L&T’s metro project (about INR 16,000 crore) was still facing some legal obstacles. The highway project in Andhra Pradesh (about INR 2,550 crore) was also held up over the environment clearance.

The government has started reviewing large projects after a meeting between Mukherjee and the industry on August 1, when industrialists expressed concerns. The finance minister is reviewing implementation of infrastructure projects valued INR 100 crore and more.

(Sourced from BS)

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