A meeting was held among the members of the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) constituted by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, for all large projects to discuss an institutional mechanism to track stalled investment projects, both in the public and private sectors and to remove the implementation bottlenecks in these projects on a fast-track basis. Shri P.Chidambaram, Finance Minister, stated that his Ministry has compiled a list of about 215 such projects, where the banks have already funded more than Rs. 7 lakh crore.
He suggested the need for having an institutional mechanism which has sufficient authority, to coordinate with the concerned authorities and get these projects moving on the ground. Shri Anand Sharma, Commerce Minister, stated that his Ministry has done a compilation of projects in the manufacturing sector, which are stalled due to various inter-agency bottlenecks. He also emphasized the need to sensitize the State Governments in order to elicit their cooperation. Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister for Coal, and Shri C.P Joshi, Minister of Road Transport and Highways welcomed the proposal to have such a coordination mechanism for investment projects.
Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of Power agreed with the need to have a project management group at the apex level which would champion investment projects, both in the public and private sectors. Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment & Forests, stated that her Ministry has an on-line portal where the status of all projects which have been submitted for clearances with the Ministry, could be tracked. She further stated that pendency of projects for various Environment and Forest clearances has now been significantly reduced, and the process to accord such clearances has been further streamlined.
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, was of the opinion that this proposed institutional mechanism should be put in place at the earliest, and 20 -30 major projects chosen across the sectors on priority, for speedy resolution. This will work as a confidence booster to investment sentiment and signal the government’s seriousness on the issue, he said. Principal Secretary to Prime Minister apprised that a list of projects of the public sector from various Ministries such as Coal, Power, and Shipping has already been compiled. FICCI has also submitted a list of 52 projects in the private sector, with an investment greater than Rs.1000 crore, which are delayed due to various bottlenecks.
He was of the opinion that the monitoring mechanism may be anchored in the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure, with a supportive cell, suitably empowered, which brings these projects to the CCI, and also follow up on the decisions of the CCI. The Cabinet Secretary stated that the Ministries dealing with such stalled projects will need to monitor the projects closely and instructions have already been issued in this regard on 16.1.2013.
He apprised that the Cabinet Secretariat has prepared an ‘Online CCI Projects Tracking System’ portal for tracking projects of over Rs.1000 crore. The Cabinet Secretary presented snap shots of the tracking system available on the Cabinet Secretariat Website. Secretary, DEA invited attention to the fact that very often, stalled projects are in the private sector or in sectors not in the infrastructure domain, e.g., in the cement industry.