In keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to remove all hurdles in the way of investments, made to the US delegation led by President Barack Obama, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has pulled up various ministries for stalling big-ticket projects.
With more than 300 big-ticket infrastructure projects, including transport, steel and power, facing delays for the past several months, the PMO directed the ministries concerned to remove the obstacles at the earliest.
The Cabinet Secretary, in his letter to different departments, also warned of strict action if any project was stuck due to procedural delay.
With the PMO directly monitoring the progress of implementation of big projects, the Cabinet Secretary also directed the officials concerned to personally take up the matter with respective state governments if the delays are from their side.
Since the Centre has cleared the major obstacle of acquiring land required by big projects by promulgating an ordinance to facilitate implementation of the land acquisition Act, officials must ensure the state governments begin acquiring land if projects were delayed for want of land, the PMO directed.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set up the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) last year to prod ministers and bureaucrats to end policy paralysis after the government came under attack from industrialists for red tape.
The PMG is now directly administered by the PMO and the prime minister holds regular meetings to review the progress.
So far, a total of 378 major projects involving investment worth Rs 17.25 lakh crore were pending for want of clearances from various departments like environment and forest, delayed land acquisition, lack of co-ordination between various government agencies and clearances stuck at the state government level.
The Centre has already instructed the states to set up PMGs on the lines of the one at the Centre to enable effective monitoring of project implementation.