Wary of infrastructure projects moving at a slow pace, the government plans to set up a high-level committee headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to look into projects that are languishing, despite intervention by the Cabinet Committee on Investment.
The move comes in the wake of rise in a number of stalled projects, which totalled Rs 10.7 lakh crore at the end December, compared with Rs 10.5 lakh crore at the end of September, according to the latest data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
Manufacturing and power together account for almost two-thirds of total stalled projects. Within stalled manufacturing projects, 78 per cent are in metals and metal products, according to the data. This could be because of a sharp fall in commodity prices, especially metal for over a year.
Stalled projects are those which get stuck due to issues concerning land acquisition, environment and other clearances along their implementation.
The high-level panel under Jaitley will oversee infrastructure projects other than those in the highway sector as close to 20 languishing projects in highway sector are being directly monitored by the Prime Minister’s office.
Currently in Davos, to participate in the World Economic Forum meet, Jaitley has made a high pitch for increased investment in the infrastructure sector by foreign players.
He also exuded confidence that stuck reform measures such as Goods and Services Tax (GST), land and other bills will get passed as the numbers in Rajya Sabha will soon change in the government’s favour.
“In the past, we had fewer such engines and we need a few more. Public investment is one that we are doing. We are concentrating on infrastructure, and for the first time in history, we have been able to rationalise the subsidies,” the Finance Minister said in Davos.
Projects in limbo
CMIE states that the number of stalled project totalled Rs 10.7 lakh crore at the end December, 2015
Projects are stalled due to issues concerning land acquisition, environment and other clearances
Manufacturing and power together account for two-thirds of total stalled projects.
During his World Economic Forum meet , Jaitley made a high pitch for increased investment in the infrastructure.