Govt clears road projects worth Rs.11,500 crore
The government on Thursday approved nine road projects of 1,226 km and worth R11,597 crore from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, as part of its effort to give an impetus to investments and accelerate economic growth.
A finance ministry statement said on Thursday that the relevant Empowered Committee cleared these road projects. The Viability Gap Funding (VGF) involved is R2,295 crore, it said. These projects are at an advanced stage of bidding/construction and are expected to result in disbursal of R500.00 crore from the Centre during 2012-13, it added.
The finance minister P Chidambaram had recently mooted a National Investment Board chaired by the Prime Minister to fast-track infrastructure projects over R1,000 crore.
Earlier in July, the Public-Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) had given clearance to eight new road projects worth R8,356 crore, covering a stretch of 757.5 km.
In a bid to fast-track stalled infrastructure projects, the finance ministry had assured help to infra companies in achieving financial closures through banks.
The ministry had also sought the status report on projects that have not been implemented from various infrastructure ministries. Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) secretary Arvind Mayaram had written to various secretaries, including roads, highways and transport, shipping and ports, petroleum, oil and gas, power and coal, asking for details of the projects that are stuck.
Mayaram and department of financial services secretary DK Mittal held a meeting with the secretaries to examine the progress on various projects. The government is keen to remove obstacles that are hampering the execution of projects in the infra sector, sources said.
In his first media briefing on August 6, Chidambaram said the government would work to get major infrastructure projects moving.
"In the roads and highways sector, 18 projects are stuck due to a delay in the financial closure, 39 projects are awaiting environment and forest clearance, six are on hold because of delay in wildlife clearances," said a senior government official. Besides, there are over 30 projects above R1,000 crore that have been already awarded, but not executed so far.
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