Plan panel to seek Cabinet nod on remedies for PPP projects
Aug 29 2013 , New Delhi
"Definitely," Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said when asked whether a note on PPP projects would be placed before the Cabinet in the next fortnight.
He said he had called a meeting tomorrow of secretaries of infrastructure ministries, including power, railways, road transport and highways, shipping, urban development and aviation to discuss problems facing PPP projects.
The meeting will also deliberate on steps to boost investor confidence.
"We have to wait and see what comes out of that. We will discuss this with the Finance Minister P Chidambaram immediately after the St Petersburg summit," he added.
According to Ahluwalia, the Commission has prepared a detailed Cabinet note on issues related to PPP projects and it has been circulated to ministries for their comments. PPP projects are hampered because of delays in clearances and land acquisitions, among others, making them unviable.
"I have given a copy of it to the Finance Minister because we have to do this in consultation with the finance ministry...We will then take a consolidated view, depending upon the discussions," Ahluwalia added.
Asked whether the Commission has completed the basic spadework for the Cabinet proposal, he said, "Many of my officers are meeting with stakeholders and experts. The problems are identified based on these discussions."
In May, amid rising concerns over delays and cost overruns in PPP projects, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked the Commission to prepare a draft bill to put in place an institutional mechanism for speedy resolution of issues related to public contracts.
The Commission was asked to prepare the draft Bill on Dispute Resolution in public contracts in consultation with all stakeholders and ministries.
Asked about the view that a regulator for expressways should not be under the National Highways Authority, he said, "It is my view. In the 11th Five-Year Plan, we have said that there should be a separate National Expressways Authority. Expressways are completely different from normal highways. Therefore, in my view, it should be a separate organisation."