PPP model needed to get sufficient funds for development: Govt

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Government today justified the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, saying it is needed as it allows infusion of private funds for development.

Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh, at the same time, assured Rajya Sabha that the government is open to improving the mechanism under which such projects function.

Replying to points raised during a discussion on a resolution by a Private Member, he said India as a developing country faces challenge to find sufficient funds for social sector schemes and not just for infrastructure.

"The PPP model should be given a chance," Singh said.

During the discussion, a majority of speakers had expressed the need for some kind of review mechanism to ensure removal of any scope for corruption.

Singh said that the mechanism should be such that the user should be the gainer.

He, however, did not accept a suggestion that future PPP projects in sectors like defence, airports, ports and national highways should be subjected to parliamentary approval, saying these are powers of the executive.

He assured the members that the government will look into the various aspects highlighted by the mover of the resolution K N Balagopal (CPI-M), who then withdrew it.

Earlier, Balagopal cautioned the NDA government against repeating "mistakes committed by the UPA dispensation" and suggested that such projects be brought under the purview of Lokpal.

"This government should learn from UPA government. They did a lot of mistakes and failed in the examination. I request you not to commit such mistakes," he said.

He asked the government to have a "re-look" at the PPP model amid growing complaints against inflated bills charged by private companies.

Supporting the resolution, Manishankar Aiyar (Cong) took exception to Balagopal's jibe against UPA government on PPP issue.

He took a dig at NDA government, saying that it has forgotten its "swadeshi" and was now chanting PPP.

Anil Desai (Shiv Sena), Keshav Rao (TRS), Anil Kumar Sahani (JD-U) and Munaveer Saleem Chaudhary (SP) also spoke.

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