Gears up to put infrastructure growth on fast track
The government is further fine-tuning the model concession agreement (MCA) and making changes in its policy framework to attract foreign investment to finance mega infrastructure projects, said Shri Gajendra Haldea, adviser to the deputy chairman, Planning Commission. The government felt that absence of transparent policies and regulations and also the nature of projects offered for public-private partnership (PPP) kept away many big foreign players from investing in projects here.
To help garner necessary funds to fill the critical gaps in infrastructure, the government will also consider sending copies of the MCA to embassies.
Haldea said the PPP Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) is likely to give clearance to about eight highway projects in its meeting scheduled for November 1. The projects will cost around Rs 200-1,000 crore each.
Widening of the existing two-lane carriageway of the Bangalore-Hoskate-Mulbagal section of NH-4 in Karnataka to 4/6 lane divided carriageway configuration and 6/4 laning of Zirakpur-Parwanoo section of the NH-22, including the Pinjore-Kalka-Parwanoo bypass, in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradeshboth on BOT basis under the National Highway Development Programme phase IIIare expected to be cleared in the meeting. The projects have four and three bidders, respectively.
The committee takes about a months time to clear any infrastructure project, and the PPPAC is strictly adhering to the time-frame, Haldea said, adding the committee has already cleared one project each in the ports and highway sectors. There are about 16 such proposals awaiting PPPACs approval.
To place the entire exercise of infrastructure development on fast track, structural changes are in process. Haldea said it was due to these changes that many of the ministries and departments appeared to be in loggerheads over issues like financing and procedures to be followed.