Media reports say that the Union government has put 23 big-ticket power projects, which were stalled for want of fuel supply linkages and environmental clearances on fast track. These projects are estimated to generate 23,000 mw of power capacity across the country. In addition, over 1,600 km of power transmission lines in central India have also been taken up on a priority basis as part of the first set of private projects being pushed through by a special cell in the cabinet secretariat, which was set up recently by Manmohan Singh to expedite large investment projects and improve withering investor sentiment.
Union Finance minister P Chidambaram has asked the the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) to try and unlock investments worth over Rs 7 lakh crore by reviving 215 projects that have hit implementation roadblocks. There are 341 projects worth Rs 10.5 lakh crore that are held up in red tape across India.
Government officials concerned said that the special cell will strive to reach a resolution on the clearances holding up these projects, estimated to be worth around Rs 1.25 lakh crore, at two separate meetings this week with the coal and environment ministries.
It has been decided that project developers would be allowed to attend these meetings so that they can put forward their points of view. The discussions on these projects will also help the government to evolve a protocol on the best strategy for expediting such investments, the officials said.
The strategy devised by the Cabinet Secretariat's special cell to resolve problem areas is to try and unravel last-mile implementation issues holding up each project through tripartite discussions between 'sponsor' ministries, under whose domain the project falls, and 'recipient' ministries such as environment, coal and home affair, where the hurdles may have originated from.