New Delhi: Seeking to win back investors to shore up the rupee and spur growth, the government has approved a raft of infrastructure projects worth Rs 1.83 lakh crore.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) Monday cleared hurdles faced by 18 power projects, and a similar number of projects in road, railways and petroleum.
"Our highest priority is to get the investment cycle restarted," he told reporters.
18 power projects worth Rs 83,773 crore, which were stalled because of lack of fuel linkages, will sign supply accords with Coal India Ltd by September 6.
The projects which will get coal include Adani Group's Maharashtra plant, GMR's 1,400 MW Kamalanga unit in Dhenkanal district of Odisha, Lanco's Badandh power plant in Odisha and Talwani Power of Punjab.
Besides, the CCI cleared hurdles for projects like Reliance Power's 4,000 MW ultra mega power project at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, L&T's Metro Rail project in Hyderabad, Hindalco Industries project and Essar Power's Jharkhand project.
"Yesterday CCI met to look at a large number of projects. It cleared projects with a total outlay of Rs 1.83 lakh crore ... Message that we are sending, we are very keen to get investment cycle restarted. The cycle has started and we are pushing it further," Chidambaram told reporters.
Chidambaram said apart from power sector projects, there are nine projects with a total outlay of over Rs 14,084 crore, where the banks have disbursed Rs 1,484 crore.
"There are no issues related to nine projects that are pending. All of them have been resolved. Only action taken reports are required to be sent from time to time to be placed before the CCEA by concerned ministries," he said.
Another nine projects reviewed by the CCI involved an investment of over Rs 85,000 crore.
The Finance Minister further said that banks have already disbursed as much as Rs 30,000 crore for the power sector projects and with clearances in place they would provide more funds for these projects.
On land acquisition problems, one of the major causes of delays in projects, Chidambaram said, "After the Food Bill, the one listed is Land Bill. Now that the (Food) Bill is passed, the next item on the list will be Land Acquisition Bill."
"In the Sasan project, Stage-I clearance or preliminary approvals have been given. When this is verified by the state of Madhya Pradesh and the promoter (Reliance Power) deposits the money further, clearances will be given," he said.
He said that all the necessary approvals for the L&T Metro Rail project have been granted and the Ministry of Urban Development Ministry has said the project is proceeding as per schedule.
One project of Hindalco Industries will come up before the SEZ (Special Economic Zone) approval Board on August 30 for final decision, he said.
The Minister said that 'Jaiprakash Power Madhya Pradesh', which is setting up a power plant in MP is yet to identify the land for compensatory afforestation and the Centre has conveyed it to the developer to get the job done so that further approvals can be granted.
GMR’s Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad project will be brought to the Cabinet by September 15.
As far as the Utkal Alumina plant in Odisha is concerned, there is only one issue which is that the water for the project should be drawn from the Hirakund reservoir.
"Ministry of Water Resources has written more than once to the Odisha government but there is no response. The Minister of Water Resources has been advised to meet the Chief Minister of Odisha to find out why the state government is not taking any decision on the matter," Chidambaram said.
The matter of Essar Power Jharkhand's 1,800 MW thermal plant is likely to be resolved by September 20, the Minister added.
First Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 10:41