Hyderabad/Bangalore: Finance Minister P Chidambaram Tuesday met senior bankers and top industrialists in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to thrash out issues that have stalled big projects due to various reasons and is likely to set up a cell in his ministry to look into these matters.
Andhra Bank CMD B A Prabhakar, who attended Chidambaram's meeting with bankers and industrialists in Hyderabad, said as many as 28 projects in infrastructure space were reviewed by the Finance Minister.
"The FM had meeting to review 28 stalled projects. He wanted to know if there is any problem. The projects have been held up for various reasons. He wanted to have first hand information from the promoters," Prabhakar told reporters after the meeting.
"If these reasons are something that is at the central government level, then it will be coordinated with the good offices of the minister. He (Chidambaram) said some of the issues may take some time. He said he (Chidambaram) would create special cell in his office to see that these issues are monitored on ongoing basis," Prabhakar said.
Replying to a query, he said the combined cost of the 28 projects is Rs 92,000 crore and banks' commitment to these projects is in the order of Rs 69,000 crore.
Earlier in the day, Chidambaram met bankers and industrialists in Bangalore. He declined to talk to the media after the 90-minute closed door meeting that was attended by CMDs of Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank, among others.
Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru was among the central government officials present at Bangalore and Hyderabad meetings.
The meetings were part of a series of sessions aimed at finding ways to accelerate growth in Asia's third-largest economy. Chidambaram has been visiting various states and meeting bankers and industrialists to identify as many as 341 projects stalled on account of issues such as gas or coal linkages, land acquisition, environmental clearances, and in some cases the inability or the unwillingness of banks to restructure loans given to the promoters.
Chidambaram first met bankers and industrialists in Mumbai. This was followed by a meet in Chennai with local bank chiefs and industrialists.
In order to clear bottlenecks clogging big projects, the government has set up a Cabinet Committee on Investment, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Replying to a query, Prabhakar said the major bottlenecks to implementing these projects are delay in land acquisition in case of road projects, delay in concluding the FSA in case of power projects with coal India limited and delay in concluding the PPAs with the state governments.
He said as many as 16 power projects and 12 road projects were reviewed by the FM.
Later in the evening Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy met Chidambaram.