The NDA government’s ‘play it safe’ approach is creating problems of slow movement in some of the key infrastructure projects like roads, ports, power, coal and environment issues, a leading industry chamber has said.
“The corporate senior functionaries feel that it is the project execution levels that the officials are taking a ‘safe’ approach. They want to go by the rule – book which at times is beset with impractical and outdated rules,” said a report by Assocham.
“Any deviation from these rules would involve exercise of discretionary powers which these officials are not willing to use,” it said. The chamber specially noted the problem with regard to officials at the project level in regard to projects in the highway sector.
According to Assocham, an overwhelming part of India Inc perceives the NDA government to be free from corruption, but feels that a strong sense of oversight on bureaucrats, PSU officials and the government heads have led to a ‘play it safe’ style of working.
The chamber said its assessment is based on its interaction with 105 corporate heads in the last one week. As many as 87 per cent of the company heads, CFOs, seniors and board functionaries say that there is feeling of a clean government certainly at the top level among the ministers, secretaries, along with an impression that there is an oversight mechanism well at work, it said.
“When it comes to banks, the focus among the bankers, from branch manager to CMD’s office is excessively on the non-performing assets (NPAs). The interaction between the industry officials and bankers indicated that quarter on quarter, the targets are to somehow reduce the NPA ratios,” Assocham said.