Monday, Sep 22, 2014

States take cue from Centre, begin monitoring projects

Written by Surabhi | New Delhi | Posted: June 14, 2014 3:17 am

Official monitoring of infrastructure projects has expanded sharply to include developments worth Rs 100 crore as states have begun to mirror the Centre’s efforts to track such projects and speed up their implementation.

As many as nine state governments will now monitor the progress of infrastructure projects worth Rs 100 crore and more to help remove bottlenecks and ensure their timely completion – and more states are expected to join soon.

States including Orissa, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have already rolled out such websites. Meanwhile, the Jharkhand government will launch its portal on Friday, followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, later this month.

“Almost all state governments want to emulate the Centre’s model of project monitoring to help remove bottlenecks for completion of such projects. Five states have now also launched portals for project monitoring group (PMG), while another four will be started this month,” said the official.

While the PMG, set up by the Cabinet Secretariat, tracks the implementation of projects over Rs 1,000 crore, similar committees set up by state governments are now overseeing infrastructure projects between Rs 100 crore and Rs 1,000 crore.

“The portals of the states and the Central PMG are connected. So once a developer registers with the state PMG, all state-related issues are sent to nodal officers there, while those relating to the Centre immediately come to the Central PMG,” said a senior government official.

The move comes at a time when the industry has been demanding that the threshold for approvals by the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) and monitoring by the PMG is reduced to at least Rs 500 crore from the current Rs 1,000 crore.

Industry chamber CII, at a pre-Budget consultation with finance minister Arun Jaitley last week, had called for a reduction in the threshold of the CCI to monitor projects of Rs 500 crore and above.

“With state governments now on board, this in a roundabout way addressed the demand immediately. A decision on the CCI threshold can be taken up later,” said the official. Since its inception in July last year, the PMG led by Anil Swarup has been tracking stalled projects both in the public and private sectors and to remove the implementation bottlenecks. Till date, 438 projects have been referred to it, of which issues in 155 projects involving an investment of Rs 5.5 lakh crore has been addressed.

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