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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Panel to settle disputes of state, private players

Ketaki Ghoghe, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 08, 2013
First Published: 08:32 IST(8/10/2013) | Last Updated: 08:37 IST(8/10/2013)

With disagreements between state agencies and private developers often derailing infrastructure projects, the government is planning to set up a public-private partnership (PPP) facilitation authority to arbitrate such disputes.

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The authority will be formed on the lines of an Electricity Regulatory Commission and will comprise independent experts.

For instance, Reliance Infrastructure and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority have disagreed on the ticket fares for the first corridor of the upcoming Metro project. Disputes such as these, arising during or after entering into the contractual agreement can be decided by this authority.

The setting up of a facilitation authority is a part of the PPP policy drafted by the state urban development department, which is expected to be put up before the cabinet soon.

The policy lays down the basic framework and guidelines for PPP projects–which form a chunk of the Mumbai Makeover — to bring in more transparency.

The policy, first drafted in 2011, has undergone at least three rounds of consultations and redrafting, following objections from several departments.

“It is a comprehensive policy that will ensure more robust planning of PPP projects and effective implementation by weeding out arbitrariness and favouritism,’’ said a senior official.

Despite being a pioneer in the implementation of the PPP model, Maharashtra has lagged behind in implementing a comprehensive PPP policy.

Under the new policy, every department has to plan such projects for five years and work out financial estimates before calling for bids.

It lays down guidelines for selecting project developers and rules out selection of single bid or direct negotiations with the developer.

It also envisages the setting up of a project development fund and a separate PPP cell.


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