To ensure that clearances given to stalled projects translate into actual investment on the ground, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed the cabinet secretariat to closely track such infrastructure projects. The decision was taken last month at a meeting chaired by Pulok Chatterjee, principal secretary to PM. “The Project Monitoring Group (PMG) set up at the cabinet secretariat to resolve bottlenecks holding up infrastructure projects has now been entrusted to track expenditure/ investments on stalled projects that have been cleared,” a senior government official said.
Since July, 92 stalled projects with investment of over Rs. 3 lakh crore have been cleared by the PMG. But there has been no monitoring of whether the clearances have resulted in investment.
A senior government official said this is the first time that the PMO has mandated the PMG to monitor whether decisions taken by Cabinet Committee on Investment and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs related to investments in infra projects are getting implemented.
The PMO’s move has been necessitated following feedback from various government departments that in many instances despite the projects getting all clearances including environment and land, the projects failed to take off for one or the other reason.
In all, 330 projects worth about `15 lakh crore that have been stuck for over a year or more because of various bottlenecks, have approached the PMG.
The PMG has also been directed to fix timelines for clearing such projects and to monitor that the ministries concerned are adhering to them. “The PMO has said priority should be given to the manufacturing sector,” said an official.
Industry watchers have welcomed the move saying it will help bring momentum back and help revive the investor sentiment.