Nearly three out of 10 central infrastructure projects in India are currently held-up with delays ranging from a few months to more than ten years, government data shows.
As on June 1, 330 of 1076 projects, each worth at least Rs 150 crore, are running behind schedule, data put out by the statistic ministry showed.
“The main reasons for delay in timely completion of the Projects are law and order problems, delay in land acquisition, delay in environment and forest clearances, funding constraints, rehabilitation and resettlement issues, local body permissions, utility shifting, contractual issues,” statistics minister V Sadadananda Gowda said in reply to a Parliament question in July.
India would require about $1 trillion (Rs 67 lakh crore) — half the value of the national GDP —over the next five years to overhaul its collapsing infrastructure.
The Narendra Modi-led government aims to build 30 km of highways every day, thrice more than the previous UPA government’s target, which it had failed to achieve.
According to the road ministry, an additional Rs 1.76 lakh crore –nearly six times the annual budget of rural job guarantee scheme NREGA—will be required in the next three years to build 15,000 kms of highways.
The road and other infrastructure projects can spur economic activity, boost construction and create jobs.
According to credit rating and research firm CRISIL, the construction sector is the most labour-dependent among all non-agricultural sectors, requiring more than 12 people to produce Rs 10 lakh of real output.
In the last few years, non-performing assets (NPAs) or loans that have turned bad for banks, particularly those in the public sector, have been rising mainly due to stalled projects and sluggish domestic growth.
In the last 12 months, gross NPAs rose by 96% to Rs 6.3 lakh crore in June 2016 from Rs 3.2 lakh crore in June 2015 in 39 listed banks.
“The major steps undertaken to ensure completion of without time and cost overruns include: rigorous project appraisal; on-line Computerized Monitoring System (OCMS) for better monitoring; setting up of Standing Committees in the Ministries for fixation of responsibility for time and cost overruns; regular review of infrastructure projects by the concerned administrative Ministries; and setting up of Central Sector Projects Coordination Committees (CSPCCs) in the states,” Gowda said in his reply to Parliament.