The newly constituted Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) is expected to give big boost to economy on Thursday by setting the ball rolling for coal, power and oil projects worth Rs. 1 lakh crore and help banks in funding infrastructure projects.
The committee constituted to act as one stop clearance mechanism for projects worth Rs 1,000 crore or more is expected to clear the hurdles for attracting investments for big ticket projects before the budget session starting on February 21.
In its first meeting, government sources said that about 25 projects of coal, power, oil and gas are expected to dominate the meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Sources said that the slew of projects for consideration include two oil and gas projects of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and one each of public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and GVK group.
In addition, the cabinet committee would also discuss power projects of Adani and India Bulls facing coal linkage problems because of delay in environment clearance to the fossil fuel mining in different states.
Officials sources said that the Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia has already submitted a report on problem of coal linkages for many power plants on the basis of letters written by Chief Ministers of various states.
Prime Minister Singh had assured the CM at National Development Council meeting in December that the Central government would look into their issues raised by them over coal linkages. The panel is reported to have recommended time-bound environment and forest clearances for these projects to improve country’s energy generation and prevent adverse impact of the delay on banks, which have financed the power projects.
The public sector State Bank of India is said to have invested in 12 projects worth Rs. 70,000 crore, IDBI in projects worth Rs. 13,000 crore and ICICI Bank in three projects worth Rs. 14,000 crore. The banks had threatened to withdraw from the projects if their future is not secured.
The government sources said the CCI is expected to discuss exposure of public and private sector banks to investment, especially in power projects with pending coal linkages.
Agenda for CCI
Reliance Industries Limited, ONGC and GVK group’s pending oil and gas projects
Adani and IndiaBulls power plants facing coal linkages
25 power projects with pending coal linkages
Defence agencies opposition to oil and gas exploration projects
Banks facing problem with delay in execution of power projects