The Planning Commission will put the monitoring reports of over 432 Public Private Partnership projects in public domain after the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved an institutional mechanism for monitoring of these projects.
“We will place the reports on PPP projects on our website,” Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia said after the Cabinet meeting. “If the citizens want they can also seek the information under RTI”.
The plan panel had to seek the Cabinet’s approval for the monitoring mechanism after several ministries failed to implement its guidelines issued in 2009. After the approval, the panel believes the new mechanism would be put in place within a month.
India has the maximum number of projects under the PPP mode in the world with 432 being implemented by the Central government and 535 by the state governments. Several important public services such as roads, health, education and municipal services are being provided under the PPP mode.
As per the Cabinet’s decision, the quarterly monitoring reports will be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure to review the progress of PPP projects. The monitoring will include both implementation of the PPP agreement at the construction stage and after its commencement. “We would like to know whether the private partners are meeting the obligations stipulated under the agreement signed with them,” Ahluwalia said.
Under the new mechanism, each PPP implementing agency will have to set up a special project monitoring unit and its reporting ministry a project reporting unit. The reports will be submitted to the Planning Commission, which will once in three months, submit a status report to Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure. The panel’s report will also be available in public domain.
Ahluwalia said the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh felt a need to have such a mechanism as a “legitimate” concern was expressed by many people that the government was abdicating its responsibilities to private sector, which needed a proper monitoring mechanism.