India Inc to PM: govt delaying mega projects

Updated on May 26, 2007 02:22 AM IST
In a letter to the PM it is alleged the government was delaying some key projects for no apparent reason, report Arun Kumar and Gaurav Choudhury.
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Hindustan Times | ByArun Kumar and Gaurav Choudhury, New Delhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's suggestion to India Inc on Thursday to look beyond the bottomline may have been the latest salvo in an ongoing government-versus-industry see saw.

And, it seems, industry captains had earlier apprised the prime minister about the government's lackadaisical approach in clearing key projects. This, they claimed, adversely affected the government's reputation.

In a letter — a copy of which is with


— to the prime minister on April 9, Ratan N Tata, India, Chairman, Investment Commission, has alleged that the government was delaying some key projects for no apparent reason.

He said: "This could hurt the image and reputation of the good work that the government is doing in moving India towards an open and transparent economy. The net result is that the country was being negatively impacted in investment and industrial growth and the opportunity of being globally competitive."

"Sustained rapid economic growth and confidence that the reform process is moving forward, though perhaps not at the pace that you would have wanted, have all been contributing factors to the heightened interest in India," the letter added.

The commission — which also has HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh and former HLL Chairman Ashok Ganguly as its members — in its letter has named some of the mega projects, entailing a total investment of $58 billion (Rs 2,35,000 crore), that have not taken off due to delays in land and resource allocation.

These include Korean steel major Posco's $10 billion project in Orissa, Mittal Steel's $18 billion project in Orissa and Jharkhand, Tata Steel's $45 billion projects in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Reliance Energy's $4 billion in Orissa and Tata Power's $4 billion projects in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

These projects have not taken off ostensibly due to delay in land and resource allocation (raw materials), the letter pointed out. The commission has sought a meeting with the prime minister to discuss the issues and workout possible solutions.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has already sought replies from seven administrative departments — steel, power, coal, petroleum, disinvestments, IT and the financial sector — on the matter first on April 20 and then sent a reminder on May 1.

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