16.6.15

Small drop in the ocean of development

.
.
.
.
$22 billion is a lot, but nearly not enough to accelerate Indian development.

We must remember that Chinese development is not a miracle, but sheer hard work and strategic investment by the government, the private sector and extremely high savings ratio into the transparent banking sector of China (rather than the unofficial sector as is the case in India).

China invests annually between $6--8 trillion back into the economy (Infrastructure and Industry mainly) so that the economy will grow by $1260 billion this year.

India must master the art of mobilizing the resources within the country to accelerate growth.

________________________________________________

Modi government likely to revive investment for 42 stalled projects worth Rs 1.15 lakh crore



The Narendra Modi government seems to be stepping on the pedal to revive the investment climate, facilitating clearances for 42 stalled projects worth Rs 1.15 lakh crore since it presented the Budget for 2015-16.

This marks a sharp uptick from the previous nine months over which just about 50 pending investment plans worth Rs 1.45 lakh crore were granted green signals through the project monitoring group (PMG) in the cabinet secretariat. Highway projects account for half of the 42 projects whose pending clearances have been resolved by the PMG in the three months since the Budget.

Ten power generation and transmission projects with investments over Rs 72,000 crore have also got the green signal.


Three oil and gas projects have also got the nod, including Shell's Rs 5,000 crore re-gasification plant in Kakinada. Railway projects worthRs 5,500 crore, including the Patna Ganga Rail-Road Bridge and a new 180 km rail line to evacuate coal from Chhattisgarh's hinterland, are also now set for implementation with all outstanding nods secured.

Aditya Birla group firm Hindalco has also secured permissions for a Rs 13,200 crore aluminium smelter plant in Odisha's Sambalpur district.

The PMG, set up by the UPA in January 2013 to help stuck investments, had cleared 155 projects worth Rs 5.5 lakh crore in its first 16 months. Since the NDA came to power in May last year, 91 projects worth Rs 2.6 lakh crore have been put back on track. As ET reported last week, the spectre of stalled and abandoned projects saw a spike in 2014-15, with abandoned projects peaking in the last quarter, indicating fraying investor confidence, as per data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy.

According to data from the PMG, set up as a secretariat to the Cabinet Committee on Investments formed by the then prime minister Manmohan Singh to revive the country's sputtering economy, the queue of projects seeking an intervention from the Centre is growing steadily.

On March 1, just after the Budget was presented, promoters of 302 projects worth Rs 18.47 lakh crore were awaiting the PMG's help in securing myriad clearances and approvals.

By June 5, this number had risen to 404 projects entailing an investment of over Rs 19 lakh crore. Officials attributed part of this surge to the government's own drive of reviving public investments to kickstart the economy.

"Since the Budget, a lot of major public sector and proposed or ongoing PPP projects have been brought into the PMG's watch to expedite their implementation. So, a lot of highway projects, coal mines and projects delayed for years such as the Navi Mumbai airport have been put up to the PMG by ministries," said a senior government official interacting with the group. While the Cabinet Committee on Investments hasn't been reconstituted or scrapped by the NDA government, the Prime Minister's Office is tracking the revival of investments through the PMG platform, said another official.

The PMG was headed by an additional secretary rank officer Anil Swarup till mid-October last year. While Swarup was moved up as coal secretary, the position hasn't been filled since then.