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Nov 30, 2012, 08.05 PM IST | Source: PTI

CII seeks national redressal board to clear infra hurdles

To clear bottlenecks in the infrastructure sector, industry body CII on Friday suggested a slew of measures, including setting up of a national infrastructure redressal board and a national task force for providing environment clearances.

To clear bottlenecks in the infrastructure sector, industry body CII on Friday suggested a slew of measures, including setting up of a national infrastructure redressal board and a national task force for providing environment clearances.

The suggestions were made during a meeting between top officials of 45 infrastructure companies and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, CII's infrastructure committee head and chairman, Feedback Infra Vinayak Chatterjee said in New Delhi.

"The meeting was held against the backdrop of sagging economy and various issues faced by the infrastructure sector and centred  on core issues that are hurting key sectors such as roads, power, railways and ports," he added.

According to the CII, setting up of a redressal board and bidding out projects through special purpose vehicle (SPV) route that has all clearances in advance, are required to address the problem of increasing delays in project completion and consequent NPAs.

"Today we do not have any mechanism for post-award negotiations for a project, though we are facing many issues. So we have suggested the setting up of a high powered highly respected independent body like a national infrastructure redressal board to handle this aspect," Chatterjee said.

He added that the CII was also planning to take up the issues and submit suggestions with the Prime Minister's Office, finance minister P Chidambaram and the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council. The industry body also suggested setting up of a national environment task force to deal with the issues related to environment and forest clearances, Chatterjee said, adding that the proposed national investment board could also be given the task as an alternative.

Besides, the Reserve Bank of India's definition of non- performing assets (NPAs) in the infrastructure sector needed to be redefined as the start date of a project is often pushed back due to delays in obtaining numerous government approvals. "On the other hand, banks start counting payment schedules from the originally envisaged date," he said.

The CII also suggested that an overhaul of the ports sector and setting up a new regulatory authority for the sector are required to boost investments through public-private partnership (PPP) mode. It also asked for fixing responsibility of the government machinery in case of delays on their side, so that deadline of executing a project could be met.

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