New Delhi, Aug. 27: The government has cleared 36 projects worth Rs 1.83 lakh crore in power and other infrastructure sectors, stalled on account of regulatory hurdles, in a bid to boost investor sentiment.
“The cabinet committee on infrastructure yesterday met to look at a large number of projects. It cleared projects with a total outlay of Rs 1.83 lakh crore. The message that we are sending (is that) we are very keen to get the investment cycle restarted. The cycle has started and we are pushing it further,” finance minister P. Chidambaram told reporters today.
The finance minister said the projects included 18 power plants and 18 in roads, railways, petroleum and natural gas.
“Disbursements of bank loans will start as the approvals are being given. Clearly, the signal is that projects are not being stalled. Stalled projects have been unblocked. What I say today, will be heard by banks also. The banks’ chairmen waiting to disburse funds will do it now,” he said.
The cabinet committee on infrastructure discussed several projects, including the 4,000 megawatt (MW) Sasan mega power project of Reliance Power, L&T’s Metro Rail project in Hyderabad and Essar Power’s 1,800MW plant in Jharkhand.
The projects are being set up at a cost of Rs 85,141 crore, of which Rs 25,034 crore have been released by banks and other financial institutions.
“In the Sasan project, stage-I clearance or preliminary approvals have been given. When this is verified by the state of Madhya Pradesh and the promoter (Reliance Power) deposits the money, further clearances will be given,” he said.
He said all the necessary approvals for the L&T Metro Rail project had been granted, and the ministry of urban development had said the project was proceeding on schedule.
The matter of Essar Power’s 1,800MW Jharkhand thermal plant is likely to be resolved by September 20.
One project of Hindalco Industries will come up before the SEZ (special economic zone) approval board on August 30 for the final decision.
The minister said Jaiprakash Power Madhya Pradesh, which is setting up a power plant in MP, was yet to identify the land for compensatory afforestation, and further approvals would be granted only after the developer had done so.
GMR’s Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad project will be brought to the cabinet by September 15.
The Utkal Alumina plant in Odisha has been asked to draw water from the Hirakund reservoir for the project.
“The ministry of water resources has written more than once to the Odisha government but there is no response. The minister of water resources has been advised to meet the chief minister of Odisha to find out why the state is not taking any decision on the matter,” Chidambaram said.