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PMO asks secretaries to identify key infra projects, attaches priority tag

Monday - September 16, 2019 7:04 pm , Category : BUSINESS
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) In line with its plan to front-load infrastructure spending to spur economic growth, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has directed Secretaries of key infrastructure ministries to finalise projects worth Rs 100 crore each.
Secretaries of all these ministries would make a presentation on proposed projects which would be first reviewed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The directive has come days after the Finance Ministry formed an inter-ministerial Task Force, headed by Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, to draw up plans for building infrastructure worth Rs 100 lakh crore ($1.4 trillion) over the next five years.
Official sources said that the key ministries required to forward socially and economically viable projects include Petroleum, Power, Shipping, Rural Development, Jal Shakti and Civil Aviation.
"The proposed projects would be finalised by the PMO in coordination with Niti Aayog," an official said.
Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry had said that the newly-formed Task Force would identify technically feasible and financially viable infrastructure projects that can be initiated in FY 2019-20.
"The Task Force will submit its report on the pipeline for FY 2019-20 by 31st October, 2019 and on the indicative pipeline for FY 2021-25 by 31st December 2019," an official statement had said.
The Task Force that comprises senior officials of Niti Aayog, Finance Ministry and Secretaries of administrative Ministries would estimate annual infrastructure investment/capital costs and guide the Ministries in identifying appropriate sources of financing.
Each Ministry would be responsible for monitoring of projects so as to ensure their timely and within-cost implementation.
The Task Force will also enable robust marketing of the pipeline of projects requiring private investment through the India Investment Grid (IIG), National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) etc.
With private investment remaining tepid, the government has infused public money to build infrastructure across the country. It has been awarding most of the highway projects on EPC and Hybrid annuity model committing more public money to make up for low investment from private sector.

--IANS nk/vd