FM reviews pending infra projects in Bangalore

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At a closed door meeting with industrialists and heads of banks, Chidambaram assured early removal of bottleneck in implementing pending investment projects

Finance minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday, held closed door talks with top industrialists, heads of public and private sector banks, here to fast track pending large investment proposals. He also interacted with Karnataka’s new chief minister Siddaramaiah at a separate meeting.

Concerned over the slowdown in execution of major infrastructure projects including those in the power sector, the finance minister has been conducting a series of meetings with captains of the industry and trade bodies across the country. It is estimated that projects worth over Rs 7 lakh crore sanctioned by various banks are delayed thereby locking funds.

Chidambaram met industrialists and bankers to discuss ways and means to speed up such projects and also facilitate clearing additional 120 projects involving an investment of Rs 3 lakh crore, according to bankers whom attended on Tuesday’s meeting.

The bankers said the finance minister expressed the keenness on the part of the government to ensure speedy clearance for pending projects from the Central government and assured the stakeholders of all necessary help from the Centre to ensure timely execution of the projects.

R K Dubey, chairman and managing director of Canara Bank, M G Sanghvi, chairman and managing director of Syndicate Bank, H S Upendra Kamanth, chairman and managing director of Vijaya Bank, Executive Directors of these three banks, DGMs of Uco Bank, Seshagiri Rao, joint managing director, JSW Steel, Vinod Nowal, Director & Chief Executive Officer, JSW Steel and representatives of IVRCL, Ramky Projects among others were present at the meeting.

Later talking to reporters, Seshagiri Rao said, “There is still a lot of delay in opening up of mines in Karnataka even after the Supreme Court has approved the opening of mines. We have requested the finance minister to expedite issue of clearance from Indian Bureau of Mines, forest department, and pollution control board approvals. There is a need to auction Category C mines so that we can operate steel plants in full capacity.”

Dubey said, “Around 300 projects worth Rs 10 lakh crore are struck at various stages. The finance minister reviewed 22 projects and has noted the bottlenecks. He will coordinate with departments and bankers to facilitate investments.”

After the meeting, Chidambaram left for Hyderabad, where he will review 30 projects.

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