CII seeks national redressal board to clear infra bottlenecks

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 of Feedback Infra Vinayak Chatterjee told reporters here.

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

According to CII, setting up of the 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 suggested setting up of a high powered highly respected independent body like National Infrastructure Redressal Board to handle this aspect," Chatterjee said.

He added that CII is also planning to take up the issues and its suggestions with Prime Minister's Office, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and 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, Reserve Bank of India's definition of non- performing assets (NPAs) in the infrastructure sector needs to be redefined as start date of a project often gets 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.

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