Thursday, January 28, 2016
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Road Minister Nitin Gadkari will meet road developers and bankers to sort out key issues to put back on track 20 stalled highway projects of worth Rs 20,000 crore, reported PTI.
The meeting assumes significance as the government after a series of meetings with bankers and developers had resolved issues pertaining to 58 projects but 20 projects worth over Rs 20,000 crore are still stuck.
Running out of patience for stalemate over these 20 projects, the government has warned non-serious developers and bankers of terminating these contracts.
The projects relate to key national highways in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
The stuck projects belong to players like Larsen & Toubro, HCC, Gammon, Madhucon, Soma and Essel Ifra, among others, while the list of lenders includes top names like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of India.
A top official last month had said that the government was "reaching a stage of impatience" over the stalled projects.
"The concessionaires and bankers are not realising that we are reaching a stage of impatience, and people who are users of these roads are not going to be waiting any more," the then Road Transport and Highways Secretary Vijay Chhibber had said.
"If developers and bankers fail to mend their ways and initiate correctives to roll out projects by January-end, the government will start terminating contracts in PPP mode and repackage them," he had said before his retirement.
The government recently "offered a full package", which among other steps extends the concession period of projects where delays are not attributable to developers.