‘India could miss projected infra investment’

Kolkata, March 30 (IANS) A dearth of “bankable” projects, not capital could be a major constraint for India to meet its projected Rs.56.32 lakh crore investment in infrastructure during the 12th Plan period (2012-17), the head of an infrastructure consulting firm said Saturday.

“Lack of bankable projects is the biggest problem in our country,” Vinayak Chatterjee, chairman of Feedback Infrastructure – among India’s biggest – told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

Of the projected Rs 56.32 lakh crore investment during the 12th Plan period, about Rs.29 lakh crore is likely to be invested by the government and the rest by the private sector.

However, Chatterjee said the country would need much more projects in the pipeline every year to meet the investment target.

“The basic reason is it have not factored in the arithmetic that how much of bankable projects are required to meet the target,” he said.

“The other problem is that the creative energy is with the private sector. But the private sector cannot create the bids. It can only respond to the bids,” he observed.

According to him, lack of tangible infrastructure projects along with lack of political and bureaucratic willingness were the “effective constraints” rather than dearth of capital, which had been the popular belief.

He also called for setting up of an independent commission for renegotiation of public-private-partnership (PPP) projects in India for “transparency”.

The country required an institutional and interventional framework for renegotiation of infra projects under PPP mode, he averred.

A CII delegation, led by Chatterjee, made the suggestion to the Planning Commission last Saturday.

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