The cost over-runs due to delays in execution of Central projects are maximum in the Railways among the infrastructure projects running into Rs 45,600 crore.At the end of March, 2013 as many 41 Railways projects with original cost estimates of Rs 27,900 crore saw an escalation of near about three times to Rs 73, 500 crore, adds the Assocham's findings.
“The new Railway Minister must look at these projects and put them back on track. A clear-cut roadmap for their revival and execution should be unveiled in the Budget,” Rana Kapoor said, raising concern over such delays. However, he expressed confidence that the Modi Government riding on popularity wave will show pace as the country needs a lot of catching up.
Likewise, in a very crucial area of power , the cost over-runs have run in excess of Rs 15,000 crore as the costs of projects had gone up from the original estimates of Rs 1.35 lakh crore to Rs 1.50 lakh crore. “The multiplier effect of the power sector on the entire economic activity would be much more as several parts of the country are terribly power deficit and reeling under outages”. The new minister in charge should take up these projects on top priority basis.
In a similar fashion, the damage done in the petroleum sector due to project delays exceeds Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 620 crore in steel.
“The critical point is that these are key infrastructure projects which can show the way to others. Importantly, they do not involve much of states’ involvement. The problems would largely relate to inter-ministerial issues which must be resolved at the earliest….If the PMO keeps a regular track of them, they can be put on stream within the current FY 2014-15 and contribute to the overall industrial growth,” the Assocham President said.