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NDA govt’s ‘play it safe’ approach delaying infra projects: Assocham

Narendra Modi government

‘Play it safe’ approach of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government is delaying key infrastructure projects in sectors like road, ports and power, Assocham report has said.

An “overwhelming part of India Inc” perceives that the NDA government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is free from any corruption stigma, but a strong sense of oversight on bureaucrats, bankers and PSU officials have led to a ‘Play it Safe’ style of working, it said in a statement.

“…it is the ‘Play It Safe’ approach which is creating problems of slow movement in some of the key infrastructure projects like roads, ports, power, coal and environment issues etc,” the industry chamber said.

For instance, it said, in the absence of environment clearances at the Centre and state level, thousands of ready to move in houses are stuck in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The real estate developers are ready to hand over flats, but issues like bird sanctuary nearby have not been resolved, resulting in delays causing financial loss, it said.

“Sharing their experience at the implementation level, the corporate senior functionaries feel that it is at the project execution level that the officials are taking a ‘safe’ approach,” the statement said.

It said they want to go by the rule-books and “any deviation from these rules would involve exercising discretionary powers which these officials are not willing to use”.

It added that the problem is more with regard to officials at the project level in the highway sector.

When it comes to banks, the chamber said, the focus among the bankers is excessively on the non-performing assets.

“In the process, the priority has shifted from fresh proposals and projects. In any case, bankers have become a lot more circumspect about the large projects,” the report said.

It added that the banks have not built solid risk management systems and depend on the conventional methods of hits and trials.

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