Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram made a pitstop in the city Tuesday to meet bankers and select infrastructure companies, whose projects were indefinitely stalled.
This was part of a first-of-its-kind initiative conceived by the finance ministry with an intent to get lenders and borrowers on a common platform to identify challenges faced by them.
The thoroughly-planned event organised at Park Hyatt saw 10 industrialists from the city on one side of the table and about 30 executives from financial institutions on the other in direct conversation with the FM freely far from the prying eyes of the media.
At the end of the one-and-half hour session, Chidambaram assured the 40-odd executives present at the meeting of resolving issues by setting up a separate cell that will monitor projects and follow up with government departments.
The FM’s ongoing series of sessions were earlier held in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore. About 341 infra projects across the country aggregating to Rs 92,500 crore were identified as stalled projects.
At stake is banks’ funding estimated to be about Rs 69,500 crore. “The idea was to understand the obstacles in implementing these projects...and also facilitate execution so that they don’t turn into non-performing assets for banks,” S Ramchandran, Director, IVRCL Projects told Express.
Of the 341 projects across the country, 28 were from the city, including 16 power projects proposed by seven companies including GVK, Lanco and 12 highway projects by three players namely IVRCL, Soma and Ramky Group. G V K Group chief G V Krishna Reddy, Lanco Group Chairman L Madhusudan Rao, Ramchandran, IVRCL were some of the representatives from the industry. B A Prabhakar Rao, Chairman, Andhra Bank organised the interaction, which also saw presence of both public and private sector banks.
“He (Chidambaram) wanted to have firsthand information from promoters as to what are the reasons for the delay...He has consented to take up with respective ministries and see that these issues are resolved,” said Prabhakar Rao. He added that the finance minister was keen on resolving issues so that bank funding is released and the projects become sustainable.
According to the industry, projects have been delayed due to delay in land acquisition in the case of road projects and delay in concluding fuel agreements, or signing power purchase agreements with state electricity boards in case of power projects.
“FM is going to take up with concerned departments ,” Rao said.