NEW DELHI: It was a slightly satisfying day for Prime Minister Narendra Modi when a Cabinet meeting chaired by him on January 20 discussed the performance of the major infrastructure sectors highlighting achhe din. But then, it also raised serious concerns over critical areas of his 20-month-old government.
A note accessed by Express reveals that the Modi government has been able to reduce inefficiencies and delays in the power sector and highways — headed by Piyush Goyal and Nitin Gadkari respectively — but fertilisers, Railways and coal sectors with Ananth Kumar, Suresh Prabhu and Goyal at the helm fell short of targets.
The good news came from Dharmendra Pradhan as two important sectors — crude oil production and refinery under his ministry — exceeded the targets set by the government. “Power generation, crude oil production, refinery production, upgradation of highways by the National Highway Authority of India, upgradation of highways by State Public Works Departments and Border Road Organisation, export cargo handled at airports, import cargo handled at airports and passengers handled at domestic terminals of airports exceeded targets,” said the note put up for Cabinet discussion.
“The sectors that fell short of their targets are coal production, fertilisers production, natural gas production, goods traffic carried by Railways, cargo handled at major ports and passengers handled at international terminals of airports,” it said.
Coal production fell short of target by 10.56 per cent, while fertiliser fell by 5.23 per cent, remaining a major concern for the government. In May 2015, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers came up with data showing India’s dependency on imports, which is currently 25 per cent of requirement of urea, 90 per cent of phosphates and 100 per cent of potash.
224 projects show cost overruns
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was informed in the January 20 Cabinet meeting that 224 Central projects are showing cost overruns, which is matter of serious concern. According to an estimate, this cost overrun could be more than Rs 2 lakh crore.