The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has approved 36 projects in the road, railways, power and oil and gas sectors worth Rs.1.83 lakh crore stalled on account of various issues, including regulatory hurdles.

Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said among 18 major projects in the power sector entailing an investment of Rs.83,773 crore were cleared by the CCI with instructions to the Ministry and the regulatory bodies concerned to put in place all clearances. Similarly, 18 others in sectors such as road, railways, petroleum and gas were also given the green signal.

“The CCI had met last night to look at a large number of projects. It cleared projects with a total outlay of Rs.1.83 lakh crore. The message we are seeking to send across is that the investment cycle should be kick-started. The cycle has started and we are pushing it further,” Mr. Chidambaram added.

Mr. Chidambaram said apart from power projects, where fuel supply agreements (FSAs) would now be signed by September 6 instead of earlier deadline of August 31, there were nine projects with a total outlay of over Rs.14,084 crore, where banks had disbursed Rs11,484 crore. “There are no issues related to nine projects that are pending. All of them have been resolved. Only action taken reports are required to be sent from time to time to be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) by concerned Ministries,” he said.

The CCI also scrutinised another cycle of nine projects involving an investment of around Rs.85,000 crore. The Finance Minister further said that banks had already disbursed as much as Rs.30,000 crore for power projects and with clearances in place they would provide more funds for these projects.

The projects that have been cleared by the CCI include Reliance Power’s 4,000 MW ultra mega power project (UMPP) at Sasan in Madhya Pradesh, L&T’s Metro Rail project, Hindalco Industries’ project and Essar Power’s Jharkhand project. “In the Sasan project, stage-I clearance or preliminary approvals have been given. When this is verified by Madhya Pradesh Government and the promoter (Reliance Power) deposits the money, further clearances will be given,” the Finance Minister said.

He said all the necessary approvals for the L&T Metro Rail project had been granted and the Ministry of Urban Development had said that the project was proceeding as per schedule. One project of Hindalco Industries will come up before the SEZ Approval Board on August 30 for final decision. GMR’s Kishangarh-Udaipur-Ahmedabad project will be brought to the Union Cabinet by September 15.

As far as the Utkal Alumina plant in Odisha is concerned, there is only one issue which is that the water for the project should be drawn from the Hirakund reservoir. “The Ministry of Water Resources has written more than once to the Odisha government but there is no response. The Minister of Water Resources has been advised to meet the Chief Minister of Odisha to find out why the state government is not taking any decision on the matter,’’ he said. The matter pertaining to Essar Power’s 1,800 MW thermal plant in Jharkhand was likely to be resolved by September 20, he added.

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