The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), while urging political parties to list infrastructure development at the top of the poll agendas, has urged them to undertake reforms in the way public-private partnerships (PPP) are implemented in the State.

Speaking to The Hindu , K. Shiva Shanmugam, president, FKCCI, said that although the “infrastructure deficit” was a matter of concern to industry, mounting costs of PPP-based projects is also a serious issue.

Asked if the trade body’s suggestion on greater emphasis on public-private partnerships would be viable and cost effective, given the allegations of profit gouging by promoters of such projects, Mr. Shiva Shanmugam said, “Yes, PPPs for road projects have been utterly non-transparent; they have been among the most scam-hit projects.” “The tolls are so high that the promoters would recover their costs early and make super profits because there is no regulation,” he said. Projects based on the PPP model should only be used in cases where the technology is not available in India, he said.

At the top of its list of concerns is the issue of widespread power shortage in the State. It has demanded closer monitoring of the power supplied to irrigation pumpsets.