The Finance Ministry will shortly move a Cabinet note for setting up of a National Investment Board (NIB) to provide fast-tracking clearances to mega projects in the infrastructure sector. “The Finance Ministry is likely to move a Cabinet note on NIB today.
The note is unlikely to mention any investment threshold for fast tracking infrastructure projects,” a Finance Ministry official said. Concerned over delay in implementation of mega projects, Finance Minister P Chidambaram during the meeting of full Planning Commission earlier in the month had proposed Prime Minister-headed NIB to accord speedy clearance to proposals. “It is not necessary for projects to be worth Rs 1,000 crore and above to come for NIB’s consideration. The NIB will be headed by the Prime Minister,” the official added. Several large projects involving investments of Rs 1.5 lakh crore are being held up because of delay in statutory clearances.
“The NIB’s authority should extend to proposals/projects where the investment is above a certain threshold, say, Rs 1,000 crore. Once the final decision is taken by the NIB, no other Ministry or Department or Authority should be able to interfere with that decision or delay its implementation,” Chidambaram had said.
In June, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had approved setting up of an investment tracking system to ensure speedy implementation of mega projects envisaging outlay of over Rs 1,000 crore. The Department of Financial Services and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council have to submit quarterly reports on the tracking being done by them and on identified issues to the Prime Minister’s Office.
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