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Industry leaders seek infrastructure investment push from government

Industry leaders have urged the Indian government to accelerate infrastructure investment and help revive mega projects to boost business sentiment and revive sagging economic growth.

The president of industry body Assocham, Mr Rajkumar Dhoot, met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to present an agenda for revival, while a CII delegation of CEOs met the PM's Principal Secretary, Mr Pulok Chatterji and the chairman of the PM's economic advisory council Mr C Rangarajan, to push for effective government action.

Mr Dhoot suggested quick progress in high-profile infrastructure projects such as the dedicated freight corridor and the industrial corridor between Mumbai and Delhi. CII raised similar concerns.

Mr Vinayak Chatterjee, who leads infrastructure initiatives of CII, said “We have asked the government for short-term interventions for development of the sector. There are sovereign obstacles and policy hurdles which need to be looked into. There are several projects on which huge amount has been spent but are stuck in the pipeline. We have asked the government to set up a fast track board to regulate these projects.”

Industry leaders also highlighted the need to set up a 'special purpose vehicle' for infrastructure projects, which would be responsible for getting all clearances in advance, before bidding for projects. It also asked for relaxation of restructuring norms by the banking sector and permit two time restructuring of stressed infrastructure companies.

Apart from these, the group also asked for measures looking into issues of the power sector related to fuel scarcity, tariff pass through discoms and gas based projects turning into non-profitable assets.

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