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Indian Government Clears 36 Projects Worth Rs.1.9 Lakh-crore

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The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-headed Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has cleared 36 projects worth Rs 1.9 lakh-crore which were stuck across five key infrastructure sectors of power, roads, ports, cement and petroleum.

The development would benefit Reliance Power, GMR, Lanco, Essar Power and Jindal Power, among others.

The decision covers 28 projects in the power sector alone,   languishing for want of coal linkages and environment and forest clearances. These projects include 18 cases worth Rs 1.1 lakh-crore where fuel supply agreements (FSAs) were getting delayed.

The CCI has asked that the pacts be signed by September 6, according to a source close to the development.

The Cabinet Committee on Investment has asked for an immediate resolution of issues hurting the progress of other infrastructure projects within the next two months.

The government had asked state-owned Coal India Ltd to sign supply pacts with power companies for 78,000 Mw-projects to be commissioned by March 2015. The miner has so far signed FSAs for 42,000 Mw. The coal ministry has agreed to get FSAs signed for 15 power projects with investments of Rs 77,000 crore. This includes a Rs 4,000 crore project of Adani Power and a Rs 6,000-crore project of GMR Group.

Monday’s decision also covers forest clearance issues for a captive mine of Reliance Power’s Rs 20,000-crore Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project and the Todi power plant of Essar Power in Jharkhand.

Other power projects considered included the Rs 7,400-crore project of JAS Infra and Power in Jharkhand, Athena Power’s Rs 6,200-crore plant in Chhattisgarh and Jaiprakash Power Ventures’ Rs 8,100-crore Nigire project.

The go-ahead by the cabinet panel for troubled projects comes within days of Finance Minister P Chidambaram assuring representatives of foreign institutions and banks of the government’s intent to expedite clearance for large projects. The decision is expected to boost investor sentiment.

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