New infra corporation to complete pending projects

The government’s highest decision-making body, the State Administrative Council, approved JKIDFC’s creation a week ago.

Muddasir Ali
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 13 2018 12:32AM | Updated Date: Sep 13 2018 3:23AM
New infra corporation to complete pending projectsFile Photo

The state government has set the ball rolling for setting up the J&K Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC), which will raise loans to complete the projects that couldn’t either take off or had been left midway for want of funds.

The government’s highest decision-making body, the State Administrative Council, approved JKIDFC’s creation a week ago.

To be headed by administrative secretary finance department, the corporation would be assisted by a high-powered committee for approving projects to be funded under it, said an order issued by principal secretary planning and development Rohit Kansal.

The administrative secretaries of the departments with pending projects have been asked to prepare detailed project-wise schematic break-up of all such schemes proposed to be funded under the program, along with administrative approval and other relevant requirements under law.

The corporation has been authorised to raise a loan of Rs 8000 crore in the “most economical manner through a competitive and transparent process” by involving offers from banks and other financial institutions.

“Provisions shall be made in the state budget for repayment of loans and debt services by way of suitable modification in the Capex budget allocation,” reads the order, adding, it shall be ensured that amount set aside for repayments shall be sufficient to meet the terms of repayment of the loan with interest.

Commissioner/secretary R&B Khursheed Ahmad Shah said hundreds of infrastructural projects were pending completion in different departments for many years, mainly owing to inadequate funding.

“In our department there are some bridges which haven’t been completed for the past eight to 10 years. With this initiative (setting up of JKIDFC), all these projects will be taken up on priority,” said Shah.

Like R&B department, projects are pending completion in education, rural development, housing and urban development, health & medical education, tourism and other departments.

A senior official said the government intends to raise Rs 4000 crore by the end of next year to complete some major projects, which have been languishing for years because of inadequate funding.

“We will raise the loan and finish these projects in good time,” said the official.

He said once the departments submit list of projects, the empowered committee, to be headed by principal secretary finance department, would scrutinise them for approval.

The official said the government plans to raise Rs 8000 crore in three to four financial years to complete all projects, some of them pending for more than two decades.

Citing an example, the official said, Jetty Bridge in Khojabagh Baramulla was approved in 1995. But till dates its construction hasn’t been completed. The bridge would bypass main town Baramulla to connect several areas of Kupwara district and shorten the distance.

Another official said the cost of some projects has increased 10 times over the years.

The official said all drinking water projects across state, pending for years, could be completed with an investment of Rs 1200 crore and all projects in education sector would be completed with Rs 500 crore.

He said there would be a provision in the Budget to repay loan of Rs 1000 crore annually. 

“The idea is to have a major intervention to complete all projects which are of great importance but sometimes doesn’t find political importance,” said the official.  

The order, however, makes it clear that projects, which are physically complete but financially incomplete, would not be considered for funding under the scheme and no pending dues of any kind would be funded under it.

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