Industry leaders today sought the government’s intervention in relaxing loan restructuring norms for infrastructure companies. The current norms allow restructuring of loans only once. The industry also asked the government to create a special purpose vehicle to get all sovereign clearances for projects in advance, before they are bid out. The slowdown-hit industry feels that a push in infrastructure could bring the much-needed thrust.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Assocham President Rajkumar Dhoot suggested that major infrastructure projects should be cleared in the next three months. Alongside this meeting, Ajit Gulabchand, chairman, Hindustan Construction Company; K Venkataramanan, chief executive officer, Larsen & Toubro;
Y M Deosthalee, chairman, L&T Finance; and other industry captains met Pulok Chatterji, principal secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office; and
C Rangarajan, chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.
Later, briefing reporters, Vinayak Chatterjee, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry’s National Task Force on Infrastructure Projects, said the government was no more in a denial mode and was willing to take up suggestions to improve the economic scenario.
CII also pushed for clearance of about Rs 100,000 crore of dues to the private companies.
“Many of our suggestions like setting up of infrastructure fast-tracking board and monetising of gold kept with people through infrastructure bonds for nation building were accepted in principle by the government,” Chatterjee said.
In a 12-point suggestion to give a boost to the infrastructure sector, CII asked for clearing of the investment policy in urea and fast-tracking of the dedicated freight corridors, encouraging cash-rich PSUs to build more capacity and assets that will catalyse investments in the infrastructure sector, among others. The CII task force plans to meet the PMO brass again in six weeks for a status check.