By Jayajit Dash
The Odisha government is poised to ink a pact with International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private arm of World Bank, to avail IFC’s technical expertise for projects to be implemented on the public private partnership (PPP) mode.
“We are going to sign a technical cooperation agreement with IFC for PPP projects. The state government is keen to gain from IFC's technical expertise which we feel will be useful for implementing PPP projects. Tourism, agri-business and solar power have been identified as the key areas where IFC is expected to provide its technical knowhow,” said a highly placed official source.
During his visit to Odisha in March this year, World Bank Group president,
Robert B Zoellick pointed out that IFC was keen on adding agro business to its portfolio of cooperation with the state. The World Bank had identified environment, social sustainability, mining and natural resources as the future areas of focus in Odisha.
The World Bank was financing projects worth over Rs 3,000 crore in the state.
Meanwhile, the state government is in the process of reviewing its PPP projects.
“There are some PPP projects which have not made headway due to problems like lack of viability, pending land acquisition and environment as well as forestry clearances. Some of these projects facing an inordinate delay may also have to be dropped. But nothing can be disclosed now as all PPP projects are set to reassessed,” said a senior official of Planning & Coordination department.
The state government has approved 37 projects on the public private partnership (PPP) mode between April 2009 and March 2012.
The approved projects are in sectors like ports, real estate, food processing and tourism. In the ports sector, the state government has approved the establishment of a minor port at Astaranga in Puri district by Hyderabad-based Navyug Engineering Ltd. The initial port capacity is pegged at 25 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with the port taken up a cost of Rs 7,417 crore. The port capacity will be eventually scaled up to 70 mtpa.
In the real estate sector, the state government has approved six integrated residential cum commercial complexes to be developed in the outskirts of the city with cost of all projects totaling to Rs 1,400 crore. Project developers include Vipul Ltd, Z Engineers Ltd, Tata Housing, Utkal Builders, Delhi-based Amrapali Ltd and Visakhapatnam-based Skyland Construction Ltd.
A mega food park project proposed at Rayagada at a cost of Rs 80.17 crore has also been approved by the state government. A special purpose vehicle has been formed between Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) and MITS Mega Food Park Ltd.
On the PPP mode, the four-laning of Sambalpur-Jharsuguda road, entailing a cost of Rs 1,292.56 crore has been approved. Bidding process for this project would be initiated after obtaining in-principle approval from the Government of India for Viability Gap Funding (VGF).