Srinagar, Sep 5: With a view to providing fillip to the developmental activities across the State, the State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here Wednesday under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved an amount of Rs 8000 crores for completing all languishing projects in the state. For this purpose, the SAC approved the establishment of a new infrastructure company, the Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC). The JKIDFC has been authorized to raise a loan not exceeding Rs 8000 crores from various financial Institutions including State/ Nationalized Banks for completion of these unfunded, languishing projects.
Advisors to Governor, B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar & Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam and Principal Secretary to Governor, Umang Narula were present at the meeting.
A persistent difficulty encountered in the development process has been the large number of languishing and unfunded projects. These developmental projects which are at different stages of execution are either inadequately funded or have been left incomplete due to one or the other reason. Some of them have been languishing for over 5 years resulting not only in blocking of funds spent on them but also in cost escalation and time overruns. A tentative assessment by the State Planning, Development and Monitoring Department (PD&MD) indicated that incomplete projects worth over Rs 10000 crores were at various stages and that over Rs 6000 crores would be required to complete all of them in one go. The State Planning department has further analyzed that six departments namely PW(R&B), PHE/I&FC, School Education, Higher Education, Youth Services and Sports, Health and Medical Education and Tourism taken together accounted for nearly two thirds of the total unfunded burden; the projects in these 6 departments alone account for nearly Rs. 4000 crores.
SAC took note of the fact that the completion of these projects in a business as usual manner would take over a decade. Recognizing the need of the citizens for essential infrastructure, it decided to approve a special scheme that would enable nearly Rs 8000 crores of developmental funds to be made available in one go, to be used not only for completion of unfunded/languishing infrastructural projects in the State but also for any other new infrastructure projects, which was a priority for the state.
In order to ensure proper and fool proof operationalization of the scheme and selection, authorization, monitoring and regulation of projects under it, the SAC also approved the constitution of a High-Powered Committee (HPC) comprising Administrative Secretaries of Finance, Planning, PWD and PHE besides the concerned Secretary of the department whose projects were being considered. It also directed that a stringent set of guidelines be put in place to ensure that only the deserving projects and those which are essential from public standpoint be funded under this scheme. The process would include the accord of Administrative approval and all relevant Technical sanctions before a project could be considered for sanction under the scheme besides strict adherence to a totally transparent and competitive, e-tendering process.
SAC further ordered that all projects would have to be completed strictly within the specified timelines and a pre-agreed penalty shall be imposed on the executing agency in case of any delay or slippage.
The new company, JKIDFC would be registered by Friday i.e 07.09.2018, and work on the unfinished/languishing projects would start immediately within a week.
The direction of the Hon’ble Governor is that funding on this scale for languishing projects such as bridges, roads, drinking water schemes and buildings has never happened before and therefore, all departments should implement works in a speedy, time bound manner to finish them, preferably by May, 2019.