By IANS
19 months ago | Published on : 05:11 pm, 24 Sep 2012

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) In order to boost infrstructure by greater investments in port projects, the government Monday increased financial powers to the shipping ministry.

The decision elevates the port development programme to the priority level of national highway development programme (NHDP).

“Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) has approved the proposal of delegation of enhanced financial powers to the ministry of shipping for port projects in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode in line with NHDP projects in the roads sector,” an official statement said after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI).

“If the port sector is delegated powers on the lines of the road sector, the time taken for according investment approval to PPP can be reduced,” the statement said.

The development comes at a time the ministry is experiencing delays in the award of PPP projects owing to time taken in completing procedures for approval.

The CCI also cleared a proposal which will allow PPP projects in the port sector worth Rs.500 crore to be directly cleared by it.

“Henceforth projects costing more than Rs.500 crore, approval of the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) is required for port sector PPP projects. Earlier the approval of CCI was required for projects costing more than Rs.300 crore,” the statement added.

The decision was taken in a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the CCI. The meetings were scheduled for Friday, but were postponed reportedly in wake of political developments after the government's decision to hike diesel prices and officially notify its earlier move to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

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