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NITI Aayog to offer guidance to states for infra projects

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New Delhi, April 28

The NITI Aayog has decided to offer support services to states in projects where they find it difficult to attract private investment.

A senior NITI Aayog official told IANS that the policy think-tank would not only offer advice and guidance to the states for infrastructure projects, but would also hand-hold them in execution so as to improve the confidence of investors.

At least 18 states have submitted proposals for the initiative and the NITI Aayog has so far short-listed 40 projects.

“We have short-listed those projects where land is either not an issue or where most of the land has already been acquired,” the official said.

He added that the Aayog would further screen the proposed projects and would eventually select 10 projects from 10 states which have the potential for Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The projects would be finalised by July after which detailed project reports would be prepared and bidding process would start.

“The nation needs development and the government money is not enough to achieve that. We need private partnership and investment for that,” the official said.

He said while significant work has been done in some states and some sectors when it comes to PPP mode, but others have been ignored.

“If we look at states in the eastern part of India, especially the north-eastern states, little work has been done in that direction. The investors have no confidence to invest there.”

“We have decided to take up those projects which have potential for partnership but where private players don’t show interest for some reason or the other,” the official said.

Among the states which have pitched their projects include Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi.

The proposed projects include a micro-irrigation project in Haryana and development of a road that passes through non-Naga inhabited areas in Manipur where economy often suffers due to the blockade.

Delhi has proposed development of Sarai Kale Khan bus station in the city with building of a commercial space over it so that it earns revenue for the government even as a world-class bus station operates on the ground. (IANS)