India Inc. shocked over govt's decision to review projects

Updated: Dec 07, 2019, 09:06 IST | Agencies | Mumbai

Some of the big-ticket projects include Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train, the world's biggest petrochemicals complex at Nanar, the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and several Metro projects

Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

The state government's decision to 'review' all major infrastructure projects in view of a major financial crisis suffocating the state has sent shockwaves in India Inc., though nobody has commented openly so far in the country's commercial capital.

As Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered the reappraisal based on broad parametres like availability of finances, long-term financial viability of projects, their priority and relevance, state minister and NCP leader Jayant Patil made a shock disclosure that the state was in the grip of a '4.71 lakh crore debt, plus commitments of another '2 lakh crore on 'mega-infra projects' made by the previous government.

As the Opposition BJP screamed foul, an official said that at least nine of the grandiose projects were worth a staggering '10.28 lakh crore, while the other 1,200-plus smaller projects were worth around '8 lakh crore, taking the total to nearly Rs18 lakh crore. "With a total debt of '6.71 lakh crore and another '18 lakh crore to be spent, the crucial question before the cash-strapped government is where will all this money come from," the official asked.

Meanwhile, Thackeray has demanded that since the state contributed nearly half the total tax revenues to the Central exchequer, the Centre should 'waive' off (the state's contribution) for two years, which could help it wipe off all its debts at one shot.

This demand has been a matter of debate in political circles since the past few years, but to Thackeray's credit, no past chief minister showed the courage to utter it publicly. Some of the big-ticket projects include Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train, the world's biggest petrochemicals complex at Nanar, the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and several Metro projects.

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