FICCI’s National Committee on Transport Infrastructure has expressed concern at slow pace of on-going infrastructural and development projects in the country mainly due to decision paralysis and unwanted disputes by various concerned authorities and state governments.
“The development of infrastructure holds the key to economic growth but some of the issues are standing in the way of fast track development of infrastructure and need dispassionate Consideration. Land acquisition continues to be one of the critical areas standing in the way of doing business. In this regard, there is need to rationalise the right to fair compensation and transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act. “ said MR K K Kapila, co-Chairman, FICCI’s National Committee on Transport Infrastructure and Chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).

“The States need to be encouraged to remove land ceiling laws on acquisition of land and create land banks of non-cultivatable contiguous land, which may even be cross State boarders, for setting up industries. There is need to move from deed based registration to title based registration. The other issues which are delaying the projects include environment clearances by the concerned states and various authorities. The land acquisition should be resolved within the stipulated period of 30-45 days and the environmental clearances on the projects should be given on priority by highlighting the points which need compliance. The clearance is subject to adherence of a set of points, as the case be. These corrective measures will help fast track the projects as well as give right signals to the international community”, said Mr Kapila.

“Most of the infrastructure and development projects including roads are held up currently on account of disputes and investment worth crores of rupees of both government and the contractors are held up on account of disputes. Mechanism for quick resolution of disputes needs to be put in place. The recent amendment in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, making it mandatory to decide the issues within a prescribed time frame is a step in the right direction. More needs to be done to ensure fast track resolution of disputes.” He said.

“With regard to various permits required during construction, there is need to establish a single window for all construction related approvals. Standard composite forms be evolved for obtaining such clearances in a stipulated maximum time limit, as otherwise the clearance be taken as deemed once an applicant has filed the requisite papers and no decision is forthcoming within the stipulated period.” Said Mr Kapila.

“Registration of property be rationalised moving towards online system of registration, within prescribed time lines. Stamp duties should also be rationalised, and e-stamping across States be adopted. There is need to establish more Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRTs) / Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRATs) for high value cases with due empowerment of DRTs for granting specific relief. Ensure that borrowers / guarantors do not alienate their assets for which there is need to incorporate in the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDBFI) Act, the provision that once an original application is filed and notice served on the defendants, a restraint becomes effective from the date of service of notice, for selling, transferring, alienating, parting with the assets.” He added.

FICCI has suggested setting up of an Empowered Committee be made which could have representatives of CVC, CAG, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and one of the Engineering Member of National Highways Authority of India. “The Committee group should be Empowered to take decisions across the table, and the decision should be final and binding. It should be non-questionable by any other authority in the Government thereafter. This will help resolve disputes and fast track projects”said Mr Kapila.