Elusive credit slows down big ticket projects in state

      09/27/2018

With banks making access to credit difficult, some of the State’s big-ticket infrastructure projects are slowing down. The State’s leading industry leaders have now brought the issue to the notice of the government.

Officials have said that industry leaders have sent a slew of requests to the Chief Minister’s Office urging intervention in ensuring big projects receive their credit instalments and aid promised under State schemes are released by the banks.

Senior officials said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has already intervened in the case of M/s Karanja Terminal and Logistics, a global firm developing the port facility at Uran. The company, which has invested over 25,000 crore in building seven ports across India, is struggling to process a term loan of 480 crore from banks for developing the Uran port. The port was expected to begin operations in October, but the mega project has now been put on hold with commercial operations delayed due to bank disbursing only 298 crore.

An official of the State Transport Department said, “Global investors have already invested 550 crore into this project, but Indian lenders have disbursed only 298 crore. The last disbursement the firm received was 18 months ago.” The official said an enquiry has been initiated on the request of Mr. Fadnavis, who had inaugurated the project.

Several other industry leaders have complained about delay in the release of the State’s subsidies and incentives worth 1,300 crore under the Package Scheme of Incentives and Industrial Promotion Subsidy announced in 2013.

Instalments from the two schemes are pending with the banks in some cases, and is hurting expansion of several projects. A senior secretary in the State government said, “The industry leaders are taking an aggressive stand as the financial assistance has been held back. We have ordered a review to find and remove glitches in the disbursal system.”

In addition to the two schemes, the government said it is ensuring financial access is made easy for industries through financial institutions. The list of institutions include the Industrial Finance Corporation of India Ltd, the Small Industries Development Bank of India, the Industrial Investment Bank of India Ltd, the Export Import Bank of India, the Life Insurance Corporation of India, the General Insurance Corporation of India, and the Maharashtra State Financial Corporation.