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TIAM turns a full cycle Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Where is Rajaji? Tribute Polls and promises WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik EEC at the National Media Centre Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Fuel for thought Banning booze... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Roaring Ro-Ro facility R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Five star activism stalls development activity Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? A think tank for Chennai A yen for wastage… Cutting the nose to spite the face Tatas moving out of urea production... How Air-India loses customs... The star of Spencers is no more Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Why land prices zoom in TN? GM Technology at last! When online building permits work…. 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New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Convulsions in The Hindu MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Parliament in paralysis... For whom the bell tolls? Editor's Says Road development slows down All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Where a state respects its litterateurs… Vibrant Gujarat PC’s preference for professionals Come elections, come advertisements... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Welcome focus on core competence Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Moily’s bold thrust No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Readers' Mail Cement prices continue to rise… Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Modi storms Silicon Valley IPL type auction for VCs? Wise Presidents Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! 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Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt

At the TN Global Investors Meet dozens of experts discussed in parallel sessions presided over by the state ministers/senior civil servants.

A media person had to contend with a major problem: since these were conducted in parallel, one had to hop from one hall to another to listen selectively  few specialists of one’s choice. The second problem related to the organiser’s presenting too many speakers, each given just five to ten minutes,  that left little time for interactions. One looks forward to the consolidation of the presentations in a book form.

I sat through the session on Enabling Mega Infrastructure projects. Planning & Development Secretary, S Krishnan, made a lucid presentation on the problems encountered by large Infrastructure projects. He threw light on the need for more thorough preparation of funding the projects adequately, as also to anticipate contingencies and developments that would demand higher volume of funding. These will have implications on the viability of the project and the repayment schedules of loans. Krishnan suggested providing for adequate viability gap funding.

The present crisis suffered by banks and other lenders has risen due to the failure on this score. The consequent reluctance of these financial institutions to fund infrastructure projects received attention in this session.

S B Nayar, CMD, India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd. outlined several measures such as sale and lease back of assets and securitisation. Lack of attention to such details resulted in hundreds of vital projects announced by the UPA I and UPA II governments remaining non-starters. The ultra mega power project concept announced at the beginning of the UPA I regime which held great promise is a case in point. At the closing years of UPA II, Finance Minister P Chidambaram frequently mentioned of projects valued at over Rs 700,000 crore getting stuck for various reasons.

K Venkatesh, MD, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, pointed to yet another problem: the difficulty of concessionaries to realise fully the promise of toll collections in many of the BOT projects. Venkatesh  also referred to two other issues, of an effective disputes resolution mechanism and the difficulty of settlement of dues. The judicial system and mechanism for settlement outside the traditional legal system both need to be tuned up to deliver quick decisions.

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