Nitin Gadkari flays bureaucracy for project delays, cost over-runs

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MUMBAI: Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari today pulled up the “salaried bureaucrats” for sitting on files, saying they don’t realise the cost of interest investors have to pay due to the delays.

“The shipping industry is not getting enough support from banks for their projects. But I would like to assure you that we are changing as the environment has already changed,” Gadkari told the firstMaritime Summit here this evening.

Voicing concern over the private sector failing to get bank funds due to delays in approvals and clearances, he said the main problem with the system today is that the “salaried bureaucrats” don’t understand the cost of interest.

“If a project is delayed even by three to five months, the investor has to pay heavy interest. Therefore, we will have to take decisions in a time-bound and transparent manner and get the process on fast track,” he said.

The minister further said the government will ensure all clearances, including environment and forest, land acquisition, shifting of utilities, and creating rail bridges, among others will be done by the government before issuing work orders in the shipping sector.

Gadkari has been keen on bringing down the interest rates since he took over and leveraging the ports and shipping companies’ dollar-revenues to borrow in dollars and thus minimise their interest costs.

He further said the government expects the shipping sector to contribute nearly 3 per cent to GDP.