Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has criticised the banks for not making financial closures for infrastructure projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore despite a "golden opportunity" and charged the central bank of creating "more complications" by its frequent circulars, as reported by Economic Times.
Union Road Transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is widely admired for overcoming systemic bottlenecks in infrastructure sector and expediting several key projects, was speaking at the ET Awards ceremony held in Mumbai on Saturday (17 November).
Gadkari stated that he had at least 150 projects with cost involvement of Rs 2 lakh crore in the waiting because banks were making financial closures tough for the investor, adding that the circulars issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) many times create more complications.
When asked whether he discussed the issue with RBI Governor Urjit Patel, Gadkari stated that there was no point meeting the Governor as his past experience with him hadn’t been fruitful. "One should meet those where there is some benefit, some work gets done," he said.
The Minister’s comments come just a day before RBI’s board meeting in the backdrop of its tussle with the government on several issues including a liquidity crunch and placement of limits on loan-extension on several banks.
Gadkari also promised to contribute 3.5 per cent of GDP as opposed to 3 per cent last year if the banks give the due support. He further added that all his projects were economically viable with good IRR (rate of return).
Mr Gadkari said that there were 403 projects with a cost involvement of Rs 3.85 lakh crore when he took charge and his department had saved the Indian bankers from non-performing assets (NPA) of about Rs 3 lakh crore.
He further said that while bankers supported the contractors when the financial and policy situation was not good, they are not doing it currently when things have improved.
"... the economic situation is good, the government is transparent, decision making process is fast and it is a golden opportunity for the investors and contractors. I don't know what is the reason that the banks are not making financial closures," the Minister said.
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