Let languishing projects not languish again

We recall how due to pragmatic approach and finding non conventional ways of arranging funds for reviving hundreds of those projects in Jammu and Kashmir, work on which though started with lot of hype, was soon seen having been stopped for want of funds and the required follow up. Astonishingly, the number of such abandoned projects was a whooping number of 6000. The Government of erstwhile state, for the purpose, had established a new infrastructure company known as Jammu and Kashmir Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (JKIDFC) and Rs.8000 crore were mandated to be arranged through it for financing these held up projects. These stalled projects were no one’s concern all the previous years until 2018 although lot of public funds were already spent on them initially and since they were neither complete and nor put to any use, therefore, were all deemed to have been wasted. With the active support of funds provided by the JKIDFC, hundreds of languishing projects as old as even 10 to 20 years were revived, restarted with new escalated costs and over 1200 of them completed as well. However, funds for all the 6000 projects obviously could neither be arranged all at a stretch nor work on them managed properly as arranging funds mostly from Banks and other financial institutions by the JKIDFC is slightly a time taking process especially in respect of arranging massive funds. Not only are such projects languishing quite in good number but of different segments as well like related to bridges, water supply, education, power supply, roads, drainage, irrigation, agricultural, health and the like .Therefore, despite many such projects afresh having been approved, restarted, completed and ”handed over”, a backlog continues to be attended to for completion of remaining works on them. There are, therefore, nearly 1000 of such projects which though approved for restarting of work on them, have yet again undergone the same process of stoppage of work due to funds shortage rather non availability as the limits of funds fixed for them in Banks had been fully availed of or exhausted. Since all the projects classified as languishing had been initially approved probably without an assured funds base besides arranging the same from within the financial resources of the Government equally being difficult, if not out of question totally, the setting up of the JKIDFC though resulting in salvaging the position, yet the problem of funds no doubt with it not being much difficult to arrange as per the mandate to the Corporation, the issue causes the avoidable delays in completion of these projects. What is needed is the flow and rhythm of funds being in consonance with the pace of work so that the contractors did not face problems in keeping their commitments towards their liabilities. What is felt is that the position of satisfactory flow of funds for the first year or immediately thereafter did not continue and keep going smoothly obviously due to mismatch of the number of projects accorded approval and funds managed there- against. No project under this category can be classified as more important in nature and of utility or of less import conversely, which therefore demands smooth funds flow. In this respect, we understand that the corporation has recently decided to raise a loan of Rs.2000 crore for financing of the languishing projects and such a limit is to be availed of during the remaining months of the current financial year ending March 2022. In this connection, inviting of what is known as Expressions of Interest (EOI) and formalities connected with that are expected to be completed shortly. It is, therefore, hoped that once this credit limit is sanctioned by the designated financial institutions in favour of the Corporation and subsequently released, those projects which are currently under financial strain and work being affected on them would again be started for completion.