Taxpayers pay Rs 4.29 lakh crore cost overruns for 449 infra projects: Should Gov’t be Punished for Such Failures?

Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation scrutinize infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above.

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Taxpayers pay Rs 4.29 lakh crore cost overruns for 449 infra projects: Should Gov't be Punished for Such Failures? THE POLICY TIMES

Around 449 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore have been reported to overrun totaling more than Rs 4.29 lakh crores. Of the total1,736 projects, 449 reported cost overruns and 547were delayed.

Statistics post-analysis released

The Ministry’s latest report for February 2021 said, “Total original cost of implementation of the 1,736 projects was Rs 22,32,019.72 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 26,61,205.74 crore.” According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till February 2021 is Rs 12,78,270.71 crore, which is 48.03 percent of the anticipated cost of the projects.  Out of 547 delayed projects, 109 projects have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 132 projects have a delay of 13-24 months, 187 projects reflect a delay in the range of 25-60 months, and 119 projects show delays of 61 months and above.

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Reasons for the delay

Land acquisition issues, forests and environment clearances, lack of infrastructure support and linkages along with the pandemic are cited as some reasons for the delay in the completion.  It has also been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are underreported, it added.

TPT Policy Advocacy & Recommendations

  • The government is only answerable to parliament for the misuse of the taxpayers’ money. The political class has a monopoly on determining how our money is spent. Scams mean siphoning off a huge amount of people’s money to politicians, bureaucrats, or middle-men, resulting in massive misuse.
  • The government expenditure is riddled with inefficiencies and leakage. In the year 2000, the government set up an expenditure reform commission that delivered 10 reports recommending sweeping changes to cut down flab. Come what may, the Indian government doesn’t hesitate to misuse citizens’ hard-earned money. A Committee of credible and eminent leaders representing various sectors of the economy must be set to advise the government on expenditure.
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Taxpayers pay Rs 4.29 lakh crore cost overruns for 449 infra projects: Should Gov't be Punished for Such Failures?
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Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation scrutinize infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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