Millennium Post

Road Secy-headed panel gets nod to clear NH projects below Rs500 crore

The government on Thursday approved a proposal to allow a committee headed by Road Secretary to clear highway projects of less than Rs 500 crore.

‘The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the proposal for a change in the delegation of powers for appraisal and approval of national highway projects,’  an official statement said.Appraisal of projects below Rs 500 crore, other than those to be appraised by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, would be carried out by the Standing Finance Committee chaired by Secretary, Road Transport & Highways with the approval by Minister of Road Transport and Highways, the statement added.

At present, for projects of less than Rs 500 crore there are varying appraisal and approval procedures, depending on the source of funding and mode of implementation of projects.Projects of Rs 500 crore or above require approval of CCEA.  These big projects would now also be appraised by a Committee chaired by Secretary, Expenditure or the public- private partnership appraisal committee (PPPAC), and approval will be given by the CCEA in accordance with extant guidelines and instructions.

In case conditions are not satisfied in projects of less than Rs 500 crore, the proposal would be brought before the PPPAC or Committee chaired by Secretary, Expenditure, for public funded projects and sent to the CCEA for decision. In case of a difference of opinion or dissent by members of the Standing Finance Committee, representing Planning Commission, Department of Economic Affairs and Financial Adviser, the dissent would be recorded and considered by the Road Minister for an appropriate decision.
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