Government steering groups on infra to meet Friday

New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) A steering group to accelerate infrastructure investment will have its first meeting Friday to monitor the preparation and award of projects of around Rs.100,000 crore, the prime minister's office (PMO) said Monday.

The projects include the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, the Mumbai Elevated Rail Corridor, an expressway project, a port, two airports, besides power and transmission projects.

The meeting will be chaired by the principal secretary to the prime minister and attended by secretaries of the ministries of finance, road transport, shipping, civil aviation, power, and the Planning Commission and the Chairman, Railway Board.

A statement from the PMO said to clear the backlog of sanctioned projects estimated at Rs. 200,000 crore in the railways, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved the constitution of an Inter Ministerial Group consisting of Chairman, Railway Board, and the secretaries to the finance ministries and the Planning Commission.

The government had Thursday announced it will spend Rs.1,030 crore during the 12th Plan period (2012-17) to upgrade industrial infrastructure in the country.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the "Modified Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme" of Rs.450 crore for committed liability and the remaining Rs.580 crore for taking up 14 to 16 new projects, including a minimum two projects in the Northeast, for upgradation in existing or greenfield industrial clusters.

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