Thursday, April 06, 2006

To put Bihar on fast-track, PM?s task force, state turn to ICICI

The ICCI Bank will help Bihar government formulate a model of private-public partnership in infrastructure development, keeping in view specific problems of the state.

This was decided at a meeting between the PM?s task force on Bihar and state officials on Tuesday, said task force chairman Satish C Jha.

Private companies are still wary of venturing into Bihar. The state recently invited tenders for four-laning of over 2000 km of National Highway on build, operate, transfer basis. The government and private partners were to share the costs on a 40:60 ratio and not single bid came.

?Now the Centre may consider on a case by case basis, funding 60 per cent and seeking 40 per cent from private partners,? Jha said.

The Task Force, set up in 2004, couldn?t make much headway because of political instability in the state.

But since February, the STF has held meetings with different department heads in the state, charting out roadmaps for each sector.

?The emphasis is on infrastructure and the attempt is to get private investments,? said Jha.

The state government is also planning to make the newly-formed Bihar Infrastructure Development Authority the single-window for all infrastructure-related decisions.

Bihar has no big contractors who own large quantities of construction equipment and this is seen as a big roadblock. The task force is now asking a Kolkota machinery leasing company to set up shop in Bihar.
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