Seems that fiscal budget of this year will go for a toss as almost 362 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or above, are estimated to go beyond the budget as they have already shown overruns of over Rs 3.39 lakh crore owing to delays and other reasons, a report said.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. “Total original cost of implementation of the 1417 projects was Rs 17,38,095.86 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 20,77,898.81 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 3,39,802.95 crore (19.55% of original cost),” the ministry’s latest report for August 2018 said.
Of these 1,417 projects, 362 reported cost overruns and 317 time escalation. According to the report, the expenditure incurred on these projects till August 2018 is Rs 7,76,351.56 crore, which is 37.36 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.
However, it said the number of delayed projects decreases to 249 if delay is calculated on the basis of latest schedule of completion. For 694 projects, neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.
Out of 317 delayed projects, 86 projects have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 55 projects have 13-24 months, 87 projects reflect delay of 25-60 months and 89 projects show 61 months and above delay.
It also said that the average time overrun in these 317 delayed projects is 46.72 months. The brief reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are delay in land acquisition, forest clearance and supply of equipment.
Besides, there are other reasons like fund constraints, geological surprises, geo-mining conditions, slow progress in civil works, shortage of labour, inadequate mobilisation by the contractor, Maoist problems, court cases, contractual issues, ROU/ROW (right of use/right of way) problems, law and order situation, among others.
It also observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported.