Stalled projects being micro-monitored for revival: Jaitley

San Francisco, June 23 (IANS) The government is minutely monitoring the stalled projects in a move to enable a pick-up in industrial growth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

“Micro attention is being paid to stalled projects and a pick-up in that area would be helping demand for industrial products,” Jaitley said at a meeting here on Monday with US companies operating in India.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) that co-hosted the event with the US-India Business Council said in a statement on Tuesday that companies at the meeting included Microsoft, Amazon, Oracle, Hewitt Packard, Visa, Franklin Templeton, Google, Cisco, First Solar, Ebay, Qualcomm, Blackberry and San Disk among others.

“The monsoon prediction is improving and with it the prospects of the agriculture sector doing better, which would put the economic growth prospects on an even better footing,” the finance minister said.

Jaitley earlier this month said the finance ministry is currently preparing a list of projects stalled due to lack of finance to set in motion the process of their revival and thus bring down the non-performing assets, or distressed loans, of banks.

“Many stalled projects have started. The secretary, department of financial services, in consultation with others, will prepare a list of projects stalled because of finance,” Jaitley then told reporters in New Delhi after meeting with the heads of public and private sector banks.

“We will deal with these stalled projects directly. We will call representatives of state governments, of the projects and the departments concerned over the next few weeks,” he said.

Gross non-performing assets, or distressed loans, of state-run banks have gone up to Rs.260,531 crore as in December 2014. In the fourth quarter of January to March 2015, NPAs had come down from 5.64 to 5.2 percent.

As per the ministry’s Economic Survey published before February’s union budget, stalled projects as in December-end amounted to Rs.880,000 crore-worth.

The finance minister, accompanied by a high-power business delegation, is on a 10-day visit to the US, where his itinerary embraces New York, Washington and San Francisco.

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