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Top 15 account for Rs 53,760 cr -- Investments in 62 projects shelved

Ambarish Mukherjee

NEW DELHI, May 8

TOP corporate houses in the country as well as public sector undertakings and multinationals have either shelved or postponed a total of 62 projects involving a combined investment of Rs 77,682.33 crore during financial year 2001-02, according to an annual survey of Indian projects conducted by Projects Today, a division of Economic Research India Ltd, which monitors live projects in the country.

Out of this, the top 15 projects together accounted for Rs 53,760.56 crore or 69.2 per cent of the proposed investments. This includes projects initiated by Government entities such as National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NHEPCL), big private sector players such as Reliance, Essar, Indo Rama and Videocon as well as foreign multinationals like Shell.

While Reliance, which has either shelved or postponed four projects with a combined investment of Rs 14,650 crore, leads the pack, others are not far behind.

The R.P. Goenka group, Essar group, Vinai Rai's Usha group have postponed or shelved two projects each, while the Tatas and the Birlas have shelved one project each.

Tata Timken has abandoned its proposed automobile ancillary unit in West Bengal, while Jay Shree Tea and Industries Ltd of the B.K. Birla group has put its timber product project on the backburner.

The survey has found that power projects have been shelved following domestic financial institutions' decision to hold back loans and the reluctance of some of the State electricity boards to provide escrow cover. In other instances, of the manufacturing industry it is either excess capacity or fear of increased competition as in the case of Shell group's petrochemicals project, which the company had taken over from the Mafatlal-Nocil combine.

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