Water Infrastructure players appeal to the Government for inclusion of Drinking Water and Waste Water Projects under ECLGS

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New Delhi : Water Alliance India, Ion Exchange Limited, Swach Environment Private Limited, Nangloi Water Services Private Limited, industry associations and other companies dealing with water management services have appealed to the Government of India to include water and waste water sectors in Emergency Credit Guarantee Limit Scheme (ECLGS 2.0) in order to seek financial support from lending institutions.

The water sector in India is under severe financial stress due to the Covid -19 pandemic with various drinking water and sanitation projects suffering immensely on account of restrictions imposed on activities, lack of manpower, credit crunch and shortage of raw material. With no financial support in the face of cautious lending by financial institutions, a failure to define the water and waste water projects under any of the pre-defined sub-sectors of Infrastructure or Construction in the ECLGS will spell doom for the viability of projects which are battling enormous financial distress.

Commenting on the issue, Mr. Sourav Daspatnaik, Managing Trustee, Water Alliance India said: “It is a matter of great concern that Water, Waste Water and Sanitation sectors which have been at the forefront of the Covid-19 crisis are not considered in the eligible sectors. Just like power and electricity, Water, Waste Water management and Sanitation must be considered as an essential service and cannot be subservient to other sectors. The life line of water infrastructure development in India will tumble if such reliefs under the Government policies are not made available to Water, Waste water and Sanitation sector.”

The Government of India in response to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, announced an Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). Under the Scheme, the Government undertook to guarantee additional facilities provided by lending institutions to their existing borrowers. The same was further revised as ECLGS 2.0 wherein the Government guaranteed additional lending to the 27 sectors including the 26 sectors defined by the committee headed by Shri KV Kamath and the Health sector. Later, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Leisure and Sporting sectors were included in the list of eligible sectors.

However, the water infrastructure players have not been able to avail this scheme in the absence of water sector being listed in the 26 sectors defined by the KV Kamath Committee. The loans under ECLGS can be sanctioned only up to 30.09.2021 and disbursed up to 31st of December 2021.

-Odisha Age