CSIR’s 100 crore goes in vain as in­dus­trial projects fail

Chemical Industry Digest - - News & Views -

Ac­cord­ing to a Lok Sabha re­port, the Coun­cil of Sci­en­tific and In­dus­trial Re­search (CSIR) dis­bursed a to­tal of 298 crore un­der its New Mil­len­nium In­dian Tech­nol­ogy Lead­er­ship Ini­tia­tive (NMITLI) to 45 dif­fer­ent projects since the in­cep­tion of the scheme in early 2000s, but many firms failed to pro­duce tan­gi­ble re­sults.

Ac­cord­ing to Union Science and Tech­nol­ogy Min­is­ter Harsh Vard­han, many firms failed to pay back the soft loan given at an in­ter­est rate of 3 per­cent, lead­ing to a loss of 102 crore. One of the ma­jor de­fault­ers was Ghazi­abad­based Sam­tel Color, which was given NMITLI funds worth 20.63 crore for de­vel­op­ing next-gen­er­a­tion plasma dis­play tech­nol­ogy in­dige­nously in 2006-7. The com­pany be­came sick af­ter avail­ing of the loan and be­gin­ning to im­ple­ment the project.

There have been sev­eral suc­cess­fully com­pleted projects too un­der the scheme, which were also han­dled by many mar­quee firms like TCS, Cadila Pharma, Lupin and Bio­con, among oth­ers. How­ever, what the Min­is­ter did not elab­o­rate was that whether any steps have been taken for loan re­cov­ery. Tech­nol­ogy devel­op­ment projects all over the world are con­sid­ered in­her­ently risky and the losses are of­ten off­set by suc­cess­ful projects.

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