Need to shed obsession with mega projects: Lars Thunell

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Lars H. Thunell (file photo)
Business Line Lars H. Thunell (file photo)

Swedish businessman and former chief executive of International Finance Corporation (IFCI) Lars Thunell today said the country should shed its obsession with mega projects and instead concentrate on having a multiple smaller ones, which can get us the same impact.

“Politicians have a tendency of liking mega projects. Instead, you should have a string of smaller projects,” Thunnel, who is respected for his view on development finance, said delivering a lecture organised by Exim Bank here.

Thunell compared having smaller projects with keeping one’s eggs in multiple baskets and said ‘even if half of them fructify, the impact is very good, whereas if a single mega project fails to take off, as is the case with many projects here, all efforts go vain’.

Later, speaking to reporters, he also congratulated an idea like the NIB (National Investment Board) saying it will help expedite bigger projects through the single window functioning it would offer.

Calling the ongoing financial turmoil as basically a challenge for creating jobs, Thunell called on leaders to help generate jobs by encouraging small businesses and concentrate on getting them into the formal, organised sector.

Given the state of sovereign finances, he said public private partnerships are the future wherein the government carries out its developmental agenda with the help of private capital.

When asked about the controversy surrounding the GMR—Maldives over the Male airport, he said he would need to wait for the legal process to be over.

He also asked Indian businesses to concentrate on the African continent, saying the region, long neglected, is abound with opportunities now and India constitutes for only 6 percent of African trade.

(This article was published on December 10, 2012)
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