NITI Aayog has been implementing a structured initiative, ‘Development Support Services for States (DSSS) for Infrastructure Projects’, with the vision to achieve transformational and sustained delivery of infrastructure projects. The key objective behind the initiative is to create PPP success stories and reboot infrastructure project delivery models so that a sustainable infrastructure creation cycle can be established. DSSS has the following key objectives:
- Establish Centre-State partnership model for cooperation
- Reimagine and transform delivery of infrastructure projects by creating a marquee project shelf that demonstrates successful implementation of high impact projects
- Establish PPPs as governance tools supporting larger development agenda
- Address key structural issues that States face in conceiving, structuring and implementing infrastructure projects
- Build institutional and organisational capacities of States and State-level institutions to conceive, conceptualise, structure and implement infrastructure projects
The DSSS initiative involves providing project-level support from concept plan to financial closure to States/UTs. NITI Aayog has appointed M/s Ernst & Young LLP as its consultant to provide transaction management support for implementing the selected infrastructure projects on ground.
Phase I of the initiative was completed in FY 2018, wherein a demonstrable project shelf comprising 10 projects was selected from among 400. These were received from the States based on a multi-stage project-selection framework. Projects from eight States were selected for development on a public-private partnership mode through an MoU with the State Governments. During 2018–19, Phase II of the initiative was completed for the shortlisted projects.
Most projects under the initiative have entered Phase III, in which NITI Aayog, with the support of external consultants, assists the States in transaction structuring, strategy and bid process management.
During the years 2019–20 and 2020-21, more projects were taken up under the DSSS initiative, especially in the North-Eastern States, substituting some of the original projects. An MoU was also signed with the newly constituted Union Territory of Ladakh to develop a strategic plan and provide support for specific projects, especially for tourism, solar energy and others, which are to be taken up under the public-private partnership mode. At present, 7 projects, including 2 originally selected and 5 additional ones, are underway under DSSS-I.