According to a recently carried out study on projects facing cost over-runs, an acute skill shortage is as responsible for the inordinate delays in big-ticket infra projects as cumbersome red tape and tardy land acquisition process. It is a matter of concern that a staggering 80% of the developers are unable to find skilled project managers and blue-collar workers to execute projects on the ground, the study, which was commissioned by the government, was recently submitted to the ministry of statistics and program implementation. The outcome of the report poses a major threat to India's plans to spend a trillion dollars on building infrastructure over the next four years.

The study pointed out that cost over-runs due to delayed execution of 551 projects run up to over Rs 1.6 lakh crore, as per an estimate by the ministry, which monitors investments of over Rs 1,50 lakh crore. Some projects have been stalled for over a decade, with FM recently pegging the investments held up in red tape at Rs 10.5 lakh crore. Worried over cost and time over-runs in the proposed trillion dollar infrastructure investments would be "a drag on the economy", the ministry had asked Project Management Institute (PMI) India and KPMG to assess the factors causing delays across sectors. Though some projects are delayed by external factors such as land acquisition or regulatory approvals which are beyond the control of the executing agency, a majority of projects are delayed by factors that can be controlled at the project level through proper planning and project management. India needs 4 lakh new qualified project managers every year till 2022, and a radical overhaul of the vocational education system to achieve its infrastructure dreams, notes the study that has now been shared with all core sector ministries and the Planning Commission, India is a risk-ignorant country and most developers jump into execution of projects without understanding the challenges involved, said managing director of PMI India, Raj Kalady, who steered the study and found projects across sectors were afflicted by poor project management and a lack of any credible risk management mechanism.