A public-private partnership in essence is an arrangement between a public (government) authority and a private (non-government) entity by which services that are the obligation of, or which have traditionally been provided by, the public authority are provided by the private entity under a contractual arrangement (concession, license or management contract) containing well-defined terms and conditions. Under this arrangement, the obligation to provide such services and to be accountable to users continues to devolve on the public authority, though it chooses to deliver them through a private entity best suited for the purpose.
While for the financially free standing projects, where the role of the public sector is limited to initial project development, land acquisition, and securing approvals such as environmental clearance, the private sector partner undertakes the project on the basis that costs and profits would be entirely recovered through charges for services to be paid by the users of these services. It is also possible to have hybrid structures where, in order to enhance the viability and commercial attractiveness of the project, the public entity may provide a viability gap support by way of a capital grant or through payments spread over the project life. A policy for financial support to PPPs through the provision of viability gap funding up to 20% by the central government and an additional 20% by the state government or the line ministry has been notified by Government of India. In joint ventures, whereas the government participates in the equity capital raised for the project as an equal or minority partner, the overall project control generally rests with the private sector.
During the course, topics covered by experts are as under: