Some infra policy highlights of 2016: Regional Air connectivity, Major Ports revamp, 75% Cash for arbitration awards, UDAY push, NIIF.
With stressed conditions in Indian infra for almost 1/2 decade now, 2017 is being earnestly anticipated as a pivotal year for resurgence.
Will 2017 be the turnaround year for infra sector?
During 2016, the government focused on attempts to revv up the infrastructure sector. The expectation for 2017 is a major step up in public expenditure to get the sector to bounce back even while conditions are created to revive private sector investment.
While PM anguished over lack of Municipal Bonds, UDAY has clearly stirred the states’ bond pot. R1.83 lac cr UDAY Bonds issued till date.
Discom turnaround hopes rest on bonds
Twelve states have issued bonds valued at R1.83 lakh crore which have helped service 83% of the cumulative debt of state-owned discoms. Rajasthan with the highest exposure of discoms’ debt issued bonds worth R70,525 crore.
Highway constrn now at 17 km/day against target of 41. Understand 2 key reasons ~ lack of institutional capacity & tardy states support.
Slippage on hiway targets reminds us of Gadkari’s comment soon after assuming office ~ “90% of delays are attributable to Govt itself !”
Overambitious targets for highway construction have not taken into account the issue of institutional capacity and other constraints on the ground. Given the current setup, the government needs to do a systemic review of the steps involved after awarding of projects and revamp processes.
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Rolling Stones, or stuck? Excellent idea for PMO to be doing a status review of projects where PM Modi had laid foundation stones.
PMO to review project status
All ministries have been instructed to provide status updates on projects for which the Prime Minister had laid foundation stones. Among the details sought are cost of project, reasons for delay and cost escalation.
Unclear about the logic of bundling 13 large rly PSUs under a mammoth Rly holding co. How does it help strategic divestment of units?
Railways’ new divestment strategy?
The idea behind setting up of a holding company, according to the railways ministry, is to ensure that the holding company can use the proceeds from disinvestment in Railway PSUs for development work. A draft of the proposal has been sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Noteworthy progress of solar capacity additions: calendar year 2015 = 2300 MW; 2016 = 4,000 MW; 2017 = expected 9,000 MW.
Solar capacity soars
According to experts, India is expected to add upto 9000 MW of new solar installations in 2017. This would boost India’s position to the top three global markets after China and the USA.
Appreciate that inspite of one of the foggiest Decembers, Delhi Airport handled flight schedules much better than earlier years.
Delhi airport’s fog challenge
Delhi had 62 hours of dense fog during December 2016 compared to 34 hours, which is normal. However, it was less chaotic than usual due to a better monitoring and coordination system.
Vehicle-free city centre movement gets a boost with cars banned from inner and middle circles of Connaught Place in New Delhi for 3 months.
No entry for cars In Connaught Place
Starting February, cars and buses will not be allowed in Connaught Place to reduce pollution and traffic congestion. The heart of New Delhi will be served by ‘park and ride’ trips on cycle and battery operated vehicles, which will be offered from the surrounding parking areas.
– Vinayak Chatterjee is Chairman of Feedback Infra
His Twitter handle: @Infra_VinayakCh
A weeklyselection of the author’s tweets—
with a brief backgrounder—in the infra space, by Adite Banerjie