Tweet: RBI keeps a watchful eye on Infra debt ~ says Banks will be allowed to buy Infra Bonds only up to a max value of 2% of Tier I Capital.
Infra bonds get a boost: With an estimated $2 trillion of investment needed for the infrastructure sector, RBI is keen on developing the market for infrastructure bonds. Towards this end, it has eased the ban on banks cross-holding bonds.
Tweet: Consensus ~ reform of state electricity boards are a clear priority over increasing power generation capacity. Govt should take cognisance.
Power Sector—structural reforms need of the hour: Despite rapid growth in power generation, electricity consumers continue to suffer long hours of power cuts, as state electricity boards lack the means to purchase power. Pricing reforms and urgent reduction of distribution losses are the only way out of this situation.
Tweet: Seed capital of R20,000 cr Nat Inv & Infra Fund (NIIF) likely to come from special dividends of PSUs. Better here than getting lost in Cons Fund.
NIIF set to be launched: In a bid to push growth, the government is focusing on the NIIF to pave the way for larger public spending in infrastructure projects. It is understood that a professional board of directors and management structure is soon to be announced.
Tweet: Estimates by Japanese peg likely fare for Mum-Ahd Bullet Train at Rs 2,800 = 1.5 times AC First ticket of Rs 1,895. 2 hrs against present 8.
Bullet train fares in India to be the lowest in world: The first bullet train service in India might be the cheapest such service in the world. The Japanese team in its report estimates that nearly 40,000 people will use the train corridor every day by 2023 when it is expected to start its service.
Tweet: More transparency: Auctions now for Coal linkages for ‘unregulated’ steel, cement, & alum sectors. Existing arrangements to end by July 2016.
Heralding a new auction method: Coal ministry has proposed a system called the Supply Controlled Ascending Marketing Clearing Auction to replace the current system. It is similar to the manner in which telecom spectrum auctions work.
Tweet: Metro Rail projects begin to pick up steam in Tier II cities. Nagpur Metro construction commences. Others like Pune, Ludhiana et al in queue.
Rapid action on the metro front: The government is all set to give a big push to mass rapid transport systems across 50 cities at an estimated cost of Rs 5,00,000 crore. Tier II cities are being evaluated for setting up of dedicated Metro networks.
Tweet: Transport Minister Gadkari says that “30% of driving licences in India are bogus.” Most people think number may be higher.
Bogus papers—a licence to kill?: Raising the issue of bogus driving licences, transport minister Gadkari moots Driving Training Centres across all Assembly constituencies in the country. He pointed out that 5 lakh road accidents take place in India every year leading to 1.5 lakh deaths.
Tweet: Telangana fires up public expenditure-driven infra investment strategy with R17,950 cr thermal power plant order on BHEL.
Telangana’s infrastructure push: Telangana is getting ready to shore up its infrastructure. Apart from the big-ticket thermal power project, the state government has proposed an extension of the upcoming Hyderabad metro rail network. As many as 26 national highway projects will also be constructed at a cost of R6,400 crore.
—Vinayak Chatterjee is Chairman of Feedback Infra
His Twitter handle: @Infra_VinayakCh
A weekly selection of the author’s tweets— with a brief backgrounder—in the infra space, by Adite Banerjie