Tweet: Interest in Nat Inv & Infra Fund by sovereign wealth funds of Singapore, Canada, Qatar. Rusnano of Russia to set up TechFund with NIIF.
Infrastructure funding gets a boost
With several sovereign wealth funds and pension funds keen on participating in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), the government’s initiative to address gaps in the infrastructure sector’s long-term funding needs has got a big boost. NIIF will house multiple stepdown funds, including one for stressed assets and another for greenfield projects.
Tweet: After cement bulk purchase format, Roads Min now intends undertaking a similar format for steel. Energetic & proactive cost management.
Bulk-buying to ease costs for contractors
The roads ministry has announced that it will invite tenders for bulk purchase of steel. It comes close on the heels of a similar call for cement tenders and is aimed at lowering costs for contractors. Against a total of 95 lakh tonnes of cement that was on offer, 5 lakh tonnes have been procured by contractors till date.
Tweet: Boosting ‘make in India’—Govt bans imports of duty-free capital goods for power projects. Big relief to domestic power equip suppliers.
Boon for power equipment industry
In a bid to give a fillip to domestic manufacturing, the government has banned duty-free imports of capital goods for power generation and transmission projects. The decision has been welcomed by the indigenous power equipment industry as it is expected to provide a level playing field and encourage the Make-in-India programme.
Tweet: Back to PPP. Telecom Regulator for 25 year concession to pvt players for rolling out BharatNet project—to provide broadband to villages.
BharatNet: Trai bats for PPP model
Trai has recommended public-private partnership as the preferred choice for the national broadband network, BharatNet. It has suggested that the scope of the concessionaire’s work should include deployment and implementation of optic fibre cable as well as operating the network.
Tweet: Transparency: Discretion cut. Now steel, cement, aluminum type industries will have to get their coal supplies thru e-auctions.
Coal supplies go the e-way
Addressing the demand for better transparency in the process of granting coal linkages, the power ministry has decided that all long-term supply of fuel to sectors such as steel, cement, and aluminum, will now be granted only through electronic auctions. After the existing fuel supply agreements (FSAs) lapse, the auction route will become mandatory for all future contracts.
Tweet: Pathbreaking dev model for Rlys. Cabinet allows formation of JVs with States including SPVs with equity participation by banks, ports, PSUs.
New model for railways development
The joint ventures between the Railways and states will be responsible for identifying projects, land acquisition and raising possible financing, in addition to government funding and monitoring. Each JV will have an initial paid-up capital of R100 crore, based on the quantum of projects to be undertaken. Railways’ initial paid-up capital will be limited to R50 crore for each state.
Tweet: States that have signed up for UDAY now jolted into realisation that AT&C losses have to be brought down to 15% by 2019. Discoms on alert!
UDAY: The ball is now in the discoms’ court
At the first level, the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme has succeeded in providing a modicum of financial relief to discoms along with associated benefits of cheaper power and investment support for upgradation of the networks. However, it is up to the state discoms now to demonstrate purposive action on the ground vis-à-vis the well documented negatives of power theft, inefficiencies in billing and collection and the decrepit nature of existing networks.
– Vinayak Chatterjee is Chairman of Feedback Infra
His Twitter handle: @Infra_VinayakCh
A weekly compilation of the author’s tweets—
with a brief backgrounder—in the infra space, by Adite Banerjie