1. Infratweets: New authority for Railways

Infratweets: New authority for Railways

According to a concept paper issued by the Railways, the new Rail Development Authority will be set up through an executive order before it is taken up via the legislation process.

By: | Published: January 13, 2016 12:17 AM
Rail Devpt Auth to be quasi-judicial body. Good. Hope it has an appellate authority too & the power to renegotiate PPP contracts gone awry.

Rail Devpt Auth to be quasi-judicial body. Good. Hope it has an appellate authority too & the power to renegotiate PPP contracts gone awry.

Tweet: Concept paper on Rail Devpt Auth lists 4 functions (1) Tariff (2) PPP level playing field (3) performance standards (4) info dissemination.

Tweet: Rail Devpt Auth to be quasi-judicial body. Good. Hope it has an appellate authority too & the power to renegotiate PPP contracts gone awry.

Railways readies for the new authority: According to a concept paper issued by the Railways, the new Rail Development Authority will be set up through an executive order before it is taken up via the legislation process. It will also address issues related to special purpose vehicles, container train operators and other contractors who have concession/licence agreements.

Tweet: CMIE Dec quarter report sends a chill down policy corridors. New investment proposals fall 74% & commissioning of projects drops 49%.

Drastic decline in investments in December quarter: Investments worth R1.05 lakh crore were announced in the December 2015 quarter which is 74% lower than the corresponding previous quarter. The 2015 calendar year has thus ended with no clear visibility on the expected upturn in the investment cycle. Experts feel such an uptick is likely to be seen two quarters down the line.

Tweet: Good to see 15 states sign up for UDAY. It would be irrational, though, for them not to considering 13% Discom Debt will now be at 9%.

Discom debt reform gets underway: The Centre is hopeful of having 21 states on board for the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) by March 2016. For the states that sign up, one of the first steps is to take over 75% of discom debt as on September 30, 2015 over two years—50% in 2015-16 and 25% in 2016-17.

Tweet: Understand Govt seriously considering 2 suggestions of Kelkar Comm – PPP Proj Review Board (for stress), PPP Adjudication Trib (disputes).

Public private partnership revitalisation: One of the issues that the Kelkar Committee on PPP revitalisation had to address was that of stalled infrastructure projects, often referred to as stuck legacy projects. These two suggestions are expected to clear the backlog of stalled PPP projects.

Tweet: Positive feeling in private sector circles that with Amitabh Kant as CEO of NITI Aayog, engagement with the institution is bound to increase.

NITI Aayog to benefit from Kant’s skills: The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) secretary, Amitabh Kant, will be in a position to guide NITI Aayog after his retirement. Kant is among the key functionaries involved in rolling out the Make in India programme and has been working on the soon-to-be launched Start-Up India initiative.

Tweet: NHAI tax free bonds saw much higher participation of retail investors than ever before. Good to see infra funds being raised from public.

Infrastructure bonds get a thumbs-up: Tax-free bond issues of public sector companies have garnered huge interest among retail and non-retail investors. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) bond has raised subscription of Rs 3,420 crore which is the largest to be mobilised by any tax-free bond issue in the retail category.

Tweet: Coal Secy says India getting ready to open up commercial coal mining to pvt cos. Plan will be ready in 3 months. Good going by @swarup58.

Paving the way for commercial coal mining: The government is finalising plans to throw open commercial mining to private sector. It has identified the mines for auctioning and is in the process of setting up eligibility criteria and working out the modalities.

Tweet: Civil Aviation Ministry mulling doing away with practice of naming Airports after famous personalities. Good idea to have only city names.

Depoliticising airport naming: Once the civil aviation ministry proposal is approved by the Cabinet, airports will be known by the name of the city they are situated in. This would come as a big relief to operators as airport naming has thrown up some unnecessary political controversies in the recent past.

– 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

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