Tweet: Now 2% Aviation Cess for Regional Connectivity. Many types of ‘cesses’ becoming new form of indirect taxation without Parliament sanction.
Cess to fund regional air connectivity: The draft civil aviation policy aims to popularise air travel by improving regional connectivity. The funds from the proposed 2% cess on all domestic trunk routes as well as international tickets will be used to subsidise flights on small town routes.
Tweet: A few years ago infra sector consumed 25% of all cement. That fell to 20% in recent times. Analysts expect it to soon start climbing back.
New infrastructure projects to boost cement demand: With the emphasis on infrastructure development, cement companies are expected to be big gainers. According to estimates, upcoming infrastructure projects will need 45 million tonnes of cement in the next three to four years.
Tweet: Good idea to allow coal linkages to be shifted from inefficient state-owned power plants to newer plants; giving 25% fuel efficiency.
New-for-old power plant scheme: Diversion of coal from inefficient and poorly managed plants run by state electricity boards (SEBs) to newer supercritical units is one of the initiatives being undertaken by the central power ministry. After the old units are phased out, the states could also get new ultra-mega power projects built on a public-private partnership basis at the same sites.
Tweets: The first stop on a long rly journey. LIC subscribes to first tranche of Rs 2000 cr Rly Bonds as part of larger Rs 1.5 lac cr over 5 years.
Rlys emerging as magnet for PPP-FDI & ‘Make in India.’ After diesel+elec loco bids, tender out for Rs 1200 cr Coach factory at Kanchrapara.
Railways moves ahead on multiple tracks: The LIC-Railways deal will provide Railways with the funds needed for investment in 50 projects involving construction of new lines and electrification of routes as part of its capacity enhancement programme. Meanwhile, the Railways is opening up another channel for direct foreign investment by inviting tenders for its much delayed coach factory in West Bengal.
Tweet: Govt mulling Construction & O&M of Sewage Treatment facilities for towns along the Ganga to corporates under some kind of Annuity scheme.
Corporates being wooed to set up sewage systems: The government has approached corporates to adopt towns and invest in setting up and management of sewage treatment plants for a period of 15 years. Many of the activities and projects undertaken by corporates would even be eligible for 100% funding from the government.
Tweet: Tech enabled: MoRTH and ISRO expected to sign a pact soon for use of satellites and drones for monitoring of road construction projects.
Road construction goes high tech: NHAI is planning to use GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) and BHUVAN satellite systems to develop a 360-degree mapping of all national highways by 2017. Besides helping in scientific planning of road projects, it will also enable timely road maintenance and monitoring of construction.
Tweet: Rlys successfully test vandal-proof ‘alert system’ for unmanned level crossings—2 flashing lights & siren. Could’ve been done earlier ?
Making Railways safer: Accidents at unmanned level crossings account for nearly 40% of train accidents and 60% of fatalities. The Railways’ research wing, which has developed it, has advised that one or two of these systems should be tested in each railway zone before large-scale implementation.
Tweet: Rankings’ proving to be a big stimulus to reform—India ranking, States Ranking, Smart City Challenge. Many more to be added for sure!
Reform via rankings: There’s a new dimension to ‘cooperative federalism’. Professional rankings are putting the spotlight on investment destinations and inviting sharp scrutiny of their policies and business environments.
—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