Tweet: PuPuP: Heartening to see more “Public Public Partnerships.” Airport Auth to set up new airports in JV with state govts. Rlys in JVs too.
An emerging partnership model: A variant of the PPP (public private partnership) model is fast emerging. Public-Public-Partnership (PuPuP) envisages infrastructure development partnerships between different public sector units as is evident between ports and Railways, state governments and Railways. Other PSUs like Coal India and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) are also exploring such options.
Tweets: Rly investments on the fast track: Attracts largest FDI in 2 loco projects + doubles investment in 1st 7 months compared to last year.
New locos from GE and Alstom will allow pulling a freight train of 10,000 tonnes load as against current 3,900 on single engine basis.
Railway investments to boost economic growth: Global investment major Morgan Stanley predicts that Indian Railways’ expenditure boost—a 285% increase from $34 billion to $132 billion—will lead to a 12% rise in the growth of GDP between 2015 and 2019. Fresh investments and capacity creation will lead to 10% reduction in logistics costs.
Tweet: Waterworld: Likely that winter session of Parliament might pass the Bill declaring 111 river stretches as National Waterways. Pathbreaking.
Rooting for inland waterways: The government is making a major push to get the Waterways Bill passed. Nitin Gadkari, minister for transport, said that inland waterways would not only boost movement of passengers and goods but also lead to savings of Rs 10,000 crore annually in coal transportation.
Tweet: Ex-cessive? Another “cess” kicks in for metro flyers. FinMin okays 2% fee on air tickets on metro routes to fund regional connectivity.
Metro flyers to subsidise small town routes: Flying between metros and other big cities will cost 2% more from next year. The cess will go towards building a Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) and will subsidise airlines’ cost of operations in smaller towns.
Tweet: Boost for SEZs: ComMin proposes units in SEZs be allowed to sell in domestic mkt at lowest import duty applicable to free trade partners.
SEZs get a shot in the arm: At present, import duty is levied on goods produced at Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that are sold in the domestic market putting them at a disadvantage when compared to goods imported through free trade agreements. The proposed move will not only give SEZs a shot in the arm but also add muscle to the Make in India campaign.
Tweet: Heartening to see Govt emphasis on Rural Roads program. Puts in additional R5000 crs & pulls up implementation deadline from 2022 to 2019.
Homing in on country roads: In order to re-energise construction of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the government is financially incentivising the states to achieve the targets. Over the last 15 years, 63% habitations have been connected by all-weather roads.
Tweet: Japanese not only helping us with Bullet Trains but also studying garbage disposal at Varanasi. Idea is to make Varanasi look like Kyoto.
Varanasi gets a helping hand: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide R580 crore for the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) project. Funds and knowhow will be extended for improvement of water quality of the Ganga at Varanasi and improving the living environment for city residents, pilgrims and tourists.
Tweet: Commitment of political establishment to ameliorate “call drops” has just come in—to allow mobile towers at Parliament Houses!
Towering troubles: Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced that mobile towers will be installed on the Parliament House. The objective is to allay fears about radiation while trying to tackle the problem of dropped calls.
—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