Tweet: Wonderful to see another Amul-type cooperative model emerging from Anand, Gujarat. This time it’s about pooling together for solar power.
Pioneering effort: The Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) in the village of Dhundi in Anand district is the first-of-its-kind cooperative in solar power globally. It uses solar power to run irrigation pumps and also pool surplus energy to sell to the grid at R4.63/unit under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Tweet: More rural employment: Govt subsidy scheme for 12-seater vehicle ‘entrepreneurs’ for connecting remote villages. Links in well with PMGSY.
Road to rural connectivity: In a bid to give rural entrepreneurship a push, the government is set to launch the Pradhan Mantri Gram Parivahan Yojana. Nearly 35% of the cost of the vehicles will be subsidised; the balance can be borrowed from banks via self-help groups.
Tweet: NITI Aayog roped in to push Green Energy agenda. Sets up 2-tier structure—Advisory Group & Steering Comm to try & achieve 175 GW by 2022.
NITI Aayog’s green energy agenda: The Advisory Group of the NITI Aayog will oversee the integration of renewable energy into the electricity grid, while the Steering Committee will facilitate the process and report on the progress of implementation.
Tweet: How times change: Disposal of coal stock now more important than production. Coal India reduces e-auction price from WCL by 20%.
Selling coal is top priority: Coal India has taken several measures to liquidate coal stocks, which include offering of coal to power utilities and independent power producers (IPPs) under special e-auction window at a reduced reserved price.
Tweet: New Road Safety Bill likely to have penalties for engg cos in design. Good. What about sarkari briefs that stipulate archaic requirements?
Call for accountability: The lack of accountability of road designers is believed to be one of the major reasons for frequent crashes at the same spot. According to the Road Safety Bill, penalties will be levied on engineering companies that fail to comply with standards for road design, construction and maintenance.
Tweet: As bank financing for roads sector has virtually dried up, Gadkari pushes idea of a PSU financing arm for sector a la PFC/REC in power.
Funding arm for roads sector proposed: A dedicated public sector funding agency is proposed to be set up in view of the R25 lakh crore investment envisaged for roads and highways in the medium term. The entity will also help sectoral players to get funds at a rate that is 2-2.5% cheaper than bank rates.
Tweet: Welcome @PiyushGoyal expanding UDAY scheme to pvt elec distribution cos. Clearly needed if pvt sector to be involved in turnaround process.
Extending UDAY to private sector discoms: The power ministry is trying to extend UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) to include states that tried to privatise power distribution companies but failed. States like Odisha which failed at privatising power distribution have shown an interest in being part of the scheme.
Tweet: Indian Credit Rating Agencies teaming to evolve a globally first rating system for infra PPP projects. Project vs Promoter vs Contractor.
Infrastructure credit rating on the cards: Six registered credit agencies, including Crisil, CARE Ratings and India Ratings, are working collectively to come up with a new ratings system for infrastructure projects. This will enable prospective investors to put money in a project based simply on the merits of the undertaking.
—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