The government has decided to forge ahead with reforms in the key sectors of coal and insurance.
Ordinance To The Rescue: The government has decided to forge ahead with reforms in the key sectors of coal and insurance. The ordinance option came in handy at a time when Parliament was disrupted over the conversions controversy and question marks hung over the clearance of bills in Rajya Sabha.
Tweets: Reforms By Ordinance: Coal, Insurance & now reports that Land Act Amendment will also be initiated as Ordinance.
Railways Urged To Use Ads As Revenue Earner: The RITES study took current advertising practices into consideration to evaluate brand worth. The study estimates that 26 Rajdhanis, 20 Shatabdis, 32 Duronto trains alone would earn the Railways nearly ₹780 crore from selling ad space.
Tweets: This was known for a long time: RITES study ~ Rlys can earn ₹10,000 crores thru appropriate monetisation of advertisement opportunities.
Operation Restructuring Railways: The railway minister’s preparations for the 2015-16 Railway Budget include evolving strategies for improving efficacy of existing revenue structure, plugging leakages and identifying new income sources.
Tweets: Suresh Prabhu creatively uses Trimurti Advisors to shake up Rly systems – Sredharan – Streamlining, Vinod Rai – Transparency & DK Mittal – Ops.
CAG Raps NHAI: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has charged the National Highways Authority of India of poor financial management. It has highlighted instances where private sector developers were allowed to collect tolls despite their inability to meet deadlines.
Tweets: CAG quite critical on NHAI across various dimensions. Time for all stakeholders to discuss revitalisation & empowerment of this institution.
Giving PPPs A ‘Renegotiation’ Lease Of Life: Globally, a third of PPP projects are renegotiated, especially in sectors such as transport, water and sanitation. Seems like the Indian industry will get what it has been advocating for a while now.
Tweets: Practical: Thankfully, new Govt is all for putting a “renegotiation clause” in fresh PPP contracts after UPA’s stubborn refusal to do so.
Large Thermal Projects Not Attracting Investment: Nearly 48389 MW of the targeted 88000 MW for 2012-17 have been commissioned till date with the balance expected to go on stream in the next couple of years. After that the pipeline for new large coal and gas based projects has dried up on account of current problems.
Tweets: Whilst 12th Plan (2012-17) lurches to the planned 88,000 MW of fresh generation capacity, the 13th Plan pipeline looks ominously empty.
UMPP Bid Likely To Be Cancelled: Private sector developers and banks had repeatedly been pointing out that the revised Ultra Mega Power Projects bid format was unworkable across various dimensions.
Tweets: Wasted effort: Govt did not listen to pvt sector when it said TN & Orissa UMPP bids were ill conceived. As NTPC sole bidder, cancelling bid.
Refocusing Attention On Stalled Projects: It appears that the high-powered attention given to pushing stalled projects in the last year of the UPA government has lost momentum. This move is seen to be bringing support to this crucial task.
Tweets: Moves on to see if the Project Monitoring Group (mandated to unclog stuck projects) can be shifted from Cabinet Secretariat to PMO.
Call For Action: This section has repeatedly been used by state governments to prevent seamless open access and easy power trading to broadly protect the state discoms.
Tweets: Power Adv Grp urges scrapping of Section 11 of Elec Act that allows state Govt’s to sometimes restrict sale of electricity under Open Access.
Ministry Suggests A Pricing Formula To Airlines: In the aftermath of the Spicejet crisis, the aviation ministry has suggested that a cap on the maximum economy class fare be put at ₹20,000 per ticket. It has also suggested that airlines fix their minimum fares based on a break-even price per kilometre.
Tweets: Whatever be the provocation, suggest the Aviation Ministry studiously avoid meddling, controlling or micro-managing airfares.
Electricity Act Proposes Penalty Shock: According to the proposed norms, penalties have been raised manifold for violators. Earlier, fines could not exceed ₹1 lakh.
Tweets: Amendment to Elec Act proposes ₹1 crore fine and/or upto 3 months imprisonment. Need to know list of violations that will attract these.
—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