Good news for power consumers in Delhi: In a bid to reduce electricity tariffs, five discoms in the capital have come up with a plan that includes sourcing up to 600 MW of clean power, phasing out costly and inefficient plants and purchasing from power exchanges.
Tweet: Laudable move by Delhi Discoms to strategise on reducing power bill. Variety of measures identified including procurement innovations.
Here comes the sun! The government has approached a slew of lenders to raise low-cost and long-term funds to help lower costs of renewable energy. One of the proposed plans is to raise dollar- or rupee-denominated green bonds. If these measures do fructify, it could mean a significant reduction in solar power prices.
Tweet: Power Min says that as a result of a package of innovative policies, solar power rates will come down to R4.50 per unit from present R6-7.
Real estate Bill gives a boost to transparency: The Real Estate Regulatory Bill approved by the Cabinet is expected to improve transparency and accountability and help channel institutional funds into the sector. It will provide huge relief to home buyers as the Bill mandates that any changes in original plan of the project will have to be first approved by two-thirds of consumers.
Tweets: Finally, bringing order to the Real Estate sector: Cabinet clears Real Estate (Regulatn & Devpt) Bill 2013. Commercial real estate covered.
Real Estate Reg Bill forces developers to deposit 1/2 the money collected from buyers to a separate bank a/c to be used ONLY for project.
Bailout package for gas-based gencos: The government has classified 14,000 MW of power capacity as ‘stranded’ and these gencos will get a substantial share of subsidy. An additional 9,845 MW with tie-up for domestic gas but plant load factor (PLF) of 32% would also be bailed out.
Tweet: Fine-tuning auctions: Tariff subsidy for gas power plants in 2 buckets—Stranded & With Domestic gas linkage. Greater weight to Strandeds.
Unreal power market: Nearly 75% of projects winning captive mines in coal auctions, amounting to 29,000 MW of power generation capacity, do not have any power purchase agreements. Discoms’ financial constraints prevent them from buying additional power.
Tweet: Ridiculous situation ~ no state (except Kerala) has issued a power purchase tender since March 2013. Stressed Discoms killing power market.
Road safety takes centrestage: According to the draft Bill, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament, the government has proposed setting up of the Motor Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority. The independent agency, with four to eight members, will suggest construction, design, maintenance and use of motor vehicles and roads as a major component, besides monitoring the enforcement of fuel-efficiency norms.
Tweets: After imminent Cabinet approval, new purported ‘world standard’ Road Transport & Safety Bill will replace archaic Central Motor Vehicles Act.
Proposed legislation on road safety should also mandate credible assessment of safety elements in design before road projects are approved.
Long tenure loans from banks: In a practical measure by RBI, commercial banks that were earlier allowed to lend for only around seven years, can through five-year rests, provide infrastructure loans up to 25 years. This brings symmetry between concession life-cycles and long-term loan tenures.
Tweet: Many stressed infra cos migrating from CDRs to the 25/5 debt resetting & elongation format—the eminently practical route opened up by RBI.
—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