In the wake of the newly-formed NITI Aayog, the Parliamentary Standing Committee feels the ministry of planning has been rendered redundant.
Stalled projects continuing cause for concern: The finance ministry has been seriously concerned about the lack of movement on stalled projects. The finance minister and his team are actively engaging with bank chairmen to contain non-performing assets (NPA) on this account and the detrimental investment sentiments for new projects.
Tweet: Latest official data on “stalled projects” as of March 2015 end is 299 mega projects involving an outlay of R18.13 lacs. Problem persists.
Building solar energy capacities: The government is preparing to offer three 1,000-MW projects for tenders. Madhya Pradesh is setting up capacity of 2,500 MW. SECI will build capacity of another 2,500 MW. NTPC’s plans include 3,300 MW capacity and tenders for 3,000 MW which will be bundled with unutilised thermal power.
Tweet: We now have a Solar Energy Corpn of India (SECI) a 100% subsidiary of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to push the 100,000 MW agenda.
Tweet: Latest price point on Solar: NTPC to deliver solar power to Andhra Discoms @ R6.16 per unit from its 1000 MW Kunta Ultramega Solar Project.
Calling for clarity on NITI Aayog: In the wake of the newly-formed NITI Aayog, the Parliamentary Standing Committee feels the ministry of planning has been rendered redundant. Serious discussions are also underway to formally define the scope and role of NITI Aayog.
Tweet: Parl Standing Committee on Finance suggests making NITI AAYOG an independent body and simultaneously disbanding the Ministry of Planning.
No-frills airports plan jettisoned: The fate of 50 low-cost airports is in limbo as the Public Investment Board of the finance ministry insists on a 12% internal rate of return cut-off.
Tweet: 44 cities in India that have a population of R10 lac or more in 2011 do not have an airport. Govt puts on hold UPA’s 50 ‘no frills airports’.
Prabhu on innovative financing spree: Suresh Prabhu is clearly leaving no stone unturned to look for innovative financing sources for the Railways’ growth and modernisation plans, including the possibility of selling rupee-denominated offshore bonds. He has also prioritised debottlenecking of the highly congested sections on the Indian Railways network.
Tweet: Prabhu going flat out to raise finances for Rlys. After R1.5 lac cr marquee deal with LIC, persuading Coal India for R5000 cr invmt for wagons
Tweet: Prabhu correctly focusing on key challenge ~ of the 1219 sections of Indian Rlys, 576 carry traffic at 100% or above the designed capacity.
“Flawed” Mumbai Development Plan scrapped: Opposition to the Mumbai Development Plan from political parties, city planners and activists has forced the Maharashtra government to scrap the plan. The chief minister has instructed the Municipal Corporation to prepare a new plan within four months.
Tweet: Serious & widespread professional opposition to Devpmnt Plan for Mumbai gets Maha Govt to cancel version put up by Munic Corpn of Gr Mumbai.
Air navigation services to be hived off: A draft Bill that proposes to delink navigation, surveillance and air traffic management from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is aimed at keeping control of these key activities with the government in a situation where discussions are underway for making AAI more market-facing.
Tweet: Thought to be a precursor to imminent listing of AAI, Draft Bill ready to hive off Air Navigation Services (ANS) from Airport Auth of India.
—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