Tweet: Happy to note 3 comments of Piyush Goyal on Discoms (1) Centre not a bailout bank (2) no short term solutions (3) states to find way out.
Tough measures for discom turnaround: The power minister categorically stated that the government can only facilitate the turnaround of distressed discoms, not finance it. The combined debt of discoms is estimated to be more than Rs 3 lakh crore and has led to a situation whereby many of them are not even able to purchase electricity.
Tweet: Smart move to bypass land acquisition & connectivity hassles—11,000 MW obsolete power plants to be replaced with 20,000 MW on same sites.
Scaling up while keeping costs down: The government plans to phase out at least 100 old units with capacities ranging from 60 MW to 220 MW and build in their place 30-odd super critical units of 660 MW to 800 MW. This will result in savings of an estimated Rs 40,000 crore on land acquisition as well as other costs such as rail and water linkages, power evacuation lines, etc.
Tweet: River-linking activity perking up: Godavari-Krishna & Ken-Betwa projects part of larger water-grid plan with 30 major & 37 minor linkages.
Harnessing the rivers: The inter-linking of the rivers and inter-basin transfers are aimed at harnessing floodwaters, expanding irrigated areas and enhancing possibilities of inland water transport. This is one of the priority programmes of the NDA government and is beginning to see good traction.
Tweet: Creeping & partial solutions probably better than no solutions. 13 gas-based power projects get some allocations thru reverse e-auctions.
Tweet: More Gas. 2nd round of auctions today for R2600 cr subsidy for buying imported LNG for idle power plants. Situation creepingly improving.
Fuelling a solution: Stranded gas-based power projects get a new lease of life through the reverse
e-auction process. Some of the plants will be eligible for government subsidy for running their facilities at around 35% plant load factor (PLF) which will enable them to start addressing interests on bank loans and instalment payments.
Tweet: Competitive Federalism: Release of insightful report by World Bank on ranking of states on Implementation of Business Reforms.
World Bank study: India is a difficult place to do business – According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking study, Gujarat stands head and shoulders above others followed by Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The parameters on which the states were ranked included ease of setting up a business, allotment of land and obtaining construction permit, complying with environment procedure and labour regulations, obtaining infrastructure-related utilities, registering and complying with tax procedures, carrying out inspections and enforcing contracts.
Tweet: RBI Report—long wait for investment revival. New & existing projects activity down to 5 year low; coupled with low capacity utilisation.
Economy cloud has a silver lining too: The RBI report states that weak economic activity in 2014-15 was a reflection of declining corporate performance, low manufacturing growth and sluggish credit expansion. However there are some positive signs too, including lower inflation, lower fiscal and current account deficit and growing foreign investment inflows.
Tweet: Railway establishment worried about spate of rly accidents across country. Suresh Prabhu calls emergency meeting of GMs of 17 Rly Zones.
Tweet: Huge Ask: Rlys rattled by spate of accidents. To ask Finance Ministry for Rs 1 lac cr Special Safety Fund to launch Zero Accident Mission.
Safety, a priority for railways minister: In the light of the Railway Board Chairman’s admission that 40% of all railway accidents in the current fiscal year were avoidable, the railways minister is focusing on modernisation and technology upgradation. The Special Safety Funds would help address issues related to derailment and unmanned crossings.
—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