Infratweets: Reforms remain in the air

By: | Updated: September 16, 2015 1:29 AM

TRAI cites inadequate tower infra investment by telcos as reason for call drops. 2G base stations grew by only 8%—far lower than usage.

he much-touted aviation reforms have slowed down. A slew of proposals such as reduction of taxes on aviation turbine fuel, creation of an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority, development of regional air connectivity and airport PPPs are hanging fire.he much-touted aviation reforms have slowed down. A slew of proposals such as reduction of taxes on aviation turbine fuel, creation of an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority, development of regional air connectivity and airport PPPs are hanging fire.

Tweet: 3 Questions: Aviation Sector reforms not picking up pace as (1) Sector considered too elitist (2) Ministry is slow/confused (3) Any other?

Slow pace of aviation reforms: The much-touted aviation reforms have slowed down. A slew of proposals such as reduction of taxes on aviation turbine fuel, creation of an autonomous Civil Aviation Authority, development of regional air connectivity and airport PPPs are hanging fire.

Tweet: Land aplenty. 12 Govt-owned major ports have 264,000 acres land bank. Gadkari rightfully asks them to offer land for port-based industries.

Ministry roots for better port land management: In a bid to boost economic growth and generate more revenues, the government has asked the 12 major ports to draw up available land bank for industries that seek to locate around ports. The ministry of transport and highways has invited feedback on the land allocation draft policy from stakeholders by end of this month.

Tweet: E&Y Report on Bad Bank Loans gives top 2 reasons (1) Diversion of funds to unrelated businesses/fraud (2) poor pre-sanction due diligence.

Non-performing assets at banks: A majority of bankers surveyed by Ernst & Young are of the opinion that forensic audit should be made mandatory for specific class of borrowers. It is believed that current internal audit practices are not enough to prevent diversion of funds by borrowers.Due diligence processes before banks disburse loans need enhanced attention.

Tweet: Sindhushree Khullar—CEO, Niti Aayog admits PPP version 1.0 failed as higher risks loaded to pvt sector which it was incapable of handling.

Rejigging the PPP model: The government is examining ways and means to quickly resuscitate the PPPs in infrastructure. The Kelkar Committee Report on revitalising PPPs is expected by end-September. In the meantime, more balanced models like hybrid annuity have already been introduced by the roads ministry.

Tweet: TRAI cites inadequate tower infra investment by telcos as reason for call drops. 2G base stations grew by only 8%—far lower than usage.

When telcos dropped the ball: The authority observed that telcos need to compensate customers if the quality of services provided is not up to the mark as well as make their network coverage details public so that consumers can make informed choices.

Tweet: Transmission-Distribution & Highway EPC have begun to start impacting EPC Contractors. Large state & central govt outlays emanating.

Road projects: Getting on to the fast lane: According to the roads ministry, over 4,100-km of projects have already been awarded till the end of August this year, out of the targeted 10,000-km for the current fiscal year. The pace of construction now stands at 13.3-km per day. Transmission outlays of over R1 lakh crore have also been announced.

Tweet: DEA panel responsible for defining Infra concedes ‘Affordable Housing’ could be given Infra Status if Real Estate Regulation Bill passed.

Infrastructure status for realty sector: T&C apply –The panel headed by the Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs has said that the much sought after infrastructure tag to affordable housing can be given only after regulatory checks are put in place, so that it is not misused for construction of all kinds of real estate projects. The tag would be beneficial for the sector as it implies lower tax borrowing rates and tax concessions.

Tweet: Further Discom drama. 7 state Discoms asking for part/whole central power quota de-allocation as they cannot afford their higher cost PPAs.

De-allocation moves by discoms: Odisha, Rajasthan, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya and Damodar Valley Corporation have made a demand for de-allocation of their total share of 3,793 MW, citing the high cost of power purchase from central utilities.

—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

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