Tweet: Gadkari says vested interests blocking Road Safety Bill. Understandable, as it seeks to bring transparency in permits, driving licences etc.
Roadblock ahead for Road Safety Bill: The proposed Road Safety Bill proposes to digitise the process of issuing permits and driving licences, and bring in CCTV-monitored traffic management systems in large cities. Many feel that these changes would compromise administrative and financial rights of state governments.
Tweet: Justifiable backslapping about (increase) in FDI. But reality check ~ in FY15 FDI was under 8% of total investment in India. Domestic has to lead.
India scores big on foreign investment: India beat China and the US to become the top destination for foreign investment in 2015. At $31 billion, India attracted $3 billion more greenfield investment than China and $4 billion more than the US in the six-month period ended June.
Tweet: Full marks to A Swarup, Secy-Coal for astute handling of Coal India. Set to hit 550 mt target by (up) 2000 hectares + 41 env clearances etc.
Coal India’s turnaround story: Following last summer’s power crisis, as a result of inadequate coal availability, there has been a turnaround, leading to surplus coal stocks. While part of this is due to reduced offtakes by generating plants, it also has to be recognised that Coal India has substantially stepped up its output through a variety of energetic measures.
Tweet: Offshore Wind Policy needs energetic implementation ~ 7,500 km coastline, no land acquisition hassles, higher wind force & longer blades.
Plan to harness offshore wind energy: The government’s approval of the Offshore Wind Policy could further enhance the potential of wind energy. Such projects require offshore transmission line network and a high one-time cost for construction of offshore wind farms.
Tweet: India’s commitment at Climate Talks means 40% of all electricity has to come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. Price pooling essential.
Cutting down on carbon emissions: India has committed to reduce carbon intensity by 35% by 2030. The goals, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), have been submitted to the UN ahead of the COP21 meeting in November, which will seek to forge a global agreement on curbing carbon emissions.
Tweet: Google’s pledge to help Rlys set up wi-fi at 400 stations amongst the largest connectivity projects in the world by no of potential users.
Indian Railways on the Google track: According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, internet facilities will be made available for more than 10 million people by connecting 100 railways stations initially, followed by the rest in quick succession.
Tweet: Getting City Gas Distribution going—P&NGRB puts out bids for 34 areas across 9 states. Hopefully gas availability is not a constraint.
Rollout of gas distribution networks: The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has put out 34 areas for bidding to set up city gas distribution (CGD) networks under the sixth round of auctions. There are plans to roll out gas distribution networks in 46 new districts in the country in 2015-16.
Tweet: As spurring investments is need of the hour, does not seem appropriate for Finmin to consider removing tax breaks for SEZs & Inv Allowance.
Change of SEZ Policy on the cards?: The government is keen on ending tax breaks for special economic zones (SEZs). Currently units in SEZs enjoy 100% exemption from income tax on export profits for the first five years, 50% for the next five years and 50% of the ploughed-back export profits in the last five years.
—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