Tweet: Govt urged to make most of fall in commd prices by speedening up infra projects—crude, coal, steel, bitumen, aluminium, copper all down.
India has to move fast on reform agenda: The fall in prices of commodities is expected to lower the cost of infrastructure development projects as both operating and capital expenditure would decline. However, to reap the benefits, the government will have to move fast on its reform agenda, say experts.
Tweet: 13 specific Acts like Highways, Rlys etc were left out of UPA’s 2013 Land Act. Govt now passes order to have similar compensation for them.
Government issues land compensation ‘order’: The benefit of compensation will be extended to land owners whose land was acquired under 13 laws including Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885, the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978, and the National Highways Act, 1956. This was done through an ‘order’ as the ordinance route has been discarded.
Tweet: In a historic first, Suresh Prabhu announces quarterly financial performance of Railways.
Railways’ takes a leaf out of corporates: Indian Railways declared earnings growth of 14.5% in the first quarter of the current financial year and an increase in working expenses by 4.2%, much lower than the budgeted estimate of 7.6%. The first-ever, corporate-style announcement of the national transporter’s performance is aimed at boosting its financial profile and aiding its fund-raising efforts.
Tweet: Imminent upturn in the infrastructure sector is being heralded by increasing no of construction & engineering services cos going in for IPO.
Infrastructure companies turning to IPOs: There has been a flurry of activity in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) market. Many infrastructure companies are opting for IPOs to raise funds as obtaining bank credit is becoming increasingly difficult
Tweet: Good to hear Power Min Piyush Goyal talk about rationalising coal prices based on Gross Calorific Value. Untenable price distortions exist.
Tweet: Wish Piyush Goyal reconsiders NOT having a Coal Regulator. Dominant orgs like Coal India dev many infirmities + imminent sector opening up.
Goyal’s coal talk: Power minister Piyush Goyal asserted that inconsistencies exist in pricing of coal and hence there is a need to rationalise prices. However, on the issue of coal regulator, he felt that there is no real need for one as “so far coal has only been produced by government companies.”
Tweet: Brookfield PE acquisition of Gammon road assets shows long term FII interest in Indian infra. Facilitative exit policy too helps hugely.
Move to restore investor confidence: A consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management will buy the Mumbai-Nashik highway and 8 other projects from cash-strapped Gammon India in a Rs 3,000-crore deal. The move is expected to inspire confidence among investors in the sector.
Tweet: Welcome Mr. Raghav Chandra (IAS-MP cadre) as the new Chairman of NHAI. Takes over when organisation is expected to deliver a huge mandate.
NHAI gets a new chairman: The new chairman of National Highways Authority of India faces the challenging task of steering the government’s ambitious highway development programme and speed up road building from the current 14 km/day to 30 km.
Tweet: Of 98 Smart Cities ~ 24 State Capitals, 24 business and industrial towns, 18 Centre’s of culture & tourism, 5 ports, & 3 edu-health hubs.
The making of smart cities: The selection of smart cities reveals that many of the shortlisted cities are clustered around the freight corridors that the government plans to build. Getting investment support for these cities will be easier as the returns from the expected expansion of business would be higher.
—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