Rly procurement processes: Aggressive cleanup of decades of cosy relationships between procurement arms of railways and suppliers getting shaken up thoroughly. Reverse Auction for most supplies leads to some consternation amongst both sets—purchaser & supplier. Welcome move
Railways takes the reverse auction route
Railways procures Rs 50,000 crore worth of goods every year, including high-value goods like spare parts, coaches, cables. Now, up to 70% procurement will be through reverse bidding.
Laudable: Funds from Aam Aadmi to help build India’s roads: Min Gadkari fashions scheme to place 10 yr NHAI bonds for common man. 7.5% interest as against 6% for bank savings. Monthly interest credited to accounts. Special 7.75% rate for women, elderly & defence personnel
NHAI funding through bonds
Work is set to begin on Rs 7.5 lakh crore worth of highway projects. Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that NHAI bonds are AAA rated.
Smart of NHAI to have formally created a Investment Promotion Cell to engage with domestic and international funders and investors ~ considering that the 83,000 km Bharatmala program requires close to Rs 8 lacs crs of funding and the emphasis is on off-budget financing
Cell to boost highways investment
The cell will engage with global institutional investors, construction firms, developers and fund managers, at the moment, for `5.35 lakh crore of projects under Bharatmala.
Min of New & Renewable Energy going all out to encourage domestic manufacture of solar components. Has released concept note that’s open to comments & suggestions till Dec 31st. Proposes a slew of subsidies & incentives. Wondering—no fresh issues with USA & WTO hopefully?
Govt support for domestic solar manufacture
Direct financial support of Rs 11,000 crore is proposed. The new policy will revise Domestic Content Requirement policy the govt had unveiled, which was challenged by the US at WTO.
Still unclean: CAG report severely indicts the poor implementation aspects & management of the Clean Ganga Project. Utilisation of earmarked funds less than a quarter planned. No clear long term action plan after 6 1/2 years. Very slow progress on sewage treatment plants etc
Clean Ganga progress slow
Over Rs 2,600 crore was lying unutilised with National Mission for Clean Ganga, various states programme management groups and executing agencies as of March 31, 2017.
E-way bills an Inevitability: Any progressive economy has to move to e-way bills—by ship, plane, road or rail. Much concern about Govt pushing e-way bill….and references to lack of readiness, harassment, confusion, undue burden etc. But it does require coupling with GST
e-Way bill to curb GST evasion
Nine states and one UT will be e-way-bill-ready by February 2018. Tax officials are keen on it to curb any possible evasion while industry feels it will lead to harassment by taxman.
NITI Aayog has suggested outsourcing public services to pvt sector to reduce dependence on the govt administrative machinery. Most appropriate. Vast opportunity exists for private O&M services to dramatically increase service delivery across a swathe of public utilities
Outsourcing govt services
NITI had proposed earlier this year that services that are most suited for PPP mode of delivery should be identified and a mechanism worked out to bring in the private sector.
Oil and Gas (add Coal too) rapidly falling out of favour—how quickly the world is changing! France imposes world’s 1st ban on oil and gas production https://goo.gl/Fi49gP
France to give oil & gas the boot
The aim is to work towards fulfilling France’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement. In any case, oil & gas production accounts for only 1% of domestic consumption.
A weekly collection of the author’s tweets—with a brief backgrounder—by Sarthak Ray