Govt mulls round 2 of 2,500 Mw medium-term power purchase agreement auction

Source: Business Standard, Nov 13, 2018

New Delhi: Buoyed by a good response for the first tender of mid-term (3 years) power purchase agreement auction, the power ministry will bring its second round for 2,500 Mw capacities to give relief to stressed power assets, Power Secretary A K Bhalla said Tuesday.

A PPA is a prerequisite for getting coal supplies for power plants.

Power sector is facing stress due to coal shortage and other issues. Many power projects are starving for coal in the absence of PPAs. The government’s scheme to auction 2,500 MW medium-term PPAs evoked good response and PPAs for 1,900 Mw capacities were signed under the scheme last month.

“We found that a lot of interest is coming up for (the scheme to auction) 2,500 Mw medium-term PPAs. So definitely there would be PPAs coming up (on the block). This was a pilot. We will try to bring a formal scheme for another round of 2,500 Mw medium-term PPAs. Read the rest of this entry »

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India, Iran, Afghanistan hold first trilateral meet on Chabahar in Tehran

Source: Business Standard, Oct 24, 2018

New Delhi: The first trilateral meeting between India, Afghanistan and Iran of the Coordination Council of the Chabahar Agreement took place on October 22 in Tehran.

The Indian delegation was led by TS Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations), while the Afghan and Iran delegations were led by respective Deputy Ministers of Transport.

“Detailed discussions were held between the three sides on full operationalisation of the trilateral agreement for international transit and transport through Chabahar Port,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release. Read the rest of this entry »

RBI grants licence to Bank of China to set up branch in India

download (2).jpgSource: Business Standard, Jul 05, 2018

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India has issued licence to Bank of China to launch operations in India, official sources said today.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a commitment to Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow Bank of China to set up branches in India when they met on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Chinese city of Qingdao last month.

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10 more Smart Cities to be announced soon: Hardeep Puri

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 16, 2018

The names of 10 more cities to be funded under the Centre’s flagship Smart City Mission will be announced soon, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said today.

The housing and urban affairs ministry has till now announced the names of 90 cities that the government aims to help under the scheme.

Under the scheme, each city will get Rs 500 crore as central assistance for implementing various projects.

“The Smart Cities Mission is progressing at a brisk pace. Ninety cities have been selected so far.

The selection of 10 more cities will be announced shortly,” Puri, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs, said at an event here.

He said there were about 3,000 projects worth Rs 1,40,000 crore at various stages of implementation under the scheme.

Tax clarity for subsidiary model of foreign banks

Source: Business Standard, Nov 20, 2017

New Delhi: The government has proposed to make it clear which foreign banks converting their branches in India into subsidiaries would be exempt from capital gains tax. Experts said this would address the tax concerns of foreign banks planning to operate in India via the subsidiary route. But non-tax matters would still guide their plans.

After the RBI had issued a framework for converting foreign banks’ branches into subsidiaries in 2013, only DBS Bank and State Bank of Mauritius had received in-principle approval to adopt this route. The income-tax department recently came out with a draft notification that gave detailed operational conditions to ensure foreign banks converting branches into subsidiaries were exempted from capital gains tax. It also proposed to allow carry forward of minimum alternate tax credit.

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Foreign investors return to Indian markets

Source: LiveMint.com, Nov 10, 2017

Mumbai: Foreign institutional investors (FIIs), who took a break from buying Indian shares in August and September, are returning after recent government announcements such as the Rs2.11 trillion PSU bank recapitalisation plan. FIIs are mainly buying into new shares.

Over October and November so far, FIIs have invested a net of $1.9 billion in Indian equities. For the year to date, they are buyers to the tune of $7.4 billion.

“It is the general pick-up in global inflows to emerging markets, and India is gaining. Also, the recent bank reforms in India are leading to expectations that there could be more reforms underway,” said Gautam Chhaochharia, head of research at UBS Securities India Pvt. Ltd.

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India to sign pact with Japan for setting up flexible LNG market

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Oct 11, 2017

New Delhi: The Cabinet gave its nod to signing a host of MoUs including one Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Japan for liquefied natural gas that would enable establishing a liquid, flexible and global LNG market.

Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Skill Development, said, “The MoC provides a framework to cooperate in facilitating flexibility in LNG contracts, abolition of destination clause and in exploring possibilities of cooperation in establishing reliable spot price indices reflecting true LNG demand and supply.”

Elaborating the Minister said, “This will open the opportunity for technical and knowledge base sharing with Japan in LNG. Currently, India has an agreement with Australia for natural gas, while Japan has one with Qatar. Through this agreement, we can explore options such as swapping cargoes from these sources.”

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