Delayed Monsoon

wait for mansoonIt was a historic moment for India. After a gap of 30 years, India got  a stable majority  government, National Democratic Alliance (NDA)  won more than 50% of seats.  For the last three decades  we had coalition governments. Irrespective of which party had  a major stake, when it’s coalition, it’s difficult to reach agreement on major decisions, as Government is always at mercy of small coalition partners.

Now,  that its majority is with a single political party (BJP), everyone is expecting the government at center would take some bold decision. It is possible. It is important to take decision – some may be wrong, but it is always better to take some wrong decisions than non-decision at all. First 6 months were testing time – firstly because of pressure of expectations and inexperience (for more than a decade BJP was away from ruling position) and secondly because of delayed monsoon. It seems monsoon too was testing patience of the new rulers as well as all residents. Though delayed, finally monsoon has settled and it seems government too has settled down. They have reviewed the situation and it seems now things have started moving.

From the point of view of companies looking at India, either as a manufacturing base or as a potential market, there  can’t be a better time than current. Most important aspect any investor looks for, while thinking to enter a new country, is government stability. Undoubtedly, there can’t be a more stable government than current. Second important factor is leadership. Mr. Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, is known for his strong leadership and proactive approach towards development. Third aspect is  government approach towards industry and commerce. One of the reasons people have voted ruling alliance to power is because of the vision of growth and development NDA promised in their election manifesto. Now it is time that  government acts on its promises and try to fulfill them.  Everybody who knows about India is aware that it is difficult, almost impossible, to fulfill all the promises but any efforts towards even partial fulfillment will be seen as positive movements.

It seems government is moving in the right direction towards fulfillment of people’s expectations from it. Areas NDA government has promised to work on include economic revival, growth, agriculture and balanced development for all. The slogan of new government is “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas”  (“participation of all, development of all”) and the new initiative by government “my Gov’  appears to be a right step towards involvement of all in governance.  Through this portal, government is seeking advice, thoughts and ideas on various topics that concern India. At the same timethe portal is asking people to participate directly in those areas which interest them so that they could also be part of execution.

Economic situation is stable,  stock exchange index is showing steady growth,  monsoon, though delayed in many parts of the country,has crossed its average, farmers expect a good crop, government has settled down, people expectations  also have become realistic  and now it’s time for government to really act, start implementing the programs they promised during the election campaign. NDA said “Ache Din Aane Wale Hain” (“Good days are going to come”) and people expect them to come soon. Social media has started mentioning about some policy decisions, which could mean good days have started. And, there cannot be better time for investment in a country than when both Government and people are positive about its future…


CEA reduces gas-based power generation target by 46% for 2013

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 22, 2013

Hyderabad: The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has reduced gas-based power generation target for the current year by almost 46 per cent to 43.6 trillion units, a senior official of the power body said. The official said based on the output last year and projected production of natural gas this year the target has been reduced. “Last year the target was 80.3 trillion units. We achieved 64.9 trillion units. There is a drop of 19 per cent. We have taken the gas availability into consideration and fixed target. The same will be submitted to the Planning Commission for approval,” the official told PTI. The CEA last year had said no new gas-based power plants will be set up in the country till 2015-16, as the natural gas output is expected to fall considerably.

The CEA in a letter to states had indicated that as per Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas’s reports India’s natural gas production is likely to fall by 35 per cent to 27.64 million metric standard cubic meters per day (MMSCMD) in 2012-13 and may further dip by another 12 per cent to 24.22 MMSCMD in 2013-14.Over 15,000 MW gas-based capacity is said to be stranded in the country due to non-supply of natural gas from RIL’s KG basin. The gas-based capacity, which is lying idle due to want of fuel, comprises central, state as well as private power plants. The CEA is a statutory body responsible for technical coordination and supervision of power generation programmes of India.

MoEF tightens pollution norms for infrastructure projects

Source: Business Standard, Apr 12, 2011

Mumbai: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has tightened pollution monitoring norms for power projects with a generation capacity of 500 Mw and above, integrated steel plants with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum and cement plants with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum which have already been granted environmental clearance.

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Ministry of Environment & Forestry lifts moratorium on new projects in 8 areas

Source: Business Standard, Feb 17, 2011

Mumbai: The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF),currently under attack for being allegedly too rigid in providing clearances to projects, has lifted an earlier moratorium in this regard on eight more critically polluted areas.

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Now, plastic range from biodegradable polymer

Bavla (Ahmedabad): Greendiamz Biotech Pvt Ltd, in partnership with Limagrain-France, on Monday announced the launch of the country’s first fully-biodegradable and compostable bio-plastic material.

Mr Champat Sanghvi, Chairman of the company, told reporters here that the 5,000-tonnes-a-year facility, set up at a cost of Rs 40 crore, has been commissioned to manufacture sheets and bags as an alternative to plastic for consumer and industrial products.

“The products, branded as Truegreen, are bio-plastic, hundred per cent biodegradable and compostable, and very similar to plastic in terms of strength and usage,” he added.

Range of products

The bio-plastic range to be manufactured from Biolice, a biodegradable polymer, includes films for custom-printed carry bags, duffle bags, fast food containers, clamshells and thermoformed products, besides products for use in agriculture and horticulture, lining material for jute, canvas and paper bags and even bins, containers and plant pots.

“It does not include any petroleum product in its manufacturing cycle, making the product truly environment-friendly.” We hope to capture five per cent of the market share in the packaging sector alone,” Mr Dipack Sanghvi, Director.

Consumption boom

Mr David Pearson, Marketing Director of Limagrain Cereales, an international farmers’ co-operative of France, which is supplying the raw material, said India’s per capita annual consumption of plastics is expected to increase from the current 150 bags per head and to 200 bags by 2011 with the country slated to become the third largest consumer of plastics after the US and China.

“We are providing a product made from naturally grown raw material derived from renewable resources which complies to European norms, which means that soil bacteria will decompose 95 per cent of this material to carbon, oxygen and non-toxic bio-mass within 180 days,” he added.

Source : The Hindu Business Line.  09/06/10


State agency to implement Rs 17,000-cr Climate Change Plan

Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar: The Orissa government, which has come out with a draft Action Plan on Climate Change entailing an investment of around Rs 17,000 crore, has proposed to put in place a Climate Change Agency to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

“A Climate Change Agency is proposed to be put in place to oversee the progress and liaise with the Government of India, external funding agencies and different sectors for the smooth implementation of the State Climate Change Action Plan”, state chief minister Naveen Patnaik said after releasing the draft Action Plan on Climate Change on Saturday.

Orissa is the first state to have formulated the Climate Change Action Plan.

The draft Action Plan, which was released on the World Environment Day, is expected to be finalized by the third week of June this year.

“The Climate Change Action Plan would lead Orissa to move towards a carbon conscious and climate resilient state. It envisages an outlay of around Rs 17,000 crore in 11 key sectors over the next five years”, Patnaik stated.

“The impact of climate change could disrupt the fragile life sustaining ecological system that holds this world together. Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and more frequent climate mediated extreme weather events could seriously threaten the state’s infrastructure, economy, health, and ecosystems. Thus, it has become imperative to take appropriate mitigative and adaptive measures”, he added.

The chief minister had constituted a high-level coordination committee headed by the chief secretary to steer the preparation of the draft Action Plan. Eleven working groups were constituted on agriculture, coastal zones and disasters, energy, fisheries and animal resources, forestry, health, industry, mining, transport, urban planning and water resources.

For agriculture, the Action Plan has suggested a climate friendly agriculture policy, capacity building to cope with climate change, people centric watershed development programmes, developing water efficient micro irrigation methods as well as improving monitoring and surveillance techniques.

Similarly for industries, the key priorities are setting medium-term emission targets for the thermal power plants, promoting the use of bulk waste material like fly ash and slag.

These also include implementing a system of compensatory water harvesting at the industrial clusters, integrating climate change concerns in policies and plans for industrial development, carrying out heat island study for Talcher and Jharsuguda area, training various stakeholders on climate change issues and carrying out energy efficiency study for iron and steel, thermal power, aluminium and cement sectors.

Source : Business Standard.  08/06/10

Pepsi India touches eco watershed, first unit to achieve positive water balance

NEW DELHI: THE Indian arm of PepsiCo has become the first of its global units to put more water back into the environment than it consumes, the company said.

The beverage giant has achieved ‘positive water balance’ by recharging 6 billion litres and using 5.17 billion litres during 2009 with a net saving of 836 million litres. PepsiCo, which has 45 beverage bottling and snacks plants in India, said the figures were verified by audit firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India.

“As the first business in our system and probably the entire beverage world to conserve and replenish more water than it consumes, PepsiCo India is a huge inspiration for all of us. I am proud of this accomplishment,” PepsiCo Chairman & CEO Indra Nooyi told ET. The India model will be replicated in PepsiCo’s other markets which face water scarcity, such as China.

PepsiCo India chairman and CEO Sanjeev Chadha said India is a water-distressed market but the solution to water replenishment is “basic and simple.” “If corporates get together and step up efforts like direct seeding, it would lead to very positive results.”

But environment activists are not entirely pleased with PepsiCo’s efforts. Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment said she would like to see companies achieve positive water balance, but this must happen within their factory compounds. “It would be ideal if PepsiCo was replenishing all the water it consumes in areas where its plants are located. The scarcity and problem lies in those areas,” she said.

PepsiCo said it has achieved water balance through conservation in agriculture to substitute transplanting of paddy with direct seeding technology, community programmes like construction of check-dams and recharge ponds, and rain or roof-water harvesting.

Recharge ponds have helped it save 133 million litres of water. The World Bank has warned that growing shortage of water in large countries such as India and China will hamper their growth. It estimates that India’s fresh-water supplies could be exhausted by 2050 at the current rate of consumption. In March this year, a Kerala Assembly panel asked PepsiCo to cut water usage by 60% at its bottling plant in Puducheri in Palakkad district.

A company spokesman said its Palakkad facility is a “model plant and one of the most water-efficient units in the PepsiCo system. The plant has been able to save about 200 million litres of water in the last four years and has also brought down the water usage by 60%.” Rival Coca-Cola is facing a more serious situation in the state. It has been asked by a government panel to pay Rs 216 crore as compensation for polluting and depleting groundwater.

Source : Business Standard.  27/05/10