Tough road ahead for govt as weak rupee pushes fuel prices to record high

Source: Financial Express, Sept 18, 2018

India’s growth monikers — the world’s fastest-growing major economy and the fastest-growing oil user — might make for good headlines, but when juxtaposed with the less-flattering description of its currency they pose a problem for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The rupee, Asia’s worst performer so far this year, has fueled petrol and diesel prices to a record high and fanned public displeasure with general elections less than eight months away. It prompted Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to say on Saturday the government will soon come up with an action plan to rein in fuel prices.

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Land continues to remain a major concern for infra, energy sector in India

Source: Business Standard, May 10, 2018

Mumbai: In India, land continues to remain a major concern for the infrastructure and energy sector, where industry officials say acquisition delays might have reduced but the process continues to be tedious and expensive.

The petroleum ministry’s ambitious West Coast refinery project in Maharashtra is stuck for land and consent from owners. According to data shared with the Lok Sabha, 19 road projects awarded after May 2014 were facing delays. Industry sources said some of these projects were delayed due to land-related issues. Experts said both road projects and large solar energy projects might take longer to fructify because of the land woes.

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In a month’s time, India will have a one-stop shop for all key infra data

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 24, 2018

New Delhi: Researchers from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)-Madras and Bombay along with Harvard University are using big data to build India’s first comprehensive database on infrastructure projects called Integrated Database on Infrastructure Projects (IDIP).

The mapping of infrastructure projects will include the entire infrastructure sector and all types of central, state projects and public private partnership (PPP) ventures. It will also cover all phases of the project-—project design and formulation, development, construction as well as operation.

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India starts construction of ₹1,600-cr Mizoram-Myanmar Kaladan road

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 17, 2018

Kolkata: After years of delay, India finally kicked off the construction of the 109-km road project that connects Paletwa river terminal to Zorinpui on the Mizoram border in Myanmar, as part of the $484-million Kaladan Multimodal project. But completing it by2019 will be a herculean task.

The ₹1,600-crore road project that passes through dense forests and hilly areas was awarded to Delhi-based C&C Constructions in June 2017. But the contractor had to wait till January this year for the requisite clearances from the Myanmar government to start ground work.

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Modi, Abe to kick off bullet train project in Sept

Source: The Hindu Business Line, July 25, 2017

New Delhi: The foundations for the much-touted Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) or bullet-train project using Japanese ‘Shinkansen’ technology is going to be laid during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe here in September 12-14.

Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be jointly inaugurating the project with the laying of foundation stone and a ground breaking ceremony. This is expected to take place in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar (Gujarat), sources told BusinessLine.

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Govt sweetens deal for pvt airport developers with new investment rules

index.jpgSource: Business Standard, July 20, 2017

New Delhi: To attract more private players towards operating Indian airport projects, the government has made a policy change that will allow the private party to not have to make any capital investment in the project. Instead, the government–owned airport operator, the Airport Authority of India (AAI), will make the investment and the private player will share the revenue with AAI.

The decision is understood to have been taken after a high-level meeting between the AAI chairman and the Prime Minister’s office after private players appeared reluctant to participate in the bidding process for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports. Major airport operators said that the scope of revenue generation through only O&M of airport terminals was too low. The new model is likely to enforce more discipline among developers. Over the past decade, private airport operators have run up costs in excess of estimates and then had tariffs changed upwards to compensate. For instance, the cost of modernising the Delhi and Mumbai airports more than doubled to $3 billion each.

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Crisil launches new credit rating system for infrastructure projects

Source: Business Standard, Jan 12, 2017

New Delhi: Rating agency Crisil on Thursday announced the launch of a new credit rating framework for infrastructure projects that would facilitate greater participation from long-term investors and lenders.

“Crisil, in consultation with the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders, has developed a new credit rating framework for infrastructure projects that would facilitate greater participation by long-term investors and lenders,” the rating agency said in a statement.

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Government looking at 6-year plan to upgrade airport infrastructure

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 12, 2016

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha has told ET that the government is looking at a six-year plan to upgrade airport infrastructure, given that India’s metro airports are bursting at their seams, and are struggling to cope with the crush of passengers and choked runways. The upgrade is almost imperative as Indian airports are expected to cater to a billion footfalls over a decade from now, and airlines have announced mega aircraft induction plans that stretch up to a decade, the minister said.

“Looking at the passenger growth, we expect the size of the Indian aviation market to grow to about 600 million air passengers annually over 10 to 12 years from now.This would mean a billion footfalls at our airports. We are working with a strategy spread over a period of up to six years to ensure that capacity does not become an impediment to the growth in aviation in India,” Sinha told ET on Friday.

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Road transport and highways ministry seeks Rs 13,000 crore soft loan for highways

index.jpgSource: The Economic Times, Jan 21, 2016

NEW DELHI: The road transport and highways ministry is seeking a soft loan of Rs 13,000 crore from multilateral agencies for its highway projects. It has approached Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a long-term untied loan of Rs 6,000 crore to part fund its National Highway Development Project (NHDP), an official said, adding that the remaining amount has been sought from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and it will also be used for special projects.

“We need support for certain projects under NHDP from external agencies. The projects we would be undertaking are not high traction ones. That’s why we are looking for easier loan repayment terms,” the official said.

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Kelkar panel suggests easier funding for PPP projects

Source:, Dec 29, 2015

New Delhi:A high-powered committee set up by the finance ministry to redraw the contours of the country’s public private partnership (PPP) model has recommended ending the one-size-fits-all approach in dealing with project-specific risks, and advocated independent regulators.

If the government signs off on the recommendations it would result in a major overhaul of the existing framework, designed primarily to incentivise private investment in infrastructure.

At present, a significant number of PPP projects have been stalled by legal disputes relating to financial issues. According to the Economic Survey 2014-15, at the end of December last year, the stock of stalled projects added up to Rs.8.8 trillion, or 7% of India’s gross domestic product.

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