Govt announces ₹10,000-crore connectivity plan for NE states

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 12, 2018

With parliamentary polls just a year away, the Centre on Saturday announced a mega investment and connectivity programme for the northeastern states, entailing inflow of nearly Rs 10,000 crore through over 400 programmes expected to be rolled out in the next four years.

“This is the first time that the central government has conducted an in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various states in the northeastern region before finalising a comprehensive investment programme as part of the ‘Digital North-East Vision 2022’,” IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here, adding that the idea was to bring the states on a par with other regions of the country.

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Nine of 44 economic corridors to be connected via expressways soon

download.jpgSource: Business Standard, Aug 07, 2018

New Delhi: Nine of the 44 economic corridors planned under the Union government’s ambitious Bharatmala scheme will soon be linked through expressways. The government intends to facilitate seamless trade by reducing the distance between connecting cities, saving cost, time, and fuel.

This exercise will be undertaken by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the National Highways Authority of India. “Besides building new alignments on the nine economic corridors, optimising existing expansion of roads is also a priority for us,” Road Transport Secretary Y S Malik said here.

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NHAI invites bids to lease out eight national highways for 30 years

downloadSource: The Economic Times, Aug 06, 2018

NEW DELHI: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has invited bids for leasing out eight operational national highways to private parties for collection of toll and maintenance of stretches for a period of 30 years.

The auction will be conducted under the toll operate and transfer (TOT) model, and the government is hopeful that several international private equity and pension funds will bid for the projects. NHAI is hoping to get Rs 5,362 crore through leasing out these highways, a government official said.

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Infrastructure output growth hits seven-month high of 6.7% in June

Source: Business Standard, Jul 31, 2018

New Delhi: Growth of eight core sectors expanded to 7-month high of 6.7 per cent in June due to better performance by cement, refinery and coal segments, as per official data released on Tuesday.The eight sectors, which also include fertilisers, steel, natural gas, electricity and crude oil, had expanded by 1 per cent in June last year.

The previous high rate of growth was recorded in November 2017 at 6.9 per cent.

The growth rate in May was 4.3 per cent.

As per the data released by the commerce and industry ministry, the expansion in cement, refinery products and coal was 13.2 per cent, 12 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively, year-on-year basis.Crude oil and natural gas registered a negative growth of 3.4 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively in June compared to the year-ago period.The expansion in the electricity generation was 4 per cent in June compared to 2.2 per cent in the same month of the last fiscal.

 Steel sector, however witnessed a slower growth of 4.4 per cent compared to 6 per cent in June 2017.The data revealed that expansion rate in the fertiliser segment was 1 per cent, better than negative growth recorded in the year ago month.

During the April-June quarter of the current fiscal, the eight core industries recorded a growth of 5.2 per cent as against 2.5 per cent in the same period last year.

These eight core industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

Projects for 6,320 km roads awarded under Bharatmala

download (2).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Jul 26, 2018

NEW DELHI: Projects for constructing 6,320 km of road have been awarded under the first phase of the Bharatmala project, with the financial implication estimated to be Rs 1.44 lakh crore, the government said today.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari also informed the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that the total investment for Bharatmala is expected to be around Rs 7.50 lakh crore for constructing about 84,000 km of road.

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Railway targets to lay 4,100 km of tracks in 2018-19

Source:, Jul 19, 2018

New Delhi: Railways has set a target of laying 4,100 km of tracks in 2018-19, which includes 1,000 km of new lines, the Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told the Lok Sabha today. 

This also includes 1,000 km of gauge conversion and 2,100 km of doubling of lines, he said.

“For timely completion of the projects, railway is holding regular meetings with state government and central government officials concerned on various issues involving alignment, land acquisition, forestry and wild life clearances, law and order problems, shifting of utilities,” Gohain said. Read the rest of this entry »

Government looks to sell viable infrastructure projects

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 19, 2018

NEW DELHI: The government is looking to sell successfully running public sector infrastructure projects such as power and steel plants to private companies in a bid to boost green-field investment and create fresh capacity.

A proposal is being worked out to monetise commercially viable assets operated and held by state-owned companies such as NTPC and Steel Authority of India Ltd. Two senior government officials confirmed the plan and said the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management and NITI Aayog, the government’s think-tank, are expected to identify such projects, assess their valuation and decide on a mechanism to sell them.

“We will ask companies like NTPC, SAIL and BHEL, among others, to identify projects that can be put up for sale,” said one of the officials. Apart from outright sale, assets can be leased out for 20 years or more, the official said. The second official said NITI Aayog has recommended that the government should exit infrastructure projects across sectors and hand over their operation and maintenance to private companies, much along the lines of highways. Read the rest of this entry »