The coming Union Budget needs to address the issues in the infrastructure sector, including road building, with a pragmatic approach. Infrastructure projects require long-term investments, which ideally match the long duration investments of pensions funds and sovereign wealth funds. There should be a paradigm shift in the thought process, especially in resolving concerns related to financing infrastructure. The Budget should make more provisions to increase foreign investor participation in the sector. Policy framework needs to be put in place to recognise pension and insurance funds as recognised lenders; this will permit Indian infrastructure developers to avail themselves of external commercial borrowings (ECB) for repayment of loans taken from domestic banks. Measures should be introduced to improve long-term funding availability for the infra sector. A framework is essential for banks to raise resources to finance their long-term loans to infrastructure. Investors’ confidence has significantly deteriorated, mainly due to lack of dispute resolution mechanisms, project price escalation and delayed policy decisions. It is necessary to have an expeditious modus of dispute resolution. Single-window clearance, increasing role of e-governance to fast-track pre-execution process, improved monitoring of road projects and awarding projects only when all requisite approvals are in place will all help. Budgetary allocations to the sector should be increased to meet the target to build 30 km a day. A clear road map for setting up an independent road sector regulator and clarity on its role is essential. Amendment of Section 80-IA regarding upgrading existing infrastructure is a necessity. The tax incentives under Section 80-IA gets neutralised by paying MAT at 20.01 per cent on book profits
News paper article on construction and demolition waste recycling plant in Burari.
Pointing out that public private partnership (PPP) has delivered iconic infrastructure like airports and highways, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday maintained a steady focus on PPP in his maiden Budget for 2014-15, announcing a number of steps to fast-track such projects in several areas. In his Budget speech, Mr. Jaitley proposed setting up of an institution, called 3P India, with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore to provide support to mainstreaming PPPs. The stamp of ‘Modinomics’ could not be missed in favouring the PPP route for development as the BJP’s manifesto and Prime Minister Narendra Modi rooted for it to help create world-class infrastructure in the country. However, Mr. Modi during his tenure as Gujarat Chief Minister had added another ‘P’ (People) to it to signify people’s involvement in such project and the 4P concept was successfully tried in the Vadodara Halot Toll Road project. The favoured PPP route ran like a common thread in Mr. Jaitley’s speech when he touched upon sectors such as urban renewal, urban transportation, real estate and gas pipelines. “The task before me today is very challenging because we need to revive growth, particularly in manufacturing and infrastructure to raise adequate resources for our developmental needs,” Mr. Jaitley said The Finance Minister said India had emerged as the largest PPP market in the world with over 900 projects in various stages of development. Iconic infrastructure like airports, ports and highways, delivered through PPPs, are seen as models for development globally, he said. Sounding a note of caution, Mr. Jaitley said: “But we have also seen the weaknesses of PPP framework, the rigidities in contractual arrangements, the need to develop more nuanced and sophisticated models of contracting and develop quick dispute redressal mechanism.” He reiterated the government’s commitment towards improving infrastructure in all sectors including roads, port, airports, railways, urban, rural and industrial infrastructure besides ensuring adequate flow of funds and financing of projects. Mr. Jaitley proposed to develop an additional 15,000 km of gas pipeline systems in the country using appropriate PPP models This will help increase the usage of gas, domestic as well as imported, which in the long-term will be beneficial in reducing dependence on any one energy source,’’ Mr. Jaitley said
Overseas arm of leading infra lender and toll road operator IL&FS has raised 575 million yuans (around USD 92 million) from the Chinese Debt Market.
Article in Times of India dated 29 May 2014
IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd. has inaugurated the Sharjah General Services Company (Khadamat), in partnership with Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre. Khadamat is aimed at comprehensive and integrated development of the region through enhancing infrastructure for both the public and private sectors Khadamat was incorporated for managing and operating facilities; creating an international infrastructure for surface transportation, logistics, industries and services sectors; and managing such as infrastructure in accordance with international standards, including the establishment of an internal and external road network and the launch of strategic real estate development and redevelopment projects The Chairman of Khadamat said the company's projects, which would be implemented using the world's most advanced methods and technologies, would contribute to the stimulation of economic growth and realization of Sharjah's vision in terms of enhancing the relationship with reputable investment companies, improving economic efficiency and attracting investments
In India, millions of young people are unable to find a job while employers struggle to find qualified candidates. According to government estimates, 500 million young people must be trained by 2022. To help achieve this, the government's National Skills Development Corporation, set up in 2009, funds training centres and acts as a go-between with industry. It is effectively training youth on a war footing. Its target is to give vocational skills to 500 million Indians by 2022. Private companies are pitching in, too. IL&FS skills training centre has trained around 225,000 since 2007. By 2017, it plans to have trained 4 million young people. IL&FS Skills is one of the largest providers of skills and placement support to candidates from 25 states in India. Our initiatives in skills range from public sector scheme based programs; private funded initiatives (HR, CSR initiatives) to Public Private Partnership (PPP) models. Under our public funded skills initiatives with Government of India, we are currently working very actively with Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Housing and Poverty Alleviation.
IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd announced on Monday that it had completed its Pune-Solapur Road Project over four months ahead of schedule. “…the Provisional Completion Certificate was issued by National Highways Authority of India on August 23, 2013 for the Pune-Solapur Road Project which was awarded to the Company. The Company has commissioned the Project 145 days ahead of Scheduled Project Completion Date,” said the exchange announcement.
Come July 1, 70 per cent of the rubbish generated in the city would be converted into manure, the sale of which would also fetch some extra revenue for the civic body. This is consequent to the decision of the Mangalore City Corporation to award a private company the contract of operating and maintaining the compost plant and sanitary landfill site at Pachchanady from next month. The company is expected to install two more machines – one of them by July end – for precomposting segregation in addition to the existing 120 tonne capacity a day processing machine already in use. According to an agreement signed with the company on May 29 not more than 30 per cent of the waste generated a day should be dumped in the landfill site. The source said that the company had its own arrangements for marketing compost.