Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Why airport infra addition is urgent, explains Vinayak Chatterjee

Airport infra crunch being felt with today’s fleet levels of airlines. Now we are informed that Indian carriers are set to induct over 900 new aircraft in the next 7 to 8 years. Civil Aviation Ministry needs to set up a war room to deal with this challenge – esp Mumbai

Need to make haste on airport infra: During FY14 to FY17, passenger traffic shot up by 57%; craft traffic went up by 33%. India needs to treble airports capacity.

Technology-aided disruption set to change electr distribution. Rs 1,000 cr Smart Meter tender floated by EESL (for UP & Bihar) & won by L&T, seeks to integrate GPRS connectivity chip, datastorage on cloud & instant dashboards. Existing Discoms will look like Dinosaurs

Smart metering boost for UP, Bihar: Major telcos have been roped in to provide 5 million SIM cards that are required for providing GPRS connectivity.

Land acquisition cost, which was 5% of a road project’s total cost in the early 2000s, has now reached levels of 37-55%. Also, land values around a road development escalate 3-5X times. It’s about time that Govt applied its mind to ‘value capture’ thru a Betterment Levy

Land costs rising for road projects: Due to 2013 land acquisition law, cost of acquisition has risen Rs 2.5 cr/ha from Rs 0.9 cr/ha in FY14. ICRA estimates NHAI to spend Rs 1.8-1.9 lakh cr for land for first 25k km under Bharatmala.

Art of the Possible: Here’s a State doing better than UDAY targets. Andhra Pradesh’s AT&C loss stands at 7.9%. As per UDAY, states had to agree to bring down AT&C losses to 15% by 2019. AP had embarked on cleaning up its electricity sector aggressively, much before UDAY

Andhra Pradesh powers ahead under UDAY: Though average tariff hike in AP for FY18, at 3.6%, was lower than 5% proposed by UDAY, the cost of supply-revenue gap for AP’s discoms has fallen from Rs 0.8/unit to Rs 0.03/unit.

Govt quite flustered that Supreme Court canceled & subsequently auctioned coal blocks show a drastic drop in output. 40 captive blocks producing 40 mill tonnes now do 16. CabSec with senior Secretaries to cajole increased output. Former CVC to examine prodn/reve sharing formats

To get coal production going: High-level panel to try and clear hurdles for operationalising coal blocks, including legal issues and pending green nod.

If implemented energetically, this will create jobs, provide housing and stimulate demand for cement etc ~ Ministry of Housing approves construction of 5.45 lac more affordable houses. Total investment pegged at Rs 31,003 crores of which central assistance is Rs 8,107 crores

Affordable housing scheme gets a booster dose: The total number of homes sanctioned under PMAY (urban) is now at over 36 lakh. Andhra has been sanctioned largest chunk.

Sensible of Govt to consider allowing Pvt sector to run cruise terminals through PPP concessions. It’s a “high growth-high spend” tourism area which India with its coastline could grab with world-class handling. Ports being considered r Mumbai, Goa, Mangalore ,Kochi & Chennai

Setting sail for PPP in cruise terminals: Govt is planning to invite bids for operation and maintenance contracts for these terminals. One is under development at the Mumbai port, at a cost of Rs 197 cr.
03/01/18 Vinayak Chatterjee/Financial Express