Infrastructure Newsletter - December 01 to 05, 2014

Govt has eased FDI rules for construction sector. Government also removed lock in period for FDI in construction.

Dec 05, 2014 11:12 IST India Infoline News Service

Top News
Govt eases FDI rules for construction sector
Govt has eased FDI rules for construction sector. Government also removed lock in period for FDI in construction. DIPP said that no minimum land requirement of construction of service plot. Under the new rules, foreign investment is now allowed in projects with a minimum built area of 20,000 square metres, down from a previous 50,000 threshold.
295 infrastructure projects delayed: reports
As many as 295 infrastructure sector projects worth Rs 150 crore or more are delayed with total cost overrun of Rs 1,01,436 crore, Parliament reportedly said.
"As per the 346 Flash Report of August 2014 released by the Ministry of Statistics, out of 720 central sector infrastructure sector projects, costing Rs 150 crore and above, 295 projects were delayed," Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
Report said that the original cost of the 295 delayed projects is Rs 5,48,838 crore and anticipated cost is Rs 6,50,274 crore.
Out of 295 delayed projects, 62 projects have overall delay in the range of 1-12 months, 66 projects have delay in the range of 13-24 months, 98 projects have delay in the range of 25-60 months and 69 projects have delay of 61 months and above, Rao Inderjit Singh reported
Revenue, not financing, limits infrastructure investment: Fitch
Identifying and allocating revenue for repayment of project debt is the biggest obstacle to the renewal of ageing infrastructure in many developed economies, Fitch Ratings says. This problem is compounded by the fact that most of these markets' most urgent projects are upgrades to existing infrastructure, where higher costs for users or taxpayers may be politically harder to justify than for high-profile new projects.
Commentators often blame under-investment in infrastructure on a lack of available financing, but we do not believe this is the case in either the public or private sectors. Some of the countries with the biggest shortfall in infrastructure spending, such as the US and UK, are also those with the deepest capital markets. There are also many well established financing methods, including tax-exempt bonds from the public sector, covenanted bonds issued by regulated utilities and subsidised loans from development banks, which together enable borrowers to raise large amounts of cost-efficient capital.
Instead, the ability to secure a revenue stream from either users or taxpayers is generally the limiting factor. The problem requires an often-difficult political decision on who should pay for facilities that only a fraction of the population will use and that will also be used by future generations. This is made even trickier for Western economies that need to upgrade existing infrastructure. It is politically difficult to make people pay through either fees or taxes for a service that is not new and just aims to maintain what already exists.
News Infocus
October Eight Core Ind growth at 6.3% Vs 1.9% (MoM)
The Eight Core Industries comprise nearly 38 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).  The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stands at 165.9 in October, 2014, which was 6.3 % higher compared to the index of October, 2013. Its cumulative growth during April to October, 2014-15 was 4.3 %.
Coal production (weight: 4.38 %) increased by 16.2 % in October, 2014 over October, 2013. Its cumulative index during April to October, 2014-15 increased by 8.5 % over corresponding period of previous year.
Crude Oil
Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22 %) increased by 1.0 % in October, 2014 over October, 2013. The cumulative index of Crude Oil during April to October, 2014-15 declined by 0.9 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Natural Gas
The Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71 %) declined by 4.2 % in October, 2014 over October, 2013. Its cumulative index during April to October, 2014-15 declined by 5.6 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Petroleum Refinery Products (0.93% of Crude Throughput)
Petroleum refinery production (weight: 5.94%) increased by 4.2 % in October, 2014 over October, 2013. Its cumulative index during April to October, 2014-15 declined by 1.7 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Domestic News
Need to fast track decision making process in infrastructure sector: Nitin Gadkari says
There is a pressing need to fast track decision making process in the infrastructure sector as delay in projects' execution causes financial loss to the tune of about Rs 300-400 crore daily in terms of one day's interest cost, Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.
"My delay in taking decisions will result in India facing financial losses worth about of Rs 400 crore daily in terms of interest cost per day," said the Road transport highways and shipping Minister while inaugurating 4th International Summit on 'Infrastructure Finance-Building for Growth,' organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
"We have streamlined projects in the road sector worth about Rs 1, 80,000 crore that were stuck up due to land acquisition together with forest, environment and other clearance related issues," said Mr Gadkari. "We have solved about 80 per cent of issues that were involved with the Environment and Forest Ministry."
Punj Lloyd explores options to sell it's non core assets
The Exchange has sought clarification from Punj Lloyd Ltd with respect to news article appearing in Financial Chronicle on December 01, 2014 titled "PUNJ LLOYD to sell stake in Medanta by end-Dec."
Punj Lloyd Ltd clarified "The Company is exploring various options to sell it's non core assets. The Company has not formalised or entered into any binding agreement in this regard, as yet. The Company will be inform the stock exchange(s), if and when, any such agreement is entered into."
Nitin Gadkari invites Financial Institutions to invest in Infrastructure Projects
The Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Gadkari invited financial institutions, both domestic as well global to invest in India's infrastructure projects including highways and inland waterways. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 4th international summit on "Infrastructure Finance-Building for Growth" organized by ASSOCHM here. Gadkari outlined the Modi Government's focus on promoting world class infrastructure as a part of India's growth strategy and called upon all the stakeholders to join in this endeavour for making the country a global power. He promised the private investors that the Government would make their investments in infrastructure projects as a force multiplier by strengthening policy frameworks wherever necessary.
The Minister asserted that the NDA government, under the leadership of Premier Modi, is committed to making India a social welfare state striking a perfect balance between progress and development. Environment preservation and socio-economic emancipation of all underprivileged sections of the society by creating jobs are high on the agenda of the Government, he added.
Gadkari listed several initiatives taken by his ministries in the highways and shipping sectors including e-tolling, goods transport in river Ganga from Varanasi to Haldia and resumption of several stalled national highway projects in different parts of the country. Other initiatives included a new Road Transport & Safety Bill 2014, a national permit policy for goods transport across the country, a computerized driving license system, highway safety projects, cashless treatment of road accident victims, preference to concrete roads and sea-plane service in Mumbai
Indian Railways extends concession in Fare to 50 Categories of Travellers
Gateway Rail appoints Sachin Bhanushali as Chief Executive Officer

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