• Terming the revision of power purchase agreements (PPAs) for wind and solar plants in
    Andhra Pradesh as “unfortunate”, Union Power Minister Mr RK Singh on Monday said
    foreign investments have been coming in the country’s renewable energy sector on the faith of sanctity of contracts.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government had formed a committee to revise “abnormally priced
    wind and solar” PPAs, these might have been inked with “malafide intentions and could
    have resulted in unjustified burden on consumers of the state.”
  • While addressing the media in Hyderabad about the achievements of the government
    in the first 100 days, Mr Singh said that If there is any concrete and specific evidence of
    illegality, go ahead and take action as per law but contracts cannot be re-opened
    across the board.
  • Chief Minister Mr Pramod Sawant said after meeting with Union Mines Minister Mr
    Pralhad Johi on Monday, the Centre’s Group of Ministers (GoM) will submit its detailed
    report on resumption of mining in Goa to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September
    11. On in inputs, positive solutions will be worked out by November.
  • Mining came to a standstill in Goa in March last year after the Supreme Court quashed
    88 leases and banned extraction of fresh iron ore. The prime minister has insisted an
    early decision should be taken on the issue of mining in Goa. We will be submitting a
    report to him suggesting solutions, Joshi said.

  • Coal is likely to remain in short supply until 2024, national miner Coal India has
    informed the ministry of coal in a recent note. Considering the current fuel supply
    agreements (FSAs) and several MoUs for coal supply, Coal India said the current year
    will witness a deficit of 168.45 million tonne; the next year’s shortfall will be 71.25
    million tonne.
  • According to the note, Coal India also said the deficit may widen to 262.4 million tonne
    in the current financial year, if the Centre brings in more schemes. And if such a
    scenario prevails, the deficit will be 111.27 million tonne for the next financial year, the
    deficit will continue until 2026 in such a case. In current financial year, Coal India has
    set a production and sales target of 660 million tonne and plans to scale up to 710
    million tonne in the next financial year. During 2024-25, the company aspires to
    achieve a production of 940 million tonne of coal.
  • Besides the FSA and the e-auction routes, Coal India has started supplying for the new
    scheme of the Centre SHAKTI. Including SHAKTI, Coal India is currently supplying coal
    through more than 12 supply channels. This includes linkage auctions, FSAs with
    public sector companies, e-biddings, linkages with states, and short-term PPAs.
  • Against the 100% FDI in coal mining, federation had announced a one-day strike on
    September 24 will also affect Coal India.
  • According to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra), the Union government’s focus on
    the build-own-operate model of road construction may “adversely” impact the revenue
    visibility of construction players operating in the road segment in the medium term.
  • Coupled with the NHAI’s plan to return to privatisation of roads by reverting to the BOT
    model can adversely impact bidding participation from private players, given their
    limited appetite and lenders’ risk averse approach, the ratings agency said in its latest
    report. BOT would reduce dependence on the NHAI’s own funding, thereby reducing
    stress on its balance sheet.
  • Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Mr Nitin Gadkari at the 100-day press
    conference in Mumbai on Monday said NHAI was in a comfortable position and it would
    go ahead with its fund-raising plans. The minister also said the officer who posted
    PMO’s letter on social media has been suspended. PMO had circulated the letter to
    nine departments and we also received that report. One of our ministry officials posted
    it on social media, we have suspended him, Gadkari told reporters.
  • The road ministry has suggested that part of the planned funding could be invested in
    the SPV being set up by NHAI and NIIF and funds could be utilised for construction of
    expressways under the Bharatmala scheme.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has sought bids for a new bundle of
    highway projects on the Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) model as India’s highway
    development agency press ahead with an aggressive asset monetization plan to fund
    road projects. NHAI is looking to raise ₹84,800 crore by offering 6,165 km of highways
    under ToT by 2024, each involving a ticket price of about $1 billion with a 30-year
    concession period.
  • The third bundle of ToT involves 566 km of highways spread across Uttar Pradesh,
    Tamil Nadu and Bihar for which NHAI has set a reserve price of ₹4,994 crore. Potential
    investors have time until September 30 to offer price quotations. The reserve price for
    the third bundle is lower than the first round where the projects offered had a higher toll
    revenue.
  • Mr Ashish Sharma, Member (Finance), NHAI, during a road show in Mumbai on
    Monday said that we are planning two bundles this year; every year and will roll out the
    bundles in a staggered manner to reach 6,165 km of highways under ToT. The total
    money which we are expecting from this exercise is ₹84,800 crore which is part of the
    overall financing plans for Bharatmala.
  • Besides, 43% of the highway bundle in the third round is under annuity, so the
    maintenance obligation is already on the annuity concessionaire. Four projects in the
    third bundle are on annuity while five are on EPC.

 

  • The government is contemplating a revamp of the Department of Commerce and
    certain incentive schemes that fall under it, as it aims at administrative easing to boost
    exports and domestic manufacturing.
  • The commerce and industry ministry and finance ministry are discussing the idea of
    bringing the new exports incentives scheme Rebate of State and Central Taxes and
    Levies (RoSCTL) as well as the existing Advance Authorisation Scheme, within the
    remit of the drawback committee under the revenue department, said people aware of
    the matter.
  • An official said that there is a feeling that making the revenue department solely
    responsible for these schemes will help in ease of doing business and reduce
    transaction time for exporters. The restructuring plan comes in the wake of 0.37%
    decline in outward shipments in April-July to $107.41 billion, while imports contracted
    3.63% to $166.8 billion. Separately, the government has also discussed putting the
    external affairs ministry in charge of India’s trade negotiations, which at present is the
    core function of the commerce department.