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Sri Lanka votes for change Editor's Notes Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Should we change the official year? Pharma – overdose of copying Quality silica from Neyveli Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Intellectual of rare qualities S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Solar, solar everywhere … TELANGANA at last…BUT Strengthen the base... Tatas moving out of urea production... Kudos to NDTV... Delhi is distant… CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Quality education through the PPP mode Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Gas is the way forward EVM is tamper-proof Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Waning interest in public discussions… Which side are you, Montek? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V A proud Madrasi Contrarian cousins Editor's Says Shale gas and its shallow future A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu IAS invades NDDB... S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal A glass full of corruption Computation of GDP – conundrums continue SoA @ 80 Solar thermal shines… More tributes to GR The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ The brown list of Venkitaramanan A welcome initiative by the judiciary Welcome focus on core competence to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines A professional at the helm of IRDA... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Muffled voices for merit… When Ratan Tata visited SRM Revving up the manufacturing sector Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked Telangana in top gear… GM Technology at last! An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Convulsions in The Hindu When the President was rendered homeless… Make standards certification mandatory... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more The why of tax incentives Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Delhi Chalo... TGS- The king storyteller Discoms deserve better… PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Delhi is distant A friendly business group There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Where a state respects its litterateurs… Auto components surge… Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... When online building permits work…. Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Noble nonagenarians... The Jan Dhan bonanza Tatas moving out of urea production... The rise and fall of Annamalai University A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… The rise and rise of KCP Nuclear power at the nucleus IPL type auction for VCs? When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Another Indian music maestro at the UN Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Demise of a media baron... A more liberated TN… A think tank for Chennai Readers' Mail Increasing non co-operation of state leaders ONGC at KG Basin Breaththrough in malaria control Building loyalty through the stomach Delhi returns to BJP Moily’s bold thrust Making ‘my Amaravati’... For whom the bell tolls? Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Five star activism stalls development activity IPL - no surprise this scam Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Revive development banks... Tax agriculture Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Parliament in paralysis... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Roaring Ro-Ro facility More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Silver Years of Madras Musings The nuclear option Modi and the lady Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Engineering seats go abegging For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Modi storms Silicon Valley Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… The power-full Hindujas He continues the focus on social amelioration Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School CII projects higher growth… Poor quality of university VCs Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy This scant respect for Law No Maha Koottani in TN... Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Mersal magnified WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Adharma of opposition politics The Gulf aviation boom L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Preserving for the future Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Kulandai was a giant More heat than light Tribute – M V Murugappan No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Plummeting profits of PSBs Music happens Cutting the nose to spite the face Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Things happen by accident and not by design... The balancing act Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Gay abandon in pricing Lalu’s envy, India’s pride No engine for this car Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Russi Mody – a tribute Road development slows down Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Robber barons everywhere EEC at the National Media Centre When small is no larger beautiful.. MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Tough task taking states together The few handicaps... Cement prices continue to rise… Put expensive assets created to use... Return to king coal for urea... China invests in India Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Secularism and anti-Hinduism Shanti and Sadhana through Music Wise Presidents Tribute TIAM turns a full cycle Come elections, come advertisements... Welcome GST Boy, can you beat these? Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Banning booze... Build close rapport with business leaders All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Medical costs hit the roof... Fortune for Indian Airlines A yen for wastage… Funding the un-funded TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership A rich pool of talent not utilised…. CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Why this malaise in medical education? Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Fortune 500 review Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Maximising the micro pricing … Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Mu Sigma – is no more PC’s preference for professionals Shipping woes of Chennai companies Sweeter prospects for sugar Vibrant Gujarat When nations steal growth from one another… Multi-faceted Venkat He saved millions from starvation... Fuel for thought Streamlining mandatory third party cover London, London Narayan Marketing expert Balagopal is no more How Air-India loses customs... GNS - 100: our first subscriber Align crops to agro climate endowments… The Swadeshi Trump …and of a popular trade leader An inexplicable neglect An enemy’s enemy is a friend Airlines in India: cost and space The sea- saw battle continues... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Paytm karo... Haul over the coal Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Towards speedy justice A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Protest masters... Small units prefers to remain small... Where is Rajaji? B H Kothari - a tribute The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Why land prices zoom in TN? Kinetic Karnataka Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Polls and promises Valli, they are more marginalised West Bengal: mindless malignancy The star of Spencers is no more Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Rahman at CIC Of course, Gujarat is vibrant
 
Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt

At the TN Global Investors Meet dozens of experts discussed in parallel sessions presided over by the state ministers/senior civil servants.

A media person had to contend with a major problem: since these were conducted in parallel, one had to hop from one hall to another to listen selectively  few specialists of one’s choice. The second problem related to the organiser’s presenting too many speakers, each given just five to ten minutes,  that left little time for interactions. One looks forward to the consolidation of the presentations in a book form.

I sat through the session on Enabling Mega Infrastructure projects. Planning & Development Secretary, S Krishnan, made a lucid presentation on the problems encountered by large Infrastructure projects. He threw light on the need for more thorough preparation of funding the projects adequately, as also to anticipate contingencies and developments that would demand higher volume of funding. These will have implications on the viability of the project and the repayment schedules of loans. Krishnan suggested providing for adequate viability gap funding.

The present crisis suffered by banks and other lenders has risen due to the failure on this score. The consequent reluctance of these financial institutions to fund infrastructure projects received attention in this session.

S B Nayar, CMD, India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd. outlined several measures such as sale and lease back of assets and securitisation. Lack of attention to such details resulted in hundreds of vital projects announced by the UPA I and UPA II governments remaining non-starters. The ultra mega power project concept announced at the beginning of the UPA I regime which held great promise is a case in point. At the closing years of UPA II, Finance Minister P Chidambaram frequently mentioned of projects valued at over Rs 700,000 crore getting stuck for various reasons.

K Venkatesh, MD, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, pointed to yet another problem: the difficulty of concessionaries to realise fully the promise of toll collections in many of the BOT projects. Venkatesh  also referred to two other issues, of an effective disputes resolution mechanism and the difficulty of settlement of dues. The judicial system and mechanism for settlement outside the traditional legal system both need to be tuned up to deliver quick decisions.

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