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TGS- The king storyteller Tribute – UCAL Selvan… An enemy’s enemy is a friend IPL type auction for VCs? Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Wise Presidents When small is no larger beautiful.. Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V The power-full Hindujas Why land prices zoom in TN? Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai CII projects higher growth… Paytm karo... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Contrarian cousins Solar thermal shines… Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks The balancing act When online building permits work…. Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Medical costs hit the roof... More tributes to GR …and of a popular trade leader Small units prefers to remain small... 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An inexplicable neglect Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Banning booze... Valli, they are more marginalised Fortune for Indian Airlines Discoms deserve better… Align crops to agro climate endowments… Rahman at CIC For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Kulandai was a giant TIAM turns a full cycle Shale gas and its shallow future He continues the focus on social amelioration This scant respect for Law A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Build close rapport with business leaders A think tank for Chennai Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Moily’s bold thrust Tatas moving out of urea production... The Swadeshi Trump Pharma – overdose of copying The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ A glass full of corruption Mersal magnified The Gulf aviation boom Parliament in paralysis... 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Tribute – M V Murugappan The nuclear option West Bengal: mindless malignancy Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Quality silica from Neyveli EVM is tamper-proof A friendly business group Another Indian music maestro at the UN Noble nonagenarians... Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt TELANGANA at last…BUT London, London Narayan A rich pool of talent not utilised…. PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Funding the un-funded No Maha Koottani in TN... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Russi Mody – a tribute The rise and fall of Annamalai University Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Maximising the micro pricing … Tax agriculture The star of Spencers is no more Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Fortune 500 review Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Demise of a media baron... Multi-faceted Venkat Where is Rajaji? R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Preserving for the future Don’t seem to feel the pulse… New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… The few handicaps... TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... IAS invades NDDB... Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Nuclear power at the nucleus GM Technology at last! Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Silver Years of Madras Musings Tough task taking states together Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel GNS - 100: our first subscriber No engine for this car B H Kothari - a tribute Revive development banks... China invests in India Sri Lanka votes for change Editor's Notes Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Come elections, come advertisements... Fuel for thought
Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects...

A recent report suggested that funding agencies such as Japan International (JICA) had refused to extend loans for the construction of stormwater drains by Chennai Corporation, impacting projects in Thiruvottiyur, Manali and Madhavaram that involve investment of around Rs 1800 crore; also dropping plans altogether for some other neighbourhood projects.

For long, multilateral lending institutions like the World Bank, IMF and bilateral donors like the KfW of Germany and JICA had traditionally been extending long term funding on soft terms for the development of such civic projects. Priorities have been changing for bilateral lenders, who now fund to more technology-oriented projects that would be of benefit to their industries. For instance, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been extending large credit on soft terms for railway projects: Rs 10,000 crore for Chennai metro rail and Rs 3200 crore for the metro’s intelligent transport system. The bullet train project connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad is to receive funding to the extent of Rs 88,087 crore.

The issue of borrowing huge sums for civic projects with no scope for foreign exchange earnings, requires re-think. Civic services are essentially offered by municipal corporations. But most corporations are run inefficiently with inadequate attention to resource mobilisation, sloppy execution of projects, leakages of revenues, delays, cost overruns and poor quality of works. Steep fall in the value of the rupee in relation to the dollar, euro or yen adds further insult to injury. The civic projects that do not generate revenues in foreign currency suffer the most by the depreciation of the rupee.

India, in terms of size, is expected to be the third largest in the next few years. The country has been extending handsome loans to several developing countries in Asia and Africa. It should strive to limit seeking funds from foreign institutions for meeting essential needs relating to technology upgradation, import of raw materials in short supply, capital equipment and the like and not for projects for which the country itself has indigenous capabilities. Simultaneously, there should be the striving for achieving self-sufficiency or near self-sufficiency in areas such as energy. The record  of the US over the last 20 years in achieving self-sufficiencies in oil and gas is worth emulating.

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