Plan panel pitch for PPP in schools - 11 Sep 2012 - Hindustan Times
Published On :2012-09-12 17:54:00
In a last ditch effort to attract private sector investment in
schools and skill development, the Planning Commission on Tuesday held a
meeting with top industry leaders presenting them with its
Private Partnership model for these sectors.
Even though the private sectorshowed interest in
the government's new PPP mode, government officials said they did
not make any assurance on investments.
Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia told the
private sector that the government will be
launching two schemes shortly for seeking PPP in presence of HRD
minister Kapil Sibal and labour minister Mallikarjuna Kharge.
One would be HRD ministry's scheme for setting up
2,500 model schools and the other would be labour ministry's proposal to
set up 3,000 Industrial Training Institutes in backward regions of
"The initiative in the first phase would involve setting up of 2,500
model schools to create capacity for quality education to about 40 lakh
children," the plan panel said, in a presentation to the industry
We have to spend more on health: Ahluwalia - 11 Sep 2012 - Live Mint
Published On :2012-09-12 17:53:00
The deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, in an interview,
spoke about the challenges of pushing public health reforms
New Delhi: India is likely to finalize a draft Plan document next week
to introduce universal health coverage in India. Montek Singh Ahluwalia,
deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, spoke in an interview about
the challenges of pushing public health reforms with limited resources
at hand. Edited excerpts:
Will the government be able to push through sweeping healthcare
I don’t think the short-term problems of the economy should have any
effect on the forward movement of health reforms. Steps are being taken
to revive the economy and I am sure we will succeed. Meanwhile, we
should keep our eyes on the medium term objective of developing a viable
strategy for health sector reforms. One thing is clear, we have to spend
more money on public health facilities and we will.
But money is not the only issue. We also have to use it well, and that
means restructuring and reform of the public health system and also
better regulation of health in general. However, health is a state
subject and reforms will only take place depending on what the state
governments want. Our job is to sensitize them and also support them in
the 12th plan (2012-17). We do plan to do that.
Will you be able to achieve the spending target of 2.5% of GDP on
We had said in the approach to the 12th plan that we should aim at
that figure by the end of the 12th plan. But remember, the figure refers
to plan and non-plan expenditure of the Centre and the states. The
Planning Commission only decides central plan expenditure.
We discuss state plan expenditure but it is the states that decide, and
non-plan expenditure, which is much larger than plan expenditure, is
entirely outside our ambit. However, as an aspirational target, this is
what the Centre and the states together should aim at.
What concerns you the most about India’s health sector?
Unlike other sectors, this is not a sector which can be left to
market forces, even for those who have money. This is because
information asymmetry is very high and incentives are not aligned.
Commercial health service providers do not have an incentive to take
preventive steps—they make money if a patient goes for high end
treatment, not if he or she takes preventive steps to avoid it. Lack of
regulation is a major problem and there is a great deal of evidence of
irrational prescriptions, and also substandard facilities.
Second, we have a very large population which simply cannot afford
private care, so there has to be a large expansion in public sector
health. At least 80% of the population needs to have access to good
healthcare funding by the public sector. This could be through direct
provision of services by public facilities, as is inevitably needed in
rural areas. It could involve some PPP
(public-private partnership) as some state governments are doing.
It could be through a health insurance system such as Rashtriya Swasthya
Bima Yojana (a government-run national health insurance scheme for the
poor), where the government pays the premium. I am sure states will make
different choices and we should give them flexibility.
Third, trained personnel are as important as money and we have huge
shortages of doctors as well as nurses. Unless we expand supply, not
much can be done by simply building facilities.
The 12th five-year plan attempts to put together a strategy which should
lead to large scale expansion of public health sector in rural and urban
slum areas. But it will take time.
Govt to speed up projects worth `3.3 lakh cr to revive growth - 11 Sep 2012 - Financial Chronicle
Published On :2012-09-12 14:43:00
Includes pending PSU proposals in roads and petroleum sectors
Government would fast track infrastructure projects of Rs 3.3 lakh crore to revive the slowing economy. These would include projects pending with public sector undertakings along with those stuck in roads and petroleum sectors.
Besides, it will shortly come up with a framework on public-private-partnership for setting up warehouses in the country along with government tempering with buffer food stock to ensure that food prices do not go beyond comfort level.
This is part of the five priority areas that the government has identified to boost investor confidence in the economy in a time bound manner. “Government has identified problems that are delaying several big projects in roads and petroleum sector where the estimated investments locked up is to the tune of Rs 1,50,000 crore. Finance minister wants to take this up at the cabinet level for decision that would be taken in a time bound manner,” economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram said while addressing the national executive committee meeting of Ficci.
As per Mayaram, finance minister will also meet heads of nine identified public sector under takings that are sitting on large cash reserves of Rs 1,80,000 crore, on Wednesday to put in place a timeline for beginning the projects that have been put on hold.
The economic growth rate in the country has fallen consistently every quarter since last year and stood at 5.5 per cent in the April-June quarter of this financial year on the back of poor performance of manufacturing, mining and farm sectors against growth of 8 per cent in the first quarter of 2011-12. This is far less than the GDO growth projections of 6.7 per cent by the prime minister’s economic advisory council.
Odisha approves 37 projects on PPP mode in three years - 10 Sep 2012 - Business Standard
Published On :2012-09-12 14:42:00
Odisha has approved 37 projects on the public private partnership (PPP) mode between April 2009 and March 2012. More..
The approved projects are in sectors like ports, real estate, food processing and tourism.
The state government has approved the establishment of a minor port at Astaranga in Puri district by Hyderabad-based Navyug Engineering Ltd. The initial port capacity is 25 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with the project cost pegged at Rs 7417 crore.
The port capacity will be eventually scaled up to 70 mtpa.
It may be noted that the state government had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the company on December 22, 2008. A concession agreement was signed on November 22, 2010 according to which the port developer will share five per cent of its gross income during the first five years, eight per cent from fifth to the 10th year, 10 per cent from 11th to 15th year and 12 per cent from the 16th year to the end of the lease period.
Vinayak Chatterjee: Weakest link in the power chain - 03 Sep 2012 - Business Standard
Published On :2012-09-07 17:51:00
Without doubt, distribution is the weakest link in the entire power
sector value chain — fuels, logistics, generation, transmission and
The medium-term “fuels” outlook for our coal-dominated energy sector is
beginning to look less scary. The demand for coal is expected rise to
980.50 million tonnes by 2017. The domestic availability of coal has
been pegged at 795 million tonnes. This demand-supply gap of around 200
million tonnes is expected to be made up substantially by imports by
2016-17. On imports, the “sarkar” is gearing up functionally and
administratively, according to latest reports coming from the Prime
Minister’s Office. An inter-ministerial group is preparing
public-private partnership schemes for roping in the private sector for
coal mining. The brouhaha over the Comptroller and Auditor General’s
report has got political parties to broadly agree to de-nationalise coal
mining. The price of coal has fallen by 40 per cent in international
markets and 65,000 Mw of thermal plants in the US are shifting to gas by
2016. Political and administrative decisions on import-aggregation,
pooled pricing and tariff pass-through, have, for all practical
purposes, been taken.
A significant amount of capacity is stranded owing to the
non-availability of gas. Rising demand and falling domestic production
has pushed the share of imported gas to 40 per cent of the current
consumption in India. The US has turned into a net energy exporter on
the back of huge quantities of shale gas and oil becoming available
commercially. Washington, however, allows gas exports only to free-trade
agreement partners. New Delhi has asked Washington for special exemption
that will allow Indian companies to import liquid gas in ships from the
US. With increased gas imports and the KG D6 impasse likely to be
resolved, there is hope in the medium term.
On the logistics front, serious issues remain on the efficiency and
capacity of railways and ports to handle 200 metric tonnes of imported
coal. Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, terminals to receive imported gas
require augmentation as well as pipelines across the country. These are
capital investment and project execution challenges that are largely
under the Centre’s control. Already, there are clear signs of new
capacity being built.
Generation targets look eminently doable. The target for power capacity
addition during the 12th Plan period is 88,000 Mw. With about 60,000 Mw
under execution, this 88 Gw should be achieved after hitting 55 Gw in
the 11th Plan.
Transmission, after the grid collapse in early August, surfaced to
attention. However, other than this kind of an episodic event, it has
not done badly. The existing inter-regional power transfer capacity was
targeted to be raised to 37,150 Mw by the end of the 11th Plan period.
Power Grid was the only company from the power sector to have met its
investment target during the 11th Plan. Its pace of investment was
higher compared to the generation sector. Its expenditure outlay was Rs
6,000 crore in Ninth Plan, Rs 18,000 crore in 10th Plan, Rs 55,000 crore
in 11th Plan, and now Rs 100,000 crore in the 12th Plan. Along with its
wholly-owned subsidiary, Power Systems Operation Corporation – which
manages the Regional Load Dispatch Centres and the National Load
Dispatch Centre – transmission is certainly not the major fault line.
Plans are in place for strengthening the regional grid links to the
national power grid to support the generation capacity addition of 88 Gw.
The phasing out of the current Unscheduled Interchange format and the
implementation of Special Protection Schemes will all add to the
robustness of the grid.
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