Companies & Sectors
19 stalled road projects to be resolved by end-January: Gadkari
New Delhi : Nineteen stalled highway projects, some stuck for almost a decade, and involving investment held up of around Rs.40,000 crore, could be resolved following an ongoing stakeholders meeting here, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
 
"We are expecting a solution tonight. My department says 5-6 of these problematic projects can be solved. In this meeting, we hope to do it," Gadkari told reporters after a meeting here with bankers and contractors along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
 
"In case we need to do some out-of-the box thinking on some difficult cases, I have suggested setting up a committee under the finance minister and with the secretaries of finance and road transport to decide on these," he said.
 
"There are only 19 projects where no solution could be found out. Secretary, bankers and contractors sat today (Thursday)...under no circumstances should any project be pending before January 31," he added.
 
Gadkari said that if issues remained unresolved, an "out of the box solution" would be found by the finance ministry in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office.
 
The minister said that as many as 384 projects had been stuck for the last 10 years due to issues like land acquisition, forest and environment clearances, railway over-bridge problems, litigations, delayed decisions and financial problems.
 
"The government has terminated 41 projects and solved problems related to all these projects barring 19," Gadkari said.
 
These projects include national highways in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, involve contractors like like Larsen & Toubro, HCC, Gammon and Essel Infra, while the loans are from major state-run banks like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of India.
 
Gadkari also said his ministry will soon launch a website for "cooperation, coordination and communication" where bankers and contractors could post their complaints and suggestions that would be scrutinised by the road transport secretary.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Centre announces first 20 smart cities
These cities were chosen from 98 cities shortlisted for the 'Smart Cities Mission'. 
 
New Delhi : Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the names of the first 20 cities which will be developed into smart cities in 2016.
 
These are: Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Surat (Gujarat), Kochi (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Sholapur (Maharashtra), Davangere (Karnataka), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC, Delhi), Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Belagavi (Karnataka), Udaipur (Rajasthan), Guwahati (Assam), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ludhiana (Punjab), and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
 
These cities were chosen from 98 cities shortlisted for the 'Smart Cities Mission'. 
 
"These 20 cities will be the first to receive funds, hence kickstarting the process of developing them into 'smart cities'. The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities more," Naidu said at a press conference here.
 
"In terms of population, these 20 cities account for 3.54 crore people. A total investment of Rs.50,802 crore has been proposed in the selected smart cities and towns during the five-year period," he said.
 
"The Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country since it is based on 'bottom up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the urban local bodies and state governments piloting the mission with little say for the ministry of urban development," he added.
 
Naidu also said that the winners were from 11 states and the Union Territory of Delhi and the selection was objective and transparent based on standardized processes.
 
The minister also informed that 23 states and Union Territories who could not make it to the list of winners will get an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’.
 
"Each top ranking city form these left out states can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15 this year for inclusion in the mission," said the minister.
 
Naidu added: "Smart cities need to be inclusive, sustainable and effective engines of growth, fulfilling the aspiration of Young India."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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COMMENTS

Deepak Narain

12 months ago

This government has all perverted priorities. Instead of smart cities, government should first have worked to provide toilets in all households throughout the country and in all girls' schools, with enough provision to keep them clean as well. So also for providing clean drinking water everywhere including the presently crisis-ridden Latur district in Maharashtra.

Mr Jitendra

1 year ago

The criteria for Smart city and the list of cities is debatable. Take eg of Indore. It already has broadband, dedicated citybus routes for iBus, drinking water supply, connectivity with rail, air and land. So what is going to get added or change in Indore in next 5 years?

Will Indore remain what it is today with no trams or any suitable ring route mobility across city? What may end up is, during 2019 election propaganda, Indore will get named as "Indore Smart city".
I just do not get the expenditure of Rs 1000 crore per city for 100 cities.
Take one more criteria of smart city which is affordable housing. Today one row house in Indore costs Rs 27 Lakhs which is around 18 km away from city centre. Will the row house in that area cost Rs 18 lakh in 2020?

If there are no concrete answers to the above doubts raised, Smart City could result into a major scam in next 7 years.

pradeep

1 year ago

It is a good govt initiative but because of this land mafia has increased and the prices have sky rocketed. It has become impossible to buy any land.
Govt should control the land price and bring it down.

Nifty, Sensex looks directionless – Thursday closing report
If Nifty closes below7,385, it will turn weak 
 
We had mentioned in Thursday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex are struggling to head higher and that Nifty may head higher, if it closes above 7,450. The major indices of the Indian equity markets were range-bound and closed with marginal losses. The trends of the major indices in the course of Thursday’s trading are given below:
 
Hopes of a monetary policy easing, coupled with healthy roll-over from derivatives expiry and status quo in US interest rates, slightly buoyed the Indian equity markets on Thursday. The headline indices were trading in a very narrow range, as gains made on the account of positive international sentiments were erased by caution over the sliding value of rupee and the upcoming Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) monetary policy review. Initially, the bellwether indices opened on a flat note, ignoring positive cues from their Asian peers, firm crude oil prices and the US Fed's decision to maintain status quo in interest rates. However, the markets were able to move upwards on hopes that the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) might opt for an interest rate cut given that the US Fed maintained its status quo on key lending rates, soothing investors’ nerves. During its FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meet the US Fed gave a bearish outlook on global markets and cautioned against future financial shocks. The upward movement was slowed by low volumes and continuous selling by foreign investors. The major indices closed with marginal losses.
 
On Wednesday, the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers again. According to data with stock exchanges, FIIs divested Rs367 crore. Dabur India said on Thursday that it posted a rise of 14.7% in its net profit for the quarter ending December 2015, at Rs248.77 crore against Rs216.87 crore in the same period in 2014-15. According to the statement of unaudited standalone results posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the total income for the quarter under review declined to Rs1,461.60 crore from Rs1,501.78 crore last fiscal but total expenses were Rs1,193.09 crore against Rs1,254.78 crore in the same period of 2014-15. On a consolidated basis, net profit increased to Rs318.79 crore in Q3 2015-16 against Rs.283.73 crore in the last fiscal. Total income rose to Rs2,127 crore from Rs2,079.02 crore in the year ago quarter while total consolidated expenses incurred also increased to Rs1,781.07 crore from Rs1,758 crore. Dabur India closed at Rs243.20, up 2.62% on the BSE. 
 
Bharti Airtel said on Thursday that its net profit dropped 22% during the third quarter of 2015-16. The company clocked net profit of Rs1,117 crore for the third quarter of 2015-16 compared to Rs1,436 crore it posted during the corresponding quarter in 2014-15. “Our focus on acquiring quality customers has resulted in healthy net additions of 8.1 million in mobile. Our strong roll-out of 3G and 4G sites has resulted in acceleration of data usage growth to 73.3% along with data ARPU (average revenue per user) reaching Rs200,” said India & South Asia MD and CEO Gopal Vittal, in a statement. The company's revenue grew by 11.6% in Q3 on an underlying basis. Regarding its Africa operations, Airtel Africa MD and CEO Christian de Faria said: “Airtel Africa revenues grew 4.6% in Q3 on an underlying basis. Data consumption and revenues have grown by 111.6% and 40.8% respectively year-on-year.” Bharti Airtel closed at Rs291.30, down 2.22% on the BSE.
 
Chinese stocks fell again in on Thursday, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing down 2.92% at 2,655.66. 
Tokyo shares ended the choppy trading on Thursday lower as investors remained cautious ahead of Japanese central bank's decision due to be out on Friday on its monetary policy. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average shed 122.47 points, or 0.71%
 
The top gainers and top losers of major indices of the equity markets are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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