Citizens' Issues
400 stations to be re-developed under PPP mode: Prabhu
New Delhi : About 400 railway stations across the country would be re-developed through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced on Thursday while presenting his budget for 2016-17.
 
"In a landmark decision, the cabinet has approved re-development of 400 stations through PPP. This is expected to be the largest transit oriented development in the world and, hence, involves complex decision making," he said.
 
Apart from this measure, the ministry is exploring availing multilateral financial investments to develop other stations and partnering with state governments, he said.
 
"On the basis of a bankable structure for private participation, it is proposed to undertake a bidding process for a few large and medium stations during the course of the next financial year," Prabhu said in his 75 minute budget speech in English.
 
The PPP cell will also be strengthened to improve ease of doing business with the railways.
 
In view of urgency to provide connectivity to ports across the 7,517km coastline, the minister said rail connectivity to ports at Nargol and Hazira in Gujarat would be taken up in the ensuing fiscal under PPP.
 
To expand freight business, the railways plans to build three more dedicated freight corridors - north-south connecting Delhi to Chennai, east-west from Kharagpur in West Bengal to Mumbai and east coast from Kharagpur to Vijayawada.
 
"The three freight corridors will be put on high priority to ensure structuring, award and implementation in a time-bound manner through innovative financing mechanism, including PPP," Prabhu said.
 
The railways will develop new frameworks for PPP mode to spur rail infrastructure growth, he said.
 
"We will be at the forefront of infrastructure growth by forming joint ventures with states, developing new frameworks for PPP, scouting international markets for rupee bonds or engaging with multilateral and bilateral agencies," the minister said.
 
Admitting that the magnitude of investment calls for abandoning the business as usual approach and innovating to find new ways of sourcing funds and executing projects, he said the capital plan for 2016-17 had been pegged at Rs.1.21 lakh crore.
 
"We have for the first time incorporated a statement in the 'Pink Book' of sanctioned works a list of partnership projects being undertaken with state government and other agencies," Prabhu added.
 
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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ED arrests two more accused in forex transfer case
New Delhi : The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday arrested two more accused allegedly involved in illegal forex transfer involving the Bank of Baroda.
 
Brothers Varun Bhatia and Gaurav Bhatia were presented before special Judge Sunil Kumar Aggarwal who sent them to ED's custody till March 1.
 
ED's public prosecutor N.K. Matta sought custody saying that the beneficiary of forex transactions who dealt with proceeds of crime, pertaining to the transfer of Rs.6,172 crore in foreign exchange through a bank branch through 59 bank accounts to companies in Hong Kong and Dubai for fake import and export businesses, has to be ascertained.
 
He also said that the agency has to ascertain the role of arrested people, involvement of other associates in money laundering and to confront with the voluminous records received from the banks.
 
Both the arrested accused were owners of three entities allegedly involved in money laundering, ED has alleged.
 
It added that both were summoned to join investigation but Gaurav Bhatia after initially avoiding, joined the investigation but Varun Bhatia remained on run.
 
ED recorded the statement of Gaurav Bhatia on October 27, 2015 wherein he stated that entire work of the accused entities were being looked by his elder brother Varun Bhatia.
 
In October last year, ED arrested four accused - Kamal Kalra, Chandan Bhatia, Gurucharan Singh and Sanjay Aggarwal - in the case.
 
Kalra is out on bail while the other three are in judicial custody.
 
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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Nifty, Sensex will move sideways
For a rally, Nifty has to close above 7,050 first
 
We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty has to close above 7,110 for the decline to end. The index today closed in the negative for the third consecutive session. The market which was trading sideways up to the beginning of the noon session did not react positively for the rail budget announced today. The index was pulled lower in the noon session to hit a six day(including today) low. The markets were more volatile because the February series of futures and options expired today.
 
India VIX fell 0.91% to close at 22.7450. NSE recorded a volume of 1,067.31 million shares.
 
Investors' sentiments were subdued after the railway minister failed to announce big ticket capital expenditure projects in his budget speech, so as to meet the government's fiscal deficit targets. Further, investors took notice of the fact that railway revenue targets might not be met due to a slowdown in economic activity and that the government looked at monetising the internal resources for fund mobilization.
 
In addition, a sharp fall of over 6% in Shanghai Composite and softening of crude oil prices which declined by 1% to $31, unnverved the investors. 
Besides, a weak rupee dented sentiments. It closed weaker by 15 paise to touch its 30-month closing low. The rupee closed at 68.71 against the US dollar, at level which was last seen during late August, 2013. During the intra-day trade rupee value dwindelled to 68.79 to a US dollar from its previous close of 68.56 to a greenback.
 
The FIIs were net sellers during the day's trade, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought stocks. The data with stock exchanges showed that FIIs divested Rs 1,465.68 crore, while the DIIs bought stocks worth Rs 806.97 crore.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of major Asian indices are given below:
 

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