Adani Power gets plant expansion approval after 6-year delay

The final approval from the MoEF comes with 17 conditions which Adani Power will need to comply with.


Adani Power was looking for suitable land for sometime, in order to expand their existing 3,300 MW power plant in Tiroda. They eventually they zeroed in on land located in Gorada, Mendipur, Kachewani and Khairbadi villages, totalling 148.59 hectares.


The Collector of Gondia issued a certificate, on 14th June 2008, saying that "(since) no alternative non-forest land" was available, suitable for a thermal plant, this lot has been made available to Adani Power for this expansion.


It took another three years before the Forest Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) granted the project "in principle" approval on 9th December 2011. Almost a year later, the State government submitted its first compliance report to the MoEF, on 30th May 2012. Another report followed one year later on 25th September 2012. Ultimately, the final compliance statement was issued yet another two years later on 16th July 2014.


This was not the end even though final permission was given by the MoEF on 29th August, 2014. Seventeen conditions were to be met by the Adani Power. On 20th October 2014, the NDA government issued the order to set aside land for development of the power plant.


Adani Power reportedly paid the present value of the land immediately and also the required sum of money to the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, so that they could take appropriate action for the compensatory afforestation procedure.


Among the 17 conditions stipulated, possibly the most important one mandates, "proper mitigative measures to minimise the soil erosion and choking of streams," besides ensuring the development of green belt along the power station and water channels located in the plant.


The environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, has been assuring the public that the MoEF will not be a stumbling block, but in fact, would do everything it can to expeditiously handle all such clearance matters. The MoEF is already said to be working on unified procedures for making such clearance formalities easier to comply with. It would be ideal if a standardized national policy on environmental clearances is prepared and announced, making a suitable provision for small variations that may became necessary due to geographical factors affecting a given area. Such long delays, of six years or more, should not become a regular feature if we want to make the 'Make in India' campaign successful.


All investors, whether they were domestic or foreigners, need power, and this should be made easily available. This can only happen when all matters which relate to "clearances", "land-lease" agreements and other "approvals" from local state bodies are made simpler and easier to comply with.


(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)


GDP growth is expected to pick up in FY15, says CARE Ratings

GDP growth is expected to stand between 5% and 5.5%. The outlook on industrial growth is particularly optimistic for H2 FY15 with a range of 2-4% growth being expected, says CARE Ratings in a survey report


GDP growth is expected to pick up in FY15 and stand between 5% and 5.5%. The outlook on industrial growth is particularly optimistic for H2 FY15 with a range of 2%-4% growth being expected. Notwithstanding the uneven monsoon this year, inflationary expectations have eased down as half of the Survey sample expects the RBI to comfortably meet its 8% CPI inflation target in FY15. These are some of the findings in a CARE Ratings survey report on the Indian economy.


According to CARE Ratings, the majority of the respondents expect the government to exceed its fiscal deficit target for FY15. A revival is expected in both investment and consumption spending, which is positive news for the economy. A rate cut is expected this year and the 10-years GSec yield would be around 8.4%. A majority still expect NPA (non-performing assets) ratio to increase this year.


On the equities front, CARE Ratings observes that 75% of the Survey sample holds the view of Sensex settling above 27,000. The expectation regarding the movement of the INR (Indian rupee) is mixed. A majority of the respondents expect it to remain at the existing level of Rs60-62. CAD (current account deficit) is expected to be in the range of 1.5%-2%, while respondents are less sanguine on FII inflows which are to be less than $35 billion this year. FOREX Reserves are viewed to be between $320 billion and $330 billion by March 2015.


According to DR Dogra, MD & CEO, CARE Ratings, the three important takeaways from the survey findings lie in the expectation of a better GDP growth in the range of 5%-5.5% in FY15, general outlook for inflation to decline and a modicum of growth in industry and investment this fiscal.


Government reveals 3 names of foreign account holders in SC

After dithering on revealing names of foreign account holders, government reveals 3 names in the SC


In an affidavit submitted in the Supreme Court today, the government revealed 3 names of Swiss bank account holders.


TV reports said the three names were, Pradip Burman, Director of the Burman Group, Pankaj Chimanlal Lodhiya, owner of the Shreeji group in Rajkot, and Radha S Timblo, owner of the Timblo Group Pvt Ltd and Goa based miner.


Television reports reveal that a few more are under investigation, four of these being from the Congress, including a former congress minister from the UPA. While campaigning during elections, the BJP had promised to disclose names of foreign account holders, if it came into power. It, however, changed stance after coming to power, citing violation of tax agreements with other countries as a reason. The decision drew flak from within the party as well as from the opposition. Moneylife wrote about it here.


The Modi government is known to have built pressure on Switzerland in particular, to extradite to India, billions of unaccounted dollars stashed away in its highly secretive banks. Based on a directive of the Supreme Court, the government was swift to action in setting up a Special Investigation Team to look into the matter. Sucheta Dalal wrote The Black Money Trail covering this issue.


The Global Financial Integrity, a Washington based think tank, estimates that Indian have, between 1948 and 2008, parked an around USD 462 billion in tax havens. The term black money is used for income that remains undisclosed to avoid taxation or criminal links. About one third of this money is opined to have been invested in real estate, followed by manufacturing and gold.


This also comes to light from the fact that gold imports from Switzerland to India have reached record high this year, being over 11 billion Swiss francs. In September alone, gold worth 2.2 billion has been brought into India. This scenario seems parallel to the time when Swiss banks are introducing conditions on their Indian clients, in an attempt to ‘derisk’ themselves. Banks operating in Switzerland and those headquartered in Switzerland have lately asked their Indian clients to sign undertakings to take responsibility of any risks arising out of any regulatory actions against them by foreign governments.


Some banks have even asked their Indian clients to close down their bank accounts in case they do not wish to sign such undertakings.


In a previous submission to the Supreme Court, the BJP government had said it could not reveal the names of the account holders in foreign tax havens. The BJP had cited technicalities in the tax agreements with foreign nations as the reason.


For an understanding of the HSBC black money list, watch Anil Harish explain the issue :



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