Companies & Sectors
Anil Ambani Group in pact with Singapore company for airships
The Reliance Group, led by industrialist Anil Ambani, on Thursday said it has signed a pact with Augur Overseas Operation of Singapore to manufacture aerostats and airships in India for both the domestic and export markets.
 
"Under the agreement, the two companies will form a joint venture company with Reliance having a 51-percent stake, consistent with the current government regulations," the Reliance Group said in a statement.
 
"The joint venture will be involved in development, production, sales, modification and life support for different sizes of aerostats, airships and lighter-than-air systems. This venture will address the requirements of domestic market and also addressable regional/global markets."
 
Aerostats -- also called lighter-than-air aircraft -- comprise balloons to stay afloat and the airship to ferry passengers, cargo or payload. They get their lift from a body of gas, usually helium or hydrogen. Airships are asrostats equipped with propulsion to move on its own.
 
The pact announced on Thursday is an extension of earlier one between Augur Aeronautical Centre with Pipavav Defence, a company that was acquired some months ago by the Reliance Group. Augur Aeronautical Centre is a leading Aerostat and Airship designer, builder and supplier globally.
 
In fact, the first medium size aerostat envelope was delivered recently and acceptance tests were performed at the Pipavav facility. The tests included integration and simulated mooring, as also verification and functioning of Aerostat envelope together with pressurization system.
 
"In the present changing security scenario in the Indian context, the borders require constant monitoring as the country has a 7,000-km coast line with almost 14,000-km-long international border with various countries," the Reliance Group statement said.
 
"Aerostat radars are a force multiplier as they are deployed extensively in the surveillance, reconnaissance and communication roles by the armed forces. These are also useful in detecting low-flying fighter aircraft," the statement added.
 
As per industry estimates, the market for aerostats is projected to rise from Rs.25,000 crore (approx $4 billion) 2014 to Rs.65,000 crore by 2020, at an estimated compounded annual growth of 17 percent.
 
The present requirement by the armed Forces, including the paramilitary forces, is pegged at some 40 systems over the next five years with an estimated expenditure in excess of Rs.12,000 crore to meet its operational roles.
 
In natural disasters and other situations where infrastructure is non-existent, aerostats can be used to bring in emergency supplies such as food, water, blankets. Recently, aerostats have also seen a sharp rise in the tourism industry, which is expected to be around Rs.6,000 crore.
 
Major players in this field include TCOM-LP and Lockheed Martin, along with AAC.
 
With the indigenous aerostat program fully operational, as part of the "Make in India" initiative, India would join a select group of nations having developed such capabilities, including the US, Germany and France.

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Rajasthan plans land acquisition bill
With Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit drawing closer, the state government is now planning to come out with a land acquisition bill in the next assembly session likely to be held in next two months, an official said.
 
"The demand to table the bill in the state assembly has been felt as the state government is of the view that projects signed during Resurgent Rajasthan summit are not held up due to land acquisition... so they plan to come out with the bill before that," a senior state government official told IANS.
 
The summit, slated to be held here November 19-20, will have strategic conferences, panel discussions, roundtable deliberations, presentations and one-on-one business meetings.
 
With the event bringing together investors from all over the world for interacting with policy makers, including the political leadership, government officials and local business leaders on the investment environment and opportunities in Rajasthan, the state government expects a significant surge in investor interest and definite commitment to invest as a result.
 
According to sources in the state government, the bill will aim to provide for, and expedite the process of, land acquisition for public purposes with the least disturbance to owners of the land and other interested parties and to provide for fair and better compensation to the original owners.
 
The bill was earlier introduced in the state assembly in September last year but was referred to select committed due to certain issues and objections. Now again with certain modifications - mainly to simplify procedures and provide farmers better compensation, it is likely to be tabled soon in the assembly.
 
Sources said the bill also seeks to protect, in this desert state, double cropped, or irrigated land, from acquisition except if the acquisition is for infrastructure projects.

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Why has Reliance asked for a fare revision for Mumbai Metro?
Reliance had projected loss till 2018 in its business plan for Mumbai Metro at the stage of bidding itself, points out Anil Galgali
 
In the business plan submitted along with its bid, Reliance Infrastructure, which was the successful bidder for the Mumbai Metro project, had projected and provisioned for losses for running the Metro for 8 years of operations. It had bagged the project by projecting reduced expenses of about Rs1,048 crore to get this important PPP project from MMRDA. That the company is now working against its own planned projection and causing harassment to Mumbaikars for earning high profits can be understood from the following facts. This Information has been provided to RTI activist Anil Galgali by the MMRDA administration.
 
The dispute between Reliance and the MMRDA has resulted in inconveniencing the Mumbaikars due to a fare hike as well as a projected fare hike. With an objective to understand the dispute RTI activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI query seeking information pertaining to the project from the MMRDA. In a reply, MMRDA Informed Galgali that, Reliance and IICU-IL&FS had bid for the Mumbai Metro project under PPP method. 
 
The financial bid of Reliance was at a projected cost of Rs2,356 crore and sought a viability gap funding of Rs1,251 crore, whereas the IICU-IL&FS had submitted its bid by projecting a cost of Rs3,404 crore and seeking VGF of Rs1,296 crore.  Hence, Reliance promoted Mumbai Metro one private limited had secured the project, points out Galgali.
 
As per the agreement executed between Reliance and the MMRDA, the project was to be completed by 2010. In the business plan submitted by the Reliance it was estimated that the company will require 8 years to break even in this project and hence had planned to sustain loss upto 2018, reminds Galgali.
 
Instead of sticking to its business plan the Reliance, right from day one had started cribbing about the losses, which is still going on, feels Galgali. The state government along with the Reliance Co had finalised the fare pattern on 3 September 2013 and had approved the fares for the Mumbai Metro uptil year 2044-45 and had allowed for stage wise fare increases of 11% every 4 years, which was agreed upon by the Reliance as well.
 
To secure the Mumbai Metro bid, Reliance agreed to all the terms and conditions of the project. It is also understood that such projects need a long gestation period, which was reflected in its business plan of operating in loss for 8 years. It has now reversed its stand and is taking the MMRDA, the state government and the Mumbaikars for a ride, criticises Galgali.
 
Looking at the scenario, Galgali wondered as to why MMRDA is not filing a case of cheating and breach of trust and violation of agreement case against the Reliance. Galgali in his demand has asked CM Devendra Fadnavis to ban Reliance from taking part in any of the PPP projects in future. Also, Reliance is seeking an additional assistance from the government which is similar to the difference between the bid of Reliance and IICU-IL&FS, that of Rs1,048 crore. This exposes the chinks in the armour of Reliance that it had purposely under-bid to just secure the project and is now resorting to arm-twisting by holding the Mumbaikars to ransom, observes Galgali.

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COMMENTS

TIHARwale

1 year ago

just recall how CDMA technology was viewed by public as Chor Dhiru Mukesh Anil. Nothing has changed Reliance walked out from Airport Express in Delhieven as DMRC successfully runs Delhi Metro where ridership number goes on increasing. Reliance tried the game in electric distribution in Delhi but Akela Arvind being street march openly asked Reliance if not happy to quit like it did with Delhi Metro but Reliance cannot run away as it knows it will lose prime assets numbering more than 1000 housing sub stations and staff residential colonies all over Delhi which it got when DESU was privatised.

Gupta

1 year ago

Flashback: Reliance Power IPO, the fights between Reliance Energy and Tata Power, Delhi Metro fiasco, BSES Rajdhani and BSES Yamuna, Orissa power distribution utilities, Dadri Power Project, Sasan UMPP coal diversion. Does something sound familiar ????
This can only happen in India where everything is so crystal clear, but we still need to PROVE things! And till anything is proven, these corporate czars are free to accompany the PM of the country on his foreign tours to showcase the corporate talent of India. Because that helps them in getting submarine contracts with the help of Russians (known for their corruption globally, especially in Indian defence deals). For someone like Russians, its obviously a great choice as a JV partner. Who else knows better how to bend rules after winning a contract. Let's see how big the gap is between the contracted cost of the submarine and the final cost, if and when they are delivered... and let's not even discuss the quality.

nginx

1 year ago

Reliance was always a chor company and is still a chor company. Some things just don't change I guess.

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