Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Be positive to keep heart disease at bay
People with a positive psychological state such as those who are enthusiastic or interested are likely to develop long-term healthy habits that are important for lowering the risk of heart disease, says a new study.
 
Over the course of five years, researchers tracked more than 1,000 patients with coronary heart disease. 
 
The researchers found that patients who reported higher positive psychological states were more likely to be physically active, sleep better and take their heart medications and were also less likely to smoke, compared to patients with lower levels of positive states.
 
"Negative emotions and depression are known to have harmful effects on health, but it is less clear how positive emotions might be health-protective," said Nancy Sin, postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University in the US. 
 
"We found that positive emotions are associated with a range of long-term health habits, which are important for reducing the risk of future heart problems and death," Sin noted.
 
The researchers assessed psychological well-being of participants at baseline and again at a five-year follow-up by asking the participants to rate the extent that they had felt 10 specified positive emotions, including "interested", "proud", "enthusiastic" and "inspired". 
 
Physical activity, sleep quality, medication adherence and alcohol and cigarette use were also measured at baseline and again five years later. 
 
Higher levels of positive emotions were associated with less smoking, greater physical activity, better sleep quality and more adherence to medications at baseline, the study found.
 
They found no correlation between positive emotions and alcohol use. 
 
"Efforts to sustain or enhance positive emotions may be promising for promoting better health behaviours," the study said.
 
The findings appeared in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.
 
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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Foreign roadshows begin for NTPC, BEL divestment
The Indian government on Tuesday commenced roadshows at four foreign locations, including in the US and Britain, to attract buyers for its proposed divestment in power generator NTPC and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL).
 
The two stake sales are expected to garner the government around Rs.6,600 crore.
 
A senior source told IANS here that officials from the department of disinvestment (DoD), the power ministry and NTPC are doing roadshows simultaneously between October 5-10 in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and in San Francisco, Boston and New York in the US.
 
The divestment in the two companies would proceed based on investor responses in the roadshows and the domestic equity market conditions, the source added.
 
Union cabinet's approval has been taken for the 5 percent stake sale in NTPC. The 5 percent stake sale as per current market prices would fetch Rs.5,200 crore for NTPC stock and around Rs.1,400 crore in the case of BEL.
 
NTPC and BEL form part of a divestment basket of companies created by DoD earlier this year, which includes Engineers India, NALCO and Hindustan Copper.
 
The government has so far in this fiscal earned Rs.12,600 crore through stake sale in four units - Indian Oil, the Power Finance Corp, REC and the Dredging Corporation of India.
 
It has a divestment target, for this fiscal, of Rs.69,500 crore, of which Rs.28,500 crore is expected to come from strategic stake sales.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last week reviewed the situation in the government's divestment programme in connection with generating revenue, and announcements of stake sale would be made at the appropriate time, a senior official said on Monday.
 
"On disinvestment, the finance minister held a review meeting last week," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters here at a press conference of secretaries in the finance ministry.
 
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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7,500km of BOT highway projects at risk: CRISIL
Half of under-construction, 40% of operational highway projects at risk but recent government initiatives, lower interest rates can stem further slippage, the ratings agency says
 
Around 7,500 km of highway projects -- 5,100 km under construction and 2,400 km operational - awarded mostly between fiscals 2010 and 2012 on a build, operate, transfer, or BOT, basis, are at high risk today mainly due to significant cost over runs and weak wherewithal of sponsors, says ratings agency CRISIL.
 
According to an analysis by CRISIL Ratings, around 50% of the projects under construction are at high risk of not being completed because of significant cost over-runs and weak wherewithal of sponsors. "We believe the remaining will benefit from proactive moves by the government to facilitate right of way and other clearances. We find the recent government move to ensure 80% right of way, or ROW, before a project is awarded very constructive," it said.
 
Interestingly, just two days ago, setting a goal of 100 km of road construction a day, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways had said, bureaucratic dragnet and red-tapism would no longer be tolerated and such officials would be thrown out to cleanse the system. “The world is ready to invest in India, especially in the highways sector, but we are not able to utilise our budgetary allocation. For work worth Rs5 lakh crore to get rolling, we need faster clearances, quick project report preparations but there are officials sitting on files, not taking decisions,” Gadkari was quoted in media reports. 
 
The government also decided to use ISRO-aided satellites and drones to monitor its highways construction programme, aimed at fast-tracking building of roads in the country, the minister had said.
 
According to CRISIL, reforms of the last one-and-a-half years have improved the prospects – and pace of award – of highway projects after the lull seen in fiscals 2013 and 2014. Yet almost half of them being constructed under the build, operate, transfer – or BOT, model, with sanctioned debt of Rs45,900 crore, are at high risk of not being completed.
 
"Right of way – or land – issues are the primary reason for time and cost overrun in projects and low overall progress of highway construction in India, the ratings agency said, adding, "Weak financials of sponsors and inability to bring in equity as well as support for cost overruns in a timely manner are expected to aggravate matters."
 
According to the research note, the equity and cost overrun support required for under-construction BOT projects alone is around Rs28,500 crore, of which Rs9,300 crore could potentially be raised through stake sale by sponsors at a special purpose vehicle-level as well as raising equity through capital market. Another Rs6,700 crore is expected to come from operations and additional borrowings at the sponsor level. That leaves a significant shortfall of Rs12,500 crore, it added.
 
CRISIL said, "Today, as many as 26 operational highways spanning about 2,400 km and covering 40% of the total length of operational BOT projects are unable to service outstanding debt amounting to Rs17,100 crore. Of these, 24 are struggling because of lower-than-estimated traffic. Timely support from sponsors to bridge cash-flow mismatches in these projects, therefore, has become critical."
 
Over next two years, operational BOT projects are expected to face a shortfall of Rs1,000 crore in servicing their debt obligation. To avert this, CRISIL said, their toll revenue would have to increase a steep 37% compared with a forecast of around 10% for the near term. And this has to be largely driven by growth in traffic because toll rate increases are linked to WPI inflation, which is in negative territory at present. The probability of such high traffic growth is next to none in the near-to-medium term, it added.
 
CRISIL said several reforms and policy changes have been announced to address the issues. Some of these, such as faster land acquisition and clearances and direct monitoring of progress by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), are expected to help avert delays due to right of way issues, while reforms such as premium deferment and allowing 100% exits, should bring relief to both completed and under construction projects. However, timely implementation of these reforms remains critical to the sector.
 
Apart from the measures introduced by the government, developers with operational portfolio can also raise additional debt to support their fund commitments, or improve the viability of their projects by realigning debt repayment with project cash flows and reducing interest cost by tapping the capital market. This is particularly relevant in the current environment of softening interest rates. 
 
CRISIL said it believes around Rs15,000 crore of debt can also be refinanced through capital market including Infrastructure Debt Funds, or IDFs. "However, given the poor wherewithal of private developers, we believes future award and execution of highway projects will be funded largely by the public sector. We expect more highway projects to be bid on the engineering, procurement and construction, or EPC, and hybrid annuity models with large funding from the government at least over the next two years," it added.
 
Steps taken to ensure right of way and other clearances prior to project award, and tapping funding avenues available for developers will help straighten out the future of India’s highway sector, CRISIL concluded.
 
According to the research note, the equity and cost overrun support required for under-construction BOT projects alone is around Rs28,500 crore, of which Rs9,300 crore could potentially be raised through stake sale by sponsors at a special purpose vehicle-level as well as raising equity through capital market. Another Rs6,700 crore is expected to come from operations and additional borrowings at the sponsor level. That leaves a significant shortfall of Rs12,500 crore, it added.
 
According to the research note, the equity and cost overrun support required for under-construction BOT projects alone is around Rs28,500 crore, of which Rs9,300 crore could potentially be raised through stake sale by sponsors at a special purpose vehicle-level as well as raising equity through capital market. Another Rs6,700 crore is expected to come from operations and additional borrowings at the sponsor level. That leaves a significant shortfall of Rs12,500 crore, it added.

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COMMENTS

vnrao

1 year ago

MOst of the bot projects are fraud the bidders have no wherewithal basing on corruption these projects got alloted promotors without using their money are trying to complete these projects banks for reasons best known to them financed them withoutlooking at viability except based on letter of intent govt should scape the bot system build on their own

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Highway building scam is not new to our country. With this scam, PPP has added, another scam of Toll Highways, a permanent source of high income, for several generations, by bleeding the motorists, permanently for years after years.

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