BHEL's capacity addition strategy for the current financial year also envisages an improvement in product cost-competitiveness and quality, said BHEL chairman and managing director B Prasada Rao
New Delhi: The country's largest power equipment-maker, BHEL, today said it plans to ramp up its manufacturing capacity to 20,000 MW by March 2012, reports PTI.
BHEL's capacity addition strategy for the current financial year also envisages an improvement in product cost-competitiveness and quality, said BHEL chairman and managing director B Prasada Rao at the 47th annual general meeting of the company here today.
He said BHEL is well on track to becoming a 20,000MW company by March 2012.
The company also plans to diversify into the emerging business areas like R&D and people management, he said.
BHEL recorded a profit of Rs9,006 crore for the 2010-11 financial year and an all-time high turnover of Rs43,337 crore, he added. The company declared a dividend of Rs1,525 crore.
BHEL secured orders worth a record Rs60,507 crore in FY10-11.
The company secured orders for seven boilers and nine turbine generators with supercritical parameters from public as well as private sector utilities during the fiscal.
With an order book worth over Rs1,64,145 crore at the close of the financial year, the company expects to achieve robust growth in 2011-12 and beyond, Mr Rao added.
Outlining the trends in the power sector, Mr Rao said that environmental compulsions are driving the demand for sustainable development worldwide.
BHEL also plans to develop economically viable solar power equipment and it would be the company's focus area this fiscal.
BHEL is also developing Advanced Ultra Supercritical (Adv-USC) technology in association with the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) and NTPC, as part of the National Mission for Development of Clean Coal (Carbon) Technologies.
The company reported export orders worth Rs3,738 crore from 24 countries spread over five continents in FY10-11.
BHEL also secured maiden orders for supply of solar cells to Hong Kong and Turkey, he said.
In 2010-11, BHEL commissioned 9,442MW of power equipment. This included 52 sets of equipment with a combined capacity of 7,667MW, commissioned within the country and abroad.
BHEL has established an R&D gateway at the IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai, for promoting research in ultra-supercritical power cycles and high temperature materials, he said.
As part of its R&D initiatives, BHEL will further streamline its strategy to maintain the growth trajectory in future, Mr Rao said.
The company invested Rs982 crore on R&D programmes during the year-18.5% higher than the previous year. Products and systems developed in-house contributed 18% to the total turnover of the company.
BHEL is establishing a Centre for Nano Technology (CNT) at its corporate R&D division at Hyderabad. The facility will explore the application of nano materials in products and systems relevant to BHEL.
Material development for applications like power plant components, nano structured wear-resistant coatings, electrical insulating materials, solar cells, carbon nano tube applications, nano fluidics, fuel cells and sensors will be studied at this facility.
The centre is being established to carry out R&D and make the company 'future-ready' in the areas of ultra supercritical power and renewable energy, he added.
BHEL has also taken a 51% stake in the Kasargod unit of KEL Kerala for rapid capacity enhancement for rotating electrical machines. The company will continue to build capacities both organically as well as inorganically, he added.
For cost reduction, BHEL is focusing on key initiatives like global sourcing and quicker indigenisation.
The company intends to continue its diversification strategy to enhance shareholder value and is expanding its offerings in new growth areas like solar and nuclear energy, transportation, transmission and distribution, and water.
Toward enhancing and strengthening its human resource base, 17,189 employees have been inducted in the company in the last five years, he said.
BEST, the public transport service provider in Mumbai, will operate a bus shuttle from the airport to various parts of the city only if it gets a dedicated lane. But experts have criticised the BEST’s pre-condition as unacceptable
Moneylife reported yesterday how the absence of a dedicated bus shuttle at the Mumbai airport is leaving passengers stranded at the airport terminal for as much as two hours sometimes. (Read, You have landed at Mumbai. Where's the shuttle to go home? Part 1.) The problem is the scarcity of pre-paid taxis which are also expensive and the refusal by regular autorickshaw and taxi drivers to ply over short distances.
Transport experts are unanimous that a special bus shuttle with adequate luggage space for passengers going to and coming from the airport is required urgently. It should be well-connected with South Mumbai and the central and western suburbs, on the lines of a similar service that is available in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
However, BEST, the public bus transport operator that has a monopoly in Mumbai, has a different take on this. When Moneylife asked BEST why Mumbai doesn't have a bus shuttle transport to the airport like that in Bangalore and other cities, the chief public relations officer replied, "We are ready to start a dedicated bus service to the airport only if we are provided with dedicated lanes by the government and MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority)."
This reply has surprised activists, who say that the demand is unviable, in view of the overall transport situation and the traffic congestion in Mumbai.
"I am surprised that BEST needs a bus lane for starting a bus service to cater to all persons and passengers going to or coming from the airport to various parts of the city," says Ashok Datar, transport expert. "Literally thousands of people visit the airport every day, the proportion of those using buses is negligible as the buses are away and apparently meant for the employees. There are no bright indicators on the availability of buses to various areas with enough info and publicity. This is the basic reform."
BEST, currently, has a bus service to the airport. But it is a regular service used mainly by the staff working at the airport. "The current service by BEST is a regular one. Even for that the frequency of buses is less, and worse, the bus stops are often not visible," says Mr Datar.
Sudhir Badami, another expert, believes that the BEST should focus on the viability of starting such a service. "Such a reply demanding a dedicated lane to provide a dedicated bus service to Mumbai airport is inappropriate. Instead, the BEST should focus on bargaining on the viability of the buses, the fares, which RTO wouldn't allow to hike, and overall economic viability of the service. If they don't consider such things, then even giving a dedicated lane would prove unviable."
Jagdeep Desai, architect and founder trustee of the Forum for Improving the Quality of Life in Mumbai Suburbs, says that the demand for a dedicated lane is only an excuse not to provide the service. "Looks like some excuse to not give a service. Incidentally, some of the BEST buses of the JNNURM King Longs (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) were leased to Air India to transport passengers to and from the aircraft to the airport. This means they have surplus buses. Besides, the auto and taxi unions, as well as the fleet taxis, would also have a strong say in resisting such convenient and comfortable services."
Activist lawyer Mohana Nair recalls one such bus service by the BEST to the airport. "BEST had started a bus service from the airport (Sahar) via Santacruz to Colaba. It was not air-conditioned, but it was one of their star buses with a place in the centre for luggage. I remember seeing it in Sahar and talking to the conductor who seemed very proud of what they were doing, but said most people did not even know such a service existed. This was maybe three years ago, and it was discontinued as they did not have enough people travelling on it," she told Moneylife.
However, activists point out that the bus service should have enough luggage space, with a frequency of 15 minutes and the shuttle service should be easily identifiable.
Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) has a Volvo bus service, by the name of Vayu Vajra, that offers air-conditioned comfort to passengers and is available round the clock, providing connectivity between important areas of the city and the airport.
Similarly, in Hyderabad, the Aero Express bus service to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is a non-stop airport shuttle service from the airport connecting important destinations in the city. It is run by the GMR group. At Delhi airport, a recently started train service, the Delhi Airport Express, provides easy transport to passengers.
The best way to cope up with rising interest rates on home loans is to make part pre-payments, says Satish Kumar, national credit manager, mortgages, ICICI Bank
The best way to manage your mortgage in a floating-rate regime and to keep your monthly payments under check is to budget for making regular part pre-payments over the tenure of your loan, Satish Kumar, national credit manager, mortgages, at ICICI Bank, said today. He was speaking at a workshop by Moneylife Foundation.
With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) having hiked interest rates 12 times in 18 months, dealing with higher equated monthly instalments (EMIs) is a reality that all borrowers have to live with. The workshop aimed to inform and educate savers on how to borrow safely and navigate the interest rate storm.
While the government and policymakers advise lending institutions to extend loan tenures instead of raising EMIs, the borrowers face a dilemma over whether to keep their EMI constant or their tenure constant on their mortgage, for which the cost implications are significantly different. "If you have any long-term loan, plan to make part pre-payments," Mr Kumar said. The payment made will directly get adjusted with the outstanding principal resulting in a lower interest payout. Most banks do not charge any part pre-payment penalty.
Mr Kumar also suggested that borrowers who receive an income hike should start saving to make a lump-sum part pre-payment rather than going through the hassle of increasing the EMI. He also said that opting for an increase in EMI would be a better option as the interest burden is reduced. However, the decision would depend on the borrower's ability to service the higher EMI.
At the start of his presentation Mr Kumar cleared the common dilemma faced by new borrowers, whether it is a new property or resale, whether to buy now or later, and whether to go for a fixed interest rate or floating rate loan. While the choice of property depends on individual preference, Mr Kumar said people who have the funds in place should go ahead and buy the property if it is for personal use, since no one can really predict future interest rates.
He also said that most often people who end up in a debt trap get into trouble because of multiple borrowings. Having availed of a home loan, they also take personal loans and auto loans. For bankers, defaults on the smaller value loans are usually the first sign of a possible problem. Mr Kumar cautioned people against multiple borrowings, especially in times of rapid interest rate changes.
Mr Kumar also spoke on the obligation of joint owners and about the clearance of the property title. Joint applicants are equally liable to pay for the loan even if they are not joint owners of the property or are earning members. Usually, joint owners are unaware of their obligations.
Mr Kumar suggested individuals should do their own legwork to get the title of the property checked. Presently, 90% of the activity is manual. Hence one could take the services of a lawyer to check the property title.
Responding to a question on the insurance charged by banks along with the home loan, Mr Kumar said that though it was not compulsory it was essential to be adequately insured. If the loan is insured, the balance payment of the loan is cleared by the insurance company in case of death of the borrower. This would save the family and dependants additional financial stress.
Post the seminar, the participants had an opportunity to have their personal queries resolved in a one-to-one discussion with ICICI home finance experts.