Govt should provide PPP detail in budget: Plan panel

“There should be supplements to the budgets providing project-wise, ministry-wise and sector-wise information on PPPs projects,” the Planning Commission said in a presentation, which is based on the Rangarajan Committee report on efficient management of public expenditure

New Delhi: With a view to improve transparency in public private partnership (PPP) projects, the Planning Commission wants the finance minister to disclose all the information about such ventures in the budget proposals, reports PTI.

“There should be supplements to the budgets providing project-wise, ministry-wise and sector-wise information on PPPs projects,” the Commission said in a presentation, which is based on the Rangarajan Committee report on efficient management of public expenditure.

The government is trying to promote infrastructure development through PPP projects and has suggested the state should pick projects under this mode in a big way.

PPP is a private business investment where two parties comprising government as well as a private player form a partnership to set up projects for providing public service.

The government is eyeing an investment of around $1 trillion in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), with half of it coming from the private sector in infrastructure projects like railways, telecommunication, road and power.

At present, the government does not provide such consolidated information about the PPP projects being implemented by the various government departments along with the budget.

The commission also suggests that annuity commitments (by private player) under PPP projects may form part of the committed expenditure of the budget of the concerned ministry or department.

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M&A deals dip 21% to $33.6 billion in Jan-Oct

According to Grant Thornton’s latest Dealtracker report, India Inc announced M&A deals worth $992 million in October, taking the year-to-date tally to $33.6 billion. The transactions were worth $42.9 billion in the same period last year

New Delhi: Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the first 10 months of this year amounted to $33.6 billion, a fall of more than 21% from the year-ago period, reports PTI quoting global consultancy firm Grant Thornton.

According to Grant Thornton’s latest Dealtracker report, India Inc announced M&A deals worth $992 million in October, taking the year-to-date tally to $33.6 billion.

The transactions were worth $42.9 billion in the same period last year.

Grant Thornton India partner and practice leader Srividya CG said, “For the first 10 months of the year, the values are significantly higher than 2009 and 2008, but lower than 2010.”

For October India Inc’s M&A activity has been ‘stable’, Ms Srividya said, adding “very few large deals have been announced during this month. There has been no deal with value over half a billion and only four deals valued at $100 million plus.”

There were 57 M&A transactions worth $992 million in October. There were 45 deals worth $521 million in the year-ago period, Grant Thornton said.

Inbound deals wherein foreign entities merged with or acquired Indian businesses were the flavour of the month.

There were 13 deals worth $691 million in this category against seven transactions valued at $103 million in 2010.

There were five outbound deals worth $109 million against 18 transactions valued at $377 million in 2010.

The total value of domestic deals in October was $192 million (39 deals), compared to $40 million (20 deals) in the corresponding month of 2010.

A sector-wise analysis showed that manufacturing was the sector that accounted for the maximum deal value, followed by pharma & healthcare, IT & ITeS and media and entertainment in October.

The top five deals accounted for 79% of the total M&A deal values.

Meanwhile, private equity has shown a trend of slowing down for the month of October, but has grown significantly over the previous two years.

PE deal values amounted to $0.29 billion through 20 deals in October as compared to $0.31 billion by way of 26 transactions in the period under consideration last year.

However, the total PE deal summary over the last two years has increased significantly. From $2.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2009, it increased to $4.9 billion in 2010 to $7.2 billion so far this year.

“Private equity has shown a trend of slowing down for the month of October, but has grown significantly over the previous two years. The number of investments for the year so far, has surpassed the last three years, showing that the activity has improved considerably,” Ms Srividya said.

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DoT to seek legal opinion before cancelling new licences

DoT has already issued 15 notices to new telecom companies out of total 65 recommended by TRAI. All of them are the part of 122 licences which were identified by TRAI with respect to missing roll-out obligations and also ineligible to get a licence

New Delhi: The telecom ministry will seek legal opinion before cancelling some of new telecom licences, issued in 2008, for not starting services within stipulated timeframe as per norms, reports PTI.

“DoT (Department of Telecom) will seek opinion of the attorney general or solicitor general to come to a final conclusion to address some of the legal issues,” a senior DoT official said.

Last year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had asked DoT to impose penalty and cancel as many as 65 new licences for not rolling out services within timeframe.

The telecom ministry has been issuing notices to firms on two issues—ineligibility to get licences and missing roll-out obligations within the stipulated timeframe.

“Our first goal is to send out the notices and then we will also seek the legal opinion from the law officers then try to put their replies and the legal opinion together to take a final action,” the official added.

DoT has already issued 15 notices to new telecom companies out of total 65 recommended by TRAI. All of them are the part of 122 licences which were identified by TRAI with respect to missing roll-out obligations and also ineligible to get a licence.

“We expect to send the notices any time now ... our goal would be to send them as soon as possible so that their replies come to us by end of December this year,” the official said.

The cancellations pertain to licences issued in 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja, who was sacked last year when his ministry was accused of selling licences and spectrum cheaply, allegedly costing the government billions of dollars in revenue.

The official also said that some of these 15 cases would be common with those who were ineligible to get licences and separate notices have been sent to these players on both counts.

The DoT has already collected over Rs300 crore as liquidated damages from various new operators for not rolling out services within stipulated time as per licence conditions.

According to the conditions, the operators have to cover 10% of the district headquarters within first year of allotment of spectrum. And after expiry of another 52 weeks, after claiming liquidated damages, the licences can be cancelled in case the services are not rolled out as per licence conditions. A final decision on this issue will be taken by DoT.

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