Economy
Kamal Nath’s road-building target not possible admits CP Joshi

Earlier this year, a Parliamentary panel also stated that the NHAI's plan of building 20 km a day is a "distant dream"

 
New Delhi: With annual award of 9,500 km, it will take minimum three years before the much-touted target of building 20 km a day roads is achieved. "If everything is positive and if we award 9,500 km every year for three years, then we can achieve building 20 km of roads a day target," Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi told PTI in an interview.
 
Asked whether the target set by his predecessor Kamal Nath was over-ambitious, Joshi said, "...with all good intention we had announced 20 km".
 
Nath had announced building 35,000 km in five years, which translated into 20 km a day. Nath, who has since moved to the Urban Development Affairs Ministry, had announced the target immediately after the UPA-II assumed office in 2009.
 
Under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), at present 10-12 km roads per day are being built.
 
The NHAI, which is responsible for 76,000 km of highways, had awarded contracts for 7,957 km in the 2011-12 financial year.
 
"This year, we have set a target of awarding 9,500 km," Joshi said, adding, "Road award is a process. Once the competition is there... The day we award and the day we start construction, on an average it takes three years, provided the stretch does not fall under the Wildlife area".
 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a meeting with core sector ministers last month, had set a target of over Rs2 lakh crore investment in the infrastructure projects, including road-building.
 
Earlier this year,a Parliamentary panel had also stated that the NHAI's plan of building 20 km a day is a "distant dream".
 
Under NHDP (National Highways Development Programme), the ministry has taken up the development of 35,000 km roads on various modes including PPP (public, private partenership).
 
"Initially we started with the Golden Quadrilateral which was built on item based construction. Roads at present are built under three modes - BOT (Toll), Annuity and EPC," Joshi said.
 
The Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Chaturvedi had recommended that of the total projects 65 per cent should be built BOT (Toll), 25% on Annuity and the rest under EPC.
 
"For us, BOT (toll) is better as for 20-25 years maintenance lies with concessionaire. We have decided to award 20,000 km of single road under EPC in the 12th Plan. Out of this, 4,000 km will be in 2012-13," Joshi said.
 
"We have a model concession agreement which provides minimum six months to arrange funds. When in 2000 we started the PPP mode, we could award only 6,000 km. The award started reflecting in the third year. Bidders didn't come forward due the slowdown. With all good intention we have announced building 20 km," he said.
 
The road ministry also introduced the system of e-tendering in the highway sector.
 
"A large number of concessionaires are bidding through this route...It is my initiative. For every award, number of bidders has gone over 15 from previous two. Through my intervention the road ministry will get Rs3,000 crore per year as premium for 20 years," he added.
 

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Traders to protest against FDI in multi-brand retail on 9th August

 

The Confederation of All India Traders said foreign investments by MNCs will hijack the country's retail trade which would lead to closure of majority of small businesses and job losses for lakhs of people
 
New Delhi: Traders across the country will observe the Quit India Movement Day as 'Quit FDI Day' on 9th August, to protest against foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, Confederation of All India Traders said, reports PTI.
 
The decision to allow 51% Foreign Direct Investments in multi-brand retail has been put on hold by the government following strong objections from the Opposition and key UPA allies Trinamool Congress and DMK.
 
"Foreign investments by MNCs will hijack the country's retail trade which would lead to closure of majority of small businesses and job losses for lakhs of people engaged in the sector," Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said here.
 
He said traders across the country will observe Quit India Movement Day as Quit FDI Day to protest against foreign investments in multi-brand retail by staging dharnas.
 
The confederation said the government has assured that a consensus on the issue will be arrived at only after consulting all stakeholders including traders, farmers, consumers and various political parties.
 
"The government's effort to form consensus on FDI in multi-brand retail without consulting traders is highly undemocratic," Khandelwal said.
 
To reach a consensus, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, has been consulting various state governments on the matter.
 
The opposing political parties have said FDI in the sector would hurt the interest of about 40 million people employed in the retail business.
 
The confederation claims a membership of over 5 crore traders.
 

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Committee formed to regulate issues of direct selling industry

The inter-ministerial committee would give suggestion to regulate functioning and suggest legal action against companies engaged in direct selling, network or multi-level marketing or MLM

 
New Delhi: The Consumer Affairs Ministry has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to regulate functioning and suggest legal action against companies engaged in direct selling, network or multi-level marketing (MLM), reports PTI.
 
The committee to be headed by Rajiv Agarwal, Secretary, Department of Food and Consumer Affairs, will have representatives of department of Finance Services, department of Revenue, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Reserve Bank of India as its members, an official statement said here today.
 
It will consider enactment of legislation to regulate the direct/multi-level marketing companies.
 
They will also organise an awareness campaign under "Jago Grahak Jago" to protect the interest of the consumers in respect of such multi-level marketing schemes and study international best practices to protect consumers.
 
The committee shall submit its report by August 2012.
 
Direct selling is the sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are sometimes also referred to as consultants, distributors or other titles.
 
Direct sellers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of a company in return for a commission on those sales.
 
However, many MLM companies, such as Speak Asia and Gold Quest, have been accused of money laundering by some of the people who invested in them.
 
Top multi-level marketing companies operating in India include Amway, Oriflame, Avon and Tupperware.
 

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COMMENTS

Edward

5 years ago

IDSA would now approach (if not already) the committee and make them make regulations in favor of existing members -so that other new ethical companies have a challenge launching in India.

REPLY

Edward

In Reply to Edward 5 years ago

i personally have noticed that the staff at IDSA is not aware of lots of happenings in the country .

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