Maharashtra govt wants to link JNPT to Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor

The government is also considering a plan to develop four towns—Dhule, Aurangabad, Nashik and Dighi—which fall within a 150-km radius of the proposed corridor, as integrated mega-towns under the DMIC

The Maharashtra government wants to link the largest container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), to the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project and said it would ask the DMIC Development Corporation to align the route of the corridor in the state for this purpose, reports PTI.

"We want JNPT, being a major port, to be connected to the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor instead of routing (it) from within the busy financial capital as it already has several infrastructure projects on hand," principal secretary for industry A M Khan said.

The government is also considering a plan to develop four towns—Dhule, Aurangabad, Nashik and Dighi—which fall within a 150-km radius of the proposed corridor, as integrated mega-towns under the DMIC.

"These towns would have economic activities rather than just industrial units and would also attract international investment," Khan said.

A convention and exhibition centre has been planned at Shendra near Aurangabad. The town was chosen since other projects are being developed here as well, he said.

Engineering and design firm Aecom has been appointed as a consultant to study and identify projects and companies which can make investment in these townships, the official said.

A high-power committee under the chief secretary has also been appointed to look into the progress of work. The committee would also help in providing logistics, power and water supply for the project, he said.

The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor is a mega-infrastructure project passing through six states—Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh—covering an overall length of 1,483 km between the political capital and the business capital of the country.


Australia is planning a super tax on the mining sector, but Gujarat NRE is bullish on its expansion plans

Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd, which has two operational mines in Australia, is looking at expanding its mining operations in the country. It is confident that the proposed Australian Bill taxing mining operations may not be passed in its current form

Industry analysts from the mining sector are closely studying the impact of the proposed super tax on mining profits on Australian mines. However, Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd, an Indian player with a strong Australian presence, is confident the law in the present form is unlikely to be implemented.

“We think that is a very early stage proposal. Within a few weeks it has attracted a lot of debate. Indications are that the Bill will have to be put on the backburner in the current form or it will have to be modified substantially for it to become acceptable,” said Arun Kumar Jagatramka, chairman and managing director (CMD), Gujarat NRE Coke, on the sidelines of a CII conference held on Monday. He also is an honorary Sydney ambassador to India.

Mr Jagatramka is of the opinion that it is quite early to discuss the issue, which has attracted a lot of attention. “Actually this is not a proposal, this was simply a committee recommendation and needs to be discussed,” said Mr Jagatramka.

The suggested resource super profit tax is on mines operating in Australia. The tax is likely to be applicable on the profits a company generates from each of its mines in Australia. Gujarat NRE Coke, through its Australian subsidiary Gujarat NRE Coking Coal Ltd (GNCCL), owns and operates two coal mines in Australia.

Going forward, the company plans to invest around $500 million in acquiring Australian mines in order to ramp up production in that country.

Overall, the company plans to increase its metallurgical (met) coke production up to 4 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) in the coming years from the present 1.25 mtpa. It also plans to increase its coking coal production from Australian mines to 6 mtpa from the current 1.2 mtpa.

National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Coal India Ltd (CIL) are among a number of other mining companies in India looking at mining opportunities in Australia.


RBI study makes case for rupee as alternative global currency

The current crisis has thrown open the debate on the need for a new global reserve currency in case the US economy fails to make a significant turnaround and the weakness of the dollar persists

A study by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mooted the idea of floating the rupee as a global currency, but asked the government to carefully assess the pros and cons of such action, as it may increase volatility in forex markets, reports PTI.

The idea was mooted after the global financial crisis and weakening of the US dollar triggered a debate about an alternative global currency.

The study titled, "Internationalisation of Currency: The case of the Indian Rupee and the Chinese Renminbi", also said it is quite unlikely that the dollar will lose its predominance as the global reserve currency in the foreseeable future.

"The current crisis has, however, thrown open the debate on the need for a new global reserve currency in case the US economy fails to make a significant turnaround and the weakness of the US dollar persists," it added.

The recommendations were made in a study, authored by RBI director Rajiv Ranjan and assistant advisor Anand Prakash, which said that among emerging market currencies, the yuan and the rupee are natural contenders for international currency status.

However, while China is "far from ready" to achieve global reserve currency status at the moment, India needs to meet "all the necessary preconditions...before (it) could proceed further," it said.

"There are, however, problems associated with internationalisation of the rupee as it could increase volatility of its exchange rate," the study said.

Outlining the difficulty in positioning the Indian currency as a global reserve, the study said that unlike China, which has a large current account surplus, India has a significant trade and current account deficit.

Current account balance broadly relates to exports and imports of goods and services and investment income from global trade.

Withdrawal of short-term funds and portfolio investments by non-residents could also be a major potential risk of internationalisation of the Indian rupee, it added.

"The Indian rupee is rarely being used for invoicing of international trade," the study pointed out.

It further noted that the strength exhibited by the Indian rupee in recent months and continued good performance of the Indian economy have raised the issue of greater internationalisation of the Indian rupee and India needs to proactively take steps to increase the role of the domestic currency in the region.

Internationalisation of rupee would also require India to make the rupee fully convertible. This means that rupee could be exchanged against other currencies freely. There are currently curbs on such convertibility, so far as capital accounts like stocks are concerned.

The study said, "India has so far followed a calibrated approach towards capital account liberalisation. India, at present, does not permit the rupee to be officially used for international transactions, except those with Nepal and Bhutan, though there are indications of the Indian rupee gaining acceptability in other countries.



Dr. Sisira Kanti Mishra

7 years ago

It would the right, meaningful and purposeful approach towards achieving the true sense of "Global Village".

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