In your interest.
Online Personal Finance Magazine
No beating about the bush.
What India truly needs is the setting up of small and medium size solar panel manufacturers who can offer turn-key jobs to individual houses
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is the nodal agency established by the union government for implementing solar projects in the country. SECI has tied up with Japan International Cooperation Agency for raising funds for the initial infrastructure development and plans to provide loans to developers at low rate of interest that could vary between 4% and 5%.
SECI plans to set up a 1,000 MW solar park in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, in the Telengana region. This will be located on a 5,000 acre area, according to Rajendra Nimje, managing director of SECI. As per present plans, the entire capacity will come up in the next 18 to 24 months, and the Collector of Mehboobnagar has agreed to make available necessary infrastucture, at an estimated outlay of Rs600 crore. To facilitate the work, Solar Energy has entered into an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for facilitation of land.
Developers will be chosen through competitive bidding while the basic infrastructure is made ready in four to six months. It is expected that most solar units in the park will be in 10 MW capacity some are expected to be larger.
SECI has other ambitious plans too. One of the largest solar parks in the world will be set up with a 4,000 MW capacity in Rajasthan, while three others are planned in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, besides a second one in Andhra Pradesh. It is estimated that the unit rate for sale could be around Rs5.50 which compares with the rate for power being sold in most states to the end consumer.
Nimje expects that SECI would be able to achieve the target of 10,000 MW of solar power by 2017. Karnataka, its neighbour, has similar solar energy plans and expect to announce its solar energy policy soon. Karnataka minister for power, DK Shivkumar stated that the government would encourage people to take up roof top solar energy to be tapped for their own family use and make available the excess to the State grid, for which a good price would be paid by the government.
In fact, it is proposed that the government would make it mandatory and ask all new building owners to have provisions for providing solar energy on the roof top. The proposed policy would be placed before the Cabinet soon. In the meantime, due to increasing power needs, state government plans to obtain 400 MW of power from Damodar Valley Corporation
He has also directed all electricity companies to ensure rural areas and homes get three-phase supply at least seven hours a day, particularly farmers should not suffer.
The question of obtaining permanent power supply through the natural solar source needs to be made mandatory all over the country. What we truly need is the setting up of small and medium size solar panel manufacturers who can offer turn-key jobs to individual houses. Such a move will reduce the heavy burden on the power generators who have to import fuel at great cost.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
According to ICRA, with some housing finance companies focusing more on riskier products like loans against property and builder loans or leaning more towards the self-employed segment, there may be some stress on their asset quality numbers
Ratings agency, ICRA said although housing finance companies (HFCs) have been able to report good asset quality indicators there may be some stress on their asset quality due to focussing on riskier products.
According to ICRA, an associate of Moody's Investor Service, despite a high interest rate scenario and difficult operating environment, HFCs have been able to report good asset quality indicators with a gross NPA percentage at 0.84% as on 31 December 2013. "However, with some HFCs focusing more on riskier products (like loans against property, or LAP, and builder loans) and/ or leaning more towards the self-employed segment (where income streams can be more volatile) some stress on their asset quality numbers is not unlikely," it said in a report.
According to ICRA's estimates, the total housing credit outstanding in India as on 31 December 2013 was over Rs8.6 lakh crore as against Rs7.5 lakh crore as on 31 March 2013, indicating a growth of 18% (annualised) in the first nine months of the financial year 2013-14 (9M, FY2014). Overall ICRA expects the growth in housing credit to be around at 18-20% in FY2014.
HFCs witnessed a marginal decline in lending spreads in third quarter of FY2014 as compared to the previous quarter on account of some compression in yields. “The yields have been largely impacted due to incremental growth coming from home loans at finer spreads, and lower disbursements to relatively higher yielding non-housing segments like builder loans,” said Vibha Batra, senior vice president, ICRA.
However, according to ICRA, the adverse impact on the HFCs' margins was somewhat mitigated by their improved operating efficiencies resulting in almost stable profitability (ROA of 2.18%) for Q3FY2014. Batra said, "Overall, the decline in net interest margins and some rise in credit provisions could lead to a 15-20 bps reduction in the profitability of HFCs in FY2014. However, despite this, profitability is likely to remain good for HFCs in FY2014, with return on assets (ROA) at 2.0-2.2%, or return on equity (ROE) at 17-19%"
According to SIAM, during February vehicle sales across categories increased almost 5% to 15.24 lakh units, mainly on good performance from bikes and marginal increase in car sales
Domestic passenger car sales increased 1.39% to 1.61 lakh units in February from 1.59 lakh units in the year-ago period. According to data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), during February, motorcycle sales increased 5.39% to 8.43 lakh units from 8.0 lakh units a year earlier.
The total two-wheeler sales in February rose 9.69% to 12.2 lakh units.
Sales of commercial vehicles were down 29.84% at 47,982 units in February, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered an increase of 4.99% to 15.24 lakh units from 14.51 lakh units in February 2013, it added.