August 23, 2022
Good morning. Today’s newsletter will be a short one with no feature story as the team takes a breather. However, we do have the other sections. We look at the projects facing cost and time overruns in Assam, among other news. We will be back with the feature story tomorrow.
🕵️ BEYOND ECHO CHAMBERS
For the Right:
Patel Was Not the Sole Architect Of The Integration Of Princely States; Nehru Too Deserves Credit
For the Left:
Not BJP, Socialists And Congress Conservatives Cancelled Nehru First
🇮🇳 STATE OF THE STATES
School for Afghan refugees struggling (Delhi) – Syed Jamaluddin Afghan School, the only school for Afghan refugees in India, has been struggling for space. They’ve approached 30 public and private schools to hold in-person classes. An official from the school said the goal is to get 15 classrooms and have classes during after-school hours. However, some private schools have presented offers beyond their budget. For government schools, the process becomes long.
Why it matters: The school has been hit by a shortage of funds and lost its building space. It later got financial support from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Over the past eight months, they’ve been unable to reach an agreement with any school for classrooms. The school was first set up in 1994, has 250 students from classes 1 to 12, and employs 35 teaching and non-teaching staff.
Increasing ethanol production (Karnataka) – Karnataka is aiming to be the first state to reduce its dependence on petrol and diesel by increasing ethanol production. The demand for ethanol has increased since the Centre called for blending 20% of ethanol with petrol and diesel. However, no state has been able to produce even 10% of the ethanol required. The state government will introduce subsidies and other facilities to increase production.
Why it matters: The price of petrol and diesel could come down as ethanol production ramps up. Karnataka ranks third among sugarcane-growing states. The state government will have a new ethanol policy to provide greater benefits for sugarcane growers. Companies like IOC and BP have begun to blend ethanol with their products.
Request to implement RERA (West Bengal) – The homebuyers’ body, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), has asked the state government to implement the RERA real estate law within one month. The body is concerned that builders are violating the RERA and advertising and launching projects without proper registration. It also pointed out that homebuyers aren’t being protected due to the RERA not being implemented.
Why it matters: Last May, the Supreme Court struck down the state’s law, the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Act (WBHIRA), to regulate the real estate sector, calling it unconstitutional. New homebuyers have to rely on hollow promises since they’re unable to check the details of the project as the RERA website isn’t operational.
Goa Dairy’s losses (Goa) – The Goa State Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited (Goa Dairy) appealed to the state government for financial assistance as it faces a financial crisis. It incurred losses amounting to ₹14 crores and is being blamed on the administrator appointed more than three years ago. The sale of cattle feed and milk reduced the administrator’s tenure leading to financial losses.
Why it matters: The administrator was appointed to look after the affairs of Goa Dairy. The financial assistance will be for the cooperative and dairy farmers who depend on them. To get back on track, the cooperative needs to sell 70,000 litres per day. This will likely take 5-6 months. Auditors have been appointed to look into the Dairy’s finances.
Projects facing cost and time overruns (Assam) – Several central projects are running into delays and cost overruns. According to a report from the Infrastructure and Project Monitoring Division, the cost for 46 projects has increased to more than ₹59,000 crores from the original ₹46,846.15 crores. 14 of these projects are also facing delays ranging from one month to several years.
Why it matters: What the report shows is a need to improve the project-monitoring mechanism in the state to ensure that they are completed within the allotted timeframe and budget. Among the projects facing delays include the construction of a new integrated terminal building at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport and the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences at Changsari.
🔢 KEY NUMBER
₹30,737.51 crores – The combined losses in market cap of five of the top 10 valued firms last week. The biggest loser was Reliance Industries Limited which declined by ₹12,883.7 crores.