ROUND FOUR – COAL, SPACE AND AVIATION GET WINGS

about 18 days ago
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Today’s announcements, round four, if they had come in when the markets were open, would have sent the indices soaring.

What once again felt like a Union Budget, the FM’s announcements today were for the industry. The FM ushered in structural reforms which focused on eight sectors – coal, Minerals Defence Production, Airspace management and maintenance, Airports, Power distribution companies in Union Territories, Space and Atomic Energy.

Before getting into the eight sectors, the FM said that while becoming self-reliant, India needed to prepare for tough competition  and in that context, she first announce steps to be initiated to help reboot investments. This included:

  • Fast tracking of investment clearances
  • Creating a special cell for seamless approvals
  • Upgrading industrial infrastructure
  • Providing land solutions

Once again, nothing announced today will help one come over the Covid crisis in the short term. And now the 8 sectors

COAL

  • Govt monopoly in coal to go – commercial mining to be allowed
  • Revenue sharing mechanism instead of fixed pricing
  • Coal bed methane extraction to also be auctioned
  • Entry norms to be liberalized
  • Nearly 50 blocks to be offered
  • No eligibility conditions, only upfront payment with a ceiling

 

MINING OF MINERALS

  • 500 mining blocks to be offered through an open and transparent auction process
  • To remove the difference between captive and non-captive mines
  • Creation of mineral index
  • Joint auctions for bauxite and coal mines to be conducted to help the aluminium industry
  • Rationalisation of stamp duty payable at the time of award of mining leases

 

DEFENCE PRODUCTION

  • FDI limit in defence manufacturing raised to 74% from 49%
  • To notify a list of weapons and platforms which will not be open for imports - indigenisation
  • Separate budget provision will be provided for local purchases
  • Corporatisation and not privatization of ordinance factory boards

 

AVIATION/REPAIR & MAINTENANCE

  • Six more airports to auctioned
  • Six new airport spaces also to be identified and developed via PPP route
  • Rationalization of air space to bring down flying time and save fuel
  • To develop India as a hub of maintenance, repair and overhaul operations both for the private and the defence sector

 

POWER COMPANIES IN UNION TERRITORIES

  • Discoms to be privatized
  • Load shedding will attract penal action
  • Improve accountability of discoms by streamlining its functions

 

SPACE

  • Boost for private sector participation in space activities – satellites, launches and space-based services.
  • Furure projects for planetary exploreation and outer space travel to be opened to pruvate sector
  • Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities
  • Liberal geo-spatial policy for providing remote sensing data for tech entrepreneurs

 

ATOMIC ENERGY

  • To establish research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes
  • Establish facilities in PPP mode to use irradiation technology for food preservation to compliment agri reforms and help farmers
  • Technology Development -cum- Incubation centers to be set up for fostering synergy between research facilities and tech-entrepreneurs

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