Daily Economic News 13 Dec 2016

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14 Dec, 2016

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Indian Economy News

December 13, 2016

ND has initiated a new section of daily news, where our news desk compiles the latest news on the Indian economy, to keep our readers abreast and updated on daily economic state of affairs.

The economy news compilations bring business news reports that are relevant today and tomorrow, based on the new pattern of current affairs, and for English awareness. This gives vital inputs on the various sectors of the Indian Industry and trade.

Isro picks private consortium to build two satellites

Business Standard:  December 13, 2016

Chenna: In a step towards entrusting the private sector with satellite making, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) issued a contract to a consortium of six companies to manufacture two remote-sensing satellites.

Isro will pay an undisclosed amount to the consortium for building these satellites to its specifications in the next 18 months, said a senior official with the space agency.

The companies selected are Alpha Design Technologies, New Tech Solutions, Aidin Technologies, Avantel Systems, DCX Cable Assemblies, Vinyas Innovative Technologies. Alpha, which has already been working with some defence projects and aerospace projects, will be the lead partner of the consortium.

This is part of Isro’s effort to hand over the works of making complete standard satellites for future use.

So far, firms such as Avasara Technologies, Larsen & Toubro and Godrej have supplied components and systems for the satellites Isro builds to hurl into space.

Isro Satellite Centre’s director M Annadurai said the total period given to them to build the two satellites was around 18 months. He added that Isro would shortly come out with similar assignments for some more satellites.

“Now we have got a good number of industries that have an interest in the segment. The people who have gone through this process will have one more chance to express their interest for the next project, but that will be a different satellite,” he said.

For the first two satellites, the final rundown to the selection of consortium had 17 companies participating.

The work assigned to the consortium includes assembly of the electrical and mechanical hardware, testing, and handing over the satellite for launch. The basic software both onboard and the ground is already available, which could be used by the consortium for testing of the satellite, to get the data out, etc.

To start with, the private players will be using Isro infrastructure, while the ownership will remain with the space agency.

Annadurai said the decision to outsource the manufacturing of satellites was taken after due deliberation. It will free Isro scientists for other purposes such as research & development. Involving the private sector will also result in the emergence of a set of industries that could work on the global space market, to take up orders from abroad and make satellites that are of high quality, a model the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed in the US.

Once Isro standardises a satellite, it will hand over the process to the industry, which they can replicate to make more satellites. Isro will be paying the consortium to do the first two satellites to start with. Later, there is a possibility that it can get orders from global players to make satellites. The consortium will be working under Isro’s supervision, on the space agency’s premises, and there will be adequate measures to ensure security. The raw material for these two satellites will be sourced and provided by Isro.

We’ve adopted ‘born in France, made in India’ approach:

Jean-Michel Casse, AccorHotels India

Economic Times:  December 13, 2016

New Delhi: AccorHotel announced on Monday that it has reached its 45 hotels and resorts milestone network growth across India. The recent openings of Hotel Formule1 in Nashik and Chennai has led to the brand operating in 18 cities with the portfolio ranging from luxury and midscale to in-demand economy brand segments, Accor said. It added that ten of AccorHotels globally acclaimed brands have a presence in India, with ibis Styles making its debut earlier in 2016 with the opening of a 197-rooms hotel in Goa. The company said it will continue to accelerate its pipeline for 2017 which will see an additional ten hotels bringing its network growth to over 55 properties.

The group now has an 8,000 room inventory across its ten brands, which include Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Swissôtel, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis Styles and Formule1. AccorHotels said its growth strategy in India is led by its focus on the midscale segment with the Novotel brand which celebrated its tenth-year anniversary presence in India this year and the popular in-demand economy brand, ibis. There are currently 28 hotels operating under the Novotel and Ibis brands across various key cities in India.

Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President, Operations, AccorHotels  India said, “Our strong network growth of 45 hotels and resorts across India is a milestone achievement with the quest to deepen our roots in the country. We have adopted the born in France made in India approach by growing more AccorHotels  properties across the country with a projected growth of over 10,000 rooms across India in 2017 with a presence in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.”

This year, AccorHotels completed a decade of operations in the country. Its openings in 2016 include ibis Chennai City Centre, Mercure Hyderabad KCP, Grand Mercure Mysuru, The Bheemili Resort managed by AccorHotels, ibis Hyderabad HITEC City, ibis Styles Goa Calangute, Hotel Formule1 Nashik and Hotel Formule1 Chennai. The acquisition of FRHI earlier this year resulted in the addition of two brands – Fairmont Jaipur and Swissôtel Kolkata, to the AccorHotels growing portfolio.

“As we move forward, densification remains a major growth strategy for AccorHotels in India, with the intent to be a leader in the markets we operate in. In 2016, we emerged as the largest hotel  operator in major cities such as Hyderabad and Goa. We will continue to increase our growth presence across major cities in 2017.” Jean-Michel Cassé added.

 India’s 1000 mw rooftop solar tender to see record low tariffs: Bridge to India

Economic Times:  December 13, 2016

Kolkata: SECI’s (Solar Energy Corporation of India) tender for development of 1,000 MW rooftop solar units on state-owned buildings is expected to bring down tariffs to record lows since they would expand the market and would also receive capital subsidies of up to 35-90% indicated Bridge to India.

It is the largest such tender in India’s fledgling rooftop solar market. 700 MW of capacity is proposed to be allocated under the operating expense model route, in which project developers shall fund and own the solar systems and sell power to the respective government departments under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Balance 300 MW is proposed to be set up under the capital expenditure route where the government department would set up the units.

Bidding shall be conducted on a state-by-state basis and all bidders will be expected to match the lowest bid (L1) for the respective states.

“Government customer will play a crucial role in scaling up of the rooftop solar market in India as various central government departments and agencies have made commitments to install aggregate rooftop solar capacity of 6 GW for internal consumption,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director at Bridge to India. “A majority of systems under this tender are likely to be installed on educational and training institutes; with capital subsidies of up to 35-90% available as part of this tender, we expect project costs and tariffs to reach record lows.”

Various departments and ministries under central government have collectively committed to deploying 5,938 MW of rooftop solar capacity for their internal power consumption.

SECI is aggregating demand for a part of this requirement and helping in procuring rooftop solar systems. It has already identified suitable rooftops with the potential to install at least 1,000 MW solar capacity.

Buildings under the ministry of human resources and development account for over 70% of the identified capacity. This means that most of the systems are likely to be installed on educational and training institutes.

Gujarat accounts for 267 MW of identified capacity, followed by Uttar Pradesh (62 MW), Maharashtra (50 MW), Delhi (46 MW) and Telangana (44 MW).

Bidders are expected to sign power purchase agreements and engineering procurement contracts within six months and complete construction within 15 months after the award date.

SECI shall provide a capital subsidy of 35-90% of total capital cost ranging from Rs 18,750 (USD 277)/ per unit for general category states and rs 45,000 (USD 665)/per unit for special category states.

In a departure from previous such tenders, the subsidy amount shall be substantially reduced in the event of delays in construction time-table.

Bridge to India expects a very enthusiastic response to the tender both from rooftop solar specialists and utility solar players. In the last 500 MW rooftop solar tender by SECI, tariffs dropped to an all-time low of Rs 3 (US¢ 4.4)/ per unit for special category states on the back of a significant capital subsidy. We expect tariffs under this tender to fall even lower for special category states as buildings have already been identified and government off-take is more bankable than private sector offtake.

“This tender provides a great opportunity for scaling up of Indian rooftop solar market, which has a total installed capacity of only 1,020 MW as of September 2016, or about 10% of total installed solar capacity in the country. Read our blog from last month to understand how we expect the government customer segment to become a key demand driver for rooftop solar market in India,” said Rustagi.



25.68 crore accounts have been opened across the country till 23.11.2016 under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

Press Information Bureau:  December 13, 2016

The main objective of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is to cover all households with at least one bank account per household. Under the Yojana 25.68 crore accounts have been opened across the country till 23.11.2016.

Claims under PMJDY for life insurance cover of Rs.30000/- to those beneficiaries who open their accounts for the first time from 15.08.2014 to 31.01.2015 and for RuPay Card linked accidental insurance cover of Rs.1.00 lakh are disposed of expeditiously. As on 02.12.2016, 3883 claims under life insurance cover of Rs.30000/- have been received, out of which 3870 claims have been disposed off. As on 02.12.2016, 1675 claims under RuPay card linked accidental insurance cover of Rs.1.00 lakh have been received, out of which 1649 claims have been disposed off. The performance of the scheme is continuously monitored in the Department through weekly video conference and any irregularity, if comes to notice, is sorted out in consultation with the concerned stake-holder. The Government is also monitoring the number of claims settled and sort out issues, if any, in consultation with concerned stake-holder.

This was stated by Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Govt launches DigiShala channel to promote digital payments

Livemint:  December 13, 2016

New Delhi: Law and information technology (IT) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday launched DigiShala, a free Doordarshan DTH channel to educate and inform the people about the various modes of digital payments.

The channel will help people understand the use of unified payments interface (UPI), USSD, aadhaar-enabled payments system, electronic wallets, debit and credit cards.

The minister also launched a website (www.cashlessindia.gov.in) which will serve as a repository of knowledge regarding digital payments.

Both the channel and website were launched as a part of the ‘Digi Dhan Abhiyan’, a campaign conceptualized by the IT ministry to enable every citizen, small trader and merchant to adopt digital payments in their every day financial transactions.

“All modes of digital payments are showing enormous rise at an average growth of 400-1000% since the last one month. These figures are without any formal digital education. With DigiShala being introduced we can only imagine the growth figures in the coming days,” said Prasad during the event.

DigiShala will be available through GSAT15 (DD Direct DTH), 93.5 degree East, Receive frequency: 11590 Mhz, the government said.

The channel, with a potential viewership of more than two crore across the country, will be available initially in English and Hindi and subsequently in regional languages.

“DigiShala will enable and empower every citizen of the country, especially farmers, students, Dalits and women in rural areas to learn the usefulness and benefits of digital payment in our everyday life to adopt the same on a mass scale,” Prasad said.

The idea is to educate the people through talk shows and panel discussions on the adoption of digital modes of payments, he added.

The website has been designed to provide all official information at one source regarding digital payment methods and different schemes undertaken by the government. It also targets educating people about safeguarding their accounts from cyber crimes and phishing.

On Thursday finance minister Arun Jaitley announced that two point-of-sale machines will be provided to villages with a population of up to 10,000 and 100,000 villages will be selected for this purpose.

The provision of digital literacy to semi-urban and rural sector of the economy has become the major focus area for the government since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the recall of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes on 8 November.

“The government has adopted a comprehensive education approach to make people understand the importance and ease of digital payments. Most of the people residing in the villages do not know that their debit cards can be used for purposes other than as an ATM card. Here comes the necessity of awareness and education, and making these people able to enjoy the benefits of digital literacy,”said Sanjay Swamy, managing partner, Prime Venture Partners.


The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.

Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.


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