The infrastructure sector covers a wide spectrum of services such as transportation (railways, roads
and road transport, civil aviation, ports and shipping), power generation, transmission and
distribution, telecommunications, postal facilities, and urban infrastructure. Provision and maintenance of
adequate infrastructure facilities at reasonable cost are absolutely necessary if rapid economic growth is to be
achieved and sustained.
- In the past, the responsibility for providing infrastructure services was vested with the
Government. This was due to a number of reasons including lumpiness of capital investments, long gestation
periods, externalities, high risks and low rates of return. But the old paradigm of infrastructure being a public
sector monopoly has been challenged by fiscal constraints and technological innovations. Limits on
budgetary allocations and public debt, and the dismantling of the allocated system of credit have
catalysed encouragement of private entry in infrastructure provision. Technological and organisa-tional
innovations have also made it possible to unbundle different segments of infrastructure services and reduce the level
of public monopoly which was intrinsic to its supply. Furthermore, the traditional organisational framework
for the delivery of infrastructure has shown serious weaknesses in the planning and implementation of
projects. Non-availability of funds on a timely basis and lack of proper evaluation and implementation of projects
have led to major time and cost over-runs. As on December 31, 1996 there has been an average
time overrun of 18 months and an average cost escalation of 29 per cent leading to an additional burden
of Rs.31000 crore in 189 Central Sector Projects costing Rs.100 crore and above.
- The Government's development strategy attaches high priority to the development of
efficient infrastructure and towards creating an enabling environment for private participation in the
infrastructure sector. A variety of options available for public-private partnership can also encourage better risk
sharing, accountability, cost recovery and management of infrastructure. Continuing its emphasis on the
development of infrastructure, the Budget for 1996-97 announced several proposals to promote infrastructure. (Box 9.1)
1996-97 Budget Proposals on Infrastructure
- To provide long-term finance for the infrastructure sector the Budget announced establishment of an Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) with an authorised share capital of Rs. 5000 crore. A budgetary provision of Rs. 500 crore has been made for the current year. The IDFC has since been incorporated under the Companies Act on 30.1.97 with an authorised share capital of Rs. 5000 crore.
- 5 year tax holiday available to companies developing, maintaining and operating infrastructure facilities such as roads, bridges, new airports, ports and railway projects, was extended to cover water supply, sanitation and sewerage projects.
- Income tax exemption on dividend, interest or long-term capital gains earned by funds or companies set up to develop, maintain and operate an infrastructure facilitity.
- The corpus of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) increased by Rs. 200 crore to enable it to leverage funds from the market, domestic as well as international.
- Enhancement of tax rebate limits to help channelise domestic savings into debentures and shares offered by infrastructure companies in specified sectors. For this purpose such investments in public offerings would be eligible for the tax rebate.
- Infrastructure investments are, by their very nature, for long gestation activities. This implies that
there is a continuing mismatch between the required debt maturities and the availability of funding. Steps
are being taken for dealing with this mismatch and entail developing our domestic capital markets.
Financial innovation is also necessary to facilitate the replacement of original financiers once the project has
been commissioned and cash flows are assured. The Asian Development Bank has provided a loan of
$300 million for the Public Sector Infrastructure Facility (PSIF) in order to support private sector
infrastructure projects through the development of the long-term debt market. The details of the loan and its objectives
are indicated in Box 9.2.
Public Sector Infrastructure Facility (PSIF)
- A loan of $ 300 million has been tied up with ADB to support private sector infrastructure projects through long term debt. The money will be borrowed by ICICI, IFCI and SCICI for onlending to infrastructure companies through long term debt instruments for a minimum of 15 year maturity. This loan operation would support introduction of long-term debt instruments in our capital markets for financing infrastructure projects that require long maturity debt for their viability. The funds would be on-lent to project entities against creation of bonds/debentures, which could be traded in the secondary market after project commissioning. The funds received by the FIs from such secondary transactions would again be deployed for creating fresh 15 year debentures for other project entities.
- The PSIF is aimed at promoting private sector participation in the development of infrastructure by facilitating the growth of private financing for infrastructure projects through the development of a long-term debt market which is critically needed for mobilizing the desired level of infrastructure financing. The PSIF will catalyze the flow of resources into the infrastructure sector and raise institutional capacities to accelerate infrastructure development. To achieve these objectives, the PSIF will also focus on building capacities of the FIs for raising long-term debt financing from domestic as well as foreign financial markets and for designing appropriate financing mechanisms for funding infrastructure projects in the private sector.
- The PSIF has several components : (i) three separate bank loans totalling $300 million, on essentially identical terms and conditions, to the following three FIs, viz. $150 million to ICICI, $100 million to the IFCI, and $50 million to the SCICI Ltd. for onlending to private sector sponsored infrastructure projects in four sub-sectors, viz., power, telecommunications, roads, and ports; and (ii) a project development facility, which will constitute a portion of the loan to each FI, and which may be utilized for (a) capacity building, and (b) project preparation and implementation.
- In most of the infrastructure projects, equity contribution is expected to fund between 30 to 50 per cent of the project costs leaving the balance 50 to 70 per cent for debt financing. Under PSIF, upto 30 per cent of the project costs would be funded out of ADB loan assistance while the remaining would be covered out of other debt sources.
- Given the competing demands on limited resources available with the government, the creation
of quality infrastructure will need infusion of private capital, including foreign invesment. The
procedures relating to foreign investment in the infrastructure sector have been further liberalised. Since
December, 1996 the Government has allowed automatic approval for foreign equity participation upto 74 per cent in
key infrastructure industries such as electricity generation and transmission, non-conventional energy
generation and distribution, and construction activities in the area of roads, bridges, railbeds, ports and harbours.
The list of industries in respect of which automatic approval is being given for foreign equity upto 51 per cent
has been expanded to include support services to land transport, like operation of highway bridges, toll
roads and vehicular tunnels; support services to water transport like operation and maintenance of piers,
loading and discharging of vessels; and miscellaneous services for transport such as cargo handling for land,
water and air transport; renting and leasing of transport equipment and vehicles without operator.
- Sector-specific reform measures have also been undertaken recently. Telecom projects will be
treated as infrastructure and will now receive fiscal incentives currently being extended to infrastructure
projects like tax holiday and concessional project import duty. An assignability agreement between the
Department of Telecommunications and the financial institutions has been reached and this would facilitate funding
of cellular and basic telecom projects. The Government has promulgated an ordinance to facilitate
private investments in the transmission of electricity. The ordinance provides for an amendment of the
Indian Electricity Act 1910 and the Electricity Supply Act of 1948. Earlier, transmission was treated as an
activity in conjunction with either generation or distribution.
- The Government has recently announced guide-lines for private investment in highway
development through the Build Operate Transfer (BOT) route. Besides simplifying procedures and providing more
financial concessions, these measures would facilitate preparation of detailed feasibility reports, clearance for
the right of way of land, relocation of utility services, resettlement and relocation of the affected
establishments, environmental clearance and equity participation in the highway sector. The Government has also
approved clear and transparent guidelines for encouraging private sector participation in ports and is in the
process of setting up a tariff regulatory authority in 11 major ports.
- The overall performance of the infrastructure sector during the first eight months of the current
financial year 1996-97 (April-November) has not been satisfactory. Six infrastructural and core industries,
namely, electricity generation, coal, steel, crude oil, petroleum products and cement with a combined weight of
28.8 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded an average growth rate of 4.1 per cent in
April-November, 1996 compared with a growth rate of 8.9 per cent in April-November, 1995. A sectoral profile
of the performance of different infrastructure sectors during 1996-97 along with their corresponding
trend growth rates are summarised in Table 9.1. The deceleration in the growth rate of infrastructure industries
is mainly due to a decline in crude oil production and hydro power generation. There was also a
marked slowdown in thermal power generation which grew by only 6.4 per cent in (April-November) 1996
as compared to 14.6 per cent in the preceding year (April-March) 1995-96.
- Power generation during 1995-96 at 380.1 billion kwh recorded a growth of 8.3 per cent over
1994-95. Total generation of power during April-November, 1996 at 257.2 billion kwh, compared to 248.7
billion kwh during April-November, 1995 recorded a growth of 3.4 per cent. While thermal and nuclear
generation went up by 6.5 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively, hydro generation declined by 7.7 per cent
(Table 9.2). Owing to the low Plant Load Factor (PLF) of thermal plants, heavy Transmission and
Distribution (T&D) losses and other operational and technical inefficiencies, full benefits are not being derived
even from existing capacities.
- Thermal plants at present account for 74 per cent of total power generation and hydro
electricity plants 24 per cent, with the balance 2 per cent being generated by nuclear plants. The installed
capacity of power generation as on March 31, 1996 was 83,288 MW. During the first 4 years of the 8th plan
(1992-1997) capacity addition has been 14,799 MW as against the 8th Plan target of 30,858 MW.
About 12 per cent of the total capacity addition during the first four years has been accounted for by hydro
and the remaining by thermal units (Table 9.3). Nearly half of the addition to capacity occurred in the
Central Sector. 42.5 per cent was accounted for by the State Sector and the rest in the Private Sector.
While the Central Sector has achieved 57.0 per cent of the 8th Plan target in the four years of the 8th Plan,
the State and Private Sectors achieved 42.3 per cent and 41.9 per cent respectively. During the
period (April-November) of the current year (1996-97) there has been a capacity addition of 534.60 MW of
which 105.60 MW is in the private sector.
- Several reasons have been identified for slippages in capacity creation in the Central and
State sector. These include paucity of funds, delay in placement of order for main plant and equipment,
delay in supply of equipment by suppliers, procedural delays in land acquisition, non-resolution of
inter-state disputes, problems due to disturbed site conditions at some of the projects, unresolved issues in
fuel linkages, suspension of work due to contract failures and resettlement and rehabilitation
problems. Another important reason for slippages, particularly in State sector projects has been that the States
saw the announcement of policy for private participation as an opportunity to cut back on their
involvement in generation projects. As a result many projects that were scheduled for commissioning through the
State sector resources have not been provided adequate funds for timely completion.
- The PLF is an important indicator of operational efficiency of thermal power plants. The
average PLF in the Central PSUs in 1995-96 and in April-November, 1996 was appreciably higher than
that achieved by the State Electricity Boards (SEBs). The low capacity utilisation of thermal power plants
of the SEBs is largely due to deficiencies in management and operation, lack of proper maintenance
and non-availability of coal of appropriate quality. There were wide inter state variations in the average
PLF of thermal plants and the average PLF in the case of Eastern and North Eastern regions continued
to be much lower than the all India average during 1996-97. (Table 9.4)
- An action plan has been drawn up to improve the performance of the power sector in a
phased manner. This involves short term, medium-term and long-term measures and covers both the
physical and financial aspects of generation, transmission and distribution of power. Short term measures
include overhaul and maintenance (O & M) of boilers and optimal operation of the regional grids.
Significant improvements in the PLF of thermal power stations can be effected through medium term measures
like proper maintenance planning. In the long term, the availability factor of the older thermal power
plants can be improved by appropriate renovation and modernsation (R &M) programmes.
- In the power sector, SEBs are responsible for distribution to all end users other than a
small segment under the purview of private distribution companies. As a result, in principle, all the
electricity generated is to be sold to SEBs. But the financial condition of SEBs, though it differs from one state
to the other, is fragile in most cases. The magnitude of losses incurred by SEBs over the period 1990-91
to 1994-95 is indicated in Table. 9.5. The industry and agriculture sectors continued to be the two
most important categories of consumers in terms of their relative shares, with SEB electricity charges set
at much below the unit cost for the agricultural sector and above the unit cost for the industrial sector
(Table 9.6). In none of the SEBs does unit revenue realisation from the agricultural sector cover even
a reasonable fraction of the unit average cost for the SEB, and this is leading to heavy financial
losses. The commercial losses of SEBs which, in absolute terms, were a little over Rs. 4,000 crore in
1991-92, have shot up over a five year period to Rs. 10,941 crore in 1996-97 (RE). The hidden subsidy for
the agriculture and domestic sectors has increased from Rs. 7,248 crore in 1991-92 to Rs. 19,227 crore
in 1996-97 (RE) and is projected to further go up to Rs. 21,580 crore in 1997-98 (Table 9.7).
Introduction of proposed national minimum agricultural tariff of 50 paise/kwh, even if implemented, will leave
uncovered a substantial proportion of the subsidy provided to the sector.
- In addition, the SEBs have continued to suffer from high T & D losses. T & D losses, which
stood at 21.8 per cent in 1992-93, have come down marginally to 20.9 per cent in 1994-95. These figures
are very high when compared with the international average of less than 10 per cent for the
advanced countries of the world. A reduction in T&D losses by 1 per cent would result in saving of capacity of
about 800 MW at present day consumption. These T&D losses are due to the sparsely distributed loads over
large rural areas, substantial amounts of energy sold at low voltage level, under - investment in the
power distribution systems, inadequate billing and high pilferage. Inherent losses in conductors and
equipment can be brought down through system improvement schemes and the pilferage and theft of energy
can be reduced through appropriate administra-tive measures.
- Restoration of the financial health of SEBs and improvement in their operational
performance continue to remain the most crucial issues in the power sector. In terms of Section 59 of
the Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948, SEBs are required to earn a minimum rate of return (ROR) of 3
per cent on their net fixed assets in service, after providing for depreciation and interest charges.
This provision was to become operative from the accounting year of 1985. However the SEBs are
yet to comply with this statutory stipulation. Whereas in 1992-93, the number of SEBs with a
positive ROR were 11, there were only 6 such SEBs in 1994-95. Similarly, as against 5 SEBs with
a negative ROR in 1992-93, the number of such SEBs have increased to 9 in 1994-95. There
were only 3 SEBs with a ROR Return of more than 3 per cent in 1994-95. The managerial and
financial inefficiencies in the state sector utilities have in turn adversely affected future capacity addition
and system improvement programme. On the one hand, the SEBs do not have enough resources
to finance future programmes and, on the other, their ability to raise investible funds from
alternate sources is limited due to their poor financial and commercial performance.
- Diagnostic studies aimed at reform and restructuring of the State power sector with a view
to improving its physical and financial performance have been initiated in several States namely,
Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Similar studies are being considered in
Kerala and Karnataka. The State of Orissa has provided the framework for reform envisaged through
the enactment of a reform legislation, namely ``The Orissa Reform Act, 1995'' made effective from
1.4.95. (Box 9.3) A few other states are also considering similar steps.
Restructuring of Orissa State Electricity Board
The Government of Orissa have initiated reform of the State Power Sector, with substantial restructuring of the State Electricity Board to make the operation of the sector more efficient and financially viable. Orissa is the first State in the country to take up such an exercise. Under the Reform programme, which is also being assisted by the World Bank through a US$ 350 Million loan, the erstwhile Orissa State Electricity Board (OSEB), operating as a state monopoly combining functions relating to generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, has been replaced by separate corporate entities - Grid Corporation of Orissa (GRIDCO), Orissa Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) and Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC). This restructuring has been effected through legislative changes made through the Orissa Electricity Reforms Act, 1995. A State Power Regulatory Commission with jurisdiction over issues relating to tariffs as well as licensing has also been set up under the Act. The Reform effort envisages increasing private participation in the state power sector along with a phased privatisation of the existing publicly owned entities. Special emphasis has been placed on the reform of electricity distribution, with management of one zone (out of a total of four in the State), being privatised as an initial measure. Eventually all electricity distribution zones are proposed to privatised on the basis of competitive bidding.
- The net budgetary support to the Central PSUs under the Ministry of Power as a proportion of
the approved plan outlay has been declining steadily over the years. It stood at about Rs. 719.5 crore in
1996-97 and this amounted to only 10.6 per cent of total plan outlay. Owing to the decline in
budgetary support, the central PSUs have to mobilise resources through internal and extra budgetary
resources (IEBR). During 1995-96, the PSUs were able to mobilise resources amounting to Rs.3,593.8 crore
as against the approved allocation of Rs.4,326.9 crore under IEBR. Against the total plan outlay of
Rs.6,923.5 crore for the year 1995-96, the actual utilisation (Provisional) is of the order of Rs.5,760.3 crore.
During 1996-97, the IEBR component constitutes Rs.4,565.5 crore (67 per cent) of the total approved plan
outlay of Rs.6,790.3 crore.
- In view of the paucity of resources with Central/State PSUs as well as the SEBs and the need
to bridge the gap between the rapidly growing demand for and supply of electricity, there is a policy
to encourage greater investments by private enterprises in the power sector. This policy, which has
the objective of mobilising additional resources for capacity addition in power generation and distribution
had been formulated in 1991, and is currently under implementation. The policy to invite private
participation in the power sector also covers areas of transmission and distribution besides generation. The
response to the policy has been encouraging. As on date, interest has been expressed in putting up more
than 124 power projects (requiring clearance of the Central Electricity Authority) for a total capacity of
67281 MW and involving an investment of about Rs. 2,46,472 crore. In addition, there are several
projects (MOU/LOI projects costing up to Rs.100 crore and Projects awarded through competitive bidding and
costing up to Rs.1000 crore) which are being set up by the private sector with the approval of
the concerned State Government itself.
- In order to make the policy more attractive, the tariff notification has been amended twice to offer
an assortment of incentives to investors. The Government has revised the hydro tariff guidelines to
boost private investment in hydro-electric projects. To bring about private investment in the renovation,
modernisation and upgradation of old power plants, the Government has finalised the policy and the guidelines have
been issued. The Government has also taken steps to encourage captive/co-generation plants by industries.
In order to encourage short gestation period projects, the Government has decided to permit setting up
of power projects based on heavy fuel oils such as naptha, heavy petroleum stock (HPS), low sulphur
heavy stock (LSHS), heavy furnace oil (HFO), furnace oil (FO) and natural gas, wherever available, as
- Under the current structure, the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) generally sell power to
SEBs which distribute power. Since most SEBs are financially distressed, the security package for an IPP
is crucial to the success of a power project. As an initial measure to attract private capital into the
power sector, the Government of India had agreed to extend counter-guarantees to State-guarantees for
the SEB's payment obligations to generating companies in respect eight fast track private power projects.
This was a confidence building measure necessary for the initial batch of projects. Though these
guarantees increase the comfort-levels of lenders in the initial phases, extensive use of these measures can lead
to large contingent liabilities that would over-expose the concerned governments. Other options for
securing the revenue stream of IPPs include Escrow Accounts, Guarantees from Multilateral Development
Banks and Direct sale to high tension customers. The status of these eight fast track IPPs for which
counter-guarantees have been or will be extended are indicated in Table 9.8. Most of these projects are
expecting financial and technical closure soon.
- To facilitate the setting up of large sized thermal/hydel power plants in the country, and to derive
economies of scale, projects having a capacity of 1000 MW or above and supplying power to more than
one state are being considered as Mega projects. The SEBs and the State Governments have been advised
to introduce a more competitive element in the process of selection of developers and award of projects.
A notification was issued in October, 1995 enhancing the limit of capital expenditure of schemes
requiring concurrence of the Central Electricity Authority from Rs.100 crore to Rs.400 crore in the case of
generating companies. The limit has been further enhanced to Rs.1000 crore in September, 1996.
- Captive power generation units in industry are used to supplement the power drawn from the
grid and as a stand-by in case of power cuts. As of now, the country has an installed captive
generation capacity of more than 10,000 MW. The policies relating to captive generation have also been
liberalised. A 50 per cent threshold level has been prescribed for the industry's own consumption from the
captive unit, and capacity in excess of this level can be sold to the grid.
- In view of the widening gap between demand and supply and the huge capital cost involved in
the installation of new power plants, a movement has been launched to make consumers aware of the need
to save energy. Moreover, the Government is vigorously promoting energy accounting and monitoring systems.
Energy audits have been carried out in a number of industrial units to identify energy saving
opportunities and eliminate wastage and to ensure that industries adopt the recommendations of these energy
audits. Steps have been taken to improve the efficiency of domestic electrical appliances and agricultural
pump sets and to promote the usage of fuel efficient engines and motors in both agricultural and
transport sectors. Efforts are also being made to encourage co-generation of electricity in such industries as
sugar, paper, cement, petrochemicals and fertilisers.
- The Government is working on a three-pronged strategy to overcome the existing structural
constraints, technical inefficiencies and financial constraints. These include short and long-term measures to meet
the power supply situation, encourage greater doses of private capital in power generation and
facilitate reforms and restructuring in the state utilities. The Chief Ministers of different States met on 16th
October, 1996 and 3rd December, 1996 to discuss and deliberate upon issues pertaining to the power sector. In
the course of these deliberations a national consensus evolved for improving the performance of the
power sector in a time bound manner and a Common Minimum National Action Plan for Power was adopted.
Box 9.4 highlights some of the basic elements of this Action Plan.
Common Minimum National Action Plan for Power, 1996
- The Government would soon finalise a National Energy Policy.Each State/Union Territory shall set up an independent State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC). To start with such SERCs will undertake only tariff fixation.
- The Union Government will set up a Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) which will set the bulk tariffs for all Central generating and transmission utilities.
- Determination of retail tariffs, including wheeling charges etc., will be decided by SERCs which will ensure a minmum overall 3 per cent rate of return to each utility.
- Cross-subsidisation between categories of consumers may be allowed by SERCs. No sector shall, however, pay less than 50 per cent of the average cost of supply (cost of generation plus transmission and distribution). Tariffs for agricultural sector will not be less than fifty paise per Kwh to be brought to 50 per cent of the average cost in not more than three years.
- The Central Government would make a comprehensive review of the role of the CEA. Techno-economic approval of competitively bid power projects will be simplified and CEA shall not be concerned with capital cost, tariff and other commlercial aspects of the project. However, CEAís appraisal will continue in respect of planning and other related matters.
- States will allow maximum possible autonomy to the SEBs. SEBs would professionalise their technical inventory manpower and project management practices.
- State Governments agree to a gradual programme of private sector participation in distribution of electricity.
- State Governments will encourage co-generation/captive power plants. To facilitate evacuation of power from these plants to the grids, States shall formulate clear and transparent policies for purchase of power and wheeling charges which provide fair returns to the Cogeneration/Captive power plant owners.
- The role of FIPB will be minimised by putting as many projects on the automatic clearance route as feasible.
- Government of India will carry out necessary amendments in the relevant Acts/Rules to allow private participation in transmission.
- A national policy on hydro power development will be evolved by the Central Government.
Renewable Sources of
- India has a vast potential of renewable energy sources and a number of technologies have
been developed to harness them. A sizeable industrial base has been created in the country in the various
renewable energy technologies such as solar thermal, solar photovoltaics, wind, small hydro, biomass
etc. An aggregate capacity of about 900 MW has been installed, based on these technologies.
- The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) was established in March,
1987 as a public sector enterprise for the promotion, development and financing of New and
Renewable Sources of Energy (NRSE) technologies. During
1995-96, IREDA sanctioned loan assistance of Rs.602.22 crore in respect of 265 projects. Thus, the
total number of projects financed by IREDA reached 728 with IREDA's loan commitment of Rs.1107.48
crore and cumulative disbursement of Rs.472.40 crore as on March 31, 1996.
- National Project on Biogas Development (NPBD) was taken up in the Central Sector during
1981-82 on a country-wide basis. Against the potential of
120 lakh numbers of family type biogas plants the installation has reached 23.59 lakh by
1995-96. Against the target of 1.60 lakh family type
biogas plants during 1995-96, achievement was at 1.71 lakh plants. Besides family size biogas plants,
the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources is also promoting the setting up of community,
institutional and nightsoil based biogas plants
(CBP/IBP/NBP) in the country. About 1400 institu-tional CBP/IBP and NBP plants were installed up
to 1994-95. Against the annual target of 200 plants during 1995-96, completion has been reported at
228 plants at a cost of Rs. 2.48 crore.
- National Programme on Improved Chulha (NPIC) was taken up as a national programme since
1985 and also included in the 20-Point Programme of the Government. Against the potential of 1200 lakh
chulhas in the country, 227.35 lakh nos. of chulhas have been installed upto the end of March, 1996. Over 26
lakh improved chulhas have been installed during 1995-96 against the target of 24 lakh chulhas with
budget estimates of Rs.15 crore.
- Biomass programmes offer an environmental advantage over conventional fuels for various
applications as they are by and large ecofriendly. A number of technologies have been commercialised such
as briquetting, gasification etc. Incentives are being given for gasifier systems developed from 5 HP to 10
HP for mechanical energy, 3 KW to 5 KW for electrical applications and 7,500 k cal/hr. to 12.5 lakh k.cal/hr
for thermal application. Work is also in progress on 70 fast growing fuelwood tree species for raising yield
and acreage in the country.
- India has achieved considerable progress in the exploitation of wind energy during the last few years.
A total capacity of 732 MW has been installed by the end of the year 1995-96 of which 684 MW has
been installed by the private sector. It is expected to reach 1000 MW by the end of the Eighth Plan and that
would place India in the second position in Wind Energy, after USA.
- A total capacity of 121 MW has been constructed under the Small Hydro Power Projects (SHP)
and 234 MW capacity is under construction. A number of financial and fiscal incentives are provided for
the speedy implementation of Small Hydro Projects based on water falls, canals, small rivers and
streams. Portable mini hydel sets of 10-50 KW capacity have also been introduced by the Ministry. Under the
World Bank line of credit, soft loans upto 15 MW capacity are available to private developers from IREDA.
- The Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) programme has now progressed from projects of a few KW to
hundreds of KW installation for power generation. Two grid connected projects of 100 KW each have been
installed at Kalyan Pur in Aligarh and Sarai Saadi in Mau Districts of U.P. These plants, besides meeting
the requirements of the concerned villages are also providing 25KW power each to the state grid. Three
solar photovoltaic projects to generate electricity of higher ratings are under consideration for the State
- For acclerated development of solar photovoltaic production, Government has introduced
socially oriented and market oriented schemes. The socially oriented scheme is implemented through
State Nodal Agencies and involves Central subsidy. The market oriented scheme is implemented
through IREDA by providing soft loan assistance. In addition. IREDA is implementing the World Bank
assisted SPV Market Development Project. Under the socially oriented scheme subsidy to the extent of 50%
of the cost of the system is allowed to all categories of beneficiaries. The special category covers
States/UTs with desert areas, islands, hilly regions, as well as Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes,
Fishermen, Handloom workers, village artisans and handicapped persons throughout the country. During the
year 1995-96, 680 street lighting systems, 7,470 domestic lighting systems, 44,938 solar lanterns and
power plants of an aggregate capacity of 89 Kwp were installed.
- A National programme has been launched since June 1995 for proper treatment of urban and
industrial wastes and the resultant recovery of energy from these sources. In order to speed up
the various programmes, a National Bioenergy Board (NBB) has been set up for evolving policy
guidance and direction. A number of State Government and Nodal Agencies have initiated projects for
energy recovery from industrial and municipal wastes in the country. The Integrated Rural Energy
Programme (IREP) is utilising locally available energy resources at the village level which has been extended to
108 blocks, taking the total number to 660 in 1995-96.
- India operates one of the largest telecom networks in Asia comprising over 21,328
Telephone exchanges with a capacity of 151.6 lakh lines and 126.1 lakh working connections as on 30th
September, 1996. The network is growing at an annual rate of 21.6 per cent. A switching capacity of 26.0 lakh
lines was added during 1995-96, 16.7 per cent more than 1994-95. One fourth of the total capacity was
added in four metro cities, viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai. A Trunk Automatic Exchange (TAX)
capacity of 1.97 lakh lines, 442 Route Kilometers (RKMs) of coaxial cable, 3,050 RKMs of Microwave, 10,124
RKMs of UHF, and 13,315 RKMs of Optical Fibre were added during 1995-96. During 1994-95, it recorded
a growth of 22 per cent reaching a level of 22.3 per cent in 1995-96. The number of new
connections provided in 1995-96 was 21.8 lakh. The number of people waiting for new connections as on March
31, 1996 was 22.8 lakhs which is 5.8 per cent higher as compared to the previous year.
- According to the National Telecom Policy (NTP), 1994 one Village Public Telephone (VPT) in
every village of the country is to be provided by 1997. This target has now been revised to be completed in
the Ninth Plan. This task has to be completed by both the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) as
well as the licensed private operating companies. As per the terms of the licence agreement, private
operating companies are to provide a minimum of 10 per cent Direct Exchange Lines (DELs) as Village
Public Telephones (VPTs). Out of the total 6,03,906 villages in the country 2,16,332 villages have been
provided with public telephones by March 31,1996. During the year 1995-96, 31,496 villages were provided
with telephone facilities. In the current year 1996-97 it has been proposed to provide 75,000 VPTs.
- The Eighth Plan outlay approved for the Department of Telecommunication is Rs.23,946 crore. In
the first four years of the plan (1992-96) the total plan expenditure incurred on developmental schemes
was Rs.25,545.8 crore, 80.5 per cent of which was financed through internal resources and 19.03 per
cent through market borrowings. The remaining 0.46 per cent is in the form of budgetary support. In
the remaining annual plan 1996-97, the total investment envisaged would increase to Rs.35,525.9 crore.
Of this, 78.7 per cent would be financed through internal resources.
- With the deregulation of the economy since July 1991, the entire telecom equipment
manufacturing industry has been delicenced and dereserved. Automatic approval of foreign equity upto 51 per cent
has been allowed for foreign investors engaged in the manufacture of all telecommunication equipment.
Telecom equipment production increased from
Rs.7,000 crore in 1994-95 to a level of Rs.7,750 crores in 1995-96. During this period the exports from
the Telecom Sector amounted to Rs.1,653 crore in 1995-96 as compared to Rs. 936 crore in 1994-95.
Reforms in Telecommunicationss
- The Government has decided to set up a statutory Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), to separate the regulatory functions from policy formulation and operational functions. The TRAI Bill, 1996 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha. The President has promulgated the TRAI Ordinance on the 25th January 1997.
- The Telecom equipment manufacturing industry has been deregulated in 1991 with automatic approval of foreign equity up to 51 per cent of total equity.
- Letters of Intent (LOIs) have been issued to eight selected bidders in twelve Telecom Circles for providing Basic Telecom Services.
- An assignability agreement between the DOT and the financial institutions has been reached.
- ECB limits for telecom projects have been made flexible with an increased share of ECB from 35 per cent to 50 per cent of total project cost.
- Value-added services (VAS) were opened for private sector participation in 1992 which include Cellular Mobile Telephones, Radio Paging, Electronic Mail, Voice mail/Audiotex services, Videotex services, Data services, Video-conferencing and Credit Card Authorisation Services. A number of private operators have since started these operations.
- The Government has permitted a maximum foreign equity of 49 per cent in the case of Basic services, Cellular mobile, Radio paging, VSAT and other Wireless Services.
- The Government has committed a maximum foreign equity of 51 per cent in the GATT Agreement in the case of other Value Added Services, viz. E-Mail, Voice Mail, On-line information, data base retrieval & data processing, Enhanced/Value added facsimile services including store & forward, and store & retrieve.
- No outgo of Foreign Exchange is permitted on account of royalty in the case of basic, cellular mobile, radio paging and other wireless services.
- The Government has now allowed the setting up of investment companies/holding companies with majority ownership and management with the Indian shareholders for making investment in a licensee or operating company in respect of which there is a limit on foreign equity. Investments made by the investment/holding companies will be treated as a part of domestic equity and will not be counted towards the ceiling on foreign direct investment.
- With a view to supplement the efforts of the Department of Telecom in providing basic
telephone services, companies registered in India are being licensed to install, operate and maintain these services.
In January 1995, for the first time, open tenders were invited for the award of licenses for providing
basic telecom services. The license would be valid for 15 years, with the provision of renewal for 10 years at a
time on a mutually agreed basis. One private operator is proposed to be licensed in each of the telecom
circles into which the country is divided. The maximum permissible foreign equity is 49 per cent. Letters of
Intent have been awarded to eight selected bidders in twelve Telecom Circles for providing Basic Telecom
Service. Some of the bidders are likely to sign the licence agreement shortly and may start providing the
Basic Telephone Services by the end of 1997.
- In the area of value added services like Radio Paging Service, Mobile Radio Trunking Service
and Cellular Mobile Telephone Services, a policy of privatisation is being followed for grant of licenses to
the private operators through a system of tendering, because of limitations of the frequency spectrum.
- For cellular mobile telephone services, licenses for four metro cities-Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta
and Chennai - were awarded in 1992 in a tender in which the license fee was announced beforehand
and competition was in terms of the advantages to subscribers in terms of rental charges. However,
the subsequent tender for cellular mobile services in all the Telecom Circles, barring the four metro cities,
is largely on the same pattern as the Basic Service tender. In the case of Cellular Services, open tenders
were invited from Indian companies for cellular mobile operations on a circle basis. Licenses would
be issued for a 10-year period. The bidder should have a subscriber base of at least 100,000 cellular lines
and a minimum three years experience of operating a cellular mobile network as on 1.1.95. On the basis
of licences issued for the four metro cities, cellular mobile telephone services have already started on
a commercial basis with two operators in each city. In the case of Cellular Mobile Services in Circles,
33 licences for 18 Territorial Telecom Circles have been issued to 13 companies since December 1995.
Services are likely to start in some of the Circles by March, 1997.
- A tender was invited for operating Radio Paging services in 27 major cities in 1992. Two to
four operators were permitted depending on the size of the city. Recently after a Court judgement, one
more operator has been added in 11 cities. All the licences have been issued against 106 slots. Tenders for
radio paging services in 19 Territorial Telecom Circles were invited for 56 slots in 1994. The number of slots
were later reduced to 41. 31 licences have been issued to 11 companies for 18 Territorial Telecom
Circles excluding Bihar for which there were no bidders. Radio paging service is available in all the 27 major
cities by one or more operators, and it is expected to be available in most of the cities throughout the country
by March, 1997.
- Tender enquiry was floated for franchise of Public Mobile Radio Trunked Service (PMRTS) in
various cities all over the country in January, 1995. 262 Licences have been issued to 38 companies for
operation of PMRTS in 86 cities in 400, 300, & 800 MHz band. The service is likely to start in some of the cities
by March, 1997.
- Value-added services such as E-Mail, Voice-Mail/Audio-tex, 64 kbps Domestic Data Service
using VSAT, Videotex, Video-conferencing and Credit Card Authorisation have been opened to the private
sector. An application for granting of operating licences for these services can be made at any time. For
the operation of E-Mail, Voice Mail, and 64 kbps Data Service using VSAT, fifteen, twenty nine and
thirteen licences have been issued respectively. These services have become operational on a commercial basis
in many areas of the country.
- Internet services have been provided in the country by DOT and VSNL. At present 10 cities have
been covered. This network provides an opportunity for electronic commerce and exchange of valuable
information with the rest of the world in the field of education, research and business. The public data network
`INET' has been expanded to 25 cities, out of a total of 89 major cities planned for the INET. Service is available
as well from any STD telephone anywhere in the country. A high speed Satellite network called HVnet
has started operating which provides 64 Kbps data and voice communication capability from any point in
the country. This will ease the problem of remote area communication. Growth in data communication
among business partners and within the organisations has given a boost to the culture of computer to
- Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services, which offer high speed data transfer, desk
top video conferencing, high speed fax and picture phone facilities, have been started in 9 cities viz.,
Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Ranchi, Lucknow, Jaipur and Hyderabad. Gradually these
services will be extended to other parts of the country.
- High speed national and international leased line services have made a significant impact on
business activity. About 200 international leased circuits have been provided for software export. Other
advanced services like Intelligent Network, High Speed VSAT network (HVnet) and INSAT based mobile
telephone service are under implementation. These advances will completely transform the way people
communicate and contribute to the growth of the economy.
- The Government decided to set up a statutory Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to
protect the interests of consumers, regulate telecom tariffs, settle disputes between service providers,
ensure compliance of licence conditions, bring about technical compatibility and inter-connection between
different service providers, regulate arrangements amongst service providers in respect of sharing of revenue,
levy fees, facilitate competition, promote efficiency, provide a level playing field for fair competition among
the public and private operators, and to give further content to universal service obligation. The
establishment of the TRAI will promote an orderly and healthy growth of telecommunication infrastructure in both
basic and value-added services. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 1996 after being introduced in
the Lok Sabha on 23.7.1996 was referred to the Standing Committee on Communications for examination.
The Report of the Standing Committee has since been laid on the Table of both the houses of Parliament.
The Government has considered the recommendations of the Standing Committee and approved the setting
up of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The President has promulgated the TRAI Ordinance on
the 25th January 1997.
- In terms of the number of Post Offices, the National Postal Network with more than 1.5 lakh
Post Offices by March 1996, ranks first in the world. For policies related to postal services the
long-term objective is to provide basic postal facilities within 3 kms of every village and to extend the facility of
letter boxes in every village with a population of over 500. As on 31st March 1996, it is estimated that there
are approximately 1,09,800 Gram Panchayat villages which do not have counter services. During the first
four years of the Eighth Five Year Plan, 1312 extra departmental post offices and 315 departmental sub
post offices have been sanctioned. The Department of Post is accelerating its efforts to extend basic
postal facilities on a contractual basis by utilising the existing infrastructure of Panchayats in these areas.
The Panchayat Sanchar Sewa Scheme, formulated in this regard, can reduce dependence on budgetary
resources for expanding postal facilities to needy areas and generate employment opportunities in such areas.
Upto 31st March, 1996, 497 Panchayat Sanchar Sewa Kendras have been set up.
- In view of rapid socio-economic changes, the Department of Post has embarked on programmes
of modernisation for extending new value added services to meet specific customer needs. The
counter services in the post offices are being modernised with the use of computer based machines which are
more customer-friendly, responsive and efficient. 2661 machines shave been installed in postal counters in
800 selected post offices and another 1500 counter machines are to be installed by March 1997.
- The Business Development Directorate, under the Department of Posts, has been set up on
1st February, 1996 to provide focussed attention for developing and marketing of premium services and
traditional products. The various premium services that are being developed and marketed by the Business
Development Directorate are Speed Post, Hybrid Mail, Corporate Money Order, Mass Mailing Services, Express
Parcel Service, Commercial Publicity on postal stationery, Smart Card based Premium Savings Bank
Services and Gift Services. The total revenue generated by these premium products was Rs.57 crore in 1995-96.
The revenue from all these premium products rose to Rs.38.10 crore during April to September, 1996,
indicating an increase of 52 per cent as compared to the revenue generated over the corresponding period of
the previous year.
- The Department of Post has also taken up projects for modernising activities with technology in
the area of mail processing, savings bank accounts, postal life insurance and also inventory control and
rationalised materials management. Specific programmes are continuing in these areas with the focus on
providing adequate support to related front office functions so as to enhance customer satisfaction. A strategy
of focussed management and segmentation of services in terms of benefits for customers is also helping
to achieve greater responsiveness and efficiency. Suitable technology support is also being provided to
enhance the quality of premium products like Speed Post.
- The utility of money order services for cash transfer has been underlined with the VSAT
network nearing the end of its first phase. 73 VSAT terminals now operational are extending the benefit of
speedy transmission of money orders by linking more important post offices around each VSAT Centre through
a dial-up modern link. The newly introduced Hybrid Mail Service is also gaining in popularity with the
increased number of VSAT Centres providing the service for a wider area in the country.
- Postal Life Insurance (PLI) has continued to move from strength to strength and from 24th
March, 1995, its coverage has been extended to rural areas also. In the first year itself Rural PLI has
garnered Rs.733.561 crore (sum assured), bringing in 2,37,557 new policies. The Post Office Savings Bank
(POSB) is also continuing to be the most important scheme for mobilising small savings, especially in the
rural areas. The total outstanding balance during 1995-96 through various savings schemes was
Rs.81,719 crore. POSB operations in the more important post offices are being computerised for even greater
efficiency and customer satisfaction. 116 Post Offices have been covered by this project. Mahila Samriddhi
Yojana introduced in October 1993, to empower adult rural women financially, has generated Rs.172.41 crore
in 1.69 crore accounts as on 31.03.96.
- The postal service in India is required to meet the growing market demand with more
specialised services, and it also has to fulfil its community service obligations. Preponderance of social objectives
over commercial considerations has resulted in the system operating on a deficit which in 1995-96 was
Rs.659.39 crore. Being dependent on manual operations to a large extent, the cost of operations of postal
services have risen steadily with the rising cost of manpower and other inputs. Infrequent and insufficient revision
of rates of most of the services largely contribute to the deficit of the Department, and neutralise efforts
made through redeployment and rationalisation of manpower to contain establishment expenses.
- Induction of new technology for efficient and responsive customer services will require large
capital investment and the maximum utilisation of these systems will call for a new management strategy with
emphasis on productivity and appropriate marketing support. Participation of the private sector
for modernisation of postal services may therefore be necessary to the extent that priorities of the
national postal policy and the relevent statutory provisions can accommodate the role of the private sector in
this area. Involvement of private agencies in specific segments of activity depending on service needs and
the potential of the job for income generation will continue to be a key element in the Department's policy
for upgrading and extending its services both in the rural and urban sectors
- The Indian Railways consist of an extensive network spread over 62,915 km. comprising
Broad Gauge (40,609 km.), Metre Gauge (18,501 km.) and Narrow Gauge (3,794 km.). Electrified networks
with 12,306 km. account for 19.6 per cent of the total route kilometerage. The thrust areas identified for
the Eighth Plan period included replacement and renewal of overaged assets, augmentation of terminal
and rolling stock capacities and gauge conversion and electrification. Indian Railways completed gauge
conversion of 1,351 km. in 1992-93, 1,619 km. in 1993-94, 1,805 km. in 1994-95 and have set a target of 1,000 km.
- During 1995-96, the revenue earning freight traffic moved by the Railways was 390.7 million tonnes.
This was 7 per cent higher than the performance in 1994-95. The freight traffic carried during
April-November 1996-97 at 260.7 million tonnes, increased by 6.3 per cent over April-November, 1995.
The growth has mainly been in coal, pig iron and finished steel from steel plants, cement, foodgrains, iron
ore for export and other goods, etc. However, there is a decline in fertilizers and POL both of which
showed negative growth rates (Table 9.9). The slow down in industrial production and economic activity in
general in the current financial year has also, to some extent, affected freight demand from the railways in
like manner. Moreover, for items such as cement, fertilizers and petroleum and petroleum products
(POL), considerations of operational flexibility and continuity of arrangements already made have necessitated
an increased dependence on road transport and also on pipelines in the case of petroleum.
- The existing modal shares between rail and road do not conform to optimal shares as judged
by the criterion of least economic cost. The Railways are trying to attract freight traffic in view of being
a more energy efficient and environment friendly mode of surface transport through the Container
Corporation of India (CONCOR) and various other marketing schemes. The new marketing strategy of Railways
is given in Box 9.6.
Features of Railways' New Marketing Strategies
- The Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), a public sector undertaking, will provide door to door services for domestic users, transportation in bulk for small customers and international transport in International Standards Organisation (ISO) containers.
- Introduction of trains connecting Tughlakabad with Mumbai, Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust and Madras for the movement of export containers on scheduled time.
- Leasing out brake vans space to customers so that they can have assured transportation between fixed points.
- Introduction of long distance special parcel services between Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Mughalsarai and Wadi Bunder- Shalimar.
- Introduction of Own Your Wagon Scheme to invite private sector investment for the ownership of Railway wagons and thereby supplement the resources available with the Railways for meeting the transport requirements of various sectors of the economy.
- Introduction of a long distance parcel service between Mumbai and Delhi, Delhi-Mughalsarai and Wadi Bunder-Shalimar.
- Simplification of rules in key areas like free acceptance of indents, supply of wagons, single window booking system and faxing of invoices to the destination.
- Rebate of freight for utilisation of wagons in the empty flow direction.
- Closure of yards to facilitate faster movement.
- The Railways employ about 16 lakh workers, the largest number for any undertaking in the country.
A comprehensive plan for human resource development is required to upgrade skills, retrain workers
and achieve higher productivity. While staff productivity in terms of the number of traffic units per
employee, asset productivity in terms of net tonne kilometre per wagon day, wagon turn-around time,
loco-utilisation, etc. have improved over the year, there is still scope for further improvement.
- The budgetary support to the Railways has declined sharply from 75 per cent of the Railway's
Plan outlay in the Fifth Plan to 42 per cent of the outlay in the Seventh Plan and further to 19 per cent
during the Eighth Plan. This has forced the railways to reprioritise ongoing projects of line expansion,
renewals, gauge conversion and electrification of key routes and has adversely affected procurement of rolling stock.
- The Railways have so far met the challenge by relying less on budgetary support and more
on internal generation of resources which, in future, may have limitations with increased outlay on
account of the Pay Commission recommendations and growing lease rentals, etc. Alternative sources of
funding based on market borrowings are also being looked at although the servicing costs would be
higher. Private sector participation through schemes like Build-Own-Lease-Transfer (BOLT) and
Own-Your-Wagon-Scheme (OYWS) are also being explored. However, only limited success has been achieved
in these areas till now.
- The activities of Civil Aviation are broadly divided into three areas; operational, infrastructural
and regulatory-cum-developmental. On the operational side, Indian Airlines Ltd. and private airlines
(scheduled and non-scheduled) provide domestic air services. Air India Ltd. provides international air
services. Indian Airlines Ltd. also provides air services to neighbouring countries. Pawan Hans Helicopters
Ltd. provides helicopter support services primarily to the petroleum sector. Infrastructural facilities are
provided by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The two authorities viz. International Airports Authority of
India (IAAI) and the National Airports Authority (NAA) were merged on April 1, 1995 to form a single
authority viz. Airports Authority of India (AAI) as a result of enactment of Airport Authority of India Act, 1994.
The regulatory and developmental functions are looked after by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate
General of Civil Aviation.
- With the repealing of the Air Corporation Act, 1953, on March 1, 1994, the monopoly of
Indian Airlines, Air India and Vayudoot over scheduled air transport services came to an end. Seven
private operators, who were hitherto operating as air taxis, have been granted the status of scheduled airlines.
In addition, 21 air taxi operators have been given the permit for charter/non-schedule air
transport services. A new policy for private investment in civil aviation has been announced allowing for 40
per cent foreign equity in domestic airlines.
- Domestic air services are operating in a competitive environment and this has effectively been
in existence since April, 1993. By September, 1996, 34 aircrafts in the 120 plus category belonging to
the private airlines were in operation. The natural consequence of creating a competitive environment
in this sector was that, by March 1996, 41.1 per cent of the domestic air transport was being catered
to by private air services. The number of passengers carried by private operators has increased from
15,000 in 1990 to 4.1 lakh in 1992, 29.2 lakh in 1993, 36 lakh in 1994 and 48.9 lakh during 1995. The
ushering in of competition in domestic services had two major implications for Indian Airlines. First, it had to
share the market on its profitable trunk routes with private operators. Second, it had to contend with the
loss of critically skilled personnel to private operators who offered much higher emoluments. This affected
its ability to optimally deploy its existing aircraft capacity. Indian Airlines has since geared itself
towards coping with the challenges brought forth by competition.
- Several measures which have been taken by the public carriers mainly centered on making
the organisation adopt a market oriented approach to decision making and to considerably improve the
quality of its product. It has improved its passenger facilities both on board and on the ground, on
time performance, flight safety measures and has also increased employee participation to provide
- For Indian Airlines Ltd, the year 1995-96 has been considerably better than the last few years.
The Company made an operating profit of Rs. 156.51 crore in 1995-96 as against Rs. 36.24 crore in 1994-95 i.e. an increase of 332 per cent. The Company has laid stress on passenger facilitation by
increasing the seat pitch on the Boeing-737. It has also increased the number of seats in the
Executive class of A-320. Other measures include improvement of flight service, adoption of convenient
time schedules and agreements with Global CRS companies to enable passengers to have access to
flight schedules globally. These measures taken by the Company have started yielding positive results,
and the seat load factor increased to 73.4 per cent in 1995-96 as against 69.7 per cent in 1994-95.
- Indian Airlines laid stress on cargo promotion in association with M/s. GATI and its earnings
from cargo have increased from Rs. 89.7 crores in 1994-95 to Rs. 112.7 crore in 1995-96. The company
also provided the ground handling services to various foreign and domestic carriers. As a result, the
company's profitability increased and the net loss came down from Rs. 188.7 crore in 1994-95 to Rs. 110 crore
in 1995-96. The Company carried 7.7 million passengers and performed 722.8 Revenue Tonne
Kilometers in 1995-96 .
- Indian Airlines still incurred losses due to the heavy incidence of depreciation, interest and
financing charges associated with its A-320 fleet. It has also had to contend with increases in overhead
costs, increases in exchange rates, etc. During 1995-96, the company increased its domestic fares effective
from 1.10.1995 on an average by 20 per cent and dollar fares with effect from 1, January 1996. But this was
not sufficient to meet the increasing costs of operations.
- The price of ATF was revised from 3rd July, 1996 and the annual impact of this has been
estimated to be Rs. 60 crore in 1996-97. Consequently the company has increased its domestic fares
effective from 22nd September, 1996 and proposes to increase dollar fares effective from lst March, 1997 to
offset some of its losses. Constant efforts are being made to monitor the uneconomical routes and to
improve its market share by aggressive marketing strategies.
- Air India Ltd. incurred a net loss of Rs.271.8 crore in 1995-96 as against profit of Rs. 40.8
crores in 1994-95. According to provisional estimates the company also incurred a net loss of Rs.195
crore during April-September, 1996. While the total operating revenue of the company increased by 14.6
per cent from Rs.2989 crore in 1994-95 to Rs.3,426.5 crore in 1995-96, the total operating expenditure
of the company increased by 24.9 per cent from Rs.2,920 crore in 1994-95 to Rs.3,647.5 crore in
1995-96. The resumption of losses was due to factors such as frequent industrial unrest leading to
cancellation of flights and disruption of flight schedules; the incidence of depreciation and interest on account
of acquisition of four Boeing 747-400 aircraft; increase in expenditure by 24.9 per cent due to insurance,
fuel and oil, landing lease, rental and hire charges; increase in allowances payable to the employees
and payment of additional perquisites as per the Memorandum of Understanding reached with the
Unions, associations, guilds; and the drop in its yield. Air India's overall load factor of 62 per cent is also
low compared to other international airlines. Air India's share of international traffic originating from
India came down from 42 per cent in 1981 to 35 per cent in 1991 and 20.4 per cent in 1994. However,
in 1995 Air India's market share had improved marginally to 22 per cent.
- In addition to four B-747-400 aircraft which were acquired recently, Air India acquired two more
B-747-400 aircraft in December 1996. To provide for growth in the short term, Air India wet-leased a
few aircraft. Five new stations were added in 1995 i.e. Manchester, Amsterdam, Tel-Aviv, Entebee and Perth.
With the acquisition of two new aircraft, new destinations like Chicago and Zurich are being introduced.
Air India has formulated a four pronged revitalisation strategy comprising the following: (i) growth in
fleet, capacity, passenger carriage and market share, (ii) improvement in product and service quality,
(iii) increase in efficiency and greater productivity, and (iv) development of human resources. There has
been an improvement in on time performance of Air India which is over 85 per cent as compared to an
average of 46.5 per cent in 1994-95. While profits have declined, most of the physical parameters have
improved in 1995-96 as compared to 1994-95.
- Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHL) basically provides helicopter support services to
the petroleum sector i.e. ONGC and Oil India Limited and connects remote and inaccessible areas. It
also provides air support services to several customers which include the Governments of Punjab,
Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep Administration, GAIL, BSF, and the Revenue
Department. The total revenue flying hours during 1995-96 were 18,562, as compared to 18,458 during 1994-95.
The revenue earnings and net profits during 1995-96 were Rs. 156.68 crore and Rs. 37.26 crore
respectively, compared to Rs. 134.15 crore and
Rs. 39.97 crore respectively in 1994-95. The flying hours during April-September, 1996 were 10470
and revenue and net profit were Rs. 87.72 crore and Rs. 26.50 crore respectively.
- The International Airports Division (IAD) of Airports Authority of India (AAI) manages, operates
and develops five international airports at Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram.
IAD earned a net profit of Rs. 113.59 crore in 1995-96 as compared to a net profit of Rs. 97.7 crore
during 1994-95. During 1995-96, expenditure grew by 35 per cent whereas revenue increased by 27 per cent.
Passenger and Cargo traffic at 256.4 lakh and 561582 tonnes during 1995-96 were higher by 12 per
cent and 14.2 per cent respectively than in 1994-95. IAD has declared a dividend of Rs. 22.72 crore
(20 per cent of post tax profit) for 1995-96 as against Rs. 15.28 crore (25 per cent of paid up
capital as on 31.3.1995) for 1994-95.
- A number of projects like modernisation of air traffic services at Mumbai and Delhi
airports, installation of Airport Surveillance Radar/Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar at
Ahmedabad, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram, development of 12 model airports for upgradation
of facilities and improvement in the quality of the services at the airports have been taken up.
Although investments in airports of the North Eastern region are not economical, a large number of
operations have been taken up there. Sixty per cent of investment on projects which have the prior approval of
NEC is borne by the North Eastern Council. Development work in other areas like Jammu &
Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar are also under way.
Road and Road Transport
- India has a road network covering 2.7 million kilometres which makes it the third largest
road network in the world. However, this network is not adequate for speedy and efficient transportation.
Half of this is made up of unsurfaced roads. The National Highways which are arterial routes have
currently a network of 34,298 km. Although they carry nearly 40 per cent of the goods and passenger traffic,
the national highway network constitutes less than 2 per cent of the total road network.
- Road transport is the dominant form of transport for people and goods in India. Over 80 per
cent of passengers and over 60 per cent of freight move by roads. It is estimated that by the year 2000
road traffic will account for 87 and 65 per cent of passenger and goods traffic, respectively. The quality
and capacity of national highways have to be enhanced consistent with the traffic expansion and
overall economic growth of the country. Traffic movement on the highways is suffering from frequent
stopovers and congestion as almost 15 per cent of national highways and 75 per cent of state highways are
single lane roads. The problem is further compounded by inadequate road pavement thickness, poor
riding quality, existence of a number of railway level crossings that need replacement, weak and
distressed bridges/culverts, congested city sections, lack of wayside amenities and inadequate road safety
measures. The deficiencies in the road network have contributed to safety hazards, besides
entailing higher transportation cost. These highways will, therefore, require major augmentation of capacity
as well as structural upgradation. About 20 per cent of national highways need widening from single
to double lanes and about 50 per cent of two lane roads have to be strengthened. 30 per cent of
existing two lane roads need to be four laned apart from developing expressways on selected corridors.
The mainten-ance of roads is no less important than their expan-sion and the vast network of roads
built over the years needs to be preserved.
- The magnitude of the task on hand and the volume of funds required for this purpose are
clearly beyond the capacity of the public sector. In the past, roads have generally been financed from
budgetary sources and constructed by the Public Works Departments. As the budgetary allocation is not adequate
to meet the challenges stated above, the National Highways Act has been amended to enable the levy of a
toll on selected improved sections of National Highways. The amendment of the National Highways Act
to allow the private sector to construct and charge a fee or toll will permit the private sector to participate
in construction, maintenance and operation of roads on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.
Several reforms/measures taken by the Government to attract private sector participation in Highway
Development are summarised in Box 9.7. These measures are comprehensive and encompass land
acquisition, environmental clearance, simplification of procedures, tolling of 4-lanes, by-passes and bridges,
equity participation in the highway sector and sharing of force majeure risks.
Major initiatives for Highway Development
- The government has promulgated a separate ordinance for land acquisition for development and maintenance of national highways. The ordinance provides that once the Government declares that the land is required for the purpose of development of National Highways, it would deem to have been vested in the Central Government. Only compensation can be settled through arbitration.
- Projects for widening of the existing National Highways have been exempted from environmental and forest clearances.
- Undertaking feasibility studies and detailed project reports for projects costing upto Rs.100 crore can be approved by the Ministry of Surface Transport. Several other procedures have been simplified.
- The Government had decided to levy a user fee (toll) on completed 4-lane sections including those which would be funded through the budget. The rate of fee will be fixed taking into account the savings in vehicle operating costs. The revenue generated from such user fees will be utilised for future road development.
- Some of the projects which have a high potential for economic return may not be commercially viable. The Government has decided to take up such projects on a build and lease basis where the enterprise initially invests the funds required for the project and is paid back at pre-agreed annual sums over a period of time.
- In order to encourage private sector participation, the National Highway authority of India has been permitted to participate in the equity of a company promoted by the private or the public sector.
- With a view to helping the entrepreneur to overcome problems of short-term repayment or servicing of debts, it has been decided to provide financial support/loans on suitable terms to keep the project going. The National High Authority will also consider providing cash support in projects as per the merits of the case.
- In the case of BOT projects, the financial liability of the government would be the least except in cases where continued collection of tolls is frustrated by changes in the policy of the government or by force majeure risks. In such cases, it has been decided to compensate the entrepreneur suitably and this would be consistent with international norms and practices.
- After the amendment of National Highways Act in 1995 to allow private sector participation,
steps have been taken to initiate national highway projects through private sector participation. Two
projects of bypasses (Thane-Bhiwandi in Maharashtra and Udaipur in Rajathan) and one project of Road
Over Bridge (at Chalthan in Gujrat) involving an investment of Rs.42 crore have been awarded on BOT basis.
- The provisions relating to foreign investment in the road sector have been considerably
liberalised. Automatic approval will be accorded for foreign equity participation upto 74 per cent in the construction
of roads and bridges. In addition to this, automatic approval would be given for majority foreign equity upto
51 per cent in support services to land transport, like operation of highway bridges, toll roads and vehicles.
- External assistance is being obtained for the improvement of National Highways through
international agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Overseas Economic Cooperation
of Japan. The Government of India has activated the National Highways Authority, which is an
autonomous body created through an Act of Parliament and has been entrusted with the Asian Development
Bank Project costing about Rs.800 crores in 5 states viz., Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal and
- The State Road Transport Undertakings operate a fleet of over one lakh buses employing 8.3
lakh workers. The undertakings, with a few exceptions, face serious financial constraints due to various
factors such as the social commitment to operate even on uneconomic routes, absence of cost-based
fare structures, overmanning, poor management and widespread inefficiencies.
- Indian vessels carried about 29 per cent of the total sea-borne cargo during 1994-95. The
share of Indian vessels in 1994-95 in Petroluem Oil and Lubricants (POL) was 54 per cent, in bulk carriers
17 per cent, and in liner traffic 9 per cent. Long term targets for Indian shares in bulk carriers and
liner traffic are 50 and 40 per cent, respectively. The fleet strength at the end of October, 1996 was
481 vessels of 7.02 million Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT), against 468 vessels of 6.9 million GRT
in October, 1995. Overseas trade during 1994-95 was 147 million tonnes against 137 million tonnes
- The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) showed a better financial performance during 1995-96
as compared to 1994-95. It has earned a record net profit after tax of Rs.323 crore in 1995-96
registering an increase of 61 per cent over 1994-95. SCI's gross internal resources rose to Rs.554 crore in
1995-96 as against Rs.395 crore in 1994-95. Its gross tonnage as on October 31, 1996 was 3.11 million
GRT (about 45 per cent of the total Indian fleet).
- There are two major public sector ship building yards, Hindustan Shipyards Limited, and
Cochin Shipyards Limited. Due to various reasons i.e high construction cost, heavy interest burden on
borrow-ings, low order book position, excessive manpower etc. these yards had been incurring losses.
However, as a result of revival measures initiated by the Government in September 1993 the two yards have
shown an improved performance. Cochin Shipyard Limited has earned a net profit of Rs.18.46 crores in
1995-96 as against a profit of Rs.11.16 crores during the previous year. Hindustan Shipyards incurred a net
loss of Rs.118 crores in 1995-96.
- The International Safety Management (ISM) code, was adopted by the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO) in November, 1993. This code is to come into force in 1998 for passenger ships
and tankers and by 2000 for other vessels. The shipping companies are required to provide special
training to on shore staff and crew on board in order to implement this Code. The Directorate General of
Shipping has constituted a Sub-Committee which is in dialogue with the shipping companies to implement
the Code well before its due date.
- In order to promote the development of Indian shipping, a new shipping policy was initiated in
1990-91 and several policy reforms have since been made in conformity with the liberalisation of the
Indian economy (Box 9.8).
Reforms in the Shipping Sector
- Introduction of Automatic Approval Scheme for the Shipping Companies for;
- acquisition of all categories of ships, except crude oil tankers and OSVís by private shipping companies;
- acquisition for replacement of tonnage; and
- acquisition of ships from an Indian shipyard.
- No approval is required for sale of ships.
- Shipbuilding and ship-repairing units have been allowed to import items figuring in the restricted list of the 1992-97 EXIM policy subject to actual user condition. No licence will be required for this purpose.
- The Committee for slotting of ship repair which used to decide about the yards where the ships are required to be repaired has been abolished.
- Shipping companies have been permitted to retain sale proceeds of Indian ships abroad for utilising them for fresh acquisition.
- There is freedom to time charter out Indian ships to foreign companies for employment in international cross trade.
- Shipping companies allowed to acquire vessels on charter-cum-demise method.
- Certain provisions of the Merchant Shipping (MS) Act, 1958 have been amended to facilitate Indian Shipping companies to raise foreign exchange loans abroad by mortgaging their vessels.
- In order to attract foreign mainline vessels to the Indian Ports, Cabotage Laws have been relaxed for a period of 5 years up to 1997 for container vessels and lash barges.
- Age norms for acquisition of second hand vessels have been further relaxed in 1995.
- Shipping rates for carriage of passengers or cargo by any ship engaged in coastal trade are no longer administered.
- Section 21 of the MS Act has been amended, thereby doing away with the requirement that the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director should be a citizen of India. Similarly, the minimum percentage of share capital of the companies to be held by a citizen of India for owning a ship in India has also been deleted.
- The long coastline of India is dotted with 11 major ports which are managed by the Port Trust
of India under Central Government jurisdiction and 139 minor operable ports under the jurisdication of
the respective State Governments. The major ports handle 90 per cent of the all-India port throughput,
and thus bear the brunt of sea borne trade. During 1995-96, the total cargo handled at major ports was
215.3 million tonnes, registering a growth of 9.1 per cent over 1994-95, constituting about 91 per cent of
total traffic handled by the port sector. Dry and liquid bulk make up about 80 per cent of the port traffic
in volume with general cargo, including the containerised cargo, constituting the remaining traffic.
During April-November, 1996 major ports handled 143.8 million tonnes of cargo which was 4.7 per cent
higher than the performance achieved in April-November, 1995 (Table 9.10). Major increases in traffic
were observed in respect of foodgrains (26.7 per cent), other liquids (33.3 per cent) and containerised
cargo (19.1 per cent). The composition of traffic has undergone significant changes in recent years.
- Though the bulk of Indian trade (95 per cent) is now carried by sea routes, the existing
port infrastructure is insufficient to handle trade flows effectively. The current capacity at major ports
is overstretched. As against a total capacity of 177 million tonnes as on 31.3.96, the major ports
handled 215.3 million tonnes in 1995-96. This results in overstretched berths leading to pre-berthing delays
and longer ship turnaround time. The total capacity of Indian major ports has been estimated at 177
million tonnes as on 31.3.1996, which needs to be built up to meet the projected traffic requirements. In
recent years, major investments in port construc-tion have centred on container as well as bulk facilities.
Modern equipment exists for container and bulk handling. The equipment-mix for handling general cargo has
to be planned and provided in a manner that suits the needs of each port.
- The productivity of ports in terms of Average Ship Turn Around (ASTA) and Average Ship
Berth Output (ASBO) has been encouraging in recent years. Although the ASTA showed a minor
increase from 8.1 days in 1990-91 to 8.5 days in 1995-96, the average ASBO increased from 3372 tonnes
to 4030 tonnes during the same period. The marginal decline in performance in respect of ASTA
may, however, be viewed against the substantial increase of more than 30 per cent in the number of
vessels which sailed from major ports and the less than 10 per cent growth in port capacity during this
period. The performance of Indian ports does not compare favourably with that of efficient ports in the
Asian region. In international terms, labour and equipment productivity levels are still very low due
to outdated equipment, poor training, low equipment handling levels by labour, un-economic
labour practices, idle time at berth, time loss at shift change and high manning scales and low datums.
In order to shed manpower and increase productivity of labour, a Voluntary Retirement Scheme
(VRS) has been offered. Till November 30, 1995, around 9,750 employees have availed of the
- In order to meet the huge gap between demand and availability of port capacity, private
sector investment in ports is being encouraged and clear and transparent guidelines have been issued for
the purpose. (Box 9.9) Ushering in the era of private investment in the development of the port sector,
the Government has given clearance to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Navi Mumbai to award the license for
the construction, management and maintenance of a Two-berth Container Terminal for a period of thirty
years on a BOT basis to the P&O Ports, Australia led consortium. Other members of the Consortium
are Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad (Malaysia), DBC Port Management Pvt. Ltd etc. The consortium would
be investing approximately Rs. 700 crore on the project in a period of thirty six months. With commissioning
of the new terminal, the capacity for handling containers at JNPT will be more than doubled, increasing
to over 1 million TEUs per annum. This is the first large project in the ports sector being implemented
through private investment in the country. Other ports are also preparing for implementing various projects
to augment capacity through private investment on the basis of these guidelines.
Guidelines for Private Sector Participation in Ports
- Private sector participation in ports will cover areas which include.
- Leasing out existing assets of the Port.
- Construction and operation of additional assets such as container terminals and cargo berths.
- Construction of warehousing, dry docking and ship repair facilities.
- The BOT model will generally be used for private sector participation with the assets reverting back to the Port after the concession period. The concession period would be decided upon by the respective Port Trusts in each case, with the maximum period not exceeding thirty years.
- Private sector participation will be on the basis of open competitive bidding. Evaluation will be made on the basis of criteria laid down clearly in the tender document and will be on the basis of maximum realisation to the port using Net Present Value (NPV) analyses.
- The Port will give no guarantee either for financial return or for the traffic which can be expected. Ports will continue to fix the ceiling of tariffs until an independent Regulatory Authority to fix and revise Port tariffs is established. However, the tariff will be revised suitably once every three years.