News

Ministry of Finance Notifies IIPDF Scheme

On 3rd November 2022, the Ministry of Finance notified the IIPDF Scheme for Financial Support for Project Development Expenses of PPP Projects. 

Highlighting the purpose of the Scheme, the notification states that, “The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has identified IIPDF Scheme as a mechanism through which Project Sponsoring Authority will be able to source funding to cover the PPP transaction costs, thereby reducing the impact of costs related to procurement of TAs on their budgets. From Government of India‘s perspective, the IIPDF Scheme will increase the quality and quantity of PPP projects that are processed through the Central or States‘ project pipeline.

The key offerings of the Scheme are : 

  1. Funding under IIPDF Scheme can be for a maximum amount of Rs.5 Crore for a single proposal
    (Project TA/Seminar/Workshop/Professional Service Expenses, etc.). This funding shall be
    inclusive of any tax implications thereon and the total amount of funding under IIPDF Scheme,
    including taxes. Any funding requirement over and above Rs.5 Crore may be borne by the Project Sponsoring Authority itself.
  2. The cost of consultants/transaction advisors for a PPP project can be funded, where Consultants/TAs are appointed through a transparent system of procurement including from the list of empanelled TAs of DEA or from the list of empanelled TAs of any other Central Ministry/Department or State Government or on nomination basis, in accordance with the applicable GFR Rules.
  3. Funding under the IIPDF Scheme may not result in a successful PPP project as the success of a PPP project depends on various factors. 
  4. The IIPDF Scheme shall be administered by the Approval Committee (AC), which shall consist of;  Joint Secretary ISD, DEA – Chairperson, Representative of NITI Aayog, Deputy Secretary/Director (PIU), DEA – Member Secretary. 

News

DoT Launches ‘GatiShakti Sanchar’ Portal for Centralised RoW Approvals

On 14th May 2022 the Department of Telecommunication launched the “GatiShakti Sanchar” portal for Centralised Right of Way (RoW) approvals (www.sugamsanchar.gov.in).

Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw  said that “The portal shall act as an enabler to the objective of “Ease of doing business” for telecommunications infrastructure works in accordance with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister” 

The portal will enable applicants from various Telecom Service providers (TSPs) as well as Infrastructure providers (IPs) to apply at a single common portal for Right of Way permissions to lay down Optical Fibre Cable and for erecting mobile towers to State/UT Governments and local bodies. Since it smoothens the process of RoW permissions as well as faster approvals; it is believed to facilitate the easy rollout of 5G services, in which a Base Transceiver Station (BTS) is installed at very short intervals. For effective monitoring of RoW applications across the country, the portal even comes fitted with a potent dashboard showing State and District wise pendency status.

The portal will also bring an array of advantages to the Government Bodies- both Central and State/UT. It will smoothen the RoW approval process, which will lead to:

  • Fast laying of more Optical Fiber Cable and thus will accelerate fiberization.
  • Increased tower density will enhance connectivity and improve the quality of various telecom services.
  •  Increased fiberization of telecom towers, thus ensuring better Broadband speed, across the country.

News

Policy for Use of Land Under CBA Act Approved

On 13th April 2022, the Union Cabinet approved the policy for utilising the land acquired under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition & Development) Act, 1957 [CBA Act]. 

The objective of the policy is to facilitate the utilization of lands that are mined out or are rendered unfit for use due to coal mining and to increase the investment and job creation in the coal sector.  

The Policy provides a framework for the utilisation of the following types of lands acquired under the CBA Act:

  1. Lands no longer suitable or economically viable for coal mining activities.
  2. Lands from which coal has been mined out / de-coaled and such land has been reclaimed.

The Government company which owns the land would lease such land for specific period given under the policy and the entities for leasing shall be selected through a transparent, fair and competitive bid process and mechanism in order to achieve optimal value. 

The lands will be considered to set up Coal Washeries, Conveyor Systems, establish Coal Handling Plants, construct Railway Sidings, Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Project Affected Families due to acquisition of land under the CBA Act or other land acquisition law, set up thermal and renewable power projects, set up or provide for coal development-related infrastructure including compensatory afforestation, provide Right of Way, Coal gasification and coal to chemical plants and set up or provide for energy-related infrastructure.

The Policy envisages to establish various coal and energy-related infrastructure, without transfer of ownership from Government companies, would lead to generation of a large number of direct and indirect employment and lead to a better utilisation of mined out lands and prevent them from being illegally encroached.  Further, the  utilisation of already acquired land would also prevent fresh acquisition of land and related displacement and would promote local manufacturing and industries.

News

Chandrasekharan Ramanathan Elevated as Partner

Fox Mandal is pleased to announce the elevation of Chandrasekharan Ramanathan as Partner.

An Advocate and Company Secretary with over 45 years of experience, he leads the firm’s infrastructure practice on a pan-India level. He specializes in PPP and EPC Models of Infrastructure Investment & Development as well as Claims Management.

He has further led complex structuring and contract negotiations across various infrastructure projects in the Urban Transportation / Ports / Ship Building and Power Transmission sectors.

We congratulate him on this significant milestone!