Tag Archives: Infra Project

BOP Group bags IBL’s Bangalore franchise

Posted on by Track2Realty

Badminton, IBL, Indian Badminton League, Track2Infra, Indian Infrastructure News, Aviation. Ports & Shipping, Railways, Highways, Urban Development, Telecom, Power, Coal, Energry, Cement, Steel, Water, Finance, Resources, Roads, Rural Development, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Infra Project, Regulation, FDI, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media  Track2Realty-Agencies: BOP Group bagged the Bangalore franchise Banga Beats of the $1 million Indian Badminton League (IBL) on Wednesday, July 3.

Speaking about the association, BOP Group Managing Director Amit Mavi said, “Badminton has brought huge laurels for India in the past. The IBL has the potential to recapture the interest of the masses through achievements of stars like Saina Nehwal, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and others.”

IBL kicks off on August 14 and will run for 18 days. Six franchises will host a two-day leg and the league will showcase a grand total of 90 matches.

The top four franchises will clash in the semifinals and the winners will meet in the final on August 31 in Mumbai.

Speaking on the association, Ashish Chadha, CEO, Sporty Solutionz, said, “I am delighted to cement IBL’s association with the BOP Group and congratulate them for bagging the Bangalore franchise. BOP has some fantastic plans to promote badminton in India and I’m confident the Group will usher in a new era for the sport with this historic tie-up.”

Badminton Association of India, President, Akhilesh Das Gupta said, “Bangalore is one of the hotbeds for nurturing badminton and it surely deserves a great franchise. BOP Group’s association with the IBL will go a long way in promoting the sport and inspiring millions of youngsters to take up the sport.”

Developers’ reluctance with SEZs

Posted on by Track2Realty

SEZ, Track2Infra, Indian Infrastructure News, Aviation. Ports & Shipping, Railways, Highways, Urban Development, Telecom, Power, Coal, Energry, Cement, Steel, Water, Finance, Resources, Roads, Rural Development, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Infra Project, Regulation, FDI, Ravi Sinha, Track2MediaTrack2Realty Exclusive: A recent commerce ministry discussion paper highlighted that there is a perception that many developers do not set up the proposed SEZ and continue to hold on to large parcels of land with the intention of benefiting from its alternative usage and land price escalation.

The commerce ministry paper on SEZs points out other flaws. For instance, a major proportion of SEZs is concentrated in six states-Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu-and account for 92 per cent of total exports. Also the SEZs are located around urban centres.

Then, there also seems to be a lack of coordination between the centre and the states-the latter can evolve their SEZ policies within the broad framework laid down by the centre. Many developers complain they get tax breaks and concessions from the centre but not from the states.

“SEZ has become a dirty word. Governments do not see any political returns in pushing them and companies thus do not get much political support,” says Aradhna Aggarwal, economist at National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

While the minister says if there are delays beyond permission, actions are taken, the fact of the matter is that the developers are increasingly approaching the government either seeking more time for implementation of their projects or to surrender their projects.

11 companies, including Posco-India, Raheja SEZ, Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and Enfield Exports have sought more time from the government for implementing their projects. Besides, five SEZ promoters including Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), wants to surrender their projects. The developers have cited global slowdown, imposition of minimum alternate tax and lack of response from infrastructure developers as major reasons for surrendering projects.

“Now, the developer has requested for de-notification of the SEZ on the following grounds-that due to implementation of proposed DTC and global slowdown it is not possible to develop SEZ …,” MIDC has said in its application. The developer has proposed to set up a multi-product SEZ in Amravati.

Next: Special Economic Zones or Land Zones

India’s tryst with SEZs fails to address core issues

Posted on by Track2Realty

SEZ, Track2Infra, Indian Infrastructure News, Aviation. Ports & Shipping, Railways, Highways, Urban Development, Telecom, Power, Coal, Energry, Cement, Steel, Water, Finance, Resources, Roads, Rural Development, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Infra Project, Regulation, FDI, Ravi Sinha, Track2MediaTrack2Realty Exclusive: The remarkable difference in export performance of China vis-à-vis India over the last two decades compelled India to look at its northern neighbour for successful strategies. One of the key strategies leading to the Chinese success was setting up of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) since 1980. SEZs became the drivers of China’s massive export surge and today, the 5 major Chinese SEZs account for a cumulative FDI of approx. $70 billion, generate 20 per cent of China’s total exports and provide direct employment to over 8 million people.

India’s tryst with SEZs, following trial and error with Export Processing Zones (EPZs) since 1965, much before the advent of SEZs in China still faces teething problems. Track2Realty investigates India’s tryst with Chinese model that left many core issues unaddressed.

What does SEZ stand for in the Indian context? The answer depends on which side of the table one stands and right from Special Economic Zone meant to promote exports to plain real estate opportunities and money laundering to tax benefits; it has meant different things to different stake holders.

The policy ambiguity has not helped the cause either and many seem to believe just by getting into the SEZ project would mean bypassing all other laws of the land governing the real estate, taxation and exports. Hence, even after seven years post the SEZ Act, 2005, only one-fourth of 587 SEZs approved by the government to boost exports has become operational.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has admitted in the Rajya Sabha early 2012 that the government had approved 587 SEZs, of which 380 have been notified. The number of operational SEZs is 154 25.43 per cent of the approved special zones. The number has gone up to only 160 by the end of 2012.

“SEZs account for 25 per cent of India’s export earnings,” Sharma said, adding SEZs were set up to encourage investment and exports. The total value of concessions available in SEZs was Rs 8,614 crore while those in non-SEZ areas was about Rs 50,000 crore, he said.

Already an investment of Rs 2,31,159 crore has been made in SEZ projects since the SEZ Act came into force in February 2006. In the last three years, more than a quarter of the country’s exports have come from SEZs. Exports from SEZs rose from Rs 22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs. 3,64,478 crore in 2011-12. They also provide direct employment to over 8,15,000 persons (as of September 2011) and about 680,000 jobs have been created since 2006. Apart from the foreign exchange earnings, SEZs have also created a significant local area impact in terms of indirect employment and, changes in consumption pattern.

Next: Statistics misleading with India’s SEZs

ASSOCHAM objects to high handed proposed powers of realty regulators

Posted on by Track2Realty

SEZ, Track2Infra, Indian Infrastructure News, Aviation. Ports & Shipping, Railways, Highways, Urban Development, Telecom, Power, Coal, Energry, Cement, Steel, Water, Finance, Resources, Roads, Rural Development, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Infra Project, Regulation, FDI, Ravi Sinha, Track2MediaTrack2Realty:  A reported provision in the proposed law to regulate the real estate sector to send individual or an entity to jail for “misleading” advertisements would be quite a retrograde and adversarial step for investment in the realty sector as it would be open to misuse by a few corrupt officials, ASSOCHAM said on Friday, March 29.

Lodging a strong opposition to any such proposal, the ASSOCHAM said advertisements for all products and services are created on some aspirational attributes of the society and individuals….those aspirations as depicted in the advertisements can be real or can be purely “aspirational”.

“Any official, if he/she so feels and interprets it like that can call it misleading and book a criminal case against the company or an individual. That is not a correct, smart and fair way of regulating any sector,” the chamber said in a statement.

It said another reported provision would not even allow a developer to put up a picture, other than that of the project.

“This is a very peculiar and not a constructive idea… If a realty project has to be hard-sold and a happy family is shown in the ad insertion, nothing should be perceived as misleading in it. The entire marketing of a large number of products is based on aspirations of consumers. How do you sell houses and commercial space only by showing the projects when they are in construction stage? Should the developers show only the concrete and iron and the labour  on the site.” ASSOCHAM said.

Yet another provision reportedly would require the realty companies to maintain separate bank accounts for each of their projects so that no perceived diversion of funds takes place from one project to the other.

“This is totally unworkable. A large sized company would work simultaneously half-a dozen projects. You would ask them to open that many accounts and those many balance sheets and cash flows. Firstly, businesses are not done like that. You cannot have companies within companies, and secondly, this would push the establishment costs… have those many accounts and finance personnel. It will be quite a messy situation”, the Chamber Secretary General D.S. Rawat said.

It said the realty sector, as it is, is going through the most difficult times. The banks are not willing to finance the builders and developers, they are also reluctant to finance the dwelling units to the end-users as several banks, particularly the PSU banks, follow some rigid models. High interest rates are doing an equal damage to the sector.

The result is heavy inventory and problems of cash flows in the industry which is known to be one of the largest employment creators. Contrary to other perceptions, the construction and the real estate sector is very inclusive in nature as an increased activity leads to higher wages for labour, leaves more purchasing power in their hand and overall societal welfare.

Besides, it meets the housing shortages. “The proposed law to set up a regulator with vast powers along with the Land Acquisition Bill which makes land acquisition very difficult and expensive for the realty sector will together choke this industry, which in the recent past has seen a large number of players leading to intense competition which ultimately helps the end-users.

Besides, the developers are helping the country urbanise fast, the most important aspect of the Indian model of growth.

“We need fast urbanisation as the agriculture and the rural areas would not be able to support the job requirements. The realty firms are not only now concentrated in the big four or six cities, but also in smaller cities, and towns creating more and more economic hubs in the hinterland. Today malls are not limited to only Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai but a large number of tier two cities like Indore, Patna, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Madurai, Coimbatore etc. are witnessing a lot of organised retail like malls and multiplexes…this is really good for the big cities as the population load gets dispersed,” it said.

The ASSOCHAM would urge the government to come out with pragmatic bill and the industry is all for a regulator which would be good for the end-user and fair to the developers of the realty sector.

More than that, the industry would also urge the government to facilitate at the state government levels liberal construction rules so that the requirements of increasing population can be accommodated since the land resource is scarce.

11 developers seek more time for SEZ projects, 5 to surrender

Posted on by Track2Realty

SEZ, Track2Infra, Indian Infrastructure News, Aviation. Ports & Shipping, Railways, Highways, Urban Development, Telecom, Power, Coal, Energry, Cement, Steel, Water, Finance, Resources, Roads, Rural Development, Policy Advocacy, Activism, Infra Project, Regulation, FDI, Ravi Sinha, Track2Media  Track2Infra-Agencies: Reflecting developers’ waning interest in Special Economic Zones, 11 companies, including Posco-India and Raheja SEZ, have sought more time from the government for implementing their projects.

Besides, five special economic zone (SEZ) promoters including Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), wants to surrender their projects.

The Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary S R Rao, will take decision on these requests in the forthcoming meeting scheduled on November 23, an official said.

The BoA is a 19-member inter-ministerial body that deals with Special Economic Zone (SEZ) related matters.

The developers have cited global slowdown, imposition of minimum alternate tax and lack of response from infrastructure developers as major reasons for surrendering projects.

“Now, the developer has requested for de-notification of the SEZ on the following grounds – that due to implementation of proposed DTC and global slowdown it is not possible to develop SEZ …,” MIDC has said in its application. The developer has proposed to set up a multi-product SEZ in Amravati.

According to an industry expert, uncertainty over tax exemptions for new SEZs has also led to decline in interest in tax-free enclaves. Investors are very apprehensive about the new draft Direct Taxes Code (DTC).

According to the revised DTC draft, which will replace the Income Tax Act of 1961, tax exemptions for SEZs will be confined to existing units. The developers who have sought more time to implement their projects include Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and Enfield Exports.

Under the SEZ Act, SEZ units get 100 per cent tax exemption on profits earned for the first five years, a 50 per cent exemption for the next five years and another 50 per cent exemption on re-invested profits in the following five years.

SEZ developers, on the other hand, get 100 per cent tax exemption on profits for 10 years, which they can choose to invoke within the first 15 years of operation.

Merchandise exports from the 160 operational SEZs in the country totalled Rs 2.39 lakh crore in the April-September period, an increase of 36 per cent vis-a-vis the same period last year.