INFRASTRUCTURE
$ 200 million ADB loan for urban infrastructure

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $ 200 million loan to India under the urban and environment infrastructure project. 

Shri Ajay S. Guha, Project implementation officer (India) told reporters on the sidelines of the infranet-99 organised by CII that the loan was approved by the ADB Board at Manila on December 17, for water, sewage and road and transport infrastructure development. 

He said that out of the total loan amount of $ 200 million, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) would get $ 90 million, ICICI $ 80 million and Infrastrucure Development Finance Company (IDFC) $ 30 million. 

Shri Guha said that with this $ 200 million loan, the total loan given by ADB to India this year has touched $ 625 million. The other loans given this year include $ 250 million loan to Andhra Pradesh Rural Development Programme and $ 75 million for Karnataka Development Programme. 

Plan panel for creation of Rs.3,000 crore fund for power sector

The Planning Commission has asked the government to create a Rs.3,000 crore accelerated power development programme (APDP) fund to assist states take up various reforms in the power sector including renovation and modernisation plans. 

In a note to finance minister, Shri Yashwant Sinha, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, Shri K.C. Pant said a special and dedicated fund for APDP should be created which should come as a part of the budget speech for the year 2000-2001. 

"This programme would provide assistance to those states which are willing to commit themselves to undertake an agreed set of reforms like renovation and modernisation of generating stations and upgradation of distribution systems", the note said. 

Power, fuel get bulk of FDI in `90s

Power sector has emerged as the single largest recepient of foreign investment with the amount of approved FDI crossing Rs.31,700 crore during August 1991 to October 1999 period. The fuels Sector, which includes power and oil refinery sectors accounted for over 30 per cent of the total FDI during 1991-1999 period. Total approved FDI in the fuels sector was to the tune of Rs.63,271 crore with the oil refinery sector receiving FDI approvals worth Rs.18,917 crore. 

The second largest recipient was the telecommunications sector with approved amount crossing Rs.36,100 crore at 17.6 per cent of the total approved FDI. 

IREDA's Financial assistance scheme

As per the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) Indian solar energy potential is estimated at 20 mw/sq.meter. Under its financial assistance scheme entrepreneurs desirous of setting up projects in the wind energy, small hydro, bio energy, solar pholovoltaics, energy efficiency and conservation can avail of loan assistance upto 90% of project cost from IREDA at interest rates ranging from 0% to 15% per annum. The maxium repayment period is upto ten years with moratorium period upto 3 years. In the case of solar thermal energy projects loan assistance is provided upto 85% of the cost at interest rates ranging from 2.5% to 8.3% per annum. Maximum repayment period including moratorium of two years is upto ten years. 

TRAI reconstituted

The government on January 28, appointed former SBI Chairman, Shri M.S. Verma as chairperson of the new Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. 

The reconstituted Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will also include present Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Shri Ravi Kant and former member (Production) Telecom Commision Shri R.R.N. Prasad as full time 
members. 

In addition, the new regulatory body has Director General (DG) National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) Shri Rakesh Mohan and special secretary ministry of Information Technology (MIT) Dr. N. Seshagiri as part time members. Shri Seshagiri is also the DG of the National Informatics Centre (NIC). 

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