Budget 2020: Govt proposes allocation of Rs 4,400cr for clean air in FY21, to incentivise states | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Budget 2020: Govt proposes allocation of Rs 4,400cr for clean air in FY21, to incentivise states – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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Budget 2020: Govt proposes allocation of Rs 4,400cr for clean air in FY21, to incentivise states

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New Delhi, Feb 1: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, citing pollution as a matter of concern, said the government proposes to encourage states that are formulating and implementing plans for ensuring cleaner air in cities with a population of one million. The Union Budget allocated Rs 4,400 crore for National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) for the year 2020-21.

Detailing the plans for environment and climate change in the Budget 2020 speech, Sitharaman said, “In large cities having population above one million, polluted air is a matter of concern… Parameters for the incentives would be notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change. Allocation for this purpose is 4400 crore for 2020-2021.”

Emphasizing the Prime Minister’s international initiative – Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) with its Secretariat in Delhi, 2019 and International Solar Alliance, 2015, Sitharaman said this will help strengthen global partnership to address a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as also it aims for Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction. “It will enhance climate change adaptation with a focus on disaster resilient infrastructure”, she said.

She also added India submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution, under the Paris Agreement in 2015 on a “best effort” basis, bearing in mind the development imperative of the country. “Its implementation effectively begins on January 1, 2021. Our commitments stand as action will be executed in various sectors by the Departments/Ministries concerned through the normal budgeting process”, she said further.

According to India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the energy intensity is targeted to decline by 33 to 35 percent by 2030, in comparison with 2005, in addition with 40 percent of power from non-fossil sources.

The FM also said the government will advise utilities to close down thermal power plants if their emission is above prescribed norms under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). “There are yet, thermal power plants that are old and their carbon emission levels are high. For such power plants, we propose that utilities running them would be advised to close them, if their emission is above the pre-set norms. The land so vacated can be put to alternative use.” Sitharaman said.

The government had directed all the thermal power plants to install Flue Gas Desulphurization (FDG), which reduces emissions of sulphur dioxide in phases. By December 2022, all the 440 coal-fired plans that produce 166.5 GW have to comply with the regulation. The FM also proposed to provide about Rs 22,000 crore to power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21.

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Economic recovery to take at least 2-3 quarters: PE funds

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New Delhi, April 6: The situation during the ongoing COVID-19 will be grim and the recovery thereafter will also take time as private equity experts fear that more people will die from hunger than pandemic in India most people under estimating the gravity and period of impact, which at the very least will take two to three quarters.

At a private equity webinar, Shailendra Singh, Managing Director at Sequoia Capital flagged that fear that more people will die from hunger than pandemic in India.

He added that most people are under estimating gravity and the period of impact, which will be the at the very least two to three quarters.

Singh said they are asking every portfolio co to re validate the 5 critical assumptions their business hinges on. “You will be surprised that how many of them have actually changed/ could change in long run (Zivame),” he added. They have also advised companies to look at adjacent markets or alternative business models.

Singh said that economic Recovery will not start before Q3/Q4 of this financial year. Most countries will move manufacturing towards domestic markets especially in healthcare & R&D and reliance on China will go down.

Anuj Ranjan of Brookfield said that cycles are inevitable, it will come back but will take time. After 9/11, no-one thought they would ever get on a plane again. But they did and it was much stronger than before, but in 22 months. Air travel started but the security changed forever.

Ranjan added that the government right now is like an ICU doctor – keeping the economy (patient) in induced coma, till cure is found (vaccine — 2 years)

In terms of private equity it will be a will be a flight back to US and North America. Since valuations will come off significantly, PE will be less inclined to take emerging market/currency risks, when returns are good there.

Hospitality will come back, but will take time. Real estate investors will find good deals in six months and the wedding season will drive this.

Ranjan said retail will be badly hit and Brookfield expects significant bankruptcies in SME retail/mom & pop/restaurants as 6 weeks of no revenue will bankrupt them.

Consumption will come back, but in six months or more. This event has given a big push to the existing trend to e-commerce. Some malls in US died, but many are flourishing – the ones that have turned to experience centres, he added.

Kunal Shroff of Chryscapital said that risk has increased through the roof. The new deals are on hold or slow. All exits are delayed, private equity funds are focussing on portfolios just now to preserve liquidity, draw cash lines, no capex and extend the cash burn.


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52% CEOs expect job losses post lockdown: CII Survey

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New Delhi, April 5 : Around 52 per cent of top corporate bosses in India anticipate that job losses will occur after the nation-wide lockdown is lifted, according to a CII CEO Snap Poll.

The survey found that 46 per cent of the CEOs do not expect job cuts while the rest 2 per cent are not sure.

“About 52 per cent of the CEOs anticipate job losses in their respective sectors post lockdown. 47 per cent of the firms expect upto 15 per cent job losses and another 32 per cent expected 15 to 30 per cent job losses,” said the CII survey.

The survey, conducted electronically, saw a cross-country participation of close to 200 CEOs across sectors.

Further, the survey found that much of the inventory of companies is lying idle.

“About 64 per cent (inventory) is expected to be cleared in less than 30 days. However, demand will not hold good for the next 30 days and beyond,” it said.

Also, most of the firms expect revenues to fall more than 10 per cent and profits to decline more than 5 per cent in the fourth quarter of FY2019-20 and the first quarter of FY2020-21.

The CII Poll also shows that access to manpower and movement of products are the major constraints in essentials manufacture, transport and distribution.

Commenting on the survey, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said: “The government could announce a fiscal stimulus package for the industry and implement it on fast track mode, given that the sudden imposition of the lockdown has significantly impacted industry operations and the uncertainty of a recovery threatens substantial loss of livelihoods going forward.”

Industry players and chambers have raised concerns of the economic impact of the current crisis and also sought a stimulus package from the government.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has assured that the government is working on a package for the industry and would announce its soon. She is also heading the Covid-19 economic response task force.

On March 26, Sitharaman announced an economic relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor and migrant workers under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme.

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Air India operates international charter, cargo flights

Besides, the flag carrier on Saturday commenced the first cargo flight between Shanghai and Delhi.

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New Delhi, April 4 : National passenger carrier Air India on Saturday mobilised massive resources to operate international charter and cargo flights.

Accordingly, the airline repatriated stranded foreigners from India and also brought back critical medical cargo from Shanghai.

“All these flights are being operated adhering to all safety protocols laid down by the DGCA,” the airline said in a statement.

The airline is scheduled to operate 18 charter flights to fly back German, French, Irish and Canadian nationals stranded in India amid the nationwide lockdown, as requested by their respected embassies.

“While the Germans and French will be flown to Frankfurt and Paris, the other two nationalities will be taken to Heathrow in London from where Canada and Ireland (governments) would be making further travel arrangements for them,” the statement said.

“These chartered flights started from March 31 with German nationals flying to Frankfurt. Earlier, AI had ferried Israeli nationals to Tel Aviv as well in a chartered flight,” it added.

On Saturday, flights to London and Paris were being operated.

Besides, the flag carrier on Saturday commenced the first cargo flight between Shanghai and Delhi.

“A charter cargo flight was also operated between Delhi and Shanghai today to fly in vital medical cargo from China to India,” the statement said.

“Air India is also scheduled to operate some more cargo flights between Delhi and Shanghai till April 9. These flights will bring critical medical equipment to India,” it added.

The airline will also be operating cargo flights to Hong Kong.

On the domestic front, the Air India Group has been transporting essential cargo throughout the country. The airline has operated 79 cargo flights between March 26 and April 3.

The flights, being operated regularly between the metro hubs — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai — to the remote destinations of northeast and other far-flung areas of the country, are carrying medical equipment and other essential items.

Furthermore, the airline has been instrumental in rescuing stranded Indians, mainly students and pilgrims, from China, Japan and Europe.

Lauding Air India’s continued efforts in repatriating stranded foreigners, Amber Dubey, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Civil Aviation, said in a recent LinkedIn post: “Heard from a senior Air India pilot who commanded the special flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt today that every ATC they crossed said ‘Really proud of u guys’.”

“This was a special Air India flight that flew out stranded European and Canadian citizens from Mumbai. All crew members including the pilots wore the mandatory Covid-19 coveralls for over 20 hours at a stretch (to/fro and ground time at Frankfurt). They will now remain in self-quarantine for 14 days,” he added.

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