Friday, May 28, 2010

Punjab launches online facility for issue of national truck permits

Punjab, on Wednesday became the first state in the country to go online with the issue of  national permits for trucks and other heavy vehicles.

In a move which would cut down all paperwork and hassles generally associated with the process, Dy. CM Sukhbir Singh Badal handed over permits to truck operators within minutes of their filing applications in Patiala.

In a statement to the press, Badal stressed on the reasoning behind this progressive move. He said, "Punjabi transporters are the backbone of the country’s transport system and it was the primary duty of the government to solve their problems on priority. I am myself from a family of transporters and can understand the problems faced by transport operators."

Badal also criticized the cumbersome and costly process in place currently, for the procurement of national permits with transporters being forced to shell out Rs.3,000 per state every year for the permit.

He also emphasized how the new system would help operators by saying,"A meagre cost of Rs.15,000 will give freedom to the truck operators to operate their trucks from Kashmir to Kanyakumari without any additional tax."

On this occasion, he also launched a SMS service for truck operators. This 24x7 service would help truck operators to prove the authenticity of their permits to state police department who may have detained them illegally. A simple SMS by the operator will elicit an immediate reply from the Punjab transport department, confirming the authenticity of the truck permit.

Image Courtesy- Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, May 27, 2010

NHAI awards highway projects worth 7500 crores

An amount of Rupees 7500 Cr. for construction of roads spanning 817 kms has been sanctioned by the NHAI for 8 projects. The total number of projects sanctioned by the NHAI, including these newly sanctioned ones has jumped to 59 since January 2010.
Of the eight projects awarded, five are on BoT (build operate transfer) - toll basis while the remaining are on
BoT -annuity basis. Both are models of public-private partnership in highway construction.

What is BoT Toll basis?
In this model, the developer earns ROI (Return On Investment) through toll revenue over the period of construction.

What is BoT Annuity basis?
In this model, the developer gets a pre fixed sum from the government, which retains the right to levy toll..
The projects awarded include six laning of the Delhi-Agra section with an investment of Rs 1,928 Cr. The concession period for the project is 26 years.
The other major project is the Nagpur-Saonar- Betul requiring an investment of around 2500 crore. This project has been bagged by the Orientel Construction Engineering on an annuity basis.

In case of two of the eight projects recently bid out, the developers have demanded government grant close to the upper cap of 40%.

Speaking about the awarding of the projects a NHAI official at a senior positon said “The tendering process gathered steam in the fourth quarter of 2009-10. The first two months of the current financial year has seen a sustained awarding of the contracts. By March, about 38 projects were awarded and in April this year, we cleared 13 projects.”

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ministry releases infrastructure performance report card

The infrastructure sectors including roads, railways, shipping and ports fared badly in the fiscal period of April 2009 to March 2010 in the appraissal report released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

The NHAI managed to complete construction of only 2,674 km of highways of the targeted 3,165km. Moreover it managed to spend only 18.340 crores, a shortfall of 39% of the actual targeted expenditure.

Meanwhile the railways had a shortfall of 2.01 million tonnes of its freight traffic.Power generation was 771.55 billion units, a shortage of 2.3% than the overall target.Production target of natural gas was 8.8% lower while it was 11.4% for crude oil.

The only plus point which the report showed was that the performance was much better than that of the previous fiscal.

Image courtesy- Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New National Permit to allow trucks nationwide access for Rs.15000 PA

In what is great news for the trucking industry, a new regime permitting goods carriers access to the whole country on a single permit came in force this Sunday after hectic negotiations between the transporters and the government.

This new composite fee regime for a national permit allows trucks access to all states for an yearly payment of Rs.15,000. The regime, earlier scheduled to be implemented from May 1, was delayed by a week due to some issues raised by a few states.However, the decision to implement the regime from Sunday was finally taken in a meeting between principal secretaries and transport commissioners of states and union territories on Saturday.

Under the new scheme, states will issue a single national permit for Rs.15,000 per truck annually, helping operators save around Rs.10,000. Currently, a trucker pays Rs.20,000 and gets access to his home state and three neighbouring states. For accessing each additional state, the transporter has to pay another Rs.5,000.

All India Motor Transport Congress president G.R. Shanmugappa called the new regime as a historic achievement,said it will make road transport across the country unified. "This is the most cherished gift to this industry as India has now become one union in road transport like the railways," he said.

Shanmugappa also added that the "government has assured that other issues like toll and abolition of anti-dumping duty on tyres will also be sorted out in a time-bound manner".

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

M&M Automotive sales grow 13 percent

Riding on the great response to its products like the Xylo, Gio and Maxximo, M&M has registered a growth in sales of 11 percent for the month of April over last year’s figures. The automotive business has been extremely profitable for the company over the past few months in the domestic circuit, and with its entry into the truck space, in collaboration with American truck maker Navistar Inc.,it is set to grow even further.

The company posted its domestic sales figures at 25037 units, as against 22617 units in April 2009, translating to a growth of 11% in the Indian market. Exports are up too, growing by a whopping 121% in the month of April. 

With increased production capacity at its new plant in Chakan, with an installed production capacity for 300,000 vehicles including 50,000 trucks, Mahindra looks poised for a quantum leap in the automotive sector.