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January 13th, 2012, 10:54 AM
Summit helps Andhra Pradesh get image makeover
At the Partnership Summit, A. Shekar Agarwal, the MD of a textile firm from Gujarat, said, “The summit has come as an image makeover for AP, which had been lagging behind Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu for the past few years. The political stability and peaceful atmosphere being witnessed now in AP will encourage investors nationally and internationally to look towards AP.”
There had been no attempts to hold the Partnership Summit during the five-year YSR regime and the state government had started thinking about organising the event after Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy took over as Chief Minister in December 2010. Since it could not be held last year due to the Telangana agitations, 2012 became the first year the Summit was being organised by a Congress government.
The MoUs signed on Thursday were with GMR Holding Pvt. Ltd. for Rs 30,000 crore, the BR Shetty Group for another Rs 30,000 crore, three MoUs with the Yash Birla Group for Rs 5,000 crore and with Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) for Rs 5,000 crore. The state has also signed up with several others companies on the opening day.
The MoU with GMR Holding Pvt. Ltd., proposes to set up a refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex at Kakinada with an investment of Rs 30,000 crore. GMR Infrastructure Ltd. will invest an additional Rs 3,000 crore in the project, which is expected to provide direct employment to 4,000 people in the multi-product SEZ.
The BR Shetty Group, meanwhile, has proposed to invest Rs 30,000 crore to set up a petroleum refinery at the PCPIR region in Visakhapatnam. The project is expected to employ 3,000 persons.
The Yash Birla Group signed three MoUs — to set up an advanced solar photo-voltaic unit with an investment of Rs 2,200 crore; an integrated education, employment, technology, infrastructure and industry development zone with an investment of Rs 2,000 crore; and to establish a global integrated Ayurveda complex with an investment of `704 crore. The group has offered to provide employment to about 52,000 people.
The last MoU was inked with GAIL, which has proposed to establish a Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas terminal in the Krishna-Godavari basin with an investment of `5,000 crore.
January 13th, 2012, 10:57 AM
State invites Adani group to set up porthttp://www.deccanchronicle.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/article_horizontal/article-images/kir1.jpg.crop_display.jpg
With the state government inviting the Adani Group to set up a major multi-utility port on the coast, the top brass of the group will meet Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and explain their investment plans for the state.
Adani had once tried its best to lay hands on Machilipatnam port and had offered to set up the facility anywhere on the east coast. The company has a large presence in Gujarat and other northern states.
The previous government, apparently under the influence of the existing port operators, had cold-shouldered Adani.
With the change of guard and a recent decision of the Chief Minister to open up the coast for more ports, the proposal was revived.
“We will follow all the due procedures once Adani comes up with a concrete proposal,” a source said.
Another major corporate house, Anil Ambani-owned Reliance, is also likely to ink a pact with the state government for an LNG terminal in Kakinada. This comes close on the heels of the state-GAIL joint venture for the LNG terminal, for which an MoU was signed on Thursday.
Reliance has already roped in the oil major Shell as a partner and will set up the facility with an estimated investment of `3,000 crore. Besides catering to its own power generating unit in Samalkot, Reliance will explore the gas market in the State, according to company sources.
January 13th, 2012, 11:02 AM
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy presents a memento to GMR group chairman G.M. Rao (left) and business chairman Kiran Grandhi (2nd from left) after signing an MoU with the government, during the 18th edition of the Partnership Summit 2012, which was inaugurated in Hyderabad on Thursday. Industries minister J. Geeta Reddy is also seen — Giri
Summit gives Andhra Pradesh big boost
With Memoranda of Understanding for investments worth Rs 1 lakh-crore signed on the first day of the Partnership Summit here, the Kiran Kumar Reddy government sent a clear signal on Thursday that the worst was behind for Andhra Pradesh.
The government signed six major MoUs with GMR, GAIL, the BR Shetty Group and Yash Birla Group and the amount of investment is set to increase with many more to be signed on the remaining two days of the Summit.
After nine years, the government managed to successfully organise the Partnership Summit in the state and the mood at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) on Thursday was that thi-ngs were looking up after two dismal years marred with political instability.
With the Summit cancelled in the last two years due to turmoil over Telangana, this is the first time that the Congress government managed to hold a Partnership Summit; the last one was during Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu’s regime in 2003 when it had been a yearly affair (from 2001 to 2003).
The general consensus on Day 1 seemed to be that if the government’s aim had been to restore the confidence of investors and entrepreneurs by conducting the Partnership Summit, then it had succeeded.
“The issue is not about the investment proposals that came or the total amount of investment promised at the Summit. Hosting the Summit successfully after a gap of nine years itself is a big achievement in the backdrop of political disturbances and agitations in the state during the last two years,” said Mr Yash Birla, chairman of Yash Birla Group, which has inked MoUs to invest nearly 5,000 crore in the state.
Mr A. Shekar Agarwal, managing director of a textile firm from Gujarat, added, “The success of the Partnership Summit has boosted the image of Andhra Pradesh.”
January 13th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Rishad in Hyderabad, meeting India’s Anand Sharma & UAE’s Lubna tomorrow for bilateral sessions
Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka (left), Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India (centre), and H.H. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade (right)
Sri Lanka will be holding two fresh bilateral trade sessions tomorrow in Hyderabad-one with India and the other with the United Arab Emirates. The talks will be held at Andra Pradesh’ Hyderabad International Convention Centre, in Hyderabad. Minister Bathiudeen is currently in Hyderabad as a member of the Sri Lankan delegation for the “New Age Innovation Partnership” themed Partnership Summit 2012, held in Hyderabad, Andra Pradesh, India which ends on 13 January.
Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka will lead Sri Lanka team on both meetings. In these negotiations, Minister Bathiudeen will hold discussions with Anand Sharma, Indian Minister of Commerce & Industry (for India), followed by H.H. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade (for UAE), in separate afternoon sessions on 12 January.
“The latest rounds of talks are aimed at trade promotion between Sri Lanka and these two countries” said P.D. Fernando, Director General of Commerce of Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka. Minister Bathiudeen is also expected to extend the official Sri Lankan invitation for ‘Sri Lanka Expo 2012’ to India, during the meeting with his Indian counterpart.
According to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the organisers of the Partnership Summit 2012, its sessions will focus on tourism and investment opportunities in the state of Andra Pradesh, along with high-level business networking among the participating countries. About 1500 delegates from 30 countries will take part in this three-day partnership summit at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Among the participating countries are Bangladesh, China, the Czech Republic, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Turkey, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Mali. Minister Bathiudeen will also be addressing the Thursday 12 inaugural session of the Partnership Summit at 10.30am, Hyderabad local time.
The total India-Sri Lanka trade crossed the $ 4 Bn mark last year, from $ 656 Mn in 2000, thus recording a six fold increase. India, which ranked as the 16th largest buyer of Sri Lanka in the year 2000, emerged as the 3rd largest buyer of Sri Lankan products in 2003 and continues to do so. The trade balance is in favour of India.
Sri Lanka and UAE held a round of bilateral discussions on 23 November 2011 in Colombo amidst renewed trade ties between both countries. The 23 November talks were led by Minster Bathiudeen for Sri Lanka Her Highness Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade for United Arab Emirates.
During the bilateral talks, Sri Lanka also officially extended its invitation to UAE for the forthcoming Expo 2012 mega promotion show to be held in Colombo. UAE is the largest investor in Sri Lanka from the Gulf economies, having invested nearly $ 100 million and also UAE has been ranked as the third largest investor in Sri Lanka in 2010. Among the leading UAE investment groups in Sri Lanka are Al Futaim and Al Ghurair groups.
- Asiann Tribune -
January 13th, 2012, 12:12 PM
AP to offer online approvals for companies
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
Andhra Pradesh will be launching a Government-to-businesses portal soon to facilitate online processing of corporate clearances.
"This will be the first of its kind in the country which will remove the human interface in processing of applications for corporates," the Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, said while addressing the delegates on the CII Partnership Summit 2012 here on Friday.
The portal will act as a 'one-stop shop’ for approvals right from the inception of the company. All licences and renewals would be handled though the portal.
"Except environmental clearance, which is given by the Government of India, all other approvals can be obtained online,’’ Mr Reddy said.
The portal, being set up with assistance from Government of India, will be operational in three months.
January 13th, 2012, 06:14 PM
Jhon, great updates. :cheers:
January 13th, 2012, 06:58 PM
As govt. of India is building eastern and western corridors they should also build a North-South corridor complete with a new high speed fright corridor + green fields airports + 6 lane roads + power plants + new industrial cities along with the route.
January 14th, 2012, 08:45 AM
Mantris sulk over Geeta show
HYDERABAD: The three-day Partnership Summit ended on Friday with at least 10 ministers in the Kiran Kumar Reddy government making public their displeasure at being sidelined at the event. The summit was projected as bringing Andhra Pradesh back on the global investment map, but actually ended up as a poorly organized one with not many takers.
The Partnership Summit was jointly hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the department of industrial policy and promotion of the government of India with the AP government playing the host. "I agree that it could have been done in a better manner, but it was not in our hands," was all CII AP Council chairman Jay Galla could say.
Leading the pack of the disgruntled lot was textiles minister P Shankar Rao. "I hold so many portfolios linking to industries which have generated 80% of the jobs, yet I was ignored. This way, the government cannot do justice to the people. All this is happening because of one minister who dominated the event," thundered Shankar Rao.
The textiles ministers was allegedly referring to major industries minister J Geeta Reddy. Along with Shankar Rao, a few other ministers like E Pratap Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah and Vatti Vasant Kumar had expressed displeasure at the way they were being sidelined. "It is natural that a minister expects proper treatment on occasions like this," said Ponnala. To make amends, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday had ensured that all of them are seated on the dais next to him during the networking session, but Shankar Rao chose to register his protest by sitting with the audience instead of the stage where a chair with his nameplate in front was kept. Meanwhile, finance minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy and Vatti Vasant Kumar were seen pulling up some CII officials for the shoddy treatment meted out to them.
On her part, Geeta Reddy said she deserved all the attention that she has been getting both on Thursday as well as on Friday. "I am the best performer and I am entitled to hog the limelight. If people are jealous of me, let them be. I am a woman who stole the thunder. What is their problem?,"she told TOI.
Ponnala was reportedly at the receiving end of the chief minister as there were hardly any IT companies that chose to take part in the summit. There were hardly any IT firms that figured in the MOUs that were signed on Friday, barring six small players including Lampex Electronics Ltd and Sify Technologies Ltd.
When asked about it, the IT minister refuted the allegations that he did not put in earnest efforts for the success of the summit. "I toured many cities in the US meeting bigwigs including AT&T, Cisco.
You must measure one's performance based on the results not the display. Some people are indulging in a show off and getting all the attention but I am not bothered," Ponnala said. He claimed that the investment flowing in to the IT sector was encouraging but that it was not included in the outcome of the summit.
But what stood out on Friday was the shoddy management of the event thanks to the lack of co-ordination between CII officials and AP government officials.
"In the past one week or so, the state government had taken the lead role in the organization of the summit resulting in confusion and communication problems as CII did not have complete control over the show," admitted a representative of the business body, whose officials were mostly seen wringing their hands in despair as the government officials rode roughshod over them.
If too much government interference spoiled what could have been a better managed show had it been left to CII, the fallout of the decision of the government not to rope in any independent consultants and professionals to advise and help organize the show was noticeable by the badly put up show, especially when the MoUs were being announced.
In fact, an official of a leading global consultancy firm participating in the show cribbed how they had offered to help the state government put the show together but were snubbed by the AP government which thought it could do a better job on their own.
"We had offered to organize the show but the penny wise, pound foolish AP government decided they would do a better job.
"Had we been part of the show, we would have gone about it in a scientific manner targeting the right kind of investors and the results would have been different," he said.
January 14th, 2012, 08:49 AM
AP receives 243 investment proposals at Partnership Summit
The Andhra Pradesh government has received 243 proposals involving an investment of Rs 6.47 lakh crore during the Partnership Summit-2012 that concluded here today. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said the projects are expected to create job opportunities for six lakh people. The investment proposals include Rs 1.25 lakh crore from the Public Sector Units," Reddy said at a press conference after the summit. "I will monitor the progress of these proposals every month and as I said the G2B portal (Government to Business) will be launched in the next three months through which a lot of hassles will be removed," Reddy said. The one-stop shop portal for businesses would be the first of its kind in India, and would become a role model in e-governance. He said that the government would give special packages with tax incentives, concessions in land cost and stamp duty to industries committing an investment of USD 50 million and above, and those that provide employment to over 2000 people. The Chie Minister said Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (Vizag Steel) is mulling to invest Rs 42,500 crore for its expansion plans and has requested for some iron ore mines which the Government may consider. Similarly, infrastructure major GVK Group signed an MOU with the State Government for power capacity addition of 6400 MW involving investment of Rs 40,000 crore. "There is no power shortage as of now. We have entered into new MoUs for 54,000 MW already for coal gas, hydro, wind and solar put together. There is 15,700 MW installed capacity. Peak demand is also 13,200 mw," Reddy explained. The state government has signed agreements with various power producers including NTPC, GVK Power and other State Government entities such as APGENCO and Singareni Collieries for setting up power projects involving an aggregate investment of Rs 2 lakh crore, a State Government official said. The two-day Summit drew as many as 1500 delegates from over 40 countries. Gita Irawan Wirjawan, Minister of Trade, Indonesia, Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister for Foreign Trade, UAE, Senator Mark Warner, Senate India Caucus, USA, Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister, Singapore were among those attended the Summit. The two-day Partnership Summit was jointly organised by the Union Commerce Ministry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Andhra Pradesh government.
January 14th, 2012, 08:51 AM
Andhra Pradesh inks MoUs for Rs.6.5 lakh cr investment
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh garnered investment proposals worth about Rs.6.50 lakh crore during the Partnership Summit 2012 which concluded here Friday, signalling that the state was a safe business destination after two dismal years wracked by political instability.
"I am sure all the doubts in the minds of investors with regard to the recent happenings have been cleared," said Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
He told reporters that the government signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with about 250 companies during the summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
The investments came as a big boost for the state as they came after months of protests over the demand for a separate Telangana state and political wrangled within the ruling Congress party. The government managed to successfully organise the summit after nine years.
Reddy said the state received 243 proposals for investment of Rs.647,832 crore, which is expected to generate employment for 678,597 people.
The chief minister also announced that for every major project, an escort officer would be appointed to ensure hassle free clearances.
"I will be monitoring the progress of the projects every month," he said.
He said the state would launch a portal in three months to enable businessmen to submit online their investment proposals.
On the last day of the summit, he handed over sanction letters to 23 companies, whose proposals for investment of Rs.71,859 crore were cleared last month.
The investment proposals include those involving foreign direct investment (FDI) of about Rs.100,000 crore.
The investment also includes Rs.125,696 crore by central and state public sector undertakings.
Among the major proposals by PSUs are expansion of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant with Rs.42,500 crore investment by the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), 9,760 MW power projects by APGENCO at a cost of Rs.51,211 crore and Rs.5,000 crore Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG) terminal by Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).
National Thermal Power Corporation ( NTPC) will set up 4000 MW thermal power project with an investment of Rs.20,000 crore in Visakhapatnam district.
Of total investment proposals, those that pertain to energy sector involve investments of Rs.295,508 crore, industrial sector Rs.223,064 crore, infrastructure Rs.33,300 crore, information technology Rs.22,400 crore and tourism Rs.1,700 crore.
Among the major private players, GVK Energy Ventures will invest Rs.40,000 crore in four projects to produce 6,400 MW.
Al-Qabela Al Watya of Kuwait will develop Rs.40,000 crore refinery in Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) near Visakhapatnam.
Infrastructure major GMR Holdings Private Limited will invest Rs.30,000 crore to develop a refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex in PCPIR at Kakinada and another Rs.3,000 crore for an integrated industrial township over 10,500 acre near Kakinada.
B.R. Shetty Group will set up a Rs.30,000 crore refinery cum petrochemical complex in PCPIR at Visakhapatnam.
Yash Birla Group will invest Rs.22,000 crore to set up advanced solar photovoltaic manufacturing project in Kurnool district. It will also develop Rs.704 crore global integrated ayurveda complex and Rs.2,000 crore sports city near Hyderabad.
Ramky Group signed a MoU to invest Rs.7,751 crore in mega multi product industrial park in Nalgonda district.
VBC Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited proposes to set up urea fertilizer plant in Krishna district with an investment of Rs.7,578 crore while Oswal Chemical and Fertilisers Ltd plans to build urea plant in the same district at a cost of Rs.7,000 crore. NSL Group signed an agreement to establish Rs.5,500 crore urea and complex fertiliser manufacturing plant.
ITC proposes to set up mega pulp and paper project in Khammam district with Rs.6,000 crore investment.
Adani Group plans to develop non-major all weather port with an investment of Rs.5,000 crore.
The chief minister said with the MoUs signed during the summit, the state would add 54,000 MW of power, through coal, gas, hydro, wind and solar projects.
Vish Wind Infrastructure Ltd, Suzlon Energy Ltd and Mytrah Energy (India) Ltd will together be making an investment of over Rs.50,000 crore in three different wind power projects.
Ten other companies will be investing anywhere between Rs.5,500 crore and Rs.10,000 crore to set up coal or gas based projects.
"It is only a matter of time before the state becomes power surplus," Reddy said, denying that there is any power shortage.
January 14th, 2012, 08:54 AM
Andhra Pradesh does a Gujarat with Rs6.5 lakh crore MoUs
The Andhra Pradesh government signed 243 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) promising a total investment of about Rs6.48 lakh crore in the state during the three-day CII Partnership Summit 2012, which concluded on Friday.
Though a toned down version of similar partnership events —- the Vibrant Gujarat 2011, for example, had generated about Rs20.83 lakh crore investment proposals for Gujarat —- the conversion rate of the MoUs signed at this event would be much higher, claim industry officials.
“We are expecting a conversion rate of about 50%, implying that at least half of the promised investment would actually take shape in due course,” B V R Mohan Reddy, former chairman of CII Southern Region and CMD of Infotech Enterprises, said.
There was some criticism that the state government had included some older proposals, which would have anyway come to the state, to boost the numbers.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, however, said proposals to the extent of Rs75,000 crore were already in process and were included in the list of investment proposals since the approvals for those projects were given on the occasion of the summit.
“We are going to appoint escort officers for each of the proposals and pursue them aggressively. I will be personally monitoring the progress of these proposals once in every month,” said Reddy.
Public sector units have pitched in with proposals totalling Rs125,696 crore, led by Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, which plans to invest Rs42,500 crore for expanding capacities at the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.
Among others, Bharat Dynamics has committed to invest about Rs2,000 crore for setting up four units in the state, while Electronics Corporation of India has signed for an investment of Rs1,000 crore.
Midhani, GAIL, Kribhco, Singareni Collieries, Power Grid and two of AP’s power utilities have signed MoUs for bringing in the rest of the public sector investment.
The industrial sector, including manufacturing and services, has pledged to invest Rs208,064.94 crore, while the power sector alone brought in proposals worth Rs2,95,508 crore. IT projects worth Rs2,402.73 crore also figure in the list proposals.
Infrastructure project proposals total Rs33,300 crore, while tourism has brought in Rs1,700 crore.
Meanwhile, chief minister Reddy has said that Andhra Pradesh has been awarded the country’s first government to business (G2B) project by the Centre. Under this, a portal would be developed in the next three months for the businesses to file applications for various clearances.
“The portal would help in filing all the applications within the state government’s purview. However, some of the central issues like environment clearances will have to be sought separately. This portal would be a one-stop shop for investors,” he said.
January 14th, 2012, 08:57 AM
Rs 6 lakh crore deals in Kiran Kumar Reddy's kitty
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy hands over the sanction letter for the Krishnapatnam Power Project to Gayatri Projects MD T.V. Sandeep Reddy (left) during the Partnership Summit 2012 in Hyderabad on Friday as state industries minister J. Geetha Reddy looks on — DC
The state government has signed 243 Memoranda of Understanding that will bring in investment of Rs 6,78,597 crore, during the two-day Partnership Summit 2012, which concluded at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) here on Friday.
The MoUs will create direct employment for 6,78,597 persons.
Another major achievement of the summit was the keen interest expres-sed by the government of Kuwait in investing in the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Industrial Region.
Kuwait’s Ambassador to India, Mr Samie Mohammad Al-Suleiman, met Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and discussed investments in petrol and petrochemical projects besides gas distribution. He was leading a business delegation to the Partnership Summit 2012.
The Kuwait government is looking at the G2G (government to government) model. “I told the ambassador ‘You are most welcome’,” said a visibly joyous Chief Minister.
Buoyed by the success of the state in attracting huge investments, the Chief Minister, in an excl-usive talk with this newspaper, said he would str-ive hard to translate these proposals into reality.
“We have firmed up projects with investment of Rs 2 lakh-crore and they will materialise in a year or so. There are no second thoughts about it,” the Chief Minister said firmly. “I will personally monitor the progress every month.”
January 14th, 2012, 08:59 AM
Slew of MoUs brings cheer to State
DEAL STRUCK: A.P. Choudhary, chairman and MD of VSP with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and Ministers Ponnala Lakshmaiah and J. Geeta Reddy in Hyderabad on Friday.
A slew of MoUs, some old ones dusted up and showcased for the occasion, a few others signed with companies of unknown reputation and, many more just proposals, have bloated the figure of investments promised at the CII's Partnership Summit to a staggering Rs.6.47 lakh crore.
This was the buzz among delegates on the concluding day of the two-day summit here on Friday. The number of investors and the quantum of investments was changing so rapidly that one of the organisers asked all those investing over Rs.5,000 crore to stand on one side of the dais. A delegate remarked about the changing figure: it was like an auto-rickshaw meter where the fare keeps shooting up.
A big question at the Summit that begged an answer was: how many of these MOUs, expressions of interest and proposals would transform into actual projects and investments. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had a ready reply. “We will pursue them by appointing escort officers,” he said.
In spite of much scepticism, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy has a lot to cheer about, for a variety of reasons. Just three months ago, when the State was in turmoil over separate Telangana, hosting such a summit itself was unthinkable.
“You must also appreciate that ‘Advantage Karnataka' or ‘Vibrant Gujarat' were State-specific summits aimed at wooing investors, whereas the Partnership Summit was global in character,” said Jay Galla, CII's AP Chapter chairman.
“Hyderabad is back (into reckoning),” said Minister for Major Industries J. Geeta Reddy. She justified her optimism by claiming these proposals had come without the government extending invitations to individual industrialists and businessmen. “We inserted advertisements in national dailies and that did the trick,” added Minister for Information Technology Ponnala Lakshmaiah.
Admitting that many MoUs indeed related to projects already tied up in the run-up to the Partnership Summit, the Chief Minister said that the investments worth Rs.1.25 lakh crore proposed by public sector units should not be lost sight of.
All these numbers did not detract from the fact that A.P. had failed to attract the automobile sector, more so after the Volkswagen fiasco, or from its woes on the power front, which should normally deter entrepreneurs from coming to the State.
Confronted about these realities, the Chief Minister replied stoically that the State had certain disadvantages compared to others where there was a thriving component manufacturing sector. On the power front, he made the rather surprising claim that A.P. would become surplus in five years when the present installed capacity of 15,700 would almost double by 2017.
But he placed a rider by saying the goal would be achieved only if hassles relating to land and environment are overcome
January 14th, 2012, 09:03 AM
Be more honest with us, Kiran tells industry
An official of the Industries Department arranges a heap of MoUs awaiting to be executed at the CII-Partnership Summit 2012 in Hyderabad on Friday
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has criticised a section of industrialists for securing terms of investments including incentives offered by the Andhra Pradesh government and using them as tools to bargain with other States for more concessions.
“It is unfortunate that our terms are used by industrialists to bargain with other States. The practice is unethical and incorrect. We want the industry to be more honest with us,” the Chief Minister said.
He was addressing special plenary organised to promote the State as an investment destination as part of the two-day Partnership Summit 2012 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry which concluded on Friday. Mr. Reddy advised industrialists to hold discussions with the government on their requirements and seek concessions, if any.
“You ask for it. We will give. But hold negotiations with the government on your requests,” he emphatically said. The State received 243 investment proposals, valued at Rs. 6.47 lakh crore and an employment potential of 6.5 lakh in the form of memoranda of understanding and expression of interest including the ones cleared by the State Investment Promotion Board in the past few months.
Public sector undertakings took a lions' share of Rs. 1.25 lakh crore in the total proposals including Rs. 42,500 crore investment plans by the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant in two to three years.
As of now, 22 out of the 25 projects involving an investment of Rs. 23,000 crore approved by the SIPB in February last were grounded and the government was pursuing the progress of 24 more projects with an estimated Rs. 75,000 crore investments cleared by the SIPB last month.
“The government will pursue the matter as how to go ahead with the proposals is what really matters,” he said.
NO POWER SHORTAGE
The Chief Minister said there was no power shortage as of now as the government had tied up for 2,000 MW in the medium term under Case-1 bidding.
While the installed capacity in the State was 15,700 MW, efforts were underway to add 22,000 MW more by 2017 under public sector.
There were, however, problems to meet the peak demand of 13,200 MW owing to shortage of gas and absence of hydel generation besides outage of some units for overhaul.
The private sector was setting up units with an estimated generation capacity of 15,000 MW for which land acquisition and process for obtaining clearances were underway.
Replying to queries, Mr. Reddy said the government would shortly announce a new land policy that would be effective for all the upcoming units.
The new policy was under discussion in public domain as the consultation with political parties was completed. “Once this is through, we will enact legislation,” he said adding the government opted consent award mode for acquisition to ensure that losers were paid generously.
January 14th, 2012, 09:05 AM
Centre picks Andhra Pradesh for G2B
The Centre has picked Andhra Pradesh as a model state to implement the first-ever e-initiative for hassle-free clearances for industrial and infrastructure projects.
Announcing this at the special plenary session on Andhra Pradesh at the Partnership Summit 2012, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said that the G2B (government to business) portal would be launched within three months.
He said the online single window clearance would help clear projects speedily. Industrialists need not run around government offices and the interface with government serva-nts will be removed. “We will make the best use of the project,” he said, and thanked Union IT minister of state Jyotiraditya Scindia for choosing AP for the pilot project.
The CM said the state’s recent efforts to remove the interface between officials and citizens through the ‘Mee Seva’ impressed the Centre and it agreed to allot the G2B project to the state.
January 14th, 2012, 12:20 PM
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh State Minorities Finance Cooperation (APSMFC) has started disbursing central government scholarships to post matriculation students from minority communities, corporation managing director Mohammed Ilyas Rizwi said on Friday.
He said that over 20,000 post matriculate minority students (Intermediate to Phd) have been eligible for the scholarship during the academic year 2011-12. The amount that will be distributed among them is Rs 17 crore. The central government has allocated Rs 380 crore for scholarships of which the state receives only 4.5 percent. The money sanctioned will be used for paying the fee of the students. Besides this, a cash amount of Rs 1,400 will also be deposited in accounts of each student. The fee compensation given to the educational institutions on behalf of each student will vary depending on the course, but the upper limit is Rs 25,000.
Rizvi said that the disbursement of scholarships for pre-matriculation students will start soon. "We will receive funds for pre-matriculation scholarships from the central government by next week. There are 1.2 lakh eligible school students. A total of Rs 19 crore will be given to us for this purpose," he said. Rizvi also said that the corporation will start disbursing the state government scholarships by February.
"The registration for the state government scholarship program will close by January 15. After the processing work at our end, which will take about two weeks, we will start disbursing that amount to both the students and the colleges," he said.
January 14th, 2012, 11:46 PM
GAIL India on Friday said its subsidiary GAIL Gas has signed an agreement to set up a Rs 5,000 crore liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility around Kakinada or Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
"GAIL Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GAIL India, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of Andhra Pradesh" for setting up the import facility, the company said in a press statement.
The MoU was signed by GAIL Gas CEO J Wason and Andhra Pradesh Principal Secretary (Investment and Infrastructure) S Bhattacharya.
"The Floating Storage and Re-gasification Unit (FSRU)/ Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal of 3.5 to 5 million tonnes per annum will be set up around Kakinada/Vishakapatnam and is likely to be the first such facility on the east coast of the country with an estimated investment of Rs 5,000 crore," the statement said.
The proposed facility would supply regassified-LNG, a preferred feedstock for power, industrial and other sectors to meet the growing needs of the state.
Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Co (APGDC), a joint venture of GAIL Gas and APGIC will execute the project with the support of GAIL and work will be completed by 2012-13.
"The company is in the process of finalising an upstream partner for project execution and LNG supplies to the proposed terminal," it said.
As per the MoU, the Andhra Pradesh government will facilitate GAIL Gas/APGDC to obtain necessary permissions, registrations, approvals, clearances, etc from the concerned departments to set up the project.
January 16th, 2012, 12:13 AM
Lepakshi Knowledge Hub (LKH), set up to promote industry clusters in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh will set up Hitech Electronic City in its premises.
According to its managing director S Balaji, the project will come up in about 2,650 acre within the 10,000 acre of the LKH. The project will be taken up in a joint venture with the Vittal Innovation City (VIC) and Global Emerging Markets (GEM).
The electronic hub, which will put India along the select countries that have global hi-tech innovation ecosystems, is expected to attract investments of more than Rs 11,000 crore and create employment for 75,000 in five to ten years.
GEM, a $3.4 billion alternative investment group headquartered in Geneva, will bring in the investments for the project while VIC, led by N Vittal, former secretary, union electronics and telecommunications ministry, has prepared the concept master plan and will develop the project along with the LKH.
The concept proposes a green ecosystem that includes knowledge-based services, manufacturing, research and development and incubation activities inspired by technology hubs like the Silicon Valley in the US, Hsinchu in Taiwan and Tsukuba in Japan.
“The Hi-tech Electronic City project will provide an opportunity for India to leapfrog in electronics and IT hardware manufacturing on the lines similar as IT sector,” said Balaji adding that this would be positioned into a special category for electronics. This would be in line with the focus of the Government of India to create electronics clusters in India for national competitiveness in this area.
Apart from the Electronic City, LKH will house several industry clusters that include aerospace and defence, education and innovation, agribusiness, healthcare, science and technology, media and entertainment and logistics.
“Various clusters are in different stages of progress and will be ready in five to ten years as projected,” he said.
LKH when completed will make it the largest multi industry cluster system in the country. In the next years, it is expected to bring in investments to the tune of $4 billion and create employment opportunities to 1.5 lakh people directly and to another 3,00,000 indirectly.
January 16th, 2012, 03:25 PM
^^ i hope this project gets done ..coz it will really help in providing employment to local ppl.....
January 16th, 2012, 04:03 PM
^^ i hope this project gets done ..coz it will really help in providing employment to local ppl.....
Yes, we're counting in lakhs of jobs :)
January 16th, 2012, 11:16 PM
HYDERABAD, JAN. 16:
The diversified Adani Group has zeroed in on Andhra Pradesh to set up a deep-water port with a proposed investment of $1 billion, as part of its plans to touch a cargo handling capacity of 200 million tonnes (mt) by 2015.
The Group currently operates three ports at Mundra, Dahej and Hazira, besides the one in Mormugao, with a total handling capacity of 160 mt.
The Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Government during the just concluded three-day CII Partnership Summit 2012. It is yet to finalise a location for the port, but is targeting wrapping up the project within three years from the date of award.
IN OTHER STATES
Apart from Andhra Pradesh, Adani is also looking at setting up similar port projects in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Odisha.
In Odisha, the company is in the advanced stages of negotiation to set up a port in Paradip, at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore.
NAVAYUGA GROUP PLANS
Port projects were in focus during the summit, with the Navayuga Group, which operates a port in Krishnapatnam, proposing to set up another multi-purpose port at Machilipatnam in Krishna district to handle containers, bulk and general cargo.
The company has proposed to set up a 30-mt facility in the first phase at a cost of Rs 5,575 crore.
“The construction is expected to commence in 2012 and would be completed by 2015,” a senior official of the company said.
KRISHNAPATNAM PORT EXPANSION
Besides, it is also expanding its existing port in Krishnapatnam by adding a container terminal with a capacity of 3.3 million TEUs.
The facility will have a dry dock and fitting-out berths for super capesize vessels.
For Krishnapatnam port, coal and iron ore are its major cargoes — it has five multi-purpose berths with a draft of about 15 m. The port is expected to see a greater rush of coal traffic, with a total of 14,000 MW of power projects coming up with a 10 km radius — these include Reliance's 4,000 MW unit and AP Genco's 1,600 MW plant. These projects alone will require over 60 mt of coal a year.
NSL, ESSAR GROUPS
Another proposal has been received by the State Government from the NSL Group and the Essar Group to set up a Rs 3,000-crore green field port at Kallingapatnam.
The summit saw GAIL sign a MoU with the State Government to set up a Rs 5,000-crore Regas-LNG terminal on the east coast, in view of the declining natural gas production from the KG Basin blocks.
January 16th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Hyderabad: The Chief Minister Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy today asked the officials to complete all the 252 projects under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) costing Rs.12,230 crs. right on schedule. Andhra Pradesh stands second highest in the country for getting maximum funds sanctioned under the JnNURM. The Chief Minister congratulated the MA&UD officials and asked them to complete the works with clear milestones.
Municipal Administration Minister Mr. M Maheedhar Reddy, MLAs Mr Malladi Vishnu, Mr Vijayakumar and Mr. Venkataramiah, Mayors of Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam Mr. Mohd. Majid Hussain and Mr. P Janardhan Rao, Principal Secretary, MA&UD, Mr Sam Bob, Commissioner, HMDA, Rajesh Tiwari, MD, APIIC, B R Meena, Principal Secretary, R&B, S P Singh, MD, APSRTC, Prasada Rao, Commissioner, GHMC, M T Krishna Babu, Commissioner, GVMC, B.Ramanjaneyulu, Commissioner, VMC, Ravi Babu and other officials attended the meeting.
Officials explained that out of 125 towns in the State, 89 are covered including the mission cities of Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati under the JnNURM. Out of the Rs.12,230 crs. total cost of the projects, Government of India share is Rs.6429 crs., A.P. Govt. share is Rs.1816 crs, Urban bodies/beneficiaries share is Rs.3984 crs. They said that out of the 252 projects, 78 are 75% completed, 50 are more than 50% completed, 31 are more than 25-50% completed and 17 projects less than 25% completed. Under housing, 1,79,217 houses are sanctioned, 1,10,251 are completed and 28,864 are at roof level. The steering committee meeting approved the revised Musi revitalisation project in GHMC due to addition of 2 rubber dams across Musi and Bridges across Hussainsagar Surplus Nala and Musi.
Revised Pilot Projects for construction of 544 houses and infrastructure in Paradesipalem and also construction of another Project of 2080 houses and infrastructure in Paradesipalem and construction of 3360 houses and infrastructure in Padepeta and Avilala-1 in Tirupati and one Project at Dall Mill area and another Project at NSC Bosenagar (subject to consent by beneficiaries) in Vijayawada. The Chief Minister also approved procurement of 125 additional buses to Hyderabad and 155 additional buses to Tirupati utilising the overall savings of Additional Central Assistance available to the State. It was also decided that the work of Project Management Consultancy Services for construction of Road over Bridge/Flyover including approaches on Calcutta Railway line at Railway Km 435/33-35 between Gunadala and Mustabad to be entrusted to the Railways by depositing the required funds. The officials informed that Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are the only two States selected for the Slum Free City Plan under the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). The meeting discussed various slum development projects being taken up by the GHMC, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada Municipal Corporations including the integrated development of various urban infrastructure projects at Surya Teja Nagar slum in GVMC under the Rajiv Awas Yojana.
January 16th, 2012, 11:22 PM
Hyderabad, Jan 16 (PTI) US-based Abound Solar, a top manufacturer of thin-film photovoltaic modules, and Solar Integration Systems India Pvt Ltd (Solarsis) today announced the commissioning of a 1 MW solar photovoltaic plant at Kadiri in Andhra Pradesh. The commissioning officially took place on January 14 and comes less than a year after the two companies announced a partnership targeting the fast-growing Indian solar market, according to a release said. The project in Ananthapur district was commissioned under the Rooftop and Other Small Solar Power Generation Plant (RPSSGP) scheme as part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). It is the first project in Andhra Pradesh to use Abound's Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin-film modules. The combination of Abound's low-cost modules, along with Solarsis' homegrown racking and mounting solution, cut down on overall balance-of-system (BoS) cost of the plant, the release said. "This plant will generate operational data on different technology performance in Indian weather conditions," Venkat Rajaraman, CEO of Solarsis, said. Craig Witsoe, President and CEO of Abound, said "India is a key market for Abound due to our US-made CdTe panel's excellent performance in India's climate." "We have a significant installed base in India and see this growing in 2012," he added.
January 16th, 2012, 11:29 PM
Mumbai: India's largest wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon Energy will develop 3,000 MW in Andra Pradesh by 2016 with a potential investment of Rs.18,000 crore. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government during last week's Partnership Summit 2012 in Hyderabad. Andra Pradesh is one of the fastest emerging wind energy destinations in the country.
As per the MoU, the state government will help Suzlon in obtaining mandatory permissions, registrations, approvals and clearances necessary for developing wind-based energy farms, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday. "Suzlon, in turn, will play the role of developer and facilitate the channelisation of investments into the state through its customers investing in wind energy," it said.
The MoU covers development of new capacity in wind farms across the state, with developments planned in the districts of Tallimadugula, Alankarayanipeta, Gandikota and other parts of Andra Pradesh.
January 16th, 2012, 11:30 PM
Japan has announced that it’s working closely with India on the proposed high-speed rail projects in the country. Railway sources say an in-depth discussion was held between Japanese Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Takeshi Maeda and Indian Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi. It’s understood that Trivedi says there’s an increasing demand for high-speed services in India due to its growing economy.
It’s believed that Maeda has pledged his government’s support and expressed an eagerness to work close with India, which has identified six corridors for a high-speed rail network in the country. The corridors, which were identified by Indian Railways, include – Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai; Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad; Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna; Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar; Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Trivandrum; and Howrah-Haldia
A delegation to India led by the Japanese minister included Railway Bureau senior deputy DG Akhihiko Tamura, East Japan Railway Company president Satoshi Seino, Kawasaki Heavy Industry chairman Tadaharu Ohashi and Japanese ambassador to India, Akitaka Saiki – as well as others. The External Trade Organisation and Oriental Consultancy in Japan, as well as Parsons Brinkhoff India, have sealed the contract for a pre-feasibility study to be conducted on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai corridor.
Indian Railways has already announced that it will set up a National High Speed Rail Authority (NHSRA), and an approval for the move is due to be put before the Union Cabinet this year. Meanwhile, Japan was set to make a detailed presentation on operating high-speed trains in New Delhi on Friday.
Both countries made efforts in the direction of a high-speed rail system last year. DG for International Affairs of Japan, Ryuhei Maeda, led a delegation to Delhi in October last year and held discussions with Trivedi and officers of the Railway Board. Later, some Indian Railways officers visited Japan to get a firsthand understanding of the Shikansen system.
High-speed rail isn’t the only thing Japan is interested about in India. Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi says that Japan has also shown an interest in the Indian highways sector with a proposal to carry out a project that will connect Bangalore and Chennai. After meeting Takeshi Maeda, Joshi said that Japanese companies are keen to take up the Bangalore-Chennai highway construction.
On behalf of its infrastructure businesses, Japan will be exploring several opportunities to construct the highway. Joshi says that he and his officials told the Japanese government that they have a very transparent system, in which they will need to enter a bidding process. If they are interested in government-to-government basis, they will have to have discussions at a higher level – between the two nations’ Prime Ministers. He added that Japan’s premier Yoshihiko and India’s premier Manmohan Singh met and discussed an interest in the transport sector.
January 17th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Jan 17 (Reuters) - New Silk Route Partners, an Asia-focused private equity fund, said on Tuesday it picked a significant minority stake in educational support services provider Varsity Education Management Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed sum.
The Hyderabad-based Varsity Education provides operational and support services to educational institutes across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu states of India, the fund said in a statement.
"Education is another great sector, if you are an investor and intending to capture India's growing consumer story," said Jacob Kurian, one of the partners of the fund.
Private equity funds invested have invested $10.58 billion of capital across 501 deals in 2011, up more than a fifth compared to $8.47 billion across 416 deals in 2010, according to data from industry tracker VCCircle.com.
The investment in Varsity would be New Silk Route's second investment in the educational sector. The fund, which manages more than $1.4 billion, has invested in the Lahore-headquartered Pakistani firm, Beaconhouse, one of the world's largest primary and secondary education chains, it said.
January 17th, 2012, 04:56 PM
NEW DELHI: The government today said it is examining proposals from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat for setting up major ports in these states and has also prepared plans of attracting Rs 2.76 lakh crore investment for augmenting existing port capacity by 2020.
"We have received three proposals from Andhra Pradesh and one each from Karnataka, Kerala and Gujarat for establishing major ports. Teams have been sent to examine the sites and a committee will soon come up with its report," Shipping Secretary K Mohandas told reporters while announcing the India Maritime Week.
Under its Maritime Agenda, unveiled in 2011, the Ministry has proposed setting up of major ports in the East and West coasts and all maritime states were asked to select sites for the same.
Mohandas said ports contributed significantly to the country's growth and the Ministry has made plans that envisages Rs 2.76 lakh crore investment in ports, a major chunk of which is expected from the private sector.
On award of projects under public-private-partnerships (PPP), Mohandas said of the "23 projects in basket this year under the mode, the Ministry is hopeful of awarding about 80 per cent by the fiscal-end."
The agreement for project at JNPT port is likely to be signed soon, while bid for developing terminal at Kandla has been opened and the Ministry is hopeful to award Chennai project this fiscal.
India has 12 major ports along its 7,517 kms of coastline, six each on the west and east coasts. Around 200 non-major ports transport about 90 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value India's international trade.
The Ministry plans to augment the capacities in all ports to 2.5 billion tonnes by 2016-17 and more than 3 billion tonnes by 2020.
Traffic handled at major ports during 2010-11 was 570.03 million tonnes and at non-major ports it was 314.78 million tonnes.
India Maritime Week which kicked off today is designed to showcase India as a global maritime hub and to assist efforts in evolving a cohesive approach in making India a top maritime nation.
January 17th, 2012, 05:35 PM
^^ thanks for update gudavalli
January 17th, 2012, 06:51 PM
you're welcome aniketh :)
January 18th, 2012, 10:59 AM
Since childhood, we have grown up hearing that prevention is better than cure. And the state of Andhra Pradesh is precisely using this adage to create a project that relies on the power of a simple SMS to proactively track and prevent diseases. Christened ‘Integrated Disease Surveillance,’ the project is being implemented by the National Informatics Center (NIC).
“Typically, the speed at which diseases can spread is much faster than the method or communication to prevent them. Hence, identifying diseases proactively is critical in preventing a disease from becoming an epidemic,” says K Rajasekhar, Senior Technical Director at NIC, Andhra Pradesh.
Capturing and relaying information in rural areas is a huge challenge due to lack of proper infrastructure. As mobile phones have been rapidly adopted and used in many parts of rural India, NIC decided to leverage this infrastructure, rather than create an infrastructure of its own.
Today, health workers in the field use mobile phones to relay information pertaining to any disease in their jurisdiction to a central server. The information on diseases and their impact is automatically marked on maps for health authorities to pinpoint the exact locations, where the disease outbreak is severe. This innovative project has helped in pooling data from multiple locations, and enables the state government to easily track disease outbreaks through maps.
“Instead of going through reams of paper, today top officials in the government can quickly detect and act on early warning signals of impending outbreaks by just looking at maps,” states Rajasekhar. It will also help officials in estimating the intensity of the disease outbreak, and deploying necessary resources accordingly.
The team at NIC, Andhra Pradesh, has built the system in such a way that once a disease crosses a certain threshold, an alert is immediately generated and sent to district officials through an SMS. This has enabled health officials to use mobile phones to immediately transmit data from the field; enabling data collectors to use this information effectively for taking quick decisions. Today, information can be instantly relayed compared to a delay of over a month earlier.
Rajasekhar gives the example of an incidence of Anthrax, which was detected in a district, with no prior history. Early detection of the virus helped in preventing an outbreak. Buoyed by the success of the solution, NIC, Andhra Pradesh, is in talks with other states, which have shown keen interest in deploying this solution. “We have our data centers in multiple states. With just a little bit of tweaking and customization, this solution can be quickly deployed,” states Rajasekhar. The same solution can also be used to track and monitor stock levels of life saving drugs.
As health is a sector which affects the entire population — from a new born to an old person, any efficiency that can be brought about due to information technology, can act as a catalyst to usher in huge benefits.
The SMS-based disease surveillance solution built by NIC is ideal for India as it overcomes the traditional problems of infrastructure with a low-cost option. In most rural areas, limited resources are available, and decision makers are based in urban areas. The usage of a low-cost mobile option is apt, as it allows information to be captured quickly in rural areas where infrastructure is characterized by high illiteracy levels and low PC and Internet penetration.
January 18th, 2012, 10:45 PM
A very good initiative by AP govt, hope other states also implements it very soon. Great work by NIC :applause:
Thank u Gudavalli garu for posting such a nice article
January 26th, 2012, 10:38 AM
World Bank delegation meets Andhra Pradesh CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy
Source: Orissa Diary (http://www.orissadiary.com/Shownews.asp?id=31608)
A delegation of the World Bank headed by Hubert Nove Josserand (Operations Adviser, World Bank, New Delhi) and Venu Rajamani (Joint Secretary DEA) met the Chief Minister Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy at the secretariat on Monday. The delegation includes Roland Lomme , Governance Adviser, Ms Rajni Khanna AP State Coordinator, Ms Preeti Kudesia, Senior Operations Officer, Arnab Bandyopadhyay and Ms Nupur Gupta, Senior Transport Specialists, Raghu Kesavan, Senior Urban Specialist, Ms Smita Misra and Deepak Ahluwalia, Senior Economist, Santhakumar Sundaram, Operations Officer and Ms Anshu Gupta Research Analyst.
During the discussion The Chief Minister sought the World Bank's assistance for the APRPRP Phase III, Tank Reliant Irrigated Area Development (TRIAD) project, AP Post Flood Project, AP MEPMA Project for support to Urban SHGs and Health Systems Strengthening Project. The Chief Minister informed the delegation that the Andhra Pradesh Government has initiated an innovative programme "Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu" for which the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is coming on 4th February to hand over one lakh appointment certificates on a single day. This programme has been envisaged to provide 15 lakh jobs in the private sector during the next three years.
The Chief Minister also informed that another major project "Hyderabad Metro Rail Project" which is the longest in the country with 72 kms is also being taken up. The Government of Andhra Pradesh is implementing six World Bank assisted projects with an outlay of Rs.11,230 Crores of which the World Bank share is Rs. 6613 Crores while the share of the Government of Andhra Pradesh is Rs.4,617 Crores. These include: AP Road Sector Project (APRSP) with an outlay of Rs.3,165 Crores of which the World Bank Share is Rs.1,568 Crores while the GoAP share is Rs.1,597Crores. The project envisages better quality and safe roads in sustainable manner. AP Municipal Development Project (APMDP) with an outlay of Rs.1,670 Crores of which the World Bank Share is Rs.1,431Crores while the GoAP share is Rs.238 Crores. The objectives of the project are providing drinking water, transport, solid waste management, sewerage and storm water drains and street lighting. AP Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Project (APRWSSP) with an outlay of Rs.864 Crores of which the World Bank Share is Rs.720 Crores while the GoAP share is Rs.144 Crores. The project is meant to provide Piped water supply for 20 lakh people in Vishakapatnam, Prakasam, Kadapa, Karimnagar, Mahaboobnagar, Adilabad districts. AP Water Sector Improvement Project (APWSIP) with an outlay of Rs.4,444, Crores of which the World Bank Share is Rs.2,025 Crores while the GoAP share is Rs.2,419 Crores. The project tends to improve Irrigation service delivery to increase productivity in Nagarjuna Sagar Scheme. AP Community Based Tank Management Project (APCBTMP) with an outlay of Rs.1,044 Crores of which the World Bank Share is Rs.835Crore while the GoAP share is Rs.208 Crores. The project aims at restoration of 3000 MI Tanks with 2.5 lakh Hectares in 21 districts.
The National Hydrology Project Phase-II with an outlay of Rs.42 Crores of which the World Bank Share is Rs.33Crores and the GoAP share is Rs.9 Crores. The objective of the project is to provide a Comprehensive Hydrological Information System (HIS). Referring to the past association of the state government with the World Bank the Chief Minster said that the government of AP has a long standing association of more than 20 years with the world bank. The world bank has funded various projects in Rural development, irrigation, infrastructure development, roads sector development under the R&B department, water supply, poverty alleviation and urban development. The state government has successfully implemented projects such as AP Power Restructuring Project, IIIrd AP Irrigation Project, AP Economic Restructuring Project, AP Community Forest Management Project, National Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme etc.
Total assistance received from the world bank is Rs.10696 Crores. The Chief Minister said that the state has gained immensely and has also provided best practice for emulation in the country and outside. The best example is the SHG model for empowerment of women.
February 7th, 2012, 11:50 PM
Hyderabad-based TajGVK Hotels and Resorts Limited (THRL), formed through an alliance between city-based GVK group and Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), is looking at opening hotels in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in Andhra Pradesh. “We are open to opportunities in districts and smaller cities like Rajahmundry, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. If we get any opportunity, we will expand our portfolio,” said G Indira K Reddy, Managing Director, TajGVK Hotels.
According to a report by Business Standard, the company is also looking at opening three-four Ginger hotels in Hyderabad. “The first Ginger hotel is under construction and will be launched this year. We expect to open another three-four Ginger hotels in the city,” Reddy stated. The company currently owns five properties in the state – Taj Krishna, Taj Banjara, Taj Deccan, Taj Falaknuma and Vivanta by Taj.
February 8th, 2012, 09:58 AM
February 8th, 2012, 10:00 PM
Infrastructure player Gammon India's subsidiary GIPL today said it has bagged a Rs 1,684 crore project from NHAI for widening Vijaywada-Gundugolanu section of National Highway in Andhra Pradesh.
"The company has received the letter of award for the six-laning of the Vijaywada-Gundugolanu section of NH 5 in the state of Andhra Pradesh from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on BOT (Toll) mode," Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd (GIPL) said in a statement.
The project cost as estimated by NHAI is Rs 1,684 crore, the company said, adding that the project will be built on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.
The company will pay a premium of Rs 57.57 crore per annum for the concession period, it said.
"The concession period of the project is 30 years including a construction period of 2.5 years," it added.
February 8th, 2012, 10:01 PM
Gujarat NRE Coke is hopeful that operations of its greenfield coke plant at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh will commence within a year.
The company has decided to set up a 1.5 million tonne per annum plant near Krishnapatnam port for meeting the requirements of southern and eastern parts of the country.
Land acquisition for the plant has been completed and the company completed the public hearing in respect of environmental clearances required for the project, according to Senior Executive Sutirtha Roy.
Mr. Roy said the plant was aimed at processing coking coal and raw material for metallurgical coke. It was planned to invest close to Rs.900 crore in the project, which would comprise washery required for value addition of met coke. The company was expanding its met coke capacity from 1.43 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes annually by 2015. Gujarat NRE, he said, was the only merchant coke producer in the country with adjacent coal washeries with an installed capacity of 2.4 million tonnes.
The company owned and operated two coking coal mines with estimated reserves of over 650 million tonne in Australia.
February 10th, 2012, 09:40 AM
HYDERABAD: The state government has requested a central help of Rs 3,006 crore towards drought relief as per the revised regulations, said Mr N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state Chief Minister.
While demanding liberal help, the Chief Minister has informed a nine-member Central team that the state would send revised request soon. The team had visited the affected districts and also met the Chief Minister and different government officials at the Secretariat.
He has also stated that the state government sought Rs 120 per quintal as bonus towards MSP for the foodgrains.
In detailed memorandum submitted to Centre on January 13, the state had requested for Central help from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) worth Rs 2,584.42 crore. In regard to the adverse seasonal conditions, 876 mandals (covering 22 out of 23 districts) have been announced since drought impacted by Centre.
Almost 51.53-lakh farmers have been affected in these mandals, consisting of 48.53 lakh small/marginal farmers out of the overall 100.56 lakh. The net production loss of agriculture crops is projected at 3.01-million tonnes worth Rs 5,746.78 crore.
The Central team, which had toured the districts, had warned that drinking water will be a problem mainly in the coming summer. Moreover, fodder and cattle camps will cause of concern.
February 12th, 2012, 11:04 AM
New Delhi: The USD 40-billion Indian petrochemicals industry is expected to grow at 12-15 percent annually over the next five years and generate millions of new jobs, says an Assocham study.
The sector, which employs more than 10 lakh people, would attract foreign funds as the global petrochemical industry moves eastwards - in Asia and the Middle East - with major hubs being set up in these regions, it said.
With sales of USD 2.5 trillion in 2010, the global petro-chem industry is moving eastwards which presents opportunity for India to attract investments in the sector, it added.
"This (movement) simultaneously represents a tremendous window of opportunity for Indian chemical and petrochemical industries," Assocham said in the study, Mark Up for Growth: PCPIR in Andhra Pradesh.
India can take advantage of this shift and attract large funds from investors keen to invest in the region near mega demand centres-India and China.
However, the Indian industry faces major competition from hubs in China, Singapore and the Middle East to grab a share of the investment pie. India needs to maintain certain levels of competitiveness and cost effectiveness to tackle this competition, it said.
The government, so far, has notified four petroleum, chemicals and petrochemical investment regions (PCPIRs) -Dahej in Gujarat, Haldia in West Bengal, Paradeep in Orissa and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
The proposal of the Tamil Nadu government for a PCPIR at Cuddalore is in the pipeline. Another project at Mangalore in Karnataka is at planning stage.
In Andhra Pradesh investment zone, major players like Hindustan Petroleum, LG Polymers, Coromandel Fertilisers, Andhra Petrochemicals, Godavari Fertilisers and Chemicals and Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals have shown interest to set up units.
Meanwhile, according to the global consultancy firm McKinsey, about one-third of the specialty chemicals business worldwide could move to Asia by 2020.
By 2020, approximately USD 350 billion of the projected USD 1 trillion global specialty chemical industry could move to Asia (excluding Japan), driven by downstream demand and competitive manufacturing costs, the firm had said.
February 12th, 2012, 11:31 AM
Hyderabad, Feb 12 (PTI) Buoyed by the success of a petrol pump run by reformed jail inmates, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to set up eight more such filling stations in different parts of the state. Located in the premises of Kadappa Central jail in the south-central part of Andhra Pradesh, Kadappa jail petrol pump is the only petrol station in the state which is run by prison inmates. The monthly turnover amounts to nearly Rs 1.8 crore which is the highest sale in comparison to all the 48 petrol stations in the district, said Sunil Kumar, Additional Inspector general of Prisons of the Andhra Pradesh Prisons Department. "Yesterday we had a turnover of Rs 6.18 lakh... Though this petrol station is four months old only, it has the highest sale in comparison to all the 48 petrol stations in Kadappa district. Since the turnover is huge it has been decided upon to set up similar petrol stations in the remaining eight central jails across the state," Kumar said. The petrol stations are likely to be set up in the districts including Hyderabad, Cherlapalli (R R District), Warangal, Rajahmundry, Adavivaram (Visakhapatnam District), Nellore among others. Kumar said it took them two years to convince Indian Oil Corporation to allow them establish a petrol pump in the jail premises. The Kadappa petrol pump is run by 21 inmates who have shown good conduct over a period of time and eligible for the semi-open jail facility. These inmates work on shift basis and earn Rs 70 per day. The petrol pump was started as part of the jail rehabilitation programme. Once they learn work here, they will be able to work in other petrol stations when released, he said. The success story of this petrol station has encouraged other states to replicate the same in their jails too, the senior police official said. "Gujarat jail authorities have asked us to share details as to how to establish a similar facility in their jails too," Kumar said.
February 12th, 2012, 11:34 AM
Jaypee Cement’s new 5Mta cement plant, situated in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, will commence next month, Business Line of India reports.
The new facility will cater mainly to the southern markets, Narayan Rao, senior general manager of the Jaypee Group said during a launch brand in the state.
The company is also planning to increase capacity of the Andhra Cement plant. “Over the next six months, the work to increase its capacity from existing 2Mt to 3Mt will commence,” Mr Rao said.
This would make Jaypee Group the largest cement producer in Andhra Pradesh with 8Mt capacity, he claimed.
February 15th, 2012, 08:29 PM
The Union government has reportedly identified three locations for setting up another Major Port in Andhra Pradesh, the state Minister for Ports and Infrastructure, Mr G. Srinivasa Rao, said.
He said Nakkapalli mandal in the district, Ramayapatnam in Prakasam district and another place in Nellore district were being considered for setting up the port.
Mr. Rao also said the proposed port would be the third in Visakhapatnam district, in addition to the already existing facilities in Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram.
The State Government would take steps to develop Kalingapatnam and Bhavanapadu as well and some companies such as Nuzvidu Seeds, Gangaram Port and Essar had evinced interest in taking up the projects. Bids will be invited for the projects.
February 16th, 2012, 01:39 PM
Beating the political blues, Andhra Pradesh has emerged as one of the leading investment destinations in the country.
Andhra Pradesh stood third in the country after Gujarat and Maharashtra in attracting investments in a wide range of sectors.
During 2011, the state attracted investment to the tune of Rs 12.09 lakh crore. The investment during 2010 stood at Rs 8.66 lakh crore, the state Minister for Major Industries J Geetha Reddy said.
“We have moved from the fifth to third position in the country as per the latest survey conducted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” the minister said.
The power sector attracted nearly one-third of the investment while the manufacturing sector accounted for 21.7 per cent of the inflow, followed by the services and irrigation sectors at 19.8 and 11.6 per cent respectively.
“Our industrial policy is the best in the country. It offers the best package of incentives for industrialists. We have a pro-active administration and a very conducive atmosphere for investments,” Reddy said.
The agriculture sector attracted Rs 1.40 lakh crore while the industry and the services sectors garnered Rs 8.2 lakh crore and Rs 2.39 lakh crore respectively.
The recent success of the CII Partnership Summit here in January has also played a substantial role in boosting investment in the state. Several MoUs were signed for projects involving investment of over Rs 6 lakh crore.
“AP would have topped the list of leading investment destinations in the country if the investment proposals signed in the Partnership Summit were included,” Reddy said.
February 17th, 2012, 02:00 AM
HYDERABAD, FEB. 16:
The Andhra Pradesh Budget for 2012-13 will be presented by the State Finance Minister, Mr Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, on Friday with all indications pointing towards a balanced approach for welfare and development as indicated during its preparation and deliberations with various departments.
The Budget will actually come up for presentation without even discussing the speech of the Governor, Mr E.S.L. Narasimhan, delivered on Monday, February 13. For the third consecutive day today, the State Assembly was adjourned without transacting any business. The tradition is to debate over the speech and adopt motion of thanks to Governor's address before the Budget presentation.
The Opposition parties, particularly the Telugu Desam and the Telangana Rastra Samithi, have moved motion of adjournment for discussion on the liquor syndicate and for passing of a resolution for a separate statehood of Telangana. Even the customary address by the Governor was disrupted and speech copies flung at the podium with opposition parties eventually staging a walk out.
While the House is expected to be convene at 9 a.m. on Friday, the budget presentation will be at about 12.10 p.m.
Earlier, during the third day after the commencement of the Budget session, the Opposition yet again raised their issues, shouted slogans, stormed the podium and blocked the proceedings. Repeated requests made by the Speaker, Mr Nadendla Manohar, seeking to restore order and assuring them of discussion about their issues later, were in vain.
At least two times, the House was adjourned due to noisy scenes and chaos. Eventually, the Speaker had to adjourn the House for the day as the opposition was keen that their issues be taken up keeping aside other official business.
February 17th, 2012, 08:58 AM
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh police are looking to buy laptops for setting up the much-needed accident tracking system which is vital for trauma response and have sought Rs 5 crore for purchases.
The move is necessitated by a deteriorating road safety record with nearly 15,000 people losing their lives in over 45,000 road accidents across the state in 2011.
State police requested the Union ministry for road transport and highways to fund the accident-tracking system project at a recent meeting with senior officials.
The plan is to procure either laptops or tablets for posting accident data online.
The AP Road Safety Authority (APRSA) officials said that the online Violation and Accident Tracking System (Vats) project has not taken off due to funding issues. State police require at least 150 gadgets to get going with the actual requirement tipped to exceed 2,000 instruments.
"Infosys, as part of its corporate social responsibility, has developed a software that alerts emergency services like ambulance, fire services and the department of transport about an accident.
"Although the software is available, there is nothing we can do to access the innovation without the required gadgets.
Ministry of road transport officials have promised to recommend to the Union government that AP be helped with the setting up of the system," APRSA in-charge and additional director general (provisions and logistics) T Krishna Prasad, told TOI.
Once Vats is in place, the official at an accident site can feed the necessary details needed for trauma analysis into a laptop.
"Presently, details from an accident are filed only after the officer gets back to the police station where the details may not always be accurately filled in," a senior police officer said.
Through Vats, information is posted online by the officer on duty as and when the accident takes place with the location of the accident accessible through Google Maps.
Police have identified 1,116 accident-prone zones in the state and these locations have been flagged on Google Maps.
Road transport ministry officials have been visiting different states to take study accident response and measures taken to reduce mishaps.
February 17th, 2012, 12:08 PM
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy Friday presented a tax-free, revenue-surplus budget for 2012-13 with an overall expenditure of over Rs.1.45 lakh crore.
He told the assembly during his budget speech that the overall expenditure during 2012-13 would be Rs.145,854 lakh crore, comprising Rs.91,824 crore under non-plan and Rs.54,030 crore under plan heads. Presenting his second budget, Ramnarayan Reddy said the fiscal deficit was estimated to be Rs.20,008 crore while the revenue surplus would be Rs.4,444 crore.
The minister announced that the government would continue welfare schemes like "Arogyasri", free electricity to farmers and Rs.1 a-kg rice to people below the poverty line. The budget has provided Rs.1,075 crore for interest-free loans to farmers and women's self-help groups. Under the Rajiv Vidya Mission, 15 lakh jobs will be created by 2014.
The government has increased the allocations for agriculture, irrigation, rural development, health and other sectors.
February 17th, 2012, 07:59 PM
Hyderabad, Feb 17 (PTI) Despite the slowdown in agriculture, the economy of Andhra Pradesh grew at an impressive growth rate of 8.33 per cent on the average, during the 11th Five Year Plan period, surpassing the country's GDP growth of 7.94 per cent for the same period. Despite a deficit rainfall and unfavourable seasonal conditions prevailed in the state, resulting in slowdown in the economy, especially in the agriculture sector, the state economy has grown at a decent pace during 2011-12, registering a growth of 6.81 per cent. The country's corresponding growth rate is 6.88 per cent, official sources said today. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) at current prices as per Advance Estimates for 2011-12 is Rs 6.76 lakh crore as against Rs 5.89 lakh crore during 2010-11, which is an increase of 14.82 per cent. The Per Capita Income of AP at current prices is estimated at Rs 71,540 for 2011-12 (advance estimates) registering a growth of 13.71 per cent over the previous year, while it is Rs 60,972 for All India with 14.3 per cent growth. In view of the decent overall growth performance during the 11th Plan (2007-12) period, the state government is targeting a growth rate of 10 per cent in the 12th Five Year Plan period, with respective sectoral targets as six per cent for agriculture, 10.5 per cent for industry and 11.5 per cent for services sector. The overall strategy would be to look beyond growth and focus on employment generation to the millions of youth in the state, the sources said. With an eye on the ambitious growth targets for the 12th Plan, the state government has identified nine departments agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, industries, IT and communications, tourism, minority welfare and youth welfare -- that would propel growth.
February 17th, 2012, 08:00 PM
HYDERABAD, FEB 17:
The Andhra Pradesh Budget for 2012-13 was up 14 per cent at Rs 1,45,854 crore with non-Plan allocation at Rs 91,824 crore, reflecting an increase of 13.89 per cent and Plan outlay at Rs 54,030 crore, up 13.61 per cent over the current financial year.
Describing the budget as development-oriented, the State Finance Minister, Mr Anam Ramnarayana Reddy, did not propose any hike in State taxes, while increasing the allocation to two pet schemes. The rice subsidy was up 20 per cent at Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 2,500 crore) and the power subsidy component was increased 28 per cent at Rs 5,500 crore (Rs 4,300 crore).
The increase in non-Plan outlay was up by nearly 14 per cent mainly due to transfer of some of the components such as salaries and pensions and also for creating flexibility for new job creation, Mr Reddy stated.
He said the AP economy was witnessing a strong growth phase since 2004-2005. Between 2005-2006 and 2011-12, the State economy registered a growth of 9.26 per cent against the country’s overall growth of 8.64 per cent. The Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for 2011-12 was lower now at 6.81 per cent, impacted by economic slowdown and agitations, against the national figure of 6.88 per cent.
The Government estimates a revenue surplus of Rs 4,444 crore and the fiscal deficit of Rs 20,008 crore, the latter at 2.5 per cent of GSDP. The overall State debt is likely to go up to Rs 1,60,191 crore during 2012-13 against Rs 1,39,668 crore this fiscal.
February 19th, 2012, 10:20 PM
With companies missing deadline for the National Solar Mission, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) has encashed bank guarantees of 14 project developers including Lanco, Aftab Solar, Amrit Engineering and Alex Solar. Of the 14 projects, Lanco is engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor in three.
The action follows with 14 project developers failing to meet the commissioning deadline under the first batch of phase I of the national solar mission. Besides, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, which is represented in a three-member committee probing the issue of floating of front companies, has simultaneously started gathering information on the status of companies accused for flouting the norms.
An NVVN official said that in terms of strict compliance of the guidelines bank guarantees of these developers have been encashed for not commissioning the projects by January 9 deadline. Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary in-charge of National Solar Mission in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has confirmed this. The amount encashed would be close to Rs 28 crore. The penalty for each project averages out to approximately Rs 2 crore.
An investigation by CSE revealed that the guidelines were circumvented by LANCO Infratech, the flagship of the LANCO Group. According to the investigation, Lanco Infratech floated front companies and grabbed nine projects worth 235 megawatt sanctioned during the first batch of the first phase
These projects are spread across the country -- Rajasthan, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Sources said that NVVN has relied on the commissioning reports furnished by the State Nodal Agencies.
After this initial warning, the developers have been given two months’ time to finish the project, and if they are unable to do so, this would entail further loss of bank guarantee – thereafter, three months’ time has been provided with penalties to complete the project, failing which the project would stand removed from the Mission. In effect, the total extension in this manner extends up to six months beyond the scheduled date.
NVVN, the power trading arm of NTPC, has been designated the nodal agency for sale and purchase of grid connected solar power under Phase-1 of the Mission. Under the first batch, 35 new projects were expected to generate 610 megawatt of solar power (140 megawatt of photovoltaic and 470 megawatt thermal) and grid connectivity was expected by January 2012. Generation from new photovoltaic projects were to commence from this January and thermal by May 2013. The government had recently formed the three-member committee to probe into the contravention of one project-one proponent norm in the Mission brought out by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) investigation. The committee would submit its report in a month’s time.
The first meeting of the committee took place on January 17 where CSE made a presentation.
February 21st, 2012, 09:47 PM
Sitting on arguably the world’s largest uranium reserves, Andhra Pradesh will soon join the uranium mining map, with work at Tummalapalle plant set to start in a couple of months. According to Mr N.M. Bahl, head of the Hyderabad office of Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), work is going on at a brisk pace at the uranium mining plant in Kadapa district. “We are planning to start mining operations by March-end or early April,” he said. “The plant will initially process about 3,000 tonnes of uranium ore. As it expands operation, capacity of another 1,500 tonnes will be added.”
With about 1.5 lakh tonnes in Tummapalle village alone, Andhra Pradesh has rich uranium reserves, and uranium has also been found at Lambapur-Peddagattu in Nalgonda district. While UCIL has proposed a mining plant at Lambapur-Peddagattu as well, the project is embroiled in controversy with strong opposition from green groups. When both mines operate in full swi-ng, experts say Andhra Pradesh will meet about 25 per cent of the country’s nuclear energy needs.
According to experts, Tummalapalle is the foremost uranium mine in the country after Jaduguda, Jharkhand. But with uranium reserves fast depleting at Jaduguda, the Department of Atomic Energy is concentrating on Andhra Pradesh for uranium ore. According to officials, the mine at Tummalapalle is ready for operation, with work on the processing plant set to be completed in the next few weeks.
Once the processing plant is ready, the plant at Tummalapalle will formally get underway, making it the only uranium-processing plant in South India. India plans to generate 20,000 MWe of nuclear energy in the next eight years to meet the ever-increasing power demand. Tummalapalle plant is specially designed, as conventional processing of leaching ore with sulfuric acid does not work well with uranium ore present in Kadapa district, says experts.
The ore at Tummalapalle being low grade, exte-nsive research has been done at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research and UCIL to tap it to the fullest.
February 23rd, 2012, 08:09 AM
HYDERABAD, FEB. 22:
SmartTrak Solar, a manufacturer of solar tracking systems, has announced that it has successfully installed their indigenously developed tracking system for a grid connected project located near Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.
It is in discussions with several other developers to deploy this technology solution for other projects.
“The SmartTrak systems help save on energy and thereby also on the overall cost of deployment for the developer. The savings could be as high as 25 per cent, when a solar tracking system is installed as opposed to fixed panel systems,” according to Mr Raghuram Kondubhatla, Managing Director of SmartTrak.
Addressing a press conference here along with Mr Bhagwan Reddy Gnanapa, Chief Executive Officer of SmartTrak, Mr Raghuram said they were in discussions with developers with total capacity of 20 MW for deployment of these solutions. The company had successfully deployed them and tested at Anantapur project for Solarsis and at Chaitanya Bharati Instutute of Technology.
The tracking system helps harness the full potential of solar power.
A cost analysis of a five MW solar PV unit with 80 lakh units of output requires about Rs 47.5 crore and a tracking system based solar PV plant can achieve this output by setting up a 4 MW plant with an outlay of Rs 38 crore.
The company is seeking to secure a patent for this, he said.
“The company believes that this tracking system can be used effectively even for smaller installation such as row housing and small townships.
By deploying these, a group of house owners could look beyond mere water heating as this also serves as a source of energy to manage basic lighting,” they said.
February 24th, 2012, 08:07 AM
NEW DELHI: NEW DELHI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has mounted pressure on the Centre to divert gas being supplied to non-priority sector from fields of state-run firms or their joint ventures to private power producers in the state.
State government sources told ToI that the chief minister has written to oil minister S Jaipal Reddy saying 1,000 mw generation capacity remains stranded in Andhra due to reduced gas supplies from Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) fields off the state's coast. This loss of generation would black out 29 lakh pump sets in the state that would be required to safeguard rabi crop.
The Centre's ministerial panel on distributing Reliance gas had earmarked supplies to the state's gas-fired units to operate at three quarters of their capacity but were now operating at only half their template, Reddy says.
While power production is suffering throughout the country Reddy adds, some 18mcmd (million cubic metres per day) of gas from fields operated by state-run ONGC and its joint ventures are still being supplied to non-core industries such as petrochemicals units and refineries.
Reddy says this quantity should be diverted for power generation and fertilizer plants. To bolster his argument, he points out that the Centre had snapped supplies to non-core industries as Reliance's output declined to around 38 mcmd from 60 mcmd.
It's the oil ministry and not the ministerial panel that distributes gas from fields which were given to ONGC or its JVs without bidding. This is commonly called APM or administered pricing mechanism, though the price is the same as supplies from Reliance - $4.20 per unit excluding taxes and other charges.
Reddy's stand would add weight to the demand of private power firms. Top promoters, including Reliance Power's Anil Ambani and Cyrus Mistry of the Tata Group, under the umbrella of Association of Power Producers on Wednesday had echoed the same demand during their meeting with PM's principal secretary Pulok Chatterjee.
The ministerial panel is likely to meet on Friday to consider changes in the natural gas allocation policy. The panel, which would meet for the first time in more than 18 months, is also to consider recommendations of a Planning Commission report, which suggests reserving or preferential allotment of domestic gas only to fertilizer and power plants.
February 24th, 2012, 07:05 PM
HYDERABAD, FEB. 24:
Customers in Andhra Pradesh can now use airtel money to make payments and transfer money across the country - at anytime, anywhere.
Commenting on the rollout, Mr Sharlin Thayil, CEO – Andhra Pradesh, Bharti Airtel, “Whether buying groceries, shopping in a mall or eating out with friends the facility will provide mobile-based wallet service that will give customers the ability to transact and transfer money at the press of a button”.
In Andhra Pradesh, Airtel has already established partnerships with over 760 merchants including, PVR, Universal Telecommunications India Pvt Ltd, Apollo Pharmacy, Hyderabad House, Big C, Ohris Hotels, to name a few who are now accepting payments via airtel money. Customers will be able to avail exclusive discounts and attractive offers at various merchant outlets in the market – and save money as they shop!
February 24th, 2012, 10:30 PM
HYDERABAD, FEB. 24:
In the wake of cyber hackers breaking into 21 State Government department sites recently, the Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to quickly put in place what it calls a high level “IT security policy’.
The Government has formed a committee with members from the Information Technology and Communications (IT&C) department, Nasscom, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Data Centre Operator (Wipro) and Security specialists from Cyber Security works.
The draft of the proposed policy will be available by March 10. It will be circulated to all the stakeholders, according to the State Minister for IT&C, Mr Ponnala Lakshmaiah. This was decided at a top level meeting on cyber security.
Wipro has also been asked to report unusual traffic hits on the Web, so that remedial steps can be initiated by IT&C department.
Just a day before the presentation of the annual State Budget on February 17, hackers had broken into 21 Government Web sites, including the Finance Department at AP State Data Centre. After a week, 15 Web sites have been restored, while some are under review and testing, the Minister said.
He claimed that the attack was not targeted and there was no financial loss. There was no impact on data pertaining to the State Budget, which was presented last Friday by the Finance Minister, Mr Anam Ramnarayan Reddy.
February 25th, 2012, 04:52 PM
HYDERABAD: Even as the commercial tax department officials are sweating it out to meet the revenue targets, the government is mulling constituting an expert committee to propose methods to plug the loopholes in the tax collection system in a bid to enhance revenue generation.
Experts from the Centre for Economics and Social studies (CESS), who are likely to lead the study, are seeing the need to overhaul the Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) that is apparently choking the inflow of revenue, while it is not all that taxpayer-friendly. "The revenue collections for the current fiscal year seem to be satisfactory as the targets are being achieved. But, it would yield much better results if the shortcomings in the system are rectified. One of the flawed areas is DRM," said N Sridevi, a fellow in CESS.
According to her, with rectified DRM, the commercial tax collection can be enhanced by at least 20%. While the commercial tax department could garner a revenue of Rs.30,000 crore during the last fiscal year, it is pegged at around Rs 36,000 crore this fiscal. But, experts in CESS said if the defective DRM system is rectified, the collection could be as much as Rs. 45,000 crore.
The CESS experts are understood to have brought this to the government's notice and the authorities have in turn asked them to form a committee to study the issue. The commercial tax department that comes under revenue ministry is now with chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and officials in the CMO said the CM was keen on implementing reforms.
"If plugging leakages in the revenue flow is one important issue, improving the efficiency of tax collection process is another issue on top of the agenda. We have taken note of the suggestions given by CESS and the proper procedure will be followed," said an official.
At present, DRM calls for a petition from an aggrieved taxpayer and the petition is heard by an additional commissioner (Legal) in the department, who is the first appellate authority. And the petitioner can appeal to Sales Tax Appellate Tribunal (STAT), headed by a retired judge, that is the next appellate authority against the decision of the first appellate authority and can finally move the high court. The problem, as Sridevi points out, is with the first appellate authority being a department man, as there is a possibility of him conniving with the taxpayer. As a result, the number of stay orders given by the first appellate authority in favour of the taxpayer is on the rise, causing a major revenue loss. She suggests abolishing the post of additional commissioner (Legal) and imparting an autonomous status to STAT.
While the trading community and commercial tax officials are in favour of similar kind of reforms, they don't buy Sridevi's argument that revenue leakages were caused because an additional commissioner (Legal) is made the first appellate authority, as his higher ups in the department tend to quash his judgment.
February 25th, 2012, 04:57 PM
HYDERABAD: Registration for Aadhaar cards issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which was temporarily halted in the state from February 15 on technical grounds, will be resumed from April 1.
This information was given by minister for food, civil supplies, legal metrology and consumer affairs D Sridhar Babu during the question hour in the state Assembly on Friday.
Assuring that all eligible persons would receive the card by the end of this year, he said the would adopt the Aadhaar card as the basis for all government schemes, including pension and scholarship, once the entire population was covered by the scheme.
Answering the main question raised by P Keshav, E Lakshminarayana, Vijay Prasad, Ahmed Balala and others, the minister said the government planned to issue Aadhaar cards to 8.46 crore people in the state in six months.
The central government's Aadhaar project aims to provide a unique identity number to each citizen of the country.
As a pilot project, the state civil supplies department has implemented the project in seven districts— East Godavari, Anantapur, Chittoor, Srikakulam, Rangareddy, Hyderabad and Adilabad— in the first phase.
Sridhar Babu said the government was contemplating issuing Aadhaar numberbased smart Cards to all BPL families in the state.
These cards can be used to buy rations from fair price shops and for several other purposes. Biometric system will be used to prevent misuse of the cards.
“The central government pays Rs 50 for each enrolment under the UIDAI project. The civil supplies department has entrusted the work to a private agency after calling tenders and is paying it Rs 29 for each enrolment, thus saving Rs 21 for the government on each enrolment."
In the second phase, the enrolment process will be taken up in urban areas covered municipal corporations while the work in towns and rural areas will be entrusted to registrars such as nationalised banks.
Tenders were invited and one software agency has come forward to undertake the enrolment work by charging the government Rs 35 for each enrolment.
The government would take action if anyone was found involved in irregularities in issuance of cards, the minister warned.
Of the 8.46 crore people in the state, about 5.25 crore have been enrolled so far. Of them, 3 crore have been enrolled by the state civil supplies department and 2.25 crore by registrars (banks).
While, 5.25 crore people were enrolled, 3.35 crore cards have been generated so far.
The enrolment process was temporarily halted due to technical problems and a turf war between the Union home ministry and the Planning Commission.
February 25th, 2012, 04:58 PM
Tata DOCOMO, the unified telecom brand of Tata Teleservices Limited on Friday launched ‘Offers Near Me’, a unique Location-Based Advertising Service for its GSM customers in Andhra Pradesh.
Tata DOCOMO has partnered with Stay In Touch Mobile for this VAS offering and has successfully piloted this project in Andhra Pradesh. The exciting new service will be rolled out nationally in a phased manner.
‘Offers Near Me’ is early first location-based opt-in program that allows Tata DOCOMO GSM customers to receive exciting deals, offers and discount coupons from their favorite retailers—FMCG brands, apparel companies, malls, restaurants, cinemas, coffee shops, auto dealers, and many more. Value deals and discounts offered depend on the location the customer is travelling in and individual retailer offers.
“Offers Near Me is a great VAS offering that will not only keep customers abreast of the latest deals and discounts in their vicinity, but will also ensure greater savings by providing relevant.
February 26th, 2012, 12:41 PM
Centre will be releasing the first instalment of Rs 120 crore for construction of 400 fortified police stations, mostly in Naxal-hit areas of these States.
As part of a decision of the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Home Ministry has identified 83 worst Naxal-hit districts to construct or strengthen 400 fortified police stations at a cost of Rs 2 crore each.
The Ministry has released Rs 120 crore — Rs 30 lakh each — as first supplementary grant for incurring expenditure on these police stations located in nine Left-wing extremism affected States.
The States which will be benefited most are Bihar (85 police stations), Chhattisgarh (75), Jharkhand (75), Odisha (70), West Bengal (18) and Madhya Pradesh (12).
The remaining of the 400 police stations, 40 will be constructed in Andhra Pradesh, 15 in Uttar Pradesh and 10 in Maharashtra.
Under the scheme, the Centre would assist the state government on 80:20 basis — 80 per cent of the cost to be borne by the Centre while remaining 20 per cent by the State.
The State government will ensure a minimum strength of 40 police personnel is maintained in each of these police stations.
The level of violence in Naxal-affected States is still unacceptably high with 447 civilians and 142 security personnel killed in 2011.
Apart from various Centrally-sponsored schemes, the Union government is implementing the special Integrated Action Plan in 78 worst Maoist-hit districts to carry out different development programmes.
Under the IAP, the government sanctioned Rs 25 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 30 crore in 2011-12 to each of these districts through which 63,416 projects were set up and 26,593 projects completed, incurring an expenditure of Rs 1,391 crore till 2011. The funds for the project are placed at the disposal of a committee headed by the district collector to oversee its implementation.
Among the projects undertaken under IAP scheme, providing drinking water, sanitation and electricity facilities together account for nearly 30 per cent of the projects. Setting up of school infrastructure accounts 16 per cent of the fund and anganwadi centres, 13.5 per cent.
February 26th, 2012, 01:59 PM
Nashik, Feb 26 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh police topped the medal tally at the All India Police Duty Meet held here over the last four days. AP team won five gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals, while Border Security Force came in second with three gold and three bronze medals. Tamil Nadu, in the third place, won two gold, five silver and four bronze medals. The competitions were related to various techniques and tools used in the crime investigation. The trophies were given away by Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil at the concluding function at Maharashtra Police Academy last evening. Speaking on the occasion, Patil said that in view of the growing crime rate and use of technology by the criminals, drastic changes were needed in investigation methods. Police from different states should meet and have a dialogue, he added.
February 28th, 2012, 12:25 AM
HYDERABAD: The coveted world heritage tag could still be evading the state's heritage capital, Hyderabad but that does not seem to deter Warangal from jumping into the fray and claiming its right for the same. Hopeful that the Kakatiya dynasty temples of the district, which predate the Qutub Shahi monuments in the city (that have been nominated for the Unesco tag), will be able to win Andhra Pradesh the laurels that it has been vying for decades, the Kakatiya Heritage Trust has now decided to send its entry to UNESCO for international recognition.
On the list are four structures __ the 1000 pillar temple, Warangal Fort, Ramappa temple and the Ghanpur group of temples. Work on preparing the preliminary dossier is already on, said members of the trust, and will be sent to the global agency by end of this year. Restoration and repair of these close to 1,000-year-old structures are also being carried out simultaneously, they said. "There is a smaller temple next to Ramappa for instance that is lying in a dilapidated state. We are trying to restore it. Similarly, the visibility of the 1000-pillar temple too is being improved," said B V P Rao, a former bureaucrat and co-founder of the trust that was set up three years ago for the upkeep of these monuments. A conservation architect has also been roped in to help with the dossier.
"The stellate (star-shaped arrangements) architecture, use of sand pits and the brilliant carvings on the temples are some of the things that we wish to highlight in our proposal for world heritage tag. The irrigation projects that the Kakatiya dynasty built and that are operational even now will also be showcased," said Suryanarayana Murthy who is preparing the first draft to secure a tentative place on the Unesco list. As per its latest rules, a site applying for the international tag has to first win a place on the tentative list of Unesco.
Trust members note that the run for the world heritage tag for the Kakatiya monuments has been under discussion for two decades now. "But nothing could be materialised unless we founded the trust. Now, we have spoken to all state departments (including ASI, state archaeology, tourism and culture) and have finally decided to go for it. The Ramappa temple's 800-year celebrations in 2013 will be used as a curtain raiser to push for the international tag," said M Pandu Ranga Rao, co-founder of the trust and INTACH, convener (Warangal). According to him, the tag apart from pulling international tourists to Warangal will also help in improving the local footfall to the historic area that is about 1,000 (visitors) per day at the moment.
Heritage experts are, however, skeptical saying that winning the title needs more than a glossy dossier, hinting at the half-baked approach of the tourism department to win the same title for Hyderabad's iconic monuments.
March 1st, 2012, 12:59 AM
The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has formulated fresh guidelines for allotment of plots/sheds in the industrial parks. These guidelines covered the procedure for applying for allotment of land, payment of cost, execution of sale agreement, implementation of projects, execution of sale deeds, levying penalties and other aspects.
APIIC, which posted the Draft Allotment Regulations – 2012 on its website, requested industry organisations Fapsia, Fapcci and CII to furnish their views. Simultaneously, it was also holding meetings with their representatives at the zonal level.
APIIC first came out with such guidelines towards the end of the last century under Allotment Regulations, 1998. During the course of time, these guidelines are modified and has undergone several changes. Keeping in view the changes in external environment, the guidelines have now been revised.
March 5th, 2012, 08:31 PM
HYDERABAD: The state civil supplies department will set up Consumer Guidance Centres in all districts in a couple of weeks to address all kinds of consumer service complaints. This was announced by Harpreet Singh, commissioner of civil supplies and ex officio secretary in the department of consumer affairs, food and civil supplies, at the inauguration of ‘Telecom Consumer Education Workshop’ conducted by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India here on Sunday.
Addressing the gathering, he said telecommunication companies were cheating their customers by overcharging them and wiping off their talk-time balance by offering ringtones without their permission and allowing unsolicited calls and SMSes.
Saying that he had been receiving hundreds of complaints from customers, he asked all nine companies — BSNL, Airtel, Aircel, Reliance, Vodafone, Tata Indicom, Docomo, MTS, Videocon and Uninor— to provide transparent and satisfactory service to their customers.
V Srinivasan, chief general manager of BSNL (AP circle), blamed the cheating of customers on the unhealthy competition among telecom service providers.
“Customers are also to blame as they look for a cheaper service instead of quality service,” he pointed out.
TRAI conducted the workshop in collaboration with the Consumer Coordination Council, New Delhi; Confederation of AP Consumers Organisations and Consumer Awareness and Research Centre.
All the telecommunication company dealers across the state attended
March 7th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Vizag-Singapore Indigo flight from April
As Visakhapatnam is gearing up for the international flight operations from its airport from March 25 to Dubai, the low budget carrier —Indigo — is likely to introduce Vizag-Singapore-Vizag flights from April.
The introduction of this route would immensely help the people in the coastal Andhra Pradesh and the adjoining Chhattisgarh and Odisha belts as they can catch connecting flights to the U.S and Australia/New Zealand from Singapore by going via Visakhapatnam instead of travelling all the way to Chennai or Hyderabad to catch an international flight.
According to Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology T. Subbarami Reddy, the initial glitches in the operation of the international flight from Visakhapatnam to Dubai by the national carrier Air India had been sorted out after he took up the matter with the Defence, Home, Civil Aviation and the Director of Intelligence Bureau on Monday and Tuesday.
“Now everything is clear and the first flight to Dubai from Visakhapatnam will be flagged off on March 25 by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh at Visakhapatnam,” Mr. Reddy said.
As there are a lot of investments made in the steel city and the adjoining districts, with the help of the Singapore government, the direct flight to Singapore might be useful in bringing in more investments to the north coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Reddy said he had plans to bring the Singapore Prime Minister to Visakhapatnam during his next visit to India adding that he had had a meeting a few days ago in this regard with the Singapore High Commissioner for India Karen Tan.
Presently, the administrative control of the Vizag airport, including the air traffic control, comes under the Indian Navy's air station INS Dega and the integrated new terminal of the airport was inaugurated on February 20, 2009.
March 7th, 2012, 08:26 AM
The average real gross state domestic product (GSDP) of Andhra Pradesh during the 11th Plan period (FY08-FY12) is likely to be 7.8 per cent, missing its target of 9.5 per cent.
The economic growth in FY11 increased to 9.2 per cent from the 5.8 per cent in the previous year, according to a report from Fitch Ratings.
The government expects the economic growth in FY 12 to decline to 6.8 per cent. Andhra Pradesh government’s guarantees to the power sector alone account for 65 per cent of the total outstanding guarantees that the state had extended upto 2010-11. The total guarantees as a percentage of total revenue were 15.53 per cent in FY11, down from 37.87 per cent in FY09, the report said.
The debt of public sector undertakings, about Rs 37,383 crore at FY10, aro*und a quarter of public debt, is exerting additional pressure on the state’s public finances, the report said.
The public debt increased by 14.72 per cent in FY12 (revised estimates) and the government expects it to rise by 14.69 per cent in FY13 (budget estimate). According to the government estimates, the public debt/GSDP ratio is likely to be about 21 per cent in FY12 and FY13
Andhra Pradesh is more leveraged than other Indian sub-national economies of similar size. High debt exerts pressure on the state’s finances, which results in rigidity in its expenditure, the report said.
“Based on the higher nominal growth of the state’s economy in comparison to the average interest rate on debt, a worse-than-expected fiscal deficit does not pose a threat to the state’s debt sustainability,” said Devendra Kumar Pant, director (International Public Finance).
More than two-thirds of the state’s revenue is from its own sources (tax and non-tax). In FY12, state’s own revenue increased by 17.4 per cent and grants and devolution increased by 25.57 per cent suggesting the fiscal consolidation in FY12 is likely to be achieved mainly through increased devolution and grants, the report said.
March 8th, 2012, 01:39 AM
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, March 7, 2012 /India PRwire/ -- 4G Identity Solutions (4Gid), a pioneer & global leader in implementation of large scale biometric based identity projects has crossed the important milestone of One Crore (10 Million ) UID / Aadhaar numbers generated. India's Aadhaar project covering 1.2 billion residents is the World's largest biometric based Civil ID project and is being driven by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
4Gid has been engaged with various registrars like State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Department of Posts and Government of Sikkim for Aadhaar enrolment services. 4Gid has designed and developed robust project management and quality monitoring systems for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the enrolment operations. While achieving this scalability of enrolment operations, quality of biometric data collected is taken into highest consideration as 4Gid understands that quality is the key for de-duplication and is one of the key components for the success of UID program. This quality effort from 4Gid was recognized when 4Gid was awarded the "Aadhaar Excellence Award" by UIDAI for providing quality enrolment services on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Aadhaar project launch on 29th September 2011.
4Gid has been involved in UID project right from the conceptualization stage. 4Gid developed and deployed the UIDAI's first proof of concept (PoC) to define the technical, operational, and behavioral processes related to enrolments and to benchmark the quality parameters and accuracy levels necessary for de-duplication of all residents of India. As a biometric subject matter expert 4Gid has shared its knowledge and experience in design and deployment of large scale identity projects with UIDAI. 4Gid is part of one of the three Biometric Solution provider (BSP) consortiums involved in De-duplication and Authentication Solution for the UID project. 4Gid is a STQC & UIDAI Certified Supplier of Iris and Fingerprint Devices and portable enrolment kits.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr.Sreeni Tripuraneni, Chairman and CEO of 4G Identity Solutions said "We are happy to have been associated with the world's largest social inclusion program since its inception and are putting in our best efforts along with various stakeholders to ensure that the project meets its objectives. We are now eagerly looking forward to similarly contribute to projects which would leverage Aadhaar based authentication for various government, banking and private sector programs. We are already working in this direction and have created new frameworks like Public Service Delivery Infrastructure (PSDI) to achieve this objective".
March 8th, 2012, 08:06 PM
Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh plans to roll out three integrated Agri Business Investment Regions (ABIRs) and take other initiatives to catapult the state as a prime destination for investment in the farm sector.
Agriculture and Agriculture Technology Mission Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana said the ABIRs would be developed like the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the state planned to rope in Israel, the Netherlands and the US as partners to bring in investment and technology.
"The ABIRs are still in formulation stage and we will conduct a workshop next month to discuss the proposal with all the stakeholders," the minister said after making a presentation on 'Opportunities and Scope of Agri Business in Andhra Pradesh".
The state plans to roll out three ABIRs - Anantapur to Adilabad, Nellore to Icchapuram and Guntur to Warangal - covering Khammam and Karimnagar districts.
The infrastructure for ABIRs will include dedicated water supply, gas pipelines to establish mini power plants, establishing backward linkages by way of rural transformation centres - including cold storage, warehousing and rural mart and forward linkages with marketing complexes, aggregation centres and retail chains.
The state government also proposed to create a separate entity which would develop the ABIRs on public-private partnership basis and rope in international companies as joint venture partners, he said.
"This will create five lakh direct or indirect jobs and encourage 'agriprenuers' in rural areas as well as the graduates coming from business management institutions," said the minister, who took over the agriculture portfolio last month.
The proposed corporation will benchmark the ABIRs with those of developed countries and add value addition to the Indian food processing industry.
"A few innovative ideas, which are being contemplated, will certainly make Andhra Pradesh one of the developed states for agriculture on par with Israel and Netherlands," he added.
The state government was also discussing with the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the central government to implement an scheme wherein all the applicable subsidies would be routed through a single window.
This scheme also involves issuing soil health cards to farmers. The initiative will be taken up in the three regions simultaneously, covering around 10,000 farmers in each cluster.
The state contemplates to send a delegation to Tel Aviv in Israel during the Agri Tech-2012 exhibition there in May to explore business
March 8th, 2012, 08:09 PM
HYDERABAD, MARCH 8:
Reeling under the impact of power shortage, industries in Andhra Pradesh propose to meet on March 24 to chalk out an action plan. “We are also contemplating not to pay taxes and bills to the State Government if nothing concrete is forthcoming from them”, said Mr Rama Rao, President of FAPI (Federation of Andhra Pradesh Industries).
The power cuts are affecting nearly 15 working days. This is leading to production loss, which in turn is putting pressure on payment of salaries to employees. The increase in interest rates by banks is further adding to the burden, he told newspersons today.
Even while failing to assure adequate supply of power, the State Government was contemplating to hike the power tariff from April 1. The Congress (I) Government under Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had assured no hike in power tariff till 2014, he said.
The Government's move to treble the tax on vacant land in the industrial estates is also hitting the industries hard. “Unless the Government responds quickly, lakhs of employees will be impacted and industry will suffer through non-payment of bank loans,”he said.
How can the Government think of translating the Rs 6.47-lakh crore investment proposals it signed during the CII-Partnership summit, when the existing industry itself is being starved, he asked.
Recently, the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Small Scale Industries also resorted to dharnas to highlight the plight of thousands of small units, suffering due to power shut downs, in and around Hyderabad.
March 8th, 2012, 08:10 PM
Hyderabad: A total of 35 proposals, with an investment of Rs.7,000 crore, were received from various companies for the "Million Farmers" initiative in public private partnership, a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) official said Thursday.
The proposals will cover 11.8 lakh farmers on a total crop area of 12 lakh hectares in 17 states. According to FICCI, the project is almost in the stage of approval by the agriculture ministry.
The pilot projects envisage minimum investment of Rs.1 lakh in each farm with the ministry bearing 50 percent of the total cost and the remaining 50 percent coming from private developers through own or institutional finance.
Eight of the proposals were submitted by ITC and they include a Rs.1,368 crore proposal for cereals, pulse, oilseeds in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan covering over one lakh farmers.
B. Baskar Reddy, head, agriculture, FICCI, told a meeting on agri business here that four to five pilot projects would be launched during the coming kharif season while the full-fledged scheme will become operational during kharif 2013-14.
For the 35 proposals received, the subsidy component would be Rs.2,900 crore while common infrastructure would be created at a cost of Rs.1,000 crore.
"We are in the stage of approving business plans and will leverage funds from state governments," he said.
Reddy said the states were evaluating the PPP model, and the agriculture ministry is likely to issue detailed guidelines for PPP-integrated agriculture development by the end of the current month.
The PPP model would combine operational efficiencies of the private sector and the investment by the public sector, he said, adding that each project covering at least 10,000 farmers will set quantifiable outputs with defined timelines and strategies.
The companies, which will work as facilitator, will develop farmer producers organisations, provide extension, supply inputs, manage infrastructure and buy back the products while the government will extend support, channelise funds from various schemes, provide operational freedom to private sector, do the monitoring and evaluation and invest in infrastructure.
The companies will be provided performance-based incentives. "Every developer will define outputs for three years. There will be third-party independent monitoring," Reddy said.
March 9th, 2012, 09:12 AM
HYDERABAD: After emerging as one of the pioneers in the investment regions of petroleum products and information technology, Andhra Pradesh is now weighing the benefits of promoting an Agribusiness Investment Region (ABIR) involving major agri clusters in three of its geopolitical regions.
The proposed ABIR project in Andhra Pradesh, to be taken up in a public private partnership (PPP) model, involves setting up an integrated infrastructure for rural business and entrepreneurial development attracting total investments of around Rs 67,000 crore.
After a favourable response from the Union agriculture ministry for the proposal, a team of corporate houses under the leadership of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday made a detailed presentation to the Andhra Pradesh government. Agriculture Minister Kanna Laxminarayana responded favourably to the proposed ABIR project but said a final decision would be taken after eliciting the views of all the stakeholders.
Viewing that AIBR could be developed on the lines of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the minister felt the need to rope in countries such as Israel, Netherlands and the US to partner and bring in investments and technologies. He said a delegation would be sent soon to these agriculturally superior nations to forge alliances.
S Balaji, managing director of Lepakshi Knowledge Hub, which is proposing an agri logistics food park near Anantapur over 10,000 acres, said the ABIR project involves setting up of 270 integrated agro food parks, livestock parks, agro logistic parks, rural transformation centres and community development parks through a cluster approach.
The project, which is expected to attract sizeable funding from global development agencies, will have three clusters in the three geopolitical regions of the state -- Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema -- promising employment to 50,000 directly and 4.5 lakh indirectly.
The proposed project will have integrated infrastructure pertaining to R&D, production, services, trade and social infrastructure to address various issues across the value chain that include deficits in market, knowledge, infrastructure and credit, said PSR Raju, director of Ace Corporate Agri Ventures.
Raju, a former vice-president with Yes Bank for food and agri business, said the agro food parks would act as key hubs linked to rural transformation centres and further to the community development centres at the village level.
The project will include 10 integrated agro food parks each costing Rs 1,000 crore, 10 agro logistic parks each costing Rs 200 crore, 50 rural transformation centres each costing Rs 500 crore and 200 community development parks each costing Rs 150 crore, said Raju.
Govt Receives 35 Corporate Farming Proposals
Meanwhile, the Union government has received 35 proposals from corporate houses to invest in corporate farming projects through PPP mode involving agri producers' companies with nearly 12 lakh farmers spread across 17 states.
Ficci, which is coordinating with the government, expects the Union agriculture ministry to accord final approvals to the project, titled Million Farmers' Initiative, by the month-end, said Ficci director S Bhaskar Reddy.
He said the tentative business plans were received from corporates with an overall investment of Rs 7,000 crore and a subsidy component of Rs 2,900 crore. The detailed business plans (DPRs) will be invited next month from corporate houses to launch the programme sometime by June.
Further, Reddy said Andhra Pradesh has attracted 11 proposals with an investment of around Rs 1,200 crore from seven corporates including ITC, Shriram, NSL group, Access Livelihoods and FRT Agri Ventures.
March 9th, 2012, 11:46 AM
Thats a good step by govt.....finally they have realized how much important agri industry is in India...
March 10th, 2012, 04:06 PM
^^That's really good initiative from the government Andhra Pradesh is proving again to be "The Rice Bowl of India" అన్నపూర్ణ..removes the disparity between regions..
March 11th, 2012, 11:58 AM
A fairer world where the poor can live sustainable lives within safe and caring communities. A tall order indeed. But by no means impossible if one were to see the grit and determination of Prof. K.A. Siddique Hassan, vice president, Jamaat Islami Hind.
The ‘Vision 2016', a national initiative launched by him in north India six years ago, has paid off. There are reports of a perceptible change in the lives of the downtrodden sections. Buoyed by the success, Prof. Siddique plans to replicate the programme in the south starting with Andhra Pradesh.
“We plan to focus on the core areas of education, health care, microfinance and civil rights which are also identified by Sachar Committee”, said Prof. Siddique, who is here to sensitise the community to the issues at hand.
The Human Welfare Foundation (HWF), the umbrella organisation undertaking the ambitious project, primarily aims to concentrate on the Muslim concentrated districts of Hyderabad, Guntur, Vijayawada, Kurnool, Nizamabad, Medak and Karimnagar. Prof. Siddique, who is also the Foundation secretary general, is using his Hyderabad visit to meet different NGOs, corporates and likeminded people to rope in for the A.P operation.
Prof. Siddique believes in going beyond charity by enabling people to realise their full potential. The Vision 2016 with an estimated budget of Rs. 5000 core tries to pool money through philanthropists and funding agencies both within and outside the country. “For the price of a chocolate bar or a diet coke you can sponsor an orphan”, he says.
By 2016 it is proposed to set up 100 vocational training schools, a university, a medical college, 10 speciality hospitals, 100 clinics and provide 1 lakh merit scholarships. “Muslims are backward because they are educationally and economically backward”, says Prof. Siddique who intends to help people with little or no resources.
He is aware of the pathetic condition of Muslims in Hyderabad caught in the jaws of moneylenders. There are plans to set up 12 microfinance societies in the City through which a maximum of Rs. 25,000 will be provided as loan to the needy. “Interest free microfinance is an effective tool to fight poverty”, he says.
A blue print of the programmes planned for Andhra Pradesh in the thrust areas is expected to be ready by next month.
March 12th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Rajahmundry: Andhra Pradesh Minister of Minor Irrigation TG Venkatash on Sunday said Seemandhra region has witnessed a gradual rise in investment despite the recent Telangana agitation in the state.
"There is every chance for development in Seemandhra...Due to the agitation, investment in the Telangana region has decreased while investment in Seemandhra region has increasing vastly. After taking all these aspects in coming years, Seemandhra will be developed in all aspects including in industrial and infrastructure aspects," the State Minor Irrigation Minister told reporters here.
Venkatesh also held meeting with irrigation officials of East and West Godavari districts and discussed various subjects relating to lift irrigation projects and recruitment of 1,000 engineers in the department.
"The budget allocation for minor irrigation has been increased in the budget by 100 per cent, but there is a shortage of 50 per cent engineers in this department," he said.
The minister said that lift irrigation projects will be set up in delta areas of the district wherever necessary.
Commenting on the frequent power-cuts, Venkatesh blamed the 'Sakala Jannuala Samme' for the power crisis.
March 12th, 2012, 11:20 AM
WB study says they can make difference in nutrition levels
The State government is planning to open nutrition-cum-day care centres (NDCCs) in all the tribal villages/hamlets across the State by 2014-15.
The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) will fund part of the expansion by providing one-time grant of Rs. 3 lakh for each centre.
In addition to pregnant and lactating women, it is proposed to include adolescent girls in the programme to ensure that they receive right nutrition in their crucial growing years.
The government is in the process of identifying the resources needed for capacity building of village NDCC teams in the first two years of operation.
Broadening livelihood opportunities available for women at the NDCCs by tying up with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is under active consideration, according to a World Bank study. Plans were afoot to replicate the model across the country under the National Rural Livelihood Mission.
The study said it was early to measure overall reduction in the malnutrition levels, but indications revealed that NDCCs displayed promising potential to improve nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and their children in the long term.
The success of the programme was attributed to NDCCs which were basically driven, owned and supervised by the community unlike programmes that are administered in a top-down manner.
The report recalled that prevalence of malnutrition in children under the age of five years continues to be among the highest, higher than even sub-Saharan Africa in spite of strong economic growth.
The bank said the pilot project carried out under the Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Programme had shown that community-managed NDCCs could make a difference in this regard.
Over 4,200 NDCCs have been established in villages across the State since 2007 reaching out to 2.2 lakh women and young children so far. Many centres were established in areas home to predominantly disadvantaged communities and close to 1,100 centres are functioning in districts where Left-wing extremists are active.
The centres were built on the strong social infrastructure of the State's women SHGs and their village organisations that gained wide acceptance across the community as women were functioning as leaders, mentors and trainers.
Moreover, the NDCCs provide pregnant and lactating women and their children aged below two years with three cooked and well-balanced meals a day unlike programmes that provided supplementary nutrition in the form of dry ration for women to take home.
March 12th, 2012, 09:06 PM
HYDERABAD, MARCH 12:
The Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, today said that the phase-III Krishna water project for Hyderabad will be ready by 2013 end.
The detailed project report for Krishna water phase-III, which seeks to augment another 90 million gallons a day, with an estimated cost of Rs 1,670 crore is under consideration of the Government.
Responding to queries in the House, Mr Reddy said that the Government had proposed to explore various funding options such as annuity model, and funding from either Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Housing and Urban Development Corporation. Their terms are being assessed.
The project implementation period would be approximately 18 months after administrative approval with financial tie-up.
The issue came up when members sought to highlight water supply problem in peripheral municipal areas of the city, which come at the tail end of Krishna and Manjira water supply system.
To bridge the deficit up to 2017, the Godavari drinking water supply project to bring 172 million gallons a day has also been taken up and works are in progress.
The Chief Minister said that the Government would implement both these projects and ensure that water comes from both Krishna and Godavari to meet the drinking water requirements.
The Multi Modal Transport Systems (MMTS) service is being extended under phase-II in Hyderabad with an outlay of Rs 641 crore.
The State Government has provided for Rs 25 crore during 2011-2012 and another Rs 25 crore for the next financial year.
The Ministry of Railways is yet to communicate its approval for starting MMTS phase-II, the House was informed.
March 13th, 2012, 09:19 AM
Gail India will provide 2.5 million standard cubic meters per day domestic gas to fuel starving power units in Andhra Pradesh from the share of its LPG plant and meet the shortfall with imported gas by a revenue neutral swapping arrangement.
Oil ministry officials said that "On request of Andhra government, the ministry has asked Reliance to supply D6 gas to the power plants and the original allottee would be supplied the same quantity of R-LNG without any additional cost.”
Gail has been allocated RIL's D6 gas for extraction of liquefied petroleum gas and power plants will pay the price difference between D6 and imported gas, government and industry officials said. The swap will be temporary till May 31.
Official said that this is second such swap of scarce resources since March last year, which continued for three months. Power plants will pay approximately USD 12 per unit cost for the domestic gas to make up for Gail's plant that would actually be using imported gas in the swapping arrangement. D6 gas price is USD 4.2 per unit.
March 13th, 2012, 08:45 PM
HYDERABAD, MARCH 13:
Celkon Mobiles Pvt Ltd has expressed intent to set up a mobile handsets manufacturing unit at Maheshwaram, near Hyderabad.
At a meeting with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, a company delegation led by Mr Y. Guru projected an investment of Rs 500 crore in the first year.
Celkon Mobiles has a research and development office in Cyber towers. It has original equipment manufacturers from China and Taiwan as technology and manufacturing partners. The delegation said employment to 2,500 people could be provided.
The Chief Minister asked the Industries Department to examine the proposal and extend all assistance.
PREFAB UNIT AT VIZAG
Hindustan Prefab Ltd (HPL), a Central Government enterprise says it is keen to establish a branch in Visakhapatnam with an estimated investment of Rs 107 crore.
A delegation led by its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Jaiveer Srivastava told the CM that they will take up housing, institutional buildings, hospital, sports complexes, and disaster rehabilitation works using precast concrete and prefabrication techniques.
Mr Reddy said the State Government was building 14 lakh houses for the poor , apart from the Urban and Indira Awas Yojana Housing projects.
Mr Jaiveer said that the flagship hotel of the Oberoi Group was built on a precast concrete frame manufactured by HPL in its Delhi factory. HPL has a dedicated team of 500 employees. It is imple
March 15th, 2012, 05:55 PM
Irrespective of the concerns aired by the GMR Group, the Airports Authority of India will go ahead and develop a non-operating airport at Warangal, along with 25 other such airports, during the 12th Five Year Plan period.
“We already have some land. We have requested the state government to allot some more and are awaiting action on it,” said V.P. Agrawal, chairman of AAI, on the side-lines of a CEOs’ conclave organised on Wednesday as part of India Aviation 2012 in Hyderabad.
The development of the Warangal airport will be less than 100 nautical miles from Hyderabad, had faced stiff resistance from the GMR Group as it could affect the income of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
The group has also claimed that development of the Warangal airport runs contrary to the concession agreement, which bars building a new airport within a radius of 150 nautical miles of RGIA. However, the AAI chairman claimed that the agreement disallowed the construction of new airport but did not bar development of an already existing airport.
March 15th, 2012, 05:59 PM
With the markets in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra showing signs of declining trend and fears of cotton farmers getting poor prices once again making a comeback, the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) on Wednesday launched “commercial intervention” in the seven markets across the country to pep up domestic prices.
CCI intervened in markets of Warangal, Bhatinda, Guntur, Rajkot and a few others. The uncertainty in the cotton markets has been aggravated following the decision of the Commerce Ministry to lift the ban on cotton exports with “conditions” and not allowing fresh registration. This has led to weakening of cotton prices in the various markets across the country forcing the CCI to intervene commercially. Interestingly, only a few days back, CCI had stated that it saw no case for market intervention.
CCI has a corpus fund of Rs.4,000 crore for minimum support price (MSP) but it would not be using this money for commercial intervention. It has been provided separate funds for commercial intervention so that the interests of the farmers are protected. “We will intervene for the MSP when the need arises. Right now, the effort is to restore the confidence of the farmers and traders in the markets through commercial intervention by CCI,” a senior official said.
Sensing the urgency of the matter and weak trend of the markets, it is learnt that Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had asked officials not to wait for the two week period for formulation of new guidelines to end but to immediately get into action and formulate the guidelines in the next three-to-four days.
“Still, nearly 40 lakh bales are expected in the market in March and another 30 lakh bales in April. There is 35 lakh bales registered for exports already faced with uncertain future. The guidelines need to be formulated and announced without any further delay to prevent further crashing of prices,” another senior Commerce Ministry official said.
Interestingly, the stock to use capacity in India stands at around 11 per cent as compared to 49 per cent in China. The South India textile mills were not buying due to liquidity problem and the big mills, which had liquidity at their disposal, had adequate stocks, officials said.
On its part, the Cotton Association of India (CAI) flayed the imposition of conditions on cotton exports and holding up everything till new rules are framed.
“It is time that government opens export of cotton without any pre-conditions. The farmers should not subsidise textile mills. There is around Rs.20,000 crore worth of cotton still unsold with the farmers. Any delay in the opening up of exports would lead to fall in prices. Even a 10 per cent fall in prices will hurt the farmers to the tune of Rs.2,000 crore. Nearly one crore bales are lying unsold with the farmers,” CAI President Dhiren Sheth told this correspondent.
Our Coimbatore correspondent writes:
Price of Shankar-6 variety of cotton was quoted at Rs.32,000 a candy in Gujarat on Wednesday morning. Though this is above the minimum support price, which is about Rs.29,000 a candy, the market was very low with no buying. The situation is similar in almost all the cotton markets across the country. The textile mills in the South are not buying cotton because of power shortage and liquidity problems, say trade sources in Coimbatore.
March 15th, 2012, 06:35 PM
The Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan informed the Rajya Sabha today in a written reply to a question that the Government has requested all coastal States in the country to explore the possibility to set up a new Major Port or a new Ship Building yard or a composite Port-Cum-Shipbuilding yard their States and submit a comprehensive proposal to the Ministry of Shipping.
The Minister further stated that the proposals have been received from the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat.
Technical committees have been constituted to identify the suitable locations proposed by the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, said the Minister.
March 15th, 2012, 06:45 PM
New Delhi: The UIDAI's Aadhaar project for providing unique identity numbers to residents, has huge potential to improve the delivery of social sector schemes like rural employment guarantee, the Economic Survey 2011-12 said.
"Aadhaar has huge potential for improving operations and delivery of services," the survey said.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), attached to the Planning Commission, is engaged in providing residents in the country a Unique Identification number (called Aadhaar) linked to the resident's demographic and
The project aims to create a platform that serves as an identification infrastructure for delivery of public and private services to the residents of India.
The survey suggested that the incorporation of the Aadhaar into the rural employment guarantee scheme will assist in addressing some of the major challenges like payment of wages and ghost beneficiaries.
It observed that Aadhaar can replace the need to provide supporting documentation for the standard Know Your Customer (KYC) drills, making opening of a bank account significantly simpler.
Besides, once each citizen in a job card needs to provide his UID before claiming employment, the potential for ghost or fictitious beneficiaries in this regard is eliminated.
The survey further pointed out that by using Aadhaar, it is possible to have the subsidy go directly to the target households who can then purchase their food items from any Public Distribution Store or may be even non-PDS shops. It also proposes to use Aadhaar for creating a database of enrollments in the educational institution and those affected by diseases. This could help government to address the issue relating to health and education in a proper manner.
The Task Force on Aaadhar-Enabled Unified Payment Infrastructure, headed by UIDAI-Chairman Nandan Nilekani has recently recommended that over a period of time, all payments of government over the sum of Rs 1,000 be made or received electronically.
In its report submitted to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last month, it has called for hiring 10 lakh business correspondents to facilitate banking and financial
services in rural areas that do not have access to full fledged banking services.
So far pilot projects on Aadhaar-enabled e-payment system are being carried out in the areas of LPG, kerosene, MGNREGS and fertilisers.
Currently, a pilot project is also on to make payment for MGNREGA in Jharkhand besides a LPG distribution in Mysore (Karnataka) and opening of bank accounts in Tumkur (Karnataka).
One pilot project for mobile verification in Hyderabad is also proposed.
March 16th, 2012, 09:54 AM
MUMBAI, India (AP) — A southern Indian state is actively investigating 76 criminal cases — some that had been closed by police — against employees of Indian lenders accused of driving overindebted borrowers to suicide, officials said Thursday.
Andhra Pradesh, which was India's largest microfinance market, blamed a spate of suicides in late 2010 on aggressive lending and collection tactics by microfinance companies. The companies denied responsibility.
R. Subrahmanyam, principal secretary for rural development in Andhra Pradesh, said his department had sent teams to villages to assist police investigators and are scheduled to report their initial findings next Wednesday.
Some of the cases may have been closed or stalled, he said.
"If they stumble on good evidence, they can always be reopened," he said, adding that police are often overburdened and may not have always found the "correct lead."
To date there have been no convictions and after scores of earlier arrests, no microfinance company employees are currently in jail, according to Andhra Pradesh officials.
The government decided to reinvigorate the investigations after an Associated Press story showed that despite denials, top officials from India's SKS Microfinance had information from a report commissioned by the company implicating its employees in borrower suicides.
SKS stands by its affidavit before India's Supreme Court that it "is neither the cause of nor responsible for any suicides in the state of Andhra Pradesh."
SKS is a market leader in India's microfinance industry, which specializes in small loans intended to lift up the very poor. SKS employees were named in 15 of the 76 cases, the company said. In two cases, they were exonerated by courts. One case is ongoing. The company maintains that in the remaining 12, they have been cleared by police.
Another report commissioned by industry group Microfinance Institutions Network last year found evidence linking the actions of employees from four leading companies — including SKS, Spandana and Share — with 13 borrower suicides or attempted suicides, according to Davuluri Venkateswarlu, the director of Glocal Research in Hyderabad, who did the report.
He said the state government had overstated the role of microfinance companies in borrower deaths, but that in nine of the 44 deaths he examined he believed the companies should be prosecuted.
"You cannot go to a person with a group of people and abuse him," he said.
His report has not been made public.
P.N. Vasudevan, managing director of Equitas Microfinance and a member of the board of the Microfinance Institutions Network, said MFIN would not release the report.
"That report was never meant for public consumption," he said. "Based on the feedback, we wanted to change our own code of conduct. That was done."
New regulations by the central bank and self-regulation by MFIN's members will prevent future excesses, he said.
He said a new sobriety has settled on the industry, which is now gripped by a "strong belief that overlending can cause a lot of damage."
"Things are dramatically different," he said. "With the crisis, people are suddenly happy to be responsible. If it hadn't happened, people would have been happily growing their loan books and not worrying about silly things like credit bureaus."
He said the new lending norms, which cap interest rates charged to borrowers at 26 percent, make it impossible for microfinance companies to chase unseemly profits.
"Ultrahigh returns are a thing of the past," he said.
Money is beginning to trickle back to Indian microfinance companies. SKS has been among the most successful in attracting funds.
On Thursday it said it had sold two pools of loans worth 2 billion rupees ($40 million) to two unnamed banks. That was the 11th such sale since a 2010 Andhra Pradesh law placed new restrictions on lending and collection, which effectively shut down microlending there and cut off funding to the sector. Earlier this year, SKS securitized 6 billion rupees ($120 million) worth of loans, and Bandhan Financial Services, another microfinance company, securitized 5.5 billion rupees ($110 million) worth of loans.
Shares in SKS, India's only publicly traded microfinance company, have risen 15.2 percent this week on hopes that the national Parliament will soon consider a bill that would clarify microfinance company regulation and supersede the Andhra Pradesh law.
March 17th, 2012, 01:51 AM
75.6 per cent of the households now comprise single couple
There is a quantum jump in the number of families going nuclear in Andhra Pradesh in just about a decade (2001-2011) with 75.6 per cent of the households now comprising single couple, indicating a major societal shift from the traditional joint family system, Census 2011 has revealed.
The rate at which families are turning nuclear in the State could be gauged from the fact that only 45 per cent were one couple households in 2001.
Call it forward looking or reflection of increasing tensions in the institution of joint family, the figure of 75 per cent is above all India phenomenon of 70.1 per cent and incidentally the highest among major States like Uttar Pradesh (64 per cent), Gujarat (66 ), Bihar (71) West Bengal (73 ) Tamil Nadu (74.4) and Karnataka ( 70.1). Only two small North Eastern states Nagaland (77.7) and Tripura (76.8) have surpassed Andhra Pradesh.
Several other changes have been brought out by the Census during the last decade. Usage of LPG as fuel of cooking has doubled from 19 per cent in 2001 to 35.8 per cent in 2011. That it has made inroads into rural households is borne out by the drop in use of firewood to 56.8 per cent households now from 68.8 per cent in 2001.
But strangely use of kerosene has gone up, though marginally, from 6.5 percent to 6. 9 per cent.
Notwithstanding the acute shortage of power now faced by the State, it has made some rapid progress in using electricity for lighting purpose with coverage going up 92.2 percent of households. No surprise that use of kerosene for household lighting has consequently dropped from 32 per cent to 6.9 per cent during the decade. Yet despite a promised push to solar energy, the usage has merely gone up marginally.
It may sound surprising but the humble bicycle continues to be the main mode of personal transportation for the households in the State with a mere drop of one percent in its usage in the decade. Households having two wheelers (scooters, motorcycle, mopeds) rose from 10 per cent to 18 per cent while cars, jeep and vans from 1.3 per cent to 2.7 per cent.
Quite expectedly, there is dramatic decadal growth in ownership of TV from 31 percent of households to 58.8 percent while radio and transistor appear to be sharply declining.
Another familiar feature was drop in ownership of landline from 8. 6 percent in 2001 to 4.1 percent in 2011 and sharp rise in use of mobile phones from zero to 54 per cent.
March 17th, 2012, 02:30 AM
Hyderabad, Mar 16 (PTI) The Union Budget for 2012-13 today evoked a mixed reaction in Andhra Pradesh from political leaders and corporates. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy described the Budget as "the best for farmers, women and weavers of the country." A release from the Chief Minister's Office quoted Reddy as saying that the Budget was growth-oriented and aimed at uplifting women, farmers, weavers and other economically- backward communities. Increased allocation of Rs 1 lakh crore towards farm loans would be beneficial to farmers, particularly in AP. Allocation of Rs 47,000 crore to NABARD for strengthening the Regional Rural Banks would not only benefit the Banks but also the people in the rural areas, including farmers, he stated. The announcement on setting up of a Viability Gap Fund for irrigation projects would pave way for early completion of projects in the state, the Chief Minister added. However, corporate leaders said the Budget does not have long-term growth projections and failed to address key issues like reduction in Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) in SEZs. According to S Mahalingam, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, TCS, it was disappointing that timeline for special economic zone (SEZ) approvals for IT projects was not extended beyond 2013-2014. He said the software industry had also been asking for greater clarity on MAT, which is being levied on SEZ revenues that are exempted from tax. The companies claim refund after paying MAT but face cash flow issues as MAT rates are almost close to the level of corporate tax, he said.
March 17th, 2012, 02:33 AM
HYDERABAD: SKS Microfinance, India's only listed microlender, today said it will be able to collect up to Rs 800 crore from Andhra Pradesh loan portfolio if the Microfinance Bill is passed as mentioned by the Finance Minister in his budget speech today, said a top executive of the company today.
Dilli Raj, CFO, SKS Microfinance said the total receivables from the Andra Pradesh is nearly Rs 1300 crore and they had to write off Rs 900 crore so far.
Budget at ET: Budget 2012 | Union Budget | Live Union Budget Blog | Railway Budget | Budget News | Economic Survey of India
"The finance minister confirmed that the Microfinance Bill will be tabled in the current session. That brings a long term regulatory clarity and most importantly upon passage of MFI Bill, it will override the AP MFI Act. That would allow us to start collation and lending again in State."
"We have written off Rs 900 crore on AP portfolio... totally we will be able to collect Rs 500 to Rs 800 crore from the outstanding," Dilli Raj told PTI.
AP Microfinance Ordinance was implemented on October 15 2010 and subsequently made that into an Act in the wake of a spate of suicides by the borrowers allegedly due to the coercive recovery practices by the MFI agents in Andhra Pradesh.
The legislation clipped the wings of all microfinance institutions including SKS by curtailing their activities.
The Act mandated the MFIs to take permission from the Government before lending to borrowers and also insisted the collection cycle to be monthly instead of weekly.
SKS suffered a loss of Rs 1031 crore for the nine months period ended December 31, 2011 against Rs 181 crore profit after tax for the same period in the previous fiscal.
March 17th, 2012, 02:34 AM
Brickwork Ratings has assigned the Provisional Rating "BWR A (SO)" for Andhra Pradesh State Financial Corporation's proposed Non Convertible Debentures (NCD) issue of Rs.300 crores (INR Three Hundred Crores only) and reaffirms "BWR FA+" for Andhra Pradesh State Financial Corporation's Fixed Deposit Programme upto Rs.180 crore.
"BWR A (SO)" rating stands for an instrument that is considered to have ADEQUATE degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligations. Such instruments carry low credit risk. The rating is provisional and subject to sharing of final term sheet.
"BWR FA+" rating for fixed deposits stands for an instrument that is considered to offer ADEQUATE degree of safety in terms of timely servicing of interest and principal. (Brickwork Ratings application for registration with RBI in this regard is pending with them).
A "Stable" rating outlook signifies the expectation of the rating being stable in the near term. The rating has been reaffirmed taking into account the financial performance of the APSFC, publicly available information and clarifications provided by them and the Corporation's track record of meeting all the obligations under the Fixed Deposits programme promptly.
The rating, inter alia, factors Government of Andhra Pradesh ownership and the continued support enjoyed by the APSFC from the State Government, diversified loan portfolio, growth in sanctions and disbursements of loans and capital adequacy. The rating has also factored the Corporation's increasing NPA's and pressurized NIM margin.
APSFC's sanctioned loans grew from Rs. 1052 crores in FY10 to Rs. 1386 crores in FY11, registering a growth of 31.74%, while disbursements have grown from Rs. 708 crores in FY10 to Rs. 904 crores in FY11 registering a growth of 27.73%. For six months ended September 30, 2011 sanctions and disbursements were Rs. 566 crores and Rs. 358 crores respectively.
March 18th, 2012, 10:06 PM
Rs 7,000 cr to be invested to set up 9 defence units in AP:banana:
Project to create 10,000 jobs
HYDERABAD, MARCH 18:
Four defence organisations, which are setting up nine units in Andhra Pradesh with an outlay of Rs 7,000 crore, will create 10,000 jobs. The units, which are in various stages of completion, would also provide 25,000 indirect jobs, according to Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.
He was addressing a gathering after laying foundation stone for Surface-to-Air Missile Defence Project here on Sunday, along with the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Pallam Raju.
The Chief Minister said Bharat Dynamics Ltd was setting up three units — Bharat Electronics Ltd (3 units); Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (2 units); while Mishra Dhatu Nigam will establish one unit in the State.
Calling for efforts to equipping the youth with various job skills, he said Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu had been conceived to align skill development with education. “The programme is being implemented with the cooperation of the industries. Efforts are on to coordinate with the public sector undertakings that are setting up defence units in the State to get more jobs for local youth,” he said.
The programme is being implemented with a view to providing five lakh jobs every year. A mission had been set up with nine ministers and nine principal secretaries to Government to guide the programme.
“Just under four months, we could create one lakh jobs in various private sector enterprises,” he said, while asking professional colleges to start courses that provide employability skills.
On the business environment in the State, he said the Centre had expressed doubts whether the State could make Partnership Summit a success. “Contrary to such views, the State could make it a big success. The State received investment proposals worth Rs 6.50 lakh crore as 234 business entities signed various agreements. Of this, Rs 1.25 lakh crore would come in the form of Foreign Direct Investments,” he pointed out.
Mr Pallam Raju said Bharat Dynamics Ltd was ready with proposals worth Rs 34,000 crore during 12th and 13th Five Year Plans. “Jobs in Defence establishments are offered through nationwide competitive examinations,” he said.
He asked engineering colleges to provide training to their students to help them compete in such examinations.
He hoped that BDL would achieve a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore in the next four to five years. “Missile units are being set up in Medak, Vishakapatnam and Ibhrahimpatnam. The production of missiles will begin once acceptance tests are completed by the Army, Navy and Air Force at various levels. We are seeking help from two countries for technology transfer,” the Minister said.
March 19th, 2012, 09:43 AM
HYDERABAD: A surface-to-air missile unit is all set to come up at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore at Ibrahimpatnam in Ranga Reddy district. The foundation stone for the project by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) was laid by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday.
The infrastructure for the project, spread over 630 acres of land, will be ready in three years' time. Initially, an estimated 6,000 missiles are expected to be produced at the unit which would be equipped to subsequently expand production to keep up with the demand.
M Pallam Raju, the Union minister of state for defence, said that the project budget would be allocated in the 12th and 13th Plans. Project developer BDL's turnover would go from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore once production begins at the surface-to-air missile defence project unit at Ibrahimpatnam. The new unit will create 1,000 officer-level jobs and Pallam Raju said that manpower from educational institutions should be churned out as per industry requirements to enable the local population to benefit from the project and find employment at the unit.
The Union minister said that training in the necessary skills should be offered at the technological institutions for the local populace to be able to compete at the national level for the jobs that are created. The minister said that the Centre would soon come out with a policy that facilitates better private sector participation in the defence sector.
Kiran Kumar said that the state government was working on allocating 6,000 to 7,000 acres of land for various defence projects including three each by BDL and BEL, two for ECIL and one for Midhani. These projects would together generate employment for 10,000 people, the CM added. Kiran Kumar said that as part of the state government's Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu programme, necessary skills were being imparted with students for employment in various sectors. The CM informed that in its first four months, one lakh placements had been made through the programme.
Maj Gen Ravi Khetarpal (rtd), chairman and managing director of BDL, said that the Ibrahimpatnam unit would be the company's fourth manufacturing unit in Andhra Pradesh and the fifth in the country. He revealed that the Ibrahimpatnam project would kick off with an initial investment of Rs 2,500 crore.
The technology for missile production would be transferred by the DRDO which is collaborating with a foreign partner. He said the country's first indigenous surface-to-air missile 'Akash' was ready, manufactured by BDL.
March 19th, 2012, 09:44 AM
HYDERABAD: India's missile power is set to get a boost with a surface-to-air missile unit set to come up at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore at Ibrahimpatnam in Andhra Pradesh's Rangareddy district. The foundation stone for the project by Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) was laid by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday.
The infrastructure for the project, spread over 630 acres, will be ready in three years' time. Once ready, an estimated 6,000 missiles are expected to be produced at the unit. Moreover, missile production will go up as project capacity is expanded to keep up with the demand for missiles.
M Pallam Raju, the union minister of state for defence, said that the project cost would be allocated in the 12th and 13th Plans.
Project developer BDL's turnover would go from Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore once production begins at the surface-to-air missile defence project unit at Ibrahimpatnam.
The new unit will create 1,000 officer-level jobs. Pallam Raju said manpower from educational institutions should be churned out as per industry requirements to enable the local population to benefit from the project and find employment at the unit.
Training in the necessary skills should be offered at the technological institutions for the local populace to be able to compete at the national level for the jobs that are created, he said, adding the Centre would soon come out with a policy that facilitates better private sector participation in the defence sector.
Kiran Kumar said the state government was working on allocating 6,000 to 7,000 acres of land for various defence projects including three each by BDL and BEL, two for ECIL and one for Midhani. These projects would together generate employment for 10,000 people, the CM said.
The CM said that as part of the state government's Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu programme, skills sets of students were being developed for employment in various sectors. The CM informed that in its first four months, one lakh placements had been made through the programme.
He said that the plan was to create five lakh jobs in various sectors, public and private, for the youth. The CM spoke about a programme being drawn up wherein the youth would also be trained to compete for jobs in the defence sector and the Railways.
Maj Gen Ravi Khetarpal (rtd), chairman and managing director of BDL, said the Ibrahimpatnam unit would be the company's fourth manufacturing unit in Andhra and the fifth in the country. He said the Ibrahimpatnam project would kick off with an initial investment of Rs 2,500 crore.
March 20th, 2012, 01:58 AM
HYDERABAD: The state government wants to develop Srisailam into another Tirumala. In a grand plan to change the face of Sri Bramarambha Mallikharjuna Swami temple at Srisailam and bring it grandeur akin to Tirumala, the government has come up with an ambitious development project at a cost Rs 643 crore.
The unveiling of the master plan for the temple which earns a meagre annual income of Rs 45 crore compared to Rs 1200 crore of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, is baffling. Though Srisailam is among top 10 temples in the state in terms of revenue generation and pilgrim influx, it's surprising why the government is ready to pump over Rs 600 crore on the temple development.
Apart from developing a fool-proof security apparatus, laying roads and improving amenities, Rs 20 crore has been set aside for storm water drainage and another Rs 5 crore for solid waste management. Besides this a suspension bridge will be constructed for which Rs 565 crore has been allotted. Officials claim that the first phase of the project would involve an investment of Rs 78 crore.
But how confident is the government to mobilize such huge funds with little revenues from the temple? "We will get funds from the temple board. We are banking on donations from individuals and corporate bigwigs," Chitra Ramachandran, principal secretary, endowments, told TOI. Officials point out that some of the major temples are getting refurbishment funds in the form of donations from various quarters.
Sources said a technical committee has been constituted to execute this ambitious plan. The authorities are planning to complete the project in five years, as a major chunk of the plan involves pumping ground water to the shrine located on a densely forested hillock. A few government agencies like Nabard have been approached for funding, sources said. "The temple has revenue surplus of around Rs 45 crore. At least 8,000-10,000 pilgrims visit the temple every day," Venkateswarlu, assistant endowments commissioner of Kurnool, said.
In fact, there has been a demand to make Srisailam autonomous like TTD wherein a political appointee would be the chairperson. There is even a proposal to appoint a specified authority for Srsiailam on the lines of Tirumala's body. The temple, popularly known as 'Dakshina Kasi', is located on the Nallamala hills on the banks of Krishna river. The total devasthanam area is 4,427 acres and the core temple area is around 600 acres.
March 20th, 2012, 09:25 AM
The JNTU Hyderabad (JNTUH) is establishing yet another university college at Singoor village in Medak district and it will be operational from the 2012-13 academic year.
The new college will offer B.Tech in four streams with 60 seats each and these include Computer Science Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE), Civil and Environmental Engineering apart from a new course Material Science and Nano Technology.
The JNTUH Chief Engineer, Prof. Vishwanatham from the Civil Engineering department said that the campus would come up in 54 acres in Singoor village near Sangareddy.
He said the land has been identified and the process of giving them possession is on. The Government Order with regard to sanction of funds is being awaited and the construction would start once the funds are released. The classes are likely to be run in rented buildings to start with.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Damodar Rajanarsimha has been lobbying for a university college in his constituency for long. In fact, the proposals were submitted last year when Prof. D.N. Reddy was the Vice-Chancellor.
March 22nd, 2012, 12:53 AM
NEW DELHI: India will get a $240 million soft loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for development of infrastructure projects in different states through public-private partnership (PPP).
The central government, ADB and the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) today signed a $240 million loan agreement in this regard, an official statement said.
The fund will be used to expand road networks in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir.
The loan to road projects will help connect far flung communities to markets, the statement said, adding a power project in Gujarat will also receive funding.
"The long-term financing...will play a catalytic role in encouraging private-sector participation in infrastructure projects, particularly, through the PPP modality and will leverage funds over 10 times from the private sector," Joint Secretary (Finance Ministry) Venu Rajamony said.
This is the third and final tranche of the ongoing second India Infrastructure Project Financing Facility(IIPFF), which aims to stimulate infrastructure development through PPP investments.
"The loan would flow to the IIFCL on back-to-back basis with sovereign guarantee," the statement said.
In 2009, ADB had agreed to provide a $700 million multi-tranche financing facility to help IIFCL provide long-term funding for infrastructure development.
March 22nd, 2012, 09:13 AM
The visiting Andhra Pradesh business delegation with businessmen and AP Youth Welfare Association office bearers. (AN photo)
By JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS
Published: Mar 22, 2012 02:49 Updated: Mar 22, 2012 02:49
A business delegation from the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh visited the Kingdom last week.
The team explored areas for joint ventures, outsourcing and trading in diverse sectors like infrastructure, construction, architecture & engineering design, interior design, high-end unique jewelry, oil-based products, solar water heaters and solar street lamps etc.
The business meet was sponsored and organized by Andhra Pradesh Youth Welfare Association and Telugu Academy — Jeddah as part of their activity in promoting Indian business, companies and traders especially from the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Siraj Hassan, renowned architect and interior designer of India based out of Andhra Pradesh with Siraj & Renu Architects and Interior Designers, said that there is lot of potential in Saudi Arabia for architectural and engineering consultants with the booming construction activity in the Kingdom.
He said that his firm was looking into acquiring outsourcing business in architectural, engineering and interior design and received warm response from various consulting firms in Jeddah and Riyadh.
With infrastructure projects running into billions of dollar going on throughout the Kingdom, SS group of companies, which has diverse business interests with focus on infrastructure projects, were represented by Suresh Bajaj a well known businessman. He said that lots of companies have shown interest in teaming up with their firm following their versatile project experience in infrastructural projects.
Bajaj, whose group also owns Krsala Jewellery, which is well known for its high-end, unique antique designs studded with precious stones, said that Saudi jewelers have shown keen interest in their products and expressed their willingness to synergize.
Managing Director of Yakon Trading Company, Mir Hyder Ali, said that his company is already engaged in trade with the Kingdom in various oil-based products like oil derivatives, filter clay and filter cloth etc and now they are planning to venture into the trading of food grains and industrial grade finished products apart from solar water heaters, solar street lamps and solar panels.
Mir Gazanfar Ali Zaki, general secretary of Andhra Pradesh Youth Welfare Association and Telugu Academy, Jeddah, said that with the successful promotion of business delegation, the association is planning to organize exhibition for handicrafts and artifacts in order to provide market exposure to the fine arts of Andhra Pradesh.
Zubair Mohammed, president of the association, thanked the Saudi business community for giving a warm reception to the business delegation from Andhra Pradesh and also suggested that such initiatives would go a long way in promoting business and trade relations between two countries . Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Vice-President of IYWA & JCA, and Syed Baqer Ali, media coordinator, played vital role in organizing the business meets for delegates.
March 22nd, 2012, 09:25 AM
It will help in assessing pollution potential due to e-waste
Amid increasing concerns over accumulating e-waste in the form of discarded cellular phones to television sets to computers apart from a horde of other electric and electronic items, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has decided to compile comprehensive data on the emerging pollution threat.
Under a Union Ministry of Environment and Forests project ‘Capacity Building and Industrial Pollution Management (CBIPMP)' with financial assistance from the World Bank, the initiative is to collate data on e-waste generated in the State and map the spatial distribution of units producing the same.
It will also look at understanding the distribution of dismantlers of electrical/electronic equipment, consumer/bulk consumers of e-waste, collection centres and recyclers of e-waste across the State. The exercise is expected to help in assessing the pollution potential due to the e-waste in different districts.
The data compilation includes equipment related to IT and Telecommunication such as centralised data processing, mainframes, personal computers (CPU with input and output devices), laptops, printers and cartridges, facsimile and telex. A comprehensive data is also sought on telephones, pay telephones, cordless, cellular telephones and answering systems.
Among the consumer electrical and electronics to be covered are television sets including sets based on liquid crystal display and light emitting diode technology, refrigerator, washing machine and air-conditioners.
Apart from information on authorised units available with the APPCB, the exhaustive exercise will collect data from establishments such as IT/ITES companies, various government departments, bulk consumers, sellers and consumers of the waste, collection centres and even ‘kabadiwallas' (scrap-dealers).
The total quantity of e-waste generated and recycled thus collated district-wise will be mapped with geographical coordinates i.e., latitude and longitude.
The year-long assignment for which the APPCB plans to have consultants will also apply forecasting model to estimate future e-waste generation in the State and make recommendations for effective management of the pollution threat in short-term as well as in sustainable long term manner.
March 23rd, 2012, 09:56 AM
State-owned SAIL has expressed its interest to acquire former Karnataka minister G Janardhan Reddy-promoted Brahmani Steel in Andhra Pradesh, Parliament was informed today.
Brahmani Steel has 14,700 acres of land and iron ore mines to build a 2.5 million tonnes steel plant at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. However, the project, alloted to the company during the regime of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, is yet to take off.
"SAIL has registered its interest with Government of Andhra Pradesh in September, 2011 for acquisition of Brahmani Steel and associated mines or any other land bank with iron ore mines in Andhra Pradesh," Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He added that "future course of action by SAIL will be decided on receipt of response from Government of Andhra Pradesh."
The plant, which was proposed to be the first steel plant of such scale in the state, was estimated to get an investment of Rs 4,400 crore.
However, it is yet to take off due to several issues, including company promoter and former Karnataka Minister G Janardhan Reddy being in jail.
In April last year, the state government had also issued a show cause notice to the company for the delays. Later, it tried to bring in public sector steel makers for execution of the project.
March 23rd, 2012, 10:08 AM
Finally, there is a ray of hope for small micro-lenders in Andhra Pradesh. A year ago Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had proposed creation of a dedicated fund to provide equity to assist small microfinance institutions in expanding operations.
The Rs 100-crore fund has been created and Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) has started disbursing money to small micro-lenders. Most micro-lenders in Andhra Pradesh are not aware of the status of the fund as Sidbi received the money only a couple of weeks ago.
Sidbi has so far sanctioned around Rs 30 crore out of this fund to eight microfinance companies outside Andhra Pradesh. Sushil Muhnot, chairman and managing director of Sidbi, expects the investment to top Rs 50 crore by the end of the financial year as Sidbi is evaluating a few more proposals. “It is a perpetual fund and hence will not lapse,” Muhnot told Business Standard.
While Sidbi has committed to provide financial assistance to microfinance institutions outside Andhra Pradesh, senior officials said they were not averse to investing in small micro-lenders in the state, where the local government has curbed micro-lending activities of private players since October 2010.
“If the situation improves, we will also consider proposals of small microfinance institutions from Andhra Pradesh. The investment will happen after assessing the credit profile and financial health,” said Muhnot.
Most industry players said the move will help revive small micro-lenders in the state, who are on the verge of collapse as borrowers have stopped loan repayments while banks and private investors are reluctant to offer fresh funds.
“It is a positive development. At least someone is willing to consider investment proposals from us. We are hopeful that the passage of the Microfinance Bill will improve the situation in the coming months. That will pave the way for Sidbi to invest in companies like us,” said a chief executive of a small microfinance institution in Andhra Pradesh that has requested its banks to restructure its debts.
March 24th, 2012, 02:43 PM
Healthcare company Merck has joined forces with the Safe Water Network (SWN) in a bid to increase access to clean water and reduce the impact of waterborne diseases in Andhra Pradesh, India.
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As part of the project, Merck will collaborate with non-profit organisation SWN to provide core business expertise, advocacy efforts and employee social responsibility programmes to help build on its on-going field activities in the region.
In addition, the partners will work together to raise awareness of the importance of clean water and hygiene in an attempt to drive behaviour change.
Coinciding with World Water Day 2012, Merck said that water safety plays a major role in its corporate responsibility approach as a signatory to the UN's Water Mandate.
Merck managing director K. G. Ananthakrishnan, said: "Clean water is fundamental to the world's health and to Merck's mission of fighting disease and helping the world be well. Nowhere is this truer than in India, which faces a significant challenge related to clean water.
"Our partnership with Safe Water Network is a testament of our commitment to help reduce the impact of water-related illness in India and of Merck's overall efforts to improve health globally."
Safe Water Network CEO Kurt Soderlund said that the partnership would help it "accelerate work to develop solutions that can be broadly replicated", adding that the initiative "demonstrates how companies like Merck can play an important role in developing solutions to global water challenges".
March 24th, 2012, 02:46 PM
NEW DELHI: The government approved eight road projects in six states, entailing Rs 9,620 crore investment, under its flagship road building programme National Highways Development Project (NHDP).
The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) cleared the projects for widening of existing highways in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan on design, build, operate, finance and transfer basis ( DBOFT) on BOT toll mode under NHDP phases II, III, IV and V.
"The CCI today approved the investment proposal for the implementation of the project for the development of six laning of Chandikhole - Paradeep section of NH 5 A in Orissa under NHDP Phase V," an official statement said.
The Orissa project is to be executed at a cost of Rs 1,014.36 crore, it added.
The 76.6 km stretch will be widened with an objective to improve infrastructure in Orissa and will result in reducing travel time between Chandikhole and Paradeep.
About the Andhra Pradesh project, the statement said it is for "development of six laning of Gundugolanu - Rajahmundry section of NH 5" to be executed at a cost of Rs 1,766.25 crore.
Two projects pertaining to Uttar Pradesh comprise four laning of Ghaghar Bridge (Indo Nepal Border) - Varanasi section on NH 233 will be built at a cost of Rs 1,895.95 crore. The four laning of Sultanpur - Varansi section of NH 56 will be entail an investment of Rs 1,564.73 crore.
Further, the Rs 1,153.30 crore project in Karnataka for four laning of 80.02 km Hoskote - Dobbaspet section on NH 207 has also been approved.
Thr four laning of Solapur - Bijapur section on NH 13 in Maharashtra and Karnataka, the statement said, will cost Rs 1,091.89 crore out which Rs 89.41 crore will be towards land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement.
The remaining two projects are located in Rajasthan and Punjab related to development and operation of Sikar - Bikaner Section of NH 11 and Zirakpur - Patiala Section of NH 64 at a cost of Rs 632.54 crore and Rs 501 crore respectively.
March 26th, 2012, 08:59 AM
The State Government had allocated Rs 100 crore as part of its share during 2012-13.
HYDERABAD, MARCH 25:
A restructuring and revival package for weavers will be rolled out in Andhra Pradesh soon.
The State Government and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development have entered into a memorandum of understanding in this regard at the State Level Bankers' Committee meeting held here on Saturday.
This memorandum will facilitate implementation of newly-launched centrally-sponsored Revival, Reform and Restructuring Package for Handloom Sector Scheme in the State.
The Andhra Pradesh State Handloom Weavers' Cooperative Society Ltd, primary weavers' co-operative societies, individual weavers, self help groups, joint liability groups and master weavers would benefit to the tune of Rs 303 crore under the scheme.
To implement the scheme, the State Government had allocated Rs 100 crore as part of its share during 2012-13.
This was in addition to the Rs 142.15 crore already released by the State Government to 26,482 individual weavers and 1,404 primary weavers' cooperative societies under the loan-waiver scheme earlier.
The scheme would also help in the strengthening of weavers' cooperative societies by capacity building through computerisation and adopting management information system and common accounting system.
March 27th, 2012, 08:24 PM
HYDERABAD: The state government is likely to get Rs 3,500 crore in April from the Union ministry of road transport and highways for construction of 138 roads and 26 bridges under the Left-wing Extremism- affected Districts Scheme.
The 40 districts in the country the Centre identified as Maoist-affected include Khammam, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, VisakHapatnam, East Godavari, Warangal and Karimnagar in Andhra pradesh. The Union government decided to create infrastructure and employment, and take up developmental works to dissuade people, especially the young, from joining the extremists.
It has taken up many developmental works in Khammam district.
The Union ministry of road transport has asked the state government to send proposals for taking up new works in remote areas in Maoist-affected districts.
Acting on the instructions by the state government the roads and buildings department has prepared proposals for building 138 roads and 26 bridges in the eight districts and sent it to the Centre.
One of the proposed 26 bridges will come up on Godavari river at Bhadrachalam. The three-lane bridge will be 1.82-km-long and three line width bridge and it was will cost Rs 80 crore. Already, a two-lane bridge on the Godavari, which was built in 1964, exists at Bhadrachalam but it is unable to take the load due to the everincreasing traffic on it.
During the Srirama Navami and Mukkoti Ekadasi festivals lakhs of devotees from various parts of the state enter the temple town through this bridge.
Moreover, the bridge is the only way linking other states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, and thousands of inter-state vehicles ply on the bridge everyday.
According to roads and buildings chief engineer (PPP projects) G Jagannadha Rao, the Union ministry of road transport is likely to approve the state government’s proposals on new roads and bridges shortly.
March 28th, 2012, 06:45 PM
MACHILIPATNAM: As part of Centre's plans to modernize police stations in the country, a new crime tracking system will be launched in AP soon at a cost of Rs 100 crore. The system is expected to link over 1,100 police stations in the state, including those in Hyderabad, to a common server to help the investigators and sleuths to nab the offenders in a quick time.
State police chief V Dinesh Reddy said that the crime control tracking system would be in place within a couple of months. He said it was already functioning in Delhi and all the metro cities. Speaking to reporters at Mopidevi village in Krishna district on Tuesday, Dinesh Reddy said that state government is taking several measures to bring down the crime rate.
He said that a proposal for setting up sub-divisional offices in each of the assembly segments is also under the active consideration of the government. "There are about 180 sub-divisions in the state. We want to increase the number to 294 so that each assembly constituency headquarters will have a senior official holding a rank of DSP to monitor law and order in the area," said DGP Dinesh Reddy. He said that a proposal for promotions of lower rank officials such as sub-inspectors has forwarded to the government for its final nod.
"If the promotions are given on the basis of their joining year (batch) into the service, all the officials irrespective of ranges and vacancies would get promotions uniformly," he added.
The DGP said six more marine police stations would be granted to Krishna district in addition to the existing six stations. In response to a query on the role of police in liquor syndicates, he said that they would take action against all the guilty after the ACB files its final report with the government. The DGP, who opened a police outpost at Mopidevi, earlier offered prayers at the local Srivalli Sametha Subramanyeswara Swamy temple.
March 28th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Hyderabad, March 28:
Andhra Pradesh Major Industries Minister, Dr Geeta Reddy, today informed the State Assembly the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Inrastructure Corporation (APIIC) has acquired about 4532 acres of land for Mega Industrial Park at C.K.Dinne Mandal of Kadapa District in the state. Responding to a question raised by members in the House, he said the preliminary survey work for Mega Park was conducted and establishment of approach road to park at Kopparthy from Kadapa-Bellary Road was in progress. While referring to electricity lines to the park, the APIIC has sent proposal to Southern Power Distribution Company in Tirupati and it was under process, he added. UNI
March 30th, 2012, 07:44 AM
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh state archeology department's commitment towards preserving the state's rich past is best displayed in the way centuries-old sculptures are lying scattered amid debris right in its office in Gunfoundry. Carelessly strewn with rubble mounting around them owing to the renovation of Srisailam Pavilion museum inside the archaeology office, that ironically faces the director's chambers are statues that date back to the early medieval period.
The disregard for history has those visiting the office appalled. The irony of it all seems lost on the powers that be given that it's the archaeology department that is displaying this callous behaviour. The idols seen strewn around are those of Hindu gods and goddesses including Vishnu, Ganesha, Durga, Anantaseshasahi Vishnu (Vishnu resting on a coiled serpent) and Mahishasuramardhini. Sculptures of Buddha were also there.
The statues are precious and may cost a fortune in the antiques market. Made of granite and red sandstone, the sculptures have been in the archeology department office for long. Those familiar with the statues say they were retrieved during the project work of the Srisailam and Yeleswaram dams and were brought to the archeology department office. These (sculptures) were retrieved from the submergible areas of Srisailam and Yeleswaram more than three decades ago and brought here in a process called transplantation in conservation parlance. Some statues are also said to have been brought in from other parts of the state, including Mahbubnagar.
The Srisailam Pavilion was meant for displaying only excavated material but the problem is apparently not limited to the sculptures currently lying in a state of neglect. The infrastructure for these precious items has always been lacking. "The pavilion itself is very small and can't hold these many statues. The department was incepted in the 1930s by the Nizams but even after so many years, the department has failed to have a separate sculptures gallery," said Krishna Sastry, former director of the state archeology department. He said that some of the sculptures gathering dust, literally at the department, date back to the 5th or the 6th century and also from the Rashtrakuta period. "The value of the sculptures on the roadside is nothing when sculptures from this era are priceless objects," he said. Sastry suggested that these sculptures could be moved to the AP state museum or even the museum at Golconda.
Officials at the department say that the sculptures will be placed carefully once the Srisailam Pavilion restoration work is completed. They also admitted that the sculptures were indeed 500-1000 years old but they evaded pointed queries on why they were lying around with filth. "We will place the statues properly once the work is done," said an official. But it may be too late!
March 30th, 2012, 07:48 AM
BANGALORE: From being rated as the state with the second highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in 2006, to becoming a state that has worked towards reducing the number of new infections, transmissions and deaths, Karnataka has got help from� Project Samastha, which has played a major role in reducing HIV/AIDS rate in the state.
Karnataka Health Promotion Trust and University of Manitoba put together Project Samastha’s final summit titled ‘Closing the Gap’.
US Consul General, Jennifer Mclntyre addressed the gathering and Dr E V Ramana Reddy, secretary,� Government, Health and Family Welfare Department participated at the USAID-funded project for HIV prevention in Karnataka.
Praising the efforts of the activists, state and NGOs, Consul General Mclntyre said, “The Samastha Project has responded well to the rapidly changing nature of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. The success of the project can be attributed to the Government of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, National AIDS Control Organization and non-governmental and community-based organisations supporting this project.”
The project has reached out to more than 3,00,000 people in rural areas across 12 districts in Karnataka.
“The project has helped 15,000 rural female sex workers focus on HIV prevention information, increased their access to condoms, and ensured that they are treated for sexually transmitted infections. Besides, Samastha has also helped more than 70,000 people living with HIV access support, and provided 18,000 children affected by HIV with nutrition, health, education, shelter, and psychological support. In the Budget, the chief minister has announced that they would continue to provide monetary support to this programme, which is positive news,” said Dr E V Ramana Reddy.
People who have benefited from the programme said that the programme had helped them understand the problem and deal with it, while helping hundreds of others too.� “What is happening in Karnataka and coastal Andhra Pradesh has immense potential for global application. USA government looks forward to pursuing additional innovations to accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Consul General Mclntyre said.
March 30th, 2012, 08:03 AM
Committed to taking forward HIV/AIDS prevention measures, the State government has increased the budgetary allocation for HIV prevention, care and support programmes.
State Health Secretary E.V. Ramana Reddy, who revealed this on Wednesday at an event that marked the end of Samastha project (a five-year HIV/AIDS prevention project supported by USAID funding), said the government had decided to grant travel reimbursement to 66,000 persons living with HIV who are receiving free anti-retroviral therapy (ART) medicines in Karnataka. A sum of Rs. 6 crore had been set aside for this, he said.
Samastha, a five-year project supported by USAID funding, provided care, support and treatment to people living with HIV in 15 districts of the State and five coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.
“The project was aimed at delivering an integrated and comprehensive programme that provided HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support programme and the State government is committed to taking this forward with our own funds,” Mr. Reddy asserted. Jennifer McIntyre, US Consul-General, Chennai, who lauded the project, said the project had been successful because of the integration of all services to People Living with HIV under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).
“The 27 Community Care Centres, the short-stay health care facilities for inpatients and 60 drop-in centres of Integrated Positive Prevention and Care Centres run by Karnataka Health Promotion Trust have done yeomen service to people living with HIV in Karnataka thereby enormously reducing the new infections,” she said.
Earlier, Narmada Anand, State Deputy Director, Women and Child Department, said that the government had doubled the allocation from Rs 1 crore to Rs. 2 crore in the State budget for a ‘Special Care Programme' for orphans whose parents had succumbed to the disease.
“Last year's allocation had benefited 2,100 children through cash transfers. A child with the extended families received Rs. 750 from the department which identified 8,319 children living with HIV for foster care,” she said.
C. Parthasarathy, Project Director, AP State AIDS Control Society; Balasubramaniam, founder, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement; Saroja Putran, who is living with HIV and is the president of Karnataka Network of People Living with HIV; and Vasanthamma, president of Vimukthi Women's Collective; spoke.
March 31st, 2012, 05:23 PM
Hyderabad, Mar 30(PTI)Tilaknagar Industries, a leading player in the liquor industry engaged in manufacturing Indian Made Foreign Liquor, is planning to set up a one lakh litters per day distillery plant in Andhra Pradesh at an investment of Rs 150 crore and also increase the capacity of its existing plant at Rajahmundry. Amit Dahanukar, chairman and managing director of the company said his application for capacity expansion at Rajahmundry is pending with the state government. The company has sought to increase the capacity of the plant to four lakh cases per month against 50,000 at present. "We have a licence to set up a greenfield distillery of one lakh litters per day in Andhra Pradesh. We will decide as to how to proceed with the project. The investment will be Rs 150 crore," Dahanukar told a press conference after launching Mansion House Gold Whisky in Andhra Pradesh. According to him, the AP market which gave overall 20 per cent growth to the company's products needs additional supplies and hence capacity expansion is necessary. He said the company may end up selling 13 million cases this fiscal and record revenues of Rs 1500 crore. "We are very optimistic about our growth. With a couple of initiatives, the growth will be upward of 20 per cent. It will be maintained in the next year also, Dahanukar said. Mansion House, the mother brand of the company generated gross revenues of Rs 865 crore for the company and sold over 5.8 million cases this year. The company has targeted to capture 10 per cent of market share in Andhra Pradesh for Mansion House. The current market size of this category is estimated at around 1.2 million cases per annum in the state, he added.
March 31st, 2012, 05:33 PM
HYDERABAD: Be ready to pay more for your electricity. In an unprecedented power tariff hike slapped on unsuspecting consumers in the state, the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Friday cleared the proposal submitted by the various Power Discoms that will levy an additional Rs 4,442 crore burden on the 2.2 crore consumers across the state. The new tariff will come into effect on April 1 and will be reflected in your electricity bills of May.
Of the Rs 4,442 crore, the domestic consumers will be burdened about Rs 900 crore and the industrial and commercial consumers another Rs 3,300 crore. Apart from this, all consumers will be levied a new Customer Charge ranging from Rs 25 to Rs 2,000 per month to raise another Rs 300 crore. The new levy will hit the domestic consumer in the range of Rs 25 to Rs 45 per month.
While domestic consumers have to bear an increase of 55 paise to Re 1 per unit, commercial consumers, including malls and other establishments, will have to cough up Rs 2 per unit. Industrial consumers will have to pay 50 paise to Rs 1.50 more on every unit.
Yet another shock for the domestic consumer is that the new power tariff would be load-based: higher the load, higher your bill. In all, the additional burden on the domestic consumers will be about 18% of his current bill. For example, if a consumer is paying Rs 305 for consuming 100 units per month, his bill from April will shoot up to Rs 395 per month.
However, the proposal to bring back the telescopic billing system was rejected by the ERC, much to the relief of the consumers. Had it been cleared by the ERC, the domestic consumers would have ended up paying double of what is in store for them now.
Also, for the first time, additional Time of the Day tariff has been introduced for industries and airport. Thus airports and industries will have to pay an additional Re 1 per unit that they consume between 6pm and 10pm. Apart from this, advertising hoardings will have to cough up a total of Rs 9 per unit and this will be applicable to hoardings in malls and complexes.
In another first, the ERC also said that the Fuel Surcharge Adjustment (FSA) would be applicable to all categories as notified by the Commission from time to time as per the regulations, indicating that the agriculture sector too can come under this purview.
April 2nd, 2012, 08:52 AM
HYDERABAD: A three-member committee will oversee implementation of the High Security Number Plate (HSNP) project across the state from April 30. The successful bidder will start fixing HSNPs to new vehicles to start with.
The state government had named principal secretary (Transport) Lakshmi Parthasarathy, transport commissioner Hiralal Samaria, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) managing director B Prasada Rao as members of the committee, while the principal secretary would be its chairman.
APSRTC officials told TOI that four Indo-European companies - Shimnit Utsch, Celex Technologies Pvt Ltd, Usav Safety System Pvt Ltd and Tonnjes - have filed tenders for the project. The financial bids were supposed to be opened on March 28, but it was deferred to April 3.
"As APSRTC sent some officials to physically check on the four bidding companies to know their technical abilities, the opening of financial bids was deferred," APSRTC special officer (Projects) T Srinivas said.
In view of the Supreme Court order, the successful bidding company should be in a position to at least start fixing HSNPs on new vehicles. "One of the criteria for participating in the tender is that the company should have experience in implementing HSNP in any state in the country. This criterion was incorporated since the successful bidder should start rolling out the project from April 30," the official added.
The bidder has to supply two crore HSNPs in two years from the date of execution of the development agreement. All categories of vehicles would be affixed HSNPs. However, prices would be known only after opening of the bids.
April 4th, 2012, 09:44 AM
Micro finance companies have appealed to the Reserve Bank to ask banks to restructure the residual portfolio of around Rs 2,000 crore of loans extended in Andhra Pradesh, a top official from MFI industry said today.
Earlier, banks had restructured around Rs 5,000 crore of loans of MFIs operating in Andhra Pradesh after the state government ordinance regulating the mfi sector had made the recovery of the loans difficult. "We have asked for a residual portfolio of the Andhra Pradesh MFIs to be restructured, which is around Rs 2,000 crore," Mathew Titus, executive director of Sadhan, an association of MFIs, told reporters here after the pre-policy consultation with RBI today.
In January 2011, RBI had allowed banks to restructure loans of microfinance companies without any change in asset classification, as these firms were not able to service their debts because of the change in lending norms in Andhra Pradesh that affected their profitability. Subsequently, around Rs 5,000 crore of loan had been restructured by banks in Andhra Pradesh.
However, Titus said that the loans of small and medium MFIs which were not part of the earlier restructuring should now be allowed to be recast. MFIs have also sought a revision in the upper cap of the interest charged to the borrowers due to a higher interest rate environment.
"A spread of 12% in good enough. But we think, given the current environment, the present ceiling of 26% is always going to be difficult," he said adding that credit rationing from the banking sector to MFIs is creating another problem for the industry. Referring to fund flow from the banking industry, he said it was inadequate.
"Securitisation deals have been happening but given that you were getting Rs 1,000 crore a month from the banks and now you are getting RS 500 crore in six months. So, the balance sheet size is shrinking and operations of MFIs are on the decline," Titus said, adding that the industry is now looking for funding options from Small Industries Development Bank of India.
April 8th, 2012, 02:32 PM
It will envisage coordinated action among radars and weapon deployment consoles
A hi-tech Electronic Range to simulate complex warfare scenarios is proposed to be set up in Andhra Pradesh by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
According to Avinash Chander, Chief Controller, (Missiles and Strategic Systems) DRDO, the proposed Range would be a unique national facility and the location was yet to be decided. “We are looking for land in the State”, he told The Hindu here on Thursday. Besides this, an O-Range (open range) near Dundigal and a Hypersonic Wind Tunnel near Shamirpet were also planned to be established and investment for all the three facilities would be in the range of Rs.1,000 crore.
Another top DRDO official said the Electronic Range would be a highly software-intensive facility. It envisages coordinated action among many participating equipments including radars and weapon deployment consoles. Besides enabling weapon simulation and evaluation, it would also facilitate training in different operations by simulating the complex war conditions without actually involving weapon hardware.
The warfare scenarios could be air-to-air combat or air defence counter measures against aircraft and missiles. The Hypersonic Wind Tunnel would create hypersonic flight conditions on ground. All re-entry bodies are hypersonic and such a facility would enable the scientists to better understand the aero-thermo dynamics of the vehicle in hypersonic flight, the official said. “We will be able to get realistic performance data”, he added. Mr. Avinash Chander said O-Range would be an important national facility and was meant to test radar cross-section of different types of missiles and other systems. It would also facilitate the evaluation of various antennae for their characteristics. He said land for setting up O-Range was already acquired and the work would start shortly. All the three facilities would become operational in two to three years.
April 9th, 2012, 12:00 PM
April 10th, 2012, 10:07 AM
NTPC to supply entire power of new Simhadri project to AP
NTPC has agreed to supply the entire power of the soon-to-be-commissioned 500-Mw fourth unit of Simhadri project at Visakhapatnam to Andhra Pradesh in the next 3-4 month owing to the local supply-demand scenario, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said here on Monday.
“I had spoken to the chairman of NTPC in this regard and he has agreed to my request,” the chief minister told reporters while explaining the power supply scenario and the reasons for increasing the tariff from April 1. The new Simhadri unit is expected to be connected to the state grid in a day or two.
Reddy defended the hike in power tariff stating the rise in fuel costs and the average cost to serve at the consumer end had resulted in a total revenue gap of Rs 11,000 crore, of which the state would bear a subsidy of Rs 5,533 crore during 2012-13.
The tariff order issued by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (Aperc) for the year is expected to generate an additional Rs 4,500 crore revenues to the kitty of the state power utilities after it raised the electricity rates across all categories, barring a few.
However, the chief minister announced a further subsidy of Rs 175 crore for domestic households that consume power within the two lower slabs – up to 50 units and 100 units a month – following the general demand for a roll-back in tariff by political parties.
With this decision, the consumers will pay Rs 1.45 per unit under the 0-50 unit slab and Rs 2.6 per unit under 50-100 unit slab even if an individual household exceeds the average demand of 500 watts a day. Earlier, the tariff regulator had clarified that these rates were applicable only if the household demand remained under 500 watts. For higher domestic slabs, the rates range from Rs 3.6 (101-200 unit slab) to Rs 7.75 per unit (beyond 500 units a month).
The rates have also been hiked by an average of Re 1 per unit for industrial consumers across categories.
“Andhra Pradesh is only state in the country that provides the highest amount of subsidy to the power sector even after effecting the tariff hike for the first time in the past eight years,” he said, adding, more than 74 per cent of the existing 24.36 million consumers, including farmers and poor, were unaffected by the tariff hike.
According to him, Tamil Nadu provides an annual power subsidy of over Rs 4,200 crore, Karnataka Rs 3,500 crore, Maharashtra Rs 3,000 crore and Gujarat Rs 1,100 crore.
On the power supply situation, the chief minister said the power cuts had become acute as the demand had increased to 296 million units (mu) a day as against the total average availability of 254 mu. The gas supply shortage, which had put about 1,200 Mw of installed gas power capacity in an idle state, had also aggravated the situation.
With the additional 500 Mw from Simhadri project and a purchase of 256 Mw from Haryana in addition to 220 Mw of expensive power being generated through RLNG swapping meant for small industries, the power supply would improve in the coming days, Reddy said.
April 11th, 2012, 08:22 AM
Rs.7.20 crore provided towards building 144 temples in backward areas in 2011-12
In a major initiative, aimed at preserving temples and propagating spiritualism, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) have floated Sri Venkateswara Heritage Preservation Trust.
The Trust provides financial assistance for construction of new temples as well as renovation of temples in dilapidated condition, particularly those located in the Dalitwadas, Girjanwadas and fishermen colonies.
The Trust supplies stone and panchaloha idols of Lord Venkateswara and his consort Padmavathi at subsidised prices to the temples on request. For temples located in Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and fishermen colonies, it makes such supplies at 90 per cent subsidy. In the case of supplies to temples in general areas, a subsidy of 75 per cent is provided. Mutts, ashrams and educational institutions get 50 per cent subsidy for such supplies.
TTD Executive Officer L.V. Subramanyam claimed that in 2011-2012 alone, the TTD provided a financial assistance of Rs.7.20 crore for construction of 144 temples in SC, ST, fishermen colonies and backward areas in Andhra Pradesh.
It had also launched a scheme to give a facelift to temples which were over 100 years old. Under this scheme, Rs.25 lakh was being provided to each identified temple. One-fourth of the expenditure was to be met by the trustees of the temples concerned.
In its annual budget for 2012-13, the TTD had decided to provide Rs.10 lakh for the construction of temples in hamlets, out of which Rs.7.7 lakh would be for temple construction, Rs.1.5 lakh for erection of the compound wall and Rs.80,000 towards the idols.
In the last financial year, the TTD supplied as many as 829 stone idols, worth about Rs.1.59 crore, and 352 panchaloha idols, valued at Rs.77.64 lakh, to temples across the country.
For propagation of spiritualism in society, it had supplied 663 mike sets, worth about Rs.72.84 lakh to temples in villages. Even the traditional ‘temple umbrellas' were being supplied at 50 per cent subsidy to shrines on request.
“It is the primary responsibility of the TTD to protect our temples, which are symbols of our culture, heritage, ethos and values,” said Mr. Subramanyam.
April 12th, 2012, 08:47 AM
The National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) in partnership with Andhra Pradesh State AIDS Control Wing (APSACS) and Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) have come out with a new initiative of promoting female condoms to combat the deadly disease of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) among the women population in the state.
In its efforts to control the spread of AIDS among the women groups, the AIDS control wing of State government had taken it as a priority agenda to popularize female condoms as a means of women’s empowerment.
C Parthasarathy, project director, APSACS, said, “We have planned a social marketing strategy to promote female condoms to combat the spread of AIDS. The plan is underway and the product has been highly subsidized by the government to make it affordable, especially to the vulnerable high-risk female population throughout the state under targeted intervention.” This social marketing programme aims at controlling HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and preventing unwanted pregnancies by giving women an opportunity to exercise their choice of opting for safe sex.
In Andhra Pradesh HIV/AIDS has emerged as one of the important public health issues in recent years. In fact, the state is second only to Maharashtra in the number of HIV infections in India. The surveillance data for Andhra Pradesh shows that the spread of HIV infection is mainly from the high-risk groups to the general population. AP has approximately 80 million people of which at least 400000 people are infected with HIV as per NACO estimates.
The 10 districts which are on high HIV alert in the state include East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Prakasam, Karimnagar, Cuddapah, Nizamabad and Khammam.
As per statistics, the population of HRG (high risk groups) is about 1.51 lakh in AP. The demand for female condoms is also growing. It is believed that during the past two years since 2010, nearly 12,28,402 female condoms were sold. Purchase and re-purchase patterns have shown an encouraging response towards acceptance of the product among the female population, but still lot of awareness is required in the rural areas about the threat of spread of AIDS and measures to contain it.
According to sources, the subsidized condoms are available as low as Rs.3.50 each under social marketing for HRG female population covered under targeted intervention. But otherwise commercially, a pack of three female condoms may cost Rs.100 in select medical stores. These highly lubricated condoms induct heat and are more effective.
“NGOs, outreach staff and peer educators have been roped in and trained in all aspects to generate awareness about availability and the advantages of using this condom, which empowers women by giving them a choice to practice safe sex. Attempts at popularizing these condoms are being made through ‘kalajataras’, campaigns, earmarking of special days, illustrative pamphlets and booklets, technical support to NGOs, regular monitoring and maintenance of a sales register,” added N. Bharathi, programme manager of AP female condom programme, HLFPPT.
April 13th, 2012, 06:48 PM
April 13th, 2012, 07:14 PM
HYDERABAD: The Centre has assured the state of a decision soon on construction of 8.17 lakh tonne godown space,� increase in the commission payable to IKP groups on paddy procurement� and enhancement of custom milling charges by the Food Corporation.
This� assurance was given by Union minister of state for consumer affairs KV Thomas at a meet he held with chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Thursday. Reddy sought synchronisation of� labour component of cultivation with MGNREGS,� an increase in� paddy support price and declaration of bonus for paddy.
They also discussed godown space, procurement and export of rice and supply of adequate number of railway rakes. Reddy informed Thomas that 25 lakh tonne of additional godown space was being created 12 to 15 months and suggested that� FCI may be permitted to hire private godowns to help farmers in view of urgent need for godowns.
He sought construction of godown space for 8.17 lakh tonne, to which Thomas said the Centre would consider the request. Reddy said Railways has been requested to make available 240 rakes per month for movement of rice by FCI. He also urged� Centre to see that hamilis strike in Kerala and TN ended.
April 14th, 2012, 03:32 PM
HYDERABAD: The state government has constituted a team of observers to suggest ways to increase efficiency in the medical post-graduation counselling 2012-13 process, conducted by Dr NTR University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, from April 16 as per the rules, regulations and procedures in vogue.
Special chief secretary G Sudhir stated on Friday that Dr PV Nandakumar Reddy, professor of ophthalmology at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital/Osmania Medical College, has been designated as team leader.
Ramana Raju, additional director (administration) in the department of medical health has been named member of the said team along with Dr Babu Rao, assistant professor of Social and Preventive Medicine at Osmania Medical College.
Once the counseling process is over and the team has collected the necessary information, the team leader has been asked to submit a detailed report on their findings to the government which will help it better understand the salient aspects of the counselling process and its shortcomings, if any.
The team is also expected to recommend appropriate measures for improvement in the procedure with an eye on the future.
The team, however, shall not interfere with the counselling process per se.
The vice-chancellor of Dr NTR University of Health Sciences has been asked to extend necessary co-operation and support to the team of observers, the official said.
April 16th, 2012, 08:50 PM
I-T collections up in State by 13 per cent
Net tax collection put at Rs. 25,837 crore as against Rs. 22,882 crore last year
Despite various negative factors ranging from unrest in Telangana to economic slowdown impacting industry and infrastructure sectors, income tax collections in the State registered 13 per cent growth during 2011-12.
With a net tax collection of Rs. 25,837 crore as against Rs. 22,882 crore last year, Andhra Pradesh region stood fifth in the country, after Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai regions, for the financial year 2011-12. Its growth rate was higher than the national average of 10.67 per cent.
G. Rajeswara Rao, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax – I, told reporters here on Friday that power holiday, zero yield from the micro finance sector and shortage of staff in the I-T Department made tax collection became challenging. The MFI sector paid Rs. 130 crore advance tax last year, he added.
But better tax compliance, intensified search and seizure operations to unearth concealed income, efforts by the I-T staff helped the department put a good show in a difficult year, he said. The year also saw a significant jump (45 per cent) in refunds to the tune of Rs.3,660 crore (Rs.2,509 crore last year), he said.
Among individual tax payments, the highest amount paid was Rs. 3.75 crore by two persons whose names were not disclosed. The top five advance tax payers of AP region in the public sector are NMDC, Singareni Collieries Company Ltd, Andhra Bank State Bank of Hyderabad and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd.
In the private sector, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Coromandel Fertilizers Ltd., Matrix Laboratories, Ltd, Divis Laboratories Ltd, and Amara Raja Batteries limited were the top advance tax payers.
The search and seizure operations in 72 cases mostly infrastructure, power generation, oil, steel, bulk drug companies, educational institutions and others resulted in detection of concealed income of Rs. 818.85 crore. The assets seized were worth Rs. 52.74 crore.
The outstanding dues of Rs. 1.46 crore were recovered during the year by auctioning of five attached properties in Hyderabad, three in Visakhapatnam and one in Anantapur. The show cause notice for arrest and detention in civil prison of a company director yielded tax dues of Rs. 46 lakh.
April 16th, 2012, 08:55 PM
HYDERABAD, APRIL 15:
The Andhra Pradesh Government has directed power utilities to ensure seven-hour power supply to farmers in the on-going season.
At a review meeting with officials held here on Saturday, Mr Dinesh Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Energy, Government of Andhra Pradesh, told officials that the rabi season was in full swing which might result in higher demand during the next fortnight.
The demand for power from the agricultural sector is expected to come after end of the season, he added.
The State Government had also directed district collectors to closely monitor seven-hour power supply to agriculture, timely replacement of distribution transformers by regular review meeting with the agriculture and electricity departments.
In the case of any crop distress, arrangements would also be made to provide power supply for more than seven-hours.
Efforts were on to release an additional water supply of about 2 tmcs from Jurala to Srisailam reservoir to extend the generation from Srisailam project to meet the additional requirements.
Special control rooms were also set up in Andhra Pradesh Transmission Corporation and all four distributions companies to attend to the complaints related to power supply to the farmers.
Directions were also issued to ensure uninterrupted power supply between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. in all areas in the State to avoid inconvenience to students in the current examination season
The demand for power had touched an all-time high of 307 MU on March 29, 2012 and the average demand met per day during April 2011 was 253 MU as against 293 MU now showing a deficit of 40 MU a day.
To meet the supply gap, around 26 MU a day is being purchased through medium, short-term open access and intra-State generators.
The remaining is being met through load relief to industrial and domestic sectors.
April 16th, 2012, 09:06 PM
New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today sought permission from the Centre to carry out a Rs 2,400-crore special road corridor development project to effectively deal with Naxalism, besides requesting for a helicopter to carry out swift air operations. Reddy also suggested that the expenditure on counter terrorism measures in the states could be brought under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) funds like in the case of left-wing extremism. "Our long pending request for stationing of a troop carrier helicopter at Visakhapatnam for facilitating swift air borne operations in Andhra-Orissa border may also be considered and approved immediately," he said at the Chief Ministers' Conference on internal security here. Reddy said that his government has submitted a proposal for development of a corridor of road network all along the inter-state border districts starting from Srikakulam to Adilabad, with an estimated cost of about Rs 2,400 crore, to facilitate rapid movement of security forces. "This proposal is pending for the approval of the Central government. I request the Prime Minister to accord approval for the proposal," he said. Reddy said that Andhra Pradesh has been facing the scourge of left-wing extremism and terrorism over a long period. "Both these issues pose a grave danger to the internal security of the country. Our state is fully geared up to face these challenges. We have evolved comprehensive strategies in dealing with both these issues based on our own experiences," he said. He said his state has put in place suitable mechanisms to address the root cause of the problem at physical and socio economic levels, besides training security forces in jungle operations to counter guerrilla tactics of Naxalites. "The educated unemployed youth particularly in interior areas are susceptible to the influence of extremists. Such persons are identified by the police while the district administration imparts special skills required for employment," Reddy said. Talking about anti-terror measures, he said, "Andhra Pradesh formed a specialised commando force namely OCTOPUS to respond to major terror strikes on the lines of National Security Guard (NSG). "OCTOPUS, sufficient 'Special Weapon and Tactic' (SWAT) teams are trained on the lines of NSG. They are adequately armed and equipped for counter terrorist responses, hostage rescue, etc. These teams will be deployed in important cities and vulnerable places," he said.
April 16th, 2012, 09:19 PM
HYDERABAD, APRIL 16:
The Andhra Pradesh Government and GDF Suez LNG UK Ltd will sign a project framework for setting up of a floating storage re-gasification unit at Kakinada seaport.
The terminal will be set up by GAIL and APGDC with an outlay of Rs 4,000 crore. This facility is expected to have capability to re-gasify liquefied natural gas of 15 mmscmd.
This floating unit will be a boon to gas-based independent power generation companies and thereby help boost the economic activity in the East Coast. The terminal planned to be completed by the end of 2013 will help generate additional 3,000 MW.
A project framework agreement for setting up of a floating storage re-gasification unit at Kakinada will be signed at New Delhi on Tuesday between the State-owned AP Gas Development Corporation and GDF Suez, according to a statement from the State Energy Department.
The Andhra Pradesh Government is keen that this project gets commissioned at the earliest to enable the State to help bridge the demand-supply mismatch of gas required for power plants in the State.
The natural gas produced domestically is inadequate to cater to the needs of electricity consumers including to the non-priority sectors. While 9.5 mmscmd has been allocated from KG-D6, barely 5 mmscmd is being supplied, hampering generation.
While additional capacity of 4,000 MW is under various stages of construction, there is no indication of fresh gas supplies. This project is expected to support 3,000 MW of power capacity.
The average cost of generation would work out to Rs 6 a unit versus Rs 9 a unit in the case of RLNG now.
April 17th, 2012, 08:45 PM
Driptech Inc, a Silicon Valley-based water technologies company which has its India office in Pune, on Monday roped in Hyderabad-based social enterprise AgSri as the exclusive distributor for its micro-irrigation systems in Andhra Pradesh.
“Andhra Pradesh is heading for an acute water crisis owing to ground water depletion. Driptech offers viable solutions to small farmers in the current situation. We are primarily targeting to reach to marginal farmers in the state through AgSri’s distribution network,” Peter Frykman, founder and chief executive of Driptech, told mediapersons here.
According to the state ground water department study conducted between November 2010 and November 2011, the water table in the state as a whole has dropped by an average 2.53 metre, pushing the state into a water crisis. The state government had recently declared more than three-fourths of its administrative blocks (mandals) – 876 out of 1,128 – as drought-hit.
Driptech forayed into the Indian market through a tie-up with Godrej Agrovet in 2011. At present, around 200 smallholding farmers in China, 200 in Tanzania and over 2,000 in India use its low-cost drip irrigation systems optimised for vegetables, floriculture and major commercial crops like sugarcane, cotton, chillies and turmeric.
Frykman said the company currently manufactured its products in China, and was contemplating setting up a local manufacturing plant once it reached the scale of 5,000 farmers in India within a year.
“Our focus is to expand into more markets here. We are now present in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. We are exploring the Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka markets, and expect to enter them in a couple of months,” he said, adding the company would be going in for patenting its manufacturing technology shortly.
Driptech systems are priced at Rs 12,000 per acre (for a four-year system), as compared with traditionally, commercially-viable drip irrigation systems, which cost around Rs 50,000 an acre, according to Biksham Gujja, founder and chairman, AgSri.
“Driptech systems provide highly-uniform water application even with low pressure. After switching from flood irrigation, yields typically increase at least 30 per cent, and water usage declines 60 per cent. Farmers can recoup the price of the system in as little as six months,” he added.
April 17th, 2012, 09:01 PM
GDF Suez, GAIL to Build India's First Floating LNG Terminal
NEW DELHI -- French power company GDF Suez SA, GAIL (India) Ltd. and the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh Tuesday agreed to set up the South Asian nation's first floating terminal to import liquefied natural gas.
The terminal, on India's east coast, will have an annual capacity of 3.5 million tons and will likely be commissioned by the end of 2013.
GDF Suez will hold a 26% stake in the import terminal and Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Corp. will have the remainder, the companies said in a statement. The companies didn't give any investment projections for the project.
Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution is owned jointly by GAIL Gas Ltd.--a 100% unit of pipeline utility GAIL (India)--and Andhra Pradesh Gas Infrastructure Corp.
India's annual LNG capacity is estimated to reach 50 million tons by 2017 from about 13.5 million tons, as local gas shortages are driving demand for the imported fuel.
A floating LNG terminal is a low-cost solution to imports as it can be set up quickly--within 18 months compared with about six years for an onland terminal--and also needs lesser capital investment as it doesn't involve purchase of assets such as land.
GAIL would source LNG for the terminal from GDF Suez, GAIL Director Marketing Prabhat Singh told reporters.
The deal reflects GDF's focus on India where it already holds a 10% stake in Petronet LNG Ltd., the nation's largest LNG importer by volume.
Jean-Marie Dauger, executive vice president at GDF, said that India, "and more generally Asia," is a core development region for the company's LNG business.
April 19th, 2012, 12:09 AM
State hopeful of getting an extra sum from Centre
The Andhra Pradesh government is expecting an additional plan assistance from the Centre to meet its commitments on capital expenditure during its discussions with the Planning Commission in New Delhi on April 18 on its outlay plan for 2012-03.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who will lead the team, is expected to press the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, to give additional assistance of Rs.300-1,000 crore. Ahead of the meeting, Mr Reddy held a meeting with Finance Minister A. Ramnarayan Reddy, Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi and others in AP Bhavan on Tuesday.
The outlay plan in the current fiscal is Rs.54,030 in the Rs.1.45 lakh-crore budget. This includes Rs.5,080 crore expected from Central-sponsored schemes like the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit programme. Sources said the team will seek to impress upon the Planning Commission the need to release more funds to meet impending commitments.
One such commitment is Pranahita-Chevella project taken up at cost of Rs.38,600 crore to benefit the backward Telangana region. The State government has been pleading for long with the Centre to make Pranahita-Chevella and Polavaram national projects so as to meet their entire expenditure.
According to sources, three factors may inhibit the Commission from releasing additional funds. Firstly, the plan size compared to that of 2011-12, has been enhanced phenomenally without the backing of resources. Secondly, the State government has failed to spend the plan funds in the past. In 20011-12 itself, the expenditure was only 85 per cent of the total outlay. Finally, the government is not heeding the Planning Commission's advice to phase out subsidies.
An official referred to how the Planning Commission had merely rounded off the figures during the plan discussions last year and granted only Rs.30 crore, dashing the hopes of the State government. He said if the commission adopted the same attitude, the State might get only a pittance.
April 19th, 2012, 12:20 AM
Andhra Pradesh's Plan budget for financial year 2012-2013 approved
New Delhi: The Plan budget for the financial year 2012-2013 apprised by the state legislature is approved by the planning commission. The final approved plan budget is Rs 48,935 crores which is 13.8% more than the previous year approved plan budget. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri N.Kiran Kumar Reddy held detailed discussion with the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sri Montek Singh Ahulwalia on the proposed plan budget annual plan 2012-2013.
While discussion Chief Minister highlighted the pioneering programmes of the state and explained the development of various sectors and requested the support of the planning commission to support the flagship schemes of the state. While speaking with the media the chief minister said the following points. • For the year 2012-13, planning commission has approved plan outlay of Rs. 48,935cr. Agriculture &. Allied Sectors • Aiming to reach 300 Lakh Metric Tons for Agriculture &Horticulture each by the end of 12th plan. • Warehouses capacity addition to be supported - to be doubled in next plan from 45 LMT to 100 LMT • Support for Farm Mechanisation, cold storages, Value addition and better Marketing facilities. • Syncronization of NREGA with Agriculture- 50% of labour component to be paid from NREGA. • Encourage Food processing industries & Ensure Remunerative prices Irrigation • Declaration of two projects ie., Polavaram and Pranahita-Chevella as National projects. • Planning Commission to accord revised Investment Clearance for Polavaram Poject which is pending since January 2011. Energy • Reduced supply of Gass,1300MW capacity is kept idle. Wastage of investment & Urgent need to provide gas. • Coal supply to NTPC Simhadri(1000MW- 2units) is only 50% of agreed supply quantity by Mahanadi coal fields. Request coal supply. • Transmission corridor constraint between NEW(North East West) grid and southern grid is to be addressed immediately by December 2013. • Unless proper planning is done in Power sector like supply of Gas,Coal or other alternatives, it is going to be very difficult in coming years with increasing demand. Rural Development • Interest subvention for women SHGs to be extended to all districts of AP. • 150 districts to be selected on the basis of maximum borrowings by SHGs from Banks. • GOI special fund- Women SHG Development fund-total 250cr to support STRINIDHI. • Under PMGSY there is a need for Upgradation of more than 23000 Km of metal roads created under MGNREGS and another 23,000 kms in next five years and Centre may come out with National project for Road development.
Housing & Urban Development • The number of house sanctions under lAY may be increased from 2.5 to 5 lakh and the unit cost may also be raised from 45000 to 75000. • Funds for House sites (200cr) Skill development and employment generation • Request to support in LWE districts (8 districts) to the tune of 320cr from Special SGSY- already projects submitted • Infrastructure for IIITs (2400cr in next 4yrs.600cr per year) Flagship programmes • Flexi flagship(20% of funds) to be utilised for state specific needs for improving the infrastructure. CONVENTION ON BIO DIVERSITY • Requested GOI to provide 1028cr for infrastructure and other arrangements for organizing Convention on Bio Diversity in October 2012 in Hyd in a befitting manner -190 countries are participating - prestigious event. 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) • Be more liberal with regard to Normal Central Assistance • adopt rule based devolution of funds under AIBP • Quick finalization of Chaturvedi Committee's recommendations on restructuring of CSS (centrally sponsored schemes) • GST implementation Planning Commission expressed happiness over • Formation of cabinet subcommittee for SC/ST subplan implementation. • Hyderabad Metro Rail. MEE SEVA implementation.
April 19th, 2012, 12:22 AM
Plan panel approves Rs 48,935 crore outlay for Andhra Pradesh in 2012-13
NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission today approved a plan size of Rs 48,935 crore for Andhra Pradesh for the year 2012-13, an increase of 13.8 per cent over the previous fiscal.
The plan size was finalised here in a meeting between Commission's deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy.
"We have had a very good and through discussion with the chief minister ... we have approved for Andhra Pradesh plan size for the year 2012-13 Rs 48,935 crore," Ahluwalia told reporters here.
For 2011-12, government had approved plan size of Rs 43,000 crore for the southern state.
Commenting on the performance of the state during the meeting, Ahluwalia lauded state's efforts to make development truly inclusive and also for the efforts aimed at promoting public private partnership in the development of both social and physical infrastructure.
He said better involvement of private sector would be needed during 12th plan period as state funds would not be enough to meet the needs of infrastructure development.
It was pointed out by the Commission that the share of the primary sector had fallen over the years while that of tertiary sector had been continuously increasing.
In percentage terms the agriculture and allied sector had declined from 25.07 per cent in 2004-05 to 19.22 per cent in 2011-12. The share of secondary sector remains around 24- 26 per cent from 2004-05 to 2011-12.
The state was advised to take necessary steps to further enhance coverage of beneficiaries from the minority community as per guideline for the Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) scheme. Attention was also drawn to the decline in credit disbursement which was still better than the national average.
Briefing the Commission, Reddy said that priority has been given to irrigation that will get of 30.6 per cent of the outlay. Next in priority are rural development and welfare of SCs, STs and minorities with each being allocated 10.54 per cent of plan allocation.
He said the state has given special incentives to the large and medium scale industries. An industrial promotion fund with adequate provision will be created for the purpose. He also said poverty eradication was satisfactory as during last decade around nine per cent population have crossed poverty line.
In rural areas the poverty line has come down to 22.8 per cent from 32.3 per cent in 2004-05 During the same period the urban poverty number has come down to 17.7 per cent from 23.4 per cent in the state.
April 20th, 2012, 10:06 PM
India's No. 1 real estate online portal expands its footprint in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/real-estate/20120419117705.htm)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, April 19, 2012 /India PRwire/ -- IndiaProperty.com, country's No. 1 real estate portal, today announced it will increase its focus on the online market for new properties in India including Andhra Pradesh. The company listed over 30 thousand new properties and over 600 projects across India. The growth in traffic to the Hyderabad page of the portal is 30% over the last two quarters.. This national portal which already provides services across Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Vizag, now has Hyderabad market on its radar due to the emergence of there residential property market here. IndiaProperty.com also announced the launch of its 2nd edition of the biggest property show 'Gruhapravesham 2012' in the city between April 27th -29th of this month at HITEX exhibition centre.
Addressing the media at a press briefing today, Ganesh Vasudevan, Vice President and Business Head, IndiaProperty.com stated, "IndiaProperty.com has increased its focus on new properties and expanding its reach across regions. We are the only property portal in India to specifically target the new property market in India". He further added "Gruhapravesham will provide one-stop solution for buyers, sellers, Agents, Home Loan Companies and Allied services Industries. This show provides an opportunity for potential buyers, leading builders and other stakeholders to interact with each other for mutual benefits. This show is an extension of our online support to both buyers and developers. We are pleased that comScore has validated our leadership position in the online property space and look forward to bringing out more innovative solutions for our customers. in the newer markets across Andhra Pradesh as well."
He further added 'Demand for affordable housing segment has grown in Hyderabad with more number of buyers looking out for 2 BHK flats. This coupled with yesterday's announcement of Repo rate drop by RBI will further boost the demand for affordable housing projects here'.
Gruhapravesham 2012, will showcase around 2,000 new properties, 40 builders and 100 new projects besides panel discussions that will have experts in the space share their insights on trends, opportunities and challenges in the market. It will bring together the entire ambit of Hyderabad's leading builders, developers, Agents, Home Loan Companies and Allied industries on a single platform. For more information, please visit www.IndiaProperty.com
Notes to Editor
IndiaProperty.com was launched in 2006 by Consim Info. Pvt. Ltd., India's leading internet business group with 40 million monthly visitors and leadership presence in key categories. The group currently owns and operates BharatMatrimony and has 15 regional portals; exclusive matrimonial sites like PrivilegeMatrimony, EliteMatrimony and CommunityMatrimony.com which comprises of over 350 community matrimony sites. Consim is an open, hierarchy-free organization that believes in giving every individual equal respect and dignity. In 2009 Consim received the Red Herring 100 Asia 2009 award and in 2010 went onto bag the Red Herring 100 Global Award. The company was listed as among the top 50 of top 100 IT innovators by NASSCOM in 2009 and was Deloitte Fast 50 winner in 2008 and 2009.
April 20th, 2012, 10:30 PM
Uranium ore mine in commissioned in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/04/20/292--Uranium-ore-mine-in-commissioned-in-Andhra-Pradesh-.html)
Mumbai, April 20 (IANS) A uranium ore mine and processing plant in Andhra Pradesh was commissioned Friday which officials say could become one of the most significant uranium reserves in the world.
It was operationalised by Atomic Energy Commission chairman Srikumar Banerjee.
India last year started getting imported uranium to fuel its nuclear power plants from different countries in the world and this mine could be a significant step in its quest for energy security.
The plant, owned by the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), is located in Tummalapalle in YSR district of the state. UCIL operates six underground mines, one opencast mine and two processing plants in Jharkhand.
The Andhra Pradesh project is the first one to be commissioned outside Jharkhand, which has been the sole uranium producing centre so far, the official said.
Tummalapalle has uranium deposits of over 60,000 tons and continuous exploration has shown promise of further reserves. Last year, the UCIL had estimated the uranium deposits there at 49,000 tons with reserves of almost 150,000 tons - ten-fold of the originally estimated 15,000 tons.
"This has the potential of making it one of the most significant uranium reserves in the world," the official said.
With the new reserves, India can run 10,000 MW nuclear power plants on its own, Banerjee had said last July.
The Tummalapalle project, in which Rs.1,900 crore is being invested in two phases, will produce 3,000 tons of ore daily in the first phase and go up gradually, while the second phase would produce 1,500 tons per day.
The Tummapalle mine, said to be the most modern underground mine in the country, deploys load haul dump units, low profile dump trucks and the ore will be transported outside by conveyor belts.
A processing plant has been constructed next to the mine which would use alkali pressure leaching process to produce sodium di-uranate from the ore.
The plant encompasses high level of automation which would enable precise control of process parameters, ensuring high degrees of efficiency, besides highest levels of safety and environment protection in the project, said the official.
April 22nd, 2012, 08:49 AM
KIOCL plans to set up Rs 8,000-cr integrated steel plant in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3339208.ece?ref=wl_opinion)
Seeks State Govt support for setting up the project
HYDERABAD, APRIL 21:
KIOCL, formerly Kudremukh Iron Ore Company, has come up with a proposal to set up a Rs 8,000-crore integrated steel plant in the drought-prone Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
An official delegation from KIOCL, a Government of India enterprise, met the State Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, on Friday. The team expressed their keenness to take up the project and has sought the State Government support.
The delegation headed by KIOCL Chairman and Managing Director, Mr K. Ranganath, made a detailed presentation about the project to the Chief Minister and senior officials on Friday.
Iron ore mining lease
According to a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office, Mr Ranganath informed that on allocation of iron ore mining lease, KIOCL will invest for development of mines, beneficiation and pelletisation plants and facilities for value-addition. This integrated steel plant is likely to see an investment of Rs 8,000 crore.
This project would be taken up by forming joint ventures with State agencies in Bommanhal and D.Hirelal mandals of the district.
The delegation requested the Chief Minister to grant prospecting licence and mining lease for the project. This project is expected to generate direct employment to about 8,000 people, the Government was informed.
The Chief Minister instructed the officials to convene a meeting at the earliest to work out the modalities.
April 23rd, 2012, 12:21 PM
^^ thats a good news ...Wanted projects like these to come up at anantpur ...
April 23rd, 2012, 05:59 PM
AP seeks Centre's aid for feeder segregation project (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/economy/article3342424.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
HYDERABAD, APRIL 22:
The Andhra Pradesh Government has sought financial assistance of Rs 3,014 crore from the Centre for its feeder segregation project under the National Electricity Fund scheme.
The project is proposed to be implemented for the agriculture sector to ensure quality and continuous supply of power to the rural areas. It involves setting up of parallel rural distribution network of 11 KV feeders spanning over 1.5 lakh kilometres to segregate the existing 8,880 mixed rural feeders.
Mr Dinesh Kumar, Principal Secretary to the AP Government, made this plea at a recent meeting held by the Planning Commission in the Capital .
The other benefits of the project include reduction in distribution losses, better monitoring and accountability of energy input, stable load patterns and optimisation of power purchase requirements.
A pilot project has been implemented in one mandal in each circle, funded by the the electricity distribution companies .
April 23rd, 2012, 06:00 PM
Pension disbursal to be made hi-tech (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3339097.ece)
The two-day Defence Pension Adalat held at the Siddhartha Auditorium came to a close here on Friday. Additional Controller General of Defence Accounts M.D. Paliath inaugurating the two-day 110 defence pension adalat said advances in technology would be used for centralising the disbursal of pensions to ex-servicemen.
Mr. Paliath said such an adalat was being held in Vijayawada for the first time and pensioners from all over the State have come here for their grievances redressed. About 200 grievances received from pensioners by post would be redressed first and grievances submitted in person would be registered to be taken up in due course.
He said disbursement of pensions to lakhs of ex servicemen living in every nook and corner of the country and even aboard (only Nepal) was a gargantuan task. This was being supervised by 61 Defence Pension Disbursing Offices (DPDOs) through 46,000 branches of 26 nationalised and four private banks. The disbursement of pensions for the ex-servicemen, often for several decades, was fraught with difficulties because the pensions were often revised through several Government Orders which were “coy and shy”. Keeping the official machinery and the network of bankers up to date with these GOs was very difficult, he said. Ironically, ex-servicemen, who were in their 30s were also called pensioners. They were paid pension often for several decades and then their kin were also paid pension. Mr. Paliath said the Controller of Defence Accounts (CDA) had prepared a computer module available on its website with which the ex-servicemen could calculate the amount that should be paid to them. A central disbursement system with electronic transfer of pension was being designed, Mr Paliath said. Brig (retd) C.S. Vidyasagar, director, Sainik Welfare (Hyderabad), Controller of Defence Accounts Chennai M. Anjeneyulu and CDA (Pensions) Ajay Mishra spoke. The officials said there was a need for opening two new DPDOs, one at Vijayawada and another in Tirupati to cater to the ex-servicemen in the State.
April 23rd, 2012, 06:02 PM
Govt model schools to take on private players (http://postnoon.com/2012/04/22/govt-model-schools-to-take-on-private-players/44737)
Well-equipped English-medium government model schools are coming up in AP that will impart quality education to students. It hopes to reverse the flow to private schools.
The recent judgment delivered regarding 25 per cent reservation of underprivileged students in private schools under the Right to Education Act, has created a buzz and has been making headlines for over a week now. As much as Right to Education claims to be a breakthrough, in the Indian education system, there are several loopholes emerging from it.
The new Right to Education act is a modest effort to bring social integration but the bigger question is if there is a need to privatise education?
“Why are we making students begging for education?” questions Sekhar K, a parent. Not just Sekhar, there are several others who have been asking the same question.
A Postnoon reality check tells us that there is lot more to RTE Act, which for the last four years has been working for the betterment of the government schools in Andhra Pradesh.
“The new 25 per cent quota is just a part of the act and we have to work on the modality of the act. Our basic priority is improvising government schools. For the last few years, we have been working for the betterment of the government schools — that is our first priority,” said Chandana Khan, special chief secretary to Government, School Education Department,
Since the last few years, Andhra Pradesh government has been working very hard to improvise the quality of education at government schools.
“The government had agreed to RTE in 2009 and in AP, RTE has been implemented since 2010. Under this act we have constructed several new schools and hostels. The process of enrolling students has become easy post the RTE,” says A Subba Reddy, district education officer Hyderabad.
In the State, there are more than 50,000 government schools. In Hyderabad alone there are 181 government high schools and 135 government aided schools. Hyderabad also has 626 elementary schools and 200 government-aided elementary schools.
Since 1994, there has been more than 50 per cent growth in the number of government schools in AP. However, since the last four years, not may government schools have been established. “Since the implementation of RTE, we are working on the betterment of the existing schools than building new ones,” says Reddy.
VSS Acharyulu, Principal GHS YMCA, Secunderabad, believes that constructing hostel and keeping children away from family’s financial burden is the best option to stop students from discontinuing school.
Most government schools in AP are Telugu medium and parents often think of this as a negative streak and hence want to send their child to private schools. Teachers claim that Telegu medium government schools teaching standards are far better than any plush private school.
The education minister, on the other hand, has a completely different vision for AP.
He believes that to match the standards to private schools government, schools should be English medium and hence the concept of model school has emerged in AP.
Model schools are residential English medium government schools with facilities like science lab, computers, playground and library.
“We converted few Telugu medium schools to English medium due to the faculty and location. It turned out to be a failed idea. To match the standards of private school and give downtrodden children, world class facilities have come up in model schools. This year, 350 model schools would be established and 420 by next year,” said K Parthasarathy, minister for secondary Education.
About 75 per cent of the funding for model school is borne by the centre and 25 per cent by the State. The budget for each school is Rs.3 crore and additional Rs.1.4 crore for hostels.
Special teaching staff will be recruited to teach in these schools. The qualifying exam is on May 7 and applicant should be from English medium background.
April 23rd, 2012, 06:22 PM
Power cuts may be lifted from May 1 (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Power-cuts-may-be-lifted-from-May-1/articleshow/12829937.cms)
HYDERABAD: With the rabi season coming to an end this week, state residents forced to sweat it out in the sweltering summer heat can expect a respite from the power cuts from May 1. During the rabi season, the agriculture sector accounts for 26% of the total power demand, and the end of this season should come as a major relief to the domestic consumers as it is they who have been bearing the brunt of the power cuts. In all, about 900 MW of power that has been doled out as free power for the farm sector is expected to be freed.
"We are expecting the rabi season to be over by this month end. Once it happens, we would give a major relief to consumers from power cuts from May onwards," AP Transco chairman and managing director Ajay Jain told TOI. With the annual demand increasing by about 10% every year, AP touched a new record of supplying more than 11,500 MW per day in 2012. The state stands next only to Maharashtra in terms of demand. However, it will be the demand during the peak summer and the extend of monsoon rain following that which will play a key role in determining how the power situation will shape up for the rest of the financial year, Transco officials admitted.
Unlike last year, the power cuts came into effect in February itself as the shortfall in demand rose to about 1,000 MW. Hyderabad city experienced two to three hour power cut in the months of February and March which were reduced to about one to two hours in April. "We are planning to remove all power cuts in the city in the first phase," said Ajay Jain.
Apart from the domestic sector, the industrial units have been facing the brunt in the form of a two day power holiday which has led to large scale shutdown in the industrial estates. Transco officials claim things will change for the better come May. "All our thermal units have been pressed to service to meet the shortage. Fortunately, all our thermal units ran without a hitch all through this season and supplied a record amount of electricity. The timely commissioning of the Bhupalapalli thermal station also proved beneficial during the crisis time," said K Vijayanand, mananging director of AP Genco.
In the year 2011-12, as against the requirement of 91,402 Million Units (MU), AP has been able to meet 84,821 MU, resulting in a deficit of 6581 MU or 7.2 per cent. To meet this deficit to some extent, Discoms are purchasing around 1100 MW per day through medium, short term open access and intrastate generators while the remaining is being met through load relief to industrial and domestic sectors.
Discoms seek Rs 3,014cr from Centre
HYDERABAD: Energy distribution companies (Discoms) in the state have sought a Rs 3,014-crore help from the Centre for providing quality and continuous supply to rural areas through the implementation of Feeder Segregation Project (FSP). Energy department principal secretary Dinesh Kumar requested the Union government to provide financial assistance to FSP during the recent meeting of state government officials with members of the planning commission. The distribution companies implemented a pilot project in one mandal in each circle and it was funded internally by the Discoms. The implementation of FSP is said to ensure satisfactory three-phase power supply, which would encourage medium and small-scale industries in rural areas in the future and reduce urban-rural disparities. The project involves erecting parallel rural distribution network of 11kv feeders spanning over 1,50,766 kilometers to segregate the existing 8,878 mixed rural feeders.
April 24th, 2012, 04:31 PM
AP govt to give Rs 1,800 cr subsidy to 60 lakh farmers: Reddy (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-govt-to-give-rs-1800-cr-subsidy-to-60-lakh-farmers-reddy/989674.html)
Kadapa (AP), Apr 23 (PTI) Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N Kiran Kumar Reddy today said that under the ongoing Praja Patham programme, the state government will provide Rs 1,800 crore input subsidy to 60 lakh farmers, who lost their crops during the last Kharif season. The farmers, who lost crops during the last Kharif season, will be given Rs 1,800 crore subsidy under this programme, irrespective of their political affiliations, Reddy said while addressing a gathering in Rayachoty in YSR district. He said the government will bear the interests owed by farmers to banks and repay the principal amount within a year. While praising women for their "excellent" repayment of loans, Reddy said, his government has paid Rs 600 crore to banks owed by women, who availed loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore last year. "This year, the government has earmarked Rs 1,400 crore for the interest on loan taken by women and loan of Rs 11,500 crore will be provided to them this year," he said. Reddy said that the ongoing Praja Patham program has been designed to know about people's problems. "Scarcity of drinking water, shortage of power supply, problems in implementing the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) and other important issues will create a havoc in the summer. Therefore, in order to solve these problems, the state government has taken up this programme," he said. He pointed out that the funds allocated for the SC and ST communities were not utilised properly for the last 15 years. "To clear this anomaly, the government has appointed a cabinet sub-committee. It will see to it that there is a better usage of allocated funds for SCs and STs," he said. The chief minister also said that financial assistance given for the marriages of girls from poor minority families has been increased from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. The budget allocation for backward classes has been fixed at Rs 208 crore, while that for the minority communities at Rs 489 crore this year, he said. "The Centre and the state are committed to implement four per cent sub-quota reservation for minorities, despite a strong opposition from the BJP," he added.
April 24th, 2012, 04:47 PM
2 new passport offices for Andhra (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/2-new-passport-offices-for-andhra/251475-60-114.html)
HYDERABAD: The state is going to get two new passport centres within six months.
One at Karim Nagar and another at Bheemavaram, West Godavari district.
While the Karim Nagar office comes under regional passport office, Hyderabad and Bheemavaram passport office will be under Vishakapatnam.
Last year, the External Affairs ministry had launched six new passport seva kendras.
Three at Hyderabad, one each at Tirupati, Nizamabad and Vijayawada.
This was stated by regional passport officer, K Srikar on Monday here.
Speaking to mediapersons, Regional Passport Officer, K Srikar Reddy said that they had identified the site for the seventh passport centre at Karim Nagar which will begin functioning in a six months time.
The passport officer also informed that they are going to organise a month long adalat from May 1 to 31, for issuing 20,000 passports to the applications submitted in old system.
April 25th, 2012, 06:48 PM
AP to receive Rs. 714 cr as drought relief from Centre (http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/andhra-pradesh/article3349818.ece)
The Government of India has granted a sum of Rs 714 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) to Andhra Pradesh towards drought relief.
In a letter to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar informed that the Central government has approved an amount of Rs 706.15 crore from the NDRF, “subject to adjustment of 75 per cent of balance available in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the drought of 2011.”
Another Rs 8 crore would be released from the special component of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) for repair of damaged drinking water supply systems, a press release from the CMO said.
The State government had sought a sum of Rs 3,744 crore as financial assistance from the Centre towards drought relief measures.
In all, 856 mandals (tehsils) in the State were declared as drought-affected in 2011 because of scanty and deficit rainfall.
April 26th, 2012, 04:48 PM
AP govt announces sops for electronic hardware industry (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-govt-announces-sops-for-electronic-hardware-industry/990604.html)
Hyderabad, Apr 25 (PTI) In order to woo investors, the Andhra Pradesh Government has come forward to grant the electronic hardware industry a 100 per cent reimbursement of stamp duty, transfer duty and registration fee paid on sale or lease deeds, mortgages and hypothecation on first transaction. The Department of Informational Technology and Communications, which released the draft paper on Andhra Pradesh Electronics Hardware Policy 2012-17, says power subsidy up to 50 per cent to micro, 40 per cent to small, 25 per cent to medium and 10 per cent to largescale industries will be given for a period of 5 years from the date of commencement of commercial operations. However, the power subsidy is limited to Rs 30,00,000. The state government will set up a nodal agency to deal with customs and excise and other state and central agencies. The state government will also set up a new electronic hardware park with an area of 150 acres with an option of SEZ and non-SEZ zones. The draft paper says that the state has achieved production to the tune of Rs 6500 crore of electronic items and has made exports to the tune of Rs 650 crore during 2009-10. As per the policy, the state is mulling over to create multi-product electronic SEZ clusters on 300 acres of land on the south, north, east and west nodes of the Outer Ring Road of the city whereas another 200 acres of land will be allotted for setting up ancillary electronic industry. The government will also convert the existing clusters such as FAB city and Aeronautical SEZ into 'Centres of Excellence', giving a fresh impetus to infrastructure, according to the draft policy.
April 26th, 2012, 05:06 PM
State begins crackdown on erring scanning centres (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/State-begins-crackdown-on-erring-scanning-centres/articleshow/12873814.cms)
HYDERABAD: After keeping the implementation of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act in abeyance for the last four years, the state health department seems to have finally woken up. It is now gearing up for a fresh crackdown on the erring scanning centres. Apart from a series of sensitization workshops proposed for health professionals this year, each of the districts have been given targets to conduct random inspections of at least 3% of the registered scanning centres in their jurisdiction every month.
Also, a dedicated legal consultant, a woman, has been appointed at the Commissioner Health and Family Welfare to assist the government in fighting the court cases. So far, all the cases filed under the Act are pending in various courts. Furthermore, officials informed that the last year's budget allocation for the implementation of the Act amounting to Rs 1.94 crore along with the current year's allocation of Rs 2.82 crore would be pumped in to check the sharp drop in the female sex ratio in the state. The Child Sex Ratio (CSR) of AP has dropped sharply from 961 girls per 1,000 boys to 943 girls per 1,000 boys during the last decade.
Praveen Prakash, commissioner, health and family welfare, said that under the revised format, sanctions have been given for using decoy customers and active surveillance by way of regular inspections. "All the districts in the state would be conducting awareness workshops and there would be active surveillance," Prakash said. In Hyderabad, Rangareddy districts, 13 workshops will be conducted this year, officials said.
In a major accomplishment, officials seized 16 ultrasound machines in the state last week. Four ultrasound machines were seized from Hyderabad-based Life Spring (Secunderabad), Sai Vani Hospital (Domalguda), Vijay Marie Hospital, and Dhruv Medical Centre (Secunderabad). This apart, five other scanning centres were served showcause notices. The rest of the machines have been seized in Vizianagaram, Warangal, Rangareddy and Kurnool districts.
Dr Raja Prasanna Kumar, additional director, commissioner of health and family welfare, said money has been released to all the districts for using decoy customers to trap the non-complying professionals. Each woman posing as a decoy customer would be paid Rs 500 henceforth. He added that orders have been issued for the rest of the district heads to appoint part-time legal consultants.
April 27th, 2012, 09:41 PM
Chamber seeks more funds for airport modernisation (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3359886.ece)
Kiran thanked for taking initiative to release Rs. 52 cr. for land acquisition
Andhra Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) president Muthavarapu Muralikrishna on Thursday appreciated Chief Minister's Kiran Kumar Reddy's initiative to release Rs. 52 crore as first instalment for land acquisition for the expansion of Vijayawada airport. “We, at the ACCI, thank all the politicians, officials and bureaucrats who were instrumental for promoting this cause,” he added.
However, Mr. Muralikrishna said the modernisation plan of the airport was kept in the backburner for more than five years and it should be completed as soon as possible. “The amount proposed to be released is not sufficient to meet the cost of the land proposed to be acquired for the airport. The total requirement for the airport modernisation and expansion has been fixed at 495.08 acres”.
The need of the hour was releasing the remaining funds for acquiring the entire land at the earliest. “The urgent requirement is the new terminal building. The existing building is very old with inadequate facilities. It will accommodate only 75 passengers in the departure area and 50 in the arrival hall whereas currently there are three flights being operated every day evening daily with passenger capacity of 272”.
He said with the land available right now, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) could go ahead and build the new terminal. “But there is no land for new approach road and car parking. The government authorities should acquire land in Kesarapalli and Ajjampudi villages for the approach road, car parking and handover to the AAI,” he added.
Mr. Muralikrishna said Vijayawada airport should be upgraded to international airport as it served the needs of seven districts. “There is a substantial NRI population hailing from this region living and working in the US and partly in the West Asia and Europe. If the airport is provided with full-fledged facilities as per the plan envisaged, enormous growth in the passenger traffic both domestic and overseas can be expected,” he said.
April 27th, 2012, 09:43 PM
IRR to be completed by December (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3359865.ece)
Railways has given the nod to take up Gunadala road overbridge
The Vijayawada Guntur Tenali Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTM UDA) has set December as new deadline to complete the Inner Ring Road (IRR) project that was launched in 2009.
The project was supposed to be completed by 2011. The construction of two bridges that were taken up as part of the IRR Project have been a major hurdle in the completion of the project.
With the Railways giving a nod to take up Gunadala Road over Bridge (RoB), the project is expected to be completed by December. The Railways, however, is yet to give a final estimate for the Gunadala RoB.
It will approximately cost Rs.54 crore. The Railway portion will be around Rs.25 crore.
The UDA will pay the amount to the Railways as soon as the demand was raised, UDA officials say.
The progress of work on Inner Ring Road (IRR) is likely to gain momentum with the Railways clearing decks for construction of Road over Bridge (RoB). Another RoB at Ramavarappadu is nearing completion.
The Ramavarappadu RoB is being constructed at a cost of Rs.29.32 core. Of this, the Railway portion is Rs.7.32 crore.
The UDA is gearing up to construct the approaches for the Ramavarappadu RoB, UDA officials said.
The UDA is executing the 10-km IRR project in four phases. It completed the phase-I and IV works. The Authority is constructing RoBs in phase II and III.
The IRR is designed to become one of the bypasses to divert the traffic coming from Hyderabad on NH-9 and intending to join NH-5 to go towards Eluru.
It means that vehicles can take the Gollapudi bypass and reach Milk Project passing through the tunnel. After crossing the proposed Nainavaram flyover as and when it is completed, vehicles can get on to the IRR.
The IRR will pass through Ambapuram and Nuzvid Road (at IBM College) before cutting through Nunna-Gunadala Road at Payakapuram. As and when this is also completed, it is expected to become much easier for vehicles to join NH-5 by almost completely avoiding city traffic.
The Benz Circle and MG Road within the city and Benz Circle to Ramavarapupadu will get decongested.
April 30th, 2012, 10:12 PM
Number plates only by May end (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/node/118053)
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation is running late by almost a month now. They are lagging behind in the implementation of the High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) project in the state. The corporation has called for new tenders after the previous, second tender process was cancelled due to the exposure of irregularities. The new tender process will be complete by the end of May. Provided, of course, that this third tender process is completed successfully.
Incidentally, the state has already been served contempt notices by the Supreme Court for the delay. Despite this, the state will again miss the April- end deadline to start the fixing of number plates. Even the May-end projections given by the corporation may not be achievable. The project had missed earlier deadlines a number of times and despite the contempt notice, the project remains entangled in red-tapism.
The first tender process, which was completed early in December 2011, had been rejected by the Supreme Court for security reasons because of three different tenders involved. Later the second tender process was called off on the instructions of the transport minister Botsa Satyanarayana after irregularities surfaced involving a fraudulent company being allowed to participate in the tender process.
Meanwhile, the ‘Request for Proposal’ of the fresh tender process of the multi- crore project was announced by the APSRTC on April 25, 2012 and a pre-bid meeting will be held on May 2, 2012.
However, if matters proceed to the final stages on schedule, the signing of the agreement will take place in the last week of May, as per the ‘Request for Proposal’ document. The corporation, meanwhile, is projecting a target of a week to ten days for the fixing of the number plates. However, this seems impractical as the finalised bidder will be required to physically set up a manufacturing unit in the state first and begin producing as well as fixing the number plates, all within seven to ten days.
April 30th, 2012, 10:20 PM
Biodiversity parks in all districts soon (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/biodiversity-parks-in-all-districts-soon/253337-60-121.html)
HYDERABAD: For effective conservation of all local species of flora and fauna at the district-level,� the AP Biodiversity Board (APBB) is planning to set up district biodiversity parks near� all district headquarters.
The state government gave its nod for the APBB to set up district-level biodiversity parks,� SN Jadhav, member secretary of the APBB has said. “The government has also sanctioned funds for the project and Rs 5 lakh was given as first instalment,” he said.
The board would send proposals to all the district collectors across the state including Hyderabad and ask the district administration to allot lands for the parks.
In some districts like Khammam and Kurnool, the parks which are in a state of neglect,� would be converted into� biodiversity parks� “By the end of this financial year the Board may complete the project,” he said.
The objective in setting up of these parks is conserving biodiversity unique to the area that was once present but had since vanished due to development activities.
“Every district biodiversity park would also have a� small museum of flora and fauna. The museum will have pictures and information of nearly 1.4 lakh species of flora and fauna,’’ he said.
Efforts will also be made to create awareness among citizens about biodiversity, its conservation and values, he said.
The objective in setting up of these parks is conserving biodiversity unique to the area that was once present but had since vanished due to development activities.
These parks also act as carbon sinks, check carbon dioxide and levels of other pollutants, buffer ambient temperatures and recharge groundwater table.
They help in conservation through preservation of ecosystems, keystone species and threatened flora and fauna, gene banks for threatened land races and wild genetic resources.
April 30th, 2012, 10:32 PM
Cargo project: Government seeks indepth report (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/cargo-project-government-seeks-indepth-report/253368-60-114.html)
HYDERABAD:� The state government has sent back the file relating to the proposal on cargo project to the APSRTC seeking a comprehensive and indepth report on whether the project was viable or not.
According to highly placed sources, the government has instructed the RTC officials to discuss the cargo project in the board meeting. The government wanted the RTC to keep the project under the direct control of the� vice-chairman and managing director. According to information the government has also raised objection on the cost of the project.
It may be noted that the state-owned corporation sent a proposal two months ago for Rs 800 crore to the government for its approval to enter into cargo sector to overcome the losses.
As per the proposal the RTC would purchase 100 to 150 transport vehicles with 25 tons capacity in the first phase. The officials have contacted Ashok Leyland and Tata companies in this regard.
The RTC also approached Singareni, Krishnapatnam port and civil supplies officials. It is learnt that the Singareni management has agreed in principle to transport coal from open cast mines. The APSRTC has been incurring losses to a tune of Rs 2,700 crore loss due to hike in diesel price, maintenance cost and employees’ salaries.
�RTC is also making efforts to introduce China buses and battery-operated buses to reduce the maintenance cost.
May 1st, 2012, 08:54 PM
AP govt to introduce multipurpose smart cards: minister (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-govt-to-introduce-multipurpose-smart-cards-minister/992742.html)
Hyderabad, Apr 30 (PTI) Government of Andhra Pradesh is introducing multipurpose Aadhar-based smart cards to the beneficiaries (citizens) for availing of benefits under different welfare schemes. State Information and Communications Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah told newsmen here today that fingerprint-based POS (point-of-sale) terminals would be set up at all welfare departments service centers, State Road Transport depots, Department for Pensions, Commercial Tax and other departments. Smart cards issued to the beneficiaries would be inter-operable across all POS machines (different makes & models) and the card could be used for multi-purposes across all departments for various services in the state, the Minister said. The smart card features would be extended to support banking transactions also, he added. The Government of India has released a one-time additional central assistance of Rs 12.03 crore for the implementation of the project while the state government would bear the balance Rs 28 crore. Lakshmaiah said the Union Department of Information Technology has accorded administration approval for the implementation of e-District project under the National e-Governance Project (NeGP) at a cost of Rs 61.43 crore. A sum of Rs 3.50 crore was already released to the state government. e-District is one of the 27 mission mode projects under the NeGP aimed at electronic delivery of identified high-volume citizen-centric services, at district and sub-district level. Initially 28 services would be delivered under e-District while another 200 would be added in the subsequent phases, the IT Minister said.
May 1st, 2012, 09:46 PM
7 ANM schools to come up in state (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/7-anm-schools-to-come-up-in-state/253818-60-114.html)
HYDERABAD: The Union ministry for health and family welfare will provide financial assistance to establish seven ANM schools at Tirupati, Kakinada, Eluru, Narsapuram, Ongole, Vijayawada and Karimnagar during the 11th plan period.
The Union minister for health & family welfare addressed a letter to the chief minister and MPs regarding the strengthening and upgradation of nursing schools and colleges in the state.
The Centre has been implementing a scheme to strengthen and upgradate nursing schools and colleges under which central financial assistance will be provided during the XI Five- Year Plan.
The state government, immediately after receipt of the letter from the Centre, has directed the commissioner of family welfare to take immediate action.
Under the scheme, the state is entitled to seven ANM (auxiliary nursing & midwifery) and seven GNM (general nursing & midwifery) schools as part of the 132 ANMs and 137 GNMs to be set up in the 269 districts in the country.
The cost of the schools and the staff to be shared between the Centre and the state in 85-15 ratio.
The necessary budget has already been provided during 2012-13 in the current Action Plan of the NRHM.
May 2nd, 2012, 09:05 AM
Gangavaram to sign pact for LNG terminal today (http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/gangavaram-to-sign-pact-for-lng-terminal-today/473102/)
New Delhi-based Petronet LNG Limited will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gangavaram Port Private Limited, the operator of the deepest port in the country, on Wednesday to set up an LNG terminal project in Andhra Pradesh.
When contacted, a senior official of Gangavaram Port, confirmed the development. The official, however, refused to divulge the details of the MoU or the investments being proposed for the said project.
According to a senior official in Andhra Pradesh government, which holds a little less than 11 per cent equity in the port project, Petronet is looking at setting up an LNG terminal facility with an initial capacity of 5 million metric tonne per annum (mmtpa). The investments are expected to be in the range of Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore, he said.
The state government is also expected to have some say in the project by virtue of being a stakeholder.
Petronet chief executive officer and managing director, A Balyan, is expected to sign the pact with the promoters of the port. The company currently operates a 10-mmtpa terminal at Dahej on the western coast and is in the process of building a five-mmtpa terminal at Kochi in Kerala down south.
The need for LNG infrastructure on the east coast of the country is acutely felt ever since the natural gas production in the K-G D6 block fell sharply. With the dip in natural gas supplies, the existing gas-based power projects in the state have been operating at below 50 per cent installed capacity, while another 3,000 Mw capacity is ready but has no gas to operate.
The state government official said that LNG infrastructure was a necessity not just for making up for the shortfall in natural gas supplies to power projects and other industries, but also to help stabilise the gas prices going forward.
“With the US becoming the net exporter of natural gas, thanks to the shale gas production, our companies can import LNG from that country. This will also impact the prices of LNG being imported from Qatar and also keep a check on the price of the domestic natural gas,” the official said.
May 2nd, 2012, 07:34 PM
Petronet LNG, Gangavaram Port sign term sheet for developing LNG Terminal in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.orissadiary.com/ShowBussinessNews.asp?id=33582)
Hyderabad: Petronet LNG Limited (PLL) and Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL) today signed a firm and binding term sheet for developing a land based LiquifiedNatural Gas (LNG) Terminal at Gangavaram Port, Andhra Pradesh with a capacity of 5.0 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA). Dr. A. K. Balyan, MD & CEO, PLL and Mr. D. V. S. Raju, CMD, GPL signed the term sheet in the presence of Shri Sutirtha Bhattacharya, IAS, Principal Secretary, Infrastructure & Investment Department,Government of Andhra Pradesh.
The LNG Terminal at Gangavaram Port will comprise of facilities for receiving, storage and regasification of LNG and will be developed with an approximate investment of Rs 4500 Crores. This will be the third LNG terminal of PLL, the other two being – an operational 10.0 MMTPA terminal at Dahej, Gujarat and 5.0 MMTPA terminal at Kochi, Kerelawhich is likely to become operation in next six months. The terminal at Gangavaram Port will have the provision for further expansion like the flag-ship Dahej LNG Terminal of PLL.
The Gangavaram LNG Terminal will help meet the growing energy demand of the State of Andhra Pradesh and will also cater to the increasing gas requirements of eastern and central part of India. At its full operational capacity the terminal is likely to contribute over Rs. 2,000 crores as Value Added Tax (“VAT”) to the State Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Balyan, MD & CEO, PLLsaid, “The construction work on the terminal is expected to start within a year and it shall be ready to commence operations by the Year 2016. We are eager to have our presence on the east coast and are exploring various possible options to bring gas earlier than 2016 at Gangavaram Port.” Dr. Balyan further added that the Project would contribute immensely to the economic development of the region by providing additional and lower cost alternate fuel to the refinery, power, fertilizer, transport and other sectors, which in turn would result in substantial downstream investments in these sectors.
Mr. D. V. S. Raju, CMD, GPL expressed happiness and said, “This will be not only the first LNG Terminal to come up in the State of Andhra Pradesh but also in the entire East Coast of India. We are very glad to partner with PLL as they have substantial proven expertise in the sector.Developing LNG Terminal at the Port inches us closer to our vision to see Gangavaram Port as truly modern, multi-purpose and environment friendly port.” Mr. Raju also said that natural gas is the cleanest hydro-carbon fuel available and the proposed terminal would promote the use of clean energy, thereby contributing to the environment without compromising on industrial & social development.
Mr. Sutirtha Bhattacharya, IAS, appreciated PLL and GPL for coming together for developing this LNG Terminal at Gangavaram Port and expressed confidence that natural gas being one of the primary fuel, it would be a catalyst for exponential growth in the industrial development of the region. He particularly welcomed the thought of bringing natural gas earlier than 2016 in Andhra Pradesh.
May 2nd, 2012, 07:36 PM
AP set to take back land from Brahmani Steels, may offer it to SAIL (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods/svs/steel/ap-set-to-take-back-land-from-brahmani-steels-may-offer-it-to-sail/articleshow/12967796.cms)
HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh government is set to take back over 14,000 acres of land allotted to Brahmani Steels promoted by the jailed Karnataka former minister and iron ore baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, having obtained the required clearances from relevant ministries.
The state government is considering allotting the recovered land for industrial purposes with top priority to the state-owned steel giant Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), which had evinced interest in replacing Brahmani to set up an integrated steel project in Kadapa district.
Brahmani Steels had in May 2007 during the regime of late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy obtained around 14,700 acres of land for its proposed 2.5 million tonne steel project with an option to expand to 10 million in phases. The land allotted included around 4,000 acres for an airport within the steel project premises. Apart from allotting 2tmc of water, the government had also allotted iron ore mines of around 68 hectares near Obulapuram in Anantapur district for captive purposes.
Though the company claims to have incurred an expenditure of over Rs 1,350 crore out of the Rs 4,430 crore of investment proposed on the project that was to take off by December 2009, the project largely remained a non-starter.
After the demise of YS Rajasekhara Reddy in September 2009 in a chopper crash, the state government during April last year served notices on Brahmani Steels for the inordinate delay in executing the project. Even as the company was in the process of responding to the show cause notices, its promoter Janardhan Reddy was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in September last year in connection with alleged illegal mining in AP and Karnataka borders.
Following this, the state government contemplated roping in public sector steel giants to execute the steel project by allotting the land and iron ore mines. Chandra Shekhar Verma, chairman and managing director of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) told ET during September last that they approached the AP government evincing interest to obtain iron ore leases and land for the steel project.
TS Appa Rao, principal secretary (industries and commerce), said, "We are at the advanced stage of obtaining views of various departments on taking back the land allotted to Brahmani Steel."
A senior government official, who did not want to be named, said, "The government has already obtained the legal opinion on taking back the land from Brahmani Steels and the irrigation department has also decided to cancel water allocations made to the steel project. The revenue department has recommended to the industries department to go ahead with taking back the land and allotting it to the industrial purposes. The mines department is awaiting Supreme Court's directives on the mines allotted to Gali Janardhan Reddy."
When contacted, a SAIL spokesperson said they were yet to receive communication from the AP government on their request. "We have sought both land and iron ore leases and we will work on our plans on the steel project once we hear positive response from the AP government."
May 3rd, 2012, 08:34 AM
Decks cleared for Machilipatnam port project (http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/decks-cleared-for-machilipatnam-port-project/473205/)
Clearing the decks for the development of the Machilipatnam deep-water port in Krishna district after a two-year-long wait , the Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday issued orders for acquisition and transfer of 5,324 acre for the project.
The Navayuga Group, the operator of Krishnapatnam Port as well as one of the major infrastructure players in the state, was selected for the development of the port project in 2010. This came two years after the project was originally awarded to Ramalinga Raju-promoted Maytas Infra Limited-led consortium through a bidding process in 2008.
Hyderabad-based NCC Limited is also a part of the Machilipatnam port consortium.
The state Cabinet had, in April 2010, decided to award the Rs 1,500-crore project to Navayuga Engineering Company Limited as the lead promoter of the consortium, replacing Maytas, which went down following the multi-crore accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Limited.
However, with the subsequent change of the chief minister, the issue of allotment of a large extent of land as was originally envisaged for the integrated development of the port project was put on a back burner.
The state government’s infrastructure and investment department in its orders said the final decision on this issue had been taken after going through the reports of the Director of Ports of the state government and the Indian Ports Association (IPA).
According to the orders, the authorities concerned will acquire 5,324 acre and transfer the same to the Director of Ports, who in turn will make available the land to the project developer on a lease basis. The project has been proposed to be developed on a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) basis.
May 3rd, 2012, 08:35 AM
AP allots land for Bandar port; CM promises speedy work (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/logistics/article3377376.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_home)
MACHILIPATNAM, MAY 2:
The Andhra Pradesh Government issued a GO on Wednesday, allotting 5,300 acres of land to the construction of Machilipatnam (popularly known as Bandar) port.
The Chief Minister, Mr. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who participated in the Praja Padham programme here, made the announcement at a public meeting that the State Government was really sincere about taking up the port works.
The port project, it may be noted, was awarded to Navayuga Engineering Company in 2010 by the State Government, in the wake of Satyam scandal.
Earlier, the project had been awarded to Maytas of the Satyam group, but the work could not be taken due to various reasons.
Even after the State Government had chosen Navayuga Engineering Company to execute the Bandar port project, no headway could be made and there was a lot of confusion on how much land should be allocated to the project.
Recently, opposition parties intensified the agitation for the Bandar port project in Krishna district and earlier this month a bandh was observed in Vijayawada, here and other parts of the district.
It was in the backdrop that the Chief Minister, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, visited the port town on Wednesday and made the announcement on the GO relating to land allotment.
He appealed to the Opposition parties not to politicise the issue and co-operate with the Government in the construction of the port and the all-round development of the region.
He said 1,650 acres immediately available with the Government would be handed over to NEC for starting work on the project.
The remaining land would be acquired and handed over later. The works would be executed in a transparent manner.
In the first phase, it is envisaged to construct three berths here at a cost of Rs 1,600 croreand ultimately 12 berths will be built to handle cargo of 35 million tonnes.
May 3rd, 2012, 08:36 AM
AP establishes 5 intellectual property rights cells (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article3377378.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_home)
The centres have been mandated to spread awareness about patent filing, registration among scientists, technologists, researchers, engineers and traditional medical practitioners.
HYDERABAD, MAY 2:
In effort to promote patent awareness, Andhra Pradesh has established five intellectual property rights (IPR) cells. These are in the Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, Osmania University, Acharya N.G. Ranga University, JNT University, all in Hyderabad and Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.
The AP Council of Science and Technology has identified and set up these facilities under the Patent Information Centre (PIC) that it has been operating for sometime now.
The PIC, in turn, is part of 20 such centre's set up by the Union Department of Science and Technology in 20 States.
The centers have been mandated to spread awareness about patent filing, registration among scientists, technologists, researchers, engineers and traditional medical practitioners.
In a bid to expand the network, the PICs are establishing IPR cells at various universities in States.
APCOST, has, in collaboration with the AP Technology Development & Promotion Centre, Confederation of Indian Industry, organised a workshop today to discuss various aspects of IPR, designs, trademarks, geographical indicators, patent drafting, protection strategies etc.
Mr Y. Naresh Kumar, Member Secretary, APCOST, urged technology developers and researchers to utilise the expertise at the PIC and the cells.
May 3rd, 2012, 08:48 AM
AP initiates move to make State gas-driven economy (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/economy/article3377377.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
There was an acute shortage in domestic gas production from KG basin despite efforts being made by companies such as Reliance, ONGC and other players. — Mr Ganta Srinivasa Rao
HYDERABAD, MAY 2:
The Andhra Pradesh Government has initiated efforts to make the State a gas-driven economy, with investments worth Rs 10,000 crore in the pipeline in the RLNG sector.
This involves setting up of an Rs 5,000-crore floating storage and re-gasification facility and another Rs 5,000 crore LNG terminal on the coast of Andhra Pradesh.
The floating storage is being set up by A.P. Gas Development Corporation and GAIL in partnership with GDF Suez LNG UK Ltd. Its initial capacity will be about 12 MMSCMD, which is expected to significantly improve natural gas supply to the State, said Mr Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Infrastructure & Investments, Ports and Natural Gas.
The second project involves establishment of a LNG terminal at Gangavaram jointly by Petronet LNG Ltd and Gangavaram Port Ltd — the term sheet agreement for this was signed here on Wednesday.
Mr Srinivasa Rao said that there was an acute shortage in domestic gas production from KG basin despite efforts being made by companies such as Reliance, ONGC and other players. “Although ONGC and other companies have indicated huge availability of gas from the offshore basin, it is yet to be made available. Because of this, gas-based power plants in the State are now running at 50 per cent capacity,” he said.
In addition to this, 4,000 MW gas-based power projects are ready for commission, requiring 20 MMSCMD of natural gas.
May 3rd, 2012, 08:06 PM
Bandar port: 5,324 acres, Rs 5,000 cr sanctioned (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bandar-port-5324-acres-rs-5000-cr-sanctioned/254359-60-114.html)
VIJAYAWADA: Four years after laying the foundation for construction of Machilipatnam deep water port, the state government, which took the decision to allot land on Tuesday, strategically a day ahead of chief minister’s visit to Machilipatnam, has on Wednesday issued a GO ordering the revenue department to provide 5,324 acres to the director of Kakinada port.
According to the GO, the land would be jointly identified by the
director of ports, Krishna district collector and chief commissioner of land administration. The order also authorises the handover 1,623 acres of government land, out of 5,324 acres, as advance possession. Though the government had earlier decided to allot 6,200 acres according to express of interest notification, it has now decided to allot only 5,324 acres after recommendations by director of ports and Indian Port Association (IPA), a nodal agency for development of all major ports under the shipping ministry. The IPA after study of traffic, potentiality, warehouses, container, freight stations, rail or road connectivity and others suggested optimal requirement of 4,800 acres. The director of ports, Kakinada had proposed 5,324 acres.
It may be recalled that the late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy had laid the foundation for the construction of the� project on April 23, 2008, with at an estimated first phase budget of `1,590 cr and the construction of the port was originally awarded to a consortium lead by Mytas Infra the same month. The agreement was cancelled by the state government due to some ‘technical’ reasons and the government made an agreement with Machilipatnam Port Ltd, Hyderabad (a consortium of Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd, Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd and associates/affiliates of Navayuga company) and signed a contract on June 6, 2010.
Since the MPL had demanded the government allot more land than the governments’ decision, land was not handed over to the company.
Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy held an all-party meeting on August 17 last year and he had reportedly assured everyone that construction work would be taken up at the earliest.
Denouncing the delay in taking up the construction, the locals who had formed the Bandar Port Sadhana Samithi, have been on a relay hunger strike, since December 15, 2010. They had observed a bandh on April 27, 2012, the 500th day of their stir. The sadhana samithi was formed by all party leaders including, Machilipatnam MP and TDP leader K Narayana Rao. Meanwhile, the chief minister who visited Machilipatnam during prajapatham on Wednesday stated that the port would be constructed in 5,324 acres, with an outlay of Rs 5,000 cr under the PPP mode.
Giving an explanation for the delay in announcement, he said that his government wanted to construct the port in a transparent manner without controversies. Some decisions taken by the previous government on land allotments have now become controversial. Many cases are with the CBI court, high court and other courts. We do not want to create controversies in land allotment to the Bandar Port. The work should never be stopped anymore, once it begins. Hence, we have cleared all hurdles and issued the GO, the chief minister said.
May 3rd, 2012, 08:22 PM
Court seeks Government reply on Irrigation Project at Polavaram (http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/court-seeks-government-reply-on-irrigation-project-at-polavaram-205656)
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday issued notices to the Union Government on the issue of tenders for the construction of Indira Sagar Irrigation Project at Polavaram.
The Division bench of Justices G Chandraiah and N Ravi Shankar passed the order while admitting a Pulic Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by K Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and President of Telangana Jagruti Samiti (TJS).
The court directed the Centre to file reply by June 6. The petition opposes the construction of Polavaram project, and seeks suspension of the latest tender notification issued by the state government on ground that the project on the Godavari River does not have clearances from Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.
May 3rd, 2012, 08:24 PM
AP temples’ property details to be computerised (http://zeenews.india.com/news/andhra-pradesh/ap-temples-property-details-to-be-computerised_773136.html)
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Government has decided to computerise the details of properties of temples all over the state as a good governance initiative.
"A uniform software is being developed by the Centre for Good Governance (CGG) for the purpose. The software will be utilised across the state, in which details such as land, jewellery, 'panchaloha' (five metals) idols and other assets owned by temples with names of donors, their value, will be available," Endowments Minister C Ramachandraiah told reporters here.
He said instructions have been issued to the officials concerned to conduct a thorough physical verification of assets and the senior officers have to certify and sign on the registers.
Temples with income of over Rs 1 crore will be computerised first and the drive is likely to be completed in six months, the Minister said.
An electronic surveillance system will be installed in all major temples to ensure security and safety, he said.
PSU major Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) has been requested to prepare maps for the major temples on the basis of which security requirements will be assessed during festivals when large number of devotees visit.
The antecedents of individuals, who want to be on the governing body of temples, will be verified thoroughly to ensure that undeserving persons are not part of temple administration, Ramachandraiah said.
The system of accounting and budget will be upgraded by next financial year for evolving a fool-proof system, he said, adding other issues related to temple staff, both religious and administrative, will be resolved amicably.
May 5th, 2012, 08:20 AM
RMS’s Babycell plans to expand cord blood banking business in Andhra Pradesh (http://pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=68835&sid=1)
Babycell, a division of RMS Regrow which is known for its Cord blood and tissue banking services, has recently announced its plans to aggressively expand its roots in Hyderabad.
Emphasizing its resolve to create more awareness among parents, the firm expressed in a release that parents in Hyderabad should change their thinking towards having access to cord blood and tissue banking.
Commenting on the expansion, Dr Satyen Sanghavi, CSO, Babycell said, “In order to create focused services and offer more citizens access to cord blood banking services, the company has decided to expand its operations. Babycell will leverage its experience and expertise to enhance the range and quality of Cord Blood Banking in Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Tirupathi, and Nizamabad. We have currently tied up with more than 20 hospitals in Hyderabad.”
The stem cell industry in India is a disaggregated affair with stem cell service providers only operating within the larger metros. As they go on to expand their reach of services, Babycell aims to change the way parents access cord blood banking by making it available to expectant parents nationwide.
When a child is born, most parents do not have the foresight to plan for any health concerns that the child may face at a later stage in their life. It is important to educate expecting parents that the decision to bank your child’s umbilical cord blood stem cells is crucial as the opportunity to do so is only at the time of birth.
The regenerative medicine field is the new frontier in medicine where scientists and clinicians alike are agreeing that the stem cells found in cord blood are one of the most promising sources for cellular therapy. Cord blood transplants have been performed for patients with genetic or metabolic diseases and have the capability to treat more than 80 diseases.
While talking on stem cell therapy’s role in gynaecology, Dr Vijayalakshimi, consultant gynaecologist and medical geneticist, at Vasavi Medical & Research Centre said “The use of umbilical cord blood stem cells has increased significantly in the past 20 years. Today, doctors all over the world are realizing the power of newborn stem cells and recommending family banking to their patients. When faced with the illness of a child or loved one, families want hope and doctors want options. Banking newborn stem cells provides both.”
May 6th, 2012, 08:54 AM
Pranahita-Chevella agreement to open new chapter in water sharing (http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/andhra-pradesh/article3384953.ece)
Signing of an agreement by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to implement the Rs. 38,500-crore mega project of Pranahita-Chevella at Delhi on Saturday in the presence of Chief Ministers of both States will open a new chapter with regard to utilisation of water in the Godavari basin.
Maharashtra's willingness not only to allow the construction of the project but also to participate in it comes as a big relief to Andhra Pradesh in the light of its legal battle against “illegal” construction of Babli and 11 other barrages across the Godavari, which threatens to curtail inflows to Sriramsagar that lies downstream.
The agreement culminates five years of correspondence held by Irrigation officials with their Maharashtra counterparts, particularly with E.B. Patil, Principal Secretary, Water Resources, undaunted by the continued litigation over Babli.
Speaking to this correspondent, these officials described the understanding reached between the two neighbouring States as an “historic development” in inter-State cooperation, saying this will pave way for implementation of other projects like Lendi, Penn Ganga.
Mr Patil is said to have a played a key role along with Adityanath Das, his counterpart here, in preparing the ground.
Andhra Pradesh has so far spent Rs 1,600 crore on various packages of the project, which was designed by a group of Telangana expert-engineers to utilise 160 tmcft of Pranahita water and serve 16.4 lakh acres in the most drought-prone areas of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Nizamabad, Medak, Naglonda and Ranga Reddy.
This huge investment would have been a waste if Maharashtra had opposed it. Maharashtra's consent is seen crucial because the mammoth barrage required for the project to divert Pranahita waters will have to built in its territory. The water from this barrage will be transferred into the reservoir of the Yellampalli project already constructed across the Godavari, before being released to the intended areas, including Hyderabad (30 tmcft) for drinking purpose.
Pranahita-Chevella is the costliest of Jalayagnam projects requiring 3,466 MW of power and yet, the then Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy had readily approved, engineers recall.
The agreement will provide for constitution of three committees, one of them with Chief Ministers of the two States to oversee the implementation of the project. (eom)
May 6th, 2012, 09:05 AM
AP Govt plans to set up bio-diversity museum, park (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/government-and-policy/article3387247.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
HYDERABAD, MAY 5:
The Andhra Pradesh Government plans to establish a museum on bio-diversity to commemorate the global Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), to be held in Hyderabad during October 2012.
The Government also wants to put up a pylon and develop a bio-diversity park ahead of the Conference of Parties (CoP-11).
The mega event will see about 8,000 delegates from 193 countries taking part. About 10 heads of nations, apart from forest ministers of 90-100 countries, will deliberate on various issues.
The State Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed a preparatory meeting, said the bio-diversity park should be established at a suitable location, preferably in Dulapally reserve forest area on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The objective of these initiatives is to create awareness among the people, especially students and children, about the rich biological heritage and importance of conservation.
May 6th, 2012, 09:12 AM
Maharashtra, Andhra sign accord on irrigation project (http://www.business-standard.com/generalnews/news/maharashtra-andhra-sign-accordirrigation-project/5067/)
Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh today reached an agreement to set up an inter-state board for speedy execution of the Pranhita irrigation project which will serve both the states.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy signed the agreement in the presence of Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal here.
Under the agreement, a joint inter-state committee will be formed to ensure efficient, speedy and economical investigation and execution of the project on Pranhita river.
To avoid differences between the states at a later stage, it will also decide on the location of the barrage and the share of the expenditure involved for Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Hailing the agreement as a "trendsetter", Bansal hoped other states will follow suit and matters relating to water- sharing between states will be sorted out.
The project is proposed to be built on Pranahita at an estimated cost of Rs 210 crores to create an irrigation potential of 50,000 acres.
This is a "lifeline" for both the states, particularly the backward areas of Telangana districts where the water from the basin will be utilized for irrigation and drinking, Reddy said.
For national interest, states should come together for better utilization of water, he said.
May 6th, 2012, 09:31 AM
Rs 25 crore for Buddhist tourism (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/rs-25-crore-for-buddhist-tourism/255148-60-121.html)
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh state tourism department has earmarked Rs 25.99 crore for the promotion of Buddhist tourism in the state by creating special Buddhist circuits and preservation of monuments.
A unique Buddhist theme park, Buddhavanam, would also be set up at Nagarjunakonda at a cost of Rs 16.36 crore.
Facilities including entrance arch, information centres, ticketing counter, museum, tourist amenities, open air theatres, stupas, interpretation centres, landscaping, amphi theatres, bronze statues, restaurant and signages will also be developed.
The tourism department has identified the enormous potential of Buddhist heritage and taken initiatives to develop Buddhist sites and monuments as tourist attractions.
The dept would develop 3 Buddhist circuits at Visakhapatnam, Amaravathi and Nagarjunakonda, with an estimated investment of Rs 571.93 lakh, Rs 400 lakh and Rs 175 lakh respectively.
It has proposed to develop Buddhist sites, monuments and Buddhist clusters at Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
The department is in the process of considering areas with strong Buddhist heritage as notified tourism areas.
It has identified Buddhist tourism as an important segment to attract both domestic and foreign tourists from East and Southeast Asian regions, mainly from Japan, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Singapore.
The Buddhist sites and monuments located at Nagarjunakonda, Amaravati, Chandavaram, Guntupalli, Sankaram, Salihundam, Ramathirtham, Dantapuram, Jaggayyapeta, Vaddamanu, Bhattiprolu, Bavikonda, Thotlakonda, Gantasala and Phanigiri are preserved and they are attracting huge number of tourists.
The tourism department is celebrating Buddha Jayanthi on Sunday.
Display of holy relics of Buddha at Buddhist gallery, in the state museum at 10.30 am followed by chanting of Buddhist hymns by monks.
Prayers by monks at Buddha statue in Hussainsagar at 5.30 pm were some of the events planned for the day.
May 8th, 2012, 08:15 AM
Syndicate Bank eyes Rs 40k cr business from AP in FY13 (http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/syndicate-bank-eyes-rs-40k-cr-businessap-in-fy13/473679/)
Manipal-based public sector lender, Syndicate Bank, is aiming at garnering a total business of Rs 40,000 crore from Andhra Pradesh in the current financial year, as against Rs 30,000 crore achieved last year, according to executive director M Anjaneya Prasad.
“Our growth in Andhra Pradesh is not at par with the state’s growth, and the real market share is yet to come to the fore. Our focus is now on scaling up our branch network in the state to trigger the targeted growth,” he told mediapersons here on Monday.
The bank currently has less than five per cent market share in Andhra Pradesh with Anantpur, Kadapa and Kurnool districts being the market leaders. Of its total network of 2,700 branches, Andhra Pradesh stands second with 419 branches, next only to Karnataka, which is the home state for the bank. The bank’s CD (credit-deposit) ratio in the state is 123 per cent.
Prasad said that the bank wanted to lay more thrust on areas where it has less or no presence to bring it close to the public and improve the business performance in Andhra Pradesh, and towards this was contemplating opening 100 branches in the state, including 10 in Hyderabad and adjoining districts, during the current financial year.
“We already have 10 licences for Hyderabad and 15 for the rest of the state. We are in the process of applying for the remaining locations, which we expect to be sanctioned shortly,” he said, adding that the bank would either open or convert at least five of the proposed branches for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to extend credit.
Stating that the bank has an overall gold loan portfolio of Rs 6,000 crore last year, Prasad said it had already opened five Gold Shoppes in Hyderabad to push gold loans aggressively with more competitive rates with highest amount per gram quantum.
“The bank has given loans to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore under agricultural advances and has surpassed the target of 40 per cent under priority sector,” he said, adding that the bank had made an application to the Centre to extend Rs 539 crore additional capital this year.
May 8th, 2012, 08:29 AM
Training to teachers to sharpen skills (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/regions/rajahmundry/training-teachers-sharpen-skills-575)
The Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM), the nodal agency of the ministry of human resources development has taken up a 20-day special training programme for the development of teaching skills for 17,008 school teachers in East Godavari as part of effective implementation of the Right to Education Act.
Of this total 10,612 are secondary grade teachers teaching in primary schools and another 6,396 school assistants are teaching in secondary schools from Classes VI to VIII in the 4,200 schools in the district.
The training programme is scheduled in two phases and the first phase will commence from June 2 before the reopening of schools. In total 19 centres were selected for this programme in the five divisions of Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Amalapuram, Ramachandrapuram and Pithapuram under the district education department in the district.
The motto behind the programme is, according to RVM sources, to discuss syllabus in the wake of changes made in books in Classes III, VI and VII, subject updating skills, etching methodology and for allied activity. The training is mandatory for teachers.
The East Godavari district RVM project officer, Mr P. Ramesh, said that the in the first phase of the programme from June 2, apart from development of teaching skills, the focus will be on the Right to Education Act and its effective implementation in schools in the district.
May 9th, 2012, 08:23 AM
Andhra Pradesh eying tourists from GCC countries (http://english.manoramaonline.com/cgi-bin/MMOnline.dll/portal/ep/contentView.do?contentId=11554215&tabId=1&channelId=-1073865034&programId=1080127266)
Dubai: Andhra Pradesh is putting all efforts to woo more tourist influx from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, according to the state tourism minister, Vatti, Vasanth Kumar and Special Chief Secretary Chandana Khan.
The minister and his team would visit various GCC countries in this regard.
Tourism is a prominent subject with Andhra Pradesh government and major airlines from the UAE like, Emirate, Etihad and FlyDubai conduct services to Hyderabad where the modern as well as historical aspects meet, the minister said.
A round table conference was held in Dubai as part of the programme to spread awareness of the tourism prospects in Andhra Pradesh.
B Sreenivas, Executive Director, Andhra Tourism Development Corporation; Vikas Rastogi, Regional Director, India Tourism; spoke during the occasion.
May 9th, 2012, 08:43 AM
Government to seek green nod for sand mining in AP (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Government-to-seek-green-nod-for-sand-mining-in-AP/articleshow/13058335.cms)
HYDERABAD: Faced with sand crisis that has virtually stalled construction activity in the state, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Tuesday directed the mining department to approach the Centre to expedite environment clearances for sand mining in the state. The CM also asked the department to consult legal experts and find out whether AP can approach the Supreme Court to continue sand mining in the state.
In an emergency meeting chaired by the chief minister, emphasis was laid on alternative sources to procure sand for government projects which have been on hold ever since the HC stay came into effect.
During the meet, the mining department was asked to procure sand from mines belonging to the AP Mineral Development Corporation, which has a leasing licence from the Centre, and from neighbouring states. "Even a day's ban on sand mining is costing the state government dearly. We asked the officials to expedite the process to get permissions from the Centre and at the same time explore alternative steps to continue government projects," finance minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy told TOI after the meeting.
May 9th, 2012, 08:47 AM
Health workers to get swine flu vaccine soon (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Health-workers-to-get-swine-flu-vaccine-soon/articleshow/13058673.cms)
HYDERABAD: Following the recent swine flu outbreak in the state, the government is all set to launch swine flu vaccination drive for healthcare workers for the second time after 2010. The state has received 50,000 doses of swine flu vaccine from the ministry of health and family welfare for inoculation of health professionals in both public as well as private sector.
In a short span of four months, as many as 131 swine flu cases were reported in the state this year including 15 deaths as per official records.
While swine flu cases are not as rampant this month as against those reported towards the end of March and April, officials said that sporadic cases continue to be reported and, hence, it is important that the health professionals are vaccinated. All government hospitals in the state would get the vaccine doses. The vaccine however provides immunity against the H1N1 Influenza only for a year. While reviewing the situation in the state, Dr Geeta Prasadini, joint director, infectious diseases, said that all measures have been initiated in Kurnool district, which has seen a surge in the number of cases and three deaths over the last few days. "Season is not yet over and sporadic cases are being reported. Government is taking all the necessary precautions," she said during a press briefing on Tuesday. She further said that the cases as well as the death rate have come down slowly during the last few days. Stating that IEC campaign has been launched to create awareness about the H1N1 Influenza, she said that those having swine flu-like symptoms need to take all the precautions and seek help from a health professional without any delay.
As per the official records, six deaths have been reported from Hyderabad, five from Rangareddy, three from Kurnool, and one from Vishakapatnam due to swine flu. However, no cases were reported in the last three days, officials maintained.
May 10th, 2012, 12:01 AM
Potential seen for setting up 30 spice parks (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3401310.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
Guntur chillies park to be ready in 2 months
HYDERABAD, MAY 9:
Spices Board sees a potential to set up 25-30 spices parks in different parts of the country. “Each park will have export potential of Rs 500 crore. This will help us achieve export of spices worth Rs 30,000 crore by 2020,” Dr G.K. Vidyashankar, Deputy Director (Marketing) of Spices Board, told Business Line.
These parks would give a common platform for farmers, traders and exporters to accumulate quality produce in large quantities, while conforming to international standards. He said that it was time to diversify the product portfolio and look at opportunities in pharmaceuticals and neutraceuticals to yield better incomes.
The Parks would come up at Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh), Puttady (Kerala), Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Sivaganga (Tamil Nadu), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Mehsana (Gujarat), Kota (Rajasthan) and Guna (Madhya Pradesh).
The Spices Park in Guntur would be operational in two months. Coming up on 125 acres near Mydavolu village in Edlapadu mandal, it would have common processing, testing and certification facilities. It will have mass chilli-drying capacity of 10 tonnes a day.
“It will specialise in chillies. It will produce value-added commodities such as oil, oleoresins, curry powder and crushed chillies. This will help the board to monitor and guide farmers and exporters,” he said.
Dr Vidyashankar was here to address a seminar on value addition to Spices and marketing at Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) on Wednesday.
May 10th, 2012, 07:47 PM
Phase-II of seawall works soon (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/regions/rajahmundry/phase-ii-seawall-works-soon-135)
The remedy for sea erosion along the sea coast between Kakinada and Konapapapeta at Uppada in East Godavari is likely to be on a permanent basis soon. To avert erosion, two types of works were taken up recently.
The first one, a geotube seawall was constructed for a distance of 1.40 kilometres on a pilot basis at a cost of Rs.12.65 crore and the works were executed by the drainage division of the irrigation department.
Though there was abnormal delay in completion of works, it withstood three cyclones, Jal, Laila and Thane. Its design was made by the Central Water Power Research Station (CWPRS), Pune with some modifications suggested by Prof. Sundaram of the water power research department, IIT, Chennai.
Meanwhile, the R and B department took up safety wall construction for a distance of 2 kilometres at a cost of Rs.1.80 crore. This was taken up on the other side of the geotube seawall area).
Big concrete boulders were used to strengthen the road which is maintained by the R and B department. Due to tidal waves, the boulders were dragged into the sea, and the road was damaged in some areas along the 2 kilometre stretch.
Under this backdrop, a study team consisting of principal secretary, R and B, Mr S.P. Singh, AP road development corporation, managing director, Mr Rajagopal, ENC, Mr Siva Reddy, the East Godavari SE, Mr P. Sridhar, along with district collector, Ms Neetu Prasad, inspected the two spots on Wednesday.
Representatives of local fisherfolk preferred the geo tube seawall with some modification as it withstood tidal waves during the recent cyclones.
They expressed concern over the spread of sea erosion to new areas here.
The R and B SE, Mr P. Sridhar, said on Wednes-day that the team headed by Mr Singh decided to opt for geo tube for the 3.5 kilometre identified stretch and wanted to take the expert opinion of Mr Sundaram again.
As the IIT professor is likely to visit the area in a day or two, works for the second phase of geotube seawall will be started after taking his suggestions, the SE added.
May 10th, 2012, 07:50 PM
Jeevandhan organ transplant project takes off in AP, chief transplant coordinator appointed (http://pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=68912&sid=1)
The much hyped Jeevandhan organ transplantation programme of government of Andhra Pradesh has at last come out of hibernation as the government has now decided to set up a Jeevandan office in the directorate of medical education (DME) and steps are also taken to appoint a chief transplant coordinator to take care of the transplant activities in the state.
In fact the project was conceptualized in the year 2010 and the government even notified in the gazette to set up Jeevandhan organ transplantation project in the state. But during the past 2 years nothing was done by the state government to take forward the proposed project. As the demand for organ transplant is growing day by day, the government has now started taking action in this direction.
Earlier the state government had proposed to form a committee to streamline cadaver transplants and create a centralized registered waiting list. Currently only the Osmania General Hospital conducts one or two kidney transplants per month from live donors. According to NGOs, thousands are on the waiting list and many more requiring transplants are not even registered as no central online registry is maintained.
According to Lalitha Raghuram from Mohan Foundation, there are about 600 people who are in register with the transplant centre waiting for kidney transplantation. Similarly more than a hundred patients are awaiting a liver transplant.
In addition to these figures, there are thousands of other patients in the state who are unregistered. A part from usual kidney and liver transplants there are also patients who require some kind of other transplants, but they are unaware where to register themselves.
Moving forward with the Jeevandhan project, the directorate of medical education and chairman of the Jeevandhan project Dr Vasant Prasad had held a series of meetings with nephrologists in the city. He said, “Our meeting with 25 nephrologists had been fruitful and very soon things are going to be streamlined.”
At last the Jeevandhan project has come out of hibernation since past two years. A part from setting up an office and appointing a chief transplant coordinator, the health department is also planning to appoint other supporting staff very soon.
May 10th, 2012, 08:04 PM
PCB to study impact of civic solid waste on environment (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/article3401605.ece)
The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) would be taking up an impact study of Municipal Solid Waste on environment at four sites in the State, as part of a World Bank assisted project.
The project is also aligned with Union Government endeavour to establish a National Programme for Rehabilitation of Polluted Sites (NPRPS) on clean up and rehabilitation of polluted sites and thereby reduce associated environmental and health risks.
To be initiated in Vijayawada, Ananthapur, Karimnagar and Warangal, the project would have analysis of samples from sites here and establish the extent of pollution, characteristics and ranking of pollutants. Consultants would be appointed to work out a detailed sampling protocol to assess pollution levels of the site and the present environmental status.
Samples from the site would be analysed for physico-chemical parameters, heavy metals, volatile, semi-volatile and non-volatile organics as per the MSW rules and based on pollutant parameters at the site.
The field investigations include identification of the hotspots at the dumpsite and surroundings apart from determining soil characteristics, depth of aquifer and quality of ambient groundwater. Other aspects to be determined are pollution concentration in both soil and groundwater through test pits, bore holes, monitoring wells and nearby water bodies.
An estimation of landfill gas along with estimation of waste quantum and characteristics and an affected population report based on socio-economic surveys are part of the initiative. Impact of the pollution on flora and fauna and risk and impact assessment from continuous exposure to environmental and health contaminates, pathogenic as well as bacteriology, too would be taken up.
The other priority components of the World Bank's Capacity Building and Industrial Pollution Management Project (CBIPMP) include technical and administrative support for remediation of the water body, Noor Mohammad Kunta in the city and closure and containment of Kadapa Municipal Solid Waste site.
May 12th, 2012, 08:43 PM
Daikin AC opens 2 showrooms in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/marketing/article3409151.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
VISAKHAPATNAM, MAY 11:
Daikin Air-Conditioning India Pvt Ltd, presently selling 4 lakh air-conditioners a year in the country, is striving to double its market share within two to three years, according to Mr. N.K Rao, the General Manager (South).
After inaugurating a Daikin showroom here on Friday, he said, of the four lakh units sold in the country, the South was contributing 28 per cent and in Andhra Pradesh 45,000 ACs were being sold a year. He said the company, with a market share of 11 per cent in the country, was in the third position. He said the company was selling air-conditioners in the range of 0.75 tonnes to 3,000 tonnes and the basic price started from Rs 18,000 (0.75 tonne). “We have introduced inverter technology. The initial cost of these ACs is slightly higher, but they consume 50 per cent less power and, therefore, they are of great benefit to the customer. Many discerning customers are, therefore, opting for such ACs,” he said.
Such an AC of 1.5 tonne capacity would cost Rs 45,000 as against the normal price of Rs 30,000-32,000. The power-saving would more than make up for the higher initial cost, he added.
Mr N.K Rao said the company's manufacturing unit was located at Neemrana near Jaipur in Rajahsthan. The company appointed 400 dealers in South India, 120 of them in Andhra Pradesh and eight in Visakhapatnam.
“We have opened the second showroom here today and tomorrow (Saturday) we are opening another showroom at Moghalrajapuram in Vijayawada. It will be the second in that city,” he said.
Mr H.K Muralidhar, the Head (AP), also participated in the event.
May 12th, 2012, 08:51 PM
Indian state attracting more GCC tourists (http://www.khaleejtimes.com/biz/inside.asp?xfile=/data/uaebusiness/2012/May/uaebusiness_May186.xml§ion=uaebusiness)
In a bid to attract holidaymakers here in the UAE, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh launched a tourism campaign to increase its GCC market share.
With the highest domestic tourism numbers in India, Andhra Pradesh played host to 92 million tourists in 2010-11.
Speaking to media persons in Dubai, a delegation led by Minister of State Tourism and Culture Vatti Vasant Kumar and Special Chief Secretary (Tourism) Chandana Khan, IAS, said that the pilgrimage site of Tirupati alone attracts 200,000 visitors every month.
The delegation took part at the Arabian Travel Market that was held recently. “Tourism is a priority for the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and the UAE is an important source of high-value holiday-makers. The capital city of Hyderabad shares historical cultural relationships with the Middle East and is a major gateway for all major airlines, including Emirates, flyDubai and Etihad,” said Kumar.
The state attracts 700,000 global tourists drawn by the various attractions from heritage monuments as well as natural attractions, said Khan. The tourism department has also put aside Rs25.9 crores aside for the promotion of Buddhist tourism in the state by creating special Buddhist circuits and preservation of monuments. “Andhra Pradesh is special because we have a wide diversity in the tourism products ranging from the cuisine of the state to the shopping experiences,” said Vatti. The minister also said that Andhra Pradesh is fast becoming a popular medical tourism destination and the government is planning of investing more funds to promote the same.
Vikas Rastogi, the regional director for Incredible India, said: “Travelling in Andhra Pradesh is like living in a timeline. Also, the state tourism department is flexible with foreign direct investment, has investor-friendly policies and has a single window clearance system for foreign investors”.
May 16th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Elephant census in six states to begin on May 22 (http://www.deccanherald.com/content/249560/elephant-census-six-states-begin.html)
A three-day National Elephant Census will begin on May 22 in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa, simultaneously.
The synchronised census, taken up once in five years, will be conducted throughout the country, following a directive issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Unlike the Elephant Reserve Census, where enumeration is restricted to counting of pachyderms in reserve forests, the synchronised census will be conducted in forest, non-forest, reserve and non-reserve forest areas (landscape-wise), said Ajay Mishra, Chief Conservator of Forests, Project Elephant, Karnataka.
As a preparatory exercise, senior officers of the Forest Department participated in a workshop conducted by elephant experts Raman Sukumar, Ajai Desai, M D Madhusudan, Surendra Varma and others, in Bandipur on May 10.
Dipak Sarmah, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, said the department was issued guidelines for conducting the census.
“The workshop also included a field demonstration. Ground-level training will be imparted to the forest officials and volunteers taking part in the census,” he said.
The census will be conducted using three methods — block count, line transect dung count and waterhole count, said Surendra Varma, research scientist, Asian Nature Conservation Foundation.
The focus will be on estimating the elephant population during the particular season (with statistical confidence limits); number of elephants in broad age groups (adult, sub-adult, juvenile and calf); the ratio of males to females (bulls and cows) in respect of adult and sub-adult categories; the number of tuskers in respect of adult and sub-adult categories.
Wanted: ‘Good volunteers’
Varma said discipline was imperative for conducting the census. And to achieve this, it would be important to restrict the number of volunteers.
“If volunteers are involved, only one of them should be allowed per block or beat. More volunteers may result in counting more elephants. However, they can also become a source of disturbance in detecting and counting elephants. Volunteers should understand they aren’t going out for a picnic,” added Varma.
He said the department should focus on selecting volunteers “who are fit, knowledgeable, those who aren’t overly enthusiastic, and those with good cameras”.
“It will be helpful if the volunteers can share their photographs with the department at the end of the day’s exercise,” he said.
Counting will be done on May 22, 23 and 24 between 7 am and 5 pm.
Jumbo headcount 2007
Region Habitat (km) Corridors 2007 census
Northeast 41,000 36 9,330
North 5,500 12 1,726
East-central 23,500 20 2,633
South 39,500 20 14,005
Total 1,09,500 88 27,694
Note: Statistics published in the article ‘Current Status of Asian Elephants in India’ 2012 issue of journal ‘Gajah’. Authors - N Baskaran, Surendra Varma, C K Sar and Raman Sukumar.
May 16th, 2012, 11:26 AM
IVRCL rebounds on new order win (http://business-standard.com/india/news/ivrcl-reboundsnew-order-win/165043/on)
IVRCL has surged nearly 3%, recovering from its morning lows, following news that the company has received an order worth Rs 652.65 crore.
The irrigation, buildings and water divisions of the companies has bagged orders worth Rs 652.65 crore. This includes a project from Government of Andhra Pradesh estimated to finish in 36 months and another project from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam, Gujarat estimated to complete in 15 months.
The stock after opening at Rs 44.50, slipped to a low of Rs 42.90. It rebounded 9% from there to a high of Rs 46.75. Shares of IVRCL are trading at Rs 45.85 - up 1.6% from yesterday's close at the moment. Around 1.32 million shares have been traded so far, as against a two week trading average of 1.61 million shares.
May 16th, 2012, 11:46 AM
Bandar port work to begin soon: Kiran (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bandar-port-work-to-begin-soon-kiran/258284-60-114.html)
VIJAYAWADA: Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has said that the state government was taking all initiatives to take up the construction of Bandar port soon. “We have already issued a GO on land allotment for the port, he said.
�The chief minister, who toured Krishna district as part of his bypoll campaign schedule on Tuesday, arrived at Gannavaram airport at around 9 am.
�He convened an informal meeting with director of ports Muralidhar Reddy on the port issue at the airport.
�Krishna collector SAM Rizvi, joint collector Gaurav Uppal and MLAs from the district also took part in the meeting.
�Government whip and Machilipatnam MLA Perni Venkata Ramaiah (Nani) has said that the government would issue a notification regarding land acquisition for Bandar Port in July this year. City MLAs Malladi Vishnu, Vellampally Srinivas Rao and Yelamanchili Ravi, Pamarru MLA DY Dasu, Pedana MLA Jogi Ramesh, MLC Ilapuram Venkaiah, former minister Devineni Rajashekar (Nehru), DCC president Naraharishetti Narasimha Rao, PCC secretary Kolanukonda Sivaji and others also met the chief minister.
May 17th, 2012, 01:22 PM
Odisha: Andhra Bank plans to open 10 more branches in Berhampur zone (http://www.orissadiary.com/ShowBussinessNews.asp?id=33876)
Bhubaneswar: The Andhra Bank has proposed to open at least ten more branches in its
Berhampur zone, which consisting of eight districts, seven in southern Odisha and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, during this year.
While five branches are proposed to be opened in Odisha, another five braches in Andhra Pradesh, said its zonal manager AB Rama Krishna Rao here today.
The bank has already got the license to open its branches in the Maoist infested Malkanagiri and R Udayagiri and Mohana in Gajapati districts.
The average annual growth rate of Malkanagiri was registered at 5.2 percent during the period of 2005-06 to 2008-09, the lowest in the state, while the achievement of average growth rate in Gajapati is 6.6 percent, according to the latest economic survey of the state government.
Poor economic standard coupled with the lack of infrastructure facilities was the main cause of the spurt of Maoist activities in the areas. In order to improve the economic standard of the people, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had suggested the chairman of the Andhra Bank to open it branches in these areas during discussion between them some months ago. The bank has presently 79 branches, out of which 43 in Odisha and 36 in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.
Presenting the business achievements of the bank’s zone office Rao said the total business of the bank achieved at Rs 3130.71 crore. The total deposit and advances are Rs 2192.88 and Rs 937.83 crore respectively, which comes to 21.58 percent growth in deposits with over all business growth of 14.73 percent.The percentage of Current Accounts and Savings Accounts (CASA) deposits comes to 40.59 percent to total advances, he said.
Stating that the bank was giving priority on financing to the Self Help Groups (SHG) and agriculture sector, he said the zone was targeted to achieve the SHG finance to Rs 400 crore this year from Rs 149.03 crore by the end of March last. While the total agriculture advances of the zone was Rs 380.70 crore, about 40.59 to total advances, the zone was lended Rs 277.40 crore under MSME sector, which comes around 29.58 percent, he said.
May 17th, 2012, 01:29 PM
CarZ opens nine new outlets across Andhra Pradesh (http://www.wheelsunplugged.com/ViewNews.aspx?newsid=13671)
CarZ, one of India’s leading independent Multi Brand Car service network raised Series-A funding of $5 million from Indo-US ventures for its expansion plans has opened nine State-of-the-art service outlets in Guntur, Khammam, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Nellore, Anantapur, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.
CarZ which commenced operations in Hyderabad in 2008 has aggressive expansion plans. It now has 12 outlets across Andhra Pradesh (including three in Hyderabad at Madhapur, Gachibowli and Prasads IMAX) and 2 outlets in Bangalore with plans for a phased nationwide rollout.
Venu Donepudi, Managing Director, CarZ said, “Andhra Pradesh is a huge market for us with the fifth highest population in India of nearly 840 million people. It also has one of the highest growth-rate for vehicle ownership in the country. At CarZ our constant endeavor is to provide end-to-end solutions to discerning Indian car owners.”
Vijay Gummadi, CEO of CarZ said, “We plan to create new benchmarks in customer service and product offerings in the automobile industry. It’s our endeavor to provide complete auto care solutions to our customers which include preventive maintenance, electrical & mechanical repair, accident repair – denting and painting, tyres and services, battery, variety of styling and performance accessories, interior and exterior detailing.“
CarZ has also tied-up with several public and private insurance companies for processing cashless insurance claims as well as insurance renewals. CarZ also offers express and mobile service to customers for their convenience, where one can get their car picked up from their doorsteps at night and get it back (in case of minor maintenance repair) the next day before office at no extra cost.
May 17th, 2012, 01:34 PM
Greenfield plant expansion in Andhra progressing well: Hindusthan National Glass and Industries (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/oil-gas/greenfield-plant-expansion-in-andhra-progressing-well-hindusthan-national-glass-and-industries/articleshow/13170326.cms)
CHENNAI: Hindusthan National Glass and Industries today said expansion of its Rs 800-crore greenfield plant in Naidupeta, Andhra Pradesh is "progressing well" and is expected to be commissioned by this fiscal-end.
"The greenfield capacity expansion at Naidupeta in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh is progressing well and is expected to be commissioned by second quarter of fiscal 2012-13," Hindusthan National Glass and Industries said in a statement.
A capex of Rs 800 crore has been budgeted for this facility, it said.
The 650 TPD furnaces -- considered one of the world's largest container glass end port fired furnaces of 175 square metres, is expected to be operational in second quarter of 2012-13, it said.
On their existing capacity expansion plan at Nasik, the company said Rs 725 crore has been incurred for this facility and it was commissioned as per schedule in April, 2012.
On the Group's financial performance, the statement said net profits for the fourth quarter ending March 31, 2012 stood at Rs 30.58 crore as against a net loss of Rs 3.65 crore for the corresponding period last year.
Total income during the quarter ending March 31, 2012 soared to Rs 520.89 crore from Rs 416.11 crore during the same period of previous year, the company said.
For the year ending March 31, 2012, consolidated net profit slipped to Rs 70.11 crore from Rs 86.57 crore during the same period of the previous year.
For the year ending March 31,2012, consolidated total income grew to Rs 2026.32 crore as against Rs 1562.52 crore registered during the same period of the previous year.
The Board of Directors have recommended a dividend of Rs 1.50 (75 per cent) per equity share for the period 2011-12.
"We delivered record glass production. The focus now is on our next phase of growth. Today glass has become one of the most preferred packaging materials and through technological innovations and global alliances, we are trying to meet the demands", Hindusthan National Glass and Industries Managing Director and Vice-chairman Mukul Somany said.
HNG's products are available in 20 countries and they have plants at six locations in the country.
May 17th, 2012, 01:36 PM
Intel bid to simplify use of PC (http://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/article3425848.ece)
Intel has teamed up with its software partners to launch a customised language interface ‘Darpan' that helps simplify the use and access of personal computer.
The interface, freely downloadable from http://darpan.me, enables the user to access content in five Indian languages — Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and Tamil — apart from English. Darpan is a tool that enables new users to experience the Internet and its endless opportunities, Director, Sales, Intel South Asia, B. Suryanarayanan, said, addressing the media here on Thursday.
“At Intel, we believe that technology has the power to revamp businesses and transform lives,” he said and explained the outreach campaign in Andhra Pradesh to reach out to first time buyers, educating them and making them explore the wonders of personal computer and the Internet.
The third generation Intel core processor family, codenamed Ivy Bridge, is Intel's first microprocessor delivered on Intel's cutting edge 22nm process technology with 3D transistors. These had higher performance at lower power, he said and showed the latest Ultrabook, now available in the market, using the latest Intel processors. The Ultrabook devices have the capabilities of today's laptops with tablet-like features in a thin, light and elegant design.
Intel has so far conducted 40 computer and Internet melas, which is a platform for the IT eco-system to extend PC awareness.
and showcase the usage experience around the PC in small towns such as Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Chintalapudi, Guntur, Nellore and Tirupati, he said.
Intel, in association with the FAPCCI (Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry) has launched its SMB Xpress service to provide end-to-end solution to small and medium business enterprises, Mr. Suryanarayanan said.
May 17th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Thailand woos AP investors (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Thailand-woos-AP-investors/articleshow/13193899.cms)
HYDERABAD: It is not just Indian tourists that Thailand is keen on attracting to its shores. Now, it also wants to woo Indian companies, especially those from Andhra Pradesh, from sectors like IT & ITeS, pharma and biotech to set up shop in Thailand, Chanchai Charanvatnakit , consul general, Royal Thai Consulate General said here on Wednesday.
These sectors have been accorded topmost priority by the Thai government with the maximum incentives being offered in addition to a single window clearance, Charanvatnakit told a gathering of AP Inc at a seminar on 'Business Opportunities in Thailand' organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry's (Ficci) AP council. He also pointed out how Thailand had abundant power for industry thanks to multiple power resources like natural gas, thermal, wind and solar power.
On the other hand, Thai companies are keen on investing in sectors like food processing in AP, he said, pointing out that Thai players like CP Aquaculture and Rockworth have already made investments in Vizag and Chittoor. While CP Aquaculture has feed mills in Vizag and Chittoor, office furniture maker Rockworth has its facility at Sri City in Chittoor.
Talking about bilateral trade, he said it was expected to grow to $14 billion by 2014 from $8.6 billion last year. "While we import machinery, auto parts and gems from India, Thailand exports electronic goods, computer parts to India," he said.
On tourism, he pointed out that India was the top 6th tourism generator for Thailand with around 9.2 lakh Indian tourists visiting the country in 2011. "We expect over 1 million Indian tourists to visit Thailand this year. While 14 million tourists from across the world visited Thailand last year, we are targeting a total tourist inflow of 15 million this year," Charanvatnakit said.
May 19th, 2012, 08:23 AM
Nandigama to be 5th division soon (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/regions/vijayawada/nandigama-be-5th-division-soon-562)
The district administration will submit details of the revenue divisions in the district to the government very soon as the state has decided to reorganise the revenue divisions in the state. The state government is collecting details of population, revenue, geographical location, mandals and other details of all revenue divisions in the state.
Proposal for formation of Nandigama revenue division has been pending for several decades. Lakhs of people living in Western Krishna are facing many hardships to come to revenue divisional office in Vijayawada or district collectorate in Machilipatnam to submit representations on their problems. The district has four revenue divisions Vijayawada, Machilipatnam, Gudivada and Nuzvid. Nandigama will be the fifth revenue division in the state if the state forms it.
Proposals have been pending to bifurcate eight mandals from the Vijaya-wada revenue division and merge them in the proposed Nandigama revenue division. Chandar-lapadu, Vatsavai, Nandi-gama, Jaggaiahpet, Veer-ulapadu, Kanchikacharla, Ibrahimpatnam and Penu-ganchiprolu mandals will be separated from Vijaya-wada division. Two mandals A. Konduru and G. Konduru from Nuzvid revenue divisions will be separated and merged with the Nandigama revenue division.
Vijayawada revenue division is very large in area covering 15 mandals from Thotlavallur downstream of Prakasam barrage to Jaggaiahpet and Penuganchiprolu in western Krishna. The revenue administration is facing hardships to tackle important issues like sand smu-ggling, revenue administration and land disputes.
With the formation of the new revenue division with headquarter in Nandigama lakhs of people living in western Krishna will be benefited. They can solve their problems at Nandigama itself.
A senior officer in therevenue department said the details of the revenue divisions will be submitted to the government in a day or two.
May 19th, 2012, 09:04 AM
H & R Johnson expands capacity at Silica joint venture unit in Andhra Pradesh (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods/svs/cement/h-r-johnson-expands-capacity-at-silica-joint-venture-unit-in-andhra-pradesh/articleshow/13268496.cms)
HYDERABAD: H&R Johnson (India), a division of Prism Cement Limited expand its manufacturing capacity at the Silica JV unit in Andhra Pradesh. The company has enhanced the capacity of the Silica JV unit by over 55% making it the largest tile unit in South India.
This capacity expansion is was taken up at an investment of Rs 225 crore, taking the total amount invested the state to Rs 350 crore.
Announcing the capacity expansion at Silica JV unit, Anoop Sreekumar, Business Head - Marbonite, H&R Johnson (India), said "The investment at the Silica JV unit to enhance capacity is part of our business plan to focus on high-value innovations. The Silica JV unit expansion will enable us to manufacture large format vitrified tiles at this unit. We will be launching these as Marbonite Slabs. We expect the capacity expansion to catalyze the future growth of our business as well as maintain our leadership in capacity, revenue as well as market share in India."
Over the next few years, these large-format and coloured Marbonite products are expected to drive the overall growth of the business. H&R Johnson (India) has branded its large-format Marbonite products as Marbonite Slabs and it sells coloured Marbonite under two collections - Magicbrush and Colours. The company plans to roll-out Marbonite Slabs by June 2012.
The Silica JV unit expansion makes Andhra Pradesh one of the key manufacturing hubs for H&R Johnson. It currently operates two JV units in the State with a cumulative capacity of over 18 million SqMtrs per annum. Andhra Pradesh currently accounts for 33% of the company's manufacturing capacity.
The Silica expansion has enhanced the company's overall capacity in South India to 23 million SqMtrs. Once the Silica JV unit reaches peak production with the new capacities, it will have the potential to generate over Rs 300 crore revenues annually. H&R Johnson (India) operates 4 units in South India - 2 JV units in AP, one unit in Kunigal (Karnataka) and one in Karaikal (Tamilnadu).
During the last fiscal, H&R Johnson (India)'s revenues crossed Rs 1,729 crores recording a business growth of 18%. Its overall contribution to Prism Cement's consolidated revenues was 35% during the year. The overall sales volume of H&R Johnson (India) crossed 46 million Square Meters during the year.
May 26th, 2012, 09:38 AM
Government to introduce 2nd phase of rural roads project soon (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-05-23/news/31826388_1_rural-roads-pmgsy-road-upgradation)
NEW DELHI: Government is planning to start the phase 2 of its rural roads programme that will concentrate on road upgradation rather than new road connectivity.
The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) launched in 2002 by the National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) government, has led to creation of 3, 50,000 km of roads that have connected 84,000 lakh rural habitations.
While in many states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh the targets under the phase 1 of the scheme are yet to be achieved, increasing number of other states have either achieved the targets or are going to within the next year.
PMGSY, a flagship scheme of the government, with an annual budgetary allocation of Rs 24,000 crore for 2012-13, is the second most expensive social welfare programme after the government's rural employment guarantee scheme MGNREGA.
The scheme currently has state specific targets for new connectivity with lesser focus on upgradation projects; the next phase of the scheme is going to reverse the focus areas.
There are six states currently that have completed the targets set for new connectivity and upgradation projects under the phase 1 of the programme. They are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Nagaland and Haryana.
"There are many states that have completed their targets under PMGSY. We will go to the cabinet with a second phase of PMGSY next month," said minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh.
"The second phase, that will focus of upgradation projects will be implemented first in these 6 states and then will be extended to the rest of the country," added Ramesh.
The central government under the new scheme is likely to fund 75% of the cost of the road project, while the state government will provide for the rest of the 25%.
The government will also consider relaxing population requirements to be eligible under the scheme for hilly and naxal affected regions. Currently rural roads in villages having less than 500 habitations do not qualify for funding under the scheme.
Also, special focus for new connectivity is likely to be given to border areas where construction of roads has stagnated since the last two years.
May 26th, 2012, 10:22 AM
Centre nod to include 8 AP districts for Indira Awas Yojana (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/government-and-policy/article3452160.ece)
HYDERABAD, MAY 24:
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, has said the Centre has approved the inclusion of all habitations with population of more than 250 people in the eight districts under the Indira Awas Yojana.
These districts include Adilabad, East Godavari, Karimnagar, Khammam, Srikakulam, Vishakapatnam, Vizianagaram and Warangal. They will be covered for the Prime Minister’s Grameena Sadak Yojana connectivity in these habitations.
This Union Minister of Rural Development, Mr Jairam Ramesh, has communicated this to the Chief Minister. He informed that the Union Cabinet has approved the inclusion of these habitations.
May 26th, 2012, 10:41 AM
Australia to provide agro tech to state (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/regions/vijayawada/australia-provide-agro-tech-state-279)
India has grown up as the fourth largest trading partner of Australia.
Australia and India’s Rs.1.1 lakh crore trade relationship is going to be doubled in coming three years, according to Australian Trade Commission trade commissioner and consul commercial, Mr Michael Carter. Addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry, Vijayawada unit meeting here on Wedne-sday, he explained about the latest developments in Australia-India trade and investment relationships and business and investment opportunities between Australia and Andhra Pradesh.
He said Australia has been concentrating on two-tier cities to improve business ties between the two countries. Coming to agricultural sector, he said Andhra Pradesh is rich in agriculture. Australia can provide necessary technology to achieve better yield and processing units and for value addition to the farm produce. He said that technology would be Indianised to suit the local demand.
In the education sector, many Australian universities entered into MoU with Indian universities for exchange of knowledge. The Australian government has been funding several research programmes in India. The Australian trade commissioner said several Indian companies like GVK, Lanco and NMDC are coming forward to invest in Australia.
CII Vijayawada chairman Mr B.S. Koteswara Rao said Australia provides good business opportunities to Indian traders.
CII Vijayawada vice-chairman Dr M. Lakshmi Prasad said that Australian technical expertise could be utilised to get value addition to the Indian farm produce.
He said Australia excels in storage and processing of food grains. He said the joint ventures with Australia have a good future. He said the farmers are losing 40 per cent of food production due to lack of processing units and storage facilities.
The Australian government’s expertise could be utilised for preservation of food grains to bring value addition to the agricultural produce.
June 2nd, 2012, 09:30 AM
GMR Infra to open 2 toll roads by July (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3476742.ece)
BANGALORE, MAY 30:
GMR Infrastructure Ltd plans to operationalise two toll road projects by July-end.
The two projects are Hungund (Bagalkote)-Hospet (Bellary) highway toll road project in Karnataka and Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway toll road project in Andhra Pradesh.
Addressing a press conference to announce the company's fourth quarter performance, Mr Arun Kumar Sharma, CEO GMR Highways, said: “The Hungund-Hospet project is the company's first project in Karnataka. This road will be partially operational by July.”
“The Karnataka project is a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) toll project with a concession period of 19 years (which includes the construction time of 30 months). The project cost is Rs 1,650 crore and we are involved in design, construction, development, finance and of this 99.05 km stretch on NH 13,” he added.
The company won the project through an international competitive bid from the National Highways Authority of India, this project is being developed by the consortium of GMR Group and Oriental Structural Engineers.
The second road project to be operational is the Hyderabad-Vijayawada project. This will be thrown open by July-end. The project in Andhra Pradesh, built at an estimated cost of Rs 2,200 crore, is also on BOT Toll basis covering a distance of 181 km on NH-9.
Mr Sharma said “The project entails designing, engineering, financing, procuring, constructing, operating and maintaining of the four-six lane of the Hyderabad-Vijayawada section in Andhra Pradesh.”
The project is being implemented through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by the group for a concession period of 25 years.
June 6th, 2012, 10:05 AM
Bridgestone expands retail chain (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/marketing/article3489684.ece)
HYDERABAD, JUNE 4:
Tyre and rubber manufacturer Bridgestone India has expanded its presence in Andhra Pradesh setting up three showrooms in Vijayawada, Khammam and in the temple town of Tirupati.
Bridgestone India, part of the Japanese major Bridgestone Corporation, currently has over 260 Select Stores across the country.
The company has a manufacturing facility in Kheda, Madhya Pradesh, and is in the process of setting up another plant in Maharashtra. Bridgestone has emerged as one of the leading tyre manufacturers in the country, supplying tyres to original equipment manufacturers and in the replacement market.
The Select Stores reflect Bridgestone’s retail identity and the company is in the process of expanding the chain. The stores offer services such as wheel alignment, balancing and nitrogen filling.
June 21st, 2012, 07:16 PM
A very good initiative by AP govt, hope other states also implements it very soon. Great work by NIC
June 25th, 2012, 08:35 AM
Andhra CM reviews land allotment for industries (http://business-standard.com/india/news/andhra-cm-reviews-land-allotment-for-industries/478407/)
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has told his officials to keep the public interest in mind while acquiring land for companies to establish industries in the state. “Think twice where land acquisition is involved. The public interest is as important as the industrial development,” he told them yesterday, while reviewing the status of agreements signed for various investment proposals made in January this year.
Allotment of land by the state to industries in the 2004-09 ministry of Rajasekhara Reddy has become the subject of much controversy, with more than one probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to an official statement, Reddy asked officials from the industries, energy and tourism departments to list the problems in the initiation of projects, besides reviewing the status of these proposals.
The state had got 115 proposals with an investment of Rs 2.78 lakh crore in the industrial sector, 89 proposals with an investment of Rs 3.1 lakh crore in the energy sector, 11 proposals with an investment of Rs 33,300 crore in the infrastructure sector, and 13 proposals with an investment of about Rs 22,400 crore in the information technology sector, among others, according to the government.
Among the proposals received by the industries department in the manufacturing sector, four projects have commenced operations, 91 are under implementation and another 20 proposals are in initial stages, according to the chief minister’s office. In the IT sector, two projects are currently under implementation.
In the energy sector, of the 46 proposals received for setting up 4,641 Mw of wind power projects, clearance has been given to those with a capacity of 2,278 Mw so far, and projects with 755 Mw capacity have been completed, it said.
A total of 243 investment proposals for establishing 265 units had been received during the Partnership Summit in January, entailing a combined investment of Rs 6.49 lakh crore, according to a government note.
Focus on time, costs
Meanwhile, the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci) said the government should have a policy which on the one hand encourages industry and brings down the overall time and cost of setting up units and, on the other hand, prevents people from unnecessarily sitting on unused land.
Devendra Surana, president of Fapcci, has also urged the government to include additional facilities in the allotment policy, including availability of land on a deferred tenure of 10-15 years, with enough resources in the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation(APIIC) to back up the industrial demand. APIIC should offer ready facilities for industrial areas to reduce the lead time for setting up a manufacturing unit, especially for small scale units, he said.
June 25th, 2012, 03:59 PM
Excess rainfall a boost to kharif crop (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3568405.ece)
The district received an average rainfall of 102.9 mm as on date while the normal rainfall for June is 98 mm, said the district officials.
With the district receiving more then average rainfall, farmers are busy in agriculture works during the ongoing kharif season in Krishna district. Farmers started raising paddy, sugarcane, cotton, groundnut and other crops after the first spell of rain.
The district received an average rainfall of 102.9 mm as on date while the normal rainfall for June is 98 mm, said the district officials. The total irrigated area during kharif was about 2.80 lakh hectares in the district and officials were maintaining sufficient quantity of seed, pesticides and fertilizer stocks, said Joint Director (Agriculture) K.S.V. Prasad.
“About 5 lakh farmers will raise paddy in 2.70 lakh hectares, cotton in 55,000 hectares, sugarcane 16,000 hcts, pulses 15,000 hcts, chilly 10,000 hcts, maize and groundnut in about 5,000 hectares each during kharif season in the district”, said the JD. Mr. Prasad said that paddy will be the main crop and farmers will raise BPT-5204 and MTU-1061 varieties in maximum area.
Paddy was being raised in Vijayawada Rural mandal, Pamarru, Gudlavalleru, Movva, Challapalli, Ghantasala, Gudivada, Pedda Parupudi, Kankipadu and Thotlavalluru mandals, he said. Assistant Statistical Officer (Agriculture Department) SK. Mohiuddin said that maximum rainfall was recorded in Tiruvuru, Gampalagudem, Mylavaram, Veerlapadu and other upland mandals. While scanty rainfall occurred in Nandigama, Kanchikacherla and Ibrahimpatnam mandals in the district. Farmers started agriculture works after the first spell of rains, and sowed paddy nurseries in about 700 hectares, sugar cane in 15,000 hcts, cotton in 4,000 hcts. and groundnut in about 2,000 hectares till date. Farmers will also raise green gram, red and black gram along with paddy and other crops, said the ASO.
Meanwhile, the Revenue and Agriculture departments’ officials are arranging awareness meetings on utilisation of all varieties of cotton seed and were distributing seed to the farmers in the district.
June 26th, 2012, 08:12 AM
Andhra seeks big-ticket IT/ITeS investment, pushes new reforms (http://wrd.mydigitalfc.com/economy/andhra-seeks-big-ticket-itites-investment-pushes-new-reforms-814)
If all goes as planned in Andhra Pradesh, the state is likely to home the companies including Samsung India, Bosch, Dell, Fargo, Hitachi, Huwaei, Pace and others.
Andhra Pradesh had recently held parleys with the top honchos of 26 prominent IT/ITES companies and other Fortune 500 companies to know their business needs and keenness in making investments in the state. While the state is looking for investment from the new companies to start their operations it is also hoping for expansion of existing companies to tier II cities.
“We have met the top management of these companies. We are asking several companies, which do not have presence in Andhra Pradesh to start their operations here.
Likewise, we also want the existing companies to expand beyond Hyderabad,” said IT minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, while talking to Financial Chronicle.
Companies including NCR, Syntel, Intergraph, Wipro, Infosys, Accenture, Google, IBM, Infotech Enterprises and others are at present on an expansion drive in the state.
Andhra Pradesh, which accounts for 15 per cent of the country’s IT exports, has put in place an ICT policy, which aims to clock Rs 70,000 crore IT exports by 2015. At present the state puts thrust on high-end research and gives a recruitment assistance of Rs 15 lakh for employing a minimum of 100 employees within two years of commencement of commercial operations in tier II city.
Last week, Andhra Pradesh announced its electronic hardware policy to tap the growing opportunities in the sector. The new policy allows conversion of existing clusters such as fab city and aeronautical SEZ into centres of excellence giving impetus to infrastructure. Four hubs around Hyderabad consisting 300 acre multi product SEZs and another 200 acre for supporting the electronic industry will be created.
“We have presented our case to the companies but we cannot fix deadlines for t*h*em to commit investment in the state. It will be a continuous effort for us to bring ne*w companies to start new pr*ojects while nurturing the ex*isting ones,” Lakshmaiah said.
June 27th, 2012, 12:07 AM
SKS Microfinance plans a return in Andhra Pradesh amid scepticism, government resistance (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/SKS-Microfinance-plans-a-return-in-Andhra-Pradesh-amid-scepticism-government-resistance/articleshow/14404728.cms)
HYDERABAD: SKS Microfinance is preparing for a return to Andhra Pradesh, a former hub from which it has retrenched significantly in the past two years. India's only listed microlender is waiting for a central law to override a state statute before it makes a comeback, a senior company official said. "We are waiting for the microfinance bill to be passed so that there will officially be only a single regulator to govern microfinance institutions ," said Dilli Raj, the chief finance officer.
The Micro Finance Institutions (Development and Regulation) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha a month ago. SKS, whose investors include Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, plans to resume lending cautiously. It will rebuild relationships first with borrowers having a track record of timely repayment , only a small proportion of its clientele.
It now has 1.8 million borrowers in Andhra Pradesh, of whom 88.5% are considered defaulters . The microlender's operations went into a tailspin after Andhra Pradesh, its main market, came up with regulations in October 2010 restricting lending and recovery. Adding to its troubles was a boardroom battle which resulted in the exit of founder Vikram Akula. In recent weeks, SKS announced it was closing 78 out of 180 branches in Andhra Pradesh, sacking 1,200 staff and shifting its headquarters to Mumbai from Hyderabad.
The company's stock, which was ruling at more than Rs 1,021 in October 2010, is now hovering at around Rs 65. SKS now hopes to recover at least 40% of the outstanding loans in Andhra Pradesh before the state's regulations kicked in. It has written off nearly Rs 1,500 crore in loans over six quarters and its exposure in the state is now at just Rs 236 crore. After the crackdown in Andhra Pradesh, several microfinance institutions were forced to downsize in the state and look for greener pastures in other parts of the country.
SKS Microfinance plans to raise Rs 3,500-crore debt
They are now hoping that once the central bill becomes law, microlenders registered as non-banking financial companies will fall out of the jurisdiction of state governments as they will no longer be considered moneylenders. Once the state law is overridden, the microfinance sector hopes to begin the process of recovering over Rs 9,000 crore of bad loans written off in Andhra Pradesh.
SKS has shut around 1,000 branches and cut jobs by nearly 50% to 14,300. The management has indicated rationalising its branch count further in the coming quarters to help it return to profitability by the second quarter of the current fiscal. It plans to raise Rs 3,500 crore as debt from banks and financial institutions during the year. SKS has set a timeframe of two years to recover its dues in Andhra Pradesh.
Till then, it plans to confine itself to microlending and not venture into other products such as gold loans and insurance. If SKS succeeds, it may prompt others such as Basix, Spandana Spoorthy and Share to resume operations in the state. However, this could prove difficult given the resistance of the state government. Vijay Mahajan, a pioneer in the industry and chairman of Basix Microfinance, said he is open to the idea of resuming operations.
June 27th, 2012, 12:10 AM
Andhra Pradesh credit plan for FY13 to focus on agriculture, allied sectors (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/andhra-pradesh-credit-plan-for-fy13-to-focus-on-agriculture-allied-sectors/articleshow/14409816.cms)
HYDERABAD: A Rs 1,10,945 crore annual credit plan for the 2012-13 fiscal with a targeted lending of Rs 82,167 crore to the priority sector, including Rs 52,972 crore for agriculture and allied activities, was released by the state government here today.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy released the 2012-13 annual credit plan at the State-Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting here this afternoon and asked the banks to increase the 'scale of finance' by 15-20 per cent this year.
While the 2011-12 credit plan showed an overall "achievement" of 107.45 per cent in respect of total priority sector lending, majority of it went to the agriculture and allied sectors while 'other priority sectors' like housing got only 70.33 per cent of the targeted credit.
Under the new annual credit plan, it is targeted to lend a sum of Rs 37,128 crore as crop loans for Kharif and Rabi seasons.
For the first time, the SLBC has earmarked a sum of Rs 2,000 crore exclusively for lending to licensed cultivators (tenant farmers) in tune with a legislation passed by the state Legislature.
Last year, 1.98 lakh licensed cultivators got only Rs 393 crore as loan from commercial banks, leaving the government displeased as it issued loan eligibility cards (LECs) to 5.76 lakh farmers.
This year the state government is seeking to issue LECs to 12 lakh farmers, according to Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy.
Agriculture Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana was highly critical of the banks over the disbursal of crop loans. "The state government declared 870 mandals (tehsils) as drought-hit last year but rescheduling of crop loans has not been done so far. As such, farmers are unable to avail of fresh credit. We want the banks to extend the deadline till August 31 and complete the rescheduling," he said.
The Agriculture Minister was also sour that banks were not opening no-frills accounts to farmers and not increasing the scale of finance despite the decisions taken to the effect by the SLBC.
The Chief Minister said farmers would have to repay only the principal loan amount to banks while the state government would pay the interest component on loans (up to Rs one lakh) taken in Kharif season.
SLBC president and Andhra Bank Chairman and Managing Director B A Prabhakar expressed concern over the growing non-performing assets (NPAs). "The NPAs are found to be increasing mainly in segments like agriculture, housing, education and government-sponsored schemes. The gross NPAs in the state as on March 31, 2012 stood at Rs 13,800 crore," Prabhakar pointed out.
He felt there was need for a permanent recovery machinery at the mandal level and support from the agriculture department for ensuring improved recovery (of loans) in the agriculture segment.
"There is a need to reduce the NPAs through sustained and collective efforts by bankers and government machinery in view of the high credit-deposit ratio and declining profitability," the SLBC president said.
Ministers Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, V Sunita Laxma Reddy, Dokka Manikya Varaprasad, Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi and top officials of different commercial banks attended.
June 27th, 2012, 09:16 AM
Three oldest residential schools to be upgraded (http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/andhra-pradesh/article3573544.ece)
The first residential schools in the State at Sarvail, Tadikonda and Kodigenahalli to be converted into centres of excellence
Raising hopes of strengthening the residential education system, the Government has decided to convert the first three residential schools of the State into Regional Centres of Excellence.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy signed the file on Tuesday initiating the steps to transform the A.P. Residential School, Sarvail, Nalgonda; A.P. Residential School, Tadikonda, Guntur, and A.P. Residential School, Kodigenahalli, Anantapur district into regional centres of excellence. It means admissions into these institutions will be done from across all the districts of the each region unlike the present system where only students from the concerned district are admitted.
“We will write to the Central Government seeking exemption from the RTE Act for these schools so that admissions are based on an entrance test for merit,” said a senior official in the Chief Ministers Office (CMO). The Navodaya Schools, which took birth from the success of A.P. Residential Schools system, enjoy similar exemption from Central Government. The RTE Act stipulates that admissions should be done on lottery system as it bans entrance tests for school admissions.
The government has also sanctioned two more residential schools in Guntur and Anantapur districts exclusively for those districts to compensate for these schools. However, Nalgonda already has two residential schools. Officials said Rs. 17 crores would be spent to modernise these schools over a period of five years apart from improving facilities to attract the best rural talent.
Andhra Pradesh was the first to start the concept of residential schools in the government sector when P.V. Narasimha Rao was the Education Minister. The first school was established in Sarvail in 1971. Meritorious students were selected from all Telangana districts and provided best of education under the gurukulam concept. Similar schools were established in Tadikonda for Andhra region and Kodigenahalli for Rayalaseema region in 1972.
The success of these schools led to the birth of a Residential Junior College in Nagarajunasagar in 1975 for students passing out of these schools. Impressed with the system, N.T. Rama Rao sanctioned a school for every district in the State after he became the Chief Minister in 1983. The concept of these schools was adopted nationwide when Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister leading to the establishment of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas.
June 29th, 2012, 12:50 AM
CII to study potential of coastal corridor (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3575902.ece)
"Accelerating employment and growth through SIRI" (Skills, Innovation, ‘Rurbanisation’ and Infrastructure) is the theme for the CII this year, said chairperson of Bharat Biotech International Limited
Confederation of India Industries (CII), Andhra Pradesh, will launch a study on the industrial potential of Krishna, West Godavari, Prakasam, and Guntur districts, said Suchitra Ella, chairperson and joint managing director of Bharat Biotech International Limited.
Ms. Suchitra, who was here to address the CII zonal meeting, told mediapersons that said statistics were available with several government departments.
The CII would gather the figures and collate them.
The objective of the study was to determine the kind of industries that can be put in the coastal corridor.
She said the CII had already met the district Collectors and district industrial officer of the KGPG.
The theme for the CII this year was “Accelerating employment and growth through SIRI” (Skills, Innovation, ‘Rurbanisation’ and Infrastructure), said and added that the theme attained great importance in the light of the CII Vision “35 Million Employment by 2022”, the platinum jubilee year of India.
Ms. Suchitra said that there was a need to fill the gap between the industry and educational institutions by focusing on industry oriented skills.
Innovation gained importance in view of the present economic scenario and therefore a greater focus was required on research and development and good governance.
The CII also recognised the need for promoting the industry in tier-II cities and rural areas.
It would provide direct and indirect employment and improve the living standards of the people, she said.
About CII initiatives in Vijayawada she said that various activities were being planned to build competitiveness and quality for industry at Vijayawada.
CII would continuously promote Vijayawada as investment destination through its international network, Ms. Suchitra said.
CII Andhra Pradesh vice-chairman B. Ashok Reddy, CII Vijayawada Zone chairman B.S. Koteswara Rao, vice-chairman M. Lakshmi Prasad and CII AP director S. Kannan were present.
June 29th, 2012, 12:59 AM
AP's State Investment Promotion Board clears 25 investment proposals worth Rs 41k crore (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/APs-State-Investment-Promotion-Board-clears-25-investment-proposals-worth-Rs-41k-crore/articleshow/14432960.cms)
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh state investment promotion board headed by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy cleared 25 investment proposals worth Rs 40,379 crore in its meeting on Wednesday.
The 25 investment proposals are slated to generate 41,180 jobs, a press release put out by the chief minister's office said, adding that of the total 25 projects, 20 were MoUs inked during the Partnership Summit in January 2012 and the remaining five were received directly.
According to the CMO, the projects were spread across eight sectors - cement, chemical and fertilizers, consumer products, food, glass, plastic, steel and textiles covering 12 districts across the state like YSR Kadapa, Guntur, Krishna, Nellore, Visakhapatnam, Mahboobnagar, Adilabad, West Godavari and Vizianagaram.
The largest number of project proposals cleared on Wednesday are for the cement sector with total investment of Rs 20,980 crore and employment generation potential of 18,980 people, followed by the chemical and fertilizer segment with six proposals with an investment of Rs 16,673 crore and employment potential of 12,500. The other sectors like consumer products, food, glass, plastic, steel and textile got one proposal each.
The companies whose proposals were cleared include VBC Fertilisers & Chemicals' Rs 7578 crore urea fertilizer plant in Krishna district, Midwest Granite's Rs 5400 crore cement plant in YSR Kadapa, NSL Fertiliser Ventures' Rs 5235 crore Greenfield urea project in Krishna district, Sirgy's Cement's Rs 3780 crore cement plant with captive power project at Kurnool, Reliance Cement Company's Rs 2500 crore cement plant in Kurnool, KRIBHCO's Rs 1800 crore fertilizer plant in Nellore, two Rs 1500 crore each cement projects with captive power generation by My Home Industries in YSR Kadapa and Guntur, Chettinad Cement Corporation's Rs 1500 crore cement plant with captive power in Guntur, Gujarat NRE Coke's Rs 1200 crore coke plant in Nellore, among others.
June 29th, 2012, 01:12 AM
AP's all wired up with promise (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/article3581461.ece)
Andhra Pradesh can build on its intrinsic strengths in electronics, with a new policy in place.
Is the electronics industry getting the much-needed push? The policy initiatives seem to have given rise to a new climate of enthusiasm.
The Centre has come up with a National Electronics Policy that promises to create a hardware base for the industry, create a couple of crore jobs and promote indigenous development in the sector, now dominated by foreign players, especially from South Korea, Taiwan, China and the US.
Taking a cue from the Union Ministry of Information Technology, Andhra Pradesh formally came out with the Electronics Hardware Policy 2012-17. Neighbouring Karnataka, housing the maximum number of research centres, IT companies and a good number of electronics units, announced its own policy last year.
The Policy document was unveiled by the Chief Minister, Mr Kiran Kumar Reddy, at the Advantage AP, IT Summit last week. The moot question is — will the policy give the required boost for the industry to rebound in Andhra Pradesh, especially Hyderabad?
At present, the State ranks fifth in the country, with a production of Rs 6,500 crore and export of Rs 650 crore as per data available for 2009-10. There are about 300 electronics units, which employ around 60,000. The major segments in the hardware area are industrial electronics, communication and broadcasting, computers and peripherals, strategic electronics, semiconductors and solar products.
Ever since the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) was set up in 1967 under the visionary leadership of Dr A S Rao, Andhra Pradesh had a head start in this important industrial area. In the decades that followed, the State saw the emergence of several industries, both in the public and private sectors.
The public sector giant under the Department of Atomic Energy spawned the growth of, first, a large number of ancillary units around Hyderabad. Second, it also contributed, in a way, to entrepreneurship, with some of the professionals moving out to start their own industries: Elico Industries, ITL Industries, being some of the first few electronics ventures that came up and continue till date. Most of the components and equipment were manufactured by the small and medium enterprises.
The State Government was also not far behind in realising the potential of electronics. The Andhra Pradesh Electronics Development Corporation was formed with the well-known technologist, Dr U V Warlu, heading it.
The Corporation also gave an impetus to the start of several electronic firms. The Electronics Testing and Development Centre and many units within the PSUs focussed on electronic development sprang up as well.
ECIL has done to the electronics industry in Andhra Pradesh, what the Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL), sadly now in limbo, did to Hyderabad, which emerged as the bulk drugs capital of the country. ECIL went through troubled times in the 1990s, coming close to being referred to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction. It has since revived and is now growing in strength.
Will ECIL’s turnaround and robust march — thanks to its in-built strengths and support from the country’s strategic sectors and the government — find an echo in the fortunes of the electronics sector in the State, courtesy the new electronics hardware policy 2012?
AP POLICY OF 2012
Let’s examine the intent of the Government in the present context. The State Government hopes to spur the growth of electronics hardware manufacturing through a series of initiatives.
The Government wants to create four hubs in the four directions around the outer ring road, consisting of 300 acres of multiproduct electronic, Special Economic Zones, and another 200 acres for the supporting electronics industry.
A significant move announced includes the conversion of the existing FAB City and Aeronautical SEZ into centres of excellence to give fresh impetus to infrastructure.
Interestingly, the FAB City has been the most hyped project of successive governments in the State. Having not succeeded in getting a fab maker (foundry for manufacturing chips), the Government tried its hand at getting solar energy players to set up units. Though there was good response and nearly 20 companies were allocated land, hardly a handful got into action.
The policy has also dovetailed its move, as far as creating hardware manufacturing clusters in both SEZ and non-SEZ areas is concerned, with the Centre’s policy.
Further, start-ups and micro enterprises have been promised a 10 per cent subsidy on capital equipment for technology upgradation, besides a 25 per cent subsidy on lease rentals of up to Rs 5 lakh a year for three years.
The Government wants to create a single window for clearances and also spread the development in other cities, such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Warangal, Tirupati, etc. Plans are also afoot to set up a new 150-acre electronic hardware park.
A hardware park created nearly a decade ago near the present Rajiv Gandhi International Airport attracted hardly a handful of manufacturing units.
However, in tune with the huge response from PSUs and corporates to invest in projects in Andhra Pradesh, evinced at the CII-Partnership Summit in January, the unveiling of the Electronics Hardware Policy has also caught the attention of companies such as Samsung, Hitachi, Solartech and Huawei, to name a few.
They are exploring possibilities of setting up their production facilities, according to the State IT minister, Mr Ponnala Lakshmaiah. It is a different matter that the promised investments are yet to be realised.
There is a favourable environment for the growth of the electronics sector in the State.
In addition to the presence of large PSUs such as ECIL, BEL, HAL, BHEL, etc, which have expertise, there are electronics manufacturing units, testing and development facilities. The good logistics connectivity apart, human resources, a key aspect, are available.
The State, with nearly 300 engineering and many technical colleges, produces nearly 3 lakh engineering and other graduates with technical degrees.
All the top engineering, management colleges (IIT, NITs, BITS) have presence. The State Government’s own Jawaharlal Knowledge Centres are churning out manpower to bridge the gap between industry and academia. The National Skill Development Council, the Confederation of Indian Industry, AP Chapter, are also working towards skill development.
Despite the difficult times that the State is passing through in terms of politics and administration, the IT sector has done quite well. As per official statistics, the total export revenues earned by the sector have grown from Rs 1,000 crore in 1998-99 to Rs 36,000 crore in 2010-11.
This is due to a combination of cost-effectiveness, abundant talent and maturing service delivery, the Government claims.
In the electronics sector, there is big need for huge investments, risk-taking entrepreneurship and the ability to take on intense competition.
The Government has shown its willingness to address challenges such as inadequate infrastructure (power, transportation and land) on the one side and higher taxes, and non-availability of finance, on the other, to give the push. It remains to be seen how the industry, entrepreneurs and investors will respond.
June 29th, 2012, 09:10 AM
Andhra Pradesh government clears 13 cement project proposals (http://www.cemnet.com/News/story/150052/andhra-pradesh-government-clears-13-cement-project-proposals.html)
The government of Andhra Pradesh, India, has approved 25 industrial projects proposals including 13 cement plants.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who chaired the State Investment Promotion Board meeting at the Secretariat, approved these proposals.
June 29th, 2012, 12:13 PM
Here's more on National Investment and Manufacturing Zones
APIIC put up the Request for Proposal Consultancy Services for Development of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones in Andhra Pradesh
Link (http://www.apiic.in:8082/alfresco/download/direct?guest=true&path=/Company%20Home/Guest%20Home/Downloads/PDF/a13062012.pdf): http://www.apiic.in:8082/alfresco/download/direct?guest=true&path=/Company%20Home/Guest%20Home/Downloads/PDF/a13062012.pdf
The Terms of Reference are:
1. Over the years, various policy initiatives and economic reforms have made India one of the fastest growing economies in the world. However, the share of manufacturing sector in India's GDP has stagnated at 15-17% since 1980 while incomparable economies in Asia is much higher at 25 to 34%. Recognizing that the manufacturing sector has multiplier effect on the creation of jobs, the Government of India has announced the National Manufacturing Policy, 2011 with the objective of enhancing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% within a decade and creating 100 million jobs. The Central Government will create the enabling policy framework, provide incentive for infrastructure development on a Public Private Partnership(PPP) basis.
2. Under this policy, the Government of India (GoI) proposes to develop National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) focusing on manufacturing sector. For this purpose, detailed proposals from various State Governments have to be submitted to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), GoI for evaluation and approval. The proposals in the policy are generally sector neutral, location neutral and technology neutral except incentivizing green technologies.
3. As per the Policy, the NIMZ would be a specifically delineated investment region with an area of at-least 5000 ha (50 sq.km) planned for the establishment of industrial units in manufacturing sector along with the associated services and support infrastructure. These NIMZs would be large areas of developed land, with the requisite eco-system for promoting world class manufacturing activity. Atleast 30% of the total land area proposed for the NIMZ shall be utilized for location of manufacturing units (Processing area).
4. The NIMZ shall be developed as integrated industrial townships with state-of-the art infrastructure and land use on the basis of zoning; clean and energy efficient technology; necessary social infrastructure; skill development facilities, etc., to provide a productive environment to persons transitioning from the primary sector to the secondary and tertiary sectors.
5. The NIMZ would be managed by Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) which would ensure master planning of the Zone; pre-clearances for setting up the industrial units to be located within the zone and undertake such other functions as specified in the various sections of this policy.
6. Now, APIIC has embarked on development of such NIMZ in Andhra Pradesh and intends to engage consultant firm for providing required advisory/consultancy services for Development of NIMZ in AP. The selected consultant shall be responsible to get required approvals from GoI for ensuring financial support under National Manufacturing Policy 2011.
7. In this regard, APIIC issued this RFP invitation for selecting consultant firm for providing its services in development of NIMZ in accordance with NMP 2011 of GoI. The detailed scope of services is as below.
Read the link for more. Bids open on 16/7 and they winner has 6 months to submit a report. We are already late on this one. Maharashtra already has 2 notified zone(?part of DMIC).
July 2nd, 2012, 01:21 PM
State relaxes building rules (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/hyderabad/state-relaxes-building-rules-546)
Under pressure from the builders’ lobby the state government on Saturday issued orders relaxing several provisions by amending its earlier order (GO No. 45). The order had made it mandatory for builders to provide 20 per cent of the total built-up area in private layouts for housing to economically weaker sections (EWS) and lower income groups (LIG). The powerful builders’ lobby had brought to halt almost all the big housing projects in the state for the past one-and-a-half-years causing losses running into crores to the exchequer, and that is considered the reason behind the state’s move.
The state issued GO No. 245, dated June 30, 2012, offering relaxations and incentives to the builders. The 20 per cent quota has been reduced to 10 per cent with five per cent each to EWS and LIG respectively, or 25 per cent of the total number of units (12.5 per cent each to EWS/LIG). The builders have been given a choice between 10 per cent built-up area or 25 per cent in terms of units.
The major amendment to the earlier GO is that the minimum plot size has been increased from one acre to five acres (2.023 hectares) for the EWS and LIG clause to be applicable. This is more than expected for builders who were demanding one hectare as minimum plot size. What’s more, the builders and developers will be exempted from payment of 10 per cent of the total city level infrastructure impact fee on the main project in lieu of EWS/LIG quota. Also, the builders can use 10 per cent of land or area equivalent to EWS and LIG housing for any purpose other than residential in the main project site. However, these concessions shall apply only for those projects where EWS/LIG units are provided in-situ within the site.
Another demand of builders that has been okayed is that they can construct EWS/ LIG housing within 10-km radius of main project site, or within 5-km aerial route boundary of the respective municipal corporation of Greater Hyderabad, Greater Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. In case of other Urban Local Bodies, the radius is 5 km from project site, or within 5kms from the nearest aerial route boundary.
The government has also given the developer or builder the option for procurement of EWS/LIG units from the housing projects being developed by the AP Housing Board with the 10-km and 5-km radius rule applicable. Moreover, two or more builders can construct their quota of EWS housing at one place other than main project sites but the occupancy for the main projects will be released only after completion of the EWS/LIG projects.
Though government exempted 10 per cent EWS and LIG reservation clause to housing projects coming up in more than 3,000 sq metres and up to 5 acres land (plot size), the builders have to pay “shelter fee” per square metre. Even though the builders welcomed the relaxations, they wanted the government to give them free hand in selling EWS/LIG units in the open market.
July 2nd, 2012, 01:31 PM
AP Minister promises compensation for project affected people (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-minister-promises-compensation-for-project-affected-people/1018846.html)
Rajahmundry (AP), July 1 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Minister for Major and Medium Irrigation, P Sundarshan Reddy, today assured that a compensation would be paid to the people affected by the construction of Sripada Sagar Ellampalli project in Karimnagar district. The minister held a meeting with the officials in this regard today. Representatives of people from the surrounding areas submitted a representation to the Minister about delays in the payment of compensation.
July 3rd, 2012, 08:54 PM
New project to quench Tenali's thirst (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/New-project-to-quench-Tenalis-thirst/articleshow/14617227.cms)
TENALI: A comprehensive drinking water scheme might save Tenali, which is facing acute drinking water shortage. Insufficient supply of potable water through municipal taps, force the locals to depend on borewells. Though Tenali was represented by political stalwarts in the past none of them worked seriously to resolve the water crisis.
None of the political stalwarts who represented Tenali worked toward solving the water crisis.
But in what could come as a major relief to the denizens, a drinking water scheme at a cost of Rs 95 crore has been designed to cater to the town's population of 1.6 lakh over the next two decades. The public health department has constructed a massive reservoir at Seethanagaram near Tadepalli on the banks of Prakasam barrage to pump water from Krishna river.
"We are drawing water through a dedicated pipeline from the Krishna to bring water to Tenali," public health deputy executive engineer M Narasimha Rao said. A separate head water works reservoir was constructed near VRS and YRN College compound and the water will be distributed to the entire town through 154-km pipeline in the town.
Local MLA and assembly speaker Nadendla Manohar held several rounds of discussions with the railway authorities to secure clearances from the railways in laying the pipelines as the main pipeline from Seethanagaram passes through the railway line. "We hope the new water scheme will end our drinking water woes," said Dhanalakshmi, a resident of the town.
July 4th, 2012, 08:52 AM
APPSC plans yearly recruitments (http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/andhra-pradesh/article3598991.ece?homepage=true)
Far-reaching reforms proposed in State recruitment agency
The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC), the premier recruitment agency of the Government, will bring in sweeping changes in the recruitment system, going by the proposals it has on the anvil.
One major reform it is planning is to undertake recruitment annually hereafter to fill categories of posts, meticulously following a recruitment calendar.
The Recruitment Calendar for the succeeding financial year beginning April 1 will be finalised by APPSC by March 31 after receiving needs charts from departments by November 30.
A recommendation to this effect, made by the committee formed sometime ago headed by Ms. Minnie Mathew, then Chief Commissioner Land Administration, was approved in principle by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy at a meeting here on Tuesday.
Ms. Mathew, now Chief Secretary, was present along with Rachel Chatterjee, Chairperson, APPSC, and senior officials from Finance and other departments.
Rachel Chatterjee said a full-fledged computer cell would be established in the APPSC soon to improve the recruitment system. The Chief Minister would shortly take decisions on the committee’s various other recommendations.
These recommendations provided for constitution of a sub-committee with the APPSC chairperson and two members to form an interview board with one or two APPSC members and one or two subject experts nominated by the chairperson/ panel approved by the sub-committee/heads of departments.
The sub-committee would also advise the APPSC on the methodology to be adopted for awarding marks.
The number of attempts at written examinations under a recruitment would be restricted as in the case of the UPSC.
The committee suggested creation of a news service named Group-I B covering executive posts in the existing Group II, like municipal commissioner grade III, assistant commercial tax officer, deputy tahsildar and Panchayat Raj extension officer, Excise SI.
It recommended interview for posts requiring articulation skills like child development project officer, assistant director of industries, deputy SP, assistant social welfare officer and junior lecturer.
Another suggestion was for recruitment by APPSC to fill medical posts such as civil assistant surgeon, junior medical officer, veterinary assistant surgeons and agriculture/horticulture officer.
July 4th, 2012, 08:19 PM
AP to roll out Aadhaar-based services (http://www.ptinews.com/news/2763260_AP-to-roll-out-Aadhaar-based-services)
Hyderabad, Jul 4 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh is racing to become the first state in the country to roll out Aadhaar- based services.
The Centre has informed the state authorities that five districts -- Hyderabad, Chittoor, East Godavari, Ranga Reddy and Anantapur -- have been identified for initiating certain Government schemes based on Aadhaar (unique identification number) on a pilot basis.
Andhra Pradesh has achieved an enrolment of 5.20 crore people, accounting for 26 per cent of the country-wide enrolment figure.
July 10th, 2012, 07:05 PM
NABARD in forefront of financial activities in AP: Official (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/nabard-in-forefront-of-financial-activities-in-ap-official/1020194.html)
Visakhapatnam, Jul 7 (PTI) The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) was in the forefront of financial and development activities in Andhra Pradesh, where its disbursement under production credit stood at Rs 5,422 crore in 2011-12, a top official said today. Addressing a press conference here, Assistant General Manager of NABARD, Visakhapatnam, K V S S L V Prasada Rao said the disbursement under investment credit touched Rs 2,369 crore in the last fiscal. Another Rs 1,352 crore was sanctioned to Government of Andhra Pradesh under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), he said. NABARD, which will turn 30 on July 12, was set up to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural prosperity through effective credit support, relate services, institution development and other innovative initiatives. Rao said the bank has decided to sanction crop loans worth Rs 7,000 crore to the farmers in the current financial year as against Rs 5,400 crore in the last fiscal. The bank had been playing a key role in implementing several development interventions in Visakhapatnam district with special emphasis on tribal areas, he said. The bank has launched `Maa Thota' programme with a view to improve quality of life of the tribal community by providing sustainable livelihood through natural resource management, the NABARD official said. The bank has sanctioned Rs 42 crore under this programme, which will benefit 10,000 tribal families, he said. He said a scheme in association with the Centre has been formulated to bring out a viable and self-sustainable model for promoting and financing women self-help groups (SHGs) by involving an anchor NGO in each of the selected districts. The scheme is to be implemented in 113 districts of the country, including 16 in Andhra Pradesh.
July 12th, 2012, 08:07 PM
Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills up on buzz open offer hike may get SAT nod (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/stocks-in-news/andhra-pradesh-paper-mills-up-on-buzz-open-offer-hike-may-get-sat-nod/articleshow/14829009.cms)
Shares of Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills surged 11.8% to Rs 334.60 on Wednesday on speculation that the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) may rule in favour of an increase in open offer price by the prospective acquirer.
IP Holdings Asia, an arm of US-based International Paper Company, wants to take over AP Paper and had made an open offer at Rs 544.20 last year.
But, Sebi asked IP Holdings to raise its open offer price by including the non-compete fee, prompting the acquirer to file an appeal with SAT in August 2011. Andhra Pradesh Paper did not respond to a query on the matter.
July 12th, 2012, 08:19 PM
Barge-mounted processing unit to be ready within 8 months: CM (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/article3628270.ece)
HYDERABAD, JULY 11:
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, today said the barge-mounted floating processing unit will be ready to supply gas within eight months easing pressure on gas-starved independent power plants.
Speaking to newspersons informally today, he said two processing units will come in the State one at Gangavaram port and another floating vessel at Kakinada. The former will take about 30 months to establish. These will facilitate use of imported gas.
He said two more proposals have come to the State for setting up gas processing units. The gas is brought at extreme low temperature and hated and then evacuated to pipelines for supply to gas plants.
Expressing concern about the shortage of gas, the Chief Minister said that the Centre should probe whether the gas shortage from KG-basin is artificially created.
“I have discussed the issue with the Union Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar and taken up the issue with the Prime Minister,” he said.
He said that about Rs 1,60,000 crore worth projects with potential to provide 1,40,000 jobs are at various stages of implementation. In addition, investment worth Rs.1,25,000 crore by the public sector undertakings is at advanced stage.
July 14th, 2012, 11:30 AM
Signet Industries Ltd receives order for supply of drip irrigation systems (http://www.equitybulls.com/admin/news2006/news_det.asp?id=107577)
Signet Industries Ltd has obtained allocation for supply of drip irrigation system to irrigate 5000 hectares of land as first installment for the year 2012-13 by Government of Andhra Pradesh, Department of Horticulture, Andhra Pradesh Microirrigation Project.
The Signet Industries Ltd stock was trading at Rs.124.40, up by Rs.0.40 or 0.32%. The stock hit an intraday high of Rs.124.95 and low of Rs.124.
The total traded quantity was 9019 compared to 2 week average of 14523.
July 14th, 2012, 11:35 AM
Unauthorised layouts to be removed (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3635051.ece)
The district administration is gearing up to remove all unauthorised layouts. Disciplinary action would also be initiated against officials for dereliction of duties with regard to regularisation of unauthorised layouts.
Addressing a review meeting here on Thursday, district Collector S.A.M. Rizvi said officials had failed to discharge their duties properly. More than 1,000 layouts across the district were yet to be regularised. Of these, 548 were in Vijayawada division, 90 in Machilipatnam division, 110 in Gudivada division, and 254 in Nuzvid division, he said.
Asking the officials to take action against the land owners who did not come forward to regularise their layouts, the Collector wanted officials to submit action taken report within two weeks. He also wanted officials to take necessary steps to remove constructions, roads, drainage etc. in the unauthorised layouts.
Referring to seasonal diseases, Mr. Rizvi asked the officials to ensure that communicable diseases did not spread in villages. A special emphasis should be laid on sanitation and drinking water, he added.
VGTMUDA Vice-Chairman G.S.R.K.R. Vijay Kumar, in charge Joint Collector M. S. Janaki, Additional Joint Collector N. Ramesh Kumar, in charge DPO S.S. Raju, RDOs — I. Venkateswara Reddy, S. Venkat Rao, B. Subba Rao, and Ranjith Pasha were present.
July 14th, 2012, 11:38 AM
Kiran Kumar Reddy to inaugurate irrigation project on Saturday (http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/kiran-kumar-reddy-to-inaugurate-irrigation-project-on-saturday-243095?home)
Rajahmundry: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will inaugurate Bhupathipalem reservoir, constructed at a cost of Rs. 76.77 crore, in Rampachodavaram mandal of East Godavari district on Saturday.
Kiran Reddy, who will be on a three-day visit to the district, will take part in several programmes, official sources said in Rajahmundry today.
With construction of the medium irrigation project, 45 tribal villages of three 'mandals'- Gokavaram, Gangavaram and Rampachodavaram - will get drinking water. It will also help irrigate 23,000 acres of farmland, an official release said.
The project, which got permission in 2000 from Central Water Commission, is part of the State Government's ambitious water management programme 'Jalayagnam'.
July 14th, 2012, 11:39 AM
AP CM to inaugurate irrigation project (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-cm-to-inaugurate-irrigation-project/1022294.html)
Rajahmundry (AP), Jul 13 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will inaugurate Bhupathipalem reservoir, constructed at a cost of Rs 76.77 crore, in Rampachodavaram mandal of East Godavari district tomorrow. Reddy, who will be on a three-day visit to the district, will take part in several programmes, official sources said here today. With construction of the medium irrigation project, 45 tribals villages of three mandals Gokavaram, Gangavaram and Rampachodavaram - will get drinking water. It will also help irrigate 23,000 acres of farmland, an official release said. The project, which got permission in 2000 from Central Water Commission, is part of the State Government's ambitious water management programme `Jalayagnam'.
July 14th, 2012, 01:21 PM
Free DNA fingerprinting services for AP (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Free-DNA-fingerprinting-services-for-AP/articleshow/14872635.cms)
HYDERABAD: The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) and the state government , represented by the additional director general of police, Crime Investigation Department (CID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for collaboration in DNA fingerprinting and training.
As per the agreement, CDFD will provide DNA fingerprinting services to the CID, AP Forensic Science Laboratory ( APFSL) and other law enforcing and crime investigation agencies free of cost. The CDFD will provide the DNA fingerprinting services to them free of cost.
The MoU was signed by S V Ramana Murthy, additional DGP of CID and J Gowrishankar, director, CDFD, on July 11.
The MoU will promote the use of DNA profiling methods in investigation and prosecution of criminal casesin the interest of justice and equity. The CDFD will recruit scientific/technical personnel for the purpose. In the initial stage, the CDFD will undertake 200 cases per year.
An important aspect of this MoU is the provision for training and sensitizing scientific personnel and other stakeholders in activities like evidence collection, handling and transportation methods, chain of custody, quality control and quality assurance. The arrangement will benefit the state police especially in identifying mutilated remains or bodies and sexual assault cases.
The CDFD is an autonomous organization funded by the department of biotechnology, which is under the ministry of science and technology, government of India.
The CDFD had entered into a similar MoU with the government of Odisha in August 2011 to provide DNA profiling services to the cases forwarded by that governemnt, wherein CDFD established a DNA Profiling Laboratory at the Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, which like CDFD is also an autonomous institute of the department of biotechnology. Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India
July 15th, 2012, 09:02 AM
3 schools get centre of excellence tag (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/3-schools-get-centre-of-excellence-tag/articleshow/14920792.cms)
HYDERABAD: In a belated but welcome move, the state government has finally accorded recognition to three of the oldest residential schools in AP by upgrading them into centres of excellence. The decision, announced through a GO on Friday, would immediately facilitate funds to the tune of Rs 20 crore for infrastructural and educational upgrades at these institutions.
Among the oldest in the state, the residential schools in Kodigena Halli (Anantapur), Sarvail (Nalgonda) and Tadikonda (Guntur) were once the pride of AP but lost their glory after the state government opened residential schools in every district. And, after the special status awarded them was withdrawn these schools were reduced to being just three more residential institutions in AP.
But, now, the state government seems to have realized the contribution of these schools in churning out students of academic and professional merit. And, by way of paying tribute to that inspiring past, the department of school education has declared that these three schools are to be upgraded into regional centres of excellence.
Till the corporate culture caught up, all the top ten ranks in the SSC exam were invariably bagged by students from these three schools. While Kodigena Halli school was set up in 1970 for the students of Anantapur, Kadapa, Kurnool and Chittoor districts in the Rayalaseema region, Tadikonda was established in 1972 for the Andhra region. The school at Sarvail, this one for the Telangana region, came up in 1971.
According to sources, the school at Kodigina Halli has produced at least 30 IAS, IPS and other all-India service officers. Some of the alumni of these schools are professors in IITs and reputed universities in the US and other countries.
There is no count of the doctors, engineers, scientists and software professionals among the old students of these schools, the sources said.
V Venkateswara Rao, the IFS officer who died in a Taliban suicide bomb attack in Kabul in February 2010, was an alumnus of Kodigena Halli.
And what is more, in an unusually quick move, the department of school education released Rs 28.60 crore for these institutions keeping with the new tag which they have earned on Friday itself, soon after declaring them as centres of excellence. Each school can maintain a strength of 480 students with 12 sections.
"Students from all districts in a particular region can seek admission to their regional centre of excellence. All Telangana students now are allowed to write an entrance test for admission into the Sarvail school while students of Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra are eligible for admission to the Kodigena Halli and Tadikonda schools, respectively," said Rajeswar Tiwari, principal secretary of school education. The money would be spent over a period of 6 years to improve infrastructure and library and laboratory facilities, he told TOI.
"Effots will also be made to recruit experienced and meritorious teachers in these schools," he added. According to Tiwari, the government is planning to conduct admission tests for admission to these schools on the lines of the system in place for Navodaya. Till then, admissions will be conducted on the basis of the marks obtained by a student in class four, Tiwari added.
July 15th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Ramky Group to set up industrial park in AP (http://www.ptinews.com/news/2792508_Ramky-Group-to-set-up-industrial-park-in-AP-)
Hyderabad, Jul 15 (PTI) Ramky Group is setting up a multiproduct industrial park in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, a top official of the infrastructure major said.
"It is similar to Pharma city (in Visakhapatnam). However, it will have multi-products instead of one single product.
July 15th, 2012, 07:30 PM
Rs 1,500 cr loans to be provided to SHG women in AP: CM (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/rs-1500-cr-loans-to-be-provided-to-shg-women-in-ap-cm/1022704.html)
Rajahmundry (AP), Jul 15 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh government will provide loans worth Rs 1,500 crore to women working for SHGs in rural areas, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has said. The state government is giving utmost importance to women and working for their development in the state, in view of which it would provide Rs 1,500 crore loans to women through Sri Nidhi Bank, Reddy said yesterday, while meeting women working for self-help groups (SHGs) at Pedagaddea village in Ramapachodavaram Mandal of East Godavari district, as a part of the 'Indiramma Bata' programme. "The state government is taking all initiatives to further strengthen women in the society and will provide interest-free loans to all women (working for SHGs) in the state," he said, adding that if an application is received by bank from a woman, the loan will be provided within 48 hours. Later, he distributed loans worth Rs 3.86 lakh to SHG women. He said 1,500 Sri Shakti buildings will constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh each in 1,200 mandals. He directed the medical officials to prepare a comprehensive plan to upgrade the existing Ramapachodavaram hospital to a 100-bed facility and to fill vacant posts of doctors soon. He said colleges including polytechnic and schools would be set up in the agency area of Ramapachodavaram and a bridge will be constructed at Cherukupalem village. He also assured the people that power crisis in the state would be resolved by this month-end. Reddy arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit to East Godavari district.
July 15th, 2012, 07:35 PM
Ramky to set up industrial park in AP (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3642739.ece?ref=wl_opinion)
HYDERABAD, JUL 15:
Ramky Group is setting up a multiproduct industrial park in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, a top official of the city based infrastructure major said.
“It is similar to Pharma city (in Visakhapatnam). However, it will have multi products instead of one single product. It required an investment of Rs 1,000 crore and the project has the capacity to attract investments to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore,” Ramky MD, Mr Goutham Reddy, told PTI.
“We may raise Rs 90 crore as debt and most of the investment will come from internal accruals,” he added.
Currently the project proposal is with the Ministry of Environment and Forest for clearance, Mr Reddy said.
Ramky Group signed an MoU with Government of Andhra Pradesh during Partnership summit held earlier this year to set up Ramky Multiproduct Industrial Park.
According to the report submitted to the MoEF, the total land of 4,000 acres has been proposed to develop the industrial park in two phased (of 2,000 acres each).
Industrial segments like pharma and bio—tech industry, textile and garmenting, non classified mixed industries, knowledge and speciality chemicals, food processing and 300 MW (multi fuel) thermal power plant are proposed in the park.
Around 30 per cent of total area will be earmarked including 20 percent for industrial segments and 10 per cent for residential, commercial and roads including boundary of the park.
The MoEF ordered the company to conduct a public hearing and submit Environmental Management Plan.
“Public hearing to be conducted for the project as per provisions of Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 and the issues raised by the public should be addressed in the Environmental Management Plan,” the Ministry said in its comments.
Mr Reddy said it is expected to complete the phase—I in 2—3 years and public hearing will be conducted in three months’ time as consultants are working on that.
July 15th, 2012, 07:39 PM
Andhra Pradesh CM directs Energy Dept. to gear up for improved power supply (http://www.orissadiary.com/Shownews.asp?id=35159)
Hyderabad: The Chief Minister Mr. N.Kiran Kumar Reddy directed the Chief Secretary Smt. Minnie Mathew and energy department senior officials to ensure that arrangements are put in place for supply of additional power from NTPC.
It is informed that 797 mw of power will be added by July end which will provide relief to the situation in the State. It is expected that NTPC-Simhadri 3 and 4 units -- 420 mw, Ramagundam--60 mw, Talcher--107 mw and RTPP-- 210 mw of additional power will be generated in the next few days. The Chief Minister today discussed with Director, Commercial, NTPC, Mr I J Kapoor and requested that these additional power should be given to the State without fail. Mr. Kapoor promised that NTPC units will gear up in the next few days and ensure supply of around 800 mw. He also informed that additional 100 mw from Jhajjar can be allotted to AP. The Chief Minister today reviewed the power sector issues at a high level meeting at Secretariat.
Minister for housing, Mr Uttam Kumar Reddy, Chief Secretary Smt. Minnie Mathew, Principal Secretary, Energy, Mr Dinesh Kumar, Secretary, Finance, Smt. Pushpa Subramaniam, MD, AP Genco, Mr K Vijayanand and other senior officials attended the meeting. The Chief Minister directed officials to Speed up the work of RNLG floating terminal at Kakinada which is expected to commence by December 2013 for importing of RLNG. The Chief Minister has also asked the Finance Department to sanction the Government dues to DISCOMS by Panchayat Raj, Municipal Administration, Irrigation, Lift Irrigation Schemes etc.
The Chief Minister directed the officials to speed up the synchronization of private plants given immediately to add additional capacity and to encourage non-conventional energy projects like solar and wind power generation units. The Officials informed the Chief Minister that due to adverse monsoon conditions, and lack of water in Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar, Hydel generation has been badly affected.
With the onset of monsoon, it is expected that the situation will improve in August. They highlighted that gas from Reliance KG D-6 filed has been reduced substantially resulting in shortfall of 1600 mw which is responsible for the present crisis situation. Against 7 MMSCMD (Million Matric Standard Cubic Metre Per Day)of gas, only 2.95 MMSCMD is being supplied. The Chief Minister directed that the officials should pursue with NTPC to see that additional power reaches the State at the earliest. Further alternatives should also be worked out like solar and wind energy to fill up the gaps in production. The RLNG projects should also be speeded up.
July 15th, 2012, 07:40 PM
KIRAN 2 LAST (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/kiran-2-last/1022859.html)
Talking to reporters at Kakinada, the Chief Minister Talking to reporters at Kakinada, the Chief Minister said that the state government was going to buy 700 MW additional power from other states to meet the requirements of agriculture and industry. He also said that state had never promised direct employment to those undergoing training under Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu programme, which was meant to enhance the skills. Earlier, Reddy visited weavers' colonies at Bhandarulanka and Batnapalli. At a program in Rampachodavaram in East Godavari district, he assured that new schools would be set up in the Agency area. Speaking at Girijan Ashram school, where he stayed for the night, he declared new infrastructure worth Rs 3 crore. Addressing the students, he said knowledge of computers and proficiency in English were essential in the modern world.
July 15th, 2012, 10:53 PM
Ramky to set up industrial park in AP (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3642739.ece?ref=wl_opinion)
Good to hear it.. Its close to Nagarjuna Sagar I guess.. There was a proposed SEZ there. But their website says that only 250 acres are available there.
Deccan Infrastructure and Land Holdings Ltd. (DIL) 247.00acres/100.00Ha
Pharmceuticals Products & Medical Devices
Address:Survey Nos. 948, Chinakondur (EAST) Nalgonda
July 17th, 2012, 09:33 AM
AP CM lays foundation stone of chemical project (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-cm-lays-foundation-stone-of-chemical-project/1023808.html)
Rajahmundry(AP), Jul 16(PTI)Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today said the state government would provide incentives for setting up industries in the state. Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the Rs 1,060 crore project of KPR Chemicals at Balabhadrapuram village in East Godavari district, he said the government would offer concession in sales tax while Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation would provide land for setting up industries in the state. He said the KPR Chemicals project would provide employment to over 4,000 people including those who have lost their land because of the project. Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference, the chief minister said the government would forward to central government the proposal to increase the number of working days under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme as most of the labourers have completed 100-days work under this scheme. He said the state government will provide loans to women upto Rs 25,000 from Sri Nidhi Bank within 48 hours of SMS received from the concerned women. He said Rs 3 crore has been allocated for Musurmilli Welfare Ashram schools to improve infrastructure facilities. He said state government has decided to provide 15 lakh jobs to the eligible persons in the state by the end of 2014. Talking about the power crisis in the state, he said the power consumption which increased by 7 to 8 per cent earlier has gone up by 15 per cent this year aggravating the shortage. We expect 700 mw of power to be produced in the coming months due to recent rains.
July 19th, 2012, 10:30 PM
Daiwik Hotels debuts at Rameswaram (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/marketing/article3654310.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_home)
CHENNAI, JULY 18:
Daiwik Hotels Pvt Ltd that debuted with a four-star property at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, plans to have a chain of properties at various pilgrimage centres in the country.
The company, promoted by a group of professionals, is looking to set up hotels in places such as Srisailam, Tirupati, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Thiruvananthapuram, Srisailam, Dwarka and Varanasi initially. “Though we are looking to build hotels from scratch, we are not averse to buying out existing properties and convert,” said Mr Debashis Ghosal, Managing Director and CEO of the company.
The company has tied up with the Kerala-based Marg Hotels and Resorts to run these properties.
To start with the company would invest around Rs 60 crore, while the rest will be met through debt.
Daiwik Hotel’s first property in Rameswaram is a 90-room hotel, built at an investment of close to Rs 30 crore. It has identified land parcels in Tirupati and Dwarka for its successive launches. Mr Ghosal said, the Tirupati hotel will have 140 rooms and will take Rs 50 crore to build. The proposed hotel in Dwarka will have around 100 rooms and the investment would be around Rs 25 crore.
Elaborating on how he got the idea of ‘pilgrim hotel’, he said there is a huge unmet demand for quality hotels in pilgrimage centres. And, at present, there are a few low-end hotels, which are largely unorganised, and guest houses owned by some temples and the respective State governments. Quoting some government statistics, he said the size of the tourism industry in the country is to the order of Rs 3.5 lakh crore. Of this, over 50 per cent is generated by pilgrimage tourism. “Even if we manage to tap a small portion of this pie, it could mean big business for us,” he said.
July 25th, 2012, 09:22 AM
Colgate to open new plants in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-07-23/news/32804809_1_tooth-powder-plant)
MUMBAI: Oralcare major Colgate Palmolive India today said it so far invested about Rs 54 crore to ramp up the tooth brush and tooth paste production capacities.
"We are working on two new projects. One is in Gujarat at Sanand, just outside Ahmedabad, where we have taken on lease from Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation around 39 acres for Rs 42.62 crore. The objective is to make toothpaste at this plant.
"Sri City in southern Andhra Pradesh is another place where we have acquired around 25 acres and have paid Rs 11.4 crore as part of the initial lease. This place, where we will set up a tooth brush manufacturing plant, is not very far from Chennai," Colgate Palmolive India Chairman Mukul Deoras told the 71st annual general meeting here.
Both plants will be operational by 2013, he said, but did not give details of capacity addition at the new units.
The company, which is celebrating it platinum jubilee this year, had to shut operations at its Hyderabad plant last year due to poor demand for tooth powder.
"The Hyderabad plant used to manufacture only tooth powder. And as consumers upgrade from tooth powder to toothpaste, total volume of tooth powder that we could sell started coming down.
"We have two factories that make tooth powder - at Hyderabad and Aurangabad (Maharashtra). The capacity was significantly higher than what we needed for running our business," Deoras said.
He pointed out that demand for tooth powder has been shrinking in the last few years. Therefore, to remain competitive in an increasingly fierce market, the company decided to rationalise its tooth powder manufacturing plant at Hyderabad.
July 25th, 2012, 09:27 AM
Acquisition of land for Machilipatnam port soon: Minister (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-24/hyderabad/32827375_1_machilipatnam-port-krishna-delta-land-acquisition)
VIJAYAWADA: Mines and geology minister Galla Aruna Kumari has said that the process of land acquisition for the prestigious Machilipatnam port will be completed within a month. She said that the district administration was ready to handover the required land to the port contractor soon after issuance of the modified GO.
While the state government issued a GO to acquire 4,800 acres for the proposed port nearly three months ago, district collector S A M Rizwi sought several clarifications on the issue to avoid ambiguity in the extent of land to be handed over to the port construction contractor. Disclosing this here at a news conference on Monday, Aruna Kumari said that the port works would begin shortly after handing over of the land and there was no truth that the state government was deliberately delaying the land acquisition.
Applauding the decision taken by chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to release water to the Krishna delta despite poor reserves at Nagarjunasagar, the minister said that the district review committee (DRC) passed a resolution to amend the GO issued by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1996. She said that the GO issued by Naidu mandated the state government to maintain a level of 510 ft in the dam notwithstanding the needs of the Krishna delta. She said that the GO had become a major hurdle in releasing water to the delta as high court stayed the supply. "The advocate general is studying the matter and there is no need for the farmers to worry about the outcome as the government is fully committed to protect the delta farmers," said Aruna Kumari.
Earlier, a ruckus was witnessed at the DRC meeting when the TDP legislators blamed the state government for not representing the case in the high court in a proper way. TDP legislator Devineni Umamaheswara Rao criticized the Congress government for mishandling the issue leaving the farmers in the lurch. However, Congress legislators -- Jogi Ramesh and Paladugu Venkata Rao -- took on the TDP by turning the tables on them. Heated arguments ensued between the ruling Congress and opposition TDP members at the meeting when district minister Parthasaradhi criticized the TDP stand on the issue.
Saradhi said that it was the Congress government which took a bold decision to protect the farmers of delta despite the 'foolish' GO issued by Chandrababu Naidu. The minister called for the amendment of the GO. He said that Pulichintala project would be completed by next year and action taken against the errant contractor and the officials. In charge minister Aruna directed the district collector to take steps to provide sand free of cost for the construction of Indiramma houses. She said that about 29,000 houses were to be completed this year and nearly 3 lakh cubic metres of sand was required.
While clearance was given for two reaches in the district, sanction for another nine cases was in pending. She said that sand available in the upstream of the Prakasam barrage would be allocated for the government works.
July 25th, 2012, 10:15 AM
Polavaram project in AP to kick-off in 3 months (http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cnbc-tv18-comments/polavaram-projectap-to-kick-off3-months_734844.html)
Work on the Rs 16,000 crore Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh will begin in three months. The contract will go to a consortium consisting of China based CGGC and India’s Soma Developers, who are leading in the bidding process, reports CNBC-TV18’s Appaji Reddem and Animesh Das.
The Andhra Pradesh government is making progress and the Polavaram project will get life very soon. With the Rs 4,717 crore head works contract going to a consortium that has India’s Soma Developers partnering with China Gezhouba Group Company Limited. The consortium has piped other consortiums which are made up of companies like IVRCL, Madhucon, Transtroy, Patel and Gammon.
SK Joshi, Principal Secretary Irrigation, Andhra Pradesh says, “Most of the companies have foreign partners. But there are two companies whose bids have been short listed are Sew - Patel and Cggc - Soma. CGGC is L1 and Sew Patel is L2. So this is the current status."
The budget for the Polavaram project which was conceived in 1941 with Rs 6.5 crore has now shot up to a whopping Rs 16,000 crore. But the project which has the potential to bring over 4 lakh hectares of land under cultivation and generate 1,000 mw of hydel power, has received environmental clearance.
The state government now hopes to settle issues with the people in the catchment areas in neighbouring Orissa and Chattisgarh.
Joshi explains, "They are likely to commence the work in three to four months and the total project period is about five years. So in 60 months or so, they'll complete the head works. In the meanwhile we are sure of resolving issues with our neighboring states, Orissa and Chattisgarh."
Sources say that apart from dialogues with neighbouring states, the AP govt us also trying to get the project national status, whereby 90% of the project's cost will then come from the centre.
August 8th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Andhra Pradesh wants power transmission corridor (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/ap-wants-power-transmission-corridor/279148-62-127.html)
Hyderabad: Apart from other constraints like severe shortage of fuel, particularly natural gas, and inadequate inflows into reservoirs which affects hydro-electricity generation badly, transmission corridor has become one of the major challenges for meeting the abnormal demand for power in the state. Keeping this in view, the state government has decided to vigorously pursue with the Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) expediting PGCIL’s transmission projects with the latest technology of gas-insulated 765 KV substations and extra high tension (EHT) lines in the southern region, particularly in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 6,000 crore by the end of the next financial year to ease power shortage in the southern states to some extent.
Disclosing the details, principal secretary (energy) M.Sahoo, who had a detailed discussion with APTransco chairman and managing director Hiralal Samaria in this regard, said here on Sunday that top officials of power sector had recently visited New Delhi and pursued the matter of improving the transmission corridor availability to southern states. The power generation in gas-based projects has been badly affected due to the unprecedented shortage of natural gas. Besides, power utilities have not been able to import the required power from other regions due to the problem of transmission corridor, which ultimately forced Discoms to impose power restrictions in the state.
That is why the state government is going to raise the issue with PGCIL to resolve the major constraints by expediting the construction of 765 KV substations and EHT lines in the state for importing power from northern, eastern and western (NEW) regions which would give relief to the country’s power-starved southern states. At present, 1,000 MW transmission corridor is available between southern and northern, and eastern and western grids and shared by the other states within the southern region i.e Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa.
PGCIL is expected to add considerable additional capacity of transmission corridor to Andhra Pradesh by 2013-14, Sahoo said. Sahoo who assumed charge as the principal secretary (energy) on Saturday, suggested to the APTransco to initiate measures to strengthen intra-state and inter-state transmission system for purchasing additional power from other states to meet the requirements of consumers. The existing infrastructure of PGCIL in southern region consists of ten 400 KV high- voltage direct current substations with a transformation capacity of 6,300 megavolt ampere and 7,213 circuit kilometres of 400 KV HVAC and 1,910 ckms of 500KV transmission lines.
Hiralal Samaria said the PGCIL had informed the APTransco that seven new 765/400 KV substations were under construction by PGCIL at Nellore, Raichur, Kurnool, Hyderabad, Khammam, Vemagiri and Srikakulam with the state-of-the-art technology of gas-insulated substations which will increase the stability of the southern grid and reduces congestion in transmission corridor. For strengthening the reliability of the power system in the southern region, 765 KV double circuit line between Kurnool and Tiruvalem (Tamil Nadu) and a 400 KV double circuit line between Gooty and Madhugiri (Karnataka) are under construction by PGCIL, which will also transmit bulk power with maximum efficiency.
For the first time in the state, a double circuit 765 KV high- capacity transmission line is being laid between Nellore and Kurnool which is capable of handling about 5,000 MW apart from the Nellore-Gooty 400 KV double Circuit line, to evacuate 6000 MW from the Krishnapatnam area to increase the state’s energy handling capacity.
August 8th, 2012, 03:09 PM
AP govt building 12 lakh houses for weaker sections: Minister (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-govt-building-12-lakh-houses-for-weaker-sections-minister/1036463.html)
Rajahmundry (AP) Aug 6 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh government has said that over 12 lakh houses being constructed for the weaker sections in the state are in various stages of completion. "Our main objective is to create the state that will be free of thatched dwellings. With this objective, we are building six lakh houses in cities and six lakh others in villages for the benefit of weaker sections, and these houses are in various stages of completion," the minister of state for Housing N Uttam Kumar Reddy said yesterday. He was speaking to reporters after inaugurating Rajiv Gruha Housing Complex at Pithapuram Mandal of East Godavari district. The state government has allocated Rs 3000 crore for housing sector out of which Rs 1000 crore will be spent for construction of houses in towns, Rs 300 crore for land acquisition and Rs 250 crore for infrastructure facilities. "We have also assigned powers to district collectors to decentralise Housing department for expediting various schemes," he said, adding an online system is being implemented to prevent irregularities," he added.
August 8th, 2012, 05:14 PM
Rs. 643cr plan for Srisailam temple (http://www.asianage.com/hyderabad/rs-643cr-plan-srisailam-temple-867)
The Brahmarambha Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Srisailam in Kurnool district, and the Saraswathi temple at Basar in Adilabad district will both get a massive facelift soon. The state government has approved Rs. 643 for improving the pilgrim amenities and beautification in Srisailam and a Rs. 30-crore master plan for Basar.
“The endowments department has prepared the multi-crore master plan for development of these temples. Other major temples like Laxmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Yadagirigutta, and Sri Raja Rajeshwara Swamy temple at Vemulawada will also get a facelift soon,” C. Ramachandraiah, minister for endowments, said here on Tuesday.
The master plan has a 30-year perspective, given that the inflow of pilgrims at Srisailam ranges from 20,000 to 30,000 a day and is expected to go up to 1.75 lakh over the next three decades. As in Tirumala, the government is planning to throw a security ring around the main temple at Srisailam that will cost Rs. 25 crore. The master plan for Srisailam will be implemented in three phases beginning with a Rs. 29 crore drinking water project, the security ring, Rs. 26 crore drainage scheme, and Rs. 25 crore queue complex.
The Rs. 30 crore Basar master plan includes a new hall for the popular Akshara Abyas for children, which will accommodate 500 children; a 100-room choultry on eight acres of land; and a drinking water supply and drainage network around the temple. “Some changes have also been proposed in the Garbha gudi (sanctum sanctorum) which will cost Rs. 2.5 crore. The funds from cash rich temples will be utilised for improving pilgrim amenities,” the endowments minister stated.
August 8th, 2012, 05:32 PM
Gas supply to A.P. restored (http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/andhra-pradesh/article3739435.ece)
The Prime Minister’s Office has directed the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to restore supply of 2 Million Metric Standard Cubic Metres per Day (MMSCMD) of gas to Andhra Pradesh, putting an end to the controversy over alleged “diversion” of this quantum to Ratnagiri power and fertilizer project in Maharashtra.
The PMO intervened and directed that the order of August 1 cutting the gas supply (from K-G basin) to the State be withdrawn and reallocate to the State.
The Chief Minister’s Office on Tuesday evening said it had received a communication from the PMO on maintaining the gas supply to the State.
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy thanked the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for this gesture. The decision would help State tide over the present power crisis to some extent. The Petroleum Ministry’s order was based on a recommendation of the Centre’s Empowered Group of Ministers and it created a furore with the government being criticised both by the Opposition and sections of the ruling party for failing to protect the interests of the State.
August 8th, 2012, 05:35 PM
Phone facility for prisoners planned in several jails in AP (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/article3740919.ece)
HYDERABAD, AUG. 8:
After the introduction of telephone facility at the Cherlapally Central Prison here evoked a good response among jail inmates, the Andhra Pradesh Department of Prisons has decided to extend the service to other central jails in the State.
The move is aimed at bringing down the smuggling of cell phones into jails. It would enable prisoners to communicate with their family members in an official way, for which, they will have to pay Rs 200 per month.
“Following numerous requests by prisoners...we are exploring the possibility of starting the phone facility at Chanchalguda Central Prison here and also at Rajahmundry in East Godavari district,” Director-General (Prisons and Correctional Services) T. P. Das told PTI.
The facility also reduces the number of visits paid by the prisoners’ relatives, who have to travel long distances to meet their dear ones lodged in jails, authorities said.
According to Das, frequent interaction with their family members will provide the prisoners the much-needed psychological relief and contribute to their mental stability.
“We are studying the cost factor, selection of the service provider and installation of software that will record the conversation of prisoners (for security reasons),” Das said, adding this facility was likely to get started in about three months at Chanchalguda and Rajahmundry jails.
The telephone facility, which was first introduced at Cherlapally Central Prison in March this year, has witnessed around 150 outgoing calls every day with almost all the prisoners, numbering around 2,000, registering their names to use the facility, another jail official said.
After setting up of this facility, incidents of mobile phones being illegaly brought into the jail has also come down.
The authorities take biometric thumb impressions of the interested prisoners, who need to provide two contact numbers of their relatives to register for the phone facility by paying Rs 200, wherein they are allowed to make phone calls twice a week, the official explained.
After the thumb is placed on the touch-screen facility, it will display the two phone numbers already fed in and the prisoner after selecting the particular number can make the call that will last for a five-minute duration (and will get disconnected automatically).
The call will also be monitored by prison staff.
August 8th, 2012, 05:43 PM
IFC joins Andhra Pradesh Cooperative Bank to finance 4.3million small and marginal farmers (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/banking/finance/banking/ifc-joins-andhra-pradesh-cooperative-bank-to-finance-4-3million-small-and-marginal-farmers/articleshow/15404081.cms)
MUMBAI: Nearly 4.3 million small and marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh will be benefited with new credit and non-credi products including loans, savings, insurance, remittances and other offerings. Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank, which serves through District Cooperative Central Banks and Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Societies, has joined hands with the World Bank's financial arm IFC to design and offer new products for small farmers in order to expand banking services. IFC will provide all support including training to bank office staff in designing financial products, said in a press statement. Interestingly, the bank is also planning to offer financial products for women entrepreneurs in the state.
"Credit products offered under the mandated priority sector lending tend to be mostly basic crop loans, which do not meet the full financing needs of farmers," said Y.Vijayender Reddy, President, Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank. "This project will help us to expand the product and client base substantially, and also strengthen the portfolio quality with better risk assessment." This will help us meet the credit needs of the farmers to help accelerate agricultural growth in the country.
"IFC will work with the bank to develop flexible financial products along with increased financial awareness, which will help address the agri-finance needs of the farmers while controlling business risks," Jennifer Isern, who leads IFC's Access to Finance work in South Asia. Nearly 50% of total farmers in the country have limited or no access to financial services, as per NABARD.
August 13th, 2012, 01:50 PM
Canara Bank opens SME hub (http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/article3757205.ece)
Canara Bank Deputy General Manager S. Krishnan (Visakhapatnam Circle) inaugurated the SME-Sulabh (SME hub) at Patamata branch in the city on Saturday.
The SME hub is a specialised body set up for speedy processing of loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). The centre will act on SME loan applications received from Krishna, Guntur, Prakasham and Nellore districts and sanction advances within three days, said the DGM.
Assistant General Manager (Visakhapatnam) Shabbir Hussain, Vijayawada Divisional Managar C.V.S. Murthy, Guntur Branch Chief Manager Ramakrishna Rao and other officers accompanied the DGM.
Addressing the newsmen later, Mr. Krishnan said the SME-Sulabh will be headed by Chief Manager V. Ravindra and the target for the new centre was Rs.100 crore for the current financial year. Already, proposals worth Rs.150 crore have come from Guntur district, said the DGM and sanctioned advances worth Rs.3 crore for SMEs immediately.
Stating that there was a good activity from spinning mills, rice and ginning mills, granite, tobacco and other industries in Guntur, Prakasham and other coastal districts, the Dy.GM said 20 percent growth was observed from SMEs every year.
To encourage MSMEs, Canara Bank was offering concession on interest rates for women entrepreneurs on processing charges.
August 13th, 2012, 02:05 PM
HNG’s Naidupeta plant to go on stream by Sept (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3754751.ece)
KOLKATA, AUG. 11:
Hindusthan National Glass & Industries Ltd (HNG) is expected to commence production at its Naidupeta container glass facility in Andhra Pradesh by September. The Rs 800-crore greenfield project will have a capacity of 650 tonnes a day.
“Naidupeta plant will be on stream by the first week of September. Commercial production though will begin in another two to three months,” Mukul Somany, Vice-President and Managing Director, told Business Line after the company’s annual general meeting on Saturday.
The project is a part of HNG’s Rs 1,600 crore expansion plan. The company has already implemented the 650-tonne a day brownfield container glass project at Nashik in Maharashtra.
According to Somany, the company has already obtained mining contract (for silica) in the Gudur mines in Andhra Pradesh. The mines will supply raw materials to its Naidupeta unit.
“We are in the process of appointing a contract miner. We hope to start mining in another six to nine months’ time,” he said.
The company has also sought mining permission in Maharashtra for supply of raw materials (silica) to its Nashik unit.
“In future, we hope to have 50 per cent of our raw materials procured from our own captive sources,” Somany added.
TURNAROUND IN GERMANY
Somany, however, said he was hopeful of its German operations being back in black in another two to three months.
In its maiden overseas venture, HNG had acquired assets of Agenda Glass AG in Germany from the insolvency administrator at a consideration of €50 million (approximately Rs 345 crore) last fiscal. The German company is yet to see a turnaround.
“We are moving as per plans.” He said operations (in Germany) will report a pre-tax profit in another three months.
August 13th, 2012, 02:28 PM
Georgia Gullini launched in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.fashionunited.in/news/apparel/georgia-gullini-launched-in-andhra-pradesh-130820124045)
Italian suiting company Georgia Gullini has announced its expansion plans for the state of Andhra Pradesh by partnering with the newly launched Jagdamba Shopping Mall in Karimnagar. Georgia Gullini, promoted by world leaders in wool technologies, crafts premium suit fabrics using high quality wool and blends that capture Italy’s spirit for elegance, beauty and perfection. Through their suitings, they aim to offer global fashion at competitive price points and cater to the mid-premium and premium segment within India.
Commenting on the expansion, mall owners Kamal Kishore Mundada and Nand Kishore Mundada of Jagdamba Shopping Mall said, “Georgia Gullini is a very versatile suiting brand because they produce fabrics for a range of customers. While their premium 100 per cent wool Caviar range retails at approximately Rs 3500 per metre, their crystal range made of wool and polyester blends retails for approximately Rs 800 per metre. We already work with Georgia Gullini at our other stores and are proud to now bring this brand to the people of Karimnagar as well.”
Vivek Mehta, CEO of Georgia Gullini added, “At Georgia Gullini, we want to re-invent luxury in fashion formal wear. Our objective is to ensure the right amalgamation of fashion and quality. We will be offering a broad spectrum of fabrics and designs at the Jagdamba Shopping Mall and are very excited about this new partnership that will enable us to now cater to Karimnagar as well.”
Since their introduction in India, Georgia Gullini has proven to be a fast growing brand with 1,400 distributors pan India.
August 13th, 2012, 05:07 PM
IIJT job fair in 11 States, close to 3000 vacancies (http://indiaeducationdiary.in/Shownews.asp?newsid=14393)
New Delhi: Indian Institute of Job Training (IIJT), India’s fastest growing career skills training company is organizing a free job fair in 23 cities on August 11, 2012. Currently over 3000 positions are open in Sales, finance, customer relations, hardware and networking. Over 55 companies including Eureka Forbes, Muthoot Finance, Reliance Retail, Bata India, HDFC Life, ICICI and Bharti Axa are participating in the day long job fair.
The job fair is organized in the following locations:
New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Cochin, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Korba, Ratlam, Domjur, Uluberia, Guwahati, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Faridabad, Barasat, Puttur, Bhilwara, Noida, Amroha and Contai
For Job Fair registrations and details contact toll free number 18002666777 or log on to www.iijt.net.
Speaking on the occasion Savita Singh, Placements Head at IIJT said, "This is an initiative by IIJT to channelize and acknowledge the immense potential of candidates by providing them a platform that will give them right career guidance and job access in varied sectors.”
IIJT offers short term and long term courses in the areas of Finance, Information Technology, Retail and Sales & Marketing. They also provide soft skills and vocational training to individuals which give them an extra edge over others. The main objective of IIJT is to fill the gap between formal education and industry requirements. IIJT has been conducting job fairs across 25-30 cities simultaneously every month. Over 30,000 job positions were offered to the candidates during these job fairs for the last 6 months.
August 14th, 2012, 11:36 AM
AP’s road projects worth Rs 413 cr get Centre’s approval (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/article3765263.ece) :banana:
HYDERABAD, AUG. 13:
The Government of India has agreed to clear and approve sanctions for road projects proposals worth Rs 413.29 crore located in six districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The proposal is for taking up of 271 road works covering a stretch of 829.41 km length located in six districts in the State.
The Union Minister of Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jairam Ramesh, in a letter to the Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, has informed that the proposals from the State Government to be taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) have been recommended for approval.
These projects have been approved by the Empowered Committee at its meeting held in the last week of July.
These road works will be taken up in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Warangal and Adilabad.
While recommending the proposals, the Committee has advised the State to strengthen the second tier of quality assurance by way of inspection by State Quality Monitors and suggested the need to credit the due maintenance fund to the maintenance account.
August 14th, 2012, 08:42 PM
Rs 10-cr emu processing unit to come up in Medak (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3772185.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
HYDERABAD, AUG. 14:
Andhra Pradesh, which is home to majority of the country’s emu population, will have a processing facility soon.
The facility will come up at Patancheru in Medak district with an investment of Rs 10 crore.
“It would have equipment and process to suit the FDA (United States Food and Drugs Administration) requirements,” N. Srinivas Chowdary, a promoter of AP Emu Processors Private Limited, said.
Andhra Pradesh accounts for more than half of the country’s emu population of 13 lakh.
“In the absence of processing facilities, the farmers are not fully realising the potential of emu meat and fat. We have tied up with about 1,500 farmers to procure the birds,” he said.
Chowdary is the Managing Director of AP Incubators Private Limited that produced about 700 incubators to hatch the birds. “We are in touch with the supply chain of the birds and we noticed the under realisation of potential,” he said.
“They are following crude methods for slaughter and production of oil. As a result, we see poor quality of oil with no standardisation,” he said.
He said there was huge scope for the emu oil in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries globally.
“We have tied up with a US firm for procurement of the scientifically produced oil,” Chowdary said. With a view to creating awareness on the rearing of the bird and business opportunities, the company is organising a meeting in Hyderabad on August 19.
August 15th, 2012, 02:16 PM
Nalco unveils Rs.7,500-crore expansion plan (http://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/article3771605.ece)
National Aluminium Company (Nalco), on Tuesday, said it was investing Rs.7,500 crore as part of third phase brownfield expansion at its existing facilities in Odisha.
Addressing the 31st annual meeting of the company, Nalco Chairman and Managing Director B. L. Bagra said, “Detailed project report (DPR) for adding one more stream in the existing alumina refinery is being prepared. The capacity of the stream will be enhanced to one million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with an investment of around Rs.4,000 crore.”
Present upgradation of fourth stream of the company’s alumina refinery at Damanjodi in Odisha’s Koraput district, involving an investment of Rs.409 crore, would take its capacity from 21 lakh tonnes to 22.75 lakh tonnes per annum while that of bauxite mines from 6.3 million tonnes to 6.8 million tonnes per annum.
“The project is scheduled to be commissioned in the course of the current year,” Mr. Bagra said.
Similarly, smelter pot lines, operating at 180 KA [kiloampere, a unit of electrical current] for the last two-and-half decades, is being enhanced to 220 KA, at an outlay of Rs.900 crore. The capacity of the plant would be enhanced by 1.07 lakh tonnes to 5.67 lakh tonnes.
The CMD said the proposed 500 MW captive power plant would primarily meet the power requirement for the technology upgradation of smelter potlines. “Project cost of captive power plant capacity augmentation is estimated at Rs.2,522 crore.”
Under its ongoing expansion programme, Utkal-E coal block project is being developed at an estimated cost of Rs.338 crore. “It has a mineable reserve of around 67.49 million tonnes. Almost all statutory clearances have been obtained. Acquisition of land and construction of rehabilitation colony are in progress,” he said.
On Nalco’s corporate plans, he said the company was planning to set up a Rs.4,500-crore alumina refinery in Gujarat with 10 lakh tonnes capacity. “Preparation of DPR has been taken up.”
Similarly, the company is planning a Rs.16,000-crore new smelter in Western Odisha for which it is in talks with the State government.
He also elaborated on the company’s plans for setting up a 1.4 mtpa alumina refinery in Andhra Pradesh, Rs.11,500-crore worth nuclear plant at Kakrapar in Gujarat, and a Rs.274-crore wind power project in Andhra Pradesh.
August 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM
BSNL investing Rs 600 cr to expand mobile network in AP (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/article3780530.ece)
VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 16:
The AP telecom circle of BSNL is investing Rs 600 crore on expanding mobile network and adding 2 million lines in addition to the existing 9 million, according to V. Srinivasan, Chief General Manager of AP circle.
At a press meet here on Thursday, he said the equipment for the mobile network expansion would be received from ZTE by the end of September and work would begin in October. He said BSNL was in the third position in the mobile segment in Andhra Pradesh, with Airtel and Idea in first and second positions.
He said growth in the mobile segment was quite impressive. There are not many takers for landlines. Lakhs of landline phone connections were being surrendered, a trend witnessed in other parts of the country as well, he said.
The circle had shown revenue growth of 3.7 per cent in 2011-12 and had earned revenue of Rs 2,300 crore. During the first four months of the current fiscal, revenue growth was impressive at 8.7 per cent. “We would like to sustain it and even improve on it,” he added.
Srinivasan said broadband services in the State were growing at a healthy rate in the rest of the State, but in the capital city of Hyderabad BSNL was facing very stiff competition from private operator. The private operator was offering broadband services at a much cheaper rate and BSNL also was contemplating introduction of special tariff for Hyderabad to face the competition. He said that in the group performance measurement system in BSNL, the AP circle was in the fifth position and it would strive to improve its performance. He said the tele-density in Andhra Pradesh was 14 per cent and it was 15 in Visakhapatnam district.
Both the 3G and 2G services were making headway in the State and on the whole the performance was very satisfactory. He said special efforts would be made to have a robust network in the State capital of Hyderabad. P. Nagaraju, senior General Manager of Visakhapatnam telecom district, also spoke.
August 17th, 2012, 12:58 PM
Jail inmates of Anantpur to grow medicinal plants for Ayurveda firm (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-07-25/hyderabad/32847815_1_medicinal-plants-correctional-administration-inmates)
HYDERABAD: Inmates of the Prisoners' Agricultural Colony, Anantapur, will soon be cultivating medicinal herbs for a drug company. A yield of one tonne of Alfalfa could fetch about Rs 60,000. The revenue so earned will go to the A P Prisoners' Welfare Fund. The prisoners who work in the farm, however, will get a daily wage of Rs 70 each.
On Tuesday, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the prisons department and Himalaya Drug Company for the cultivation of herbs at PAC, Anantapur.
Director general of prisons T P Das said more such projects would be taken up at other prisons in the state depending on the success of the latest experiment. He said that, if possible, a hike in the incentives for the prisoners working on such projects would be considered. Das said initially 30 prisoners would be involved in the project at PAC Anantapur.
Babu, head, agrotech and phytochemistry of Himalaya said the skills required to cultivate medicinal plants would be imparted to prisoners by the company which would also supply seeds. The company would also purchase dried neem leaves collected from the certified organic area of the PAC as per the MoU. Babu said a similar project was taken up in the open air prison at Avathi village in Devanhalli taluk in Karnataka.
Prisoners who undergo training for the cultivation of the herbs and work in the prison farm would also have another advantage. After their release, they can take up similar cultivation for the company.
Inspector general of prisons (IG) B Sunil Kumar elaborated on the other programmes being taken up by the prisons department. He said the prestigious Asia and Pacific Conference of Correctional Administration (APCCA) meeting would be held next year in the state. The National Prisons Academy would also come up at Vikarabad, he said.
August 17th, 2012, 03:48 PM
Loan extended by Rs. 10,873 for three key power projects in Andhra Pradesh (http://www.ndtv.com/article/south/loan-extended-by-rs-10-873-for-three-key-power-projects-in-andhra-pradesh-256083)
Giving a fillip to the cash-starved Power Generation Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited (AP Genco), the Rural Electrification Corporation has agreed to extend a loan of Rs. 10,873 crore for three power projects in the state.
REC and AP Genco signed a memorandum of understanding to this effect in the presence of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy late yesterday evening, according to a press release from the CMO.
The three projects are: 800 MW new unit at Dr Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station (Vijayawada), a 800 MW unit at Kothagudem Thermal Power Station (stage-VII) and 12x80 MW units at Polavaram Hydro Electric Project.
While the aggregate estimated expenditure for these projects is Rs. 13,591.69 crore, the state government and the AP Genco will bear Rs. 2,718 crore as equity while the balance will come as loan from REC, the release said.
REC chairman and managing director Rajeev Sharma discussed the loan proposals with the Chief Minister before signing the MoU. REC has agreed to give a rebate of 0.5 per cent on the applicable rate of interest as a special case for the above three projects, the CMO release added.
AP Genco now hopes to increase its power generation capacity from 8,925 MW to 15,000 MW by 2015 by setting up new projects and expanding and modernising the existing ones.
Meanwhile, official sources in AP Genco said the Rs. 2,700 crore loan that the REC agreed to extend for the first phase (700 MW) of gas-based power project in Karimnagar district has been kept on hold as the project remained a non-starter due to non-availability of gas.
"Exactly two years ago, the REC agreed to extend the Rs. 2,700 crore loan for Karimnagar power project but the project itself is in doldrums. So we haven't taken the loan," a Genco official said.
August 17th, 2012, 04:32 PM
Government scheme to irrigate 1.55 acres of farmland (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/government-scheme-to-irrigate-155-acres-of-farmland/1039478.html)
Rajahmundry (AP) Aug 9 (PTI) The minister of stamps and registration Thota Narasimhmam said that 1.55 lakh acres of farmland will get water through the Thota Venkatachalam Pushkar life irrigation scheme this year in the district. The scheme is expected to benefit farmers in seven assembly segments like Rajanagarm, Jaggampeta, Prathipadu, Peddapauram, Anaparthy and Pithapuram. Steps will also be taken to provide water to 25 lakhs acres of land by the year end.
August 17th, 2012, 04:33 PM
AP state government employees to get health cards (http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/ap-state-government-employees-to-get-health-cards/1036497.html)
Rajahmundry (AP), Aug 6 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh state's minister for stamps and registration Thota Narasimhmam said that health cards will be distributed to state government employees to enable them benefit from the Rajiv Arogya Sri medical scheme from November 1. The state government plans to extend the Rajiv Arogya Sri scheme to all its employees from November 1, he said at Krishi Bhavan. "If employees face any problem, bring to my notice. I will try my best to solve their problems, he said.
August 18th, 2012, 02:27 PM
Norway funds climate change project in AP, TN (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/agri-biz/article3785638.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy)
HYDERABAD, AUG 17:
Norway will fund a Rs 25-crore climate change research and adaptation project in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Under the project, ClimaAdapt, selected farmers in the two States will be taught methods to mitigate the effects climate change on agriculture.
While WALAMTARI (Water and Land Management Training and Research Institute) will oversee the project in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu Agriculture University will supervise the project in Tamil Nadu. The other four partners in the consortium set up for the purpose are International Water Management Institute, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Bioforsk and WRO.
“The four-year project beginning this year would cover the farmers in the Krishna basin and Cauvery basin in Tamil Nadu. We are aiming at developing methodologies for enhancing selected adaption measures and policy inputs that can be integrated into climate change mitigation policies of the States,” Udaya Sekhar Nagothu, Project Director of the Norwegian institute Bioforsk, said.
August 19th, 2012, 04:22 PM
State to disburse Rs 52K cr in crop loans, says Kiran (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/hyderabad/state-disburse-rs-52k-cr-crop-loans-says-kiran-442)
Claiming that the Congress government is concerned over the welfare of farmers, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday said the government would extend farm loans to the tune of nearly Rs 52,000 crore in the state in the current fiscal year.
The CM made the announ-cement while interacting with tenant farmers at the horticulture university in Venkataramannagudem of West Godavari on the second day of his Indiramma Baata programme here.
He said while farmers in the entire country got crop loans to the tune of only Rs 5.75 crore in a year that saw deficit monsoon rain in several regions, the state government would sanction a whopping Rs 52,000 crore for their benefit.
Claiming credit for extending interest-free crop loan up to Rs 1 lakh to farmers, Mr Reddy said unlike the earlier practice of collecting 12 per cent interest on such loans, they were collecting only 8.5 per cent interest on loans extended. Of this, he said, the government would bear 1.5 per cent, while the farmers were paying the remaining 7 per cent interest to banks.
Referring to the Opposition criticism that the government was doing nothing to help farmers, Mr Reddy said, “It hurts to be blamed thus. In fact, our government could be formed only with the support of farmers and farm labourers.”
Taking a dig at the Telugu Desam, he said, “It is unfair for the TD leader (N. Chandrababu Naidu) to blame us. He did nothing to improve the lot of farmers and Backward Class communities during his nine-year stint, barring developing the Hi-Tech city and Banjara Hills.”
Earlier, inaugurating the administrative block of the university, the CM interacted with students and said the government has incre-ased budgetary allocation for horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries in the current budget. He also promised to fill up 114 posts of horticulture officers soon, with an officer for each mandal in the state.
August 19th, 2012, 08:45 PM
Central funds to boost tassar production (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/Central-funds-to-boost-tassar-production/articleshow/15553304.cms)
RANCHI: The Union ministry of rural development in collaboration with the Central Silk Board has launched a three-year project to improve and add value to families involved in tassar rearing in Jharkhand. The project will also be introduced in six other states — Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal and Odisha — under the ministry's flagship project 'Aajeevika - National Rural Livelihood' programme. In Jharkhand, the cost of the project has been pegged at Rs 23. 94 crore with 6,457 beneficiary farmers in the districts of Saraikela, East and West Singbhum,Godda, Pakur, Deoghar and Dumka. Among all the seven states, the cost of the project is the highest in Jharkhand which is the world leader in rearing organic tassar.
In a letter to chief minister Arjun Munda on August 14, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said the project proposes interventions for "improved silkworm rearing, small scale seed production enterprises, promotion of producers' collectives and marketing" among other things.
Notwithstanding the minister's optimism that this initiative is of huge socio-economic significance and is particularly in favour of tribal families and women self help groups (SHGs), it has evoked a strong response from the state's silk and handicraft directorate.
Jharkhand Silk Textile and Handicraft Development Corporation Ltd (Jharcraft) director Dhirendra Kumar said he will write to the Central Silk Board to cover new districts and beneficiary farmers under the project.
"Districts like Saraikela, Godda, West Singbhum and Godda have already been covered 100% by us and there are hardly any farmers who have not been covered by the directorate. The effort of the ministry and the board should be to cover more and more rearers of the state and not indulge in duplication," he said.
Kumar, who has taken organic tassar production in the state to global standards, said that it would have been better if districts like Latehar, Hazaribag, Koderma, Chatra and other unexplored areas were taken up under the project.
While Jharcraft has taken up organic farming of tassar in a big way Kumar says that the project should not mess this up with artificial farming.
Pradan, an NGO, has been appointed the project agency to work under the supervision of the state rural livelihoods mission, for which a society has already been formed.
August 28th, 2012, 09:03 AM
Major port all set to come up in Prakasam district (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Major-port-all-set-to-come-up-in-Prakasam-district/articleshow/15851145.cms) :banana::banana:
ONGOLE: Prakasam district, which has been long awaiting a real-time development project, on a par with other coastal districts, is all set to get a major project. The state government has cleared a port proposal at Ramayapatnam.
The Centre is also likely to give its nod shortly and spend nearly Rs 7000 crore for the port construction in the next five years. Prakasam is the only district on the coastal belt which has not witnessed any development despite being rich with natural resources compared to the neighbouring districts.
When the state government announced a massive port and an industrial corridor, Vanpic, five years ago, land rates in all coastal mandals skyrocketed. The promoters have landed in jails, is different story. Even though While hopes getting dashed as the Vanpic project did not materialise, the Centre announced a boon to the state with a promise to construction of a major port provided a suitable land was found for the same. In spite of the state government moving slowly, the Centre itself pushed the proposal and urged the state government to complete the initial formalities of identifying the land.
Curiously, the state government listed Ramayapatnam near Ulavapadu mandal in Prakasam as one of the probable locations for construction of a port as initially it thought that Nakkapalli (Visakhapatnam) and Dugarajapatnam (Nellore) were more ideal for the project.
However the technical committee appointed by the Centre found Ramayapatnam to be comparatively a better location than the other two and asked the state government for its opinion. Because of the presence of massive granite factories, tobacco export units and aqua export houses, Ramayapatnam port has been considered more economically viable than others.
Even at this stage, influential ministers in the state cabinet, Ganta Srinivasa Rao (Visakhapatnam) and Anam Ramanarayana Reddy (Nellore) wanted to take the project to their native places by promising to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the technical committee. They, however, were forced to withdraw from the race following the objections raised by defence organisations leaving Ramayapatnam as lone contender.
Sources said that district administration was already instructed to get ready to acquire about 961 hectares in Ulavapadu mandal and 1164 hectares in Gudlur mandal. In addition, nearly 2200 families have to be evacuated from seven neighbouring villages. District collector has reportedly sought Rs 215 crore for taking up relief and rehabilitation works.
Close to national highway and railway main line, Ramayapatnam is likely to change the fortunes of the district once the port project becomes a reality.
August 28th, 2012, 09:10 AM
State wings eye land of institutes (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/hyderabad/state-wings-eye-land-institutes-766)
Government departments facing land crunch are now hunting for land in possession of other departments, especially those belonging to research and academic institutions around the city. After University of Hyderabad, the government is eyeing AP Academy of Rural Development (APARD) located at Budvel in Rajendranagar mandal. From an original 300 acre site, APARD is now left with 119 acres after its land was grabbed by other government departments and research institutes.
In a most-recent instance, the government allotted five acres of APARD land to the tribal welfare department after much wrangling. The tribal welfare department sought 10 acres to build a ST Girls Hostel, ST civil services, coaching centre, and pre-examination training centre etc., to cater to the educational needs of tribal students, but APARD turned it down. It was argued that if the allotment of land was not made, the ST student community would face irreparable loss and would be deprived of competitive coaching to scale higher positions in public services.
After much bargaining, APARD agreed to part with five acres of land, but with precondition such as: The campus shall be developed within two years; and it shall be used only for educational purposes of tribal youth.” “The state is unable to buy land at prevailing market rate and hence is requesting those in possession of land to part with it for needy departments,” an official said.
August 28th, 2012, 11:18 AM
Andhra Pradesh second most-favoured destination for foreign investors: ASSOCHAM (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Andhra-Pradesh-second-most-favoured-destination-for-foreign-investors-ASSOCHAM/articleshow/15829544.cms)
Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the second most favoured investment destination for overseas investors in India with around 19% share in the total foreign direct investment (FDI) proposed in 2011-12, according to trade and industry body The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
The state saw 70 proposals worth around Rs 33,936 crore being filed by foreign investors during 2011-12, a state-wise analysis of proposed FDI and the number of FDI proposals filed in India during 2011-12 carried out by ASSOCHAM as part of a study titled "India's Experience with FDI: Role of a Game Changer."
Andhra Pradesh stood next to only Odisha which emerged as the numero uno destination for foreign investors with an over 27% share in the total FDI proposed in 2011-12. This was despite only 17 FDI proposals being filed in Odisha because the state garnered a lion's share of about Rs 49,527 crore worth of FDI proposals.
"A total of 763 FDI proposals worth over Rs 1.78 lakh crore were filed across various states in India during the aforesaid period," said Ravi Sannareddy, chairperson of the ASSOCHAM Southern Regional Council, while releasing the findings.
"Services, telecommunications, construction, computers (software and hardware), real estate and housing, chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, power, automobiles and metallurgical industries attracted the highest FDI inflows across India," said Sannareddy. Though Gujarat received the second highest number of 131 FDI proposals, the state ranked third with a share of just 11% in FDI proposals as it attracted proposed investment worth Rs 20,258 crore, the ASSOCHAM analysis shows.
Chattisgarh and Karnataka ranked fourth and fifth of the top five investment destinations from the foreign investors' point of view and got FDI proposals worth over Rs 20,000 crore and 14,000 crore respectively.
Interestingly, though Maharashtra got the highest number of FDI proposals at 144, it ranked sixth in terms of value of FDI proposals with around Rs 12,000 crore.
Of the top twenty states, West Bengal ranked 14th only above states like Bihar, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Kerala and managed 24 FDI proposals worth a meager Rs 1,243 crore, according to the study. Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab stayed ahead of West Bengal and attracted FDI proposals worth between Rs 8,600 crore and Rs 1,200 crore during financial year 2011-12.
August 28th, 2012, 11:43 AM
Handlooms and handicrafts mela (http://ibnlive.in.com/news/handlooms-and-handicrafts-mela/286200-60-121.html)
The Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Corporation (A.P.State Govt. Undertaking) will be organising an exhibition through the Lepakshi Handicrafts Emporium from September 5 to 22 at Dr AS Rao Nagar Community Hall, ECIL.
The main aim of this program is to promote and create marketing facility to the handloom and handicrafts artisans by avoiding the middle man and to boost the earnings. All the varieties of cotton and silk of Andhra Pradesh and other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat , Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Jharkhand are on display.
About 100 artisans and weavers will be participating and exhibiting their products for sales.
The exhibition will be open from 11 am to 9 pm daily and on all public holidays during the duration of the exhibition. Handlooms like Gadwal, Venkatagiri, Pochampally, Narayanpet, Uppada, Mangalagiri, Kalamkari, Cheerala, Jamdani, printed cotton sarees and Bengali and Kashmir silk will be available. Tussar silk, Bandhani work, Bhagalpur silk, Banaras silk,
Chanderi, Kutch embroidery and many more will also be available.
August 28th, 2012, 11:52 AM
Premier Explosives sets up new plant (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/article3828411.ece?ref=wl_opinion)
HYDERABAD, AUG. 27:
Premier Explosives Ltd has set up a new emulsion explosives plant at Peddakandurkuru village in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh.
The plant will have a capacity to produce 5,000 tonnes of packaged explosives a year. It is a new product from the company which specialises in producing a range of explosives to meet the requirements of mining and allied industries.
The product also has export potential said A.N. Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of the Hyderabad-based company in a press release.
The plant was inaugurated by T.R. Thomas, Chief Controller of Explosives, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation recently. The Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives V.K. Mishra was also present at the event.
Premier Explosives is also involved in developing specialised products for the Indian defence, space sectors such as solid fuel propellants. It is also into renewable energy sector developing green power-equivalent to grid power, the release added.
The company has set up production facilities for solid fuel to meet the demands of the country’s missile and satellite programmes.
August 28th, 2012, 01:42 PM
Nabard scheme to benefit 1 lakh rural families in AP (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/states/article3799798.ece)
VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 20:
‘Maa Thota’ — a village development programme being implemented nationwide — has shown great results in Andhra Pradesh, particularly in the agency (tribal) areas of Visakhapatnam district, according to P. Mohanaiah, Chief General Manager of the Nabard, Andhra Pradesh.
During his recent visit to the Araku Valley in the district, he said in an interview that 54,000 families had derived benefit from the scheme being implemented in 14 districts, while the number was 10,000 families in the district. “The target is to cover 1,00,000 families in the State,” he said.
He said 'Maa Thota' (my garden) was a horticulture project of the bank being implemented through the village development committees. The NGOs played a key role in the integrated development of the village.
The committees provided a platform to farmers to work with other government agencies and see beyond ‘Maa Thota’ for the overall development of their villages.
He said the scheme had become popular with farmers in view of the involvement of all family members in growing horticulture crops in lands owned by them. The beneficiaries were having only one or two acres. In Visakhapatnam district, 10 NGOs are involved in the programme.
Mohanaiah said that the Remote and Interior areas Development Fund played a key role in the execution of 26,000 development projects including small and medium irrigation projects.
He said Nabard was willing to execute protected drinking water schemes for the tribal population wherever there were hill streams or water resources. If such a proposal came from the Integrated Tribal Development Agency, the bank would take it up under the RIDF programme, he said.