Change or perish: World Bank expert to Indian Railways
“India continues to cross subsidise passenger services with freight revenues; it condemns India to a high carbon, high logistics, cost, and high road congestion future,” says World Bank specialist – Martha Lawrence, senior railway specialist, leader of railways community of practice, World Bank, said Indian Railways faces three major challenges.
First, it is losing market share to roads, second is capacity constraints and third is finances. To end railway woes, Lawrence proposed to turn it into an enterprise with commercial independence, like in the case of Russia and China. She advocated building of new revenue sources for funding passenger services.
Here is the text of her speech at the Railways Reform and Governance Conclave 2017 held in New Delhi (see more)
NHAI To Soon Invite Bids To Operate Highways Under New Model:
India’s government-run road builder will soon invite bids for long-term leases to manage a dozen stretches of national highways as it eyes foreign institutional investors for funds to improve the country’s road network.
The National Highways Authority of India is expected to initiate the bidding process in May for 10-15 operational highways of the 75 selected under the new Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model, a senior NHAI official told BloombergQuint on the condition of anonymity. The model offers 30-year contracts to operate and maintain highways on a one-time upfront payment (see more)
New report examines the cold chain logistics industry:
Published: 03 April 2017| Submitted by RNR Market Research
2017 Global Cold Chain Logistics Market Report is a professional and in-depth research report on the world’s major regional market conditions of the Cold Chain Logistics market, focusing on the main regions and the main countries (North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia and India).
Firstly, this report focuses on price, sales, revenue and growth rate of each type, as well as the types and each type price of key manufacturers, through interviewing key manufacturers. Second on basis of segments by manufacturers, this report focuses on the sales, price of each type, average price of Cold Chain Logistics, revenue and market share, for key manufacturers (see more)
Big Basket invests in cool chain :
Leading Indian online grocery retailer Big Basket has moved to bolster its cold storage infrastructure, amid growing competition in the country’s e-commerce sector. The Times of India reports Big Basket has accrued Rs450m in venture debt from Trifecta Capital to establish a new cold chain and warehousing facility.
“We are in the last leg of a pilot which will ensure that all fruits and vegetables are maintained at constant temperature and there by improve shelf life of the produce by almost 10 days. This will be done using large scale equipment such as pre-coolers and ventilators,” Hari Menon, co-founder of SuperMarket Grocery Supplies, which runs Big Basket, told the Times of India.
“Funding such capex requirements is best done through debt.” The move comes just months after US-owned Amazon filed an application with India’s Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) to become the first wholly owned foreign retailer to sell locally produced food items online in India (see more)
Sasec members chart strategic sub-regional development road map:
The seven-member Sasec includes India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar and will coordinate planning of projects and activities to increase economic growth by building cross-border connectivity, and facilitating faster and more efficient trade.
Addressing finance ministers and representatives of Sasec countries, Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley said power trade in the sub-region also presents a significant opportunity with gains and savings for member countries, and may collectively help the member countries move towards their energy security goals (see more)