Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm
   http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Instituti...
Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm
   http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Instituti...
Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm
   http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Instituti...
Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm
   http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Instituti...
Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm
   http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Instituti...
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Economic Policy News & Views September 2009

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POWER

Centre bets on shift to supercritical technology to add thermal capacity
The Centre is betting on a complete shift to the more efficient supercritical technology over the next two Plan periods.
This is a welcome announcement as according to the CEA; over 60 percent of new capacity in the Twelfth Plan period and 90 percent in the Thirteenth Plan will be based on supercritical or the “clean” coal technology. Hopefully, this does not stay as an announcement as the previous commitments of the 10th plan have not been met. India cannot show brinkmanship when it comes to its climate change mitigation responsibilities and since power sector is one of the biggest polluters, policy should translate into action. The attitude of the government and a large part of the civil society in this regard is that it is “their” i.e. the developed world’s problem not ours. This attitude has lead to a slow adoption of this technology with no firm strategy to promote Rand D in clean coal technologies. The coal sector itself will require a major shape up to meet these challenges.
COMPETITION POLICY

Competition Commission will scan Ambani gas dispute, if asked
Competition watchdog CCI has said it will look into the high-voltage gas dispute between the Ambani brothers provided someone forwarded a request.
The CCI may wait for a request on this. But in our view one of the major actors in this dispute is the government and its policy on gas pricing. The 28th-Aug-09 gas allocation and pricing policy throws up many issues of competition. The Standing Committee on Finance of the 14th Lok Sabha in its 44th report had observed that the CCI would make sincere efforts to pinpoint such policies of the Government which are inconsistent with the principles of competition. The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, has a provision allowing the CCI to give its opinion suo moto to the Government on any economic policy substantially impacting competition within India. Hopefully, they will not wait for requests!






TELECOM

FinMin asks DoT to hold allocation of 3G spectrum

Further allocation of spectrum has been stalled until a final view on the Spectrum Review Committee’s report is taken

The delays have just reached delirious proportions given that TRAI made its recommendations on 3G allocation and pricing way back in September 2006. Delays in releasing 3G frequencies have already caused harm to India’s participation in the Internet Economy. From a development perspective, access to broadband in both forms, mobile and fixed, must be improved if the emerging Internet Economy is to be inclusive. As pointed out earlier through these columns, India must expedite spectrum refarming and release spectrum by transparent means to enable operators to offer 3G technologies to make mobile, nomadic and fixed broadband a reality for the millions who will depend on a wireless access network as the gateway to the Internet Economy. Moreover, any further delay would mean that India will not have a level playing field; public sector telecom companies are already looking at the possibility of franchising 3G service delivery, as they have already been allocated the spectrum.

“THE IDEA OF JUSTICE”

Amartya Sen’s new book on the Idea of Justice

Amartya Sen—whose new book The Idea of Justice has recently been published—is a voice that is being heard.

I have not read the book but have heard and read some promos and interviews given by Professor Sen in India. In these interactions Professor Sen congratulates the Left parties in India for their sensitivity to the idea of justice. The Left parties in our view have been self-serving and served their narrow constituencies which include the trade unions of the public sector employees, unions of school teachers, etc. In Sen’s own paradigm, Indian leftists pursue purist, ideologically correct “Niti”. They have no concern for “Nyaya” or just consequences. Their record in West Ben

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Economic Policy News & Views September 2009

  1. 1. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Institutional%20Analysis/ Policy News & Views Volume 1, Issue 10, September 2009 POWER Centre bets on shift to supercritical technology to add thermal capacity The Centre is betting on a complete shift to the more efficient supercritical technology over the next two Plan periods. This is a welcome announcement as according to the CEA; over 60 percent of new capacity in the Twelfth Plan period and 90 percent in the Thirteenth Plan will be based on supercritical or the “clean” coal technology. Hopefully, this does not stay as an announcement as the previous commitments of the 10th plan have not been met. India cannot show brinkmanship when it comes to its climate change mitigation responsibilities and since power sector is one of the biggest polluters, policy should translate into action. The attitude of the government and a large part of the civil society in this regard is that it is “their” i.e. the developed world’s problem not ours. This attitude has lead to a slow adoption of this technology with no firm strategy to promote Rand D in clean coal technologies. The coal sector itself will require a major shape up to meet these challenges. http://www.indicus.net/Newsletter/Policy_News_Views.aspx
  2. 2. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Institutional%20Analysis/ COMPETITION POLICY Competition Commission will scan Ambani gas dispute, if asked Competition watchdog CCI has said it will look into the high-voltage gas dispute between the Ambani brothers provided someone forwarded a request. The CCI may wait for a request on this. But in our view one of the major actors in this dispute is the government and its policy on gas pricing. The 28th-Aug-09 gas allocation and pricing policy throws up many issues of competition. The Standing Committee on Finance of the 14th Lok Sabha in its 44th report had observed that the CCI would make sincere efforts to pinpoint such policies of the Government which are inconsistent with the principles of competition. The Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, has a provision allowing the CCI to give its opinion suo moto to the Government on any economic policy substantially impacting competition within India. Hopefully, they will not wait for requests! TELECOM FinMin asks DoT to hold allocation of 3G spectrum Further allocation of spectrum has been stalled until a final view on the Spectrum Review Committee’s report is taken The delays have just reached delirious proportions given that TRAI made its recommendations on 3G allocation and pricing way back in September 2006. Delays in releasing 3G frequencies have already caused harm to India’s participation in the Internet Economy. From a development perspective, access to broadband in both forms, mobile and fixed, must be improved if the emerging Internet Economy is to be inclusive. As pointed out earlier through these columns, India must expedite spectrum refarming and release spectrum by transparent means to enable operators to offer 3G technologies to make mobile, nomadic and fixed broadband a reality for the millions who will depend on a wireless access network as the gateway to the Internet Economy. Moreover, any further delay would mean that India will not have a level playing field; public sector telecom companies are already looking at the possibility of franchising 3G service delivery, as they have already been allocated the spectrum. “THE IDEA OF JUSTICE” http://www.indicus.net/Newsletter/Policy_News_Views.aspx
  3. 3. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Institutional%20Analysis/ Amartya Sen’s new book on the Idea of Justice Amartya Sen—whose new book The Idea of Justice has recently been published—is a voice that is being heard. I have not read the book but have heard and read some promos and interviews given by Professor Sen in India. In these interactions Professor Sen congratulates the Left parties in India for their sensitivity to the idea of justice. The Left parties in our view have been self-serving and served their narrow constituencies which include the trade unions of the public sector employees, unions of school teachers, etc. In Sen’s own paradigm, Indian leftists pursue purist, ideologically correct “Niti”. They have no concern for “Nyaya” or just consequences. Their record in West Bengal when it comes to giving private property rights to farmers; an instrument in making a just and an equitable society has been dismal. Not only did they not confer the rights, the left parties then tried to forcibly acquire land for industry. More News Full Plan panel meet to tackle energy policy The meeting of the full Planning Commission, to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, would take stock of the problems plaguing the country’s energy sector. India government moves bill to revamp company laws The government has moved a new bill to revamp company laws including those for mergers and acquisitions, and "class action suits" by investors against fraudulent firms. All financial regulators may come under SAT The government is considering a revamp of the legal system by giving more powers and responsibilities to the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), a quasi-judicial body, which currently only settles disputes in capital market transactions. http://www.indicus.net/Newsletter/Policy_News_Views.aspx
  4. 4. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Institutional%20Analysis/ 50 percent infrastructure projects running behind schedule Around 50 percent of projects in the sector are running behind schedule, resulting in an extra burden of around Rs. 40,000 crore on the exchequer. Power, oil, fertilisers ministries oppose offset policy Ministries of power, petroleum and fertilisers have asked to be kept out of the purview of the national offset policy that mandates public sector firms to source from domestic suppliers 30% of all capital equipment imports. India relaunches largest auction of oil, gas areas India relaunched its largest ever auction of oil and gas exploration areas, aiming to attract $3-4 billion investment towards boosting energy security. UGC brings in tougher PhD regulations University Grants Commission (UGC) is bringing in stiff regulation which bans offer of such degrees in distant mode and stipulates that the thesis paper be evaluated by two experts, including one from outside the state. Government plans to auction captive coal blocks in 2010 The government plans to begin auctioning coal blocks to industries for their own use in 2010, a first step towards reforms in the sector to spur local output and attract investment, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said. CERC notifies new transmission rules India has allowed power producers with capacity of at least 250 MW to transfer power beyond their state limits through contracts for three to 25 years, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), said. Poverty line fluctuates with conflicting data The issue of poverty estimation seems to be getting more complicated as a government-sponsored panel has now said that about 38 percent Indians are poor — 10 percentage points higher than a previous estimate. NREGA gets monitoring body at last The ministry of rural development is at the receiving end of criticism for holding in abeyance for a year the Employment Guarantee Council set up under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. http://www.indicus.net/Newsletter/Policy_News_Views.aspx
  5. 5. Indicus Analytics, An Economics Research Firm http://indicus.net/Research/Home/Research%20Area/Policy%20and%20Institutional%20Analysis/ Full penalty waiver for ‘cartel’ whistle-blowers To prod companies involved in cartel-like behaviour to disclose ‘vital information’ on such collusion to the regulator, CCI has decided to waive the penalty on ‘whistle-blowers’ even to the extent of 100 percent. http://www.indicus.net/Newsletter/Policy_News_Views.aspx

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