Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Breaking News: Its official Ghaziabad is now part of West Bengal

Breaking News
Is Ghaziabad now a part of West Bengal?

Where is Ghaziabad? Till a few hours ago it used to be a district of UP with Akhilesh Yadav as Chief Minister, now it seems to be a part of West Bengal in Mamta didi's lap. 

If you think this is a joke  see this is what the Ghaziabad Development Authority GDA website says:


Under the head state government policies one finds a PPP notification of Government of West Bengal.


Ghaziabad Development Authority should know better


State Government Policy on Infrastructure Development through Public Private Partnership (PPP) Notification - No.2892-UD/O/M/SB/S-18/2001 dated 27th August, 2003
(Issued by the Department of Urban Development, Government of West Bengal)

The Government of West Bengal has been trying to address the need to mobilize private sector investment in infrastructure development and evolve policy guidelines for the purpose. The Governor, after careful consideration of the matter, has been pleased to approve the following as the "State Government Policy on Infrastructure Development through Public Private Partnership (PPP)".

2.1 The experience of the State Government in working with private sector for infrastructure development has been rather limited. For a wider practice of private sector participation in infrastructure development, it is necessary to instill confidence in the minds of prospective private sector investors and also to streamline the process of selection of private partners. For achieving this it is imperative to have a comprehensive policy on private sector participation in infrastructure development or, in other words, a Policy on Public Private Partnership (PPP).

2.2 Infrastructure sectors such as Power; Tele-communication; Transport -Waterways, Ports, Airports and Surface facilities such as Roads / Bridges / ROBs/ Flyover etc., Water Supply; Drainage and Sanitation; Township; Area Development; Housing and Commercial Development etc., can be considered for private sector participation in suitable form.

2.3 The major elements of operational guidelines for PPP shall be as follows:-
2.3.1 Any department/agency of the State Government may invite private or joint sector entities to undertake development of infrastructure, as mentioned in para 2.2 above. The State Government shall have the power to permit private investment in establishment of new infrastructure facilities in such manner and on such terms and conditions, as it may think necessary and expedient in the public interest.

2.3.2 There are various ways by which the involvement of private investors/developers can be secured. One of the means to achieve private sector participation is Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT), although there are variants of BOT like BOO, BOOT, BOLT etc. The scope, obligations, and rights of the participating private developers shall be clearly defined in the form of a framework for BOT projects. Another form of private sector participation can be Joint Sector Projects. Private Sector participation can also be attracted through leasing and annuity payment wherever necessary.

2.3.3 There may be a number of private entities that may be interested in participating in infrastructure development. It is essential to carry out an assessment of capability of those firms through a method of pre-qualification bids. Only the qualified private entities should be considered for partnership in infrastructure development.

2.3.4 It is essential that a private partner be selected through a transparent process. It should thus be important to invite offers/bids - technical and financial/commercial - from
among the pre-qualified firms for each project proposal. In order to provide a common platform for bidding, it may be necessary to have Techno-economic Feasibility Report prepared by the department or an independent professional agency, which will realistically frame a cost estimate and also carry out a financial viability exercise pertaining to the project proposal. Without this, the extent of financial stake of the public sector agency entering into a concession agreement with private developers cannot be adequately determined. There shall be standardized and streamlined procedures for approval of projects and selection of developers.

2.3.5 Infrastructure development projects are generally not attractive to the private investors because of potentially low or even negative returns on investment. It is thus necessary to extend certain concessions to private entities. The norms and kind of support including 'concessions' and subsidies that the Government could provide shall be spelt out. The types of concessions can be determined only after a techno-economic feasibility study has been undertaken. The invitation of offer around such concessions would bring about competitiveness among the private enterprises and a selection on that basis would ensure transparency. There is also a need for designing checks and balances for the PPP projects and the same being built in the concessionaire agreement itself.

2.3.6 There shall be a Committee of Secretaries headed by the Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal and including the Secretary, Finance Department, Government of West Bengal and the Secretary of the concerned departments of Government of West Bengal to review the proposal of the concerned department/agency for selection of private partner and give its recommendation. The Secretary of the concerned department will function as the convenor and place the proposal to the committee with the approval of the Minister-in-Charge of the department. After obtaining the recommendation of the committee, the initiating department/agency shall put it up before the respective Minister-in-Charge for onward transmission to the Chief Minister/Cabinet for approval.

2.3.7 The identification of project to be taken up should be made by the concerned department/agency. Such department/agency shall prepare bid documents, invite expression of interest, shortlist prospective developers and carry out all processing of bid formalities including evaluation of bids and formulating proposal on selection of private partner.

2.3.8 The department/agency initiating a PPP project shall have to secure recommendation of the Committee of Secretaries and approval of the Chief Minister/Cabinet for each individual project before implementing the same.