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Aurobindo Pharmacy: good turnaround Forging industry worried over lower supply of steel and its price Hindalco – re-rating L & T set bigger ambitions in defence business Chinese smart phones flourish in small towns too! Right to privacy – now it’s fundamental! L&T profit up by 11 per cent HPCL plans Rs.61,000 crore capex over 5-years Is this a generation gap? TVS Srichakra plans capacity expansion Wabco launches safety system TN government keen on revival of operations at Nokia complex Are they really independent? Rane targets Rs.5500 crore topline by 2018-19 Toyota and Suzuki to introduce EVs in India by 2020 Eyes strong growth in 2016-17 Daimler grows sales and share in India Consolidating leadership position in smartphones Hyundai to focus on SUVs and AMT variants When small is not so beautiful… New India Assurance posts impressive show Sundram Fasteners rejigs international Tata Motors joins compact SUV bandwagon with Nexon Vellayan is back, after 150 days RoC in the dock... Shriram Life clocks more than Rs.1000 crore premium in 2015-16 Smooth sailing of SAIL V-Guard launches app-enabled water heater system Michelin to double Chennai capacity He excels in the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship Increasing market share LVB posts 31 per cent growth in Q1 net profit Ponni Sugars (Erode) Ltd: not so sweet 2012-13 Welcome focus to improve rural India... Smartphone onslaught by Chinese brands Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp sign MoU to merge European units Land wars Back in growth mode Emami – a new growth mantra AL introduces Guru & Partner Yamaha unveils scooter boutique A niche in FMCG business... Tata Motors charts investments in PV and CV businesses Daimler’s truck exports from Chennai cross 5000 units PPP model for infrastructure development Preparing for the next growth curve TI Cycles plans retail expansion to drive sales for premium bicycles ITC – steep excise hike L&T bags the Mumbai Trans-harbour link order Solar installations exceed 2015 capacity in five months Tata Motors bets on new launches Ode to Ratan Tata Sivasankaran enters taxi space to take on Uber and Ola Maruti – for young buyers AL wins Deming prize again Hyundai India achieves 7 mn production at Chennai factory Nissan exit shouldn’t affect ALL Gamesa to set up a plant in Nellore Tata Motors aims to be among the Top 3 global CV & PV firm Record two-wheeler sales Carnival Films acquiring 3000 screens pan India E.I.D Parry (India) Ltd: another sweet year 29 per cent jump in TCS revenues The unexpected exit A welcome initiative-even critics are recognised Kone India eyes further growth in elevator market L & T’s floating dock for navy Singur minus Nano – victory or folly? TVS Automobile invests Rs.75 crore in start-up firms AL secures orders for 3600 buses Tata gets 4-star rating for Zest From the toughest to the best year Dish TV – subscriber additions encouraging CAPITAL NOTES Mercedes-Benz sales continue to zoom Titan Company – sales recovery to kick in Housing demand revival The gainers and the losers ITC chairman calls for policy impetus to transform agriculture Bajaj Finserv – Q1: fare well It takes two to tango PSU non-life firms seek to protect share Last stages M & M unveils driverless technology for tractors IOB on turnaround path
 
It takes two to tango
First the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)and later the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), two prominent Central government undertakings, are getting stuck with their major projects in Tamil Nadu.

The NHAI envisages an elevated road project connecting Chennai port with Maduravoyal,covering a distance of 19 km.  A part of the project is routed through the Cooum riverbed. The state government has stalled it objecting to the piers constructed over the riverbed as affecting the flow of the river. NHAI is consequently affected by the delay leading to cost and time overruns.  The project was conceived to ease traffic connecting the Chennai and Ennore ports providing for speedy transportation, especially of export cargo. In spite of several rounds of meetings between NHAI and PMO officials, including the Advisor to Prime Minister T K A Nair from the Union government, the Chief Secretary and other officials from the departments of the state, the deadlock continues.

 

Work on gas pipeline stopped...

Similar is the plight of the state stalling the construction of the Kochi-Coimbatore-Salem-Bengaluru gas pipeline by the Central government undertaking GAIL.

IE has been stressing the precious contribution made by natural gas for economic development. Gujarat and Maharashtra have built their prosperity by initially making use of the copious availability of gas on and offshore and later through imported gas. The two states have 4800 km of gas pipelines forming 38 per cent of the total pipelines erected in the country of 12,580 km. The share of Tamil Nadu, at 270 km, has been miniscule. Gujarat and Maharashtra make rich use of natural gas, both domestic and imported, for feeding fertilizer, power, petrochemicals, steel, ceramics and other industries, as also for city gas distribution and transportation. Strangely, Tamil Nadu has been content to focus on the engineering industry,and has not bothered to appreciate the elegance, economy and efficiency of gas.

 

Lack of interest in natural gas...

Up to the 1980s, Tamil Nadu was a major producer of fertilizers through Neyveli Lignite Corporation (lignite- based), Madras Fertilizers and SPIC (naphtha based). When the feedstock shifted to gas in the late 1980s, Tamil Nadu failed to adapt and soon the industry turned sick. Today the state is heavily dependent on other states for meeting its requirements of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers.

    The lack of interest on the part of business leaders and policy makers in using gas and the neglect of major producers and marketers of gas like ONGC, GAIL and Petronet to  educate the public on the superior qualities of gas have led to sections of TN citizens opposing the laying of the gas pipeline.

It is not as if the state has been trying to lay pipelines for the transportation of liquid fuel only now. Years ago, major oil marketing companies had laid product pipelines connecting Karur with Kochi Refineries and Tiruchi, Madurai and Bengaluru with the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd. These have been laid through agricultural land and have been extremely elegant and economical in moving large volumes of petroleum products.

GAIL plans to connect the Kochi LNG Terminal with Bengaluru. This will serve the seven districts in

Tamil Nadu. Through spur lines, cities en route can be supplied with CNG for automobiles and PNG for domestic and commercial uses. Natural gas will also spur industrial development powering textile and forging units, ceramics, glass, food industries, as also power and fertilizer units.

The resistance by farmers needs to be tackled by the government more effectively. Though late, GAIL is now actively projecting the benefits of natural gas to industry associations like CII.

The Chairman, CII (SR) B Santhanam has been impressed and has suggested GAIL to project the benefits to a cluster of small industries and domestic users. But, far more important is the initiative of policymakers in Delhi to make a concerted effort to convince the state leadership.

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