• The news report Changes in PPP norms… road projects says several changes made to the old Model Concession Agreement (MCA) created uncertainty among private investors and developers,making the contracting process tardy.
The fact is MCA was discussed at great length by an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) under the chairmanship of the secretary,Department of Road Transport and Highways,in which the chairman and members of NHAI participated. The IMC also consulted other stakeholders such as investors and lenders. The document recommended by the IMC was approved by the Committee on Infrastructure at its meeting held on September 27,2005 under the chairmanship of the prime minister. Further,the Planning Commission has not given directions to any ministry or authority relating to changes in the said MCA.
Your report refers to the uncertainty arising out of the award of contracts in two parts two lanes to four-laning and a further award for four-laning to six-laning. It mentions an option given to the developer,creating confusion in capex,cash flow and rate of return calculations. Though the MCA allows NHAI to take up projects in two parts,NHAI has not exercised this option even in a single project. All NHAI projects are based on a single phase. Since no project has been offered in two parts,the alleged uncertainty could never have arisen.
Similarly,the contention that if the traffic for an awarded stretch in any year exceeds 20 per cent of the projected traffic,the entire excess amount is to be paid to NHAI,is not based on the provisions of the MCA.
Adviser to Deputy Chairman
Yojana Bhawan,New Delhi
• My thanks to Shekhar Gupta for saying what needed to be said on Sri Lanka. True,India didnt handle the LTTE right initially. But then,it woke up to the reality of the LTTE,and Rajiv Gandhi sent in the IPKF to end Sri Lankas bloody civil war.
Recently,Karunanidhi has said he would regret it if the LTTE supremo were killed. The same Karunanidhi had no such regrets when Rajiv Gandhi was killed. The Congress should be more firm in dealing with Tamil Nadu politicians with an eye to the polls.
M.K.D. Prasada Rao
• Shekhar Gupta has rightly observed that the LTTE deserves no leniency.
At a time when the LTTE has been crippled by the Sri Lankan army,New Delhi is rightly concerned about Tamil civilians. But it might not be right to demand a ceasefire till its all over. A ceaserfire will only let the LTTE off the hook. Guided by their vote-bank politics,politicians in Tamil Nadu have forgotten that Prabhakaran is responsible for killing one of Indias former prime ministers. Any sympathy for the LTTE is absolutely unacceptable.
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