Infrastructure Finance Secretariat, DEA organises workshop to sensitise empaneled Transaction Advisers (TAs) for Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects


The Infrastructure Finance Secretariat in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance today organised a workshop to sensitize the empaneled transaction advisers for PPP projects which was attended by representatives of 12 empaneled Transaction Advisers (TAs) for Public Private Partnership (PPP) Projects.


The empanelment of TAs aims to provide quality advisory support to Project Sponsoring Authorities (PSAs) in transaction of PPP projects. The empanelment will help to make the process of appointment of transaction advisors/consultant seamless and efficient.


During the workshop, the Transaction Advisers were sensitized with the manual developed by the DEA for the use of the panel which is a step by step guide that can be referred by the PSAs to on-board a transaction adviser for structuring their PPP projects. The manual details out the steps for establishing project requirements; defining objectives of the assignment, developing terms of reference for the assignment, defining eligibility criteria, identifying key personnel for executing the project, publishing RfP etc. The PSAs can use the pre-defined templates and criteria’s for selecting the TAs or can tweak the same as per the requirement specific to the project.  


The Transaction Advisers were also sensitized regarding DEA schemes for financial support to PPPs which inter alia include Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Scheme to support economically justified but commercially unviable projects, and the India Infrastructure Project Development Fund (IIPDF) to fund PPP project development expenses including costs of engaging TAs. Further, TAs were also informed about PPP project appraisal mechanisms at the DEA.


The TAs were sensitized about their support required in areas of awareness creation of DEA schemes, providing desired levels of handholding support in document preparation, data sharing and other interventions required to bridge the gap between the stakeholders involved in PPP projects.




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Blockchain & Infrastructure Post-Event Release

In August of 2021, the US Senate approved a $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill, as part of the $3.5 Trillion Budget Bill. Language in this bill suggested that $28 Billion in funding would come from enforcing tax-reporting requirements on cryptocurrency brokers. In response, the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) (www.gbaglobal.org) partnered with a coalition of blockchain associations to present Blockchain & Infrastructure (https://bit.ly/3nsa1GP), a two-day hybrid event coupling an educational seminar with a networking reception.
Aimed at educating government policymakers, Blockchain & Infrastructure addressed the impact of cryptocurrency adoption on government, along with other financial trends that are outpacing regulatory understanding. Renowned leaders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, such as Dr. Scott Stornetta, one of the founders of blockchain technology, and Charles Hoskinson, the Founder of Cardano and one of the original creators of Ethereum, brought their insights to the current landscape.

Streamed to over 11,000 individual IP addresses, Blockchain & Infrastructure aimed at educating governments on this movement, and those who wished to learn tuned in.

The live event, stepping into the remains of a COVID world, was attended by over 200 guests, braving pandemic uncertainties. Culminating in an evening reception at the Whittemore House, Ambassadors, a crypto billionaire, blockchain leaders, and government policymakers continued their discussions. In this beautiful and historic mansion, deals were made, affecting the trajectory and infrastructure of the blockchain future.

As blockchain technology continues to impact all systems, the Government Blockchain Association (GBA), will provide high content events to help the public and private sectors connect, communicate, and collaborate. Join the GBA community in January 2022 for The Future of Money, Governance, & the Law; live in Washington DC (https://bit.ly/3Gh7OXu), and streamed globally.


Topic: Press release summary

Outrageous: Infrastructure Costs Increasing $2.3 Billion in a Crisis

 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned that planned increases in charges by airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) will stall recovery in air travel and damage international connectivity.

Confirmed airport and ANSP charges increases have already reached $2.3 billion. Further increases could be ten fold this number if proposals already tabled by airports and ANSPs are granted.

“A $2.3 billion charges increase during this crisis is outrageous. We all want to put COVID-19 behind us. But placing the financial burden of a crisis of apocalyptic proportions on the backs of your customers, just because you can, is a commercial strategy that only a monopoly could dream up. At an absolute minimum, cost reduction—not charges increases—must be top of the agenda for every airport and ANSP. It is for their customer airlines,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

A case in point is found among European air navigation service providers. Collectively, ANSPs of the 29 Eurocontrol states, the majority of which are state owned, are looking to recoup almost $9.3 billion (€8 billion) from airlines to cover revenues not realized in 2020/2021.They want to do this to recover the revenue and profits they missed when airlines were unable to fly during the pandemic. Moreover, they want to do this in addition to a 40% increase planned for 2022 alone.

Other examples include: 

  • Heathrow Airport pushing to increase charges by over 90% in 2022
  • Amsterdam Schiphol Airport requesting to increase charges by over 40% over the next three years
  • Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) asking to increase charges by 38% in 2022
  • NavCanada increasing charges by 30% over five years
  • Ethiopian ANSP raising charges by 35% in 2021

“Today I am ringing the alarm. This must stop if the industry is to have a fair opportunity at recovery.   Infrastructure shareholders, governmental or private, have benefited from stable returns pre-crisis. They must now play their part in the recovery. It is unacceptable behavior to benefit from your customers during good times and stick it to them in bad times. Doing so has broad implications. Air transport is critical to support economic recovery post pandemic. We should not compromise the recovery with the irresponsibility and greed of some of our partners who have not addressed costs or tapped their shareholders for support,” said Walsh.

Some regulators have already understood the danger being posed by the behavior of infrastructure providers. Regulators in India and Spain successfully intervened on the increases proposed by airports. They provide an example for other regulators to follow. And the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission[1] warned in their recently published report that increasing charges to recover lost profits from the pandemic will demonstrate airports systematically taking advantage of their market power, damaging the vulnerable airline sector’s ability to recover at the expense of both consumers and the economy.

Airlines undertook drastic cost cutting from the outset of the pandemic, reducing operating costs by 35% compared to pre-crisis levels. This was supported by increased commercial borrowing and shareholder contributions. Airlines also sought government aid, the majority of which was in the form of loans that need to be paid back. Of the $243 billion that was made available to airlines, $81 billion supported payrolls and approximately $110 billion was in support that needs to be paid back. As a result, airlines have amassed a huge debt burden of over $650 billion. Any defaults could result in airline failures and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

IATA urged airports and ANSPs to apply solutions to address the financial impact of the pandemic including:

  • Implementing sustainable cost control measures
  • Tapping shareholders
  • Accessing capital markets
  • Seeking government aid

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Footnotes: 

1. COVID restrictions bring domestic airline industry to a standstill

Notes 

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic.
  • You can follow us at twitter.com/iata for announcements, policy positions, and other useful industry information.
  • COVID-19 media kit
  • Travel Pass news & media kit

Details of options available to infrastructure providers:

  • Implementing sustainable cost control measures – Airports and ANSPs need to follow best-practice examples, adjusting infrastructure to actual traffic volumes, increasing efficiency in the utilization of existing infrastructure before considering new investments, and continuing to implement cost cutting measures beyond 2021. Forecasted costs for 2022 across many providers are already close to or exceeding pre-COVID levels while traffic is still 39% below.
  • Tapping shareholders – . Airports and ANSPs receive a good return on capital in ‘normal’ times which is reason enough for shareholders to step-in and provide support during the pandemic. Just six of the largest European airports distributed dividends of $12 billion over five years up to 2019. This alone amounts to more than the full revenue losses these providers will have incurred during the pandemic.
  • Accessing capital markets – Airports and ANSPs continue to be recognized as safe investments and have ready access to commercial debt facilities and capital markets as seen in recent bonds issued. The threat of a systematic financing gap leading to an investment crunch or inability to fund green investments does not exist.
  • Seeking government aid – Various providers have been successful in securing government funds to support liquidity and business operations, while in contrast some providers have publicly stated their opposition to reaching out for government aid (while still planning to increase charges to airlines and their passengers). Making full use of government aid and available employment support schemes should be a priority for all providers.

Protecting Our Nation’s Vital Infrastructure at Defense Strategies Institute’s Critical Infrastructure Security Summit

 Defense Strategies Institute is proud to announce the Critical Infrastructure Security Summit, occurring this September 22-23 in National Harbor, MD. This year’s Summit will convene senior leaders in a discussion on how we prevent and mitigate attacks against our critical infrastructure to ensure that the US people can continue their way of life, highlighting this year’s theme “Safeguarding US Infrastructure Against Cyber and Physical Attacks, threats, and Intrusions.”

As recent attacks on US interests have shown, the critical infrastructure that keeps our nation’s economy and military running are more interconnected and vulnerable than ever to cyber-attacks from outside actors as well as a number of other man-made and natural threats. This summit will bring together experts from the Government, Private Sector, and Academia to discuss how we can better detect, deter, protect against, and respond to these actors and actions, and how the private sector can help foster a more secure cyberspace.

The 2021 Infrastructure Security Summit will feature senior-level speakers including:

– Dr. David Mussington, Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security, CISA

– Rich Chavez, Director of the Office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response, U.S. Department of Transportation

– COL Jeffrey Erickson, USA, Director, Army Cyber Institute

– Jim McCarthy, Senior Security Engineer, National Cyber Center of Excellence, NIST

Topics to be covered at the Summit Include:

– Defending the Nation’s Critical Facilities from Cyber Threats and Actions

– Delivering Engineering Solutions to Secure our Nation’s Infrastructure and Energize our Economy

– Strengthening our Nation’s Ability to Withstand and Respond to Cyber Attacks

– Ensuring US Transportation Systems Remain Safe and Open for the Free movement of people and Goods

– Protecting the Nation’s Supply Chain Infrastructure from Critical Disruptions

– Developing the Critical Capabilities needed to respond to Cyber Attacks on US Cities

– Securing US Energy Production Capacity from Cyber and Physical Intrusions

– And more.

DSI is now welcoming Sponsors and Exhibitors for the forum. To learn more please contact Luis Hernandez at lhernandez@dsigroup.org, 201-918-3478.

In order to allow for actionable discussion and dialogue amongst speaker and attendees, seating will be limited. Register now to reserve your seat. Active military and government and state personnel attend complimentary. Those interested in participating in the Critical Infrastructure Security Summit can visit Defense Strategies Institute’s website at http://infrastructure.dsigroup.org/.

Anyone interested in learning more or sending questions contact Erica Noreika at enoreika@dsigroup.org, 201-896-7802.

Defense Strategies Institute

Erica Noreika

201-672-8745

https://infrastructure.dsigroup.org/

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Web-App for Infrastructure Professionals and Students Launching Today

REINS© announced the launch today of its innovative Question-and-Answer web app for the Architecture, Civil Engineering, Construction and Planning (AECP) disciplines. The app provides a platform for AECP professionals to ask questions of each other and college students to receive advice, support and insight from industry experts.

REINS founder and CEO, Ameera Sayeed, AICP, says her over 20 years experience in the infrastructure industry showed her that lack of communication between experts of different industries led to higher costs and inefficiencies.

“Each discipline works in its silo, and doesn’t communicate with the other. If an architect has an engineering question, or a construction manager has a transportation question, they don’t have anyone to turn to. REINS is designed for them to be able to ask qualified experts any questions they may have, anonymously and with full confidence in the credibility of the source,” says Sayeed.

The REINS App is designed to allow students and practitioners in the infrastructure fields to ask questions of experts in their own industry, furthering their career and skills-based knowledge.

REINS© offers the app for free and without subscription. Full details the web app can be found at https://reinsapp.com