Archive for May 7th, 2008

RBI releases database on Indian Banks 1979-2007

May 7, 2008

RBI has released an exhaustive database on Indian Banks with a time series of 28 years. The press release is here. The data is also given in an excel file. It could be used for analysis of the banking sector.

Mumbai Metro- in a mess

May 7, 2008

How messy things can be in infrastructure can be seen from the ongoing Mumbai metro rail project. (See Wikipedia link as well).

The project is to be done in 3 phases and with each phase linking certain places. In all there are going to be 9 such links:

Phase I (2006 – 2011)
Versova – Andheri – Ghatkopar  – 11.07 Km
Colaba – Bandra – Charkop – 38.24 Km 
Bandra – Kurla – Mankhurd – 13.37 Km
Total – 62.68 Km
Phase II (2011 – 2016)  
Charkop – Dahisar  – 7.5 Km
Ghatkopar – Mulund – 12.4 Km
Phase III ( 2016 – 2021) 
BKC – Kanjur Marg via Airport  – 19.5 Km
Andheri(E) – Dahisar(E) – 18 Km
Hutatma Chowk – Ghatkopar – 21.8 Km
Sewri – Prabhadevi – 3.5 Km  

The Total Length is 146.5 km  and is estimated to cost around Rs 19,525 Cr .

The first line linking Versova – Andheri – Ghatkopar has been done under a PPP agreement called Mumbai Metro One which is a Joint Venture Company formed by Reliance Energy Limited, a Reliance ADA Group Company, Veolia Transport, France and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). ThisBusiness Standard news tells me that this first line might get funded under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) to meet the funding gap. It was expected that remaining 8 lines would also be developed under similar lines.

But not anymore. There is another development and now Maharashtra government has set up the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), a separate body that would develop remaining eight metro rail corridors in Mumbai. And moreover an ET report says state will develop these 8 lines all by itself via MMRC and will not do any PPP.  The model has been adopted on lines of Delhi Metro which has made Delhi a much better city.

I hope they stick to this model and there are no changes. It has already been delayed quite a bit. Mumbai needs an alternative mode of public transport badly.

Going Beyond Greek letters

May 7, 2008

My new article in Mint summarises most of what I have been saying all along- finance is important, but the practices are making it too dangerous and complex.

Assorted Links

May 7, 2008

1. WSJ Blog points to Fedspeak, there is still strong demand for dollar

2. Nudges points to defaults being used to increase car rental charges

3. Menzie Chinn of Econbrowser summarises a seminar on current account balances

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