The third edition of the Essar Steel National Infrastructure Conclave, organized in association with CNBC E18, was held in Mumbai on April 27, 2012.
The National Infrastructure Conclave is an Essar Steel initiative that aims at bringing together various Indian stakeholders, such as industry leaders, decision makers from leading financial institutions and key bureaucrats to have an open dialogue and explore various possibilities for smoother implementation of infrastructure projects in the country.
The Essar Steel National Infrastructure Conclave 2012 brought together over 100 participants, the majority of whom comprised senior management – CEOs, MDs, CFOs and VPs. The conclave was an affirmation of Essar Steel's commitment to contribute to India's infrastructure growth story.
The speakers at the inaugural session were: Dilip Oommen, MD & CEO, Essar Steel; TKA Nair, Advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Government of India; K Venkataramanan, CEO & MD, Larsen & Toubro. Deliberating on the growth of infrastructure in India and the challenges faced by the sector, the speakers discussed the impediments to successful implementation of projects, policy regulations governing the infrastructure sector, and need for changes at the policy and execution levels.
"Infrastructure separates the developed from the developing nations. It silently boosts the GDP growth of the nation. The Indian government has earmarked $1 trillion in the 12th Five-Year Plan for infrastructure," said MR Oomen at the event. "Modern rail transport systems, deep-draught ports, efficient power plants, new airports, sea links all need to be done at a fast pace, with innovative methods of construction.
The conclave comprised 4 sessions:
Urban Infrastructure: Accelerated growth of urban infrastructure
The panelists: JR Tanti, MD, Synefra Engg. & Construction; Rohit Modi, Deputy MD, Gammon India; Ramesh Nair, MD (West India), Jones Lang LaSalle
The panel discussed economy growth that has accelerated in the last few years and shared their views on the overall rampant growth in the urban infrastructure sector. They highlighted that increasing infrastructure is important, but it's also imperative that quality standards be maintained. Issues such as design of the urban infrastructure landscape and the technology used for creating infrastructure were also addressed.
Ports: Augmenting Infrastructure for India to emerge as a premier seaport destination
The panelists: L Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust; Umesh Grover, Group Executive Director, SKIL Infrastructure; Vishal Kalantri, Director, Dighi Port.
The panel discussed the regulatory and institutional environment of the Indian port sector which is currently undergoing changes with new laws and policy measures being formulated. Views were exchanged on the immense growth witnessed in the port sector with revamping and expansion of existing ports as well as with emergence of new private and public ports. Issues such as land acquisition, innovation in design and construction, and the increased focus on container terminal management, were also discussed.
Oil & Gas: Changing dynamics in oil and gas sector in India
The panellists: SC Gupta, CEO (Offshore Division), ABG Shipyard; Sunjoy Joshi, Director, Observer Research Foundation; U Dasgupta, Senior VP (Upstream – Oil & Gas Business), Larsen & Toubro.
The panel discussed the overall growth and opportunities in this sector, learnings, and models for successful implementation of the projects. As the sector is poised to grow in line with the growth of the economy, the panel highlighted the impediments and bottlenecks, for financiers and developers, in this sector. They addressed the impact of national-level policy interventions such as petroleum price deregulation and introduction of the Indian direct tax code.
Energy & Power: Growth of Energy and Power Sector in India
The panellists: Dr Pramod Deo, Chairperson and Chief Executive, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission; Sunand Sharma, Country President, Alstom India & South-Asia; Chintan Shah, Head – Strategic Business Development, Suzlon Energy.
The sector has tremendous potential for attracting investment based on sheer size of market and returns available on invested capital. The panel discussed the overall power and energy sector and focused on critical challenges such as addition of more capacity, environmental concerns, issues related to acquisition of land and achieving financial closure. They highlighted the growth in the sector which has been augmented by introduction of new technologies, emphasis on generation and transmission planning, and improved design and engineering.The Q&A round with the audience at the end of each session gave the impetus for open, thought-provoking and interactive discussions on the way forward for infrastructure development in India.