Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the keynote speech at this year’s Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) last week where he promised that his country will help lead the global economic recovery after COVID-19. He emphasized that the very fact that this in-person meeting was taking place at all speaks to the gradual normalization of the international economy and life in general. The Russian leader also expressed optimism about the future of global economic growth this year and attributed it to the fiscal policies implemented by many countries’ Central Banks.
Nevertheless, President Putin warned about the problems of an uneven global economic recovery. He reminded everyone that the 16% of the world that lives in high-income countries is responsible for approximately 50% of COVID-19 vaccine production, which is why they’re recovering faster than developing countries which largely lack COVID-19 vaccine access, production capabilities, and even funds to purchase such treatments. The Russian leader lamented that some countries haven’t fulfilled their responsibility to help others, and he also condemned those states’ politicization of approving certain vaccines in a clear jab at the US.
Unlike those unnamed but clearly implied countries, he emphasized that Russia’s Sputnik V isn’t just registered in approximately 66 countries, but is also setting up production facilities in many of them in order to boost its partners’ capabilities. This, he believes, will accelerate their economic recovery and thus be in everyone’s interests. On the home front, President Putin elaborated on all the measures that his country has already taken to survive the economic crisis and thus successfully avoid a catastrophe. Looking ahead to the next couple of years, he then outlined Russia’s plans for ensuring high-quality growth and attracting more investment.
These include targeted and tailored solutions for each of its many regions across the world’s geographically largest country such as government-subsidized infrastructural loans, improved cooperation between the central and regional authorities, youth employment and entrepreneurship programs, responsible deregulation, affordable housing schemes like building upon the crisis-era mortgage program, continued support for small- and medium-sized business, and tax reform. His detailed articulation of each of these policies was intended to improve Russia’s attractiveness for foreign investors by highlighting its future competitiveness.
Speaking of which, President Putin devoted a considerable amount of the last third or so of his speech to Russia’s role in helping to resolve the global climate crisis. He reiterated its commitment to relevant pacts such as the Paris Agreement and expressed hope that all countries will work together to overcome this civilizational challenge without politicizing it for the purpose of withholding investment, trade, and technology flows. The Russian leader then described the potential consequences of uncontrollable climate change for his country’s Far North and Siberian regions in order to reassure everyone of how seriously Moscow takes these threats.
President Putin then proceeded to describe Russia’s promising role in the emerging market of carbon units. His country has colossal potential because of its vast size and the fact that it accounts for around a fifth of the world’s forests which can help absorb carbon emissions. By prioritizing reforestation, expanding natural reserves, and improving land rehabilitation, he hopes that Russia will become a global leader in this field. He then described the merits of this vision whereby more investment in green technology will result in improved land rehabilitation which in turn leads to higher-quality jobs and better living standards for all.
As a proof of concept, President Putin revealed that Russia is pioneering a combined AI and satellite system that will monitor CO2 emissions, water resources, and other such items of relevance in real time. The country even plans to unveil a carbon unit pilot project in its Far Eastern region of Sakhalin to test all of this out. For the world to truly benefit from this emerging market, however, President Putin said that there must be mutual recognition of a system for calculating carbon emissions, absorption, etc., to which end he ordered the Russian government to come up with a regulatory framework for this by July 2022.
All in all, President Putin’s keynote speech at this year’s SPIEF was remarkable because the in-person event represented the first such large-scale international economic one since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis early last year. It therefore shows that everything is eventually normalizing across the world but that much work still remains to be done, especially in ensuring an equitable global economic recovery and with respect to universal access to vaccines for all. The Russian leader also knows that the world must take advantage of this unique opportunity to optimize the global economy, hence the need to focus on the carbon unit market going forward.
COVID and OPPORTUNITY !
India is the ONLY Nation in the world,which HAS USED COVID as an OPPORTUNITY,to do an NMP,Privatise Ports,and raise GST and ED,on Fuels and Edible oils – for its fiscal management, which would have been UNTHINKABLE,IF COVID were not there !
THERE IS A NEW INDIAN ROPE TRICK ! IT IS CALLED NMP !
NMP is a privatisation and disinvestment,via an operating and/or financial lease.The purpose is NOT to raise funds – as else,the idle/surplus/loss making assets could have been quarantined, in a SPV and sold off,or a JV partner brought in.The purpose is NOT to improve efficiency,as else the assets could have been transferred to a toll operator on a pure O&M Contract (SO NO LEASE CHARGES),with a bonus for INCREMENTAL EFFICIENCY.
The Purpose of the NMP,is also NOT to cut staff costs,as the GOI is the owner of the asset,and so,the staff cost is a sunk cost – who will remain a burden on the GOI,or take a VRS,or hopefully die over the lease tenor.
The Purpose of the NMP,is NOT to increase bank credit,as banks would lend better to a SPV, which had ownership of the asset.W/o an asset, a bank will lend on Balance sheet and Guarantees of Promoters of the operating lessee – wherein THERE WILL NO MORTAGEABLE SECURITY.Banks cannot possess the GOI ASSET, if the lessee goes bust.Of Course,a new lessee can step in – but if the first lessor could not make a profit on the asset,the reasons for the losses,are beyond redemption.
The lessors will obviously make a neat profit (for the NON-MANUFACTURING AND NON PRODUCTION ASSETS – like Roads, Hydro,Bridges,Stadiums etc.,) with the aid of bank leverage, and on the expiry of the lease period,will buy the asset – after a ICB.By then,the banks would have assessed,tested and appraised the technical and managerial competency of the lessor – and so.the Banks and PEs etc.,will easily fund the acquisition.In the alternate the GOI could takeover over the property and land developments (to collect the rentals etc.or do another lease of the same) by the lessor (after the lease expiry) , and just hand over the core toll asset to a ICB Buyer.
The Manufacturing assets leased under the NMP,(like Thermal Power plants etc.) will become junk in 20 years and also technically obsolete,and so the GOI will have no use in its repossession – except to set up a refurbished plant and sell of the surplus land.In 20 years,the land used for the same manufacturing capacity will fall by at least 50%,and so that surplus land will be windfall to the GOI,and the GOI will be glad to let the lessor acquire the plant and take a bank loan to refurbish it.
The 1st Purpose of the NMP,is to SELL the asset BUT BY NOT CALLING IT A SALE – in law.If they had sold the asset,they would receive a MUGH HIGHER Valuation – but that has a huge POLITICAL COST and the CONTINGENCIES OF TIME.
The 2nd Purpose of the NMP,is to MONETISE THE LAND associated with the asset,w/o SELLING THE LAND,and outsourcing this SCAM,to a private person,so that the GOI is free of the taint and scams in the land monetisation.For example, in a toll road,the jackpot will come in the property development/promotion/adverisement/drive in theatres/malls etc.,on the land on the ROW of the Road,and other areas.If the GOI does it,there will be scams – and so,it is outsourced to the private party – who will make a killing,as his tenor is 25 years,and the GOI is getting a Pay down on Day 1 (with no comparable benchmark).The same applies to GOI stadiums,libraries,buildings,Railway stations…………………The core driver of the monetisation streams is the LAND (even for ports).
The 3rd Purpose of the NMP,is to provide a risk free lending option to Indian Banks,as the Banks are lending to the GOI,VIA THE OPERATING LEASE LESSOR (as the bank will fund a part of the lease payment to the state).If the lessee defaults,some other lessor will step in.
The 4th Purpose of the NMP,is to provide an option to the banks to BLOAT the Bank Balance Sheet,TO REDUCE THE NPA %
The 5th Purpose of the NMP is to circulate credit across the supply chain of these revived moribund assets – in the hope that some money flows to the NPA entities – so that they repay the loans.
The 6th Purpose of the NMP,is to boost the fiscal revenues of the GOI,as new business streams will be created across the supply chain – but more importantly,the leased assets were with the GOI,in non taxable units or loss making units.Now with these assets in a lessee entity – the lessee will run the assets to make a profit – and that will be taxed,w/o any tax shelters,as the assets were constructed some time ago.
The 7th Purpose of the NMP is to use 5% of the Cash raised to do a VRS and kick out all the GOI staff on the leased assets – with an option to them,to ne hired by the lessee.
If this Titanic sails,then next will be the surplus Military and CAPF land – which will be worth USD 100 Billion at the minimum
In essence,a road or a port,post operations,can be run better by a private lessee ONLY BY CUTTING COSTS AND IMPROVING OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCIES.But this incremental PROFIT by the lessee cannot JUSTIFY the NMP UPFRONT PREMIUM.The PREMIUM IS justified ONLY by UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF THE LAND COMMERCIALISATION AND PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT OF THE LAND AND PROPERTY USP, EMBEDDED IN THE GOI ASSET.
The GOI may be able to Unlock the embedded land value,on its own – but that will come with scams – and so,it is OUTSOURCED -wherein the netas will pull all the strings – but the axe will fall on the lessee.
Indian Duds do not realise that GOI does not care for GOI jobs,or Quotas in Jobs.There is no money for these fantasies.That India died with the Chaiwala as PM.dindooohindoo