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14.30 GW RE Capacity added during last two and half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power
Nov 21,2016

A capacity addition of 14.30 GW of renewable energy has been reported during the last two and half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power, which include 5.8 GW from Solar Power, 7.04 GW from Wind Power, 0.53 from Small Hydro Power and 0.93 from Bio-power.   NITI Aayog presented the achievement of the various infrastructure Ministries including Ministry of New & Renewable Energy before the Prime Minister on 22nd August 2016. The progress and overall achievement made under Wind Power, Solar Power, Solar Roof Top, Solar power capacity tendered, state policies etc were satisfactory.

The target set for the various renewable energy sources for the next three years are:

            Source

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

Solar Power

12,000

15,000

16,000

Wind

4000

4600

5200

Biomass

500

750

850

SHP

225

100

100

Grand Total

16725

20450

22150

To achieve the targets, various initiatives have been taken by the Government which interalia include:

amendments in the Tariff Policy for strong enforcement of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) and for providing Renewable Generation     Obligation (RGO); setting up of exclusive solar parks; development of power transmission network through Green Energy Corridor project; identification of large government complexes/ buildings for rooftop projects; provision of roof top solar and 10 percent renewable energy as mandatory under Mission Statement and Guidelines for development of smart cities; amendments in building bye-laws for mandatory provision of roof top solar for new construction or higher FAR; infrastructure status for solar projects; raising tax free solar bonds; making roof top solar a part of housing loan by banks/NHB; incorporating measures in Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for encouraging distribution companies and making net-metering compulsory raising funds from bilateral and international donors as also from the Green Climate Fund to achieve the target. and creation of Surya Mitras for installation and maintenance of the Solar Projects.

In coming years, Ministry is going to focus on : conducive policies for promotion of Grid Interactive Renewable Power so as to reach 175 GW by 2022, Low cost Financing with long tenure for Renewable Energy technologies and Projects, creation of transmission infrastructure for evacuation of Renewable Power, focus on promoting indigenous technologies, technological innovation and research& development in the renewable sector and creation of qualified and skilled man power.

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ESIC Approves the Enhancement of Wage Ceiling from Present Rs. 15,000 per Month to Rs. 21,000
Nov 21,2016

The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has approved the enhancement of wage ceiling from present Rs. 15,000 per month to Rs. 21,000/-. The draft Rules calling for objections has been published in Gazette of India on 06.10.2016. This enhancement of wage ceiling shall bring more employees under ESIC coverage. In addition, the decision has also been taken to ensure coverage of the Scheme in all districts of the Country.

The ESIC in its meeting dated 07/08/2015 has decided to bear the expenses on super specialty treatment over and above the expenditure of state government.

The ESIC in its 166th Corporation meetings held on 07.08.2015 has decided to consider eligibility of pre existing diseases i.e. for malignancy & dialysis as prospective w.e.f. 30 August 2016.

Further, ESIC has revised eligibility for Super Specialty including the children of Insured Persons with congenital diseases & genetic disorders.

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State/UT-wise number of beneficiaries of ESIC increased by 5% in 2015-16 over the same period in 2014-15
Nov 21,2016

The State/UTs-wise number of beneficiaries of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) increased by 5% in 2015-16 over the same period in 2014-2015. The number of beneficiaries of ESIC during the years 2013-14, 2014-2015 & 2015-2016 is given below in table.

For the organised sector, the ESIC has decided to fully cover 393 partially implemented districts. It has also decided to extend the coverage to remaining non-implemented districts by 31.03.2017. As regards, un-organised sector, the ESIC has already launched/approved two separate schemes to provide medical facilities to selected category of self-employed workers like Auto-rickshaw drivers and Domestic workers and their family members on pilot basis at Delhi & Hyderabad. A Committee, under the chairpersonship of Secretary (Labour & Employment) has also been set up to bring various Scheme workers like Anganwadi, ASHA and Mid-day Meal workers under Social Security net through ESIC/EPFO.

For extending the coverage, the survey has already been started and final estimates are not available.

The ESIC has decided to upgrade its dispensaries into six bedded hospitals in a phased manner. For Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, approval is already given as per details below in table.

Total no. of beneficiaries for the year 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16S.No.State/U.T2013-142014-152015-161Andhra Pradesh6135716

 

6387994

 

24436632Telangana44708083Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura4724685362946177354Bihar4590435072325572075Chandigarh U.T.3832284008044242396Chhattisgarh972794105408010547787Delhi4766347459609249687678Goa6200246427616618509Gujarat34932803752076399674910Haryana56455166080309650684011H.P.83055388611491311912J & K31210734213836068513Jharkhand95242495176497244414Karnataka83240748636919925705915Kerala29593153007000299617516Madhya Pradesh18800921985124212158417Maharashtra90999199125216931312518Odisha13677391467688155037019Puducherry39370438563339288920Punjab31509093116803312118821Rajasthan26467032890173306442422Tamil-Nadu10220036109088521135687623Uttar Pradesh46926275063982512229824Uttrakhand14054141458143160837625West Bengal466073447535825030847Total758447667893677382884095

 

 

Sl. No.

Name of DispensaryState/UT1ESIC Dispensary, Factory Road, Sarojini NagarDelhi2ESIC Dispensary, DwarkaDelhi3ESIC Dispensary, MangolpuriDelhi4ESIC Dispensary, Nand NagariDelhi5ESIC Dispensary, JwalapuriDelhi6ESI Dispensary, Nawabganj, Kanpur

According to the estimates of the year 2015-16 there was about Rs. 1 lakh crore value fish production in the country: Shri Radha Mohan Singh
Nov 21,2016

The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that due to rapid increase in fisheries and aquaculture, the income of fish farmers and farmers is constantly increasing and in the coming days it will benefit fish farmers and farmers at a large scale.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that development of the livestock is the best strategy for doubling the farmers income. Due to this reason the budget for 2016-17 for this department is kept at Rs. 1700 crore, which is 21 % higher than the last year budget. The Union Minister said that it is the matter of pride that this year more than 72 % of the budget has been released for the development of the states, which has never happened in the past. Shri Singh said that now, it is the responsibility of the states to spend it properly and should not do fund parking.

The Union Minister said that fish farming will have three benefits firstly, increase in the farmers income secondly, there will be progress in the countrys export and GDP and thirdly it will ensure nutritional and food security in the country.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh told that from last six months, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fishery is formulating many new schemes by its strenuous efforts. The department has launched n++Rashtriya Gokul Missionn++ for the breed improvement of indigenous cows and for cattle, goats and sheep higher breed development; it has launched n++National Livestock Missionn++. Shri Singh explained that for the year 2014-15, production of milk was Rs. 4.92 lakh crore which was more than 37% from paddy and wheat combined. Accordingly to the estimate for the year 2015-16, there was about Rs. 1 lakh crore value fisheries production within the country.

The Union Minister said that in fish production, India is constantly at the second position after China. Fisheries are a big sector in the country and around 150 lakh people are engaged in fisheries business. India has first place in the world in the area of shrimp fish and it is the largest exporter of shrimp fish. Shri said that taking all fisheries production together, there was estimated 10.8 million tones fish production in the country in year 2015-16, which is around 6.4 per cent of total fish production of the world. India is the second largest country in the world to produce fish from aquaculture (42.10 lakh tones). It contributes about 6.3 percent in global aquaculture. From the last decade, where the average annual growth rate of export of fish and fisheries production in the world remaining 7.5 per cent, Indian remain at the first place with an average annual growth rate of 14.8 per cent in the export of fisheries product.

Shri Singh said in the last two and half years, his government has constantly made new schemes in the interests of fisheries sector and farmers and has implemented them successfully throughout the country. Agriculture Minister said that success of fisheries is also a result of constant efforts of the government. World Fisheries Day is also being organized from the last two years after the formation of the government. The Minister said that Honble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has given the slogan and vision for the complete development of India-to double the income of the farmers. To achieve this target, government has laid emphasis on the development of the fisheries and its target is to double the income of the fishers, fishermen and farmers by 2022 through aquaculture and marine fisheries.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh told that with a fish production of 72.1 lakh tones from the Indian fisheries, India has second place in the world. India can achieve about 8 per cent growth rate in Indian fishery. The Minister said that looking at the large potential in the development of the fisheries, Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has called for n++Blue Revolutionn++ in the field of fisheries. Thereafter, ministry has merged all the existing schemes and started a Rs. 3000 crore umbrella scheme n++Blue Revolution; Integrated Development and Management of Fisheriesn++. This scheme includes in land fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries comprising of deep sea fishing, mariculture and all the activities of national fisheries development board (NFDB).

Shri Singh informed that Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has prepared a National Fisheries Action Plan 2020 (NFAP) for the next five years to increase fish production and productivity and to achieve the target of blue revolution. In this Action Plan all the different fisheries resources of the country like ponds and tanks, wetlands, brackish water, cold water, lakes reservoirs, rivers and canals and marine sectors are included. All the states / UTs have been requested to prepare State Action Plan (SAP) for the next five years to achieve the objective of blue revolution according to NFAP 2020. The Minister said the aim of Blue Revolution scheme is to increase the fish production and productivity by 8 per cent annual growth rate and to reach 15 million tones mark by 2020. Efforts are being made to bring a n++National inland fisheries Policyn++ along with new n++National Marine Fisheries Policyn++, which will decide an overall and integrated growth frame work in the area of inland fisheries throughout the country.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that around 26.869 hectares area has been developed for the aquaculture which has benefited 63,372 fishermen. He said that during the last two years, under fishermen welfare, construction of 9,603 fishermen houses have been assisted whereas 20,705 fishermen have been trained and around 50 lakh fishermen have been provided with annual insurance assistance.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fishery, Shri Devendra Chaudhry and other officers of various Ministries and Departments were also present on the occasion

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To support farmers for current Rabi crop, Govt has decided to allow farmers to purchase seeds with old denomination of Rs.500 from the Centres
Nov 21,2016

In order to further support farmers for the current Rabi crop, the Government has decided to allow farmers to purchase seeds with the old high denomination bank notes of Rs.500 from the Centres, Units or Outlets belonging to the Central or State Governments, Public Sector Undertakings, National or State Seeds Corporations, Central or State Agricultural Universities and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), on production of proof of identity.

This is in addition to the decision taken earlier for making cash available with the farmers by permitting them to draw up to Rs.25,000 per week from their KYC compliant accounts subject to the normal loan limits and conditions apart from the other facilities announced on 17 November 2016.

The Government is committed to ensure that the farmers are suitably facilitated during the Rabi season.

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Mineral Production during September 2016 was 3.1% lower as compared to September 2015
Nov 21,2016

The index of mineral production of mining and quarrying sector for the month of September (new Series 2004-05=100) 2016 at 115.6, was 3.1% lower as compared to September 2015. The cumulative growth for the period April- September 2016-17 over the corresponding period of previous year has been 0.0 percent.

The total value of mineral production (excluding atomic & minor minerals) in the country during September 2016 was Rs. 16997 crore. The contribution of Coal was the highest at Rs. 6076 crore (36%). Next in the order of importance were: Petroleum (crude) Rs. 5302 crore, Natural gas (utilized) Rs. 2068 crore, Iron ore Rs. 1457 crore, Lignite Rs.718 crore and Limestone Rs. 535 crore. These six minerals together contributed about 95% of the total value of mineral production in September 2016.

Production level of important minerals in September 2016 were: Coal 424 lakh tonnes, Lignite 39 lakh tonnes, Natural gas (utilized) 2500 million cu. m., Petroleum (crude) 29 lakh tonnes, Bauxite 1707 thousand tonnes, Chromite 164 thousand tonnes, Copper conc. 11 thousand tonnes, Gold 159 kg., Iron ore 130 lakh tonnes, Lead conc. 20 thousand tonnes, Manganese ore 162 thousand tonnes, Zinc conc. 126 thousand tonnes, Apatite & Phosphorite 38 thousand tonnes, Limestone 245 lakh tonnes, Magnesite 26 thousand tonnes and Diamond 2725 carat.

The production of important minerals showing positive growth during September 2016 over September 2015 include Gold (54.4%), Chromite (25.7%), Lignite ( 21.8%), Iron ore (13.4%) Magnesite (11.8%) Manganese ore (5.8%) and Limestone (3.5%). The production of other important minerals showing negative growth are: Apatite & Phosphorite [(-) 77.9%], Bauxite [(-) 24.5 %], Lead conc. [(-) 12.0%], Diamond [(-) 9.5%], Zinc conc. [(-) 8.4%], Copper conc. [(-) 7.5%], Coal [(-) 5.9%], Natural gas (utilized) [(-) 5.6%], and Petroleum (crude) [(-) 4.1%].

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Cash crunch fall-out: Non-bank payment players to witness huge growth, says ASSOCHAM Paper
Nov 21,2016

One of the immediate fall outs of the demonitisation of high value notes would be a mushrooming growth in the number of non-bank players like Paytm and Free charge into the payment business, as more and more retailers in the goods and service value chain would be compelled to shift to non-cash modes for customer transactions, an ASSOCHAM Paper has said.

These players engaged into the business known as the pre-paid payment instruments (PPI) work as mobile and digital wallets. While as many as 45 PPI players have started offering services, it is only a handful of operators which have been aggressively ramping up and marketing their operations.

n++However, the demonitisation has come about as a big opportunity for them. It is not only during this immediate cash crisis period that the PPIs would see a huge growth, but going forward also, the system would penetrate into the very small kirana stores as well; it would not be a surprise if well-run road side dhabas also start accepting bills through mobile wallet players,n++ said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.

Offering the stored value service to the customers, the non-bank PPI issuers are allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to enable transactions for purchase of goods and services besides remitting payments out of the mobile wallets. The wallet-to-wallet transactions would also see a big growth.

n++Given the thrust being given by the government to move towards the less-cash economy, the private sector PPIs is expected to invest lot more in product innovation and expand the reach through roping in both the customers and the merchants. Needless to say, at the merchants level a lot of sensitization, training and cyber security would be required,n++ the chamber said.

These players are using the increasing mobile density to offer the services through the hand set. Besides, the PPIs, other electronic transactions and services devices would be offered aggressively even by the banks, who are presently bearing the brunt of cash swapping, it said.

The banks would offer on an enhanced scale mobile banking services through SMS, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) and applications (Apps). Presently, according to RBI data, as many as 67 banks are offering mobile services to 120 million customers. n++This number is going to grow significantly,n++ the ASSOCHAM said.

With the launch of Unified Payments Interface (UPI customers can provide only a registered virtual address instead of details of bank accounts for making/receiving payments n++However, the banks must use the App based UPI more aggressively as it can really be a game changer,n++ Mr Rawat said.

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PM Launches n++Housing for Alln++ in Rural Areas
Nov 21,2016

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi formally launched n++Housing for Alln++ in rural areas under which the Government proposes to provide an environmentally safe and secure pucca house to every rural household by 2022. Named the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin), in its first phase the target is to complete one crore houses by March 2019. The unit cost for these houses has been significantly increased and now through convergence a minimum support of nearly Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 1.6 lakh to a household is available. There is also a provision of Bank loan upto Rs. 70,000/-, if the beneficiary so desires. The selection of beneficiaries has been through a completely transparent process using the Socio Economic Census 2011 data and validating it through the Gram Sabha.

PMAY-G is a major step forward in bringing together Skill India, Digital India, Make In India, IT/DBT Aadhaar platform and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). The programme provides for skilling 5 lakh Rural Masons by 2019 and allows over 200 different housing designs across the country based on a detailed study of housing typologies, environmental hazards and the households requirements. A large scale use of local materials is envisaged along with a complete home with cooking space, electricity provision, LPG, toilet and bathing area, drinking water etc through convergence. The programme targets the poor households and uses ICT and space technology to further confirm correct selection of beneficiaries and progress of work. The entire payments are through IT/DBT mode with Aadhaar linked Bank accounts with consent, to ensure complete transparency and accountability. There is a provision for orientation of beneficiaries. A 45 days on site hands-on skill training of Rural Masons helps poor households to move up the skilling ladder.

The PM saw over 40 of the over 200 building designs and interacted with newly trained Rural Masons and beneficiaries which were showcased near dais. He also distributed Sanction Certificates to a few beneficiaries from Agra District.

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FM: To ensure future increases in agriculture output and farmers income by 2022, focus should be on higher agriculture productivity
Nov 19,2016

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that in order to ensure future increases in agriculture output and double the farmers income by 2022, focus should be on higher agriculture productivity especially in view of the limitation on expanding crop area,. The Finance Minister said it is possible by leveraging technology-especially for high yielding and resistant variety seeds and efficient utilization of water for irrigation, adapt latest IT to increase resilience to nature by phasing sowing, watering and harvesting among others. He said that in order to increase the price benefits to the farmers, it is necessary that the farmers are provided timely market information and developing software applications, both computer and mobile based, that link farmers to consumers. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking at his First Pre -Budget Consultative Meeting with the representatives of Agriculture Groups.

The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley further said along with use of latest technology to raise productivity, there is also need to revisit the incentive structure of farming, to focus to reduce wastages and enhance earnings as well as to improve marketing of farm produce. The Finance Minister said that for efficient implementation of the National Agriculture Market, there is need to integrate the more than 550 regulated Mandis in the country by 2017 for which the States need to reform the APMC Act.

Many suggestions were received from the representatives of different Agriculture Groups. Major suggestions include due to demonitisation, there is urgent need to provide sufficient funds to District Cooperative Banks where most of the farmers have their bank accounts, cargo hubs and dry ports should be encouraged in the production centre of agri-products. Other suggestions include it should be made mandatory for Agriculture Universities to start Agriculture Marketing Research Department, new schemes to bail-out farmers from debt be announced in the forthcoming Budget and banks be directed to implement scheme of differential rate of interest to agriculture sector both in letter and spirit among others.

Other suggestions included announcement of awards for those who do new technological innovations in agriculture sector, cold chain provision for horticulture and minor vegetables, higher allocation in Budget for agriculture in the Budget as 52% of Indias population is based on agriculture and allied sector.

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JNPT Handles Highest Crude Oil at Its Liquid Cargo Terminal
Nov 19,2016

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Indias number one container port, created a major record on November 16, 2016, by loading 80,640 MT of ONGC crude oil on a large vessel MT Desh Bhakta, which was berthed at LB-01 of BPCL-run Liquid Cargo Terminal. This is the highest quantity of crude oil loaded on a vessel at JNPT which has surpassed the previous highest of 80,489 MT loaded on Tanker vessel MT Ratna Urvi in June 2012.

ONGCs crude oil tanker MT Desh Bhakta, which measures LoA of 244.2 meters, arrived at JN Port on November 14, 2016 for loading of crude oil from Mumbai High region to sail ahead for MRPL refinery at New Mangalore through coastal movement with a sailing draught of 12.6 meters. JNPT started operations at 13:54 hrs on 14th November2016 for loading of the crude oil and completed it by 09:12hrs on 16th November 2016. JNPT gave topmost priority to MT Desh Bhakta operations in order to give ease to ONGCs concern of having high stock situation, and carried out quick operations to tide over the issue.

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The percentage of savings in the savings schemes in Post Office as on 31 March 2016 is 14.84% of the deposits in the savings schemes of PSBs
Nov 19,2016

Interest rates on bank deposits are not uniform and vary from bank to bank. Hence, a one-on-one comparison of interest rates may not be possible.

The interest rates on term deposits are deregulated and they are determined by the banks themselves as per their Board approved policies. In contrast interest rates on Small Savings Schemes are administered interest rates linked to G-Sec rate of comparable maturity.

The percentage of savings in the savings schemes in Post Office as on 31 March 2016 is 14.84% of the deposits in the savings schemes of PSBs.

The Government has taken various steps to popularise all the existing schemes by carrying out publicity through print and electronic/Audio Visual media on an all India basis. Jan Dhan Yojana is a scheme of the Government to encourage deposits in banks and promote savings.

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India and UK Sign three Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (B- APAs) taking the total number of APAs signed [both- bilateral and unilateral] to 111
Nov 19,2016

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed three (3) Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) here today taking the total number of APAs signed [both- bilateral and unilateral] so far to 111. These Agreements are a result of the understanding reached with the Competent Authority of United Kingdom (UK) some time ago. The Competent Authorities of India and UK had earlier exchanged mutual agreements amongst them under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) Article of the India-UK Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC).

These three (3) Agreements cover international transactions in the nature of payment of intra-group service charges and pertain to the telecom industry. They also have a roll-back provision. With this, India and UK have concluded 5 bilateral APAs and some more would be concluded in the near future. The total number of bilateral APAs concluded so far by the CBDT is 7.

The Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) Programme was introduced by the Finance Act, 2012 with a view to provide a predictable and non-adversarial tax regime and to reduce the litigation in the Indian transfer pricing arena. An APA can be entered into for a maximum of 5 years at a time. Since the notification of the APA scheme on 30.08.2012, a total of about 700 APA applications have been received during the first 4 years of the Programme (Financial Years 2012-13 to 2015-16), which indicates the wide acceptance of the APA programme by the taxpayers. Rollback of APAs was announced in the Budget in July 2014 to provide certainty on the pricing of international transactions for 4 prior years (rollback years) preceding the first year from which APA is to be applicable.

The Indian APA programme has been appreciated nationally and internationally for being able to address complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner.

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Revised Double Taxation Avoidance and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion (DTAA) Agreement signed between India and Cyprus
Nov 19,2016

A revised Agreement between India and Cyprus for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal evasion (DTAA) with respect to taxes on income, along with its Protocol, was signed in Nicosia, which will replace the existing DTAA that was signed by two countries on 13th June 1994. The Protocol was signed by Mr. Ravi Bangar, High Commissioner of India to Cyprus on behalf of India and Mr. Harris Georgiades, the Minister of Finance on behalf of Cyprus.

New DTAA provides for source based taxation of capital gains arising from alienation of shares, instead of residence based taxation provided under the existing DTAA. However, a grandfathering clause has been provided for investments made prior to 1st April, 2017, in respect of which capital gains would continue to be taxed in the country of which taxpayer is a resident.

The new Agreement provides for Assistance between the two countries for collection of taxes. The new Agreement also updates the provisions related to Exchange of Information to accepted international standards, which will enable exchange of banking information and allow the use of such information for purposes other than taxation with the prior approval of the Competent Authorities of the country providing the information. The new Agreement expands the scope of permanent establishment and reduces the tax rate on royalty in the country from which payments are made to 10% from the existing rate of 15%, in line with the tax rate under Indian tax laws. It also updates the text of other provisions in accordance with the international standards and consistent policy of India in respect of tax treaties.

Provisions of new DTAA will enter into force after the completion of necessary internal procedures in both countries and is expected to come into effect in India in respect of income derived in fiscal years beginning on or after 1st April, 2017.

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Budget of Rs. 5501.15 crore for Implantation of Pradhan MantriFasalBima Yojana (PMFBY) During 2016-17.
Nov 18,2016

As per provisions of PMFBY, admissible claims are worked out on the basis of yield data generated from Crop Cutting Experiments (CCEs) submitted by concerned State Governments to the insurance companies. Hence, the number of beneficiaries (to whom the claims are paid) are known only thereafter. The cut-off date for receipt of yield data for Kharif 2016 season is one month from the final harvest i.e. 15th December, 2016. Claims are estimated accordingly.

State-wise details of farmers covered under PMFBY/Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) are given below:

State-wise details* of loanee and non-loanee farmers covered  under PMFBY and WBCIS (combined) during Kharif 2016

Sl.

No

States/UTsNo. of Farmers Insured (Lakhs)1Assam 0.512Andhra Pradesh15.093Bihar13.984Chhattisgarh13.265Goa0.0076Gujarat11.917Haryana6.968Himachal Pradesh0.979Jharkhand8.4910Karnataka10.5911Kerala0.2212Madhya Pradesh36.5413Maharashtra66.7914ManipurData not available15Meghalaya0.000616Odisha17.4617Rajasthan53.0518Tamil Nadu0.1319Telangana6.5520Tripura0.0221Uttar Pradesh30.0422Uttarakhand1.2823West Bengal32.40Total326.25

  *Provisional.

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686 petrol pumps had started dispensing cash by 4 p.m today against swiping of debit cards
Nov 18,2016

Cash dispensing facility had become operational at 686 retail outlets by 4 p.m today, of which 350 belonged to IOCL, 266 to BPCL and 70 to HPCL. The Public Sector Oil Companies namely Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, in association with State Bank of India, have come forward to ease out some of the challenges being faced by the common public regarding availability of currencies for day to day transactions, post demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes.

Senior officials of IOCL, BPCL and HPCL, had a meeting with Ms. Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, State Bank of India, yesterday and it was decided that an amount up to Rs. 2000/- per day per person in cash can be dispensed against swiping of debit card from select petrol pumps where POS machines of SBI are already available. POS machines are the machines which are generally used for debit or credit card transactions. It has been decided to start this facility at around 2500 petrol pumps spread across the country including rural areas, where SBI POS machines are provided. The Oil Industry is also in further discussions with SBI and other Banks to extend this facility to over 20,000 petrol pumps gradually.

This facility will be available even after November 24, 2016. It may be noted that petrol pumps have been accepting currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denominations and will continue to do so till November 24, 2016. There is no shortage of petroleum products at the petrol pumps and consumers can purchase them as per their needs.

Consumers are also advised to use cashless transactions - credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, loyalty programmes etc. for purchase of fuel so that there is no difficulty to consumers which is mainly associated with cash transactions. In this regard, such facilities for cashless transactions are already available with all the Oil Companies to which substantial number of people have already subscribed.

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