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Jute-ICARE -- An Initiative of The Government to Double the income of Jute Farmers
Jul 25,2017

Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (Jute - ICARE) was launched in 2015 to popularize/introduce some of the better agronomic practices and recently developed microbial assisted retting among farmers intensively in a few blocks in West Bengal and Assam on pilot basis. The improved agronomic practices include -- line sowing of jute using seed drill to increase yield by 10-15%; weed management in jute by wheel hoeing/nail weeder instead of hand weeding for reducing the cost of weeding; and distribution of quality certified seeds at 50% subsidy.

Central Research Institute for Research in Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF) developeda microbial consortium called SONA,to enhance the quantity of fibre yield by 20% as well as its quality in terms of grade by at least 1 n++ grades. Also, under the project, regular SMSs are sent in regional languages on improved practices in jute cultivation, to registered farmers. On an average over 50 SMSs are sent to each farmer at various intervals during the project. Supply of Seed drills and Nail weeders is undertaken for demonstration purpose.

As a result of these interventions, the earnings of jute farmers have increased by more than Rs.10000 per hectare.

In view of the encouraging results of the Jute I-Care pilot project, a joint meeting was held on 22.03.2017 by Honble Minister of Textiles and Minister of Agriculture for extending the reach of Jute I-Care programme through the State Agriculture Extension machinery. Representatives from State Governments, Agricultural Research Agencies, National Jute Board, Jute Corporation of India etc., participated in the meeting.Some of the highlights of the action taken under the Jute ICARE programme are given below:

1. All the Chief Ministers have been advised to take up Jute ICARE programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and create awareness amongst farmers for use of certified jute seeds through Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVK). States have also been requested to supply farm implements under the Sub-mission in Agricultural Mission (SMAM) and construct Retting Tanks under MGNREGS and RKVY.

2. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on 12th May 2017 by National Jute Board, Ministry of Textiles with National Seeds Corporation and Jute Corporation of India for supplying certified Jute seeds of a new variety to Jute Farmers -- 800 MT for Year 2018; and 1500 MT for Year 2019. There will be an enhancement of availability of certified seeds by 60%, in 2018 and 87.5% in 2019.

3. Harvesting started from 2nd week of July and will continue upto August 2017. It has been reported that the average height of the jute plant under the project is 10 to 13 feet (against the normal height of 9 feet). The JR 204 seed variety is thus found to be very promising and productive to the farmers.

4. The popularity of Jute-ICARE project can be judged from the fact that the number of farmers who registered during the Year 2017 under the project had increased by 147% approximately; that is, 103122 farmers were registered against 41616 farmers last year. The area covered under the project for 2017 is approximately 70,328 hectares covering 26 Blocks in 6 jute growing states-- an increase of 167% as compared to 2016.

5. Action Plans for undertaking Front Line Demonstrations by CRIJAF and National Institute of Research in Jute and Allied Fibres (NIRJAFT) in Coordination with NJB, have been approved.

6. Krishi Melas are being held to support farmers.

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As on 31 March 2017, there were 7645 cold storages with a capacity of 34.95 million MT in the country
Jul 25,2017

As per All India Cold Storage Capacity and Technology - Base line Survey (10 December 2014) conducted by M/s Hansa Research Group, commissioned by National Horticulture Board (NHB) under Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, 75% of the total cold storage capacity in the country was used for the purpose of storage of horticulture crops including potato. Out of total production of potatoes in the country, 75% was stored in cold storages for long term storage at farm gate.   Further, 95% of cold storages in the country were owned by private sector, 3% by cooperatives and remaining 2% were under Public Sector Undertakings.  

As per the information available as on 31 March 2017, there were 7645 cold storages with a capacity of 34.95 million MT in the country. The State wise and agencies wise details are as follows:

State wise & Agency wise distribution of Cold Storage as on 31 March 2017

 

 

upto 2009*

2009-10 to 2016-17

 

S. No.

Name of the State

 

 

NHB

NHM

MoFPI

Total

 

No.

Capacity (MT)

No.

Capacity (MT)

No.

Capacity (MT)

No.

Capacity (MT)

No.

Capacity (MT)

1

Andaman & Nicobar Islands (UT)

2

210

0

0

0

0

1

600

3

810

2

Andhra Pradesh & Telangana

290

900606

36

220158

101

619021

15

42776

442

1782561

3

Arunachal Pradesh

1

5000

0

0

0

0

1

1000

2

6000

4

Assam

24

88068

10

61738

0

0

2

8100

36

157906

5

Bihar

246

1147041

28

111821

29

153233

3

3500

306

1415595

6

Chandigarh (UT)

6

12216

1

246

0

0

0

0

7

12462

7

Chhattisgarh

69

341885

14

68323

13

65349

2

8530

98

484087

8

Delhi

95

126158

2

3699

0

0

0

0

Rs. 238.84 crore recovered from Pharmaceutical Companies against non-compliance of provisions of DPCO, 2013: Shri Mansukh Lal Mandaviya
Jul 25,2017

Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Lal Mandaviya, said that, as on 30th June 2017, an amount of Rs. 238.84 crore has been recovered from the pharmaceutical companies against non-compliance of provisions of DPCO, 2013.

The Minister informed that whenever companies are found selling scheduled formulation at prices higher than the ceiling prices fixed by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), action is taken against such companies under the relevant provisions of Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 (DPCO, 2013) and the overcharged amount, along with interest is levied on the company. Similar action is taken whenever companies are found selling non-scheduled formulation at a price which is 10% higher than the MRP of the preceding twelve months, Shri Mandaviya added.

During the monitoring of compliance of various provisions of DPCO, 2013 by drug manufacturers, it was seen that the provisions related to new drugs have not been followed wherein some of the pharmaceutical companies have launched the formulation without taking prior price approval from NPPA. The concerned companies have been instructed to furnish certified batch wise production and sales details along with the corresponding MRP for the formulations from the date of launch of the product till date, Shri Mandaviya said.

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An amount of Rs. 3694.136 released to West Bengal under NAM during last 3 years: AYUSH Minister
Jul 25,2017

Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), total amount of grant-in-aid of Rs. 471.230 lakhs, Rs. 1,924.85 lakhs and Rs. 1,298.056 lakhs have been released during the year 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively to West Bengal. The said amount have been allocated for the activities under AYUSH Services, AYUSH Educational Institution, Quality Control of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Drugs, Medicinal Plants, Flexi pool and Administrative cost.

Under National AYUSH Mission (NAM), eight camps have been organised in the district of Bankura under Public Health Outreach Activities.

Under National AYUSH Mission (NAM), the State Government of West Bengal has selected the following villages district-wise under AYUSH Gram:

(i) Village - Saguna, District- Nadia.

(ii) Village- Pathra, District- Paschim Medinipur.

(iii) Village- Polba, District- Hooghly.

(iv) Village- Sahapur, District- Malda.

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Global Growth Forecast to Pick up in 2017 and 2018
Jul 25,2017

The pickup in global growth anticipated in the April World Economic Outlook remains on track, with global output projected to grow by 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018, said International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook.

The unchanged global growth projections mask somewhat different contributions at the country level. U.S. growth projections are lower than in April, primarily reflecting the assumption that fiscal policy will be less expansionary going forward than previously anticipated. Growth has been revised up for Japan and especially the euro area, where positive surprises to activity in late 2016 and early 2017 point to solid momentum. Chinas growth projections have also been revised up, reflecting a strong first quarter of 2017 and expectations of continued fiscal support. Inflation in advanced economies remains subdued and generally below targets; it has also been declining in several emerging economies, such as Brazil, India, and Russia.

n++While risks around the global growth forecast appear broadly balanced in the near term, they remain skewed to the downside over the medium term. On the upside, the cyclical rebound could be stronger and more sustained in Europe, where political risk has diminished. On the downside, rich market valuations and very low volatility in an environment of high policy uncertainty raise the likelihood of a market correction, which could dampen growth and confidence. The more supportive policy tilt in China, especially strong credit growth, comes with rising downside risks to medium-term growth. Monetary policy normalization in some advanced economies, notably the United States, could trigger a faster-than-anticipated tightening in global financial conditions. And other risks discussed in the April 2017 WEO, including a turn toward inward-looking policies and geopolitical risks, remain salient.

n++Projected global growth rates for 2017-18, though higher than the 3.2 percent estimated for 2016, are below pre-crisis averages, especially for most advanced economies and for commodity-exporting emerging and developing economies. Among the former, many face excess capacity as well as headwinds to potential growth from aging populations, weak investment, and slowly advancing productivity. In view of weak core inflation and muted wage pressures, policy settings should remain consistent with lifting inflation expectations in line with targets, closing output gaps, andn++where appropriaten++external rebalancing. Reforms to boost potential output are of the essence, and slow aggregate output growth makes it even more important that gains are shared widely across the income distribution. Financial stability risks need close monitoring in many emerging economies. Commodity exporters should continue adjusting to lower revenues, while diversifying their sources of growth over time.

The Global Economy Maintains Momentum

The cyclical recovery continues. Growth outturns in the first quarter of 2017 were higher than the April WEO forecasts in large emerging and developing economies such as Brazil, China, and Mexico, and in several advanced economies including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. High-frequency indicators for the second quarter provide signs of continued strengthening of global activity. Specifically, growth in global trade and industrial production remained well above 2015-16 rates despite retreating from the very strong pace registered in late 2016 and early 2017. Purchasing managers indices (PMIs) signal sustained strength ahead in manufacturing and services.

Commodities and inflation. Oil prices have receded, reflecting strong inventory levels in the United States and a pickup in supply. Headline inflation also generally softened as the impact of the commodity price rebound of the second half of 2016 faded, and remains at levels well below central bank targets in most advanced economies. Core inflation has remained broadly stable. It has largely been stable in emerging economies as well, with a few, such as Brazil and Russia, witnessing strong declines.

Bond and equity markets. Long-term bond yields in advanced economies, which had declined since March, rebounded in late June and early July. The U.S. Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates in June, but markets still expect a very gradual path of U.S. monetary policy normalization. Bond spreads over Germany have compressed sharply in France, Italy, and Spain on reduced electoral uncertainty and firming signs of recovery. Equity prices in advanced economies remain strong, signaling continued market optimism regarding corporate earnings. Markets are also optimistic about emerging market prospects as reflected in strengthening equity markets and some further compression of interest rate spreads. Oil exporters provide an exception to this pattern, in light of the marked weakening of oil prices since March.

Exchange rates and capital flows. As of end-June, the U.S. dollar has depreciated by around 3n++ percent in real effective terms since March, while the euro has strengthened by a similar amount on increased confidence in the euro area recovery and a decline in political risk. Over the same period, exchange rate changes across emerging market currencies have been relatively modest, with some strengthening of the Mexican peso on tighter monetary policy and reduced concerns about U.S. trade frictions, and a depreciation of the Brazilian real on renewed political uncertainty. Capital flows to emerging economies have been resilient in the first few months of 2017, with a notable pickup in non-resident portfolio inflows.

Global Growth Forecast to Pick up in 2017 and 2018

Global growth for 2016 is now estimated at 3.2 percent, slightly stronger than the April 2017 forecast, primarily reflecting much higher growth in Iran and stronger activity in India following national accounts revisions. Economic activity in both advanced economies and emerging and developing economies is forecast to accelerate in 2017, to 2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, with global growth projected to be 3.5 percent, unchanged from the April forecast. The growth forecast for 2018 is 1.9 percent for advanced economies, 0.1 percentage point below the April 2017 WEO, and 4.8 percent for emerging and developing economies, the same as in the spring. The 2018 global growth forecast is unchanged at 3.6 percent. The revisions reflect primarily the macroeconomic implications of changes in policy assumptions for the worlds two largest economies, the United States and China, as discussed below.

Advanced economies

n++The growth forecast in the United States has been revised down from 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent in 2017 and from 2.5 percent to 2.1 percent in 2018. While the markdown in the 2017 forecast reflects in part the weak growth outturn in the first quarter of the year, the major factor behind the growth revision, especially for 2018, is the assumption that fiscal policy will be less expansionary than previously assumed, given the uncertainty about the timing and nature of U.S. fiscal policy changes. Market expectations of fiscal stimulus have also receded.

n++The growth forecast has also been revised down for the United Kingdom for 2017 on weaker-than-expected activity in the first quarter.

n++By contrast, growth projections for 2017 have been revised up for many euro area countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where growth for the first quarter of 2017 was generally above expectations. This, together with positive growth revisions for the last quarter of 2016 and high-frequency indicators for the second quarter of 2017, indicate stronger momentum in domestic demand than previously anticipated.

n++The growth forecast for 2017 was also revised up for Canada, where buoyant domestic demand boosted first-quarter growth to 3.7 percent and indicators suggest resilient second-quarter activity, and marginally f

Quantum leap in faculty recruitment at AIIMS, Bhopal
Jul 25,2017

In a major recruitment drive for filling up faculty positions at AIIMS, Bhopal, 116 candidates (Professor-14, Associate Professor-34, Assistant Professor-58) have been empanelled recently for 36 Departments. The existing strength of regular faculty is 53. This addition is expected to give a big boost to the health care services at the Institute. It would be possible to add soon health care services in 14 new Specialty Departments as against existing 22 Departments functional today.

The recruitment exercise for faculty members for another 5 Departments is also in advance stage.

In all, 251 faculty positions in 41 Departments were advertised, against which, 1561 applications were received. The interviews were conducted in three phases over a period of almost three months.

Filling up of the vacant positions was on hold earlier because of a stay by the Court, which has since been lifted enabling the recruitment process to be conducted.

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Rs. 7 Lakh crores investment needed for the highways sector in next 5 years
Jul 25,2017

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has estimated a fund requirement of about Rs. 6.92 lakh crore for the development of National Highways in the country during the next five years. This requirement will be met from the Gross Budgetary Support of the Ministry, the Central Road Fund, Toll remittance, Monetization of National Highways through Toll-Operate-Transfer (TOT) model, external borrowings by National Highway Authority of India and private sector investment. He also informed that the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has identified 208 level crossings on National Highways for construction of ROBs under Setu Bharatam Scheme and feasibility study of 87 ROB projects has been completed so far.

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya also informed that the Government has envisaged to increase the existing National Highway network of 1.15 lakh kms in the country to 2 lakh kms. The requirement of funds for development of these National Highways will be met through different sources as mentioned above.

Shri Mansukh Mandaviya informed that the Government encourages the use of plastic waste in construction of National Highways specially within 50 km periphery of the urban areas having population of 5 lakhs or more. However, at present, no National Highway has been constructed using plastic waste.

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Technical Innovations & Cost Savings Necessary to Support Wind Power Tariffs Discovered during Auctions
Jul 25,2017

With the record low tariff of INR3.46/kWh discovered during the first round of auctions conducted by Solar Energy Corporation of India in February 2017, the winning bidders bank on the latest technological innovations and cost saving measures to achieve better equity returns. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) believes that the utilities will depend on the auction method for future power purchase contracts.

According to the prevalent technology and costs, Ind-Ra estimates that the winning bidders will just be able to earn an equity internal rate of return of about 9.0% and achieve moderate debt coverages at this tariff. Technological innovations with cost reductions on both capex and operational front will be required to earn more desirable and equity-like returns. Ind-Ra considers higher hub heights (exceeding 100m) and bigger wing spans to be the biggest contributors to achieve this, among other technological improvements such as better aerodynamic profile with modular blades, lower generator-to-rotor ratio, better carbon fibre material and direct drive gearless machines.

There could be a substantial dip in capacity addition in FY18 to 1-1.5GW only from about 5.4GW in FY17. This will be because of the unwillingness of state discoms to sign long-term purchase agreements at higher feed in tariffs and unpreparedness on their part to come out with auctions in a big way in the near term. Auctions can pick up from FY19 in the agencys view. Although the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has come up with detailed policies on repowering (August 2016), hybrid (draft in June 2016) and offshore wind power projects (October 2015) in the past, ground challenges and bottlenecks hinder a speedy progress on these fronts. Distributed ownership of land and non-availability of contiguous land (due to urbanisation in between) pose the biggest challenge to repowering the wind projects nearing the end of their life. Although a higher 200-250bp equity internal rate of return can be earned in repowering projects than new plants, these practical limitations can dampen the process and limit the overall progress to a fraction of the overall potential of 3,000MW estimated by the ministry.

Hybridisation of wind with solar power has major advantages as wind power peaks during night and solar power peaks during day hours, perfectly complementing each other. Besides, there can be savings on the land and evacuation fronts. However, according to the agencys discussions with major industry players, infrastructure bottlenecks are preventing hybridisation of the existing wind power plants, while the same can be planned for upcoming plants. According to Ind-Ra, hybrid plants can offer about 1 percentage point higher returns than an individual wind or solar power plant without trackers. Given the marginal nature of incremental returns, industry players prefer to wait and watch before going up for the same in a big way.

On the same lines, emerging technology, practical difficulties around logistics and non-existence of experienced players in the field are the major hindrances for offshore wind projects to take off now. Developers expect risks to be rightly balanced to facilitate investments in this new theme as of now. Should the engineering, procurement and construction model adopted for the initial phase until technology stabilises, offshore projects could show a gradual uptick, in the agencys opinion.

Cost of financing remains one of the most effective drivers to reduce cost of energy and issuers are employing new innovative structures such as introducing subordinate debt, pooling of assets, flexible repayment schedules, cash trap/additional reserves and external credit enhancements to reduce the same. According to the agency, there is considerable appetite in the market for renewable assets with novel financial structures (key elements of structures below) which are expected to hit capital markets in FY18.

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19 per cent of Indian population is still unbanked: ASSOCHAM-EY
Jul 25,2017

Despite rationale and a strong institutional credit network, Indias financial services ecosystem lags in terms of physical infrastructure and has failed to reach the poor, more than 19% of the population who are unbanked or financially excluded, noted a recent ASSOCHAM-EY joint study.

The main objective of financial inclusion is to ensure access to formal credit for people who depend on informal sources for fulfilling their financial needs, at an affordable cost in a fair and transparent manner, and to promote financial education, said the report titled, Evolving landscape of microfinance institutions in India, jointly conducted by ASSOCHAM and EY.

The Government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made several concentrated efforts to promote financial inclusion. These efforts include launch of co-operative banks and regional rural banks, introduction of mandated priority sector lending targets, formation of self-help groups, appointment of business correspondents by banks to provide door-step delivery of banking services. These initiatives helped to bring in a large section of the unbanked population under the formal financial credit system. However, a significant portion of Indias population still remains devoid of access to basic formal credit facilities mainly due to lack of last mile connectivity. Hence, the Government, with RBIs support, continues to introduce various new initiatives to fulfil its objective of achieving 100% financial inclusion, reveals the joint study.

The Indian microfinance industry is dominated by NBFC MFIs with an 88% market share. According to data from MFIN, there are 12 small MFIs (loan book less than INR1b), another 22 medium-sized MFIs (loan book between INR1b and INR5b) and 22 large MFIs (loan book above INR5b). Large MFIs account for ~90% of the industrys gross loan portfolio (GLP), client base and debt funding.

During FY12-16, the gross loan portfolio (GLP) of MFIs grew at a CAGR of 48% to reach INR532.3b and the number of clients benefited crossed 32.5m (as of March 2016). Notably, the sector reported a significant surge of 84% in GLP from INR289.4b in FY15 to INR532.3b in FY16, since MFIs indulged in issuing large loans to clients after the RBI relaxed indebted exposure to single borrower from INR 50,000 to INR 100,000. 60% of the GLP was attributed to the rural sector while the remaining 40% was from metros, urban and semi-urban areas (as of March 2016).

In terms of regional breakup, south India had the highest share at 35% of GLP followed by west and north India at 25% share each. 31% of the loans were given for agriculture and allied activities while 64% were given for non agriculture and 5% for household finance as of March 2016. Large MFIs, some of which are in the process of converting to small finance banks, reported the highest surge in their loan books.

After 2010, MFIs consolidated their operations, since the sector faced more stringent regulatory requirements. Number of MFIs declined from~70 in pre-2010 to 55 in early-20167. Growth slowed after FY11 and in FY13, there was a decline in both branch network and employee base. However, following the initial consolidation, microfinance companies started aggressively expanding operations. From FY13 to FY16, branch network expanded at a CAGR of 16% while the employee base increased at a CAGR of 27%. Of the total base of 85,888 employees, 63% are loan officers who provide door-to-door credit as on March 2016.

During the past two years, MFIs have reported a 58% jump in average loan size per customer from INR 10,364 in FY14 to INR 16,394 in FY16, since during the same period gross loan portfolio has increased 3X while client base has only increased 2X. Some industry experts have ascertained the high growth pattern to the rise in clients, increase in general income levels and ease of lending rules by the RBI. In April 2015, the RBI raised the cap on indebtedness to a borrower from INR 50, 000 to INR100,000. However, according to others, increased lending to same clients may be risky for MFIs, since they serve vulnerable segments, which entails increased underlying risk, highlighted the study.

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The Ministry of Tourism has launched Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15 for integrated development of Theme-Based tourist Circuits in the country
Jul 25,2017

The Ministry of Tourism has launched Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014-15 for integrated development of Theme-Based tourist Circuits in the country. Coastal Circuit which includes inter-alia beach destinations has been identified as one of thirteen thematic circuits for development under this scheme. The Ministry of Tourism promotes India as a holistic destination as part of its on-going activities by releasing advertising campaigns in various media under the Incredible India brand-line, through its website, production of publicity and promotional material and through promotional activities undertaken by the overseas India

Cleanliness and maintenance of beaches is the responsibility of the respective State Governments/ UT administrations. However, Ministry extends Central Financial Assistance under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for Beach Cleaning Equipment as one of the admissible components to promote cleanliness of beaches.

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Optional reporting of details of one foreign bank account by the non-residents in refund cases
Jul 25,2017

Refund generated on processing of return of income is currently, credited directly to the bank accounts of the tax-payers. Availability of the detail of bank accounts in which the refund is to be credited is a precondition for direct credit of refund in the bank accounts.

Income-tax Return Forms for the Assessment Year 2017-18 were notified on 30th March, 2017. A number of representations were received from the non-residents that they are facing difficulties in getting refund as they do not have bank account in India and there is no column in the notified form of return of income for reporting details of foreign bank account by the non-residents for this purpose.

In view of this, a facility has been provided in return utility for reporting of details of bank account by non-residents, who do not have bank account in India and who are claiming income-tax refund. Therefore, the non-residents who are not claiming refund or non-residents who are claiming refund but having a bank account in India are not required to furnish details of their foreign bank account in the return of income. However, the non-residents, who are claiming income-tax refund and not having bank account in India may, at their option, furnish the details of one foreign bank account in the return of income for issuance of refund.

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13,872 villages electrified till 30th June 2017
Jul 24,2017

3,285 inaccessible villages electrified in various States across the country under Decentralized Distributed Generation Scheme: Shri Piyush Goyal

Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, said that as per information provided by the States, 13,872 un-electrified census villages have been reported to be electrified up to 30thJune, 2017, out of 18,452 un-electrified villages in the country as on 1st April, 2015. The time-frame to electrify all the villages is 1st May, 2018, the Minister added.

Shri Goyal also informed that the Decentralized Distributed Generation (DDG) scheme, under DeenDayalUpadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), has been initiated by the Government to provide access to electricity to un-electrified villages/habitations where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective including the villages located in backward, remote, inaccessible and forest areas. DDG can be from renewable sources such as biomass, biofuels, biogas, Mini hydro, solar etc. Under the scheme, 4,220 projects have been sanctioned with the total project cost of Rs.1354.60 crore, covering 3,285 un-electrified villages in various States across the country, as on 30.06.2017, the Minister added.

STATE-WISE PROJECT SANCTIONED UNDER DDG SCHEME

S. No.STATENo. of projectsUn-electrified villages covered1Andhra Pradesh*427-2Assam5215213Arunachal Pradesh1,1761,1764Chhattisgarh9465205Jharkhand3823936Karnataka3997Kerala *15-8Madhya Pradesh1471479Meghalaya21221210Odisha27627511Telangana *39-12Uttar Pradesh251713Uttarakhand1515Total4,2203,285

* Projects correspond to electrification of Habitations

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Airport Authority of India signs MoU with Govt. of Uttarakhand for development for aviation sector in the State
Jul 24,2017

Going ahead with its commitment towards the responsibility of creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in the country, Airports Authority of India (AAI) signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand last week and joined hands with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) to develop the civil aviation sector in the state.

The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand, assessing commercial potential of various airports of the state, identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the state, evaluating site related technical and engineering parameters for development of projects, making estimate of the capital outlay for the future projects and development of master plan for existing and future civil aviation infrastructure in the state. AAI will also assist UCADA in obtaining necessary clearances for airport operations starting with the upgraded airport at Pithoragarh and later at Chiniyalisaur.

The MoU was signed by Shri. S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Shri. Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development). Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary, GoUK said that the Government of Uttarakhand is determined to fulfill the long pending requirement of operational airports within the state. These airports would also be part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme and will boost tourism and air connectivity for the local public.

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PPP Projects at Mormugao Port Trust
Jul 24,2017

The Mormugao Port Trust has two PPP projects under operation. These are (i) Multipurpose General Cargo Berth at Berth No. 5 & 6 operated by South West Port Ltd. and (ii) Coal Handling Terminal at Berth No. 7 operated by Adani Mormugao Port Terminal Pvt. Ltd. The outlay of each project is as follows:

S.No

Project

Project Cost

(i)

Multipurpose General Cargo Berth at Berth No. 5 & 6

Rs. 245 Cr.

(ii)

Coal Handling Terminal at Berth No. 7

Rs. 406 Cr.

The nature of agreement and main clauses under the PPP

S.No.

Project

Nature of Agreement

Main Clause

(i)

Multipurpose General Cargo Berth at Berth No. 5 & 6

License Agreement

i.        Minimum Guarantee Throughput (MGT) of 5 MMTPA effective from 66th month onwards from the date of handing over of the Licensed Premises.
ii.      Revenue share of 18% on gross revenue.

(ii)

Coal Handling Terminal at Berth No. 7

Concession Agreement

i. MGT fixed for the concessionaire is as under:
Year 1      0.8 MMTPA
Year 2      1.1 MMTPA
Year 3      1.4 MMTPA
Year 4      1.7 MMTPA
Year 5      2.0 MMTPA
onwards
ii. Revenue share of 20% on gross revenue.

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Cap on consecutive terms for Trustees
Jul 24,2017

The Government vide notification dated 24.01.2017 has amended paragraph 5(4) of the Employees Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952 providing that an outgoing non-official Trustee or Member shall be eligible for re-appointment as a member of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), Employees Provident Fund (EPF) or the Regional Committee, as the case may be, for a maximum of not more than two terms. Representations have been received from some of the Central Trade Unions opposing this decision. At present, there is no proposal to review the same.

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