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Cabinet approves signing of contract for Exploration of Poly metallic Sulphides between India and International Seabed Authority
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of 15 years contract by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for undertaking exploration and other developmental activities related to Polymetallic Sulphides in the allotted area of 10,000 sq km. It will be done in parts of Central and South - West Indian Ridges (SWIR), located in the Indian Ocean.

By signing the 15 year contract, Indias exclusive rights for exploration of Polymetallic Sulphides in the allotted Area in the Central Indian Ridge, and South West Indian Ridge in Indian Ocean will be formalized. Further, it will enhance Indias presence in the Indian Ocean where other players like China, Korea and Germany are active. The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the participation from various national institutes and research laboratories/ organisations.

Background:

Deep seabed Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS) containing iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum in variable constitutions are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust discharged through mineralized chimneys. PMS in the Ocean Ridges have attracted worldwide attention for their long term commercial as well as strategic values.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), earlier approved an application submitted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, for allotment of 10,000 sq. km. area along with 15 years plan of work for exploration of Polymetallic Sulphide (PMS) along Central Indian Ridge (CIR) 85 Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) region of the Indian Ocean. ISA governs non-living resources of seabed lying in international waters.

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Cabinet approves Indias Membership of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for Indian membership of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) consortium by signing an MoU with the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for geosciences. This is a government-funded, Public Law Foundation of the State of Brandenburg, Germany.

By signing the MoU on the membership for a period of five years with ICDP, India would enable engaging internationally renowned experts with profound expertise in different aspects of scientific drilling in order to accomplish deep drilling and associated investigations in Koyna region. As a part of the membership agreement, India will get a seat on two ICDP panels - Executive Committee (EC) and Assembly of Governors (AOG). Also, ICDP will provide technical / operational support, facilitate capacity building in terms of manpower training in key scientific areas, sample and data management and support workshops for the Koyna scientific deep drilling project undertaken by Ministry of Earth Sciences.

As a member of ICDP, scientists/engineers from India would have right to submit proposals, to participate in all ICDP co-funded workshops and drilling projects and have access to all data results from ICDP projects. This will shed new light on the genesis of seismicity and better understanding of earthquake processes.

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Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement between India-Taipei Association in Taipei (Indias representative office in Taiwan) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (Taiwans representative office in India).

Presently there is no formal Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan and the Air Services are governed by an MoU exchanged between Air India Charters (AIRL) and Taipei Airlines Associations (TAA).

The Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Taiwan, and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two parties.

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Cabinet appraisal of MoU between ISRO and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding between Department of Space / Indian Space Research Organization (DOS/ISRO) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space. The MoU was signed in Ottawa, Canada on 15th April 2015.

The MoU would lead to establishment of joint team, drawing members from ISRO and CSA, which will further work out the plan of action including examination and defining cooperative projects and the time-frame. This will also provide opportunities for diverse research in the field of peaceful uses of space technologies.

Background

The successful space cooperation is being pursued through two Implementing Arrangements in the field of Satellite Tracking Network Operations, and in the field of the ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) Detector Subsystem, in support of the ASTROSAT astronomy mission in December 2003 and June 2004, respectively. It is aimed at future cooperation in and use of outer space for peaceful purposes to reinforce scientific and technological development and the ties between two countries at government, industrial and academic levels.

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Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sector
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding between Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India and India Taipei Association in Taipei, Taiwan for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sector.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Food Processing, Genetic Resources as well as Environmental Sustainability. Both sides will encourage the private sector in both countries to enter into cooperation in these areas. The cooperation between the two sides involves exchange of visits, information, technology and training and also expansion of agricultural trade while reducing trade barriers.

Under the MoU, a Joint Working Committee will be constituted to identify priority areas of mutual interest and follow up on the progress of implementation of the activities identified by both sides. The MoU will be initially signed for a period of five years and shall be automatically renewed for a subsequent periods of five years unless either party expresses its desire/intention to terminate it.

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Paswan flags off mobile vans to sell pulses in Delhi
Jun 15,2016

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan flagged off mobile vans for selling pulses at reasonable prices. These mobile vans run by National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India (NCCF) will sell pulses mainly Tur and Urad at Rs. 120 /kg in various parts of Delhi. Outlets of Kendriya Bhandar and Safal are already selling pulses in Delhi and NCR at these rates.

Briefing the media on the occasion, Shri Paswan said that Government has procured about 1,46,000 MT pulses for buffer stock. States Government have been urged to take the pulses from the buffer stock and sell them not more than Rs. 120/kg to ensure availability at reasonable prices. He expressed the hope with the recently increase in the MSP and expected good monsoon pulses production will get desired boost.

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FICCI Report on Corporate Governance Seeks Further Amendments to the Companies Act
Jun 15,2016

FICCI released a survey-based report on the state of Corporate Governance in India. The report titled Corporate Governance in India@2016: Where do we stand? takes an objective look at the reforms introduced by the Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI Listing Regulations and their collective impact on the governance landscape in the country.

The survey reveals that there have been improvements post reforms with respect to financial and non-financial disclosures, assessment of related party transactions and effectiveness of boards as well as independent directors. However, the report is quick to point out that the upturn is not uniform across companies and quantum of benefits realised differs across unlisted and small & large listed companies.

The survey also explored the challenges companies are facing because of regulatory reforms. For instance, large listed companies perceive that threats of regulatory action by enforcement agencies loom large post-reforms due to enhanced risks of prosecution. All companies, big and small, are challenged by greater focus on compliance, not only due to increased costs but also because directors are getting distracted from their core strategic and business functions and focussing more on compliance functions. Companies thus believe that the compliance requirements have turned into a burden, rather than an opportunity for improvement and growth, which was the legislative intent.

Commenting on the report, Dr A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said, n++The survey suggests that though many of the legal provisions are good in form, they have multiplied the compliance burden for companies. The need is to draw a balance between the need for higher reforms with the costs involvedn++. It further stated that the purpose of the report is to highlight the course correction needed and that the proposed changes would further facilitate the implementation of the law and help realize the effectiveness of the governance framework. FICCI has also applauded the Governments decision to move the second amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 for ensuring ease of doing business.

The survey also evaluates the comprehensive disclosure based regime ushered by the Act. While acknowledging that the elaborate disclosures proposed under the new framework were not intended to increase the burden, the report laments that a vast majority of requirements do not render adequate benefits and are mere n++form over content,n++ adding to the compliance burden.

Recognising that the effectiveness of reforms lies in the benefits they generate and the ease with which they can be complied with; the survey explores the level of difficulty in implementing the regulations and whether it is commensurate with the benefits gained. The survey found that overall compliance costs have increased. While large corporates have established compliance systems and resources to manage the extra burden, small listed companies find it difficult to mobilise resources and hence find it burdensome.

Based on the responses received, the report enunciates further changes that need to be incorporated in the legislation. Some of the recommendations include removing the requirement of boards certificate on the adequacy and effectiveness of internal financial control; constitution of Audit and Nomination & Remuneration Committee by unlisted companies, bringing down the quantum of penalties for errors of disclosure etc.

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Government Launches Scheme for setting up 1000 MW CTU- connected Wind Power Project
Jun 15,2016

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW Wind Power Project connected to transmission network of Central Transmission Utility (CTU) with an objective to facilitate supply of wind power to the non-windy states at a price discovered through transparent bidding process. Ministry has designated Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as nodal agency for implementation of the scheme.

The Scheme will encourage competitiveness through scaling up of project sizes and introduction of efficient and transparent e-bidding and e-auctioning processes. It will also facilitate fulfilment of Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) requirement of non-windy states.

The Government of India has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GW power capacity from renewable energy resources by 2022 and out of this 60 GW has to come from wind power. The Scheme will be implemented for setting up 1000 MW capacity of CTU connected Wind Power Projects by Wind Project Developers on build, own and operate basis. However, the capacity may go higher than 1000 MW, if there is higher demand from Discoms of non-windy states.

MNRE has also issued Draft guidelines for implementation of scheme for setting up of 1000 MW CTU connected wind power projects issued by MNRE for stakeholders consultation.

BACKGROUND

The wind power deployment in the country started in early 90s. With the conductive policy environment provided at Central and State level, this segment has achieved highest growth amongst the other renewable energy technologies. The present wind power installed capacity in the country is nearly 26.7 GW sharing around 9% of total installed capacity. Globally, India is at 4th position in term of wind power installed capacity after China, USA and Germany.

The Wind power potential in the country is assessed by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) at 100 meter above ground level, which is estimated to be over 302 GW. Most of this potential exists in 8 windy states namely Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

In order to facilitate transmission of wind power from these windy states to non-windy states provisions have been made in the Tariff Policy to waive the inter-state transmission charges and losses for wind power projects.

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CII, ISB and GE join hands to develop Compliance leaders in the Indian Industry
Jun 15,2016

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Indian School of Business (ISB) and GE have joined hands to launch an executive education course, a programme aimed at positioning and enabling compliance professionals as strategic business partners. This Compliance Management programme will provide essential skills to managers to support Indian companies in implementing compliance norms to advance corporate governance, growth and sustainability in the economy. This unique partnership will provide both public and private sector participants an opportunity to experience and interact with each other, with local and global subject matter experts, understand the underlying challenges in the space as well as better appreciate global best practices.

Currently, India ranks No. 130 out of 189 countries on the ease of doing business as per a World Bank Report and No. 76 out of 168 in the Corruption Perception Index. With two leading partners in the field of education and compliance, CII took the lead by recognizing the need for formal instruction on topics related to ethics and compliance as per the recommendation by its National Committee on Integrity & Transparency in Governance to assist Indian industry to be more competitive and compliant. GE which has a reputation of being a leader in compliance and has won the Ethisphere award for one of worlds most ethical company for 10 years in a row will provide technical content and practical industry expertise and experience. ISB, a premier management institute that has set new benchmarks of executive education in India will augment the course with its excellent management faculty as compliance officers step up to take their place as senior management as part of its Centre for Executive Education (CEE) portfolio. The faculty will consist of eminent academicians, legal and compliance experts and industry, both local and global.

Congratulating the initiative, Dr. T.M. Bhasin, Vigilance Commissioner, said, n++As India strengthens its position in the world economy and becomes an important destination for international players, it will become important to highlight adherence to global norms, strong corporate governance and transparency in daily functioning. This programme can go on to play a pivotal role in that journey. I congratulate CII, GE and ISB in their attempt to step forward and champion this cause.n++

Announcing the collaboration, Dr. Naushad Forbes, President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) & Co-Chairman of Forbes Marshall, said, n++The business environment in India is undergoing a significant transformation characterized by increased regulatory enforcement, government scrutiny and market uncertainties. Therefore, more than ever before companies are expected to adhere to the highest standards of corporate governance by shifting focus on ensuring long term sustainability. The CII National Committee on Integrity & Transparency in Governance is focused on promoting the agenda of ethical business practices. We believe that companies will benefit immensely from the Compliance Management Programme by equipping their management with the skills and exposure to establish and develop necessary norms that will improve ethical practices and transparency in business. Professionals who undertake this course and apply the learning outcomes will take themselves and their organizations one step closer to becoming good corporate citizens.n++

The Compliance Management Programme, is a two-phased 10-day long programme aimed at providing participants with proven practical tips and techniques on how to best convert theory into practice and ensure ethical and compliant behavior in their respective companies. Besides theoretical discussions and lectures, the Compliance Management Programme includes practical sessions such as case studies, simulations and exercises which will provide participants with the wherewithal to understand the elements of an effective compliance program and the considerations to be mindful of while implementing the same.

Commenting on the MoU signing, Professor Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB, said, n++In an increasingly complex and dynamic business environment where corporate decisions are in the public and global scrutiny, the requirement for good corporate governance, and its impact on business performance among Indian corporates has never been greater than today. However, while ethics forms a portion of the management education curriculum, few programmes exist that assist company management design policies and processes to ensure ethical and fair business practices. We at the ISB are pleased to offer just such a programme in partnership with CII and GE, which will help transform the way businesses are run in India. The course is perfectly aligned to ISBs goal of balancing theory with practice and imparting education that will impact scholarship, practice and policy. We firmly believe that participants of this course will, in the years to come, contribute significantly in turning around the global perception of doing business in Indian++.

Sharing the industry perspective, Mr. Banmali Agrawala, President & CEO, GE South Asia said, n++GE has built its reputation as one of the worlds most admired companies and has been consistently ranked as one of the most ethical companies. Companies that build credibility with customers and government are ones which not only deliver on quality and financial performance but also on corporate governance and ethical business practices. GE has always actively promoted the creation of a fair and ethical business environment amongst all its stakeholders and is delighted to partner with CII and ISB to offer this programme. I hope that the participants define and advance the agenda of ethical business practices in the country.n++

Who will benefit from the Compliance Management Programme?

The Compliance Management Programme is designed for professionals from functions such as human resources, company secretaries, finance, quality, legal, regulatory, environment health and safety in a variety of industries especially SMEs and suppliers to global programmes, pharmaceuticals, IT companies, growth phase startups.

About the Compliance Management Programme

The Compliance Management Programme (CMP) is designed to address the learning needs of professionals who have or aspire to have compliance responsibilities in organizations. The programme is comprehensive blend of courses in functional compliance skills, business acumen, leadership and behavioral subjects, which will help participants in understanding compliance in their organizations business/operations; help gain leadership and communication skills to push the compliance agenda internally. The courses will be taught by globally renowned faculty from ISB with experienced industry practitioners and consultants.

The two-phased programme is scheduled to commence in July 2016, and will include ten days of classroom at the Mohali and Hyderabad campuses, interspersed with self-study and practical projects. The ISB is offering the course at a competitive price of Rs. 2,25,000 per participant plus service tax, for the inaugural batch, thanks to the support from GE India. For more information - www.isb.edu/cee/CMP or email to ExecEd@isb.edu

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Government Sanctions Rs. 164 Crore for Rajasthan, Rs. 156 Crore for Telangana for Compensatory Afforestation
Jun 15,2016

The Centre sanctioned Rs. 164 crore for Rajasthan and Rs. 156 crore for Telangana, following a meeting on Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) with the two States. Speaking after chairing the meeting, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar, said that the money has been sanctioned for afforestation, relocation and other biodiversity works in the two states. The Minister said that according to courts guidelines, only 10 per cent of the funds can be released this year.

Shri Javadekar expressed the hope that the Compensatory Afforestation Bill will be passed in the Monsoon session, making available more money for afforestation and related activities.

The delegations of Rajasthan and Telangana were led by Minister of Environment and Forest, Rajasthan, Shri Rajkumar Rinwa and Minister of Environment and Forest, Telangana, Shri Jogu Ramanna.

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Government Approves Series of Measures for Conservation and Preservation of Lakes in Bengaluru
Jun 15,2016

The Government has approved a series of measures for the abatement of pollution and for the conservation and preservation of lakes in Bengaluru. The decision was taken at a meeting jointly chaired by Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Ananth Kumar and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar.

Shri Javadekar said that it has been decided to initiate 24x7 online monitoring of all Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), as well as lake water quality to be by concerned authorities in Bengaluru. The Minister said that the corporate sector is also being involved in the effort to conserve and preserve the lakes in Bengaluru. He also said that the progress will be monitored every six months.

Shri Ananth Kumar said that bio-development of lakes of Bengaluru will be undertaken. He said that the lakes will be restored in a bio-diverse manner in Public-Private Partnership mode.

Some of the other actions that have been agreed upon include:

n++ All residential group housing projects/apartments with >20 units and total build-up area of 2000 sq.mtr. to install STP.

n++ Re-use of treated sewage for various purposes and dual piping system to be prescribed in apartments/commercial establishments for re-use of treated sewage.

n++ Regular monitoring of STPs to be carried out by State Pollution Control Board.

n++ Retrofitting of existing STPs to meet the revised effluent norms.

n++ Proper management of plastic waste to ensure that it is not dumped in the lakes.

n++ Madivala lake to be developed as a biodiversity park on the lines of Yamuna Biodiversity Park under the guidance of Karnataka Knowledge Commission.

n++ Lake Wardens to be appointed for involvement of public in lake conservation.

n++ CSR funds to be tapped for conserving and developing lakes.

Discharge of untreated sewage being generated in the city into the lakes is a major cause for their degradation. Against present sewage generation of around 1320 mld (million litres per day), installed treatment capacity is 721 mld (with quantity of sewage treated in these STPs is only 600 mld). To bridge the gap between sewage generation and treatment, the Bengaluru Water Supply & Sewerage Board expect to complete 336 mld STP capacity (which is under construction) by December 2018, 515 mld STP capacity by December 2019 and 189 mld STP capacity by December 2020. Thus, by the end of 2020, STP capacity totalling 1761 mld and its related sewerage system is likely to be available for treating the entire sewage generated in the city.

Projects totalling to Rs.887.97 crore relating to sewerage system and STPs in Bengaluru have been approved/initiated under AMRUT programme of Ministry of Urban Development. Apart from other benefits, these projects will help in rejuvenating lakes in Bengaluru by reducing the pollution load being discharged into them.

This meeting was a follow-up of the earlier meeting taken by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest & Climate Change on October 19, 2015, in Bengaluru, for preparing a concrete plan for revival of lakes in the city. Minister of Forest, Environment & Ecology, Karnataka, Shri Ramnath Rai attended the meeting, along with senior officials from the State Government.

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Ministry of Railways Signs Joint Venture Agreement with Government of Odisha
Jun 15,2016

Ministry of Railways signed a Joint Venture Agreement with Govt. of Odisha on 14 June 2016. Shri A K Mittal, Member Engineering, Railway Board presided over the signing function. The agreement was signed by Shri V. P Dudeja, ED/Works on behalf of Ministry of Railways and Shri Sanjay Rastogi, Pr. Secretary/ Transport, Govt. of Odisha. This is a very important step for formation of Joint Venture Company for development of Railway Infrastructure in the State.

The company shall identify projects to be developed and find avenues for financing of the same. Ministry of Railways and Govt. of Odisha shall be essentially funding part of such identified projects. Project specific SPVs shall be formed after financial closure of the project.

Background:

n++ In view of the growing demands for railway lines in various states and huge requirement of funds to execute them, Minister for Railways announced in his budget speech regarding setting up of Joint Ventures with states for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.

n++ 17 State Governments consented for formation of Joint Venture Companies in collaboration with the Ministry of Railways for development of rail infrastructure in their respective States. Draft MoUs were sent to these State Governments and discussions were also held with them to clarify various provisions of the MoU.

n++ MoUs have already been signed by the Ministry of Railways with seven State Governments viz. Odisha, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala and Haryana.

n++ Jharkhand and Gujarat have shown their keenness to sign MoU/JV Agreements.

n++ Joint Venture Agreements were sent to all the above nine State Governments.

n++ Apart from the above 9 States, the other States who have consented/ shown keenness for formation of State JVs are Punjab, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. Karnataka is already having a Joint Venture (by the name K-RIDE) with Ministry of Railways.

n++ The MoU envisages formation of a Joint Venture company having 51% stake of the State Government and 49% stake of Ministry of Railways. Thus, the JV company shall be fully owned by the Government. The company will primarily identify projects and possible financing avenues in addition to Govt. of India and the State Government. After finances for a project are tied up, project specific SPVs or special purpose vehicles shall be formed. These SPVs can have other stake holders from Industries, Central PSUs, State PSUs etc. However, the JV companies shall be mandatory stake holders with minimum 26% shares in the SPVs.

n++ The ministry of Railways will sign a concession agreement of 30 years with the project SPV for safe and sound operation, revenue sharing and providing technical & marketing logistics to the SPV. The revenue sharing shall be based on already established formula being used for inter zonal apportionment of revenue.

n++ The most important aspect of this MoU is that the ownership of the land shall vest with the SPVs which is a departure from previous practice. This will give financial leverage to the company to exploit commercial potential of the land. This is likely to result in making project viable which are otherwise not viable.

n++ At the end of concession period, the railways will have option to take over the assets at a nominal price. This is largely in line with average codal life of the assets as most of the assets will need large scale replacement after 30 years.

n++ Indian Railways has been playing a major role in national integration by connecting the remotest places and bringing people closer to each other. Railways receive a large number of demands for network expansion as a railway line acts as an engine of growth for the area it serves.

n++ However, Railways have a large shelf of ongoing New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling projects needing about Rs 3.86 lakh crores to complete. We have been trying to meet the aspirations of public within limited availability of funds.

n++ To expedite the projects, Railways have been trying to mobilize resources through other than Gross Budgetary Support. However, on the initiative of Honble Minister for Railways Sh. Suresh Prabhu, Indian Railways have tied up funds for critical capacity enhancement project of doubling, third line, electrification etc. This tied up loan will ensure dedicated and assured funding for such critical projects.

n++ Formation of Joint Venture Companies with the State Governments will go a long way in faster commissioning of critical rail infrastructure projects as it will not only help in mobilization of funds but also in facilitating various clearances and land acquisition.

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Investments in the industrial economy will be the key driver for sustaining a higher growth path & creating jobs-FICCI
Jun 14,2016

Commenting on the inflation numbers released today Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, President, FICCI said, n++Latest numbers report prices edging up on the back of elevated food prices. Upward pressure in prices is noted in the case of fruits and vegetables and protein rich items. This clearly calls for a more proactive management from the supply side. Several steps have been taken by the government to augment supplies and improve distribution of such items. We hope that the situation would be managed well and that inflation will remain within RBIs indicative trajectory.n++ n++Industrial growth, particularly the manufacturing sector, continues to remain under pressure with limited signs of improvement in a few sectors. We need to broad base the growth impulses and this calls for support by way of an accommodative monetary policy. FICCIS latest Business Confidence Survey indicates some improvement in capacity utilisation rates and for this to translate into higher investments there is a need to strengthen demand further. Investments in the industrial economy will be the key driver for sustaining a higher growth path & creating jobs and the current situation calls for all measures to be deployed towards this endn++, Mr Neotia added.

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Government Approves two Proposals of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Amounting to Rs. 2.19 Crore Approximately
Jun 14,2016

Based on the recommendations of Foreign Investment Promotion Board in its 235thmeeting held on 20th May 2016, the Government has approved two FDI proposals involving FDI of Rs. 2.19 crore, and recommended one proposal for approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

First approval was sort by Aurobindo Pharma for FDI of Rs 2.19 crore for the following categories:

(i) Grant of ESOPs to non-resident employee of Aurobindo Pharma Limited, after issue of Press Note 3 of 08.11.2011, which remained unexercised as on 11.06.2015, and against which no shares were issued upto as on 11th June 2015,(which could be vested and exercised later on and shares issued against them at that stage), totalling to 2,42,600 ESOPs and exercise amount aggregating to INR 1,11,11,080/-.

(ii) Grant of ESOPs to non-resident employee of Aurobindo Pharma Limited, after issue of Press Note 3 of 8 November 2011, which were exercised and shares issued against them after 8 November 2011 but before 11 June 2015, totalling to 1,18,700 ESOPs and the exercise amount aggregating to INR 1,08,72,920/-

Second approval has been sought by Sterling Commerce for acting as an Investing company for:

a) Curan software international Private Limited, Emptoris Technologies India Private Limited, Kenexa technologies Private Limited and Rational Software Corporation (India), which are currently owned by Overseas companies of IBM and currently dormant companies.

b) From time to time act as an investing company for companies undertaking software development, technologies services or those which have become dormant pursuant to transfer of their business to IBM India.

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EU brings policy and financial experts, business offering to help India achieve energy efficiency in Agricultural Demand Side Management
Jun 14,2016

Agriculture uses about 18% of the electricity consumed in India. This means that to tackle energy security, to implement Indias climate commitments, as well as to ensure food security and deal with water challenges, India must consider energy efficiency in irrigation. Hence, the European Union (EU) has brought policy and financial experts as well as European Business to India offering concrete solutions in this regard, said Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador, European Union Delegation to India.

While delivering his keynote address at a workshop on Agricultural Demand Side Management (AgDSM)-Adopting Technologies to Boost Efficiencies, the first in the series, organised by FICCI and European Commission, Mr. Kozlowski said that the partnership between India and the EU will facilitated policy dialogue, will bring best practices, business solutions and joint research and innovation and will look at financing models for clean energy and climate change.

In terms of finance, he said that the European Investment Bank has already provided loans for more than Euro 1.2 billion to support implementation of energy and climate related projects in India. Speaking about technologies and solutions, Mr. Kozlowski added that the EU was closely involved in developing offshore wind, solar parks and energy efficiency in India.

In his special address Mr. B P Pandey, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Power & Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), said that there are about 20.27 million electrified pumpsets installed in agriculture sector. Further, due to the increasing demand for water to meet the agricultural needs, about 0.25 to 0.5 million new pump sets are being added annually, therefore by adoption of high efficiency pumps about 25-30% energycan be saved. He added that the industry had sufficient pumpsets to supply but there was a need to work out a feasible finance models for adoption of these pumpsets.

Speaking about the initiatives to achieve energy efficiency in various sectors, Mr. Pandey said that governments Perform-Achieve-Trade (PAT) scheme is a market-based mechanism launched in 2008 under Indias national climate change action plan, and is designed to increase the energy efficiency of the most energy-intensive sectors. The first phase of PAT was completed in March 2015 and the second phase began with the inclusion of three industrial sectors, of which two are railways and utilities. Similarly, the Labeling Program is providing the consumer an informed choice about energy saving, and thereby it is enabling cost saving of the marketed household and other equipment. He added that the government was promoting use of energy efficiency equipment such as LEDs as well.

In his theme presentation Mr. Nitin Zamre, Managing Director, ICF International India, speaking about the opportunities, he said that AgDSM is a recognised intervention area by every DISCOM and both EE and RE options are available for agricultural pumps. Also there star rated pumps available in India and there is increased awareness among farmers, pump manufacturers about it. He added that India was getting international support and cooperation as well to fulfil its commitment to INDC goals.

Pointing out the challenges, Mr. Zamre said that there was a lack of effective Centre-State coordination for policy push and demand-supply gap of star rated pumps. Also, concentration of agriculture pump manufacturers was inlimited locations and the high initial cost of EE pumps becomes a deterrent. He added that there was a need to make international technology easily accessible and mindset change towards transition to EE technology was also needed.

Ms. Henriette Faergemann, Counsellor (Environment, Energy & Climate Change), Delegation of the European Union to India, said that there are cost issues involved with the implementation of energy efficiency technology in agriculture but in the long term adoption of such technology would prove to be beneficial for green growth. She added that the EU had an incredible GDP growth with reduced emission by adopting energy efficient technologies and Indian too could attain the same by using energy efficient equipment.

Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that by bringing together stakeholders from the EU and India, the workshop focused on promoting cooperation between the two sides in the area of AgDSM, one of the biggest focus areas for Indian policymakers in the DSM space. The workshop is a stepping stone to build a framework for implementation of efficient pumping technology and best practices in Indian agricultural sector in cooperation with European partners.

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