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Cut-off Date for Submission of Insurance Proposals Extended till 10th August, 2016
Aug 04,2016

Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare have received a number of requests from various States for extension of cut-off date on account of various reasons including delay in carrying out the requisite preliminaries and consequential delay in notification, this being the first season for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY). The matter has been considered and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare today decided to extend the cut-off date for submission of insurance proposals upto and including 10th August, 2016 by relaxing provision of Para IX (3 & 4) of Operational Guidelines of PMFBY & Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme.

All cut-off dates for subsequent activities should accordingly be extended. This extension is valid only for crops where cut-off date earlier was 31st July, 2016. Earlier also Ministry extended the cut-off date for submission of insurance proposals under PMFBY upto 2nd August, 2016.

This is a one-time extension only and should not to be quoted as precedent in future. State Government may consider taking appropriate action regarding extension of cut-off date accordingly as deemed fit and inform all stakeholders including SLBC/Banks.

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Cabinet approves discontinuation of the services of DGS&D for procuring jute bags for food grains
Aug 04,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved to discontinue the services of Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) in the operation of purchase of jute bags by Government Agencies for procurement of food grains.

The CCEA further approved that from 1st November, 2016 onwards, jute bags will be procured by the Jute Commissioner of India, Ministry of Textiles.

The approval would help in eliminating multiple bodies and the Ministries which are involved for single action of jute bags procurements. It will also strengthen the scope of work vested with Jute Commissioner of India.

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Cabinet approves recommendations of the Sub-Group of Chief Minsters on Rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes
Aug 04,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has accepted the major recommendations of the Sub-Group of Chief Minsters on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs). The Sub-Group had examined 66 CSSs and recommended that the number of CSSs should not normally exceed 30. A consensus was reached on many contentious issues not only between the States represented on the Sub- Group but other States/UTs also through regional consultations and meetings with Union Ministries/Departments.

The rationalization of the CSSs would ensure optimum utilization of resources with better outcomes through area specific interventions. This would also ensure wider reach of the benefits to the target groups.

The Sub-Group was set up in pursuance of the decision taken in the first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog held on 8th February 2015. The Guiding Principles of the Sub-Group had been to resolve the issues between Union and the States /UTs and to work as Team India in the spirit of Cooperative Federalism towards realization of the goals of VISION 2022 when we will celebrate the 75th year of Independence. The objectives of the VISION are broadly: (a) providing basic amenities to all citizens in an equitable and just manner for ensuring a life with self-respect and dignity, and (b) providing appropriate opportunities to every citizen to realize his/her potential.

4. The major recommendations of the Sub-Group are as under:

a) No. of Schemes: The total number of schemes should not exceed 30.

b) Categorisation of Schemes: Existing CSSs should be divided into Core and Optional Schemes.

i. Core schemes: Focus of CSSs should be on schemes that comprise the National Development Agenda where the Centre and States will work together in the spirit of Team India.

ii. Core of the Core Schemes: Those schemes which are for social protection and social inclusion should form the core of core and be the first charge on available funds for the National Development Agenda.

iii. Optional Schemes: The Schemes where States would be free to choose the ones they wish to implement. Funds for these schemes would be allocated to States by the Ministry of Finance as a lump sum.

List of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in accordance with the National Development Agenda:

SI.No.n++

n++

Name of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs)(A)

n++

n++

n++

Core of the Core Schemes

n++

1

n++

n++

n++

National Social Assistance Programme

n++

2

n++

n++

n++

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme

n++

3

n++

n++

n++

Umbrella Scheme for Development of Scheduled Castes

n++

4

n++

n++

n++

Umbrella Scheme for Development of Scheduled Tribes

n++

5

n++

n++

n++

Umbrella Programme for Development of Minorities

n++

6

n++

n++

n++

Umbrella Scheme for Development of Backward Classes, Differently Abled and other Vulnerable Groups

n++

(B)

n++

n++

n++

Core Schemes

n++

7

n++

n++

n++

Green Revolution (Krishi Unnati Schemes and Rashtriya KrishiVikas Yojana)

n++

8

n++

n++

n++

White Revolution (Animal Husbandry and Dairying)

n++

9

n++

n++

n++

Blue Revolution (Integrated Development of Fisheries)

n++

10

n++

n++

n++

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana

n++

n++

n++

a

n++

Har Khet ko Pani

n++

n++

n++

b

n++

Per Drop More Crop

n++

n++

n++

c

n++

Integrated Watershed Development Programme

n++

n++

d

n++

Accelerated Irrigation Benefit and Flood Management Programme

n++

11

n++

n++

n++

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY)

n++

12

n++

n++

n++

Pradhan Mantri A was Yojana (PMAY)

n++

n++

n++

a

n++

PMAY-Rural

n++

n++

n++

b

n++

Cabinet approves formula to provide production subsidy to sugar mills
Aug 04,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has decided to extend production subsidy to sugar mills which achieve expected performance in respect of export of sugar and supply of ethanol. This has been done to offset cost of cane and facilitate timely payment of cane price dues of farmers.

Due to drought situation, there has been significant decline in sugarcane/sugar production in the country by about 1.8 million MT (mMT) and 0.8 mMT respectively. Drought affected States requested to reduce the target of sugar export and ethanol supply due to non-availability of sufficient sugarcane and molasses. Initially, the export quota target was scaled at 15.70 kg of sugar for each tonne of estimated cane crushing. Now, the export quota would be revised on a scale of 15.70 kg of sugar for each tonne of cane actually crushed by the mills during current sugar season or previously notified Minimum Indicative Export Quota (MIEQ) target, whichever is lower.

Similarly, mill/distillery-wise ethanol supply target will be revised to actual quantity contracted by them for supply to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). In case of mills/distillery not offering supplies ethanol so far, the existing allocation already notified, will remain unchanged. Performance of ethanol supply would be assessed on the basis of actual supply made against pro-rated supply schedule fixed by OMCs till June, 2016 with respect to contracted quantities.

As the production subsidy scheme was withdrawn before time, the sugar mills which have exported at least 50% of their export target (80% of MIEQ) and in case of mills having distillation capacity have supplied ethanol as per revised schedule shall be eligible for production subsidy. However, production subsidy on actual cane crushing would be provided to sugar mills proportionate to their achievement on export and ethanol supply targets with equal weightage.

Surplus production over domestic consumption during the last few years leading to subdued sugar price had stressed the liquidity position of the sugar industry resulting in accumulation of huge cane arrears of farmers in 2014 15 sugar season. Government had taken various measures like providing incentive on raw sugar export, extending financial assistance to the sugar mills through soft loan scheme, facilitating sugar mills for supply of ethanol under Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP), to improve the liquidity position of sugar mills enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers. Mill-wise Minimum Indicative Export Quota were fixed for evacuation of surplus stocks from the country and mill/distillery-wise ethanol supply target was also fixed to achieve national blending target of 10%.

Production subsidy @ Rs.4.50 per quintal of cane crushed during the sugar season 2015-16 was also provided to offset the cost of cane; contingent on mills performance in respect of export quota and ethanol blending targets. It was observed that sugar prices were ruling substantially higher than levels required for operational viability of the sugar industry and accordingly production subsidy scheme was withdrawn w.e.f. 19.5.2016. Further, to ensure sufficient availability of sugar to meet the domestic requirements, it was deemed necessary to conserve stocks in the country, and accordingly the MIEQ Order dated 18th September, 2015 was also withdrawn.

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Cabinet authorized National Highways Authority of India to monetize public funded national highway projects
Aug 04,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has authorized National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to monetize public funded National Highway (NH) projects which are operational and are generating toll revenues for at least two years after the Commercial Operations Date (COD) through the Toll Operate Transfer (TOT) Model. The monetization will be subject to approval of the Competent Authority in Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) / NHAI on a case to case basis.

Around 75 operational NH projects completed under public funding have been preliminarily identified for potential monetization using the TOT Model.

This Model would provide an efficient Operation and Maintenance (O&M) framework requiring reduced involvement of NHAI in projects post construction completion. Further, the corpus generated from proceeds of such project monetization could be utilized by the Government to meet its fund requirements regarding future development and O&M of highways in the country. This could address development/strengthening of highways in unviable geographies. The Model would facilitate efficient toll realization through private sector. It would also create new business opportunities for the following:

a. A new vertical of developers who specialize in O&M of highways,

b. Category of investors (Institutional Investors including Pension & Insurance Funds, Sovereign Funds, etc.) which is .averse to taking construction risks but is adequately equipped for making long term investments in road infrastructure.

This approval would ensure better O&M of public funded NH stretches resulting in enhanced quality of service for highway users across the country. Further, the fund generated from such monetization shall be utilized for development/O&M of highways in the country, which would benefit highway users throughout the country.

Background:

For the traditional public funded NH projects i.e. projects constructed under erstwhile Item Rate Contracts or the current Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) lump -sum contracts, after completion of construction and completion of defects liability period of up to four years, the contractors exit the completed projects and the entire responsibility of regular and periodic maintenance and day - to - day operations including toll collection comes on to NHAI. NHAI generally outsources such services through various vendors and contractors. With continuous growth of the sector, number of public funded operational highway projects is likely to increase over time. Such completed and operational public funded projects in some cases have been bid out under the Operate, Maintain and Transfer (OMT) contracts wherein the selected concessionaire is required to take care of the project O&M for a period of around 6-9 years depending on when the major periodic maintenance is due. The OMT model has only been partially successful. Limitations of the model include relatively short tenure of O&M obligations for the concessionaire and participation mostly being restricted to contractors and developers only.

Monetization of public funded NH roads is expected to create a framework for attracting long term institutional investment on the strength of future toll receivables. Market feedback indicates that certain institutional investors from outside the country have a long term investment appetite and are keen to participate in operational highway projects with stable toll revenue outlook. These investors generally hesitate from taking construction risk but are willing to look at de-risked Brownfield road assets.

Accordingly, the Model for monetization of public funded, operational NH projects has been developed to address above needs. Under this Model, also referred to as the TOT Model, the right of collection of user fee (toll) in respect of selected operational NH stretches constructed through public funding is proposed to be assigned for a specific time period, to developers/investors against upfront payment of a lump-sum amount to the Government. Further, during the tenure of the contract, the O&M responsibility would remain with the assigned developer/investor.

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Cabinet approves Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 Historical Step towards making roads safe and save lakhs of innocent lives
Aug 04,2016

Every year 5 lakh road accidents are reported in the country in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives. Government is committed to reduce the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years.

To address the issue of road safety, a draft Road Transport & Safety Bill was prepared soon after NDA Government came to power. However, most of the States have expressed reservations.

To address the issue of road safety and to improve the facilitation of the citizens while dealing with transport departments, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways constituted a Group of Transport Ministers (GoM) of the States. The GoM headed by Sh. Yoonus Khan, Hon. Transport Minister of Rajasthan held three meetings. A total of 18 Transport Ministers from different political parties participated in these meetings and they have submitted three interim reports.

The GoM recommended that to address the pressing issue of road safety and improving transport scenario, Government should immediately bring amendments to the present Motor Vehicle Act. On the basis of recommendations of the GoM and other pressing requirements, MoRTH introduced the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 for consideration of the Cabinet. Today Cabinet Chaired by Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the bill.

In the present Motor Vehicle Act, there are 223 Sections out of which the Bill aims to amend 68 sections whereas Chapters 10 has been deleted and a Chapter 11 is being replaced with new provisions to simplify third party insurance claims and settlement process.

The important provisions include increase in compensation for Hit & Run cases from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 2 lakhs. It also has provision for payment of compensation upto Rs 10 lakh in road accidents fatalities.

The Bill also proposes insertion of 28 new sections. The amendments mainly focus on issues relating to improving road safety, citizens facilitation while dealing with the Transport Department. Strengthening rural transport, last mile connectivity and public transport, automation and computerization and enabling online services.

The Bill propose to improve the transport scenario in the country by permitting the States to grant exemptions in Stage carriage and contract carriage permits for promoting rural transport, public transport, last mile connectivity and for passenger convenience and road safety.

The Bill proposes that the State Government can specify a multiplier, not less than one and not greater than ten, to be applied to each fine under this Act and such modified fine.

The bill proposes that the State Government can regulate the activities in a public place of pedestrians and such means of transport.

Improving delivery of services to the stakeholders using e-Governance is one of the major focuses of this Bill. This include enabling online learning licenses, increasing validity period for driving licenses, doing away with the requirements of educational qualifications for transport licenses are some of the features.

The Bill proposes offences committed by Juveniles. The Guardian / owner shall be deemed to be guilty in cases of offences by the Juveniles and Juvenile to be tried under JJ Act. Registration of Motor Vehicle to be cancelled

To improve the registration process for new vehicles, registration at the end of the dealer is being enabled and restrictions have been imposed on temporary registration.

In the area of road safety, bill proposes to increase penalties to act as deterrent against traffic violations. Stricter provisions are being proposed in respect of offences like juvenile driving, drunken driving, driving without licence, dangerous driving, over-speeding, overloading etc. Stricter provisions for helmets have been introduced along with provisions for electronic detection of violations. To help the road accident victims, Good Samaritan guidelines have been incorporated in the Bill. The Bill also proposes to mandate the automated fitness testing for the transport vehicles with effect from 1st October 2018. This would reduce corruption in the Transport Department while improving the road worthiness of the vehicle. The penalties are also proposed for deliberate violation of safety/environmental regulations as well as body builders and spare part suppliers.

To bring harmony of the registration and licensing process, it is proposed to create National Register for Driving Licence and National Register for Vehicle registration through Vahan & Sarathi platforms. This will facilitate uniformity of the process across the country.

The process for testing and certification for automobiles is proposed to be regulated more effectively. The testing agencies issuing automobile approvals have been brought under the ambit of the Act.

The driving training process has been strengthened enabling faster issuance of transport licenses. This will help in reducing the shortage of commercial drivers in the country.

To facilitate transport solutions for Divyang, the bottlenecks have been removed in respect of grant of driving licenses as well as alterations in the vehicles to make it fit for use of Divyang.

Honble Transport Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari has termed the Motor vehicle (Amendment) 2016 passed by cabinet as biggest reforms in the Road Safety & transport sector. He has expressed his gratitude to Honble Prime Minister for his guidance & Support. He has also expressed his special appreciation for the efforts put in by Group of State Transport Ministers to formulate these amendments. He has also expressed his confidence that parliament shall take up the amendments next week and has appealed to all parties to support the bill which a step in right direction to provide safe & public friendly transport eco system.

Proposed Amendments in Various Penalties under Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill - 2016

Section

Old Provision / Penalty

New Proposed Provision / Minimum Penalties

177GeneralRs 100 Rs 500 New 177ARules of road regulation violationRs 100Rs 500 178Travel without ticketRS 200Rs 500179Disobedience of orders of authoritiesRs 500Rs 2000180Unautorized use of vehicles without licenceRs 1000Rs 5000181Driving without licenceRs 500Rs 5000182Driving despite disqualificationRs 500Rs 10,000182 BOversize vehiclesNewRs 5000 183Over speedingRs 400Rs 1000 for LMV Rs 2000 for Medium passenger vehicle

Cabinet approves amendments in the Central List of Other Backward Classes applicable to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Aug 04,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for making suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs by way of inclusion/correction/deletion of castes/communities applicable to the State of Andhra Pradesh and the newly formed State of Telangana as per the advice received from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC).

A total of 35 changes recommended by NCBC in respect of Andhra Pradesh and 86 New Entries in respect of Telangana State will be notified. The changes will enable the persons belonging to these castes/ communities in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to avail the benefits of reservation in Government services and posts as well as in Central Educational Institutions as per extant policy. They will also become eligible for benefit under the various welfare schemes, scholarships etc. being administered by the Central Government, which are at present available to the persons belonging to the Other Backward Classes.

Background:

On the recommendation of the Commission a total of 2401 Entries for inclusion, including its synonyms, sub-castes, etc. in the Central List of Other Backward Classes have been notified in 24 States and 6 Union Territories. The last such notification was issued on 26.5.2016. Since then, several more recommendations for inclusion of castes/communities and corrections in the existing list of OBCs for the State of Andhra Pradesh and the new State of Telangana have been received from NCBC.

Under Section 9 (Functions of the Commission) of the NCBC Act 1993, the Commission examines requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and hears complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any backward class in such lists and tenders such advice to the Central Government. The Act also stipulates that the advice of the Commission shall ordinarily be binding upon the Central Government.

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Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Lao
Aug 04,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).

The Agreement is expected to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between the two countries bringing it in tune with the developments in the civil aviation sector. It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.

Under the agreement, the designated airlines of the two countries shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes. The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently. ASA is the basic legal framework for any air operation between the two countries.

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Cabinet approves the terms and conditions for transfer of 12 acres of land of Indu-6 Mill land vested in NTCL to Government of Maharashtra
Aug 04,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the terms and conditions for transfer of 12 acres of National Textile Corporation (NTCL), Indu-6 Mill land to Government of Maharashtra for construction of a memorial of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

Background:

The Chaityabhoomi of Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is situated in the vicinity of the land of Indu-6 Mill of National Textile Construction (NTCL), Mumbai; a place of pilgrimage for millions of Indians.

The Union Cabinet had already approved the transfer of 12 acres of Indu-6 Mill land, vested in National Textile Corporation, to Government of Maharashtra for construction of a befitting Memorial for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar on payment of compensation as required under section 11A of the Sick Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Amendment Act, 1995 and ratified tripartite Memorandum of Understanding signed between Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and National Textile Corporation.

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Cabinet approves Spectrum Usage Charge for the spectrum in various bands held by various operators or to be acquired by them in forthcoming auction
Aug 04,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the rates for Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for various bands of spectrum for which auction are going to be conducted shortly. With this decision the path is clear for issuance of the Notice Inviting Application for spectrum auction by the Department of Telecommunications.

As per the decision of the cabinet, the Spectrum Usage Charge is to be prescribed as given below:

(i) Spectrum acquired in forthcoming auction in 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 & 2500 MHz band is to be charged at the rate of 3% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) excluding the revenue from wire-line services.

(ii) The weighted average of SUC rates across all spectrum assigned to an operator (whether assigned administratively or through auction or through trading) in all access spectrum bands including BWA spectrum obtained in 2010 auction shall be applied for charging SUC subject to a minimum of 3% of AGR excluding revenues from wire-line services. The weighted average is to be derived by sum of product of spectrum holdings and applicable SUC rate divided by total spectrum holding. The Weighted Average Rate shall be determined operator wise for each service area.

(iii) The amount of SUC payable by the operators during 2015-16 at weighted average derived after taking into consideration the spectrum acquired in the coming auction and excluding the spectrum in 2300 MHz/2500 MHz band acquired/ allocated prior to 2015-16, shall be treated as the floor amount of the SUC to be paid by the operators. Further, in case there is a reduction in AGR of the service provider, the floor amount of SUC shall be reduced proportionately.

This will facilitate to move to a simple, transparent and flat ad-valorem SUC regime in accordance with the law and avoid creative accounting to bypass the revenues.

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Demand for global air freight picks up in June 2016: IATA
Aug 03,2016

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight demand in June 2016 showing a rise in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) of 4.3% year-on-year. This was the fastest pace of growth in 14 months. Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9% year-on-year, keeping yields under downward pressure.

Freight demand increased year-on-year in June across all regions with the exception of Latin America which recorded a 9.8% decrease, compared to the same period last year. The Middle East and Europe posted the fastest demand growth in June with year-on-year increases of 8.0% and 5.1% respectively.

June saw an improvement in demand for air freight. Thats good news. However, we cannot read too much into one months performance. Air cargo markets have been in the doldrums for several years during which there were several false starts on indications for improvement. We will continue watching developments closely, keeping in mind that the air freight business environment is fragile. Global economic growth remains sluggish, world trade volumes continue to trend downwards and the industry faces heightened uncertainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, said Tony Tyler, IATAs Director General and CEO.

Regional Performance

Asia-Pacific airlines reported a 3.5% increase in demand for air cargo in June compared to last year. Capacity expanded 3.6%. The Asia-Pacific air freight market has been improving in recent months, most notably the large within Asia market. Nonetheless freight volumes from emerging Asia continue to face headwinds from weak trade in the region and globally.

North American carriers saw freight volumes expand 4.3% in June 2016 compared to the same period last year. Capacity increased 4.0%. International freight volumes continue to suffer from the strength of the US dollar which has kept the US export market under pressure.

European airlines witnessed a 5.1% increase in freight volumes and a 4.9% increase in capacity in June 2016. The positive European performance corresponds with signs of an increase in export orders in Germany over the last few months. Seasonally adjusted freight results for Europe are now trending upwards.

Middle Eastern carriers posted the largest increase in freight volumes of all regions for the 16th consecutive month in June - 8.0% year on year. Capacity increased by 8.7%. Although the leader in market growth, the Middle Easts international freight growth rate (6.5%) for the first six months of 2016 is less than half the 14.3% average growth for the same period in 2015.

Latin American airlines reported a decline in demand of 9.8% and a decrease in capacity of 2.6%. The region continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions, particularly in the regions largest economy, Brazil.

African carriers recorded 0.4% freight growth in June 2016 compared to the same period last year. African airlines capacity surged by 19.9% year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion, continuing the trend seen since December 2015.

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Further import of 30,000 MT pulses approved
Aug 03,2016

The Government has decided to import further 30,000 MT pulses, consisting of 20,000 MT tur and 10,000 MT Urad, for the buffer stock. The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of Price Stabilization Fund chaired by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary, Shri Hem Pande here today. The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses from buffer stock.

So far, the Government agencies have procured about 1, 19, 572 MT pulses from the domestic market and farmers and 56,000 MT pulses have been contracted for import. Thus 1, 75, 572 MT pulses are available with the buffer stock.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has requested State Governments repeatedly to lift the pulses Tur and Urad from the buffer stock for distribution not more than Rs. 120/kg. These pulses are provided to the States- Tur at the rate of Rs. 67/kg and Urad at the rate of Rs. 82/kg. On the request of the State Governments, over 29,000 MT pulses have been allocated to the states as on 18.01.2016 but only 3 states have lifted some quantities against their allotments. State wise allocations and lifting of pulses are as follows:

(as on 01.08.2016)

A.    State/UT

AllocationLifted1Chhattisgarh1064.0832Maharashtra4352.2863Bihar5995.3254Andaman & Nicobar559.3445Andhra Pradesh4426.5192221.7416Tamil Nadu4090.8475007Telangana3958.6651999.3658Madhya Pradesh1674.029Rajasthan100010Gujarat1306.16211Karnataka705.093Total29132.344721.106

B.     Delhi

AllocationLifted1Kendriya Bhandar4002002.Safal3001003.NCCF100 40

 

Total800340

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Shipping Corporation of India Signs MoU with Government of India
Aug 03,2016

Shipping Corporation of India has signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Shipping for the financial year 2016-17. The MoU was signed by Shri Rajive Kumar, IAS, Secretary (Shipping) and Capt. B.B. Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, Shipping Corporation of India.

The MOU is based on the MOU guidelines 2016-17 issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). It consists of parameters drawn on the prescribed evaluation criteria and factors such as capacity and its expansion, business environment, projects under implementation have been considered. SCI has set ambitious, growth oriented and aspirational targets against these parameters keeping its growth plans and objectives in view. These are also in line with the vision of the Ministry of Shipping and the Government of India to escalate the growth for the Maritime sector in India. The MoU will be periodically reviewed by the Ministry and the performance of the PSU would be evaluated and ratings awarded at the end of the financial year.

The shipping industry is cyclical and is presently experiencing a down turn. The freight rates have come under pressure due to overcapacity of ships and are subject to a lot of volatility. Despite unfavourable market conditions and down turn being faced by the shipping industry in general, the SCI has taken proactive measures for sustained growth in these challenging times including costs-saving and has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs.389.4 crores for the financial year 2015-16.

SCI has ambitious CAPEX plans in 2016-17 to augment its tonnage through acquisition of second hand vessels. SCI has been entrusted with the management of ONGCs MODUs Sagar Vijay and Sagar Bhushan for a period of six years. It has also been entrusted with the technical management of A&N owned 17 Foreshore vessels.

SCI is maintaining its focus on coastal trade mainly in coastal crude transportation and transportation of coal to meet increased demand of power generation. It is also concentrating on increasing its presence on coastal and near coastal trade and has restructured its SMILE service synergizing SCIs services with M/s. Shreyas services to seamlessly link the East Coast and West Coast of India to Persian Gulf. It has also restarted India-Myanmar shipping service and talks are on for including South East Asian ports in the service. SCI is also participating in the movement of project cargo especially in the defense and power sector.

To take advantage of the increasing opportunities in Inland Waterways, SCI has signed an MOU with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) during the Maritime India Summit 2016 to undertake inland waterways transportation on National Waterways 1, 2 & 5. n++

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Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. signs MoU with Government of India
Aug 03,2016

Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the financial year 2016-17. The MoU was signed by Shri Rajive Kumar, Secretary, Shipping and Shri Rajesh Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, in New Delhi.

The MoU broadly consists of the performance evaluation parameters and targets for Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. for the ensuing year. The MoU will be reviewed by the Ministry on a regular basis and the performance of the PSU would be evaluated and ratings awarded at the end of the financial year. The targets agreed in the MoU are in line with the aggressive growth plans of DCI for making forays internationally in line with the Ministry of Shippings ambitious plans.

DCI has posted n++Very Goodn++ performance during the last financial year (2015-16) as against n++Goodn++ for the year 2014-15, despite very difficult market conditions. In the year ended 31st March 2016, DCI posted a turnover of Rs.676 crores. The Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) figures are Rs.83 crores. and Rs.80 crores respectively, representing an increase of 28% and 29 % respectively over the previous year.

DCI MUTLICAT an ancillary vessel has been added to the fleet of DCI. DCI has further placed order for an inland cutter suction dredger which will join the fleet very shortly. This would facilitate the Company to take up inland dredging works once again after a long gap. In continuation of the steps taken for capacity augmentation of its core dredging activity, the detailed Project Report is being prepared for higher capacity trailing suction dredgers.

During the year under review, maintenance dredging contracts were executed for Kolkata Port, Haldia, Kandla, Cochin Port Trust, Ernakulam, RGPPL-Dabhol and NST and its approaches of VPT. Capital Dredging Contracts were executed at Kandla Port, Kamarajar Port and Visakhapatnam Port. The works were executed either under the existing contracts or renewal of the contracts entered into with the Ports etc., during the previous years or new contracts entered into during the year.

As per the targets set in the MoU for 2016-17 that was signed today, DCI is to achieve a turnover of Rs.770 crores. The target for operating profit is Rs.65 crores for 2016-17 as against the actual of Rs.45 crores for 2015-16. Further in the current year 2016-17, finalization of a contract is in the final stages for deployment of a dredger outside India and this will enable the company to earn income in foreign exchange for the first time in many years.

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Over 25 lakh LPG connections released under PM Ujjwala Yojana
Aug 03,2016

25.44 lakh LPG connections have been released to women of BPL families as on today under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The scheme which was launched by Honorable Prime Minister in Balia, Uttar Pradesh on 01st May, 2016 is currently under operation in 553 districts of 24 States.

Under the scheme, 5 crores LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs. 1600 per connection in the next 3 years. Identification of the BPL families is being done through Socio-Economic Caste Census data.

The official website of the Yojana www.pmujjwalayojana.com contains the details about the scheme and the form to be filled by the intended beneficiaries. It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas that a number of fake and misleading websites have come up on the internet on the PMUY. General public and other stakeholders may consult only the official website for any information with regard to the scheme.

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