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Moodys: Liquidity-Stress Index falls again in June, edging closer to historical low
Jul 24,2017

Moodys Liquidity-Stress Index (LSI) fell to 3.2% in mid-July from 3.5% in June, continuing its downward trend and edging closer to its all-time low of 2.8%, the rating agency says in its most recent edition of SGL Monitor. Speculative-grade liquidity continues to be supported by solid fundamentals, including economic growth and favorable financing conditions.

Moodys Liquidity-Stress Index falls when corporate liquidity appears to improve and rises when it appears to weaken.

US speculative-grade companies continue to capitalize on ready access to the credit markets amid investors ongoing search for yield, said Senior Vice President, John Puchalla. Its this same appetite for yield which has kept issuance relatively strong, helping many companies reduce a mounting level of maturities and amend covenants to improve flexibility.

The oil and gas LSI dropped to 7.7% in June, falling below its 8.1% long-term average for the first time since January 2015. The non-oil & gas LSI, meanwhile, stood at 2.4% in mid-July, a level that would set a record low if maintained. The declining LSI, reflecting the continuing decrease in the number of companies with Moodys lowest speculative-grade liquidity rating, SGL-4, underscores the trend towards a lower US speculative-grade default rate, which the rating agency forecasts will slip to 2.8% by June 2018 from around 3.8% today.

The risk that speculative-grade companies will violate their financial maintenance covenants also continues to decline, as indicated by Moodys Covenant-Stress Index, which slipped to 2.9% in June from 3.0% the prior month. The index has remained below its 5.8% long-term average since June last year.

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88 singles drugs and 33 compound formulations have been carried out under drug standardization in the year 2016-17: AYUSH Minister
Jul 24,2017

Ministry of AYUSH has set-up Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) as apex body for formulation and development of Ayurvedic medicines for various diseases.

Year wise details of the study and research activities in Ayurveda including literary and conceptual study, clinical and therapeutic research and drug development research undertaken by CCRAS during the last three years and the current year are as under :-

2014-2015

i. Eight Clinical Researches completed.

ii. A total of 18 drugs were studied pharmacognostically.

iii. Under Drug Standardization, 25 singles drugs have been carried out.

iv. Toxicological study of three coded drugs completed. Biological activity of one drug completed.

v. Eight books have been published.

vi. Five Intra Mural Literary Research projects completed.

2015-2016

i. 10 Clinical Researches completed.

ii. Three Intra Mural Medicinal Plant Research projects completed.

iii. Under Drug Standardization, 54 singles drugs and 28 compound formulations have been carried out.

iv. Five Intra Mural Pharmacological Research Projects completed.

v. Eight books published. Besides this, three Intra Mural Literary Research projects completed.

2016-2017

i. Ten Clinical Researches completed.

ii. Five Intra Mural Medicinal Plant Research projects completed.

iii. Under Drug Standardization, 88 singles drugs and 33 compound formulations have been carried out.

iv. Three Intra Mural Drug Standardization Research projects completed.

v. One Intra Mural Pharmacological Research Project completed.

vi. Nine books have been published. Besides this, three Intra Mural Literary Research projects completed.

2017-2018 (upto June)

i. 20 Clinical Researches completed.

ii. Under Clinical Research, One Intra Mural Research project completed.

iii. Under Drug Standardization Programme, five IMR projects competed. Under Medicinal Plant Research, one project completed.

CCRAS has informed that toxicity has not been reported in the clinical trials conducted by them.

Rule 158-B of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945 seeks proof of safety and effectiveness for the purpose of licensing of various categories of Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs. Enforcement of these provisions is under the purview of the State Licensing Authorities appointed by the State Governments.

Such Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs containing any of the potentially hazardous ingredients of plant, animal or mineral origin as specified in the Schedule E(1), Rule 161(2) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, are required to be taken under medical supervision. In this regard an Advisory has been issued on 1st February, 2016 for Manufacturers of Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs for ensuring to imprint Caution: to be taken under medical supervision both in English and Hindi on the labels of all such Ayurvedic, Siddha and Unani drugs which contain potentially hazardous ingredients of plant, animal or mineral origin as specified in the Schedule E(1) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.

There is a specific category of herbo mineral or metallic Ayurvedic medicines called Rasaushadies or Rasa yoga. Many of such medicines make use of heavy metals like Mercury, Arsenic and Lead as ingredients after subjecting them to a series of processes called Shodana, Marana, Amritkaram etc. to render them safe and therapeutically effective. Separate GMP of Rasaaushadhies have been made mandatory under the provision of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules.

Herbal Medicines are not covered in the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules there under, and hence are not recognized as a class of medicines in India. However, It is a scientific fact that the quality, efficacy, potency, shelf life and batch to batch consistency of plant material based products are affected by storage conditions. Shelf life of various categories of ayurvedic drugs is also notified under Drugs and Cosmetics Rule, 1945 and it is mandatory for the manufacturer to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices for obtaining manufacturing license.

Pharmacopoeial Standards of ayurvedic drugs are prescribed in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoea along with permissible limit of heavy metals, aflatoxins, pesticide residue and microbial load. For manufacturing of ayurvedic products of assured quality in accordance with these standards

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Ministry of Railways undertakes various Initiatives to improve Catering Services
Jul 24,2017

 23 Million passengers travel on Indian Railways on a daily basis.  Indian Railways provide approximately 1.1 million meals to passengers every day out of these 1 million are provided on board itself.

Catering services on Indian Railways can be classified into two broad categories viz. Mobile catering and static catering services.  At present, there are 360 pairs of trains with pantry cars, which include 22 pairs of Rajdhanis, 25 pairs of Shatabdis, 18 pairs of Duronto trains and 295 pairs of mail/express trains. There are about 9686   Major and Minor Static Units on Indian Railways, which include 50 Jan Ahaars outlets, 224 Food Plazas/Fast Food Units.

Provision of catering services to its passengers having diverse tastes and choices, on such a large scale, is an onerous task.  There have been challenges to improve the catering services over Indian Railways and for the last three years not only an in-depth analysis has been undertaken to identify the root causes but also structural reforms have been initiated to solve the problem institutionally. The in depth analysis revealed that unless the current policy was changed and contract frameworks completely overhauled, things would not change permanently. It was also realised that unless the quality of food at source is not controlled, onboard quality would not change. Hence Honble Minister announced unbundling of Food production and Food disbursement through a revamped New Catering Policy. Under this policy, ultra modern kitchens ranging from mega to nano with partnership of private sector would be established which would use the most hygienic and latest equipment for food preparation. Honble Minister in his first budget speech, had also announced the launch of E Catering services on train, which would allow passengers to order food from the brands of their choice. Now you can order Pizzas or Burgers or even Dal Makhani on train. Interestingly such a service is not available in many railways of the developed world. Honble MR also instituted a Zero Tolerance policy towards catering. In the last six months itself, we have terminated 7 contracts, blacklisted 16 contractors, taken action against 21 officers and imposed fines in excess of Rs 4.5 Crores.

In order to achieve the objective of improving quality of catering services in Indian Railways various steps have been undertaken in recent years. Here is a brief summary of the initiatives. New Catering Policy, 2017

New Catering Policy has been issued on 27th February 2017 with the objective to provide quality food to rail passengers by unbundling of catering services on trains. IRCTC has been mandated to carry out the unbundling by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution. In order to upgrade quality of food preparation IRCTC will set up new kitchens and upgrade existing ones.

The salient features of the new Catering Policy 2017 are as under: - IRCTC to manage catering service on all mobile units. Pantry car contracts awarded by zonal railway to be reassigned to IRCTC.Meals for all mobile units to be picked up from the nominated kitchens owned, operated and managed by IRCTC.IRCTC not to outrightly outsource or issue licenses for provision of catering services to private licensees. IRCTC to retain the ownership and be fully accountable for all the issues pertaining to setting up and operation of the Base Kitchens and quality of food.IRCTC to engage service providers from hospitality industry for service of food in trains.Kitchen structures/land/space to be handed over by zonal Railways to IRCTC, for a period of 10 years extendable for another period of 5 years, on a token license fee.IRCTC to be responsible for management of Food Plaza, Food Courts, Fast food units within the ambit of this policy.The setting up/ development / refurbishment of new or existing Base Kitchens/Kitchen units to be undertaken by IRCTC. These kitchens are to be owned, operated and managed by IRCTC. The new base kitchens would be set up through PPP ensuring best in class vendors and practices to get incorporated. International consultants Price Water House Coopers has been engaged to developed the concessionaire agreement document for Base Kitchens and Services on board trains. The main features of the new contract are:a) Two packet system is being strictly implemented to allow only those vendors which have good credentials.b) The eligibility criteria for vendors have been re-looked to allow more reputed vendors to participate.c) Licensing model for catering contracts is being relooked to make the mobile vending viable and with right incentives and penalties to eliminate overchargingd) Economic viability of base kitchens is being worked out to make vendors avoid short cuts.e) Training of staff of the vendors being made mandatoryf) IRCTC to supervise the base kitchens by recruiting professionalsg) Route approach is being adopted to ensure good quality on the entire route.h) Unbundling in food preparation and food distribution is being implemented in the SBDi) Use of Technology is being mandated to prevent overcharging by issue of electronic receipts and tracking of foodj) Prior approval of IRCTC is being mandated to ensure food from reputed brands and at the right price is supplied.k) Document mandates supply of Janta khana to cater to the demand of the poorl) Mandating pre booking of food in all trains to avoid overchargingm) Mandating regular feedback from passengers and linking the performance to payment to the vendorIRCTC to involve/empanel Self Help groups for providing catering related services.Zonal railway to manage static unit (catering stall /milk stalls/ trolleys etc.) except base kitchens and kitchen units to be handed over to IRCTC at A-1 and A class stations.Provision of perpetual renewal has been done away with. Now it has been envisaged that tenure of all static units (except kitchen units and Food Plaza) shall be 5 years only. Tenure of Food Plaza shall be for a period of 9 years.Allotments of General Minor Units at all category stations to be done through open, competitive, two-packet tendering system from the eligible bidders by divisions.For the first time, it has been envisaged that allotment of Special Minor units (reserved category) at all category stations will be done by divisions through open tendering system within the similar reserved category. The technical eligibility criterion has been simplified.33 % sub quota for women in allotment of each category of minor catering units at all category of station to be provided.E-CateringE-catering service on IR is managed by IRCTC. Initially, e-catering service was train specific and made available in 1350 trains which did not have services of Pantry car or Train Side Vending. As a major initiative during September 2015, this scheme has been reoriented to make it Station Based E-Catering in place of train specific e-catering. In the first phase, a pilot project has been undertaken on 45 major stations and subsequently extended to all A-1 & A category of stations which is presently under implementation. E-catering service is now available on 357 railway stations and the average supply of meals under this scheme is around 6000 meals per day which was around 400 meals per day during Oct 2015.Revamp of E-Catering services in September 2015 also permitted Food Aggregators to join the E-Catering initiative. Aggregators like, Railrestro, Zoop, Comesum, Mera Food Choice, Rail D

the Government decides to extend the time limit for filing intimation for Composition Levy up to 16 August 2017
Jul 24,2017

The Government is mindful of the concerns of tax payers, especially the small taxpayers, arising from transition to the GST regime from 1st of July, 2017.

With a view to ease the compliance burden of provisionally migrated small taxpayers opting to pay tax under the Composition scheme, it has been decided to extend the time limit for filing intimation for Composition levy (filing of intimation FORM GST CMP-01) up to 16th August, 2017.

Similarly, the taxpayers who were provisionally migrated by virtue of being registered under the existing laws, but who are no longer required to be registered under GST, the period of applying for Cancellation of Registration is being extended up to 30th September, 2017. Relevant notifications are being issued.

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NITI Aayog approves Rs 18K crore investment for 200 kmph rail projects for 2 major routes, says Suresh Prabhu
Jul 24,2017

The premiere think-tank of the Government of India, NITI Aayog has approved investments worth Rs 18,000 crore for high-speed rail projects for major routes of Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata, Union Minister for Railways, Mr Suresh Prabhu said at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++We are working on Gatiman Express which is Indias fastest train at 180 km per hour and trying for Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Kolkata which are major routes with a speed of maximum 200 km per hour (kmph) and that will be an investment of Rs 18,000 crore which has already been approved by the NITI Aayog,n++ said Mr Prabhu. n++When we proposed it, they were apprehensive but now everybody realises importance of it as it is a least-cost option, so we are trying to do that, you can imagine the trains can go at that speed from Delhi to Mumbai and how much travel time will be reduced,n++ he said.

He also said that Railways Ministry is working with many countries to increase the speed of operations, including France.

n++There are a lot of studies which are going on and they are in a very advanced stage, so we will start implementing that in the next few months time,n++ the Union Minister said.

He added that the Government is working towards introducing cutting-edge technology of future in all aspects of railways with it not only being imported but being co-developed in India.

n++We already had about 6-8 months ago, a programme in which we called all the major technology developers who had not yet fully developed, commercialized the technology which can take the speed of railways to more than 600 kmph and we are already working with them, companies like Hyperloop,n++ said Mr Prabhu.

Talking about the use of high-end technology on safety front, he said that self-propelled detection of tracks together with use of ultrasonic machines and geo-spatial technology to alert about unmanned railway crossings are underway.

On laying of railway tracks, he said that automatic track laying machines which are already being used on Dedicated Freight Corridor will now be tried all over the country.

n++This has already resulted in increasing the speed of putting the track which was only three kms. per day to almost eight kms. per day and the target is to take it to 20 kms. per day in the next three years and definitely we are on track for doing that,n++ said Mr Prabhu.

He said considering that capital expenditure needed for optimal technology has gone from Rs 30,000 crore a year to almost Rs 2,75,000 crore in the last 2.5 years shows the commitment of the Government.

On the rolling stock, he said that two major locomotives are already in use with one from French transport giant Alstom. n++It is going to bring in the best cutting edge technology, environment friendly, speed will be good, least fuel consumption and that will available in the next months time and that is going to be manufactured in India.n++

He said that another locomotive factory would be set up in West Bengal, n++We are yet to finalise the bid, but it will already be happening. That again will begin the best technology in fact, all the top global players are vying for it.n++

Highlighting that the Government is taking all these steps in a very transparent manner, the Union Minister said that companies like Siemens have made a consortium in this regard. n++So you can imagine how serious they are because otherwise they would have come on their own.n++

Mr Prabhu also informed that Railway Ministry has started working on revamping, refurbishing and retrofitting of 40,000 outdated coaches.

n++We have already stopped manufacturing non-LHB coaches from April 1, next year and all the LHB coaches will be manufactured, so you can imagine the technological up-gradation that is happening at all levels,n++ he said.

He said that Railway Ministry has also completely revamped the ticket-booking mobile application with many services being made available on one single application. n++This is going to bring in a completely different experience for the traveller because he can book it completely on his palm literally, not only booking but anything to do with railways.n++

Talking about the recently held huge roundtable conference on technology, he said that Railway Ministry was engaging with all the top global players that had participated in the same.

n++I think we have already taken very serious steps, to modernise and optimise the capacity of railway operations and the biggest other technology tool that we will be using and we have already started work on is rail cloud,n++ said Mr Prabhu.

He said that Railway Ministry has also started working on enterprise resource planning (ERP) which has the potential to save up to Rs 70,000 crore.

n++We are also using technology for each and every aspect of railways, including managerial practices which includes our internal processes to ensure that efficiency is allowed and in fact we will try to plug every possible area where there is a leakage, hoodwinking possible and the system will be made foolproof,n++ said the Union Railway Minister.

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Water storage level of 91 major reservoirs of the country goes up by five per cent
Jul 21,2017

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on July 20, 2017 was 43.732 BCM, which is 28% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 23 for the week ending on July 13, 2017. The level of July 20, 2017 was 81% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 86% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62% of the total storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

REGION WISE STORAGE STATUS:-

NORTHERN REGION

The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under Central Water Commission (CWC) monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 7.94 BCM which is 44% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 33% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 41% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

EASTERN REGION

The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.75 BCM which is 25% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 26% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 26% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

WESTERN REGION

The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 27.07 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.53 BCM which is 31% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 31% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 32% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is equal to the storage of last year but is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

CENTRAL REGION

The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 13.88 BCM which is 33% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 48% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 28% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year but is better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

SOUTHERN REGION

The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG(Two combined projects in both states) Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 8.64 BCM which is 17 % of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 28% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 35% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Tripura, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states), Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

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India is collaborating with US on research and development of traditional medicines for various diseases including cancer: AYUSH Minister
Jul 21,2017

The Ministry of AYUSH is mandated to promote and propagate AYUSH systems of medicine across the globe. To achieve the objective, the Ministry of AYUSH signs Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for Country to Country cooperation in the field of Traditional Medicines; sets-up AYUSH Academic Chairs in foreign Universities/ Educational Institutes; establishes AYUSH Information Cells in the premises of the Indian Missions abroad or Indian Cultural Centres for dissemination of authentic Information about AYUSH Systems of medicine and enters into MoUs with foreign institutes for undertaking collaborative research.

As a result of concerted efforts, for the first time India has successfully engaged with United States (US) in the field of Traditional Medicine. An India-US workshop on Traditional Medicine with special focus on cancer was organized on 3-4 March, 2016 at New Delhi. A US team comprising of experts from National Cancer Institute (NCI) took part in the two day exhaustive deliberations that have resulted into significant leads.

A productive bilateral dialogue with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute of Health (NIH) & National Cancer Institute (NCI) team is ongoing.

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Government gives in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of BEML Ltd to the extent of 26% of Government shareholding
Jul 21,2017

The Government has given in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of BEML Ltd to the extent of 26% of Government shareholding with transfer of management control to strategic buyer. Transaction Advisor, Legal Advisor and Asset Valuer have been appointed by the Government as per the procedure and mechanism laid down for this purpose. After completion of the process, specific approval of Government will be sought again. The amount to be mobilised through the sale of Government Equities in BEML can be known only after completion of the process.

The details are given below:- n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++

Breakup of extent of land and other assets of BEML Ltd as on 31.03.2017: n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++

Particulars

Gross carrying value

(Rs. in Crore)

Accumulated Depreciation
(Rs. in Crore)

Net carrying value
(Rs. in Crore)

(i)LAND (total 4191.56 acres)
Free Hold ( 2696.63 acres )
Lease Hold ( 1494.93 acres )

12.86
80.39

-
0.65

12.86
79.74

(ii)OTHER ASSETS

n++

n++

n++

Buildings

151.35

14.65

136.70

Plant and Equipment

272.41

43.38

229.03

Furniture and Fixtures

4.74

2.08

2.67

Vehicles Given on lease Own use

4.26
5.25

1.06
1.22

3.20
4.03

Office Equipment

2.27

1.16

1.11

Road and Drains

15.33

6.12

9.21

Water Supply Installations

2.38

0.09

2.29

Railway Sidings

n++n++n++n++n++n++n++ 8.69

1.99

6.70

Electrical Installation

18.06

4.36

13.70

Jigs and Fixtures

15.63

6.28

9.34

Special Tools

10.22

5.25

4.97

Computers and Data processing units

10.00

7.12

2.88

Total

613.86

95.42

518.44

The details are given below:-

Details of Profits made, Dividend and taxes paid to the Government during the last ten years: n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++

n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++ n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++n++(Rs. In Crore)

Year

Profit After Tax (PAT)

Dividend
(Govt. Share)

Contribution to exchequer (taxes)

2007-08

225.65

27.00

595.63

2008-09

268.84

27.00

580.34

2009-10

222.85

22.50

688.25

2010-11

149.76

22.50

657.92

2011-12

57.25

11.25

682.58

2012-13

(79.87)

5.63

628.76

2013-14

Moodys: Stronger growth and stabilizing banking sector support global financial conditions
Jul 21,2017

Systemic risks in global financial markets have remained relatively contained over the past six months, despite increases in some areas, Moodys Investors Service said in a report today. More stable banking sector fundamentals have also been supportive of credit conditions over the past year.

Moodys Financial Monitor provides Moodys views on developments in financial markets and the global banking system, and assesses systemic risks posed by potential asset bubbles, excessive leverage, market volatility and weak bank fundamentals.

Financial conditions in global markets are more favourable than a year ago and are likely to remain so as global growth picks up and banking sector fundamentals remain stable, said Colin Ellis, Moodys Managing Director -- Credit Strategy and the reports co-author. That said, there are potential downside risks from event-related volatility in financial markets tied to elevated asset prices, and banking sectors in Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States look relatively vulnerable.

Global economic activity has improved during 2017, with steady momentum reflected in a wide range of variables, including purchasing managers indices, industrial production, global trade and financial flows. Moodys expects G20 economies to grow at an annual rate of slightly more than 3% in 2017 and 2018, higher than the 2.6% recorded in 2016.

Within financial markets, Moodys assessment is that some systemic risks, such as asset price and market liquidity risks, have increased in recent months. However, overall systemic risks look relatively contained, with none of the six systemic risks we monitor being assessed higher than medium.

Equity prices have picked up recently, moving above their 10-year average relative to nominal GDP, while corporate bond spreads between investment grade and non-investment grade companies have settled at around 200-300 bassis points in the US and the euro area.

Exchange rate risk has declined as political uncertainty has faded, notably in Europe following recent elections. Policy uncertainty has also decline, but remains elevated, while market liquidity has tightened in euro area government bond markets.

While the banking sectors fundamentals are improving and problem loans have bottomed out in most regions, the past improvement in capitalization has lost some momentum. Banking systems with negative and stable outlooks have seen their profitability and efficiency positions improve over the past six months.

Weak banking systems are currently not experiencing elevated asset prices, leaving them less exposed to risks of asset bubbles. Countries in the south of the euro area, as well as Russia and Brazil, are among the weakest systems in terms of high banking sector risk, yet score in the bottom range of our asset price index.

Conversely, at the upper end of the asset pricing spectrum - and possibly at risk of developing detrimental asset price bubbles -- are countries such as Switzerland and Norway. However, these countries and others among the upper grouping of our asset price index have some of the most secure banking systems, as gauged by our stress tests.

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Indian accounting & finance professionals be given access to overseas market.: ASSOCHAM plea
Jul 21,2017

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested the Centre to conduct country-specific or geographic market-wise studies to ascertain job prospects for qualified Indian professionals in accountancy, finance, information technology (IT) and related services abroad.

n++Considering the demand and supply of professionals in these sectors, the number of memorandum of undertakings (MoUs) signed by India with several countries may be increased to conduct exchange programmes and exploring job market in favouring countries,n++ highlighted ASSOCHAM in a communication addressed to Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The chamber said that based on the demand analysis, awareness programmes may be organised for professionals like CA/CS/CMA/CFA/MBA both within and outside India.

It added that the focus for awareness programmes should be on ensuring maximum participation of foreign diplomats and MNCs in India as well as Indian companies doing business abroad.

In its communication to the Corporate Affairs Ministry, ASSOCHAM has also said that considering the MBA course comes under purview of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD), as such it should also be invited to hold collaborative awareness programs for exploring job opportunities outside India.

n++This will help in revamping the MBA institutions and help them in gaining substantially increased level of interest in MBA/PGDM like professional courses in future,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

The chamber has also sought financial support from the Union Government for presenting promotional programmes, events and campaigns about the aforesaid issue.

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Free electricity connections released to 2.63 crore BPL Households under DDUGJY
Jul 21,2017

Ministerof State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal, informed that under Rural Electrification component of DeenDayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), 2.63 crore BPL Households have been electrified till 30.06.2017. 

Free electricity connections released to BPL HHs under RE Component of DDUGJY

Sl. No.

Name of State

Free electricity connections released to BPL HHs (Nos.)

1

Andhra Pradesh

2648777

2

Arunachal Pradesh

51621

3

Assam

1210211

4

Bihar

4339872

5

Chhattisgarh

1149542

6

Gujarat

843104

7

Haryana

198580

8

Himachal Pradesh

16290

9

J&K

69148

10

Jharkhand

1277605

11

Karnataka

987629

12

Kerala

150305

13

Madhya Pradesh

1803951

14

Maharashtra

1221350

15

Manipur

70187

16

Meghalaya

104457

17

Mizoram

29710

18

Nagaland

54484

19

Odisha

2845434

20

Punjab

92988

21

Rajasthan

1227216

22

Sikkim

13601

23

Tamil Nadu

502394

24

Telangana

708865

25

Tripura

148368

26

Uttar Pradesh

2110609

27

Uttarakhand

237921

28

West Bengal

2211040

Total

2,63,25,259

Goyal also informed that as per information provided by the States, as on 30.06.2017, there are 3,618 un-electrified census villages left out of the total 18,452. He further added that a total of 6,015 villages were electrified in 2016-17. The details of villages electrified are as given below:

State-wise details of villages electrified during 2016-17

Sr. No.

No airport in the country has been fully privatized
Jul 21,2017

Passenger safety and benefit of the airports operated by private/JVC entities are governed as per the Concession Agreement and applicable laws in the country. The regulator authorities i.e. DGCA and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India are mandated to monitor the performance of the Airports in this regard.

No airport in the country has been fully privatized. However, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has entrusted the Joint Venture Company (JVC), the Operation Management and Development of Delhi and Mumbai airports under Public Private Partnership (PPP) to have world class airport infrastructure in the country. AAI holds 26% equity in JVCs of Delhi and Mumbai. Presently, the airports being managed under the PPP model includes Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Cochin and Hyderabad. Introduction of PPP at these airports has led to significant improvement in the infrastructures, rise in collection of revenues and airport service quality, etc. These airports constantly figure among the top five airports in the global ranking in their respective categories.

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Biometric Access Control System at Airports approved
Jul 21,2017

A project, namely, Bio-metric Access Control System at Airports with a cost of Rs.33.23 crore, has been approved for implementation at 72 airports by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the regulatory authority of civil aviation security in India. The objective of the project is to replace the existing system of paper-based Airport Entry Permits(AEPs) and enable bio-metric enabled smart card based access control system for staff & personnel (excluding passengers) requiring entry to the airports.

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The domestic Market Share of AI for the month of May 17 is 13.0%
Jul 21,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting held on 28.06.2017 has given in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and its five subsidiaries and constitution of Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism.

To implement the decision of CCEA, appointment of Transaction Adviser, Legal Adviser and Asset Valuer shall be taken up as per terms and conditions and scope of work of Advisers/ Valuer in accordance with the model RFPs suggested by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management.

The domestic market share of Air India for the FY 2016-17 is 14.2% and in the current FY the domestic Market Share of AI for the month of May 17 is 13.0%. The total debt of Air India Ltd as on 31st March 2017 is Rs 48,876.81 crores (Prov).The Net Loss of Air India(AI) during the last three Financial Years as per audited accounts is as follows:

YearNet Loss (Rs crore)Financial Assistance Provided (Rs crore)2015-163836.7760002014-155859.91   57802013-146279.60 3300

To implement the CCEA decision, an Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism has been constituted which will decide the course of further action.

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Adequate availability of cotton is ensured through domestic production
Jul 21,2017

Government reviews the cotton availability position from time to time. Adequate availability of cotton is ensured through domestic production and textile mills are able to source their requirement of cotton from the domestic market. In this regard, Government of India had directed Cotton Corporation of India Ltd. to sell its stock of cotton (cotton season 2015-16), purchased under MSP, to Spinning Mills in the Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) category to contain fluctuation in cotton prices.

There is no shortage of cotton/yarn in the country.

The details of policy initiatives/schemes/incentives/subsidies/working capital/interest subvention that are being provided to the domestic manufacturers/exporters are as under:

i) The Government has been implementing various policy initiatives and schemes like Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS), Schemes for the development of the Power-loom Sector, Schemes for Technical Textiles, Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) and Scheme for Integrated Textile Processing Development (IPDS) to enable the textile industry, including the small industries, to upgrade and make them competitive.

ii) The Government has also launched a Rs. 6000 crore Scheme for Production and Employment Linked Support for Garmenting Units (SPELSGU) under ATUFS to incentivize production and employment generation in the garmenting Sector. These initiatives and schemes will help in the development of the downstream value added segments which in turn will create increased demand for yarn and thereby lead to increased production of yarn.

iii) Government has introduced special packages for apparel and made-ups sector in June, 2016 and December, 2016 respectively which include schemes like Amended Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS), Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojna (PMPRPY) and Scheme of Rebate of State Levies (RoSL) on export of garments. Besides, with a view to modernize textile industry, increase production and global competitiveness schemes such as Schemes for Technical textiles, Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) and Integrated Skill Development Scheme are also being run by the Government.

iv) MEIS Scheme under new Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20

v) Restoring Interest rate subvention for pre and post shipment credit for the textile sector

vi) Expanding the scope of Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) since 29.10.2015 to 110 new tariff lines and increasing rates or country coverage or both for 2,228 existing tariff lines.

vii) Increased Duty Drawback rates for some textile articles

viii) Market Access Initiative (MAI) and Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme

ix) Duty Free import of trimmings, embellishments and other specified items under Export Performance Certificate Entitlement Scheme

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