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Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs calls for Efficient Management of Resources
Aug 10,2016

The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal emphasized that Government is committed to pursue the economic reforms by implementing GST and Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS) Officers can also play proactive role in its effective implementation. Shri Meghwal also stated that presence of ICoAS officers is required to be there in all the Departments of the Government of India for cost effective execution of Projects, Schemes and Operations. He also suggested for SWOT analysis to be carried-out by ICoAS Officers for growth of the Service. In this regard, the Officers of this service with their vast experience in the field of costing and finance can play distinguished role in all the Ministries, he added.

The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Meghwal was speaking after inaugurating the 2nd Indian Cost Accounts Service Day.

Later, the Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs also released a book on the overview of Indian Cost Accounts Service.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Shri Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary & Secretary (Expenditure), Government of India emphasized the need to achieve fiscal consolidation by progressively reducing expenditure on subsidies through improved targeting of beneficiaries and making available scarce funds for investment in infrastructure and development programmes. He said India has a developing challenges that are so huge and so demanding and of course there are not enough resources to address them immediately, so the optimum resources is the key. In this regard ICoAS Officers can play important role.

Earlier in her welcome address, Smt Aruna Sethi, Additional Chief Adviser Cost and Head of Service said that in the ongoing global economic scenario, technological innovation, automation, change in business process and competition has changed the process and procedure adopted by the Governments and professionalism is required for prudent decision making.

Indian Cost Accounts Service is the only professional financial service in the complete set up of Government of India.The office has now emerged as a prime professional agency and deals with matters relating to costing and pricing, studies on cost reduction, cost efficiency, industry level studies for determining fair prices, studies on user charges, Cost Benefit Analysis of Projects, Commercial Financial Management Analysis, appraisal of Capital Intensive Projects, Profitability Analysis and application of Modern Management Tools involving Cost and Financial Accounting etc. for the Government Ministries and Departments in respect of the matters referred to them. She further said that ICoAS Officers are assisting different Central Government Ministries/Departments/Organizations in solving complex Price/Cost related issues, in fixing fair prices for various services/products and rendering advice to various Ministries/Departments in cost and financial matters. She also highlighted the proactive role the ICoAS officers can play in implementation of GST.

Chairman CBEC, Shri Najeeb Shah, Addl Secretary, Department of Revenue Shri B.N. Sharma and other experts from CBEC deliberated the nuances of GST during the panel discussion held at the event. Senior Officers from Ministry of Finance and other Departments were also present on the occasion.

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New forward looking Guidelines by Department of Expenditure to improve efficiency with which Public Funded Schemes & Projects are appraised & approved
Aug 10,2016

In order to build a growth friendly eco-system, financial processes and systems are as important as the fund allocations. The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance has issued comprehensive guidelines on 5th August, 2016 for appraisal and approval of public funded schemes and projects.

With the announcement in the Union Budget, 2016-17 of doing away with Plan Non-Plan distinction at the end of the 12th Five Year Plan, it has become necessary to put into place a Plan Non-Plan neutral appraisal and approval system. The Department of Expenditure has accordingly undertaken a comprehensive review of the instructions issued over the last three decades, and replaced them with a simpler framework which will greatly improve the efficiency with which schemes and projects are appraised and approved in our system. The new guidelines will help bring-in the concept of outcome evaluation to improve the delivery of public goods and services to the citizens. This will indeed be a part of the major Expenditure Reforms initiated by the present Government in the last two years.

The revised guidelines prescribe institutional arrangements and formats for appraisal and approval of schemes (program based costs centers for delivery of public goods and services) and projects (which involve one-time expenditure for creation of capital assets yielding financial/economic returns). The implementing Ministries have been delegated powers to appraise schemes and projects costing up to Rs. 500 crore through their Standing Finance Committee and Delegated Investment Boards respectively. Specific time frame for appraisal have been laid down for speedier decision making. The revised guidelines are forward looking and will help the Departments restructure their schemes in a framework that is independent of the Plan Non-Plan distinction.

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25 cities prepare Comprehensive Mobility Plans
Aug 10,2016

25 cities have prepared Comprehensive Mobility Plans (CMP) based on origin and destination flow of traffic , identifying major traffic corridors and feeder corridors, land use etc which in turn would assist in proper urban planning. CMPs are subsequently made part of City Master Plans.

25 cities from 8 States prepared CMPs with central assistance. Ministry of Urban Development assists up to 80% of cost of preparation of CMPs.

In Karnataka, 14 cities that came out with CMPs are: Tumkur, Davanagere, Shimoga, Mangalore, Mysuru, Belgaum, Ballary, Gulbarga, Hubli-Dharwar, Bidar, Chitradurga, Bijapur, Hospet and Raichur.

Five cities with CMPs in Punjab are : Amritsar, Bhatinda, Jalandhar, Pathankot and Patiala.

Other such cities are : Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Kalyan-Dombivili(Maharashtra), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shillong (Meghalaya), Agartala (Tripura) and Jaipur(Rajasthan).

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Puducherry joins n++UDAYn++ scheme; would derive an overall net benefit of Rs 378 crore through n++UDAYn++
Aug 10,2016

The Government of India, and the Union Territory of Puducherry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Scheme UDAY - n++Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojanan++ for operational turnaround of the Union Territorys Electricity Department. The signing ceremony was held in the august presence of the Minister of State ( IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy & Mines Shri Piyush Goyal.

Puducherry is the first Union Territory to sign MoU under UDAY. Along with the State of Madhya Pradesh which has also signed the MoU today, a total of 16 States/UT have joined the Scheme till date, with the combined DISCOM debt (including CPSU dues) of around Rs.2.51 lac crore that would be restructured as on 30th September, 2015.

The MoU paves way for improving operational efficiency of the Electricity Department of the Union Territory. Through compulsory Distribution Transformer metering, consumer indexing & GIS mapping of losses, upgrade/change transformers, meters etc., smart metering of high-end consumers, feeder audit etc. AT&C losses and transmission losses would be brought down, besides eliminating the gap between cost of supply of power and realisation. The reduction in AT&C losses and transmission losses to 12% and 0.95% respectively is likely to bring additional revenue of around Rs.165 crore during the period of turnaround.

While efforts will be made by the Electricity Department of the Union Territory to improve their operational efficiency, and thereby reduce the cost of supply of power, the Central Government would also provide incentives to the Govt of UT for improving Power infrastructure in the Union Territory and for further lowering the cost of power. The Central schemes such as DDUGJY, IPDS, Power Sector Development Fund or such other schemes of MOP and MNRE are already providing funds for improving Power Infrastructure in the Union Territory and additional/priority funding would be considered under these schemes, if the UT/Electricity Department meets the operational milestones outlined in the scheme. The UT shall also be supported through additional coal at notified prices and in case of availability, through higher capacity utilization, low cost power from NTPC and other CPSUs. Other benefits such as coal swapping, coal rationalization, correction in coal grade slippage, availability of 100% washed coal would help the state to further reduce the cost of Power. The UT would gain around Rs.135 crore due to these coal reforms.

Demand Side interventions in UDAY such as usage of energy-efficient LED bulbs, agricultural pumps, fans & air-conditioners and efficient industrial equipment through PAT (Perform, Achieve, Trade) would help in reducing peak load, flatten load curve and thus help in reducing energy consumption in the Union Territory of Puducherry. The gain is expected to be around Rs.72 crore. Further, with improved efficiency, the Electricity Department would be in a better position to borrow funds at cheaper rates for Power infrastructure development/improvement in the UT.

An overall net benefit of approximately Rs.378 crore would accrue to the UT by opting to participate in UDAY, by way of cheaper funds, reduction in AT&C and transmission losses, interventions in energy efficiency, etc. during the period of turnaround.

The ultimate benefit of signing the MOU would go to the people of Puducherry. Reduced levels of transmission and AT&C losses would mean lesser cost per unit of electricity to consumers. Further, an operationally healthy Electricity Department would be in a position to supply more power. The scheme would allow speedy availability of power to around 7948 households in the UT that are still without electricity. Availability of cheaper, round the clock power would boost the economy, promote industries, thereby improving employment opportunities for the people of the Union Territory of Puducherry.

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Schemes for Retired Employees
Aug 10,2016

The pension of Central Civil Government servants appointed on or before 31.12.2003 is governed by the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules 1972 or the corresponding Pension Rules of other Services/Departments such as All India Services and Railways.

The Central Civil Government Servants appointed on or after 01.01.2004 are governed by the Defined Contribution-based Pension Scheme under the National Pension System.

The personnel belonging to the Defence Services continue to be eligible for pension under Defined Benefit Pension Rules applicable to defence personnel.

There is no proposal to introduce any new pension scheme for retired Central Government employees.

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ADB Sells $1.3 Billion in Global Green Bonds to Spur Climate Financing
Aug 10,2016

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised $1.3 billion to help finance climate change mitigation and adaptation projects with the issue of dual-tranche 3-year and 10-year green bonds, following its inaugural green bond issue in 2015.

n++Scaling up climate financing is essential for the region to keep its commitments to the Paris Agreement, adopted at last years climate change summit,n++ said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. n++Through robust climate finance to both the public and private sectors, ADB has demonstrated its commitment to a low-carbon future. Todays green bond issue also shows ADBs responsiveness to investors, who increasingly see the importance of green investment and sustainable development for Asia and the Pacific.n++

Last year, ADB announced that it will double its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020, up from $3 billion in 2015. ADBs spending on tackling climate change will rise to around 30% of its overall financing by the end of this decade. Out of the $6 billion, $4 billion will be dedicated to mitigation through scaling up support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and building smart cities, while $2 billion will be for adaptation through more resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture, and better preparation for climate-related disasters.

Proceeds of the green bonds will support low-carbon and climate resilient projects funded through ADBs ordinary capital resources and used in its non-concessional operations.

The 3-year bond has an issue size of $800 million, a coupon rate of 1% per annum payable semi-annually and a maturity date of 16 August 2019. It was priced at 99.779% to yield 22.75 basis points over the 0.75% US Treasury notes due July 2019. The 10-year bond has an issue size of $500 million, a coupon rate of 1.75% per annum payable semi-annually and a maturity date of 14 August 2026. It was priced at 99.745% to yield 21.9 basis points over the 1.625% US Treasury notes due May 2026.

The transaction was lead-managed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole CIB, and J.P. Morgan. Co-lead managers were Daiwa Securities, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, SEB, and TD Securities.

The bonds were sold to about 70 investors including AGI, Banque Syz & Co SA, Black Rock, Calsters, Calvert Investments, Compass AM, Mirova, and State Street Global Advisors.

The issues achieved wide primary market distribution. For the 3-year bond, 58% of the bonds were placed in the Americas, 37% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 5% in Asia. By investor type, 44% of the bonds went to fund managers, 32% to central banks and official institutions, 16% to banks, and 8% to insurance, pension and other types of investors. For the 10-year bond, 49% of the bonds were placed in Asia, 32% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 19% in the Americas. By investor type, 46% of the bonds went to insurance, pension and other types of investors, 30% to fund managers, 13% to banks, and 11% to central banks and official institutions.

ADB plans to raise around $20 billion from the capital markets in 2016.

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PHO Commences Functioning in New Mangalore Port Trust
Aug 10,2016

As a part of ease of doing business, a full-fledged PHO office started functioning at New Mangalore Port Trust from 8-8-2016. With the persuasion of NMPT, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has sanctioned the above office inside the Port. With the establishment of this office, the port is in a position to give clearance to all foreign going vessels smoothly. This will also help the embarkation/disembarkation of cruise tourists at the port, thereby encouraging cruise tourism in Mangalore.

The Port Health Officer and supporting staff has been provided by the PHO, Cochin which was established to ensure prevention of entry of Quarantinable diseases (Diseases subjected to International Health Regulations) into the country under Indian Port Health Rules 1955. PHO, is designated for issue of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate, Ship Sanitation Control Certificate and Ship Sanitation Extension Certificate to Ships.

The Port Chairman has expressed thanks to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for extending this facility to NMPT which will immensely benefit the shipping fraternity.

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NHAI Signs MOU with IIT- Kharagpur for Research Project on Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements for Highways
Aug 10,2016

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IIT-Kharagpur for research project on Laboratory and Field investigations on Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements for Highways. The duration of the research project is 3 years and NHAI have paid Rs. 1.25 crore for the project, excluding cost of construction of trial pavement section on NH.

In India, the highways are generally paved with Bituminous (Asphaltic Concrete) material produced from refineries. However, it has been experienced that these highways are prone to damage and need frequent maintenance due to adverse climatic conditions such as rain and hot weather prevailing in the country. Therefore, to overcome this problem, the Government of India has recently announced a policy for the construction of concrete pavements for all major highways due to their longevity and maintenance free life.

Traditionally and as per the current practices, the construction of these highways requires a monolithic (in-situ) layer of cement concrete normally 300 mm thick laid continuously over the prepared surface, therefore, an innovation is required to optimize the design of concrete pavement in its traditional form which can facilitate faster construction at much cheaper cost, thus, consuming less natural resources and promote Green Highways in the country. Any saving in design and construction with the help of new technology will not only entail huge investment but also save consumption of substantial quantity of natural resources used for production of cement and stone aggregates.

NHAI in collaboration with IIT Kharagpur shall promote to develop a technology to construct Panelled Cement Concrete (Pre-fabricated in a small panel size) which can replace the design of construction of existing cement concrete road.

The Paneled concrete pavement laid on a lean concrete base can fulfil the Government of Indias dream of providing long lasting maintenance free pavement at a cost on par with those of asphalt pavements. Such pavements laid at a few places in India have given good service when used as an overlay over a bituminous layer commonly termed as White Topping (WT) but an extensive study is required to formulate the design practices for its use in wider perspective.

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Indirect Tax Collections up to July, 2016 indicate net revenue collections of Rs.2,71,719 crore
Aug 10,2016

The figures for indirect tax revenue (provisional) collections upto July, 2016 show that the net revenue collections are at Rs. 2,71,719 crore as compared to Rs. 2,09,217 crore for the corresponding period last year and thereby registering a growth of 29.9% in the net collections.

Till July, 2016, 34.9 % of the Budget Estimates of indirect taxes for FY 2016-17 has been achieved.

Tax collections on account of Central Excise stood at Rs. 31,782 crore in month of July 2016 as compared to Rs. 20,658 crore during the same period in last year (July 2015) and there by registering a growth of 53.8% in this period.Total collections on account of Central Excise during the first four months of current FY 2016-17(April 2016-July 2016) stood at Rs.1,23,273 crore as compared to Rs. 81,748 crore during the same period in last Financial Year and thereby registering the growth of 50.8%.

Tax collections on account of Service Tax stood at Rs. 19,600 crore in month of July 2016 as compared to Rs. 15,685 crore during the same period in last year (July 2015) and there by registering a growth of 25% in this period. Total collections on account of Service Tax during the first four months of current FY 2016-17(April 2016-July 2016) stood at Rs.7,66,79 crore as compared to Rs. 60,974 crore during the same period in last Financial Year and thereby registering the growth of 25.8%.

Tax collections on account of Customs stood at Rs. 16,959 crore in month of July 2016 as compared to Rs. 19,045 crore during the same period in last year (July 2015) and showing a decline of 11% in this period. Total collections on account of Customs during the first four months of current FY 2016-17 (April 2016-July 2016) stood at Rs. 71,767 crore as compared to Rs. 66,495 crore during the same period in last Financial Year and thereby registering the growth of 7.9%.

Full details of Indirect Tax revenue (provisional) collections, along with growth rate compared to the corresponding period in the previous year are as given below in the tabulated form:

For the month July 2016

(Rs. in crores)

Tax HeadFor JulyUpto July% of BE achievementB.E.
2015-162016-17% Growth2015-162016-17% GrowthCustoms2300001904516959(-) 1166495717677.931.2Central Excise*317000206583178253.88174812327350.838.9Service Tax231000156851960025.0609747667925.833.2Total778000553886834123.420921727171929.934.9

*Exclusive of cess administered by other departments.

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Direct Tax Collections upto July, 2016 indicate net revenue collections of Rs.1.59 lakh crore
Aug 10,2016

The figures for direct tax collections upto July, 2016 show that net revenue collections are at Rs.1.59 lakh crore which is 24.01% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. Till July, 2016, 18.82%of the Budget Estimates of direct taxes for FY 2016-17 has been achieved.

As regards the growth rates for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT), in terms of gross revenue collections, the growth rate under CIT is 11.65% while that under PIT (including STT etc.) is 31.47%. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in CIT collections is 2.84% while that in PIT collections is 46.55%. Refunds amounting to Rs.64,181 crore have been issued during April-July, 2016, which is 10.43% higher than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last year.

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India to have 13.5% share in global smart market by 2019: ASSOCHAM-KPMG study
Aug 10,2016

Thanks to digital revolution riding on the aggressively priced mobile data packages, India is expected to have a total number of 180 million smart phones by 2019 claiming 13.5 per cent of total global smart phone markets from 7.6 per cent at present, according to an ASSOCHAM-KPMG joint study.

Indias fastest growing market for mobile handsets globally contributed nearly 7.6 per cent to the global smartphone market in 2015 and is expected to touch 13.5 per cent by 2019 with increasing popularity of smartphones, better availability of data services etc.

With the advent of affordable smartphones (INR3,000 - INR10,000) designed for the Indian user from indigenous manufacturers, as well as increasingly low-cost data connectivity options, more people are shifting to smartphones and mobile Internet.

Out of a total handset sale of 30 crore units in FY15, smartphones contributed 11.40 crore units, i.e., 38 per cent. This contribution is projected to grow to above 50 per cent by 2020. Boost in smartphone penetration is expected to cater to m-enablement of a variety of services such as mobile banking, e-commerce, mobile health, e-agriculture and services to small and medium scale businesses.

With the urban penetration levels reaching saturation, the industry is looking at rural India for continued growth. As of February 2016, teledensity in urban areas was 153.93 vis-n++vis 50.76 for rural India. Rural mobile phone subscriptions are already on the upswing. Nearly 38 per cent of rural population used mobile phones as of May 2015, up from 22 per cent in 2010.

Another key contributor to this growth is the decreasing price of feature phones as well as smartphones. The industry expects to leverage on the rural demand and assist the government in realising the digital dream.

The growth of Indian handset manufacturing companies has been nothing less than miraculous over the last five years. India manufactured 11 crore mobile phones worth INR 54,000 crore in FY16, showing a year-on-year growth of 83 per cent and 186 per cent, in volume and value terms, respectively. With the ability to provide feature rich yet affordable handsets, domestic manufacturers share of the handset market is slated to grow further. This will be further enhanced by the increased penetration of telecom services in rural India.

India is the fastest growing market for mobile handsets globally, growing at a CAGR of nearly 14 per cent in the last four years from 2011 to 2015. Additionally it contributed nearly 7.6 per cent to the global smartphone market in 2015 and is expected to touch 13.5 per cent by 2019. With increasing popularity of smartphones and better availability of data services, the landscape of the Indian mobile handset industry has witnessed a paradigm shift, adds the joint study.

Out of 235.60 million handsets shipped in 2015, 40 per cent were smartphones and are projected to constitute 60 per cent of total mobile handset sales by 2020. The smartphone shipments in India grew a healthy 23 per cent annually in Q1 2016 compared to the global growth, which stalled for the first time ever since smartphones first began to sell. The average selling price (ASP) of a smartphone was INR 12,285 in 2015 - a 25 per cent y-o-y increase.

Increase in Smartphone sales has changed the face of e-commerce industry in India in the last two years. Mobile transactions accounted for 41 per cent of total e-commerce sales in 2014. Developing a mobile (sometimes mobile only) strategy has been an important agenda for many of the leading e-commerce players in the country over the last two to three years.

Indias mobile handset industry is a key enabler for the governments Digital India initiative, launched in July 2015 to work together on a common agenda to transform the country into a digitally powered society and economy. Several international device vendors have set up manufacturing facilities in India, supporting the governments Make in India initiative aimed at boosting local manufacturing.

The mobile handset sector is a key component in the overall telecom ecosystem and a key driver of the digital revolution in the country. Along with immense growth opportunities, the sector also seeks support from policymakers to address following challenges that it currently faces.

India is the second largest mobile market with over a billion subscribers at the end of Feb 2016, with 608.4 million urban subscribers and 443.5 million rural subscribers. There is a huge potential to grow in the rural sector where tele-density is still quite low at 50.76 as compared to urban tele-density at 153.93.03. While the mobile subscriber base is still growing by under one per cent on a monthly basis, the number of landlines is gradually decreasing. Overall telecom density increased to 82.9 per cent by the end of Feb16.

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Centre Allocated Rs. 675.86 crore for Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure in 2015-16
Aug 09,2016

The Government is implementing capital investment subsidy sub-scheme Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) scheme [the erstwhile two schemes viz. (i) Grameen Bhandaran Yojna (GBY), also known as Rural Godown Scheme; and (ii) Scheme for Strengthening/Development of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading & Standardization (AMIGS) have been subsumed into one scheme known as Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) on 01.04.2014]. Under the scheme, capital investment subsidy @ 25% of the capital cost for general category beneficiary and @33.33% for special category beneficiary is provided for construction/creation of scientific godowns and other marketing infrastructure in the country. However, the assistance for renovation is restricted to storage infrastructure projects of cooperatives only. Currently, AMI scheme is temporarily stopped w.e.f. 05.08.2014 for general category promoters due to exhaustion of funds. However, the scheme is open for SC/ST promoters and for promoters in North-Eastern Region.

There is no State-wise allocation of funds under the scheme. The releases of funds are made to the States as per sanction of projects under the scheme in the particular state.

The details of the funds earmarked, allocated by the Government and utilized under the scheme during the last three years, is as below:

(Rs. In crore)

YearName of the SchemeAllocation of funds


Utilization / Release of Funds 2013-14GBY344.16344.102014-15AMI926.71878.182015-16AMI675.86518.81

Under AMI scheme (storage component) (erstwhile GBY), up to 30.06.2016, a total of 37371 godown projects have been sanctioned for renovation/ construction throughout the country. The State-wise details are given below.

Further, under Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) Scheme, storage capacity of 134.83 lakh MT has been constructed.  

State-wise Godown projects Sanctioned for renovation/ construction under Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (Storage component) (erstwhile GBY) as on 30.06.2016 (Cumulative)  

Sl. No.State/U.T.No. of Projects Storage Capacity (in MT)1

Andhra Pradesh


Arunachal Pradesh














Himachal Pradesh


Jammu & Kashmir








Madhya Pradesh
















Tamil Nadu


Uttar Pradesh




West Bengal




Joint Venture agreement between Tesla and Indian Automobile Companies
Aug 09,2016

To encourage alternate pollution free transport in the country, Department of Heavy Industry has formulated FAME - India Scheme [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India] having thrust on hybrid and electric vehicles to become the first choice for the purchasers so that these vehicles can replace the conventional vehicles and thus reduce fossil fuel consumption in the country from the automobile sector. The Government is offering incentive in the form of upfront reduction of price to the consumer who buys electric/hybrid vehicles under this scheme, which is specified in the Gazette Notification S.O. 830 (E) dated 13th March, 2015.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has also issued following notifications to encourage alternate pollution free transport in the country, which are available in the website of MoRTH:-

(i) GSR 682(E) dated 12/07/2016 regarding mass emission standard for flex-fuel (E 85) or (E 100) and ethanol (ED 95) vehicles.

(ii) G.S.R. 412(E) dated 11/04/2016 regarding Biodiesel.

(iii) G.S.R. 629(E) dated 24/06/2016 regarding retro-fitment of Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Automobile Industry was delicensed in July 1991 with the announcement of the New Industrial Policy. The passenger car was however delicensed in 1993. The norms for foreign investment and import of technology have also been progressively liberalized over the years for vehicles manufacturer including passenger cars in order to make this sector globally competitive.

Therefore the Department of Heavy Industry, Government of India is, at present, not aware of any such joint venture agreement between Tesla, the US based electric car manufacturing company and Indian automobile companies.

The Government has not made any such offer formally.

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The term fast food is not defined under Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder
Aug 09,2016

As per information provided by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the term fast food is not defined under Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder.

The implementation and enforcement of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 primarily rests with State/UT Governments. Random Samples of food items are being drawn by the State Food Safety Officers and sent to the laboratories recognised by FSSAI for analysis. In cases where the samples are found to be not conforming to the provisions of the FSS Act, 2006 and the Rules and Regulations made thereunder, recourse is taken to the provisions for penal action against the offenders under Chapter IX of the FSS Act

FSSAI is operating food import clearance facilities at six locations viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin and Tuticorin. The imported food consignments referred to FSSAI for clearance by the Custom Authorities are subjected to inspection and sampling by Authorised Officers of FSSAI. The samples so collected are subjected to testing at notified food laboratories as per the parameters laid down in the various FSS Regulations, 2011 for safety aspects. Based on the laboratory reports, NOC (No Objection Certificate) or NCC (Non Conformance Certificate) is issued for the consignments.

The materials imported for the preparation of products sold under Fast Food Business include:

a) Food ingredients: Paste, puree, sauces, spices, seasoning mixes, pasta, noodles, vegetable extract powders, batter mix, edible oils and fats, frozen vegetables, etc.

b) Food Additives: Emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickening agents, flavours, humectants, leavening agents, colours, preservatives, antifoaming agents, sequestering agents and buffering agents, etc.

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FMD Mukt Bharat in next few years
Aug 09,2016

Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) is one of the most economically devastating contagious viral animal diseases affecting all susceptible cloven-footed animals. As per the estimates by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), direct loss due to milk and meat is to the tune of RS. 20,000 crores per annum. It can be much more if indirect losses due to reduced work capacity; abortions, subsequent infertility and sterility (that account for the reduced milk production subsequently) are taken into account.

In order to prevent economic losses due to Foot and Mouth Disease, a location specific programme called Foot and Mouth Disease Control Programme (FMD-CP) is under implementation since 10th Plan Period. Gradually FMD-CP was expanded during 11th & 12th Plan Period. Thus, as of now, it covers 351 Districts in 13 States and 6 UTs i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Rajasthan, Bihar, Puducherry, Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep. The scope of the programme will be extended to cover remaining States in a phased manner so as to have geographically contiguous areas to yield desired results for the creation of FMD Free Zones depending upon availability of resources. With robust implementation of FMD-CP in the States, disease occurrence has drastically been reduced particularly in FMD-CP States e.g. 879 FMD outbreaks were reported in 2012 throughout the country which have been reduced to 109 in 2015.

Looking at the economic importance of the control disease, the Department has conceived FMD Mukt Bharat in next few years. However, 16 States and one UT are yet to be covered under intensive FMD vaccination at six monthly intervals. Therefore, it has now been decided to take up FMD vaccination in these States under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during 2016-17.

Initially Rs. 100.00 crore has been allotted for FMD control under RKVY for these 16 States and one UT i.e. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and UT of Chandigarh. State-wise allocation has already been informed to respective State Governments and States have been requested to undertake FMD vaccination by availing the assistance under RKVY.

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