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IIP growth eases to 0.1% in March 2016
May 12,2016

Indias industrial production (IIP) growth moderated to 0.1% in March 2016 over March 2015 compared with 2% growth recorded in February 2016. The electricity generation surged at double-digit pace of 11.3% in March 2016. However, the mining output declined 0.1% and manufacturing production dipped 1.2% contributing to the overall slower growth in industrial output in March 2016.

As per the use-based classification, the basic goods output moved up 4% in March 2016 over a year ago. The output of intermediate goods moved up 3.7%, while the consumer goods output rose 0.4% in March 2016. Within consumer goods, the production of consumer durables increased 8.7%, but that of consumer non-durables declined 4.3% in March 2016. However, the capital goods output dipped 15.4% contributing to the overall moderation in IIP growth in March 2016.

The IIP growth in February 2016 was retained unchanged at 2.0% in the first revision compared with that reported provisionally. Meanwhile, the growth in December 2015 has been scaled up to (-) 0.9% at the final revision from first revision of (-) 1.2% and (-) 1.3% reported provisionally.

IIP growth has eased to 2.4% in April- March FY2016 compared with 2.8% growth recorded in the previous financial year.

In terms of industries, twelve (12) out of the twenty-two (22) industry groups in the manufacturing sector showed positive growth in March 2016 compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The industry group Radio, TV and communication equipment & apparatus has shown the highest positive growth of 36.5%, followed by 19.8% in Tobacco products and 16.9% in Wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur. On the other hand, the industry group Electrical machinery & apparatus has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 36.2%, followed by (-) 15.0% in Food products and beverages and (-) 9.9% in Publishing, printing & reproduction of recorded media.

Some important items showing high positive growth include Wood Furniture 77.0%, Leather Garments 73.0%, Telephone Instruments including Mobile Phone and Accessories 60.2%, Tea 56.2%, Transformers small 53.8%, Cashew Kernels 31.3%, Scooter and Mopeds 25.0%, Aluminium Conductor 23.8% and Commercial Vehicles 22.2%.

Some important items that have registered high negative growth during the current month over the same month in previous year include Cable, Rubber Insulated (-) 77.3%, Polythene Bags including HDPE & LDPE Bags (-) 47.5%, Cement Machinery (-) 46.0%, Heat Exchangers (-) 39.4%, H. R. Sheets (-) 35.9%, Ship Building and Repairs (-) 35.8%, Boilers (-) 35.5%, Lubricating oil (-) 31.8%, Sugar (-) 30.1%, Furnace oil (-) 27.2%, Molasses (-) 23.4%, Stainless/ alloy steel (-) 21.5% and Woollen Carpets (-) 20.6%.

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Stable growth momentum in the OECD area and improved outlook in major emerging economies-Composite Leading Indicators (CLI), OECD
May 12,2016

Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, point to stable growth momentum in the OECD area as a whole.

Stable growth momentum is anticipated in Canada and the euro area as a whole, including Germany and France. Signs of growth stabilisation are also emerging in Japan.

On the other hand, CLIs continue to point to easing growth in the United States and the United Kingdom, with the outlook for easing growth now confirmed in Italy.

Amongst the major emerging economies, the outlook has improved since last months assessment. Signs of a positive change in growth momentum are now emerging in Brazil and Russia, while in China and India CLIs point to stable growth momentum and firming growth, respectively.

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Income Declaration Scheme 2016 & the Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme 2016 expected to come into force on the 1st of June, 2016
May 12,2016

The Income Declaration Scheme, 2016 incorporated as Chapter IX of the Finance Bill 2016 and The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme 2016 incorporated as Chapter X of the Finance Bill 2016 are expected to come into force on the 1st of June, 2016 after the Finance Act 2016 receives the Presidential assent.

The complete text of the two Schemes is available on the website of the Ministry of Finance as part of the Finance Bill 2016. The stake holders and general public are requested to bring-out issues/points which in their opinion would require further clarification/guidance. These issues/points may be submitted by 25th May, 2016 at the email address

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Big Boost to Ease of Doing Business- Passing of Bankruptcy Code
May 12,2016

History was created on 11th May, 2016 when the Rajya Sabha passed the major Economic Reform Bill moved by the Government i.e. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code,2016. With the passing of this Bill, India has crossed an important milestone in becoming a world class economy. The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on 5th May, 2016.

Hitherto India was lacking the legal and institutional machinery for dealing with debt defaults as per the global standards. The recovery proceedings by creditors, either through the Contract Act or through special laws such as the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 and the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002, has not had desired outcomes. Similarly, action through the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (SICA) and the winding up provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 have neither been able to aid recovery for lenders nor restructuring of firms. Laws dealing with individual insolvency, the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909 and the Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920, were almost a century old. This has hampered the confidence of the lender and development of the credit markets in India. Resultantly, credit by banks is the largest component of the credit market in India and corporate bond market has not yet developed to the desired level.

The Government decided to embark on a fundamental and systemic reform which would address this problem, both commercially and judicially. The idea was to come up with a comprehensive solution, which would encompass borrowing by firms and by individuals. In recognition of the fact that major sub-components of lending are done by non-banks, in particular the corporate bond market which serve infrastructure projects, bankruptcy reforms needed to have a consistent treatment of default. While the systems of well-functioning advanced economies were studied, the design that was implemented for India reflects a careful judgment about what would work under India conditions.

The new law aims to consolidate the laws relating to insolvency of companies and limited liability entities (including limited liability partnerships and other entities with limited liability), unlimited liability partnerships and individuals, presently contained in a number of legislations, into a single legislation and provide for their reorganization and resolution in a time bound manner for maximization of value of their assets. Such consolidation will provide for a greater clarity in law and facilitate the application of consistent and coherent provisions to different stakeholders affected by business failure or inability to pay debt. This law will thus promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interest of all stakeholders.

The vision of the new law is to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. It is true that some business ventures will always fail, but such failures will be handled rapidly and swiftly. Entrepreneurs and lenders will be able to move on, instead of being bogged down with decisions taken in the past. The Code empowers the operational creditors (workmen, suppliers etc.) also to initiate the insolvency resolution process upon non-payment of dues. In order to develop the credit market in India, in case of liquidation, financial debts owed to unsecured creditors have been kept above the Governments dues in the list of priorities (waterfall).

Facilitating early resolution and exit is as important as facilitating investment. The essential idea of the new law is that when a corporate entity defaults on its debt, control shifts from the shareholders/promoters to a committee of creditors, who have 180 days (extendable by 90 days in deserving cases) to evaluate proposals from various players about resuscitating the company or taking it into liquidation. When decisions are taken in a time-bound manner, there is a greater chance that the corporate entity can be saved as a going concern, and the productive resources of the economy (labour and capital) can be put to the best use. This is in complete departure from SICA regime where there were delays leading to destruction of the value of the firm.

The Code separates commercial aspects of the insolvency proceedings from judicial aspects. While Insolvency Professionals (IPs) will deal with commercial aspects such as management of the affairs of the corporate debtor, facilitating formation of committee of creditors, organising their meetings, examination of the resolution plan, etc., judicial issues will be handled by proposed Adjudicating Authorities (National Company Law Tribunal / Debt Recovery Tribunal). One more important institution created under the Code is the Information Utility which would store financial information and data and terms of lending in electronic databases. This would eliminate delays and disputes about facts when default does take place.

The Code also provides a fast track insolvency resolution process for corporates and LLPs. This will be an enabler for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to complete the resolution process in 90 days (extendable to 45 days in deserving cases).

The Code also addresses the important issue relating to cross border insolvency by providing the enabling mechanism on the subject. The Government, at an appropriate time, will come out with a detailed framework for cross border insolvency.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is thus a comprehensive and systemic reform, which will give a quantum leap to the functioning of the credit market. It would take India from among relatively weak insolvency regimes to becoming one of the worlds best insolvency regimes. It lays the foundations for the development of the corporate bond market, which would finance the infrastructure projects of the future. The passing of this Code and implementation of the same will give a big boost to ease of doing business in India.

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India to have a highly competitive Aerospace and Defence industry in next 10 years
May 12,2016

Given the pace of progress in the policy environment today India will have a highly competitive and substantially large Aerospace and Defence industry in the next 10 years, said Baba Kalyani, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Forge. He was speaking at the conference on Championing Manufacturing in India organized by Confederation of Indian Industry.

In the last one and a half year several industry friendly measures such as defence licensing, opening of FDI, defence procurement policy (DPP), etc taken by the government have come as a big boost for the sector and would support in creating the right ecosystem for the sector to grow and become globally competitive, expressed Mr Kalyani. Going forward creation of PPPs would further support in harnessing the capabilities within the country and present a win -win situation for both government and industry, he stressed.

Lauding the various steps taken by the government to support the sector, Commodore Mukesh Bhargava (Retd), Head & Vice President (Special Projects Engineering Services, Larson and Toubro Ltd ,said that the government is moving in the right direction and the industry is confident to deliver to the expectations. In the current changed environment with government moving towards more of transparency and sharing its perspective policies with the public has come as a big support to the companies in building and further strengthening the required skills and infrastructure in the perspective.

Expressing his faith on the countrys preparedness with skilled human resources, quality infrastructure and technology for Defence and Aerospace sector, Mr Arijit Ghosh, President-Aerospace, Honeywell India underlined the need for a faster movement in creating conducive policies in the areas of land, labour laws, IPR and availability of financial capital which would not only support Aerospace and defence but also benefit all sectors in large.

Presenting his perspectives on the topic Mr Pratyush Kumar, President, Boeing India emphasized on the broad and deep capabilities India possessed in the Aerospace and Defence sector and stressed on the need for harnessing the same for achieving excellence. While a lot of progress has been done there is a further need to simplify and continuously fine-tune the issues related to availability of capital, labour, IPR and ease of doing business, he added.

Setting the context for the session Mr Subhranshu Das, Vice President, A&D, Asia, Forst & Sullivan said that while a great deal of progress has been done in the Indian Defense and Aerospace segment, going forward there is a need to further focus on MSMEs to realize things on ground. This would require creating a roadmap for making tier 3 and tier 4 companies globally competitive provide policy support in terms of industry and research collaborations and support export promotion for achieving scale.

Moderating the session, Mr Vishnu Som, Defence Editor, NDTV 24x7 said that the Aerospace and Defence sector of India possesses immense potential and there is need to focus on the areas of excellence and move faster in these areas to emerge as champions.

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Foodgrains worth Rs10, 000 crore better targeted with computerisation of PDS-Ram Vilas Paswan
May 12,2016

In order to make PDS system totally transparent, the Government is implementing End-to-end Computerisation of TPDS Operations. As a result a large number of bogus ration cards have been eliminated by the States during last two years which has enabled better targeting of about Rs.10, 000 crores foodgrains. This was stated by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution while addressing members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry.

Shri Paswan said centre is continuously perusing State Governments to make PDS modern and consumer friendly, a project with the cost of Rs. 884 crore has been taken up for computerization. Significant achievements have been made so far. Ration cards have been completely digitised in all States and card details are available on transparency portal of all States; Online Allocation of foodgrains to ration dealers is being made in 25 States. Supply-Chain has been computerized in 12 States/UTs and online grievance redressal facility or toll-free helpline have been started in all States/UTs. The Minister said that States have also been requested to seed Aadhaar numbers in Ration Card database. At present overall seeding stands at 54.79% at the national level.

The minister said that for checking of leakage and diversions, the Center is also pursuing with States/UTs to automate Fair Price Shops by stalling biometric devices. So far, more than 1, 11,772 FPSs have been automated across the country, and this count is likely to be increased to 3, 06,526 FPSs by March, 2017, he added.

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Creation of Mobility Directorate in Railway Boards Office
May 12,2016

In line with the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhus budget speech for creation of cross functional Directorates to focus on areas like speed enhancement, motive power depicting Mission Raftaar Ministry of Railways has decided to constitute a new Directorate named as Mobility Directorate in Railway Boards Office, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi with objective relating to various factors affecting train movement at enhanced speeds.

The Directorate would be headed by HAG level officer of Traffic Department viz. Adviser/Mobility and assisted by Executive Director/Director rank officers of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and S&T Departments posted exclusively in this Directorate.

Broad items of work to be handled by Mobility Directorate would be as under : -

1. Identification & prioritization of train corridors for raising speed;

2. Identification of path for timetabled freight trains;

3. Timetabling issues pertaining to speed of coaching;

4. De-bottleneck of the particular stretch of the network;

5. Monitoring progress of capacity augmentation works required to increase speeds;

6. Asset failures affectivng mobility and corrective action;

7. Rightpowring;

8. Condition of rolling stock and speed potential;

9. Permissible speed on track structure;

10. Permanent and Temporary speed restrictions;

11. Other low coast initiatives like IBH and IBS if required;

12. Replacement of Locos hauled trains by DEMU/MEMU; and

13. Any other items/subjects assigned by Board.

This new Directorate will work directly under the supervision of Chairman, Railway Board.

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Creation of Non-Fare Revenue Directorate in Railway Boards Office
May 12,2016

In compliance of the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhus budget speech to reorganize Railway Board along business lines and setting up cross functional Directorates in Railway Board to focus on areas for enhancing revenues by 10% to 20% from Non-Tariff sources Ministry of Railways has decided to constitute a new Directorate named as Non-Fare Revenue Directorate (NFR) in Railway Boards Office, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi.

The Directorate would be manned by SAG/SG level officers posted exclusively in the Directorate from Engineering, Traffic Commercial and Finance Departments.

The Designation of the Officers in NFR Directorate would be as under : -

a. ED/NRF/Traffic Comml.

b. ED/NFR/Engg.

c. Dir./NFR/Fin.

Broad items of work to be handled by Non-Fare Revenue Directorate would be as under : -

1. Advertisement at stations;

2. Commercial exploitation of vacant land and space rights over station buildings including station re-developmet;

3. Advertisements on coaches (both inside/outside) and on locos;

4. Sponsorship of uniforms for railway personnel, wherever in vogue;

5. Advertisements through hoardings on land alongside tracks and on land near railway stations;

6. Commercial farming alongside railway tracks;

7. Monetization of soft assets, including generation of revenue from websites through advertisements and web links;

8. Sidings and way leave charges;

9. Operation/licensing of Multi Functional Complexes;

10. Parking of vehicles in railway land other than at stations;

11. Advertisements on wagons, FOBs, ROBs, RUBs, Railway buildings, Loco sheds, Production Units, Structures on railway premises (like water tanks, microwave towers, OHE masts etc);

12. On board (trains) and off-board (station) entertainments, magazines on trains, displays at railway premises including stations (LED screens, video walls, translides etc.)

13. Sponsorships of activities and events at stations, branding etc;

14. Operation of Pay and Use toilets in land outside railway stations (circulating area, approach roads, near LC gates etc.);

15. Radio, Video, Internet, Wi-Fi, Mobile Apps, Interactive services (like video games etc.) in railway premises including stations;

16. Tourism

This new Directorate would work directly under the supervision of Chairman, Railway Board.

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Government inks MoU with NDTV to popularize India Handloom products
May 12,2016

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between The Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and NDTV Ethnic Retail for popularizing India Handloom textiles as a fashionable product for youth. The three-year MoU was signed on 10th May, 2016 at Udyog Bhawan.

The joint endeavour will endorse and launch a project, Indianroots Fashion Accelerator (IFA), a project by NDTV to support fresh talent and to support new and innovative ventures in fashion industry. Government will support the project with incubation and production support.

India Handloom Brand will also provide an interface where fashion professionals will be able to accesses facilities such as Weavers Service Centres and handloom clusters. The initiative will connect fashion designers with Handloom sector in an organized manner.

n++We see this partnership as a welcome move, it will collaboratively take forward the vision of India Handloom and the n++Make In Indian++ vision of Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The initiative would help us in our objective of promoting traditional handwoven products of India. Our vision is to touch every Indian with the cultural legacy of India. This will also help us engage with youngsters and designers who will take our handloom legacy forwardn++ said, Shri Alok Kumar, Development Commissioner (Handlooms).

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Drought situation to cost Rs 6.5 lakh crore to economy: ASSOCHAM
May 12,2016

Widespread drought will impact the Indian economy at least by Rs. 6,50,000 crores (about US$ 100 billion) as about 33 crore people across 256 districts are facing the grave situation, an ASSOCHAM study has noted with concern.

In the pre-monsoon season, weekly rainfall for the country as a whole during the last week of April, 2016 was 19% lower than Long Period Average (LPA). Rainfall (% departure from LPA) in the four broad geographical divisions of the country during the above period was higher by 38% in East & North East India and lower by 89% in South Peninsula, 78% in Central India, 61% in North West India.

Recent estimates indicate that the current water shortage both in reservoirs as well as lowering of ground water table has created a serious challenge for the drought affected areas in 10 states. Mr D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM said the drought would create inflationary pressures making the food management an imperative challenge for the government and the policy makers.

The cumulative rainfall in the country during the pre-monsoon season i.e. since 1st March, 2016 till April end was 8% lower than Long Period Average (LPA). Rainfall (% departure from LPA) in the four broad geographical divisions of the country during the above period was higher by 8% in East & North East India, 4% in North West India and lower by 70% in South Peninsula, 31% in Central India.

Let us assume that government will spend just Rs. 3000 per person to cover water, food, health for these people for one or two month. With the population of 33 crores at risk, the estimated cost to economy will be about Rs.100,000 crores per month. The loss of subsidies on power, fertilizer and other inputs due loss of crop multiply the impact.

Estimates may vary depending upon the assumptions. While making any assumption please include the following loss of man-days, cost of health, cost of livestock and their fodder, loss of productivity of land, animals, water bodies and people, increased burden on health services, revival from crisis of nutrition, fodder shortage and revival of rural economy, cost of displacement, etc.

It is clear that these 33 crore people need water and food for their existence and they purchasing power has vanished. Both of this will have negative impact on economy, said Mr. Rawat.

Lack of focus on natural resources will hurt the economic growth very seriously. Depleting soil health, water levels and air pollution will create inflationary pressures and will hurt Indian competitiveness. Corporate India must look at these aspects for their own existence, noted the study.

Economic Impact of Drought:

33 crore people need support for existence it means about 25% of Indian people need help in the food, water, medicine. This will divert financial resources soft h states from development to aid.

Even if 10% of these people migrate of other places, there will be massive socio-economic challenges in urban centers.

This will put pressure on urban infrastructure, over strengthen water and food supplies in cities will come under further pressure and crime rate is likely to go up.

Overall health, mainly for children, women and other aged people will be a serious social challenge and cost to economy.

Livestock and agriculture economy in these districts will also suffer and debt trap will increase in these areas.

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Fighting Corruption Critical for Growth and Macroeconomic Stabilityn++IMF Paper
May 12,2016

Public corruption, defined as an abuse of public office for private gain, afflicts economies at all stages of development. Governments around the world face the challenge of addressing citizens increased concerns over high corruption as evidenced by recent scandals in many countries.

n++While the direct economic costs of corruption are well known, the indirect costs may be even more substantial and debilitating, leading to low growth and greater income inequality. Corruption also has a broader corrosive impact on society. It undermines trust in government and erodes the ethical standards of private citizens,n++ said IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

n++Given the potential impact of corruption on macroeconomic stability and sustainable economic growth, the IMF has been actively engaged in helping our members design and implement anti-corruption strategies,n++ she added.

Corruption impedes the conduct of budgetary and monetary policy and weakens financial oversight, ultimately hurting inclusive growth, says the paper, Corruption: Costs and Mitigating Strategies, released today. The analysis presented in the paper draws on extensive literature on the topic as well as on IMF experience gained in many countries. The paper shows that the topic is n++macro-criticaln++n++that is, critical to the achievement of macroeconomic stability, which is at the core of the IMFs mandate.

While hard to measure properly, the economic costs of corruption could be substantial. A recent estimate put the annual cost of bribery at around $1.5 to $2 trillion (roughly 2 percent of global GDP). The economic and social costs of corruption could potentially be even larger.

How corruption hampers economic growth

The paper observes that corruption affects economic development in several ways.

First, it weakens the states capacity to raise revenue and perform its core functions. By harming the culture of compliance, corruption increases tax evasion. For instance, when tax exemptions are viewed as arbitrary, citizens have less incentives to pay taxes. As a result, the state collects less revenue and is unable to provide public services, with potential negative consequences for growth.

Second, by inflating costs in the public procurement process, corruption undermines the quantity and quality of public spending. Funds can also be siphoned off through off-budget transactions. This lowers resources available for public investment and other priority spending, aggravating infrastructure gaps and impacting on growth.

Third, because of lower public revenues, countries tend to rely more on central bank financing, which creates an inflation bias in the country. At the same time, corruption further weakens financial oversight and stability of the financial system. This arises from poor lending and regulatory practices and weak banking supervision.

Finally, corruption can even raise the cost of accessing financial markets as lenders factor in corruption. The private sector is further hurt because it raises uncertainty for firms and act as a barrier to entry for new entrants. Resources are allocated to rent-seeking activities instead of productive activities.

The social and environmental costs can also be significant. Reduced allocations for social programs and the resources lost through corruption limit the build-up of human capital. At the same time, weaker, poorly enforced environmental regulations lead to more pollution and more than desired extraction of natural resources. In the extreme cases, systemic corruption can lead to political instability and conflict. It has been argued that natural resource abundance can accentuate the situation.

Mitigating strategies

While the paper recognizes that there is no common recipe for all countries, it also emphasizes that a comprehensive approach is crucial. Short-term measures with more immediate impact, must be complemented with preventive measures and strict enforcement. The paper offers policymakers practical guidance, drawing on the IMFs perspective of helping its members design and implement economic reforms, including anti-corruption strategies. The paper identifies four building blocks:

n++ Transparency is a pre-requisite. Countries need to adopt international standards on fiscal and financial transparency. Because of the relative share of extractives industries in many economies, transparency in this particular sector is crucial. Governments need also to support international standards on transparent corporate ownership. A free press also plays a key role in exposing corrupt practices.

n++ To enhance the rule of law, a credible threat of prosecution must exist. Enforcement must also target the private sector. In certain cases, new specialized institutions must be set up where existing ones are corrupt. An effective anti-money laundering framework must be in place to minimize the laundering of proceeds of corruption.

n++ Excessive regulation creates rents which are allocated at the discretion of public officials and must be eliminated. De-regulation and simplification are cornerstones of efficient anti-corruption strategies. However, it is important to have an adequate institutional framework in place first when transitioning from state controlled monopolistic markets (emerging economies in Eastern Europe).

n++ A clear legal framework is required. However, all of the best frameworks come to nothing, unless they are implemented. And implementation is all about effective institutions. In particular, a key objective is to develop a cadre of competent public officials who are independent of both private influence and political interferencen++and are proud of this independence. Finally, leadership plays a critical underlying role. Leaders must set a personal example and ensure decisive action is taken when needed.

By vigorously reducing corruption, countries can improve economic stability and boost growth and development, according to a new IMF staff paper.

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266% Growth in Tourists arrival on E-Tourist Visa in April 2016 over the same period in 2015
May 12,2016

A total of 70,045 tourists arrived in April 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 19,139 during the month of April 2015 registering a growth of 266%.

Commencing from 27th November 2014 e-Tourist Visa facility was available until 25th February 2016 for citizens of 113 countries arriving at 16 Airports in India. The Government of India has extended this scheme for citizens of 37 more countries w.e.f 26th February 2016 taking the tally to 150 countries. The following are the important highlights of e-Tourist Visa during April, 2016.

The following are the important highlights of e-Tourist Visa during April, 2016:

(i) During the month of April, 2016 a total of 70,045 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 19,139 during the month of April, 2015 registering a growth of 266.0%.

(ii) During January- April 2016, a total of 3,91,094 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 94,998 during January - April 2015, registering a growth of 311.7% .

(iii) This high growth may be attributed to introduction of e-Tourist Visa for 150 countries as against the earlier coverage of 43 countries.

(iv) The percentage shares of top 10 source countries availing e-Tourist Visa facilities during April, 2016 were as follows:

UK (18.82%), USA (14.08%), Russian Fed. (8.16%), France (7.12%), China (6.31%), Australia (4.67%), Germany (4.32%), Canada (3.70%), Thailand (2.09%) and Netherlands (1.93%).

(v) The percentage shares of top 10 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during April, 2016 were as follows:-

New Delhi Airport (46.48%), Mumbai Airport (19.09%), Goa Airport (9.96%), Bengaluru Airport (6.48%),Chennai Airport (5.55%), Kochi Airport (3.02%), Kolkata Airport (2.50%), Hyderabad Airport (2.23%), Trivandrum Airport (1.44%) and Amritsar Airport (1.37%) .

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FDI In Railways was US $ 59.81 million from September 2015 to February 2016
May 12,2016

As per data compiled by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), the quantum of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Railway related components during the last six months (from September 2015 to February 2016) is US $ 59.81 million.

Agreements have been signed between Ministry of Railways and Joint Venture Company for setting up of two locomotive factories at Madhepura (Electric) and Marhowra (Diesel) costing about ₹ 2600 crore entailing FDI inflow in Rolling stock manufacturing.

While precise amount of FDI further expected can not be predicted or quantified, potential projects involving FDI include: Dankuni and Kancharapara rolling stock factories and BOT- annuity projects of 3rd line between Wardha-Nagpur, Kazipet-Vijaywada and Bhadrak-Nargundi.

Ministry of Railways have notified Sectoral guidelines on FDI and nominated PPP cell of the Ministry as the FDI facilitation cell.

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The Employee Offer of IOCL got unprecedented response from the employees as nearly 40% of the employees participated in the offer
May 11,2016

The Employee Offer of Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) got unprecedented response from the employees as nearly 40% of the employees participated in the offer. Employees grab this opportunity of employee offer and applied for 53.17% of 1,21,39,762 shares offered for allotment. This is highest ever employee participation in disinvestment process of any company post OFS. The employees participation in the disinvestment process of Government of India, gives the sense of belongingness to the company. The offer of shares by Government to eligible employees of IOCL was carried out from 2.5.2016 to 10 May 2016. The Government expects to realize Rs. 237 crore.

The employee offer was pursuant to the decision of the Government to disinvest 10% paid up equity out of Government of India shareholding in Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), on 13 May 2015. The Government had approved that shares may also be allotted to the eligible and willing employees of the Company up to a maximum of 0.5% of the paid up equity capital at a discount of 5%.

The OFS of IOCL was successfully completed on 24th August, 2015. The total realization was Rs. 9,369 crore. The lowest cut off during the OFS was Rs. 387/- per share. Accordingly, after 5% discount the offer price for employees was Rs. 367.65/- per share.

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Indirect Tax Collections During the month of April 2016 is Rs. 64,394 crore which is an increase of 41.8%
May 11,2016

Indirect Tax collections for the month of April 2016 was Rs 64,394 crore registering a growth of 41.8% as compared to Rs. 45,417 crore collected during the same period previous year i.e. month of April 2015. Overall growth in revenue collections on account of Indirect taxes excluding Additional Revenue Measures is 17%. The overall collections of Indirect Taxes during the month of April, 2016 amounts to achievement of 8.3% of BE target for Indirect Taxes for 2016-17.

The Revenue collections target for indirect taxes as per the Budget Estimates 2016-17 is Rs. 7,78,000 crore while the actual collections on account of indirect taxes during 2015-16 was Rs. 7,09,022 crore. Thus, there is an increase of 9.7% in BE target for 2016-17 over the last year actual collections.

As far as Central Excise collections in the month of April 2016 are concerned, Rs. 28,252 crore were collected during the month as compared to Rs. 16,546 crore in the corresponding period in the previous year and thus registering a overall growth of 70.7%.

As far as Service Tax collections in April 2016 are concerned, the total collections during the month of April, 2016 amounts to Rs. 18,647 crore as compared to Rs. 14,585 crore during the corresponding period (April 2015) last year and thereby registering a growth of 27.9% in the service tax collections.

As far as Revenue collections on account of Customs is concerned, Rs. 17,495 crore were collected during the month of April 2016 as compared to Rs. 14,286 crore during the corresponding period in the previous year i.e., April, 2015 and thus registering a growth of 22.5.% on account of customs collections.

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