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Interest rates for NSSF loan to Centre and States for FY 2016-17 revised and fixed at 8.8% in place of 9.5%
Apr 13,2016

In line with the revision of interest rates of small savings schemes, interest rates for the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) loan to Centre and States for FY 2016-17 has been revised and fixed at 8.8% in place of 9.5%.

The National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) invests its net collection as loan to Centre and State/UT Governments. The interest rate of NSSF loan to Centre and States for Financial Year 2015-16 was 9.5%. This interest rate was felt to be burdensome on States economies.

In the context of easing the transmission of the lower interest rates in the economy, the Government has taken a comprehensive view on the social goals of certain National Small Savings Schemes. The interest rates for First Quarter of the Financial Year 2016-17 in respect of various small savings schemes were communicated through O.M. dated 18 March 2015.

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MoU between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of Fisheries
Apr 13,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised about the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Bangladesh in September, 2011 on bilateral cooperation in the field of Fisheries and aquaculture and allied activities.

The MoU has strengthened the friendly relations between India and Bangladesh and promote development of cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture and allied sectors through mutually agreed activities and procedures.

The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years unless either of the Parties give prior written notice of at least six months in advance to the other Party of its intention to terminate the MoU. This MoU could be extended for further period as may be mutually agreed upon.

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ASSOCHAM seeks government intervention for betterment of Jewellery industry
Apr 13,2016

Industry body ASSOCHAM National Council on Gems & Jewellery said today we should form a gold council which would have representation from both the industries as well as government so that any new gold policy which is announced should be in consultation with the industry so there are no more conflicts.

While addressing the meeting Mayank Khemka, Managing Director of Khemka Group of Companies said that the government accepted industries suggestions of gold monetization scheme and gold bond schemes which has already seen moderate success and will go a long way in reducing import of gold and thus saving valuable foreign exchange and will improve our CAD (Current Account Deficit) but the scheme should be more modified to effectively market the concept to the end users.

Khemka also suggested that in order to promote export of gold Jewellery MAT (Minimum Alternate Tax) should be removed from SEZ (Special Economic Zone). This will make India a major manufacturing and export hub of the world for gold jewellery. He also said that interest subvention scheme to should be extended.

Nominated agencies to be allowed to import dore for value addition. Also the norms for import of gold dore especially the need to have a mining certificate should be relaxed and gold dore should allowed to be imported from multinational bullion banks and LBMA certified refiners and aggregators, adds the ASSOCHAM.

n++There is a need to simplify these laws to provide ease of doing business in the Industry. Jewellery industry is an essentially handcrafted industry, the rules should be tailor-made to allow the small artisans and Jewellers to operate without hasslen++, said Sankar Sen, Chairman of ASSOCHAM Gems & Jewellery at an ASSOCHAM event.

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) will work for preparing a comprehensive A Vision document for betterment of the industry which may add growth to the economic development of India and also submit to the relevant ministry to get it implemented.

Sen further said that extension of time limit for export obligation beyond 90 days and amended to 120 days.

The artisan and craftsman should be given training for skill development and there should be process of smooth re-absorption in the industry. The Jewellery sector in India is unique industry which gives employment of crores of self engaged artisans who acquire skills through generations. There is an immediate need to include the Gems & Jewellery industry in the Make In India progarmme taking into account on necessary inputs that will make the Jewellery industry a truly make in India initiative .

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Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Arab Emirates on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking
Apr 13,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking. The MoU is expected to be signed very soon after the approval.

The MoU will strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries and increase the bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking especially women and children expeditiously.

The following are the salient features of the MoU:

(i) To strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, especially that of women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country.

(ii) Taking preventive measures that would eliminate human trafficking in women and children and in protecting the rights of victims of trafficking.

(iii) Anti-trafficking Cells and Task Forces will work on both sides to prevent human trafficking.

(iv) Police and other concerned authorities will work in close cooperation and exchange information which can be used to interdict human traffickers.

(v) The repatriation of victims would be done as expeditiously as possible and the home country will undertake the safe and effective re-integration of the victims.

(vi) A Joint Task Force with representatives from both sides would be constituted to monitor the working of the MoU.

Background:

As a destination of trafficking, South Asian countries are mainly affected by domestic trafficking, or trafficking from the neighboring countries. However, South Asian victims are also increasingly detected in the Middle East.

India is a source and transit country as far as trafficking to UAE is concerned, whereas UAE is a destination and transit country for men and women, predominantly from South, Southeast and Central Asia and Eastern Europe who are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Migrant workers, who comprise over 95 percent of the UAEs private sector workforce, are recruited primarily from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran and East, South and Southeast Asia. Some of these workers face forced labour in the UAE. Women from some of these countries travel willingly to the UAE to work as domestic workers, secretaries, beauticians and hotel cleaners, but some are subjected to forced labour by unlawful withholding of their passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats and physical or sexual abuse.

The reinforcement of anti-trafficking efforts at all levels between the UAE and India is essential for prevention and protection of victims. This requires mutual cooperation among both the countries for intelligence sharing, joint investigation and a coordinated response to the challenges of human trafficking. For this purpose, it is proposed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UAE. We have already signed one MoU to prevent trafficking with Bangladesh and another with Bahrain is to be signed during this month.

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Ind-Ra: Indian Export Growth Not Strongly Linked to Rupee
Apr 13,2016

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) believes that Indias merchandise exports will pick-up when global consumption revives. Apart from global demand, another major driver of Indian exports is established competitive advantage in specific sectors (like refining, precious metals, pharmaceuticals). However, with global growth outlook subdued, recovery in Indian exports is likely to be protracted. Ind-Ra believes that export performance is likely to stay weak in FY17, as globally economies struggle to stabilise. The rupee, can act as an enabler for export revival. Ind-Ra expects the rupee to weaken and trade at an average of 67.5/USD in FY17.

Evidences of linkages between exchange rate and trade performance are weak and do not suggest a strong relation. Baring the recent past, on real effective exchange rate basis, the appreciation of the rupee has been accompanied with relatively robust export growth. Headline export growth currently overstates the impact of the slowdown. Comparison of volume and value of exports suggest that, moderation in exports is not as severe as indicated by the headline number. At the same time, as Indian exports are increasingly become commodity-linked, the impact of global deflationary pressures has weighed in on the exports.

Indias stance of calibrating its exposure both through exports composition and destination has supported overall export performance. In order to maintain its overall competitiveness, Indias focus on infrastructural development is likely to have multi-linked benefits. While enabling private sector to enhance their cost competencies, infrastructure investment will also act as a trigger for domestic growth revival.

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Moodys: Weaker remittances will dampen benefits of lower oil prices for Asia Pacific sovereigns
Apr 13,2016

Moodys Investors Service says that lower remittances from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies, which have been hit hard by the slump in oil prices, will reduce the benefits of cheaper oil imports for several Asia Pacific countries.

Generally, weaker remittances will immediately impact the recipient countries credit profiles via their balance of payment positions. A prolonged fall would also hurt economic growth, given the importance of remittances to household incomes.

The Moodys report analyzes the potential credit implications of weaker remittances from their citizens working abroad for six Asian countries: Bangladesh (Ba3 stable), India (Baa3 positive), Pakistan (B3 stable), Philippines (Baa2 stable), Sri Lanka (B1 stable) and Vietnam (B1 stable).

For these six economies, remittances are equivalent to 3% to 10% of GDP, and between 22% and 188% of foreign reserves.

The report finds that while previous oil price shocks had limited and short-lived effects on remittances to Asian countries, the current more pronounced and prolonged decline -- coupled with fiscal tightening in many oil-exporting countries -- is likely to hurt migrant worker earnings and consequently remittances.

For India, the Philippines and Vietnam, the diversified locations and vocations of their overseas workers could help reduce the fall in remittances overall.

For most of the countries in Moodys study, remittances inflows are greater than net oil import payments as a percentage to GDP. However, the 25% decline in oil prices since the start of 2015 is large, and Moodys expects the declines in remittances to be much lower than that in percentage terms. Therefore, the agency says, unless remittances fall significantly more than it expects, their decline will dampen, but not completely offset, the benefits of lower oil prices for the current account.

In India, where oil import costs exceed the value of remittances as a percentage of GDP, the net impact of lower oil prices on the current account should remain positive even if remittances fall.

Moodys report finds that in sovereigns that are already facing external pressures, or where growth is weakening or anemic, a slowdown in remittances will exacerbate such challenges. Sri Lanka stands out in this regard, due to its large financing needs and thin foreign reserve cushion, while Bangladesh and Pakistan face similar challenges to a lesser degree.

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Storage Status of 91 Major Reservoirs of the Country 37.92 BCM as on April 07, 2016
Apr 13,2016

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on April 07, 2016 was 37.92 BCM which is 24% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This was 69% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 77% 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 6 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.25 BCM which is 24% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 34% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 30% 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.

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 6.81 BCM which is 36% 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 38% 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 5.52 BCM which is 20% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 38% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 42% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year and is also 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 13.27 BCM which is 31% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 41% 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 8.08 BCM which is 16% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 25% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 27% 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 Andhra Pradesh and Tripura. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, AP&TG (Two combined project in both states), Punjab, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

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Moodys: India plans to boost infrastructure spending is good news for Europes cement makers
Apr 13,2016

European cement manufacturers with a presence in India are likely to benefit if the Indian governments plans to ramp up infrastructure spending come to fruition in the next 12-18 months, says Moodys Investors Service today in a new report. Indias 2016 Union Budget, announced on 29 February, contained plans to hike public infrastructure spending, especially on roads, which could revive stagnant cement demand in the country.

Planned infrastructure spending will revive sluggish demand in the Indian cement market and could significantly benefit European players in the sector, though any benefits rely on the projects being effectively and timely executed, says Falk Frey, a Moodys Senior Vice President and author of the report.

According to the Indian governments 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) investment in infrastructure should increase from 7.6% of GDP in 2014 to 9% in 2017. However, cement demand for government-funded projects has been weak in the last four years with many construction schemes delayed or put on hold. As a result, while infrastructure investment will be a key growth driver, the timing of such investment remains uncertain.

As the second-largest cement maker in India, Swiss-based LafargeHolcim (Baa2 stable) is in a good position to benefit from any increase in infrastructure spending. LafargeHolcim is also the best placed European player to benefit from uneven regional demand, with a much larger scale and more prominent operations in northern India, where it sells almost 42% of its local cement volumes.

Conversely, southern-based HeidelbergCement AG (Ba1 Stable), CRH plc (Baa2 Stable) and Italcementi S.p.A. (Ba3 review for upgrade) have limited geographic coverage and are more exposed to local overcapacity in this region.

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Piyush Goyal Launches n++Deepn++ E-Bidding & E-Reverse Auction Portaln++ for Procurement of Short Term Power by Discoms
Apr 13,2016

Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy launched n++DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) e-Bidding & e-Reverse Auction portaln++ for procurement of short term power by DISCOMs.

The web portal is accessible to all the stakeholders in the Power Sector through www.mstcecommerce.com. The link is also available in the websites of Ministry of Power www.powermin.nic.in and PFC Consulting www.pfcclindia.com

Speaking on the occasion, Piyush Goyal said that the web portal will ensure seamless flow of power from seller to buyer. It will be a very strong weapon to curb illegal transactions and will help in price reduction through competition. Taking the web portal to next level, the Minister added that all states should put their power purchase data on the portal within one month. He also directed that first five states to put data within 1 week will be rewarded. The Minister also witnessed the signing of n++Power for Alln++ agreement by the states of Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh.

The short term procurement could be for a period of more than one day up to one year. Currently out of total generation of around 91671.33MUs, above 10% (9215.24MUs) is transacted through short term through bilateral and through power exchanges etc.

The Guidelines for short term procurement of power has already been notified by Ministry of Power, Government of India w.e.f. April 1, 2016, making it mandatory for all the Procurer(s) to procure short term power by using this e-Bidding portal. Power Procurement from Power Exchange shall be excluded from the scope of these guidelines This would introduce uniformity and transparency in power procurement by the DISCOMs and at the same time promote competition in electricity sector. The scope of this portal shall be further expanded soon to cover medium term and long term procurement of power.

This e-Reverse auction process for competitive procurement is expected to result in overall reduction of cost of procurement of power thereby significantly benefiting the ultimate consumers. This will also provide a common e-bidding platform with e-Reverse Auction facility, provide nation-wide power procurement to a wider network including the stakeholders in power sector, to bring uniformity in the process of power procurement.

The web portal is a common e-bidding platform with e-Reverse Auction facility. The advantages include dissemination of information on nationwide power procurement to a wider network including the stakeholders in power sector; Uniformity in the process of power procurement and enabling Distribution Licensees to procure power in a short time. Bidders have the option to bid multiple bids from separate logins either from same or different sources. Bidders also can quote their best prices and need not match or bid lower price against the prevailing lowest Bidder. The portal builds confidence through transparency and efficiency in the procurement of power.

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347.5% Growth in Tourists arrival on e-Tourist Visa in March 2016 over the same period in 2015
Apr 13,2016

A total of 1,15,677 tourists arrived in March 2016 on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 25,851 during the month of March 2015 registering a growth of 347.5%.

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 March, 2016:

(i) During the month of March, 2016 a total of 1,15,677 tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 25,851 during the month of March, 2015 registering a growth of 347.5%.

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

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

UK (27.74%), USA (13.41%), Russian Fed. (7.04%), France (6.55%), Germany (5.18%), China (4.49%), Canada (3.89%), Australia (3.79%), Spain (1.99%) and Ukraine (1.66%).

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

New Delhi Airport (46.76%), Mumbai Airport (18.75%), Goa Airport (11.11%), Chennai Airport (5.55%), Bengaluru Airport (5.03%), Kochi Airport (2.82%), Kolkata Airport (2.38%), Amritsar Airport (2.12%), Hyderabad Airport (2.07%) and Trivandrum Airport (1.33%).

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Procedure for Establishment of Branch Office (BO)/Liaison Office (LO)/Project Offices (PO) in India by Foreign entities simplified
Apr 13,2016

As a measure towards improving the ease of doing business, it has now been decided that except for a few sectors viz. Defence, Telecom, Private Security, Information and Broadcasting and Non-government organization and except a few countries, the power to grant approvals for establishment of Branch Office (BO)/Liaison Office (LO)/Project Offices (PO) in India by foreign entities, would be delegated to the Authorised Dealers Category-I Banks. Further, anyone who has been awarded a contract for a project by a Government authority/PSU would be automatically given approval to open a bank account.

Regulations in this regard have been notified by RBI vide G.S.R. 384 dated March 31, 2016.

Earlier these entities used to seek the approval of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before setting-up their BO/LO/PO office in India. While Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gives permission in those cases where 100% FDI is allowed under automatic route, all other cases are referred to the Government for approval.

The establishment of Branch Office (BO)/Liaison Office (LO)/Project Offices (PO) in India by foreign entities is regulated in terms of FEMA 22/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, as amended from time to time. The foreign entities can set-up their BO/LO/PO in India without registering themselves as companies/trusts etc. under Indian Laws.

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EPFO settles 118 lakh claims in 2015-16
Apr 13,2016

At the end of the financial year 2015-16, EPFO settled 118 lakh claims out of which 39% were settled within 3 days, 79% within 10 days and 96% within 20 days. The Organisation redressed 22,925 grievances during the month settling 95% of the grievances, leaving 1,280 grievances pending at the end of the financial year 2015-16. Out of the pending grievances, 72% of the grievances are pending disposal for less than 7 days. A total 2,21,624 grievances were redressed during the financial year 2015-16.

To widen the social security net, the government took a major decision to bring all banks under the ambit of EPF & MP Act, 1952 employing 20 more number of persons as a class of establishment, for those employees who are not entitled to the benefits of Contributory Provident Fund or old age pension in accordance with any Scheme or rule framed by the Central Government or the State Government or by the respective banks established under the Banking Regulations Act, 1949. All such banks shall be covered under the Act w.e.f 10 February 2016.

The issue of coverage of contract workers has been an area of top concern and priority for EPFO. To streamline and facilitate the work of field offices, a software has been developed through which a login has been provided to both the category of establishments- principal employers-those which are registered with EPFO and those which are not registered with EPFO such as government departments. After authentication through One Time Password (OTP), the principal employer can enter details of contractor and work order, which will be segregated PIN code wise and will go to the respective portal of RO/SRO. This can be viewed online, as and when updated. It will help EPFO to verify whether the particular contractor establishments is already registered or not and its compliance position.

To bring more and more construction workers under the ambit of the Act, the month of April, May and June 2016 shall be observed as n++Compliance for Construction Workersn++ months.

The Social Security Agreement between India and Australia has been operationalized. The agreement provides inter-alia for posting i.e detachment up to a period of 60 months for employees of both the countries. The employee of one country deputed by their employers to the other country on short-term assignment for a pre-determined period of up to a period of 60 months need not remit Social Security Contributions in that country. Thus, the employers are saved from making double Social Security contributions for the same set of employees thereby enhancing the competitiveness of their products and services. However, such exemption can be availed on the basis of n++Certificate of Coveragen++. The agreement has come into force w.e.f 1.1.2016. Efforts are also being made to initiate the process of such agreements with countries having large India expatriates such as countries in Middle East.

The month of March also saw several momentous decisions taken by the Organisation. This included the holding of 212th meeting of the CBT, EPF on 29 March 2016 in which several major decisions like approval of the proposal for Organisation restructuring of EPFO for addressing issues related to career progression of officers and officials, allowing interest on inoperative EPF member accounts were taken besides the launch of n++Salary Softwaren++ by EPFO. This is one module of the comprehensive HR management software being developed in-house by EPFO. Also, 84th meeting of Executive Committee (CBT, EPF) held this month approved setting up of a facility for video conferencing in EPFO offices. Once implemented, this is likely to facilitate more frequent e-meetings with field formations at negligible cost.

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NRDC signs agreement for commercializing n++NEMHARIn++-A Plant based Formulation for Management of Mulberry Root Knot Disease
Apr 13,2016

The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), under Ministry of Science & Technology, has entered into a license agreement with M/s Rainbow Agrilife India, Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh for commercialization of n++NEMHARI-A Plant based Formulation for Management of Mulberry Root Knot Diseasen++ developed at Central Sericulture Research and Training Institute (CSR&TI), Central Silk Board (CSB), Mysuru.

NRDC has been appointed as the nodal agency for commercialising the technical knowhow in India and abroad. The company has ambitious plans to taking forward this technology to all sericulture regions in the world through a network of dealers and also promoting through different Government support schemes of the Department of Sericulture and other Allied Departments in various states.

The formulation is safe to the native soil micro flora and fauna but effective against the nematodes causing the root knot disease in mulberry. Tests conducted in the field revealed reduction of disease severity by about 84% and prevented loss of leaf yield by 24%.

The initiative of NRDC aids the n++Make in Indian++ Mission of the Government of India. The formal license agreement was signed by the CMD, NRDC Dr. H. Purushotham and Director, M/s Rainbow Agrilife India Private Limited Shri B. V. Subbarayadu,

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Simplification of procedure to deal with audit objections raised in indirect taxes by the office of by CAG
Apr 13,2016

Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a circular to simplify the procedure of dealing with audit objections raised in indirect taxes by the office of CAG. The Circular rescinds all the past circulars and instructions and prescribes a new simplified and consolidated procedure. The Circular No. is 1023/11/2016 CX dated 08 April 2016.

Taking note of the fact that revenue and audit have agreement on large proportion of the audit objections, the revised Circular provides that demand notice, in cases of agreement on audit objection, should be issued and decided expeditiously. However, where revenue does not agree with the objections, no demand notice would be issued. Thus, where it is not necessary, an assessee would not be taken through the litigation cycle.

The Circular also highlights that adjudicating authority is a quasi-judicial authority and is expected to decide the case independently and judiciously. Regular coordination meeting between Revenue and CAG officers has also been prescribed for faster resolution of issues.

These revised guidelines have been issued in an effort to make the indirect tax administration assessee friendly and non-adversarial by bringing the audit objections to closure in an expeditious and fairer manner.

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Southwest monsoon season rainfall to be above normal in 2016: IMD
Apr 12,2016

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has released the long range forecast for the 2016 southwest monsoon season rainfall. The monsoon seasonal rainfall during the forthcoming monsoon is likely to be 106% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of n++ 5%. The LPA of the seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 cm.

India Meteorological Department will issue the update forecasts in June, 2016 as a part of the second stage forecast. Along with the update forecast, separate forecasts for the monthly (July and August) rainfall over the country as a whole and seasonal (June-September) rainfall over the four geographical regions of India will also be issued.

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