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Fitch: Global Ratings Outlook Weaker Than Last Year
Jan 31,2017

Global rating outlooks are more negative than a year ago across most rating sectors, Fitch Ratings says in its latest global Credit Outlook report.

The greatest challenges are undoubtedly faced by emerging market issuers in all sectors, but this is a global trend - the outlook bias is also negative for developed-market entities across the majority of sectors, said Monica Insoll, Managing Director, in Fitchs Credit Market Research team.

Our sovereign ratings have the greatest share of Negative Outlooks on a net basis, at 21%. This points to the likelihood of a third consecutive year in which downgrades outnumber upgrades in this sector, possibly by a wide margin. Pressures include a strengthening US dollar, global trade weakness and policy uncertainty. Many commodity export-dependent countries in the Middle East and Africa also still struggle to adjust to the dramatic decline in prices, despite the recent recovery.

The negative outlook bias is 10% for corporates and 11% for banks. The industries facing the greatest challenges include natural resources and traditional retail. The expected boost to US economic growth would be positive for corporates but the increased likelihood of rising interest rates is not.

In contrast, financial institutions stand ready to benefit from rising rates, which should allow a widening of their net interest margin. Banks in Europe face still slow economic growth and high NPLs in some countries (notably Italy and Portugal). Low rates remain a challenge for earnings, but do limit impairment charges.

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Fitch: Demonetisation May Delay Indian Bank Asset-Quality Recovery
Jan 31,2017

Demonetisation is likely to push back the recovery in Indian banks asset quality, given the disruptive impact that cash shortages have had on the countrys large informal economy, Fitch Ratings says.

Cash shortages caused by the demonetisation of large-denomination currency notes have affected the income of many borrowers - by holding back economic activity - and reduced their short-term repayment abilities. The Reserve Bank of India has allowed forbearance on some loans to the agricultural sector and small businesses, but these account for a relatively small share of outstanding lending.

The impact of demonetisation on asset quality is likely to only start showing up significantly in data for the January-March quarter. However, most state banks have already indicated publicly that loan recovery has been affected.

Fitch had previously expected the stressed-asset ratio for Indian bank to increase to 12% in the financial year to 31 March 2017 (FY17), from 11.4% in FY16. There is now a risk that the ratio will climb higher. We still believe that asset-quality indicators are close to their weakest level and will recover slowly over the next few years, but any turnaround is likely to have been pushed back by at least two quarters.

Demonetisation has also weighed on loan growth, at least in the short term. Loan demand has weakened in the uncertain economic environment and banks have had to focus on cash management instead of normal lending activities. Mortgage lending is likely to be affected, with home sales down by 44% yoy last quarter. Loan growth slowed to 4.8% in November 2016, from 6.7% in October. We now think it is likely that loan growth will be below our previous forecast of 10% in FY17 and may even slow from the 8.8% recorded in FY16.

It is still possible that demonetisation will support loan growth over the longer term. Indian banks have received a surge of low-cost funding as demonetised notes have been deposited. Deposit growth accelerated to 15.9% yoy in November, from 9.2% in October, and the handful of banks that have released figures for the October-December quarter have reported low-cost deposit growth of 25%-30% yoy. Some banks have already responded by lowering lending rates - by up to 90bp in State Bank of Indias case - which could help revive credit demand, particularly if there are further cuts.

We think there is scope for further lending rate cuts, but much will depend on the proportion of new deposits that remains in the banking system. Tight restrictions on cash withdrawals were imposed at the start of demonetisation and have so far been relaxed only slightly. The lasting impact on bank deposits - and lending rates - will become clear only after withdrawal limits are lifted.

Furthermore, lending growth is likely to remain constrained by other factors. Excess capacity and the large number of stalled projects across much of the industrial sector will limit loan demand from capital-intensive businesses. The under-capitalisation of state-owned banks will also hold back lending. Fitch estimates Indian banks will require around USD90bn in new total capital by end-FYE19 to meet Basel III standards. The government is providing core equity, but its earmarked sum of USD10.4bn - around 70% of which is due to be paid out by March 2017 - may not be sufficient to meet needs, particularly if lending growth eventually picks up.

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Shri Ram Vilas Paswan approves recommendations of 7th CPC for employees of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
Jan 30,2017

Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, has given approval for applicability of revised pay scales to employees of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as per recommendations of 7th CPC.

The Union Minister said n++Approval given to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for applicability of revised pay scales to its employees on recommendations of 7th CPC. Financial arrangements to provide new pay scales to the employees of BIS will be made from own resources of this organization.n++

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Fitch: Indian Small Auto Borrowers Face More Short-Term Pressure
Jan 30,2017

Demonetisation appears to have had a negative impact on Indian auto-loan repayments, based on collection reports from Fitch-rated securitisation transactions. Small auto-loan borrowers have been affected the most. Demonetisation is likely to have had a detrimental effect on the income and cash flows of commercial vehicle operators, which could continue to feed through into repayments in the next few months, but Fitch-rated Indian ABS transactions have sufficient external credit enhancement to cover the likely short-term impact. We do not expect ratings to be affected.

The collections (as a percentage of investor payment obligations) of Fitch-rated ABS transactions dropped by an average of around 100bp in November 2016 (the first month of demonetisation), to 101.5% from 102.5% in October. Fitch has received December 2016 collection data for around 40% of its rated transactions, which points to a further average drop of 60bp.

Borrowers were initially permitted to use demonetised notes for loan repayments, which helped in managing collections in November. However, demonetisation has disrupted economic activity - particularly in the informal sector - and is likely to have hit borrowers incomes. It is possible that collections will fall further in early 2017, and we believe it could take at least another two to three months before for collections to return to normal.

The cash shortage has affected used-vehicle operators - which generally have weaker credit profiles - more than the new-vehicle borrowers. Pools backed predominantly by used-vehicle loans saw an average drop in collections of 130bp in November 2016. Those with a higher concentration of light and small commercial vehicles, which again have relatively weaker borrower credit profiles compared with medium and heavy vehicle owners, also dropped significantly - by almost 200bp.

The collection of pools securitised in 2016 fell by an average 120bp compared with 80bp for pools securitised before 2016. More seasoned pools are on average likely to have more experienced borrowers, with a stronger ability to meet their repayments. Furthermore, borrowers in seasoned pools will on average have serviced their loans for longer and have higher equity than those in less seasoned pools, leading to a greater willingness to pay.

Fitch-rated auto-loan ABS transactions remain resilient to a drop in collections. Only four transactions made any utilisation of credit enhancement in November 2016. All Fitch-rated transactions are currently able to withstand a 30% drop in collections for a minimum of eight months and an average of 22 months.

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Reduce customs duty on chilled & frozen sea food and poultry to 10% & 20% respectively: ASSOCHAM plea
Jan 30,2017

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has urged the Union Government to reduce customs duty on chilled and frozen sea food from present level of 30 per cent to 10 per cent to bring down food inflation and satiate high demand for sea food in India.

n++Local fisheries will not get affected by imports because sea food availability in India is much lower than its demand,n++ highlighted ASSOCHAM in its pre-budget memorandum (indirect taxes) submitted to the Centre.

n++High import duty makes it unviable to bring-in a variety of sea food products available globally which shall reduce food inflation tremendously and provide much-needed proteins to Indians at cheap cost,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

The chamber has also suggested the Union Government to reduce customs duty on chilled and frozen poultry meat (chicken) to 20 per cent for whole chicken and that in parts as it is unlikely to destabilise the Rs 40,000 crore Indian poultry industry because majority of Indian market prefers live poultry over frozen food.

n++Though chicken is a basic non-vegetarian food, but import duty on chicken products is as high as 100 per cent on its parts as such India is not able to import chicken,n++ highlighted the ASSOCHAM pre-budget recommendation.

Considering that prices of chicken produced in India are mostly much higher than that in rest of the world as its cost is decided upon its production, ASSOCHAM has appealed that it should be based on international prices.

n++This shall have huge impact on food inflation,n++ it said.

Factors like growing affordability, rising health consciousness, increasing consumer awareness and with more women getting into jobs are together likely to boost demand for frozen chicken and sea food products.

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GST on healthcare will make medicare unaffordable: ASSOCHAM-TechSci study
Jan 30,2017

The healthcare sector catering to the unmet health needs of the society should be kept out of the purview of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) or else medical care would become expensive and unaffordable for the common persons, said an ASSOCHAM-TechSci Research paper.

Currently healthcare is exempted from service tax and a similar dispensation should continue even after implementation of the GST regime at least for ten year. Besides, the Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley in the forthcoming Budget should raise tax exemption on preventive health check-up and announce a healthcare infrastructure medical innovation fund, it said.

A large number of items like food and other essentials for a common household are being kept outside the purview of the GST. The healthcare is equally important and essential, important only next to food. So, there is a strong case for the sector to be spared the GST, said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.

The paper cautioned that if GST is levied on healthcare services and facilities, the much avowed national goal to provide universal healthcare coverage would take a hit.

The paper also pressed for significantly raising the tax exemption on preventive health check-up under section 80-D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 from current value of Rs 5,000-20,000 in order to achieve the aim of universal healthcare coverage. Additionally, the GST exemption should cover the health insurance premium, as the same is exempted from the service tax at present.

The other pre-Budget demand with regard to the healthcare sector includes increasing the depreciation rate on medical devices, equipment from 15% to 30%.

Also, the need of healthcare facilities in midsized and smaller cities could be met by revising the corporate income tax incentives, which are currently given on capital expenditure for hospitals having 100 beds and above. This incentive needs to be extended to greenfield hospitals with 50 beds, thereby encouraging the healthcare facilities in tier 2, 3 and 4 cities. In addition, medical innovation fund and healthcare innovation fund should be set up in order to encourage new business models and entrepreneurship in healthcare sector, said the paper.

The Indian pharma industry, with an estimated turnover at USD36.7 billion in 2015, is amongst the largest producers of pharma products in the world. Due to economies of scale, the Indian pharma industry also enjoys low cost of production But the imposition of multiple taxes, litigation cost associated with the current tax setup and loss of credit of tax paid tend to raise product prices. Discontinuance of CST would be the most obvious impact that appears to be proposed with the introduction of GST. It is a cost to pharmaceutical manufacturers whenever they obtain raw materials from outside their state and if sale is on inter-state basis. This is due to the fact that CST paid in purchases is not creditable against VAT liability of manufacturer.

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Link BPO promotion scheme with direct tax benefit: ASSOCHAM
Jan 30,2017

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested the Union Government to link the India business process outsourcing promotion scheme (IBPS) with direct tax benefit.

n++Government should allow assesses to claim depreciation on assets funded by subsidy under the IBPS,n++ highlighted an ASSOCHAM pre-budget recommendation submitted to the Centre.

One reason why the Government did not receive expected response for IBPS which was launched under the Digital India programme, observed the chamber, as the overall benefit under the IBPS scheme will be reduced by 33 per cent as assesses cannot claim depreciation on assets funded by the Government subsidy.

The IBPS offers subsidy of up to 50 per cent of capital expenditure or Rs one lakh per seat, whichever is lower, for setting up BPO units in small towns and villages and to create employment there.

As Government has offered Capital Support: up to 50 per cent of one time capital expenditure incurred, this expenditure will be reduced from the cost of capital assets which will, in turn, reduce depreciation amount as per ICDS VII. n++This will increase the direct tax burden on such assessees.n++

ASSOCHAM has also suggested for setting up a Venture Capital pool initiated and coordinated by a bank/SPV (special purpose vehicle)/PPP (public private partnership) mode to boost availability of capital funds to the electronics sector.

n++A venture capital pool be created and allied tax incentive provided, funds of such pool shall be used by genuine private players through a stringent mechanism,n++ it observed.

It said that while contributors may be offered tax incentives on the dividend, manufactures may be provided with tax exemptions.

The chamber has recommended that weighted deduction of 150-200 per cent of actual cost for finance, energy and logistics cost be allowed on specified components.

n++The costs pertaining to finance, energy and logistics/transportation constitute major portion of the consumer electronics sector, further, these costs are auditable and duly included in the financial statements of a company,n++ said ASSOCHAM.

The chamber recommended that in line with global principles for taxation of software and judicial pronouncements of Honble Supreme Court in the case of customs and service tax, it should be clarified that distribution of copyrighted articles being software forming integral part of the hardware would not fall within the ambit of royalty.

It highlighted that there is currently dispute with respect to taxability of royalty in case of software (being copyrighted article) that forms part of hardware.

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CBDT issues Guiding Principles for determination of Place of Effective Management (POEM) of a Company
Jan 30,2017

The concept of Place of Effective Management (POEM) for deciding the Residential Status of a company was introduced by the Finance Act, 2015. It is effective from 01 April 2016 and accordingly shall apply from assessment year 2017-18 onwards. The guidelines for determining the POEM has been uploaded on website of the Income-tax Department (www.incometaxindia.gov.in). These guidelines of POEM have been finalised, after placing draft guidelines in public domain for seeking comments from stakeholders and general public, and with extensive consultations thereafter.

The Final Guidelines on POEM contain some unique features. Active Business outside India (ABOI) test has been provided, so as not to cover companies outside India which are engaged in active business. The intent is not to target Indian Multi Nationals which are engaged in business activity outside India. The intent is to target shell companies and companies which are created for retaining income outside India although real control and management of affairs is located in India. It is emphasised that these guidelines are not intended to cover foreign companies or to tax their global income, merely on the ground of presence of Permanent Establishment or Business connection in India.

Adequate administrative safeguards have been incorporated in the guidelines by mandating that the Assessing officer (AO), before initiating inquiry for POEM in a case of a taxpayer, will seek approval from Principal Commissioner of Income Tax/ Commissioner of Income-tax. The AO shall also obtain approval from Collegium of Principal Commissioners of Income-tax before holding that POEM of a non-resident company is in India.

It has been further decided that the POEM guidelines shall not apply to companies having turnover or gross receipts of Rs. Fifty (50) Crore or less in a financial year.

The guidelines also contain illustrations to clarify the situations whether POEM shall or shall not apply.

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IIMs to be declared as Institutions of National Importance
Jan 30,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bill, 2017, under which the IIMs would be declared as Institutions of National Importance which will enable them to grant degrees to their students.

Following are the salient features of the Bill:

i. IIMs can grant degrees to their students

ii. The Bill provides for complete autonomy to the Institutions, combined with adequate accountability.

iii. Management of these Institutions would be Board driven, with the Chairperson and Director of an Institution which will be selected by the Board.

iv. A greater participation of experts and alumni in the Board is amongst otherimportant features of the Bill.

v. Provision has also been made for inclusion of women and members from Scheduled Castes/Tribes in the Board.

vi. The Bill also provides for periodic review of the performance of Institutions by independent agencies, and placing the results of the same on public domain.

vii. The Annual Report of the Institutions will be placed in the Parliament and CAG will be auditing their accounts.

viii. There is also a provision of Coordination Forum of IIMs as an advisory body.

Background:

Indian Institutes of Management are the countrys premier institutions imparting best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training in management. IIMs are recognized as world-class management Institutions and Centers of Excellence and have brought laurels to the country. All IIMs are separate autonomous bodies registered under the Societies Act.

Being societies, IIMs are not authorized to award degrees and, hence, they have been awarding Post Graduate Diploma and Fellow Programme in Management. While these awards are treated as equivalent to MBAs and Ph.D, respectively, the equivalence is not universally acceptable, especially for the Fellow Programme.

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Cabinet approves exchanging of AAIs land 11.35 acres with equivalent land of Govt. of Bihar for expansion / development purpose
Jan 30,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to transfer 11.35 acres of land to Airports Authority of India (AAI) by way of exchanging equivalent land of AAI at Anisabad. The proposed land at Patna Airport will be used for expansion of the airport and construction of new terminal building along-with other associated infrastructures. The State Government has also agreed in principle for transfer of the land.

The new terminal building will be having a capacity of 3 million passengers per annum which will not only enhance the airport capacity but also provide convenience to general public.

Background:

The existing terminal building at Patna Airport was built for a capacity of 0.5 million passengers per annum, against which 1.5 million passengers per annum are already using the airport. This has led to extreme crowding in the terminal building.

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Cabinet approves Short term market borrowing by NABARD for on lending to Cooperative Banks
Jan 30,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its post-facto approval for the following decisions:

i. National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) will make short term borrowings at prevailing market rate of interest for approx. Rs.20,000 crore for on-lending to Cooperative Banks at 4.5% rate of interest.

ii. Additional capital of Rs.2,000 crore to be provided to NABARD for this purpose through the Union Budget. To start with, additional capital of Rs.500 crore may be released to NABARD during 2016-17 itself.

iii. Interest Subvention of about 1.8% and NABARDs administrative cost of 0.2% to be provided as per the scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW). The extent of interest subvention may vary depending on the rate at which NABARD raises funds.

iv. NABARD will coordinate the conversion of operative/live KCCs into RuPay/ATM-enabled Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) by Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) in a mission mode.

In the light of good monsoon and expectation of increased credit demand and in order to boost agricultural production, the farmers need to be supported through Cooperative Banks, which purvey credit at their doorstep, to enable them to scale up their agricultural operation.

The approval will ensure increased availability of short term crop loans to farmers through Cooperative banks at reduced rate of interest. The conversion of operative/live KCCs into RuPay/ATM-enabled KCCs will enable easy and hassle free availability of credit and in keeping with the spirit of Digital India, will facilitate digital and cashless transactions by farmers.

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List of Agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India
Jan 30,2017

 S. No.Name of Agreement/MoUDetails1.

Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the UAE

This is a general framework agreement which highlights the areas of bilateral cooperation identified under the comprehensive strategic partnership as agreed upon in the high level joint statements issued in the August 2015 and February 2016.

2..

MoU between the Ministry of Defence of the Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Government of UAE on cooperation in the field of Defence Industry

This MoU aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries. The two sides will cooperate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology.

3.

MoU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the UAE on Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport

This MoU provides a framework for enhancing bilateral maritime trade ties through facilitating maritime transport, free transfer of monies between contracting parties and reciprocal recognition of ships documents.

4.

MOU between the Directorate General of Shipping, Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime in the UAE on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention (STCW78) and amendments thereof

This MoU aims to deepen the maritime economic activities in general by establishing a framework for Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of marine officers, engineers and crews.

5.

MoU between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime of the UAE on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Highways Sector

This MoU aims to establish cooperation in the sectors of Highways and Road transport through sharing of technologies, systems and best practices in freight logistics, warehousing and value added services.

6.

MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of UAE on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking

This MoU aims to enhance bilateral cooperation on the issue of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking, especially of women and children expeditiously.

7.

MoU for the cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation between the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME) of the Republic of India

This MoU aims at promoting cooperation in MSMEs Sectors, including in joint projects, R & D and related activities.

8.

MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment of UAE in agriculture and Allied sectors

This MoU aims to develop a framework for cooperation in various agricultural fields of mutual interest, including through enhancement of cooperation in food processing and transfer of technology in cultivation methods.

9.

MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of UAE on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official Passports

The agreement allows holders of diplomatic, special and official passports visa free travel between the two countries.

10.

MoU between Prasar Bharati, India and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE for cooperation in programme exchange

This MoU aims to strengthen ties between Prasar Bharati and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE through cooperation in the field of broadcasting, mutual exchange of programmes, news and best practices.

11.

MoU between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest

This MoU aims to enhance cooperation in the field of anti-dumping and allied duties through exchange of information, capacity-building, seminars and trainings in mutually indentified areas related to trade remedial measures.

12.

Agreement on Oil Storage And Management
between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

This agreement aims to establish a framework for the storage of crude oil by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in India and to further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries in the field of energy.

13.

MOU between National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services Co. LLC

This MOU is on Cooperation in Energy Efficiency Services.

14.

MOU between National Security Council Secretariat of India & National Electronic Security Authority of the UAE

This MoU is on technology development and cooperation in cyberspace.

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MoU signed between POWERGRID and Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA)
Jan 30,2017

Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID), a central Power Sector PSU and CTU has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) & its group of companies on 25th January, 2017. The MoU was signed by His Excellency Saeed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Distribution Co. (UAE) and Shri Anil Mehra, Executive Director- International Business, POWERGRID in the presence of Shri I.S Jha CMD, POWERGRID and Senior officials from both sides.

The MoU inter alia envisages cooperation between ADWEA & its group of companies and POWERGRID to work in areas like smart grid, Transmission technology & providing capability development and training in the field of Operation & Maintenance (O&M), Asset Management, Project Management, Power Transmission & Distribution, etc. POWERGRID shall also assist ADWEA in setting up an advanced n++World Class Capability Development instituten++ in UAE.

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Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period of Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Jan 30,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. So far, 75 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.

In view of the critical role played by India in securing international consensus on climate change issues, this decision further underlines Indias leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice. Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by India will encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise. Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with Suslainable Development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) seeks to stabilise Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize interference with the climate system. Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations. Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

Background

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the 1st commitment period was from 2008-2012. At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the 2nd commitment period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted for the period 2013- 2020. Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the opt-in provisions of the Doha Amendment.

India has always emphasized the importance of climate actions by developed country Parties in the pre-2020 period. Besides, it has advocated climate actions based on the principles and provisions of the Convention, such as the principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR & RC).

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UIDAI Achieves 111 Crore Mark on Aadhaar Generation Unique Identity Covers to Over 99% Adult Residents of India
Jan 30,2017

Following is the statement by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics & IT and Law & Justice: With 68th Republic Day, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has achieved another landmark by generating 111 crore Aadhaar in a population of 125 crore plus.

The Worlds largest and unique biometrics based identification programme with a real time online authentication infrastructure - the Aadhaar has been recognized in the recent UN Report on World Social Situation, 2016 as a developmental tool with tremendous potential to foster inclusion by giving all people, including the poorest and most marginalized, an official identity and a wonderful critical step in enabling fairer access of the people to government benefits and services, thereby enhancing social and economic distributive justice leaving no one behind.

Aadhaar generation has crossed the 111+ crore mark. Its a great achievement towards inclusion of everyone into national development fabric. It has come a long way in less than six and a half years of its journey from being a unique identification programme to transform itself into a critical development tool of public-centric good governance and targeted delivery of services/benefits/subsidies; Such a transformation became possible, because of the unique initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modis government, to use Aadhaar, for the financial and social inclusion.

Aadhaar enrolment ecosystem with 135 registrars and 612 enrolment agencies working at 47,192 enrolment stations has been enrolling and updating7-8 lakhs requests per day. Aadhaar generation as on 31stMay 2014 was 63.22 crore with a per day enrolment/update trend of about 3-4 lakh which remained around 5-6 lakh per day till October 2016.However, since demonetization the Aadhaar enrolment and update requests are in the range of 7-8 lakhs per day. With over 47.8 crore Aadhaars generated since June 2014, Aadhaar now stands at 111+ crore. UIDAI has 28,332 Permanent Enrolment Centres where people may go for enrolment, updation and other Aadhaar related services. UIDAI has a capacity of generating and dispatching over 15 lakh Aadhaars every day.

Aadhaar which began in its first phase as a unique identification programme with an authentication infrastructure grew into its second phase as the tool of public sector delivery reforms by becoming the permanent financial address of the Aadhaar holder;and as a tool for de-duplication, e-KYC anddirect benefit transfer in its third phase, it started contributing to the management of the fiscal budget by generating saving to the Government exchequer to the tune of 36,144 crore in a few welfare schemes only in just two years. (Details in Annexure)

Now in its fourth phase, with demonetisation and Digital India drive towards less-cash economy, Aadhaar is all set to be the game changer with Aadhaar Pay - a non-traditional digital payment system without a need of card, pin, password or mobile with the consumer,

Aadhaar has empowered people by increasing convenience and making their life hassle-free towards a presenceless, paperless and cashless environment.

Dispelling apprehensions on privacy and data security, Prasad said, The Government is vigilant towards privacy protection and database security which is our paramount concern. We have Aadhaar Act 2016 which has strict provisions for protection of data and privacy.

As on date, Aadhaars total saturation percentage is 91.7% (as per Census 2011) while over 99% adult population above the age of 18 have been assigned Aadhaar numbers. Twenty two States/UTs have more than 90% saturation.

Aadhaar has become an extraordinary institution to connect the ordinary people of India into the banking system in a flawless manner.

Firstly, Aadhaar Enabled Payment System ( AEPS ) on which 119 banks are live. This helps the Banking Correspondents to go to the doorsteps in rural villages, facilitating banking transactions, with the help of Micro-ATMs, linked with Aadhaar. More than 33.87 crore transactions have taken place through AEPS, which was only 46 lakhs in May 2014. While only 7,406 AEPS points were available in May 2014, we now have over 1,65,000 agents available in the villages.

Secondly, the opening of bank accounts with Aadhaar eKYC, in which 97 banks are live and 4.47 crore bank accounts have been opened till now, which was only 1 lakh in May 2014.

Thirdly, Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB), a seamless payment facility, which enables disbursal of benefits /other payments directly to the beneficiarys account, popularly known as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), has shown considerable growth in the past two years. Total number of transactions on the APB were logged at 167.36 crore worth Rs.44,967 crore which has risen by ten folds in value since 31st May 2014 ( 7 crore transactions, worth 4000 crores ).

Fourthly, with the Aadhaar Pay, soon to be launched, any person with his Aadhaar number linked to Bank account, can make and / or receive payment, with his thumb impression alone. There is absolutely no need for him to have any phone, debit card etc.. This will be available to all the persons having Aadhaar linked bank accounts, whose number stands at 39 crores now, which was only 6.7 crores in May 2014. About 2 crore Aadhaar numbers are linked to Bank accounts every month.

Benefit accrued on account for DBT/ Aadhaar since 2014

For FY 2014-15 *

S.NO.Central Ministry /DepartmentScheme / AreaSavings1MoPNGPAHAL14,672 croreS.NO.State/UTScheme / AreaSavings1RajasthanNSAP (IGNOAPS, IGNWPS, IGNDPS)19.85 Lakh2UPSocial Security Schemes520 cr.Total Savings in FY 2014-15 = Rs. 15,192.2 crore

For FY 2015-16 *

S.NO.Central Ministry /DepartmentScheme / AreaSavings1MoPNGPAHAL6,912 crore2D/o Food & Public DistributionFood subsidy10,191 crore3KendriyaSainik Board- M/o DefencePrime Minister Scholarship Scheme1.01 LakhRMDF scheme10.95 Lakhs4M/o CultureScheme on International Relations20 Lakhs