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Credit Linked Interest Subsidy scheme for tax paying Middle Classes made effective from January 1 this year
Mar 22,2017

The window of fulfilling the aspiration of owning a pucca house for the tax paying large middle class population, announced by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to the Nation on December 31st last year has been made operational from the next day i.e January 1st this year. This interest subsidy scheme has been named as Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Groups - CLSS(MIG).

Operational Guidelines for CLSS(MIG) to this effect have been released by Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu.

Middle Income Groups (MIG) with annual incomes of above Rs.6.00 lakhs and up to Rs.18.00 lakhs per year are eligible for interest subsidy on housing loans under the new CLSS(MIG). Those who have been sanctioned housing loans and whose applications are under consideration since January first this year are also eligible for interest subsidy.

Shri Naidu said that Middle Income Groups make substantial contribution to the economic growth of the country besides paying taxes and deserved support to fulfill the dream of owning a house which is a basic and genuine aspiration. He further said that large scale incentivisation of affordable housing will boost real estate sector resulting in employment generation as well. He urged the banks and other lending institution to adopt a pro-active approach to reach the benefits to MIG people.

Minister of State for HUPA Rao Inderjit Singh said Housing for All Mission is the most important initiatives of the Government to ensure a decent house for all by 2022.

Since the middle income groups are better equipped to take advantage of the interest subsidy scheme in quick time and to enable meeting the Housing for All target by 2022, implementation of CLSS(MIG) is initially envisaged for one year.

Prime Minister has announced interest subsidy of 4% on housing loans of up to Rs.9.00 lakhs of those with an income of Rs.12.00 lakh per year and of 3% on housing loans of up to Rs.12.00 lakh of those earning Rs.18.00 lakh per year.

In the Guidelines for CLSS(MIG), the tenure of loan has been stipulated to be 20 years or that preferred by the beneficiary, whichever is lower. The total interest subsidy accruing on these loan amounts will be paid to the beneficiaries up front in one go there by reducing the burden of Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI). The total interest subsidy to be paid to MIG people on Rs.9.00 loan comes to Rs.2.35 lakh and on a loan of Rs.12.00 lakh, it comes to Rs.2.30 lakh per beneficiary.

While defining the beneficiary family as comprising of wife, husband and unmarried daughters and sons, the Guidelines, in an acknowledgement of the aspirations of the youth, have made even unmarried and earning young adults eligible for taking the benefit of interest subsidy under CLSS(MIG), for acquisition/construction of a new house including repurchase.

Interest subsidy will be provided on loans for construction/acquisition of house with carpet area of 90 sq.mtres by those earning Rs.12.00 lakh per annum and of 110 sq.mt by those earning Rs.18.00 lakh per year.

Under the Guidelines, preference is to be given to women with overriding preference towidows, single working women, persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes, Differently abled and Transgender people.

Small Finance Banks and Non Banking Finance Company-Micro Finance Institutions also have been recognized to function as Primary Lending Institutions to widen the scope of implementation of CLSS(MIG) in addition to Scheduled Commercial Banks, Housing Finance Companies, Regional Rural Banks, State and Urban Cooperative Banks for accepting applications directly from beneficiaries and advancing loans under the scheme.

While the new CLSS(MIG) covers people with income of up to Rs.12 lakh and Rs.18 lakh per year, the CLSS component of PMAY(Urban) launched in June, 2015 and applicable to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) covers urban poor with income levels of Rs.3.00 lakh and Rs.6.00 lakh per year respectively. Under CLSS(EWS/LIG), interest subsidy of 6.50% is being provided on a loan of up to Rs.6.00 lakh. Tenure of this loan is now increased to 20 years from the earlier 15 years, to enable easy repayments. Total interest subsidy available to each beneficiary under this component is Rs.2.30 lakh.

Shri Sriram Kalyanaraman, MD and CEO of National Housing Bank informed that interest subsidy of 4% under CLSS(MIG) will bring down Equated Monthly Installment of beneficiaries by Rs.2,062 per month on a housing loan of Rs.9.00 lakhand interest subsidy of 3% will bring down EMI by Rs.2,019 on a loan of Rs.12.00 lakh, taking normal housing loan interest rate as 8.65%. He further said during 2015-16, against total new bookings of 28.90 lakh units with loans of up to Rs.10 lakhs each, Public Sector Banks and Housing Finance Banks advanced loans of Rs.9.50 lakh crore and accounted for 64% of total bookings.

70 lending institutions including 45 Housing Finance Companies, 15 scheduled banks, 2 Regional Rural Banks, 1 Cooperative Bank, 4 Small Finance Banks and 3 Non-Banking Finance Companies-Micro Finance Institutions today signed Memoranda of Understanding with National Housing Bank (NHB) today for implementation of CLSS(MIG) component of PMAY(Urban).

NHB and Housing and Urban Development Corporation(HUDCO) have been designated as Central Nodal Agencies (CAN) for implementation of CLSS for both MIG and EWS/LIG who would reimburse interest subsidy to Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) based on the loans advanced to beneficiaries by PLIs. PLIs include Scheduled Commercial Banks, Housing Finance Companies, Small Housing Banks, State and Urban Cooperative Banks, Regional Rural Banks and NBFC-MFI.

Beneficiaries eligible for interest subsidy under CLSS can directly apply to PLIs and PLIs after due verification of applications will sanction loans and there after claim subsidy from CNAs.

No processing fee will be charged by PLIs from the applicants under CLSS.

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FM: Government to focus on two important areas including building infrastructure on war footing and substantial expenditure on development of rural In
Mar 22,2017

The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs Shri Arun Jaitley said that the Government would focus on two important areas including building infrastructure on war footing and substantial expenditure on development of rural India. The Finance Minister said that India is having the largest infrastructure creating programme in the world which include constructing 10,000 kms of road every year or 30 km a day, connecting every village with a regular road by 2019, to ensure that every village is electrified by 2018 and addition of 40-50 Regional Airports besides modernizing the Railway System among others.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley highlighted the various schemes and programmes launched by the present Government for the development of rural areas, including construction of roads, electrification of villages, cleanliness campaign by providing every rural household with a toilet system, implementing scheme Housing for all in rural areas by 2022 and high expenditure on rural irrigation, animal husbandry and dairy farming among others.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that the major challenges before the Government is uncertainty in international oil prices, slow pace of growth in the global economy, addressing the issue of increased private sector investment and tackling the problem of Non Performing Assets (NPAs) among others. The Finance Minister said that India will continue to be the fastest growing economy in the world and will continue to achieve the annual growth rate of 7-8 per cent and can further increase this growth rate provided the global economy also registers higher recovery.

The Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that micro and macro-economic indicators of the Indian economy are very strong and inflation, fiscal deficit and current account deficit etc. are very much in control. The Finance Minister also said that the major indirect tax reform in the history of the country since independence i.e. Goods and Services Tax Act is likely to be rolled-out from first of July this year which will simplify the most complicated indirect tax system in the country by subsuming various Central and State indirect taxes and introducing the concept of one tax one nation. The Finance Minister said that the GST will be a game changer and will help in curbing tax evasion, bringing transparency and efficiency in tax administration, reducing the prices of various items by avoiding tax on tax and ensuring seamless transfer of goods from one region to another among others.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley also said that as far as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is concerned, India is most preferred destination in the world today as it has opened its economy for FDI in various sectors especially in the last 2-3 years. The Finance Minister also touched upon the issue of demonetization stating that by withdrawing the legal tender character of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes with effect from 8th November, 2016, the anonymity attached with the cash is over and informal sector has to a large extent integrated with the formal sector and thereby making the Indian economy more cleaner, transparent and efficient. He said that cash was incentivising crime, corruption, tax evasion and black money among others. Shri Jaitley said that demonetizing on the one hand helped in tackling all these problems while on the other hand, led to increased digitization of transactions and reducing the overall impact of shadow economy among others.

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Dream of Har Ghar Jal will be realized by 2030: Tomar
Mar 22,2017

Government today launched National Water Quality Sub Mission on Arsenic and Fluoride to provide safe drinking water to about 28,000 affected habitations in the country by March 2021 with an outlay of Rs 25,000 crore. Inaugurating the mission here in collaboration with the States, the Union Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water and Sanitation and Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar said that while West Bengal is badly affected by the problem of arsenic, Rajasthan suffers from presence of fluoride in drinking water with serious health hazards. He said, there are about 17 lakh 14 thousand rural habitations in India, of which about 77 percent have been provided with safe drinking water of more than 40 liters per person per day and about 4 percent of the habitations are suffering from problems of water quality. The Minister assured the participating delegates that there will be no discrimination of funds against any state to address the twin challenges of drinking water and sanitation. Ministers of Drinking Water and Sanitation from 12 States participated in the National Workshop on Water for All and Swachh Bharat.

Shri Tomar said that Government is committed to providing tap water on a sustained basis in every household by 2030 as per the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for which Rs 23,000 crore of central fund will be required annually till the target is achieved. The Minister said that the dream of Har Ghar Jal cannot be realized without the involvement of the citizens. He said that there are about 2,000 Blocks in the country with an acute shortage of surface and ground water sources and called for conservation of water on war footing through convergence of schemes like MGNREGA.

Dwelling on the issue of Swachhta, Shri Tomar said that sanitation coverage has increased from 42 percent to 62 percent since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission, SBM in October 2014. He said, apart from Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala which are ODF (Open Defecation Free) States, 4 to 5 more States can become ODF in next six months. So far, 119 districts and 1.75 lakh villages have become ODF and the Centre has announced to incentivize the states for their timely progress. The Minister informed that since the launch of the SBM, more than 3.6 Crore toilets have been constructed in the rural areas and 16.41 lakh toilets were constructed under MGNREGA. He said, when we are seeking to transform India into a 21st century economic giant: open defecation and garbage cannot be part of this vision.

Shri Tomar along with the Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Shri Ramesh Jigajinagi launched Water APP on the occasion. The Minister also gave away prizes to various state governments for exemplary work done in the areas of sanitation and drinking water.

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Emerging East Asian Bond Yields Fall as Region Withstands Global Uncertainty
Mar 22,2017

Bond yields in emerging East Asian markets fell between 31 December and mid-February despite the risk of accelerated pace of interest rate hikes in the United States (US), the Asian Development Banks (ADB) latest Asia Bond Monitor said.

n++Emerging East Asias improved growth outlook and strong fundamentals have buffeted the region from risks of possible capital outflows,n++ said Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB Chief Economist. n++Policies to improve the transparency of financial markets and encourage long-term investment can help countries face future external shocks.n++

Amidst solid growth and rising inflation, investors across most of the region have shown increased confidence in emerging East Asian local currency (LCY) government bonds, leading to declining yields. Indonesias implementation of sound reforms led it to experience the largest decline in yields over the period. The Peoples Republic of China (PRC), meanwhile, saw yields on 2-year and 10-year government bonds rise, as the government introduced new measures to protect against asset and credit risks.

All of the regions currencies appreciated against the US dollar, except for the Hong Kong dollar and the Philippine peso. Equity markets also rose in the region.

Emerging East Asias outstanding local currency bonds reached $10.2 trillion by end-December, with growth moderating on both a quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year basis. Government bonds account for 64.6% of the regional total. The PRC remains the regions largest bond market, with outstanding bonds standing at $7.1 trillion n++ or 70% of the regions total.

The report highlights several risks for the regions bond markets as the global economy recovers. These include the acceleration of rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve, uncertainty over policies in major developed economies, particularly the US and the eurozone, and the depreciation of the Chinese renminbi, which challenges growth prospects in Asia.

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EPFO Invest Rs. 18,609 crore in ETFs
Mar 22,2017

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) based on Nifty 50, Sensex and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) Indices. EPFO does not invest in shares and equities of individual companies.

The total amount invested by EPFO in ETFs as on 28th February, 2017 is as under:

(i) Nifty 50 and Sensex Index based ETFs: Rs. 17,105 crore

(ii) CPSE Index based ETF: Rs. 1,504 crore.

The Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 is applicable to every establishment employing 20 or more persons which is either a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule-I of the Act or an establishment to which the Act has been made applicable by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.

An Employees Enrolment Campaign, 2017 has been launched for the period 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2017 to bring in more workers under the ambit of EPFO. Under the campaign, an employer, whether already covered or yet to be covered, can enroll employees who remained un-enrolled for any reason between 01.04.2009 and 31.12.2016 by making a declaration of such employees during the campaign period. Such declaration shall be valid only in respect of employees who are alive as on 1st January, 2017 and no proceedings under Section 7A of the EPF & MP Act, 1952 or under paragraph 26B of the Employees Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952 or under paragraph 8 of the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 have been initiated against their establishment or employer, as the case may be, to determine the eligibility for membership of such employees.

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Free Coaching to Minority Students under Nai Udaan Scheme
Mar 22,2017

The Ministry of Minority Affairs implements Free Coaching and Allied Scheme under which free coaching is given to the minority students through empaneled coaching institutions/ organisations for preparation of various entrance examinations including prelims examinations n++for n++recruitment n++to n++Groupn++ A,n++ B n++and n++C n++services n++and n++other

Equivalent posts n++under n++the n++Central n++and n++State n++Governments n++including n++public n++sector undertakings, banks, insurance companies etc. Under the said scheme stipend of Rs. 1500 per month and Rs. 3000/- per month is provided to the local and outstation students respectively.

Community -wise details of beneficiaries to whom financial assistance has been provided under NAI UDAAN Scheme during the last three years and the current year are given below:

S.No

Community

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17 (As on28.02.2017)

1

Muslims

2132386065642

Christians

2574513411853

Sikhs

952812

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PHD Chamber sign​s MoU with Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
Mar 22,2017

In a significant and historic development, PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry signed an MoU with Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MACCIA) to expand its activities towards the western region of India.

Mr. Gopal Jiwarajka, President, PHD Chamber and Mr. Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, MACCIA signed the MoU in the presence of Shri Suresh Prabhu, Honble Minister of Railways, Government of India at the Ministry of Railways, New Delhi.

Both the chambers have agreed to work on common interests to push forward Indias growth story. They have agreed to conduct joint research activities on crucial economic areas and make representations to the government on areas such as agriculture, industry, ease of doing business and socio-economic development at the grassroots for the upliftment of living standards of the people.

Joint activities would also include organizing programs, roundtables, exhibitions on various industrial and socio-economic areas in the coming times.

This is a major breakthrough for both the chambers as collaborative efforts with their respective strengths would not only be fruitful for their respective regions but also for the overall socio-economic development of the country, said Mr. Gopal Jiwarajka, President, PHD Chamber.

The members of MACCIA appreciated the establishment of foundations- FWF and RDF at PHD Chamber which no other chamber has done so far and also valued research work undertaken by PHD Research Bureau, the research arm of PHDCCI.

Both the presidents of Chambers- Mr. Gopal Jiwarajka, President, PHD Chamber and Mr. Shantanu Bhadkamkar, President, MACCIA assured maximum support to each other for the mutual benefit of all members and stakeholders of both the chambers.

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More affordable houses for urban poor sanctioned for Puducherry, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh
Mar 22,2017

Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has sanctioned 3,128 more affordable houses for the benefit of urban poor in Puducherry, 924 for Telangana and 2,655 for Himachal Pradesh under the Prime Ministers Awas Yojana (Urban).

The Ministry approved 1,24,521 affordable houses for urban poor yesterday taking the total number of such houses being constructed under PMAY (Urban) with an approved investment of Rs.95,671 cr so far. Central assistance of Rs.27,766 cr has been approved for construction of these houses.

Noting that housing mission in urban areas is gaining momentum, Minister of HUPA Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has directed the ministry officials to ensure that necessary measures were taken by the respective city and state governments for building houses for urban poor in quick time.

Puducherry has been sanctioned 3,128 houses in four towns under Beneficiary Led Construction (BLC) component of PMAY (Urban) at a total project cost of Rs.131 cr for which central assistance of Rs.47 cr has been approved. With this, total number of houses sanctioned for Puducherry has increased to 3,848.

Puducherry city has got 2,093 houses followed by Karaikal-592, Yanam-358 and Mahe-85 houses.

In Telanagana, Siddipet has been sanctioned enhancement of 924 houses under BLC component at a total cost of about Rs.14 crores for which central assistance of Rs.14 cr has been approved. With this, total number of houses sanctioned for the State under PMAY(Urban) has gone up to 81,405.

Himachal Pradesh has been sanctioned 2,655 houses for 12 towns at a total project cost of Rs.102 cr for which central assistance of Rs.40 cr has been approved. With this, total number of houses sanctioned for the State under PMAY(Urban) has increased to 4,569 so far.

In Himachal Pradesh, Nalagarh has been sanctioned 531 houses followed by Nahan-289, Dharamshala-227, Una-217, Mandi-174, Shimla-61, Chaba-57, Bilaspur-37, Solan-27, Baddi-25, Kullu-9 and Parwana-1.

Under BLC component of PMAY (Urban), the beneficiaries are provided central assistance of Rs.1.50 lakh each for construction of a pucca house on their own land or for improvements in existing house.

In addition, Karnataka was sanctioned 31,424 houses, Madhya Pradesh -27,475, Bihar-25,221, Jharkhand-20,099, Kerala-11,480 and Odisha-2,115 houses under PMAY(Urban).

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban) was launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on June 25, 2015 with the objective of enabling all poor urban households own a pucca house with necessary basic amenities.

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Rs.3.5 crore contributed by IIFCL for Cancer Treatment 385 cancer patients benefit
Mar 22,2017

An appeal was made to PSUs to contribute funds under their CSR Scheme towards Health Ministers Cancer Patient Fund-CSR for treatment of poor cancer patients. India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) has taken lead in the matter and contributed an amount of Rs.7.5 crore in 2015-16. 385 cancer patients have been benefitted from the CSR contribution received from IIFCL during 2016-17.

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Ministry of Power issued more than 38 lakhs Energy Savings Certificates to Industries
Mar 22,2017

Ministry of Power has issued/entitled to purchase Energy Savings Certificates (ESCerts) to Designated Consumers (DCs) of Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) Cycle I on 16th February 2017 on verification of their performance with regard to energy savings, based on the recommendations of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The first cycle of PAT has been completed in March 2015.

The DCs have contributed to the success of PAT cycle I and this cycle has witnessed an energy saving of 8.67 million tonne of oil equivalent (Mtoe) against the targeted energy saving of 6.886 Mtoe which is about 30% more than the target.This cycle also contributed in emission reduction of 31 million tonnes of CO2 and avoided generation of about 5,635 MW resulting in monetary savings of Rs. 37,685 crore. It has also contributed in investment of Rs. 24,517 crore for energy efficient technologies by DCs under PAT. PAT is a multi-cycle scheme aimed to cover most of the energy intensive sectors of the economy. In this regard currently in the PAT cycle II, 621 DCs from 11 sectors have been included in the scheme.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under Ministry of Power is implementing Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme, a component under National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE) in India. PAT is a market based mechanism to enhance cost effectiveness through certification of excess energy savings in energy intensive industries that can be traded. PAT scheme was launched in 2012 with first PAT cycle (2012-15) covering 478 Designated Consumers (DCs) from 8 energy-intensive sectors, namely Aluminium, Cement, Chlor-alkali, Fertilizer, Iron and Steel, Pulp and Paper, Textiles and Thermal power plant which roughly covered 33% of Indias total energy consumption.

Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is the Market Regulator and Bureau of Energy Efficiency is Administrator for the trading of ESCerts. POSOCO (Power System Operation Corporation limited) has been appointed as Registry for making DCs as eligible entities for trading of ESCerts and book-keeping of ESCerts. There are two power exchanges i.e. IEX and PXIL where trading of ESCerts shall take place.

CERC has already approved the Procedure for Transaction of Energy Savings Certificates (ESCerts) on 14th Feb 2017. BEE shall soon inform the date of opening of Registration to all DCs along with the fee details, after the same is approved by CERC. Trading/transaction of ESCerts shall be done on continuous basis i.e. every Tuesday on weekly basis. Trading of ESCerts at power exchanges is expected to start from April 2017.

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Private organisations & corporates should develop fund to support persons with disabilities: Ramdas Athawale
Mar 22,2017

While the government is doing its bit to empower the persons with disabilities under the Accessible India Campaign, the private sector should also develop a fund to help such people gain sustainable employment or become entrepreneurs, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr Ramdas Athawale said at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++Though private enterprises and the industry undertake different initiatives as part of corporate social responsibility, they should also work towards helping persons with disabilities and develop a special fund for their skill development,n++ said Mr Athawale.

He also said that it is the responsibility of both the government and the corporate sector to work in tandem to help and support people with disabilities by providing them vocational training to become self sufficient as they too are a part of the society.

He also said that reservation in vacancies in government jobs which had been enhanced from three per cent to four per cent in The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill - 2016, should be implemented in every sector.

n++My Ministry is trying to ensure that all departments have four per cent disabled workers and they should also be imparted skill training to help them start their own business,n++ said Mr Athawale.

The study stressed upon the need for development of affordable, effective and readily available information, communication technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies in order to further empower the specially-abled people for creating an inclusive and power society.

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IWAIs New Ro-Ro Terminal at Assam to Boost Cargo and Passenger Transport in North East
Mar 22,2017

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) carried out successful berthing operation of a vessel at its newly constructed permanent state-of-the-art Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) terminal built at a cost of Rs.46 crore on Brahmaputra river (National Waterway-2) in Assams Dhubri district on March 4, 2017.

IWAIs initiative opens a new gate of opportunities in the region by paving the way for drastically bridging the distance and cost for cargo and passenger movement between Dhubri and Hatsingimari which shares its border with Meghalaya.

The Ro-Ro vessel, MV Gopinath Bordoloi which was flagged off from Haldia port (West Bengal) via the India-Bangladesh Protocol Route, successfully carried its first load from Dhubri terminal. Built at a cost of approximately Rs.10 crore, MV Gopinath Bordoloi is 46.50 metre long and 13.30 metre wide with a draft of 1.50 metre. It has a capacity to transport eight trucks and 200 passengers at a time.

The IWAI vessel will be deployed for Ro-Ro service between Dhubri and Hatsingimari having a total waterway length of 29 KM. This new service will avoid the circuitous route of 220 KM to reach Meghalaya on the opposite side. Dhubri is one of the business hubs of Assam which is connected to Meghalaya presently through a road bridge over river Brahmaputra at Jogighopa. IWAI is also exploring other sites in North East to facilitate quick movement of goods and passengers across the rivers, effectively acting as floating bridges.

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Foreign Exchange Earnings through Tourism in India was 12% higher in February 2017 compared with February 2016
Mar 22,2017

The highlights of the estimates of Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) from tourism in India for February 2017 are as below:

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in Rs. terms)

n++ FEEs during the month of February 2017 were Rs. 15,260 crore as compared to Rs.13,627 crore in February 2016 and Rs.11,642 crore in February 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in February 2017 over February 2016 was 12.0% compared to positive growth of 17.1% in February 2016 over February 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January- February 2017 were Rs.31,357 crore with a growth of 14.9%, as compared to the FEE of Rs. 27,296 crore with a growth of 15.0% in January- February 2016 over January- February 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in US $ terms)

n++ FEEs in US$ terms during the month of February 2017 were US$2.275 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.996 billion during the month of February 2016 and US$ 1.877 billion in February 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in February 2017 over February 2016 was 14.0% compared to a positive growth of 6.3% in February 2016 over February 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January-February 2017 were US$4.639billion with a growth of 15.2% as compared to the FEE of US$ 4.028 billion with a growth of 5.4% in January- February 2016 over January- February 2015.

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48,998 Complaints register against e-commerce companies during April 2016-February 2017
Mar 21,2017

The number of complaints against e-commerce companies, as registered in the National Consumer Helpline, over the last three years are as under:Call received at National Consumer Helpline in e-commerce SectorYearCallsMay 2014 - March 201516919April 2015 - March 201628331April 2016- February 201748998

The redressal of the complaints are registered by a complainant with the three tier system of quasi-judicial bodies namely the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission established under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Besides, Consumer Grievances addressed to the National Consumer Helpline (NCH) are redressed by forwarding the complaints to concerned departments and the companies and constant monitoring the progress in their redressal. The NCH has established partnership with 225 companies under a convergence programme for speedy redressal.

The Government is aware about the functioning of e-commerce companies. The rights of the consumers involved in e-commerce are equally protected as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, in a manner similar to transactions involving goods and services.

The draft amendment to the Packaged Commodities Rules, 2011 made under the provisions of Legal Metrology Act, 2009 proposes that the mandatory labeling declarations as per the rules shall be displayed on the online trading platforms.

A consumer dealing in e-commerce can file complaints in consumer courts for deficiency in service and defective products, under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 which has provisions regarding jurisdictional issues. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015, introduced in August, 2015, seeks to strengthen the provisions regarding jurisdictional and also has provisions regarding Alternate Disputes Resolution.

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MoU signed with ASCI by M/o AYUSH to monitor misleading AYUSH related advertisements: Shri Shripad Naik
Mar 21,2017

Ministry of AYUSH received 79 complaints in the year 2014 about advertisements and misleading claims allegedly of herbal and AYUSH products. Department of Consumer Affairs has informed that Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) referred 263 complaints of allegedly AYUSH products related advertisements since January, 2015 including seven advertisements of herbal medicines in 2016. Such complaints of 381 advertisements are also registered online till 16th March, 2017 in the Grievances against Misleading Advertisements (GAMA) portal maintained by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

In this regard, it is pertinent to state that the proof of safety and effectiveness as required for issuing license to manufacture Ayurvedic, Siddha or Unani medicine is prescribed in the guidelines under Rule 158-B of the Drugs & Cosmetics Rules, 1945, which can either be based on textual rationale from the authoritative books listed in the First Schedule to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act or published literature; and if no such evidence of effectiveness of the drug is available, it needs to be generated by conducting the pilot study. In order to check the veracity of misleading advertisements of AYUSH products, the Central Government has issued directives to the State Governments for appointing Gazetted Officers for monitoring of advertisements of such drugs. Complaints of misleading advertisements of medicines are forwarded to the concerned State Licensing Authorities for action in accordance with the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules thereunder and Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 and Rules thereunder. States have reported action taken against the defaulters. Ministry of AYUSH has also signed MoU with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on 20th January, 2017 to undertake monitoring of the misleading AYUSH -related advertisements appearing in print and TV media and bring the instances of improper advertisements to the notice of the State Regulatory Authorities for taking necessary action.

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