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FICCI launches Self-regulation Code of Conduct for the e-pharmacy sector
Nov 22,2016

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) announced the launch of Self-regulation Code of Conduct for the E pharmacy sector in the presence of key stakeholders here. Accessibility, affordability and lack of awareness are the major challenges for last mile access to medicines. These barriers could be effectively overcome by adopting technology, specifically the Internet, into the healthcare system. Over the last one year, E-pharmacy has come up as a significant channel to provide last mile access to medicines. This will most importantly benefit patients of chronic diseases, elderly patients and sick patients who are not in a condition to go out to find a pharmacy. The E-Pharmacy model provides tracking and traceability of medicines, addressing the problem of counterfeit medicines, consumption of drugs without prescription, tax loss and provides value added services for consumer empowerment in healthcare, which are well aligned with Digital India initiative of our Honourable Prime Minister with a vision to transform the country into a digitally empowered society. The conference started with the release of the Selfregulation Code of Conduct -an attempt by the Industry to adhere to the highest professional standards and to have proper safeguards so as to ensure that consumers health and safety is not compromised.

1. Processing medicines against Prescription Scheduled medicines must be processed only against a valid copy of prescription (physical or scanned copy) of a registered medical practitioner

2. Restriction of Sensitive habit forming medicines E pharmacy must ensure that no schedule X and other sensitive habit forming medicines are processed through their platform. Ensure there are adequate checks and balances in place to prevent sale of any such drugs.

3. Dispensation only from duly licensed pharmacy domiciled in India E Pharmacy must ensure that the medicines are dispensed through licensed pharmacies only. The E pharmacy must make reasonable effort to ensure that all the pharmacy partners (before facilitating the sale of any medicines through such pharmacy partners) are duly registered under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act/ Rules.

4. Convenient access of medicines E-pharmacy player must make suitable arrangements to ensure that the medicines are packed, transported and delivered in such a way that their integrity, quality, and effectiveness are preserved.

5. Public health Initiatives of Government of India E pharmacy players must partner with Government for any recall of medicines and collect adverse events of medicines (consumer reports) and comply to submit them to National Centre for Pharmacovigilance.

6. Customer grievances E pharmacy must ensure that there is a proper mechanism in place to address any queries or grievances that the end-customer may have. E pharmacy players must appoint an ombudsman commission comprising of reputed members of civil society to address any public grievance. The Ombudsman commission shall be appointed for six months by members of the governing council in consultation with other stakeholders.

Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI voiced the support of consumer friendly models and mentioned that India needs to move with the times and embrace new age models to stay ahead. Also FICCI has been at the forefront helping many sectors operate with a process of developing self-governance models, and this initiative is a step in the right direction to help enable this sector of the economy

Arvind Gupta, Head of Digital India Foundation said n++we need to embrace technology - in both offline and online models. There is a great opportunity to take this ecosystem ahead by leveraging the India stack using the existing infrastructure of Aadhar and Digi-locker to maintain the repository of prescription, health records and monitor the dispensing of sensitive medicines. All pharmacies, online or offline, should check prescriptions on this lockern++

Noted consumer activist, Bejon Mishra, welcomed the initiative and re-iterated that there is no difference between e-Pharmacy and offline pharmacy, and both should operate with compliance and maintain proper records and dispense with prescription. He also congratulated the effort of the association to come up with progressive self-regulation framework and suggested that there be mechanisms put in place to make sure this is adhered to.

Prashant Tandon, CEO and Founder of 1mg mentioned that this group of progressive epharmacies have come up with code of conduct in the interest of consumers and as a group they look forward to productive engagement with the regulator to help make the Indian pharmacy sector a model sector.n++

Pawan Kaul, Co-Chair of FICCI e-commerce committee added that n++by recognising and registering the legitimate e pharmacies, Government can easily address the challenges by maintaining sanctity of both IT act and Drug and Cosmetic Act. This will bring effectiveness and efficiency in the entire ecosystem.n++

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Gartner Says Indias Digital Commerce Players Needs to Find a Sustainable Growth Model
Nov 22,2016

Digital commerce sales in India have remained flat, so digital commerce companies need to identify a sustainable growth model that can be achieved in a defined timeframe, according to Gartner, Inc. One of the challenges was that leading marketplaces cut back on promotions and discounts after the regulation banning price competition came out in March 2016.

Digital commerce is at an early stage in India, and consumers are value-conscious, so they are enticed when there are big promotions and steep discounts. said Gene Alvarez, managing vice president at Gartner. However, sales stalled once incentives were not present, challenging the performance of digital commerce players. This is partially a result of the continuous discounts at online marketplaces that are competing fiercely to gain market share, and which sets them to an incentive-driven growth model.

None of the digital commerce companies in India are profitable. They typically earn between 5-15 percent commissions of product sales, but the massive discounts on top of the investment needed to expand to more geographies saw those companies losing money. This can be a serious problem when the capital market tightens up.

The problem is being neglected when there is plenty of funding, and companies can live off sufficient capital. Once the market tightens, it is a survival game that only those that watch the bottom line and cash flows will win in the end, said Mr. Alvarez, There is a need to go back to the basics, that is, to operate on a sustainable growth model. Of which, customer experience and data-driven incentives are two fundamental factors.

Customer Experience: This is the most important differentiator of a digital commerce service as price becomes transparent across sites. Discounts will only retain customers as long as the promotion lasts, while good customer experience will make people come back and purchase more even when there is no promotion. Good customer experience will also entice new customers as word-of-mouth spreads, and visitors experience the service themselves. Customer experience goes beyond a frictionless shopping experience on the website or in the mobile app, and includes delivery, custom service, returns, retail discovery, customer ratings and reviews.

Data-driven incentives: Promotions and discounts are still important techniques to drive sales. However, they need to have positive return on investments (ROIs). Businesses can not only recover the cost of incentives but also make a profit. This requires businesses to personalize incentives based on shoppers profiles and purchasing propensity, and only give out the amount that is enough to trigger a purchase but not too much to lose money. This capability takes time to build as it requires data analytics and personalization technologies, built on the data collected about the shoppers.

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Gartner Says Public Cloud Services in India Forecast to Reach $1.3 Billion in 2016
Nov 22,2016

The public cloud services market in India is on pace to grow 35.9 percent in 2016 to total $1.3 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. The highest growth will come from cloud system infrastructure services (infrastructure as a service [IaaS]), which is projected to grow 45.5 percent in 2016, followed by platform as a service (PaaS) projected to grow 33.5 percent (see Table 1).

The overall global public cloud market will mature, and its growth rate will slightly slow down from 17.2 percent in 2016 to a 15.2 percent increase in 2020, said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner. While Brexit and other growth challenges exist, some segments such as financial SaaS applications and the PaaS user markets will still see strong growth through 2020.

Table 1. India Public Cloud Services Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

201520162017201820192020Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS)7187112144186239Cloud Application Services (SaaS)2973955246718191,000Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS)80107140181229286Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS)3334857211,0451,4642,016Cloud Management and Security Services80104134168206249Cloud Advertising96123158189223266Total9571,3011,7902,3983,1264,055

Source: Gartner (November 2016) 

As buyers intensify and increase IaaS activity, they will be getting more for their investment: ongoing enhancement of performance, more memory, more storage for the same money (which will drive increases in consumptions) and increased automation in traditional IT outsourcing (ITO) delivery, said Mr. Nag.

As PaaS offerings mature and the competitive landscapes consolidates, we predict that more organizations will consider expanding their PaaS adoption as an important component to their cloud strategy, and specifically to their SaaS deployments, added Mr. Nag.

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OECD GDP growth accelerates to 0.6% in third quarter of 2016
Nov 22,2016

Real growth of gross domestic product (GDP) in the OECD area picked up markedly to 0.6% in the third quarter of 2016, compared with 0.3% in the previous quarter, according to provisional estimates.

Growth accelerated in most Major Seven economies in the third quarter of 2016, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Germany, where growth slowed to 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, compared with 0.7% and 0.4% in the previous quarter.

In the United States, growth accelerated to 0.7% in the third quarter of 2016, following a rate of 0.4% in the previous quarter. Growth also picked up in Japan, to 0.5%, compared with 0.2% in the previous quarter, and in Italy and France (to 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, compared with 0.0% and minus 0.1% in the previous quarter).

In the European Union and in the euro area, growth was stable at 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.

Year-on-year GDP growth for the OECD area was 1.7% in the third quarter of 2016, marginally up from 1.6% in the previous quarter. Among Major Seven economies, the United Kingdom (2.3%) and Germany (1.7%) recorded the highest annual growth rates, while Japan registered the lowest (0.8%).

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Global Gyrations and Domestic Liquidity Glut to Keep Markets Volatile
Nov 22,2016

The improvement in domestic conditions owing to the de-notification of the currency and worsening of the global rate market conditions will keep the domestic markets on tenterhooks, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The 10-year G-sec yield can trade between 6.28%-6.4% (6.43% at close on 18 November 2016). The rupee is likely to trade in the range of 67.85/USD-68.50/USD (68.14/USD at close on 18 November 2016).

Debt Markets at the Cusp of a New Horizon: The bond market is wedged between the improvement in domestic fundamentals and deterioration in the global environment. Ind-Ra believes that low inflation, marked improvement in the demand supply equation, expectations of further monetary easing will all keep the domestic bond market conditions constructive. Global developments, however, are likely to pose headwinds - resulting in an increase in the spread between the long end and the short end of the G-sec curve.

Liquidity Glut in the Market: The gush of bank deposits and restriction on withdrawal has led to a glut in the interbank liquidity market conditions. The situation is likely to continue for a while as the government endeavours to normalise conditions. Ind-Ra believes, volatility in the money market will continue in the near term, until normalcy is restore to banking operations. Ind-Ra also expects RBI to continue to sterilise the excessive liquidity through various modes, and explore other avenues apart from the reverse repos, if the easy liquidity conditions persist.

Headwinds to Rupee Continue: The increase in the probability of the Fed rate hike in the December 2016 policy - pushed up the dollar index to 101.2 from 97.5 through November 2016 and low of 92.6 in May 2016. The sharp strengthening of the dollar has been keeping emerging currencies under pressure. Ind-Ra believes this will keep the rupee trading with a weakening bias in the near term. Moreover, portfolio investment outflows from domestic bond markets and the weak equity market will deepen the pressure on the rupee.

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Drop in CV Loan Delinquencies, On-going Stress in Construction Equipment and Tractor Loans
Nov 22,2016

India Ratings and Researchs (Ind-Ras) analysis of structured finance pool data as of August 2016 shows that commercial vehicle (CV) delinquencies continued to fall while the stress in the construction equipment industry and tractor loans remained elevated. A continuous performance improvement was seen across all vintages of Ind-Ras rated commercial vehicle (CV) ABS portfolio. This is evident from the drop in the weighted average (WA) 90+ days past due (dpd) delinquency of 2014 and 2015 vintages. Also, Ind-Ras CV loans early delinquency index (tracks 30+dpd delinquencies) remained in the range of 5.2%-5.7% since the last report was published in June 2016, indicating an arrest of short-term delinquencies.

Stress in the construction equipment industry persists, with the six monthly average year-on-year changes in the mining index declining to 0.56% in August 2016 from 1.36% in August 2015. Also, WA 90+dpd delinquency for the 2014 vintage remained flat at 4% over the last six months, making it difficult to recover from deeper buckets. Also, the improvement observed in the core infrastructure index has not been consistent enough to support the recovery.

Tractor loans of 2014 and 2015 vintages are experiencing high delinquency levels. As of August 2016, WA 90+dpd delinquency stood at 6.45% for 2015 vintage loans, which is comparable to the loans of 2014 vintage at a similar level of seasoning. This however will have a limited impact on the transactions, because of high credit enhancement coverage on account of the significant amortisation of pass through certificates.

Ind-Ra observes a continual rise in portfolio at risk (PAR) for loans from microfinance institutions (MFI) since 1QFY17 for its rated MFI securitisations. The credit enhancement built up for Ind-Ras rated MFI securitisations has been strong, due to faster amortisation of around 50% within the first six months after issuance.

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Rs 67.01 Crore Sanctioned under Solar City Programme
Nov 22,2016

A total amount of Rs. 67.01 crore has been sanctioned for preparation of master plans, solar city cells, promotional activities and installation of renewable energy projects and an amount of Rs. 24.16 crore has been released, so far, under Solar City Programme. Out of 7 identified solar cities in Maharashtra, an amount of Rs. 7.74 crore has been sanctioned and an amount of Rs. 3.04 crore has been released for 6 solar cities.

 The details of sanctioned and release funds for approved solar cities are as follows:

 State-wise funds sanctioned and released to Solar Cities(Rs. in crore)

Sr. NoStates/UTsApproved Solar Cities Funds Sanctioned      Funds Released       1

Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada

1.960.90Kakinada-- -- Narsapur Town0.50--2

Assam

Guwahati

0.450.08 Jorhat0.490.243

Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar

0.470.164

Bihar

Gaya

-- -- 5

Chandigarh

Chandigarh

25.168.116

Chhattisgarh

Bilaspur

0.430.12Raipur0.430.127

Gujarat

Rajkot

0.930.35

Gandhinagar

0.500.14

 Surat

2.681.118

Goa

Panaji City

0.430.029

Haryana

Gurugram

0.470.07

Faridabad

0.880.2810

Himachal Pradesh

Shimla

2.931.52

Hamirpur

0.430.2711

Karnataka

 Mysore

2.020.85

Hubli-Dharwad

0.430.0212

Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram

----

Kochi

0.490.1913

Maharashtra

Nagpur

4.682.14Thane1.130.51Kalyan-Dombivli0.500.25Aurangabad0.500.08Nanded0.500.04Pune-- -- Shirdi0.430.0214

Madhya Pradesh

 Indore

----Gwalior0.500.10Bhopal 0.480.19Jabalpur-- -- Rewa 0.500.1415

Manipur

Imphal

0.490.0416

Mizoram

Aizawl

2.962.5317

Nagaland

Kohima

0.470.20 Dimapur 0.490.0418

14.30 GW RE Capacity added during last two and half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power
Nov 21,2016

A capacity addition of 14.30 GW of renewable energy has been reported during the last two and half years under Grid Connected Renewable Power, which include 5.8 GW from Solar Power, 7.04 GW from Wind Power, 0.53 from Small Hydro Power and 0.93 from Bio-power.   NITI Aayog presented the achievement of the various infrastructure Ministries including Ministry of New & Renewable Energy before the Prime Minister on 22nd August 2016. The progress and overall achievement made under Wind Power, Solar Power, Solar Roof Top, Solar power capacity tendered, state policies etc were satisfactory.

The target set for the various renewable energy sources for the next three years are:

            Source

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

Solar Power

12,000

15,000

16,000

Wind

4000

4600

5200

Biomass

500

750

850

SHP

225

100

100

Grand Total

16725

20450

22150

To achieve the targets, various initiatives have been taken by the Government which interalia include:

amendments in the Tariff Policy for strong enforcement of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) and for providing Renewable Generation     Obligation (RGO); setting up of exclusive solar parks; development of power transmission network through Green Energy Corridor project; identification of large government complexes/ buildings for rooftop projects; provision of roof top solar and 10 percent renewable energy as mandatory under Mission Statement and Guidelines for development of smart cities; amendments in building bye-laws for mandatory provision of roof top solar for new construction or higher FAR; infrastructure status for solar projects; raising tax free solar bonds; making roof top solar a part of housing loan by banks/NHB; incorporating measures in Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for encouraging distribution companies and making net-metering compulsory raising funds from bilateral and international donors as also from the Green Climate Fund to achieve the target. and creation of Surya Mitras for installation and maintenance of the Solar Projects.

In coming years, Ministry is going to focus on : conducive policies for promotion of Grid Interactive Renewable Power so as to reach 175 GW by 2022, Low cost Financing with long tenure for Renewable Energy technologies and Projects, creation of transmission infrastructure for evacuation of Renewable Power, focus on promoting indigenous technologies, technological innovation and research& development in the renewable sector and creation of qualified and skilled man power.

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ESIC Approves the Enhancement of Wage Ceiling from Present Rs. 15,000 per Month to Rs. 21,000
Nov 21,2016

The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has approved the enhancement of wage ceiling from present Rs. 15,000 per month to Rs. 21,000/-. The draft Rules calling for objections has been published in Gazette of India on 06.10.2016. This enhancement of wage ceiling shall bring more employees under ESIC coverage. In addition, the decision has also been taken to ensure coverage of the Scheme in all districts of the Country.

The ESIC in its meeting dated 07/08/2015 has decided to bear the expenses on super specialty treatment over and above the expenditure of state government.

The ESIC in its 166th Corporation meetings held on 07.08.2015 has decided to consider eligibility of pre existing diseases i.e. for malignancy & dialysis as prospective w.e.f. 30 August 2016.

Further, ESIC has revised eligibility for Super Specialty including the children of Insured Persons with congenital diseases & genetic disorders.

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State/UT-wise number of beneficiaries of ESIC increased by 5% in 2015-16 over the same period in 2014-15
Nov 21,2016

The State/UTs-wise number of beneficiaries of Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) increased by 5% in 2015-16 over the same period in 2014-2015. The number of beneficiaries of ESIC during the years 2013-14, 2014-2015 & 2015-2016 is given below in table.

For the organised sector, the ESIC has decided to fully cover 393 partially implemented districts. It has also decided to extend the coverage to remaining non-implemented districts by 31.03.2017. As regards, un-organised sector, the ESIC has already launched/approved two separate schemes to provide medical facilities to selected category of self-employed workers like Auto-rickshaw drivers and Domestic workers and their family members on pilot basis at Delhi & Hyderabad. A Committee, under the chairpersonship of Secretary (Labour & Employment) has also been set up to bring various Scheme workers like Anganwadi, ASHA and Mid-day Meal workers under Social Security net through ESIC/EPFO.

For extending the coverage, the survey has already been started and final estimates are not available.

The ESIC has decided to upgrade its dispensaries into six bedded hospitals in a phased manner. For Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, approval is already given as per details below in table.

Total no. of beneficiaries for the year 2013-14, 2014-15 & 2015-16S.No.State/U.T2013-142014-152015-161Andhra Pradesh6135716

 

6387994

 

24436632Telangana44708083Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura4724685362946177354Bihar4590435072325572075Chandigarh U.T.3832284008044242396Chhattisgarh972794105408010547787Delhi4766347459609249687678Goa6200246427616618509Gujarat34932803752076399674910Haryana56455166080309650684011H.P.83055388611491311912J & K31210734213836068513Jharkhand95242495176497244414Karnataka83240748636919925705915Kerala29593153007000299617516Madhya Pradesh18800921985124212158417Maharashtra90999199125216931312518Odisha13677391467688155037019Puducherry39370438563339288920Punjab31509093116803312118821Rajasthan26467032890173306442422Tamil-Nadu10220036109088521135687623Uttar Pradesh46926275063982512229824Uttrakhand14054141458143160837625West Bengal466073447535825030847Total758447667893677382884095

 

 

Sl. No.

Name of DispensaryState/UT1ESIC Dispensary, Factory Road, Sarojini NagarDelhi2ESIC Dispensary, DwarkaDelhi3ESIC Dispensary, MangolpuriDelhi4ESIC Dispensary, Nand NagariDelhi5ESIC Dispensary, JwalapuriDelhi6ESI Dispensary, Nawabganj, Kanpur

According to the estimates of the year 2015-16 there was about Rs. 1 lakh crore value fish production in the country: Shri Radha Mohan Singh
Nov 21,2016

The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that due to rapid increase in fisheries and aquaculture, the income of fish farmers and farmers is constantly increasing and in the coming days it will benefit fish farmers and farmers at a large scale.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that development of the livestock is the best strategy for doubling the farmers income. Due to this reason the budget for 2016-17 for this department is kept at Rs. 1700 crore, which is 21 % higher than the last year budget. The Union Minister said that it is the matter of pride that this year more than 72 % of the budget has been released for the development of the states, which has never happened in the past. Shri Singh said that now, it is the responsibility of the states to spend it properly and should not do fund parking.

The Union Minister said that fish farming will have three benefits firstly, increase in the farmers income secondly, there will be progress in the countrys export and GDP and thirdly it will ensure nutritional and food security in the country.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh told that from last six months, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fishery is formulating many new schemes by its strenuous efforts. The department has launched n++Rashtriya Gokul Missionn++ for the breed improvement of indigenous cows and for cattle, goats and sheep higher breed development; it has launched n++National Livestock Missionn++. Shri Singh explained that for the year 2014-15, production of milk was Rs. 4.92 lakh crore which was more than 37% from paddy and wheat combined. Accordingly to the estimate for the year 2015-16, there was about Rs. 1 lakh crore value fisheries production within the country.

The Union Minister said that in fish production, India is constantly at the second position after China. Fisheries are a big sector in the country and around 150 lakh people are engaged in fisheries business. India has first place in the world in the area of shrimp fish and it is the largest exporter of shrimp fish. Shri said that taking all fisheries production together, there was estimated 10.8 million tones fish production in the country in year 2015-16, which is around 6.4 per cent of total fish production of the world. India is the second largest country in the world to produce fish from aquaculture (42.10 lakh tones). It contributes about 6.3 percent in global aquaculture. From the last decade, where the average annual growth rate of export of fish and fisheries production in the world remaining 7.5 per cent, Indian remain at the first place with an average annual growth rate of 14.8 per cent in the export of fisheries product.

Shri Singh said in the last two and half years, his government has constantly made new schemes in the interests of fisheries sector and farmers and has implemented them successfully throughout the country. Agriculture Minister said that success of fisheries is also a result of constant efforts of the government. World Fisheries Day is also being organized from the last two years after the formation of the government. The Minister said that Honble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has given the slogan and vision for the complete development of India-to double the income of the farmers. To achieve this target, government has laid emphasis on the development of the fisheries and its target is to double the income of the fishers, fishermen and farmers by 2022 through aquaculture and marine fisheries.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh told that with a fish production of 72.1 lakh tones from the Indian fisheries, India has second place in the world. India can achieve about 8 per cent growth rate in Indian fishery. The Minister said that looking at the large potential in the development of the fisheries, Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has called for n++Blue Revolutionn++ in the field of fisheries. Thereafter, ministry has merged all the existing schemes and started a Rs. 3000 crore umbrella scheme n++Blue Revolution; Integrated Development and Management of Fisheriesn++. This scheme includes in land fisheries, aquaculture, marine fisheries comprising of deep sea fishing, mariculture and all the activities of national fisheries development board (NFDB).

Shri Singh informed that Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries has prepared a National Fisheries Action Plan 2020 (NFAP) for the next five years to increase fish production and productivity and to achieve the target of blue revolution. In this Action Plan all the different fisheries resources of the country like ponds and tanks, wetlands, brackish water, cold water, lakes reservoirs, rivers and canals and marine sectors are included. All the states / UTs have been requested to prepare State Action Plan (SAP) for the next five years to achieve the objective of blue revolution according to NFAP 2020. The Minister said the aim of Blue Revolution scheme is to increase the fish production and productivity by 8 per cent annual growth rate and to reach 15 million tones mark by 2020. Efforts are being made to bring a n++National inland fisheries Policyn++ along with new n++National Marine Fisheries Policyn++, which will decide an overall and integrated growth frame work in the area of inland fisheries throughout the country.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that around 26.869 hectares area has been developed for the aquaculture which has benefited 63,372 fishermen. He said that during the last two years, under fishermen welfare, construction of 9,603 fishermen houses have been assisted whereas 20,705 fishermen have been trained and around 50 lakh fishermen have been provided with annual insurance assistance.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fishery, Shri Devendra Chaudhry and other officers of various Ministries and Departments were also present on the occasion

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To support farmers for current Rabi crop, Govt has decided to allow farmers to purchase seeds with old denomination of Rs.500 from the Centres
Nov 21,2016

In order to further support farmers for the current Rabi crop, the Government has decided to allow farmers to purchase seeds with the old high denomination bank notes of Rs.500 from the Centres, Units or Outlets belonging to the Central or State Governments, Public Sector Undertakings, National or State Seeds Corporations, Central or State Agricultural Universities and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), on production of proof of identity.

This is in addition to the decision taken earlier for making cash available with the farmers by permitting them to draw up to Rs.25,000 per week from their KYC compliant accounts subject to the normal loan limits and conditions apart from the other facilities announced on 17 November 2016.

The Government is committed to ensure that the farmers are suitably facilitated during the Rabi season.

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Mineral Production during September 2016 was 3.1% lower as compared to September 2015
Nov 21,2016

The index of mineral production of mining and quarrying sector for the month of September (new Series 2004-05=100) 2016 at 115.6, was 3.1% lower as compared to September 2015. The cumulative growth for the period April- September 2016-17 over the corresponding period of previous year has been 0.0 percent.

The total value of mineral production (excluding atomic & minor minerals) in the country during September 2016 was Rs. 16997 crore. The contribution of Coal was the highest at Rs. 6076 crore (36%). Next in the order of importance were: Petroleum (crude) Rs. 5302 crore, Natural gas (utilized) Rs. 2068 crore, Iron ore Rs. 1457 crore, Lignite Rs.718 crore and Limestone Rs. 535 crore. These six minerals together contributed about 95% of the total value of mineral production in September 2016.

Production level of important minerals in September 2016 were: Coal 424 lakh tonnes, Lignite 39 lakh tonnes, Natural gas (utilized) 2500 million cu. m., Petroleum (crude) 29 lakh tonnes, Bauxite 1707 thousand tonnes, Chromite 164 thousand tonnes, Copper conc. 11 thousand tonnes, Gold 159 kg., Iron ore 130 lakh tonnes, Lead conc. 20 thousand tonnes, Manganese ore 162 thousand tonnes, Zinc conc. 126 thousand tonnes, Apatite & Phosphorite 38 thousand tonnes, Limestone 245 lakh tonnes, Magnesite 26 thousand tonnes and Diamond 2725 carat.

The production of important minerals showing positive growth during September 2016 over September 2015 include Gold (54.4%), Chromite (25.7%), Lignite ( 21.8%), Iron ore (13.4%) Magnesite (11.8%) Manganese ore (5.8%) and Limestone (3.5%). The production of other important minerals showing negative growth are: Apatite & Phosphorite [(-) 77.9%], Bauxite [(-) 24.5 %], Lead conc. [(-) 12.0%], Diamond [(-) 9.5%], Zinc conc. [(-) 8.4%], Copper conc. [(-) 7.5%], Coal [(-) 5.9%], Natural gas (utilized) [(-) 5.6%], and Petroleum (crude) [(-) 4.1%].

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Cash crunch fall-out: Non-bank payment players to witness huge growth, says ASSOCHAM Paper
Nov 21,2016

One of the immediate fall outs of the demonitisation of high value notes would be a mushrooming growth in the number of non-bank players like Paytm and Free charge into the payment business, as more and more retailers in the goods and service value chain would be compelled to shift to non-cash modes for customer transactions, an ASSOCHAM Paper has said.

These players engaged into the business known as the pre-paid payment instruments (PPI) work as mobile and digital wallets. While as many as 45 PPI players have started offering services, it is only a handful of operators which have been aggressively ramping up and marketing their operations.

n++However, the demonitisation has come about as a big opportunity for them. It is not only during this immediate cash crisis period that the PPIs would see a huge growth, but going forward also, the system would penetrate into the very small kirana stores as well; it would not be a surprise if well-run road side dhabas also start accepting bills through mobile wallet players,n++ said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.

Offering the stored value service to the customers, the non-bank PPI issuers are allowed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to enable transactions for purchase of goods and services besides remitting payments out of the mobile wallets. The wallet-to-wallet transactions would also see a big growth.

n++Given the thrust being given by the government to move towards the less-cash economy, the private sector PPIs is expected to invest lot more in product innovation and expand the reach through roping in both the customers and the merchants. Needless to say, at the merchants level a lot of sensitization, training and cyber security would be required,n++ the chamber said.

These players are using the increasing mobile density to offer the services through the hand set. Besides, the PPIs, other electronic transactions and services devices would be offered aggressively even by the banks, who are presently bearing the brunt of cash swapping, it said.

The banks would offer on an enhanced scale mobile banking services through SMS, USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Services Data) and applications (Apps). Presently, according to RBI data, as many as 67 banks are offering mobile services to 120 million customers. n++This number is going to grow significantly,n++ the ASSOCHAM said.

With the launch of Unified Payments Interface (UPI customers can provide only a registered virtual address instead of details of bank accounts for making/receiving payments n++However, the banks must use the App based UPI more aggressively as it can really be a game changer,n++ Mr Rawat said.

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PM Launches n++Housing for Alln++ in Rural Areas
Nov 21,2016

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi formally launched n++Housing for Alln++ in rural areas under which the Government proposes to provide an environmentally safe and secure pucca house to every rural household by 2022. Named the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin), in its first phase the target is to complete one crore houses by March 2019. The unit cost for these houses has been significantly increased and now through convergence a minimum support of nearly Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 1.6 lakh to a household is available. There is also a provision of Bank loan upto Rs. 70,000/-, if the beneficiary so desires. The selection of beneficiaries has been through a completely transparent process using the Socio Economic Census 2011 data and validating it through the Gram Sabha.

PMAY-G is a major step forward in bringing together Skill India, Digital India, Make In India, IT/DBT Aadhaar platform and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). The programme provides for skilling 5 lakh Rural Masons by 2019 and allows over 200 different housing designs across the country based on a detailed study of housing typologies, environmental hazards and the households requirements. A large scale use of local materials is envisaged along with a complete home with cooking space, electricity provision, LPG, toilet and bathing area, drinking water etc through convergence. The programme targets the poor households and uses ICT and space technology to further confirm correct selection of beneficiaries and progress of work. The entire payments are through IT/DBT mode with Aadhaar linked Bank accounts with consent, to ensure complete transparency and accountability. There is a provision for orientation of beneficiaries. A 45 days on site hands-on skill training of Rural Masons helps poor households to move up the skilling ladder.

The PM saw over 40 of the over 200 building designs and interacted with newly trained Rural Masons and beneficiaries which were showcased near dais. He also distributed Sanction Certificates to a few beneficiaries from Agra District.

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