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NE States submit Rs.100 cr subsidy Proposal to PMO for Promotion of Food Processing & Logistic Units
Apr 10,2017

The government of Sikkim has proposed to Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and Union Ministry of Agriculture and Food Processing to enhance subsidy relating to food processing, logistics and post harvesting to a minimum of Rs.100 crores for entire north east including Sikkim to promote industrial activities in these areas, according Mr. Mr Khorlo Bhutia, Principal Secretary, Horticulture and Cash Crop Development Department, Government of Sikkiim.

Mr. Khorlo Bhutia also announced that the government of Sikkim has also urged the PMO and other relevant departments in the central government to extend substantial financial support to the government of Sikkim or dairy development as it would lead to n++Cow Protectionn++ thats manure would be useful to enable the state to retain its organic nature.

According to him, n++Cow Protectionn++ is critical in state like Sikkim to retain the fertility of its land and soil to go on producing organic produce for its people and export purposes because with their manure, the state would carry on the fertility of its land and soil as it has already emerged as the only organic state in the country.

Elaborating on the subsidy factor for food processing units and logistics industry and post harvesting techniques, Mr. Bhutia said that currently subsidies to promote these industries in north east amounted to Rs.13 crores per annum which is a peanut.

Therefore, a proposal has already been submitted to the PMO including Ministries of Agriculture and Food Processing and the union cabinet is likely to dispose off this proposal shortly as indication to this effect have already reached to the northern eastern states including Sikkim, he said.

With higher subsidy, the farmers of north east will not only be able to increase its agricultural and horticultural production but also gain in higher returns on their production because number of industries in these areas would come up that would also increase local entrepreneurship, he pointed out.

He also said that the government of Sikkim will shortly launch Rs.150 crores worth of cashless agri and horti cultural programme to promote cash crop in the state in next few weeks to enhance cultivation of cardamom, ginger, turmeric and the like. This programme will be launched by the Chief Minister of Sikkim.

Mr K D Bhattacharya, Deputy Director, MSMEs- Development Institute, Kolkata, Government of India said that the Ministry of MSME has several subsidised programme and schemes to support for the prosperity of local entrepreneurs in Sikkim and urged to take advantage of them to hike organic produce in state for domestic consumption as also export.

Director, PHD Chamber, Dr. Ranjeet Mehta appreciated the efforts of the state government for inviting investment in the state as with this, enterprise in the state will grow and so the employment.

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826 housing projects running behind schedule; average delay 39 months: ASSOCHAM study
Apr 10,2017

Battling adversity, as many as 826 housing projects are running behind schedule by an average of 39 months, with Punjab having the maximum of the delayed projects followed by Telangana and West Bengal, an ASSOCHAM study has found.

It said as at the end of December 2016, 3511 projects were live in construction and real estate sector, of which 2304 were under the implementation stage. Of the projects under implementation, 886 construction and real estate projects have recorded significant delays. Importantly, out of 886 delayed projects, 826 delayed projects are from housing construction and 60 from the commercial complex.

Among the major states, Punjab has recorded the maximum delay of 48 months in construction and real estate projects followed by Telangana (45 months), West Bengal (44 months), Odisha (44 months) and Haryana (44 months), the ASSOCHAM study noted.

Similarly, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have recorded 42 months of delay. Maharashtra saw delay of 39 months

Karnataka has recorded lowest delay of 31 months. Similarly, Rajasthan and Kerala have recorded delay almost equal to Karnataka followed by Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

n++Hopefully, with steps like banks being allowed by the RBI to invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the sector should see revival of investment , enabling it to cut delays and restore consumer confidence,n++ ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

On an average construction and real estate projects have been delayed by 39 months, the study said. The ownership analysis suggests that public and the private sector projects have almost similar kind of delays. Public sector projects are delayed by 39.03 months and private sector by 39.63 months.

The real estate and housing sector is battling several problems. The process of obtaining mandatory approvals from multiple regulators and authorities result in cost and time overruns. These delays not only discourage investments in the housing sector but also lead to delays and corruption. As an effective solution, centre and state governments must introduce a single-window system for clearance of all real estate projects.

The chamber said the government should act as a facilitator rather than a regulator of the real estate projects, particularly where demand is more than supply. State governments should complete updation their land records, making them computerized and online.

In coordination with the state and local authorities, basic infrastructure like transport, water, power, housing, healthcare and sanitation must be taken up in well before completion of the projects.

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Reduction in Import Duty to stabilize the domestic prices
Apr 08,2017

The Government has reduced the import duty on many items in the recent months. In order to, inter alia, stabalise the domestic prices, the Government has reduced import duty on the following goods in the recent past:

i. With effect from 23.09.2016, import duty on palm oil was reduced from 12.5% to 7.5% for crude palm oil of edible grade, and from 20% to 15% for refined palm oil of edible grade.

ii. Import duty on wheat was reduced from 10% to Nil with effect from 08.12.2016 without an end date. [However, the import duty has been increased to 10% with effect from 28.03.2017].

iii. Import duty on pulses continues to be Nil without an end date, except tur the import duty on which has been increased to 10% with effect from 28.03.2017].

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Department of Consumers Affairs signs MOU with 230 Companies for quick redressal of the grievances/complaints of the consumers
Apr 08,2017

The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is a project of the Department of Consumer Affairs which is executed through the Indian Institute of Public Administration(IIPA), New Delhi. IIPA has entered into MOU with 230 Companies under the convergence programme, for quick redressal of the grievances/complaints of the consumers.

In so far as the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution is concerned, digital initiatives include digitisation of ration cards, beneficiary and other database, computerisation of supply chain management, setting up of transparency portals and grievance redress mechanisms, a mobile application for registering their complaints in the National Consumer helpline, webchat facility in the National Consumer Helpline, a mobile application n++Smart Consumern++ to enable the consumer to scan the bar code of the product and get information regarding details and labelling. Consumers are sensitized about digital safety by way of various publicity campaigns. The Department has also collaborated with Google India for raising awareness about internet safety amongst consumers.

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Government issues instructions to States/UTs and FCI to ensure supply of good quality foodgrains under PDS
Apr 08,2017

Government has issued following instructions to State Governments / Union Territories and Food Corporation of India (FCI) to ensure supply of good quality foodgrains under Public Distribution System (PDS).

(i) Only good quality foodgrains free from insect infestation and conforming to Food Safety Standards are to be issued under PDS.

(ii) Ample opportunities are to be provided to the State Government to check the quality of foodgrains prior to lifting the foodgrains stocks from FCI godowns.

(iii) Samples of foodgrains are to be collected and sealed from the stocks of foodgrains to be issued under the PDS jointly by FCI and State Governments/UT Administrations.

(iv) An officer not below the rank of Inspector is to be deputed from State Government to take the delivery of foodgrain stocks from FCI godowns.

(v) Regular inspection to check the quality of foodgrains is to be carried out by the officers of State Government.

(vi) It is the responsibility of the concerned State Governments/UT Administrations to ensure that during transportation and storage at different stages in the distribution chain, the foodgrains retain the required quality specifications.

(vii) The State Government, where the decentralized procurement is in operation, should ensure that the quality of foodgrains issued under PDS and other welfare schemes should meet the desired standards prescribed by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of the Central and the State/UT Governments. Central Government is responsible for procurement, allocation and transportation of foodgrains upto the designated depots of the Food Corporation of India. The operational responsibilities for intra-state allocation and distribution of foodgrains within the States/UTs, identification of eligible beneficiaries, issuance of ration cards and supervision and monitoring of the Fair Price Shops (FPSs) etc. rest with the concerned State/UT Governments. Therefore, as and when complaints are received, these are referred to the State/UT Governments concerned for inquiry and appropriate action. Five complaints about supply of poor quality foodgrains distributed under PDS were received during 2016-17.

Regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection and random sampling of all the food products are undertaken by the officials of Food Safety Departments of the respective States/UTs to check that they comply with the standards laid down under Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 and the Rules & Regulation made thereunder. In cases where food samples are found to be non-conforming, recourse is taken to penal provisions under Chapter-IX of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The implementation and enforcement of norms under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Rules & Regulation made thereunder primarily rests with the State/UT Government.

No separate enforcement data regarding samples taken from foodgrains distributed under PDS by Food Safety Authorities of the States/UTs is maintained centrally by FSSAI. However, based on information made available by the States/UTs, details of all food samples received, analyzed, found non-conforming to the norms and action taken under provision of FSS Act, 2006.

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Rs.166.255 lakhs spent for Yoga training of 11428 Physical Education Teachers during 2016-17
Apr 08,2017

The Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development has spent Rs.166.255 lakhs during 2016-17 under Rashriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) for Yoga training of 11428 Physical Education Teachers of Government Secondary Schools.

National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) 2005 recommended Yoga as an Integral Part of Health and Physical Education as part of National Curriculum Framework (NCF). Health and Physical Education is a compulsory subject from Class I to Class X and optional from Classes XI to XII. According to National Curriculum Framework 2005, n++the entire group Health and Physical Education and Yoga must be taken together as a comprehensive Health and Physical Education Curriculum, replacing the fragmentary approach current in schools today. As a core part of the curriculum, time allocated for games and for yoga must not be reduced or taken away under any circumstancesn++. Further, they have already developed integrated syllabi on Health and Physical Education from Class I to Class X. The content of Yoga has been included from Class VI onward. It also prepared separate syllabus on Yoga from Upper Primary to Secondary Stage.

NCERT has brought out the following two textual materials for Upper Primary (VI to VIII) and Secondary Stages (IX & X):

(i) Yoga: A Healthy Way of Living (Upper Primary stage) and

(ii) Yoga: A Healthy Way of Living (Secondary Stage)

NCERT organised Yoga Olympiad from school to National Level from 18th to 20thJune, 2016.

CCRYN under Ministry of AYUSH has been conducting one hour Yoga Classes for Government employees in few Government Offices/Ministries n Delhi

MDNIY is creating awareness about healthy food habits and concept of Yogic Diet through its courses /programmes.

There are 9 universities offering Higher education in Yoga; and 2 universities offering higher education in Yoga and Naturopathy in the country.

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More than Rs. 1.37 Lakh Crore of tax evasion has been detected (Income Tax 69434; Customs 11405; Central Excise 13952; Service Tax 42727) among others
Apr 07,2017

Concerted & co-ordinated actions of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) under the Department of Revenue have achieved phenomenal success in fighting the menace of black money during the last three years.

The period has witnessed unprecedented enforcement actions in direct & indirect taxes. While 23064 searches / surveys have been conducted (Income Tax 17525; Customs 2509; Central Excise 1913; Service Tax 1120); more than Rs. 1.37 lakh crore of tax evasion has been detected (Income Tax 69434; Customs 11405; Central Excise 13952; Service Tax 42727). Simultaneously, criminal prosecutions were launched in 2814 cases (Income Tax 1966; Customs 526; Central Excise 293; Service Tax 29) and 3893 persons were placed under arrest. (Customs 3782; Central Excise 47; Service Tax 64)

The Enforcement Directorate intensified its anti money laundering actions by registering 519 cases and conducting 396 searches. Arrests were made in 79 cases and properties worth Rs.14,933 crore were attached.

The Benami prohibition law which remained in-operative for last 28 years was made operational through a comprehensive amendment with effect from November, 2016. More than 245 benami transactions have already been identified. Provisional attachments of properties worth Rs.55 crore have already been made in 124 cases.

Relevant laws and rules have been streamlined & tightened, plugging the loopholes and strengthening the penal provisions. Effective steps were taken to track & curb cash transactions through various means like penalising cash transaction of more than Rs.2 lakh; limiting allowable cash expense up-to Rs.10000 only; making Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining PAN & filing of income tax returns; making PAN mandatory for cash deposits above Rs.50,000; compulsory linking of PAN with bank accounts; prohibiting cash of Rs.20,000 or more in transfer of immovable property by imposition of a penalty of an equal amount and mandatory reporting of cash deposits above Rs.2.5 lakh in savings accounts and Rs.12.5 lakh in current account during 9 November to 30 December 2016.

Crackdown against thousands of shell companies engaged in nefarious activities was effected through enforcement actions (searches, surveys, arrests, prosecutions) by the LEAs (IT/ED/MCA/SFIO/CBI). During the last three financial years (2013-14 to 2015-16), Income Tax investigations led to detection of more than 1155 shell companies / entities used as conduits by over 22,000 beneficiaries. The amount involved in non-genuine transactions of such beneficiaries was more than Rs. 13,300 crore. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has issued more than a lakh notices for striking off names of defunct / non-compliant companies. A High powered group has been set-up for co-ordinating and monitoring the actions taken by departments concerned with the objective of eliminating the conduits of black money generation and application.

The relentless crusade against black money will get further intensified in the coming days making the tax evaders & money launderers realise that they have to pay a heavy cost for their deviant behaviour.

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India and ADB Sign $175 Million Loan Agreement to help improve Solar Transmission System
Apr 07,2017

The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $175 million loan agreement to support construction of high voltage transmission systems to evacuate power generated from new mega solar parks to the interstate grid, and improve reliability of the national grid system.

The loan will be given to the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) and will include subprojects in various locations in India. As an innovative feature, the project is designed to adopt the country systems on both safeguards and procurement at the agency level. This will be the ADBs first breakthrough of the country systems application to a specific project.

Mr. Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of India while Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADBs India Resident Mission signed for ADB.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary said that by supporting the construction of interstate transmission systems for the mega solar power projects, the project will enable transmission of surplus solar energy from States with surplus power to power-deficit States.

After signing the loan agreement, Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB for India said that the project will support the continued expansion of solar energy in India in line with the Government of Indias objectives, and contribute to climate change by increasing share of clean energy in the power mix besides increasing overall efficiency of the power system. He said that the adoption of POWERGRIDs safeguard and procurement systems will improve its operational flexibility and autonomy, and reduce the transaction costs and time for project preparation and implementation. As laid-out in the ADB Safeguards Policy, country safeguard systems constitute a countrys legal and institutional framework on environment and social safeguards.

In addition to the ADB loan of $175 million, the project includes $50 million co-finance from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) - a $5.8 billion component of the Climate Investment Funds aimed at providing developing countries resources to expand efforts in utilizing low carbon technologies and transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources.

POWERGRID will make an equity contribution of $135 million equivalent to support the total project cost of $450 million. The $175 million loan will be from ADBs ordinary capital resources (OCR) and will have a 20-year term, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADBs London interbank offered rate (LIBOR)-based lending facility. The $50 million CTF loan financing will come with a 40 year term.

The project will improve the capacity and efficiency of interstate transmission networks, particularly in transmitting the electricity generated from the new solar parks to the national grid. Apart from the evacuation of 2,500 megawatts(MW) of power from solar parks in Bhadla, Rajastha, and 700 MW from Banaskantha, Gujarat, POWERGRID is also including two additional subprojects that will increase solar power generation by 4.2 gigawatt and lessen carbon emissions by over 7 million tons every year.

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Export of Oilmeals Increased to 18.7 lakh Tons during FY17
Apr 07,2017

The Solvent Extractors Association of India has compiled the export data for export of oilmeals for the month of March 2017 as well as for the financial year 2016-17 (April-March). The export of oilmeals during March 2017 has increased and reported at 150,773 tons compared to 106,122 tons in March 2016 i.e. up by 42%. The total export of oilmeals during April 2016 to March 2017 in terms of quantity is reported at 1,865,757 tons compared to 1,529,115 tons during the same period of last year i.e. up by 22`%. In term of value the total earning is Rs. 3,178 crores compared to 2,600 crores in 2015-16, up by 22%.

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Ind-Ra: UP Farm Debt Waiver - Not a Long-Term Solution to Agrarian Distress, to Pressurise State Finances
Apr 07,2017

The debt waiver announced by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government for the small and marginal farmers is not the long-term answer to any agrarian crisis, says India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra). While the solution to the agrarian crisis facing the country is not an easy one, providing a debt waiver to farmers will only provide short-term relief to distressed farmers, but will also lead to a bad credit culture, besides exerting pressure on state finances.

The UP cabinet has waived agriculture loans up to INR100,000 of 21.5 million small and marginal farmers of the state. This is expected to cost the state exchequers INR307.29 billion. In addition the cabinet has also approved a write-off of INR56.30 billion of non-performing assets of 0.7 million farmers. Ind-Ra estimates that the direct impact of the debt waiver on the state exchequer to be around INR363.59 billion, which is around 2.6% of UPs gross state domestic product (GSDP).

Despite being under pressure, the finances of the government of UP (GoUP) are in relatively better shape than it was a decade ago. The state has been generating revenue surplus from FY07 onwards. It had shown revenue surplus of INR223.94 billion in FY15, INR183.68 billion in FY16 (revised estimate, RE) and INR282.01 billion in FY17 (budget estimate, BE). Also the fiscal deficit/GSDP of the state (excluding UDAY scheme) in FY16 (RE) and FY17 (BE) was lower than the 14th Finance Commissions prescribed limit of 3%. The state spends a significant part of its expenditure on the power sector (both revenue and capital). As UP was the first state to join UDAY and has also raised bonds from the market for financing the losses of the power sector, Ind-Ra believes this will provide some fiscal space for the government to absorb the expenditure arising out of the farm debt waiver. However, Ind-Ra would await the GoUPs FY18 budget to ascertain the fiscal position of the state.

Ind-Ra had highlighted the negative implication that debt waivers have on credit culture. The debt waiver announced can significantly impact the credit culture among the agriculture communities in other states. More importantly demand for debt waiver may also come in from other states as well. The waivers may mask the delinquencies for the time being. Nevertheless, it carries the risk of significantly impairing asset quality going forward. The unintended outcome of this could be reduced availability of credit to the farmers from banks, forcing them to resort to the unorganised lending sector.

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Raising Productivity Growth is Critical for Middle-income Asia n++ ADB Study
Apr 07,2017

Reforms to increase productivity on the basis of better innovation, education, and infrastructure can help developing countries in Asia and the Pacific graduate to high-income status, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

Transcending developing Asias middle-income challenge is the subject of the special theme chapter in the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017 report. ADO is ADBs flagship economic publication.

n++Past development success in Asia and the Pacific means most citizens in the region now live in a middle-income country,n++ said Yasuyuki Sawada, ADBs Chief Economist, n++Policymakers will need to change their approach to reach high income. It is no longer a question of them using more resources to sustain growth, economies must become more productive to clear the final hurdle.n++

The report notes that in 1991 only 10% of the population in Asia and the Pacific lived in middle-income economies. By 2015, this had increased to over 95% of the regions population, fueled by growth in the regions most populous countries: the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), India, and Indonesia.

To raise productivity, countries in developing Asia will need to focus on innovation. Middle-income countries that successfully moved up to high income have more than two and half times as much stock of accumulated research and development as other middle-income countries.

Innovation requires a skilled workforce, and hence an emphasis on improving education quality. The report estimates that a 20% increase in human capital spending per capita can increase labor productivity by up to 3.1%. Sound educational policies can also promote equity and close the wide education gaps between developing Asia and high-income economies, while encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

Infrastructure investment, particularly in energy and information and communications technology, can contribute to innovation and human capital, and thus sustaining growth in middle-income countries. A one-time public investment in infrastructure equal to 1% of gross domestic product can lift a countrys output by as much as 1.2% in 7 years.

Asias dynamic track record suggests that the journey to high income, while challenging, can be completed. Supportive institutions and policies, underpinned by macroeconomic stability, can strengthen the pillars of productivity growth n++ innovation, human capital, and infrastructure.

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Expanding Economies in Asia Deliver 60% of Global Growth n++ ADB
Apr 07,2017

Growth is picking up in two-thirds of economies in developing Asia, supported by higher external demand, rebounding global commodity prices, and domestic reforms, making the region the largest single contributor to global growth at 60%, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

In its new Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017, ADB forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Asia and the Pacific to reach 5.7% in 2017 and 2018, a slight deceleration from the 5.8% registered in 2016. ADO is ADBs flagship annual economic publication.

n++Developing Asia continues to drive the global economy even as the region adjusts to a more consumption-driven economy in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and looming global risks,n++ said Yasuyuki Sawada, ADBs Chief Economist. n++While uncertain policy changes in advanced economies do pose a risk to the outlook, we feel that most economies are well positioned to weather potential short-term shocks.n++

Industrial economies are gathering growth momentum, with the US, euro area, and Japan expected to collectively grow by 1.9% in 2017 and 2018. Rising consumer and business confidence and a declining unemployment rate have fueled US growth, but uncertainty over future economic policies may test confidence. The euro area continues to strengthen, but its outlook is somewhat clouded by uncertainties such as Brexit. Meanwhile, Japan remains dependent on its ability to maintain export growth to continue its expansion.

The PRCs growth continues to moderate as the government implements measures to transition the economy to a more consumption-driven model. Overall output is expected to slow to 6.5% in 2017 and 6.2% in 2018, down from 2016s 6.7%. Efforts to maintain financial and fiscal stability will continue to be a modest drag on growth going forward, but continued structural reform will help to maintain growth in the governments target range.

South Asia remains the fastest growing of all subregions, with growth reaching 7% in 2017 and 7.2% in 2018. In India, the subregions largest economy, growth is expected to pick up to 7.4% in fiscal year (FY) 2017 and 7.6% in FY2018, following the 7.1% registered last FY. The impact of the demonetization of high-value banknotes is dissipating as the replacement banknotes enter circulation. Stronger consumption and fiscal reforms are also expected to improve business confidence and investment prospects in the country.

Overall growth in Southeast Asia is forecast to accelerate further with nearly all economies in the region showing an upward trend. The region will grow 4.8% in 2017 and 5% in 2018, from the 4.7% recorded last year. Commodity producers such as Malaysia, Viet Nam, and Indonesia will be boosted by the recovery of global food and fuel prices.

Growth in Central Asia is expected to reach 3.1% in 2017 and 3.5% in 2018, on the back of rising commodity prices and increased exports, albeit with large heterogeneity among countries in the region. Meanwhile, countries in the Pacific will reach 2.9% and 3.3% growth over the next 2 years as the regions largest economy, Papua New Guinea, stabilizes following a fiscal crunch and Fiji and Vanuatu recover from natural disasters.

Regional consumer price inflation is projected to accelerate to 3% in 2017 and 3.2% in 2018 from the 2.5% registered in 2016 on the back of stronger consumer demand and increasingly rising global commodity prices. Inflation projections for the next 2 years, however, are well below the 10-year regional average of 3.9%.

Risks to the outlook include higher US interest rates, which will accelerate capital outflows, although this risk is mitigated to some degree by abundant liquidity throughout the region. The effects of US monetary policy tightening are likely to materialize only gradually, giving governments in Asia and the Pacific time to prepare adequately. Economies with flexible exchange rates may experience deeper currency depreciation and subsequent higher inflation, while managed currencies will tend to forfeit export price competitiveness.

On the domestic front, rising household debt in some Asian economies is a rising risk. Authorities can counter this risk through prudent macro-prudential policies, such as requiring tighter debt-to-income ratios for loans. Authorities may also have to intervene more decisively in housing markets to cool speculative demand and head off asset bubbles.

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Steady Reform Progress Fueling Indias Growth Pick Up n++ ADB
Apr 07,2017

Indias fast growth will resume with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 7.4% in fiscal year (FY) 2017 and 7.6% in FY2018 supported by reform measures, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

In its new Asia Development Outlook (ADO) 2017 report, ADB notes that the deceleration to 7.1% registered last year was due in part to slower investment growth. Also contributing to the moderation was the impact of the governments demonetization of high-value currency notes, though this effect is seen as largely temporary. ADO is ADBs flagship annual economic publication.

n++An array of important reforms has propelled Indias economic success in recent years,n++ said Yasuyuki Sawada, ADBs Chief Economist. n++A continued commitment to reform n++ especially in the banking sector n++ will help India maintain its status as the worlds fastest growing major economy.n++

Indias growth in FY2016 was fueled by agriculture and government services. Industrial growth, however, slowed to 5.8% over the last 12 months from 8.2% in FY2015. Growth in services moderated to 7.9% due to slowdowns in finance and real estate. Net foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country remained strong at $36.7 billion in FY2016 following the governments efforts to simplify guidelines and allow FDI in key economic sectors.

Moving forward, the ADO expects growth to accelerate through increased consumption, as more new bank notes are put in circulation, and as planned salary and pension hike for state employees are implemented. The public sector will remain the main driver of investment as banks continue to wind down balance sheets constrained by high levels of stressed assets. Exports are forecast to grow by 6% in the coming year.

Inflation, meanwhile, is expected to accelerate to 5.2% in FY2017 and 5.4% in FY2018 as the global economy recovers and commodity prices rebound.

The assessment notes risks from higher oil prices as India imports nearly 80% of its fossil fuel needs. A rapid increase in the price of oil could undermine the countrys fiscal position, stoke inflation, and swell the current account deficit. The report estimates that a $1 increase in oil prices raises the import bill by nearly $2 billion. In FY2016, rising oil prices resulted in a 37.6% increase in Indias import bill. To mitigate Indias vulnerability to oil price swings, the government has proposed reducing dependence on imported oil by 10% over the next 5 years through more efficient domestic production and increased private investment into the sector.

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Tamil Nadu, MP, UP, AP, Chattisgarh lead in implementing urban poverty alleviation programmes
Apr 06,2017

Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh are ahead of other States in addressing urban poverty during the last three years i.e 2014-17.

Tamil Nadu is in the forefront in assisting urban poor with subsidized loans for self-employment through setting up of individual and group micro enterprises and formation of Self-Help Groups under DeenDayalAntyodaya Yojana-NULM (DAY-NULM) and Uttar Pradesh led in skilling urban poor. Madhya Pradesh stood second in skill training and providing loans support.

Details of performance of leading States under different components of DAY-NULM are as below:

StateNo of urban poor given
skill trainingNo of beneficiaries
gven subsidized loansSelf-Help Groups
formedTamil Nadu

1,04,448

30.25824,245Madhya Pradesh1,17,13326,558  8,973Uttar Pradesh1,89,83114,13815,954Andhra Pradesh   45,23615,61712,278Chattisgarh   30,022  8,18514,393West Bengal   64,277  2,41810,871Karnataka   38,007  8,799  5,021Maharashtra   29,317  8,202  6,921Bihar   29,762     890  8,390Telangana   12,546  3,18210,097Gujarat   12,090  2,216  7,186

National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) was launched in September,2016 with the objective of reducing the poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households by enabling them to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities for improvements in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis. NULM which was launched in 790 cities and towns in 2013 was subsequently extended to all the statutory 4,041 cities and towns in February, 2016.

During 2014-17, 8,07,187 urban poor were given skill training, 1,35,158 beneficiaries were given subsidized bank loans for setting up own enterprises and 1,62,285 Self-Help Groups have been formed for taking up income augmenting activities with the support of bank loans.

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Geo-tagging of agriculture assets created under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY): Shri Radha Mohan Singh
Apr 06,2017

A MoU was signed between Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for geotagging of agriculture land.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) works for the development of Agriculture & allied sectors by motivating the states. More than 1.5 lakh assets have been created/ developed under this scheme in agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fisheries and dairy sectors. It is imperative to formulate a national index of the assets to understand them, systemize them and to reduce the gap between demand and supply.

Agriculture Minister said that the government is committed to transparency in governance. Shri Singh said that development of space-related technologies to prepare the list of the assets and their utilisation is a progressive step. Being aware of the realistic status of assets will not only be helpful in monitoring and utilising, but also be extremely useful in formulating development schemes in the agriculture sector. Agriculture Minister added that it will also help in avoiding duplication and pave the way for harmonising a balance between the various schemes of the ministry.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh further added that there is unlimited scope for agriculture development by utilising satellite and remote sensing technologies. The government wants farmers to avail the benefits provided by these technologies. Shri Singh said that by utilising space-related technologies farmers will get timely information about pesticide/residue testing labs, storage infrastructure and agriculture markets.

Agriculture Minister informed that the space technology needs to be developed in the areas such as land resource mapping, pesticides management, soil health mapping, crop yield estimation as well as the identification and assessment of floods like calamities, inland fisheries, animal species identification and sheep rearing and when the technology is developed, the farmers can enjoy quick and instant benefits.

Shri Singh said very soon farmers would utilise the internet and mobile phones to obtain agriculture related information such as fertility of soil, the quantity of fertiliser to be used, condition for sowing potential pests aggression, estimation of yield, godowns, cold storage, agriculture markets as well as identification and availabilities of animal species.

Agriculture Minister showered both the teams as well as states with praise for applying space and remote sensing technologies to monitor agriculture-related assets under RKVY.

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