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Powergrid Commissions n++800kV HVDC Champa - Kurukshetra Pole-I
Mar 24,2017

Trial operations of 1500MW, Pole-I of n++800kV HVDC Champa - Kurukshetra transmission System has been successfully completed and the Pole has been put to commercial operations, starting today. The above system is part of n++n++800kV, 3000MW WR-NR HVDC Interconnector Transmission System for IPP Projects in Chhattisgarhn++. With commercial operation of Pole-I, HVDC Terminal at Champa (in Western Region) & Kurukshetra (in Northern Region) alongwith 2576 Ckm Champa - Kurukshetra HVDC Transmission line have been commissioned, at a total cost of about ₹6,300Crore. Further, Pole-II of 1500MW capacity, is also expected to be commissioned by June17. This project will enable transfer of power from IPP generation projects coming up in Raigarh, Champa, and Raipur generation complex in Chhattisgarh to demand centres of Northern region viz. Haryana, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan and adjoining areas.

This transmission system is further being upgraded to 6000 MW capacity with addition of 2nd HVDC Bipole (CK-2) of 3000MW, n++800kV HVDC Terminals under n++Transmission System Strengthening in WR-NR Transmission corridor for IPP Projects in Chhattisgarhn++ at an additional cost of about ₹5200 Crore, which is expected to be completed by December 2018.

The above transmission system has been designed using State-of-the-art HVDC Technology and shall facilitate in meeting controlled power flow requirement, flexibility of operation as well as maintaining system parameters within limits through its control mechanism. The link augments the inter-regional capacity of Northern Region with Western Region, thereby facilitating economic dispatch of power and exchange of surplus power between Northern Region and Western Region, depending on the availability of generation and load demand in each region.

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NTPC Plans to Achieve 32 GW Installed Capacity via Renewable Sources by 2032
Mar 24,2017

NTPC Ltd. has raised Rs. 2,000 crore through issuance of green masala bonds in overseas market under its USD 4 billion medium term note programme. The proceeds of these bonds will be used for financing renewable energy projects in accordance with applicable guidelines and regulations of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The details of the green masala bonds are given under:

Size of the Issue

INR 2,000 crore

Date of Issue

10.08.2016

Coupon

7.375% per annum, payable annually

Security

Unsecured

Listing

At Singapore Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange

Repayment Period

Bullet repayment after 5 years

Maturity date

10.08.2021

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited has  drafted/prepared its long-term Corporate Plan and has planned to achieve 32 GW installed capacity through   renewable energy resources by 2032, the minister added. 

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Rs. 503.28 Crores spent during 2013-14 to 2015-16 under Early Childhood Care and Education Policy
Mar 24,2017

The aim of Early Childhood Care and Education policy is to achieve holistic development and active learning capacity of all children below 6 years of age by promoting free, universal, inclusive, equitable, joyful and contextualised opportunities for laying foundation and attaining full potential. A total of 3.4 Crores children of 3-6 year age group are availing benefits of Pre-School education including 1.7 Crore boys and 1.7 Crore girls. A total amount of Rs. 503.28 Crores has been spent during the year 2013-14 to year 2015-16.

Year wise details of amount spent under Early Childhood Care and Education Policy:

2013-14: Rs 145.32 crore

2014-15: Rs 231.95 crore

2015-16: Rs 126.01 crore

The key areas of the Policy are as below:

i. Access with equity and inclusion in programmes and interventions across service providers;

ii. Improving quality, Strengthening Capacity, Monitoring and Supervision

iii. Research and Documentation

iv. Advocacy and awareness generation

v. Convergence and Coordination among policies and programmes

vi. Institutional and Implementation Arrangements

vii. Partnerships, Periodic Review and Increased investment towards ECCE

Under the National Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Policy the States/UTs are required to introduce Annual Contextualized Curriculum along with Pre-School Education (PSE) kit by aligning to the curriculum, activity books and celebrate ECCE day on monthly basis.

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Steps taken for revival of Ratnagiri Gas and Power Limited
Mar 24,2017

Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt. Limited (RGPPL) has started generation of power under the scheme of Utilization of gas based power generation capacity for the year 2015-16 and 2016-17. Total Debt of RGPPL is approximately Rs. 8906 Crs. Railways have agreed to continue to purchase 500 MW power from RGPPL power plant w.e.f 01.04.2017 for a period of five years. Govt. of Maharashtra has agreed, in principle, for granting waiver of State transmission charges and transmission losses and also waiver of VAT on gas purchase by the RGPPL.

Government has taken following steps for revival of RGPPL:

(i) Decided to demerge the Power Block and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal into two separate entities.

(ii) Banks/Financial Institutions have agreed to restructure the debt.

(iii) Gas supply to RGPPL at a firm price for the five year period has been agreed by GAIL.

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Centralised Digital Online Platform VAHAN and SARATHI to Curb Corruption
Mar 23,2017

The Provisions regarding issue of learners licence and driving licence are contained in Chapter II of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988(MV Act) and Chapter II of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989(CMVRs). The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced online based citizen centric application VAHAN 4.0 and SARATHI 4.0 under digitization to ease out the processes and curb corruption. 85 Road Transport offices under VAHAN4.0 and 235 Road Transport offices under SARATHI 4.0 have been brought to the centralised platform. Implementation of provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MV Act) and Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (CMVRs) comes under the purview of State Governments. Further, Ministry has issued notification GSR 1096(E) dated 28.11.2016 vide which fitness certificate for renewal of a motor vehicle can be obtained from a State/Union territory other than the State/Union territory where the vehicle is registered.

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Third Protocol Amending India-Singapore DTAA notified today; Comes into force with effect from 27th February 2017
Mar 23,2017

The Third Protocol amending India-Singapore Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) which was signed on 30th December, 2016, has come into force on 27th February 2017. The same has been notified in the Official Gazette today.

The India-Singapore DTAA at present provides for residence based taxation of Capital Gains of shares in a company. The Third Protocol amends the DTAA with effect from 01st April, 2017 to provide for source based taxation of capital gains arising on sale of shares in a company. This will curb revenue loss, prevent double non-taxation and streamline the flow of investments. In order to provide certainty to investors, investments in shares made before 01st April, 2017 have been grandfathered subject to fulfillment of conditions in Limitation of Benefits clause as per 2005 Protocol. Further, a two-year transition period from 1st April, 2017 to 31st March, 2019 has been provided during which capital gains on shares will be taxed in source country at half of normal tax rate, subject to fulfillment of conditions in Limitation of Benefits clause.

The Third Protocol also inserts Article 9(2) in the DTAA which would facilitate relieving of economic double taxation in transfer pricing cases. This is a taxpayer friendly measure and is in line with Indias commitments under Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan to meet the minimum standard of providing Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) access in transfer pricing cases. The Third Protocol also enables application of domestic law and measures concerning prevention of tax avoidance or tax evasion.

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Indias current account deficit spikes to 1.4% of GDP in Q3 of FY2017
Mar 23,2017

Indias current account deficit (CAD) at US$ 7.9 billion (1.4% of GDP) in Q3 of 2016-17 was higher than US$ 7.1 billion (1.4% of GDP) in Q3 of 2015-16 and US$ 3.4 billion (0.6% of GDP) in the preceding quarter.

Despite a slightly lower trade deficit on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, the CAD widened primarily on account of a decline in net invisibles receipts. Net services receipts moderated on a y-o-y basis, primarily owing to the fall in earnings from software, financial services and charges for intellectual property rights.

Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas, amounted to US$ 15.2 billion, having declined by 3.8% from their level a year ago.

In the financial account, net foreign direct investment at US$ 9.8 billion in Q3 of 2016-17 was marginally lower than its level a year ago.

There has been net outflow of portfolio investment to the tune of US$ 11.3 billion as against net inflow of US$ 0.6 billion in Q3 of last year; portfolio outflows occurred in both equity and debt segments.

Reflecting the redemption of FCNR (B) deposits, non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits declined by US$ 18.5 billion in Q3 of 2016-17 as against an inflow of US$ 1.6 billion a year ago.

In Q3 of 2016-17, foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis) declined by US$ 1.2 billion as against an increase of US$ 4.1 billion in Q3 of last year.

BoP during April-December 2016

On a cumulative basis, the CAD narrowed to 0.7% of GDP in April-December 2016 from 1.4% in the corresponding period of 2015-16 on the back of the contraction in the trade deficit.

Indias trade deficit narrowed to US$ 82.8 billion in April-December 2016 from US$ 105.3 billion in April-December 2015.

Net invisible receipts were lower, mainly due to moderation in software exports and net private transfers and higher outgo on account of primary income (profit, interest and dividends).

Net FDI inflows during April-December 2016 (US$ 30.6 billion) rose by 12.3% over the level during the corresponding period of 2015-16.

Portfolio investment recorded a net outflow of US$ 3.2 billion during April-December 2016 as compared with US$ 3.0 billion a year ago.

In April-December 2016, there was an accretion of US$ 14.2 billion to the foreign exchange reserves.

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NFHS-4 indicates reduction in percentage of underweight and stunted children in the country
Mar 23,2017

The Ministry of Women & Child Development is implementing Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme, Scheme for Adolescent Girls (AGs) and Maternity Benefit Programme (MBP) as direct targeted interventions to address the problem of malnutrition in the country.

An amount of Rs.5866.68 Crores, Rs.6711.90 Crores & Rs.8048.72 Crores released to States/UTs for Supplementary Nutrition under ICDS Scheme for the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively. Similarly, Rs.575.36, Rs.610.32 Crores, Rs. 470.40 Crores was released to States/UTs under Scheme for Adolescent Girls for the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively. An amount of Rs 232.05 Crores for the year 2013-14, Rs. 343.13 Crores for the year 2014-15 and Rs.233.46 Crores for the year 2015-16 was also released to States/UTs under Maternity Benefit Programme.

Under the ICDS scheme, there is a provision of Supplementary Nutritious Food to the beneficiaries. Take Home Ration is given to Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers, children (6 months - 3 years) and severely malnourished children and Hot Cooked Meals are provided to children (3 - 6 years). ICDS is a universal and a self-selecting scheme. Those who visit Anganwadi Centers and enroll themselves can avail these services.

As per the recent report of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - 4, 2015-16, 35.7% children under 5 years of age are underweight and 38.4% are stunted indicating a reduction from the previous data captured in NFHS - 3, 2005-06, which reported 42.5% children under 5 years of age as underweight and 48% stunted.

Malnutrition is not a direct cause of death but contributes to mortality and morbidity by reducing resistance to infections. As per the Sample Registration Report (SRS), 2010-13 of Registrar General of India, the major causes of deaths of children are - Prematurity & low birth weight (29.8%); Pneumonia (17.1%); Diarrhoeal disease (8.6%); Other Non-Communicable Diseases (8.3%); Birth asphyxia & birth trauma (8.2%); Injuries (4.6%); Congenital anomalies (4.4%); Ill-defined or cause unknown (4.4%); Acute bacterial sepsis and severe infections (3.6%); Fever of unknown origin (2.5%) and all other remaining causes (8.4%). However, the data regarding death of children and women due to malnutrition is not maintained by this Ministry.

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The nuclear power plants in the country are presently operating close to their rated capacity
Mar 23,2017

The Government, in July 2014, had announced tripling of the then existing capacity of 4780 MW in the next ten years. With the commencement of commercial operation of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), Unit-1 (1000 MW) in December 2014, the installed nuclear power capacity in the country has reached 5780 MW. In addition, KKNPP, Unit-2 (1000 MW) has been connected to the grid for the first time in August-2016 and is presently generating infirm power. On commencement of commercial operation of KKNPP-2, the installed nuclear power capacity in the country will reach to 6780 MW.

Further, four reactors with a total capacity of 2800 MW are under construction and four more reactors with a total capacity of 3400 MW have been accorded sanction by the Government. Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), a public sector company under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), is building one 500 MWe capacity Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu. PFBR is expected to be functional by October 2017. On progressive completion of these projects, the installed nuclear capacity will reach 13480 MW. More reactors based on both indigenous technologies and with foreign technical cooperation are also planned in future.

The present share of nuclear energy in the country is about 3.2% in the current financial year 2016-17 (up to Feb-2017).

The nuclear power plants in the country are presently operating close to their rated capacity.

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Horticulture becomes a key driver for economic development in many States: Shri Singh
Mar 23,2017

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that there is tremendous potential for development of the horticulture sector and there is need to ensure focused attention for harnessing available potential through scaling up ongoing interventions.

Shri Singh said that this session not only deliberate on the achievements and challenges facing the horticulture sector, including Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) but also discuss The Horticulture sector in our country refers to a wide variety of crops, including fruits, vegetables, tuber crops, mushroom, ornamental plants including cut flowers, spices, plantation crops, medicinal and aromatic plants and the sector has become a key driver for economic development in many states.

Agriculture Minister stated that India is currently producing about 286 million tonnes of horticulture produce from an area of about 24.4 million hectare, accounting for about 13 percent of the total world production of fruits and leads the world in the production of mango, banana, papaya, sapota, pomegranate, acid lime and aonla.

Shri Singh informed the session that India is the second largest producer of vegetables after China and is a leader in production of vegetables like peas and okra. Besides, India occupies the second position in production of brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower and onion and third in potato and tomato in the world. Special thrust is being given for production of vegetables under protected cultivation under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).

The Minister said that there are numerous success stories, for example, banana in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, guava & tomato in Chattisgarh, pomegranate and mango in Gujarat, pineapple in Nagaland, kiwi in Arunachal and orchids in Sikkim, off season vegetables in Uttarakhand, etc - the challenge is to complement the sector with food processing, cold-chain agro logistics, agri-business, input related services, agricultural lending, insurance and value chain related services.

Shri Singh said that in case of Horticulture, cold-chain strengthens the total value chain system and enables socio-economic transformation of farmers. To double farmers income, cold-chain plays an important role in ensuring that farmers can recover value from produce to result in gainful economic productivity.

Agriculture Minister said that it is equally essential to ensure the development of trained and skilled manpower and availability of quality planting material suitable to the local agro climatic conditions. Human resource development needs to be given thrust for capacity building of farmers, horticulture entrepreneurs/supervisors and field functionaries. Establishment of crop based Centres of Excellence is being encouraged in each state to serve as a hub for supply of planting material and dissemination of technology to farmers. So far 27 CoEs have been established with Indo-Israel collaboration and more are in the pipeline with collaboration with other countries.

The Minister hoped that deliberations of the In-Session Consultative Committee would help bring a clearer insight of the lead role that horticulture must play in improving livelihood options, diversification of agriculture, and higher income to farmers.

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On account of increased production of coal imports have fallen from 217.78 Mte in 2014-15 to 199.88 Mte in 2015-16
Mar 23,2017

On account of increased production of coal, imports have fallen from 217.78 Mte in 2014-15 to 199.88 Mte in 2015-16. The trend of fall in import of coal has continued in 2016-17 wherein for the period April 2016-January 2017, coal imports have reduced by 2.59% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

However, import of coal is not solely dependent on the domestic production of coal. It also depends on other factors like power plant designed on imported coal and insufficient availability of coking coal of required grade. A policy for allocation of coal to power sector is under formulation.

The Minister further stated that as per International Energy Agency (IEA), India was the third largest producer and second largest importer of coal in 2014 in the World.

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Moodys: Development of Asian covered bond market would benefit from additional regulatory support
Mar 23,2017

Moodys Investors Service says that additional regulatory support can help further the development of the regions covered bond markets.

Furthermore, such supports -- as identified by market participants -- would include increasing the percentage of assets that the banks can use to issue covered bonds and allowing them to become eligible for repurchase transactions with central banks.

In the case of Singapore, for example, increase in issuance percentage may provide more incentive for foreign banks incorporated in Singapore -- which have smaller mortgage portfolios, when compared to the countrys three largest banks -- to issue covered bonds, because greater issuance amount would increase the cost effectiveness of covered bond programs.

Being eligible for repurchase transactions with central banks would be credit positive for Asian covered bonds because of the potential reduction in refinancing risk, which refers to the market-value risk in selling the cover pool to repay investors when the issuer is in default, says Joe Wong, a Moodys Vice President -- Senior Analyst.

It will be more attractive for banks to purchase cover pools if they can be funded by central banks via repo transactions, and the discount in selling the cover pools would be reduced accordingly, adds Wong.

Covered bonds are a viable funding option for financial institutions in some Asian common law countries, adds Jerome Cheng, a Moodys Senior Vice President.

Although currently Asian covered bond funding costs may only be marginally cheaper than unsecured debt in some countries, the cost savings offered by such bonds can be more significant in the case of a financial crisis, says Cheng.

At the same time, market participants at the March meeting also noted hurdles to large-scale issuance of covered bonds in Asian countries where they are not currently issued.

These include the lack of covered bond legal frameworks, uncertainty over the cost savings provided by cross-border covered bonds, and the prohibitive cost of currency hedging that is required for cross-border covered bonds.

Market participants also discussed the prospect of Asian cover pools including assets other than residential mortgage loans, including green bonds, green mortgages, credit card receivables and auto loans.

In Moodys view, different asset types may introduce additional risks for covered bonds, such as credit and refinancing risks, though these risks can be mitigated by additional over-collateralization. Residential mortgage loans have higher credit quality than many other asset types because they are secured by high quality assets.

Moodys also notes that it has rated transactions backed by corporate bonds and credit card receivables and that while these deals posed additional risks, they also included additional over-collateralization compared to standard covered bonds.

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Cabinet approves hike in MSP for Copra for 2017 season
Mar 23,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of Milling Copra to Rs.6500/- per quintal for 2017 season from Rs. 5950/-per quintal in 2016. The MSP for FAQ of Ball Copra has been increased to Rs.6785/- per quintal for 2017 season from Rs. 6240/- per quintal in 2016.

The MSP of Copra is expected to ensure appropriate minimum prices to the farmers and step up investment in Coconut cultivation and thereby production and productivity in the country.

The approval is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP). CACP, which is an expert body, takes into account the cost of production, trends in the domestic and international prices of edible oils, overall demand and supply of copra and coconut oil, cost of processing of copra into coconut oil and the likely impact of the recommended MSPs on consumers, while recommending the MSPs.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Limited (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India Limited (NCCF) would continue to act as Central Nodal Agencies to undertake price support operations at the Minimum Support Prices in the Coconut growing states.

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Deepening and Widening of Mumbai Harbour Channel and JN Port Channel (Phase-II)
Mar 23,2017

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved fresh estimates of the project Deepening and Widening of Mumbai Harbour Channel and JN Port Channel (Phase-II). The cost of the project will be Rs.2029 crore excluding the Service Tax. The entire project cost will be funded through internal resources of JN Port Trust (JNPT) with market borrowing, if necessary.

The project includes the existing channel to be widened from presently 370 m to 450 m for straight reach, channel to be extended from existing 33.5 Kms to 35.5 Kms. The draft of the channel will be increased from existing 14 m draft to 15 m draft. The estimated quantity to be dredged to the tune of 35.03 million cu.mtr. including 1.73 million cu.mtr. rock dredging.

The work is likely to be implemented by inviting global tenders and to be completed within 2 years after its award.

The present total capacity of the JNPT for container handling is 5 million TEUs (Twenty feet Equivalent Unit). After the 4th Terminal becomes operational, this capacity will be enhanced to 9.8 million TEUs. Considering the expansion of the container vessel sizes on the main trade routes, it is anticipated that vessels of more than 8,000-12,000 TEU size will call the JN Port.

After completion, JNPT will attain capacity for handling additional traffic throughput of 1.67 million TEUs. The enhanced capability would help in handling larger vessels upto 12,500 TEUs besides economic benefits like saving in Vessel waiting time and savings on account of transshipment. The ultimate benefit to users will be in terms of lower unit cost, direct and indirect tax benefits in addition to reduction in vessel traffic congestion at JNPT. This would add to the competitiveness of Indias EXIM trade.

Background:

Over the years, the size of container ships is progressively becoming larger as it is much more economical to operate large ships and the cost of operation gets cheaper as much as by 40% for the larger ships. With increase in container cargo volume and increase in capacity of container carrying vessels fleet worldwide, JN Port has decided to handle new generation container vessels with wider beam and deeper drafts. The new generation bigger size vessels need deeper channel depth to navigate and accordingly deepening and widening of the channel further from 14.0 to 15.0 m draft with vessel capacity of 12,500 TEU is envisaged.

At present, JN Port is handling vessels having a draft of 14 m that is 6,000 TEUs capacity by taking advantage of tidal window.

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Measures to provide 24x7 Affordable and Environment Friendly Power For All by 2019
Mar 23,2017

Ministry of Power has taken several measures to provide 24X7 affordable and environment friendly Power for All by 2019. The measures inter-alia, include the following:-

i. Electrification of 18,452 un-electrified villages (as on 1/4/2015): As on 20/03/2017, 12,661 villages have been electrified.

ii. Preparation of state specific action plans for 24X7 Power for All, covering adequacy of generation, transmission capacity and distribution system: 24X7 Power for All documents have been signed with 35 States/UTs.

iii. Launching of scheme called Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) for rural areas: The scheme provides for (a) separation of agriculture and non-agriculture feeders; (b) strengthening and augmentation of sub-transmission and distribution infrastructure in rural areas including metering at distribution transformers, feeders and consumers end; and (c) rural electrification.

iv. Launching of Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for urban areas: The scheme provides for (a) strengthening of sub-transmission and distribution networks in urban areas; (b) metering of distribution transformers/feeders/consumers in urban areas; and (c) IT enablement of distribution sector and strengthening of distribution network.

v. Operationalization of Power System Development Fund (PSDF): PSDF shall be utilized for the project proposed by distribution utilities for (a) creating necessary transmission system of strategic importance; (b) installation of shunt capacitors etc. for improvement of voltage profile in the grid; (c) installation of standard and special protection schemes; and (d) Renovation and Modernisation of transmission and distribution systems for relieving congestion; etc.

vi. Launching of Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY): The scheme has been launched for operational and financial turnaround of Discoms.

vii. Measures initiated for reducing the generation cost of coal based power projects:

(a) Increasing supply of domestic coal;

(b) Coal usage flexibility

(c) Rationalization of coal linkages

viii 56,232.6 MW generation capacity have been added during the period 2014-17 (as on 28.02.2017).

ix. Increase in electricity generation from 967 BU (Billion Unit) in 2013-14 to 1048 BU in 2014-15 and 1107 BU in 2015-16, resulting in lowest ever energy deficit of 2.1% in 2015-16. During the current year 2016-17 (upto February 2017), electricity generation has been 1057.746 BU. Energy deficit has further reduced to 0.7% during the period April-February, 2017 which is the lowest ever.

x. 73,798 ckm transmission lines and 1,89,948 MVA sub-station capacity added during 2014 to February, 2017. 87% increase in transmission capacity to South India from 3450 MW in April- 2014-February, 2017 to 6450 MW.

xi. Implementation of Green Energy Corridor for transmission of renewable energy.

xii. Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) to replace 77 crore incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. This will result in estimated avoided capacity generation of 20,000 MW and save 100 billion kWh per year by March, 2019. As on date, 21.8 crore LED bulbs have been distributed. In addition, over 5.36 lakh energy efficient fans and 13.37 lakh LED tube lights have been distributed.

xiii Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) is being implemented to replace 1.4 crore conventional street lights by LED street lights. The replacement will result in avoided capacity generation of 1500 MW and save 9 billion kWh per year by March, 2019. As on date, over 18.3 lakh LED Street lights have been replaced across the country.

The Minister further stated that the funding pattern for the new schemes initiated by the Government is as under:

i. DDUGJY & IPDS: Government of India Grant - 60% (85% in case of Special Category States; Utility/State contribution - 10% (5% in case of Special Category States); loan from banks/financial institutions - 30% (10% in case of Special Category States) - Additional grant from GoI on achievement of prescribed milestones - 50% of the loan component.

ii. PSDF: Subject to availability of funds and admissibility, the quantum of grant towards project cost ranges from 75% to 100% for non Special Category States. The projects from North-East and other hill States, namely, J&K, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are eligible for grant upto 100%.

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