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The promulgation of Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 will lead to effective resolution of stressed assets
May 06,2017

The promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 inserting two new Sections (viz. 35AA and 35AB) after Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 enables the Union Government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process, where required. The RBI has also been empowered to issue other directions for resolution, and appoint or approve for appointment, authorities or committees to advise banking companies for stressed asset resolution.

This action of the Union Government will have a direct impact on effective resolution of stressed assets, particularly in consortium or multiple banking arrangements, as the RBI will be empowered to intervene in specific cases of resolution of non-performing assets, to bring them to a definite conclusion.

The Government is committed to expeditious resolution of stressed assets in the banking system. The recent enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 has opened up new possibilities for time bound resolution of stressed assets. The SARFAESI and Debt Recovery Acts have been amended to facilitate recoveries. A comprehensive approach is being adopted for effective implementation of various schemes for timely resolution of stressed assets.

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From the banks of Rupnarayan to the shores of Ganga : Integrated cargo transport along multiple waterways begins
May 06,2017

MV V. V. Giri, a vessel of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) began a landmark pilot movement on April 23rd 2017 from Kolaghat in East Midnapore district of West Bengal to Bhagalpur in Bihar with a cement consignment of 240 tonnes. The vessels journey commenced from Kolaghat on Rupnarayan river (National Waterway- 86) to reach Bhagalpur via river Ganga (NW-1). This marks the beginning of an integrated cargo movement involving two different NWs - NW-86 and NW-1. Rupnarayan river (NW-86) connects with river Ganga (NW-1) at Geokhali near Haldia. On its return trip, the vessel will bring fly ash/pet coke.

A private cement company has committed a consignment of 1.20 lakh tonnes of cement per annum from its plant at Salboni in East Midnapore district in West Bengal to various destinations on river Ganga (NW-1) in the states of Jharkhand and Bihar.

Earlier this year, an IWAI vessel MV Zakir Hussain had transported 350 tonnes of cement consignment from Haldia to Patna. The Government of India plans to make cargo movement on NW-1 (Ganga river) a regular feature.

Many prominent cement companies have also shown interest in transporting their cargo through river NW-1 which the IWAI is developing under the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP), with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 5369 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tonnes.

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CBDT seeks stakeholders comments/suggestions on Draft Rules relating to valuation of unquoted equity share for purposes of Section 56 & Section 50CA
May 06,2017

The Finance Act, 2017 inserted clause (x) in sub-section (2) of Section 56 of the Income-tax Act 1961(the Act) so as to widen the scope of taxability of receipt of sum of money or property without/inadequate consideration. Under the said clause read with Rule 11UA of the Income-tax Rules, 1962( the Rules) if a person receives jewellery or artistic work or shares and securities for no / inadequate consideration, the fair market value(FMV) of the same is taken into account for computing taxable income under the said clause. Similarly, for immovable property, the stamp duty value is taken into consideration for determining taxability under the same section. However when these assets are received as underlying assets of unquoted equity shares of company, the book value (and not the FMV / stamp duty value) is taken into consideration for determining the value of such shares.

Further, the Finance Act, 2017 inserted new Section 50CA in the Act with effect from 1st April, 2018 to provide that where consideration for transfer of unquoted equity share of a company is less than the FMV of such share determined in accordance with the prescribed manner, the FMV shall be deemed to be the full value of consideration for the purposes of computing income under the head Capital gains.

In view of this, it is proposed to amend the Rules to prescribe the method of valuation of unquoted equity share for the purpose of clause(x) of sub-section (2) of section 56 and section 50CA of the Act by taking into account the FMV of jewellery, artistic work, shares & securities and stamp duty value in case of immovable property and book value for the rest of the assets.

In order to have wider consultation in this matter, the draft of proposed Amendment of Rules under the Income-tax Rules, 1962 to prescribe the method of valuation of unquoted shares for the purpose of clause(x) of sub-section (2) of Section 56 and Section 50CA of the Act has been uploaded on the website www.incometaxindia.gov.in.

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Centre of Excellence (CoE) on IT for Industry 4.0
May 06,2017

National Productivity Council had submitted a proposal to Asian Productivity Organization (APO) for establishment of Centre of Excellence on IT for Industry 4.0(CoE: IT for I4.0).

In this context, in the Governing Body Meeting of APO in Tehran on 10th April, 2017, one of the agenda items was to grant approval of the proposal submitted by NPC on n++CoE on IT for I4.0n++. As a part of recognition of IT capacity of India, NPC proposal has been approved by GB of APO.

In this scenario, the Centre of Excellence (CoE) can be very effective in coordination with various stakeholders, collection of information, development of knowledge & dissemination of knowledge/information, facilitation in capacity building of industries, support start-ups etc. linking design to customer. The result is the n++smart factoryn++, which is characterized by versatility, resource efficiency and ergonomic design as well as its direct integration with business partners.

This will ensure a number of benefits such as; Creation of roadmap for implementation of Industry 4.0 especially for MSMEs, transfer of knowledge and expertise from other 19 Member countries, one stop destination on IT for Industry 4.0 for Indian industries especially for MSMEs, capacity building, support to start-ups, etc. The total cost component of CoE will be around Rs. 4.15 Crore for a period of five years. NPCs share in the total cost will be around Rs.1.05 Crore and that of APO will be Rs. 3.10 Crore.

As part of taking the agenda forward, NPC has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), under Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Govt. of India on 20th April 2017, to carry forward the demonstration activities of CoE with various technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, sensors etc.

The approved CoE is proposed to be launched formally in the second week of June 2017. There will be participation from the various Industries, Industry Associations, and Experts. A detailed roadmap will be prepared to take forward the activities of CoE.

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Ministry of Civil Aviation Issues Draft CAR on Handling of unruly and disruptive passengers
May 05,2017

The Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju and MoS Shri Jayant Singh briefed media today with regard to handling of unruly passengers. They informed that the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) on n++Handling of unruly/disruptive passengersn++ is being revised to enhance the safety and security of passengers, crew as well as airlines. During the press conference the Secretary for Civil Aviation Shri R.N. Choubey gave details of the draft CAR.

Main features of the proposed CAR are as follows:

a) Three levels of unruly behaviors defined viz. Level 1 - disruptive behavior, Level 2 - physically abusive behavior and Level 3 - Life- threatening behavior.

b) The Airlines will maintain a database of such passengers which will form a National No-fly List of unruly/disruptive passengers. Individuals identified by MHA as national security threats will also form part of the National No-Fly List. Such names will be forwarded to the individuals by the airlines indicating the reasons for inclusion of their names in the National NO-Fly List.

c) For passengers indicated in the National No-Fly List, airlines will have option to bar the unruly passenger from taking flights to/form/within India for a period ranging from 03 months to a maximum of two years depending upon level of unruly behavior. For every subsequent offence, the person will be banned for twice the period of previous ban.

d) Provides for two tiers of complaint handling mechanism in such cases, viz. initial inquiry at airlines level by an internal committee headed by a retired Distict & Sessions Judge and an appeal at Govt. headed by Retired Judge of a High Court of India

The Secretary informed that other Airlines as well as International Airlines were free to take cognizance of No Fly List and extend ban to the concerned individual or group of individuals. However individuals in No Fly List identified by security agencies would have no right to appeal.

The Secretary informed the media that after placing the draft on public domain and getting responses and suggestions, the Ministry is confident that the matter would be finalized by the end of June, 2017.

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Expert Panel suggests Corridor - Wise SPVs for developing Dedicated Freight Corridors
May 05,2017

The development of Dedicated Freight Corridors has emerged as one of the key solutions to improving logistics in India. The emphasis here is on connecting centres of economic importance in the most efficient ways using an optimal, multi-modal mix of transport, so that there is consistent and congestion free passage of cargo along key routes. Such efficient transport of cargo will bring about the much needed reduction of logistics cost.

A special session at the India Integrated Transport & Logistics Summit (IITLS) discussed the key issues related to the development of such corridors. The Union Minister of State, Commerce & Industry Smt Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the session that was chaired by NHAI Chairman Shri Yudhvir Singh Malik and co-chaired by Shri. Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, CII National Committee on Infrastructure & PPP and Chairman, Feedback Infra Ltd.

As a means for developing an efficient transport system, the panel discussed themes like adopting corridor approach to road development with considerations for logistics and last mile connectivity , need for comprehensive ecosystem to promote coastal shipping, adopting global models to accelerate development of inland terminals and whether coastal shipping & inland waterways will drive the next wave of logistics cost transformation

India has invested heavily in developing its road network over the last 25 years. India has a network of about 5.25 million km of roads, accounting for about 60% of total freight movement. However, National Highways, the most important links in the Indian road network carrying 40% of total traffic movement, account for just 2% of the total road network. The government has taken steps to improve the national highway network by setting up of six corridors (4 legs of Golden quadrilateral, North-South & East-West corridors). These corridors carry 35% of total road freight.

Additionally, with 14,500 km of navigable inland waterways and a 7,500-km coastline, India has an immense potential for inland and coastal transportation. However, transportation through inland waterways has a share of less than 5% in the total logistics volumes. In comparison, China and EU transport about 45% of shipments through inland waterways. There are cost benefits of transportation through waterways and coastal shipping, with cost of these modes being half of competing modes like road and rail.

Government has taken visible steps to promote coastal shipping and inland waterway transport as viable alternates to road and rail by compensating the costs incurred on first mile and last mile connectivity, for the commodities with potential to be moved through inland waterways or coastal network. Government has also announced measures under the Sagarmala program for port-led development of coastal areas to enable multi modal transportation. Further steps like dedicated infrastructure to ensure priority berthing, port tariff rationalization to align rates for major and non-major ports etc. are required to make the value proposition of logistics movement through inland waterways and sea attractive for logistics players.

In his presentation Mr Jose Luis Irigoyen, Senior Director, World Bank Transport & ICT Group emphasized on physical planning, adequate institutions and governance, and apt policy instruments as key enablers for development and management of economic corridors. He also highlighted areas in the corridor development program where World Bank could add value. Shri . Anil Devli CEO, INSA talked about the need to enhance the share of waterways in transport of cargo . Mr. H.F.W. de Leijer Partner, STC NESTRA, Netherlands presented a theoretical framework for the development of economic corridors and showcased the role of inland ports. He also discussed the concept of bundling cargo and presented about internationally adopted best practices.

The panel discussion that followed flagged the importance of administrative and procedural interventions. Members also discussed the constraints and challenges before the railways and ports sectors. The panel talked about several institutional frameworks for the execution of corridor development and among other suggestions, a corridor-wise SPV was discussed.

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Multimodal Logistics Parks: Way Forward for Reducing Logistics Cost
May 05,2017

Multi Modal Logistics Parks are the way forward for reducing logistics costs in India, and the Government needs to focus on putting in place the right regulatory and institutional support for building the same. A panel of experts discussed the issue at the India Integrated Transport & Logistics Summit at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi yesterday. Developing a network of multimodal logistics parks (MMLPs) to act as logistics hubs will address the issues of unfavorable modal mix, inefficient fleet mix and an underdeveloped material handling infrastructure. Logistics parks are expected to help transition from the current situation of point-to-point freight movement to an ideal situation of hub and spoke model freight movement.The large-scale investment required for developing logistics parks and the need to leverage industry best practices make the PPP model the most viable option. The involvement of a private player will enable access to state-of-the-art technologies available with the private sector and help in achieving efficient delivery of quality operational and maintenance services. Availability of long tenured loans, assistance in land acquisition and quality of trunk infrastructure are some of the other reasons which make the participation of the government critical in the development of logistics parks.

Addressing the session the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shri Jayant Sinha highlighted that both time and cost of logistics need to be considered while planning for efficient logistics. He gave international examples of multimodal integration and talked about developing Guwahati into an efficient multi-modal logistics hub. Shri. Mohammed Jamshed, Member (Traffic), Railway Board also addressed the session and presentations were made by Mr. Robert Brekelmans, Chief Executive Officer, Transforium Company Support and Shri Prakash Tulsiani, Chief Operating Officer, All Cargo Logistics Limited.

The panel discussed issues like success stories of MMLPs in developed economies , Changing economic landscape and the need for MMLP, Impediments for multimodal logistics movement in India changes needed in Multimodal Transportation Act and the need for coordinated action

Multi Modal Logistics Parks are expected to bring down logistics costs by serving four functionalities - Freight aggregation and distribution, Multi Modal freight transportation, Storage and Warehousing with modern, mechanized warehousing space satisfying the special requirements of different commodity groups and value added services: such as customs clearance with bonded storage yards, warehousing management services, etc.

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Unified Urban Transport Body and Private Participation in Public Transport Could Help Promote Seamless Urban Mobility
May 05,2017

A panel of experts at the India Integrated Transport & Logistics Summit deliberated on ways and means to make urban transportation faster and more efficient. Growing urbanization has increased the need for efficient and seamless public transport systems. Development of public mass transport systems has picked up recently, with a proposal to build a metro rail system in every city with a population of more than 2 million. Multiple trial runs for BRTS system have also been conducted, with varying degrees of success, to improve the intra city transportation infrastructure. Developments in inter-city rail connectivity are also on the anvil. There is a pressing need to address issues of congestion, especially in view of the growing movement of consumer goods and to deploy new age technologies & practices to improve traffic movement and road safety.

The discussion focused on urban transport policy and role of public-private partnership in improving the same. Strengths and limitations of public and private participants in urban transit was also discussed. Currently, most common PPP model worldwide is government investing in infrastructure and private participants managing operations and maintenance activities. However, most panelists agreed that public transport which requires large investment would also benefit from private participation in infrastructure investment. There is also a need to adopt innovative models like land monetization and advertisement to enhance viability of public transport.

Experts suggested that a unified urban transport body on the lines of Transport for London or the newly founded Riyadh authority can enable integrated and coordinated network and can have huge impact towards seamless urban mobility.

The role of technology in enabling a seamless connectivity and enhancing public transport use was also discussed.

Dr Ekroop Caur ,MD, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) highlighted the key initiatives, like network optimization,taken up by her organization in providing adequate transportation in Bangalore. She also highlighted the importance of integrated planning in providing adequate connectivity to commuters.

Shri. Mukund Sinha OSD, Ministry of Urban Development talked about the funding mechanisms in place for public transportation by Government of India and highlighted the importance of transit oriented development.

Shri.M. Ramshekhar, MD, DIMTS talked about the future of mobility and Shri. Shashi Verma ,CTO and Director of Customer Experience, Transport for London highlighted the importance of an integrated authority in providing seamless urban mobility. He also highlighted the measures taken by TFL in enabling safer and greener urban freight mobility.

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Ind-Ra: Volatile Coking Coal Prices May Put Pressure on Steel Sector Spreads
May 05,2017

The volatility in input cost, mainly coking coal prices is likely to keep the steel sector spreads (difference between price and raw material cost) under pressure in FY18, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The price of coking coal, a key raw material restarted its up move in April 2017, after softening from the elevated levels of November 2016. Ind-Ra believes the recent surge in prices is temporary and it may soften in the near term, however its unlikely to correct significantly in FY18.

Ind-Ra had highlighted in the report FY18 Steel Outlook: Increased Government Spending will be the Key that the softening of input cost would be a key determinant for the steel sectors profitability. However, price of coking coal has surged by 100% to around USD310/t in April 2017 mom. Ind-Ra believes this may not be fully passed on and could impact profitability in 2QFY18, as for domestic steel producers it takes around two to three months from order to consumption. The sudden surge in coking coal prices in April 2017, is on account of the disruption in exports from Australia a major exporter of coal, due to a cyclone which damaged railway lines connecting mines. Ind-Ra believes that the current situation in Australia is temporary and once the supply situation eases, regular coking coal prices will correct from the current peak, however it may not decline to the lows of USD75/t witnessed in January 2016. However, if coking coal prices remain high without the commensurate opportunity for the players to pass on the increased cost during FY18, the profitability could be severely impacted.

Input prices were volatile even in FY17, with coking coal prices surging 310% between January 2016-November 2016 to USD308/t and thereafter correcting to around USD150/t in March 2017. Despite a correction of around 50%, it remained significantly higher than the low of around USD75/t in January 2016. The exponential surge in input cost can led to a decline in spreads between realisation and raw material prices by around USD40/t-USD50/t in 4QFY17, since the increase in cost could not be fully passed on to the end consumer due to the oversupply situation. The likely impact of the exponential surge in coking coal price in 3QFY17 would have been felt in 4QFY17.

The surge in raw material prices have pushed both international and domestic finished steel prices close to the limits imposed by anti-dumping duty which has now been recommended by Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties for five years at marginally higher rates, pending the final notification. The sustained high prices in finished steel in response to the increase in input cost can make the protection infructuous, as the domestic steel sector will open up for international competition and will have a fallout on the profitability of domestic players.

Ind-Ra believes that companies producing a higher proportion of steel through the blast furnace route with a dependence on imported coking coal will be hurt more than players with access to domestic sources of coking coal or those producing steel through the direct-reduced iron route.

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eVIN Project of Health Ministry becomes global best practise in immunisation
May 05,2017

Members of a five country international delegation called on Shri C K Mishra, Secretary Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. They interacted with the Health Secretary to learn more about the global best practice of eVIN (electronic vaccine intelligence network) project of the Health Ministry and to understand how it is being implemented in the country and the ways in which it be replicated in their own countries.

Shri Mishra said that the Ministry is ready to provide support and collaborate with other countries to strengthen their capacities and scale up their programs. He also stated that this is a big boost for the Digital India and Make in India initiatives of the Government. This sets a benchmark in the field of immunisation, he said. The delegation shared the experience from their countries of the immunisation projects, and expressed the shared view that the India visit shall enrich them to strengthen their own country programs.

Stating that India has a lot to share in terms of best practices and new learning, Mr. Jaco Cilliers, Country Director, UNDP stated that such visits provide an opportunity to other countries to learn from these best practices of India in the field of immunisation and strengthen their own programs.

Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Addl. Country Director, UNDP stated that while the country is working towards enhancing the coverage of immunisation, quality of vaccines through maintenance of the right temperature is also a critical component to for the quality and efficacy of the vaccines. eVIN is a step towards ensuring that, he stated.

eVIN (Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network) is an indigenously developed technology system in India that digitizes vaccine stocks and monitors the temperature of the cold chain through a smartphone application. The innovative eVIN is presently being implemented called across twelve states in India. eVIN aims to support the Government of Indias Universal Immunization Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows, and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states. The technological innovation is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

eVIN aims to strengthen the evidence base for improved policy-making in vaccine delivery, procurement and planning for new antigens in India. eVIN provides an integrated solution to address widespread inequities in vaccine coverage by supporting state governments in overcoming constraints of infrastructure, monitoring and management information systems and human resources, often resulting in overstocking and stock-outs of vaccines in storage centres.

The integrated solution combines:

n++Technology: to facilitate evidence-based decision-making by making available online real-time information on vaccine stocks and storage temperature through the eVIN application software and temperature loggers;

n++Governance: to ensure efficient vaccine logistics management by systemizing record keeping through standardizing stock and distribution registers; identifying gaps and improving clarity on vaccine cold chain network; drawing attention to infrastructure upgrades; developing standard operating procedures; and encouraging good practices;

n++Human Resources: to empower the state cold chain network by building the capacities of government cold chain handlers; and deploying vaccine and cold chain managers in every district for constant support to estimate vaccine requirements, supervise cold chain handlers and coordinate with cold chain technicians across the district.

eVIN empowers the cold chain handlers by building technical capacities and providing a robust decision-making tool for cold chain managers through a complete overview of vaccine replenishment times, supply and consumption patterns.

By streamlining the vaccine flow network, eVIN is a powerful contribution to strengthening health systems and ensures equity through easy and timely availability of vaccines to all children.

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Eight States Assemblies pass the State GST Act within a short span of less than one month
May 05,2017

Eight States have passed the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) Act in their respective State Assembly in less than a months time. The Legislative Assembly of Telangana State passed the State GST Act on 9th April, 2017, that of Bihar State passed it on 24th April, 2017, Rajasthan Assembly on 26th April, 2017, that of Jharkhand on 27th April, 2017, Chhattisgarh Assembly on 28th April, 2017, that of Uttarakhand on 2nd May, 2017, Madhya Pradesh Assembly on 3rd May, 2017 while the Assembly of State of Haryana passed the State GST Bill today i.e. 4th May, 2017.

Earlier the GST Council had approved the model State GST (SGST) Bill in its 12th Meeting held on 16th March, 2017. The remaining States/UTs (having Legislative Assembly) are likely to pass the State GST Bill in their respective Assemblies before the end of this month, except one or two States which may pass the same in early next month.

The next GST Council meeting is scheduled to be held at Srinagar, J&K on 18th and 19th May, 2017. The Central Government has already informed that GST will be rolled-out from 1st July, 2017. The quick passage of the State GST Act by the different State Assemblies in a time bound manner shows the keenness on the part of the State Governments to ensure that implementation of the GST in letter and spirit is not further delayed and takes place from 1st July, 2017 as targeted by the Central Government. The officers of the Department of Revenue, Government of India led by the Revenue Secretary, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia and the concerned officials of the State Governments have already started the outreach programme in order to create general awareness among the people at large and stakeholders in particular and remove their doubts, if any, about the various provisions of GST and its related legislations.

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Air Cargo To Grow at 9 per cent in Next Few Years
May 05,2017

The Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the country has seen significant growth in domestic air traffic and infrastructure development. He said that his Ministry is taking steps to make air transport affordable to the common man through the Regional Connectivity Scheme. He also said that air cargo which is likely to grow 9% in a next few years and hence logistic parks will help that growth.

The Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, Shri R.N. Choubey informed that air cargo globally and domestically constituted just 1% in terms of volume, but almost 25% in terms of value as air cargo was mostly valuable, perishable and time sensitive. He said that a Common Framework would be created in a years time for air cargo so that freight operators, airlines, security as well addressees come within one system. This will bring efficiency in handling air cargo. The Secretary also informed that Common User Cargo Terminals would be created at 17 airports. He also said that the free period for air cargo had been brought down from 72 to 48 hours to ensure faster movement out of terminals. He said that Civil Aviation would be a great beneficiary of all the steps taken to improve transport and logistics in the country and therefore had great expectations from the Summit.

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MoAs signed for first wind auction Scheme ; Another wind auction Scheme for 1000 MW announced
May 04,2017

The Memorandum of Agreements (MoAs) for purchase of 1000 MW wind power under MNREs first wind auction Scheme were signed here today between PTC India, the trading company, and Discoms of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Delhi, Odisha and Assam. The signing ceremony took place during the two days Conference of Power, New & Renewable Energy & Mines Ministers of States and UTs.

As per MoAs the Discoms of UP to buy 449.9 MW, Bihar- 200 MW, Jharkhand - 200 MW, Delhi - 100 MW, Assam - 50 MW and Odisha - 50MW of wind power for meeting their non-solar RPO.

The Letter of Award (LoA) to the successful wind power developers under the first wind auction scheme have been issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on 5 April 2017 and the projects are to be commissioned within 18 months from the date of issue of LoA.

This was the first time such auction process was done in the country for wind power through e-reverse auction and its success can be seen from the fact that a record low tariffs of Rs. 3.46 per kWh was obtained.

With the success of first wind auction scheme, MNRE today launched Scheme for another round of wind auction for 1000 MW capacity wind power projects.

The Scheme is open for all obligated entities purchasing wind power for compliance of their non-solar RPO. The differentiation between windy and non-windy States has been done away with. The SECI will sign Power Purchase Agreements with selected wind developers and back-to-back Power Sale Agreements with buying utilities.

Further, provision of 10% additional capacity for Central Public Sector Entities (CPSEs) has been kept under the Scheme without participation in the bidding, however, they have to supply wind power at lowest discovered tariff through bidding process.

Background

Ministry sanctioned a Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW ISTS connected Wind Power Project on 14 June 2016 with the objective to encourage competitiveness through scaling up of project sizes and introduction of efficient and transparent e-bidding and e-auctioning processes.

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Slower rises in services activity, new business and employment in April 2017: Nikkei India Services PMI
May 04,2017

Indian service sector activity continued to expand during April, supported by ongoing growth of new work, and companies hired additional staff over the month. However, in all three cases, the rates of increase weakened. On the price front, average input cost inflation slowed from Marchs nine-month high amid reports of lower fuel prices partly offsetting higher transport costs arising from lorry strikes. Conversely, the rate of charge inflation accelerated.

The headline seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services PMI Business Activity Index was down from 51.5 in March to 50.2 in April. Expansion has now been registered for three successive months, but the latest reading was the lowest in this period. Companies linked the upturn in activity to higher new business, though challenging market conditions hampered growth.

With the strength of the upturn in manufacturing production also losing pace, growth of private sector activity softened since March. The seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index was down from 52.3 to 51.3 in April, and therefore signalled only a slight rate of expansion.

Advertising campaigns reportedly supported the increase in services new work. There was, however, evidence that growth was stymied by competitive pressures. The rate of expansion in new business was only marginal overall, having softened from that registered in March. In contrast, order books at goods producers rose to the greatest extent in six months.

Services companies also signalled positive predictions for future output growth. Nonetheless, optimism fell slightly, with around 18% of survey participants anticipating lower activity in the year ahead compared with 21% that foresee expansion. There were reports that new proposals, additional marketing campaigns and new offerings would aid the upturn in activity, while concerns towards the increasingly competitive environment weighed on confidence. Sentiment among manufacturers improved to a five-month high.

Indian service providers responded to the sustained rise in new business by recruiting additional workers. Nevertheless, as was the case for output and new orders, the rate of job creation eased and was below the long-run survey average. Similarly, manufacturing employment increased at a softer pace.

Meanwhile, backlogs of work at services firms increased slightly in April, extending the current period of accumulation to 11 months. Once again, the rise in outstanding business was linked by panellists to pending client payments. By comparison, work-in-hand at manufacturers expanded at the slowest rate in the current 11-month sequence of accumulation.

Indian service providers indicated that lorry strikes meant that prices paid for transportation and vegetables increased in April. That said, the overall rate of inflation eased since March. This reportedly occurred due to lower fuel bills curbing the intensity to which costs rose. Purchasing prices facing goods producers increased at a faster rate, but one that was mild in the context of historical data.

Service providers raised their own output charges (on average) in April. Selling prices have now increased for three months in a row. The rate of inflation remained slight and below its long-run average, despite accelerating since March. Factory gate charges also rose, but inflation was at a three-month low.

Commenting on the Indian Services PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, economist at IHS Markit, and author of the report, said: April PMI data for the Indian service sector show how jittery the current economic environment is, igniting concerns among some businesses, despite remaining in growth territory. Slower and only marginal increases in new work and activity were seen, with these indicators close to the stagnation mark. Firms were cautiously optimistic towards future performance, and have been so for a while. The latest results indicate that the road to recovery from the notes ban is still bumpy and is a reminder that the sector is not out of the woods yet.

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IBBI constitutes Technical Committee to lay down Technical Standards for performance of core services and other services under IBBI Regulations 2017
May 04,2017

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has constituted a Technical Committee in accordance with Regulation 14 of the IBBI (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017.

The Committee shall give its recommendation for laying down Technical Standards for the performance of core services and other services under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017 and specifically on the following matters, namely:

(a) the Application Programming Interface;

(b) standard terms of service;

(c) registration of users;

(d) unique identifier for each record and each user;

(e) submission of information;

(f) identification and verification of persons;

(g) authentication of information;

(h) verification of information;

(i) data integrity;

(j) consent framework for providing access to information to third parties;

(k) security of the system;

(l) security of information;

(m) risk management framework;

(n) porting of information;

(o) exchange or transfer of information between information utilities;

(p) inter-operability among information utilities;

(q) preservation of information; and

(r) purging of information.

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