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PHO Commences Functioning in New Mangalore Port Trust
Aug 10,2016

As a part of ease of doing business, a full-fledged PHO office started functioning at New Mangalore Port Trust from 8-8-2016. With the persuasion of NMPT, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has sanctioned the above office inside the Port. With the establishment of this office, the port is in a position to give clearance to all foreign going vessels smoothly. This will also help the embarkation/disembarkation of cruise tourists at the port, thereby encouraging cruise tourism in Mangalore.

The Port Health Officer and supporting staff has been provided by the PHO, Cochin which was established to ensure prevention of entry of Quarantinable diseases (Diseases subjected to International Health Regulations) into the country under Indian Port Health Rules 1955. PHO, is designated for issue of Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate, Ship Sanitation Control Certificate and Ship Sanitation Extension Certificate to Ships.

The Port Chairman has expressed thanks to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for extending this facility to NMPT which will immensely benefit the shipping fraternity.

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NHAI Signs MOU with IIT- Kharagpur for Research Project on Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements for Highways
Aug 10,2016

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IIT-Kharagpur for research project on Laboratory and Field investigations on Paneled Cement Concrete Pavements for Highways. The duration of the research project is 3 years and NHAI have paid Rs. 1.25 crore for the project, excluding cost of construction of trial pavement section on NH.

In India, the highways are generally paved with Bituminous (Asphaltic Concrete) material produced from refineries. However, it has been experienced that these highways are prone to damage and need frequent maintenance due to adverse climatic conditions such as rain and hot weather prevailing in the country. Therefore, to overcome this problem, the Government of India has recently announced a policy for the construction of concrete pavements for all major highways due to their longevity and maintenance free life.

Traditionally and as per the current practices, the construction of these highways requires a monolithic (in-situ) layer of cement concrete normally 300 mm thick laid continuously over the prepared surface, therefore, an innovation is required to optimize the design of concrete pavement in its traditional form which can facilitate faster construction at much cheaper cost, thus, consuming less natural resources and promote Green Highways in the country. Any saving in design and construction with the help of new technology will not only entail huge investment but also save consumption of substantial quantity of natural resources used for production of cement and stone aggregates.

NHAI in collaboration with IIT Kharagpur shall promote to develop a technology to construct Panelled Cement Concrete (Pre-fabricated in a small panel size) which can replace the design of construction of existing cement concrete road.

The Paneled concrete pavement laid on a lean concrete base can fulfil the Government of Indias dream of providing long lasting maintenance free pavement at a cost on par with those of asphalt pavements. Such pavements laid at a few places in India have given good service when used as an overlay over a bituminous layer commonly termed as White Topping (WT) but an extensive study is required to formulate the design practices for its use in wider perspective.

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Indirect Tax Collections up to July, 2016 indicate net revenue collections of Rs.2,71,719 crore
Aug 10,2016

The figures for indirect tax revenue (provisional) collections upto July, 2016 show that the net revenue collections are at Rs. 2,71,719 crore as compared to Rs. 2,09,217 crore for the corresponding period last year and thereby registering a growth of 29.9% in the net collections.

Till July, 2016, 34.9 % of the Budget Estimates of indirect taxes for FY 2016-17 has been achieved.

Tax collections on account of Central Excise stood at Rs. 31,782 crore in month of July 2016 as compared to Rs. 20,658 crore during the same period in last year (July 2015) and there by registering a growth of 53.8% in this period.Total collections on account of Central Excise during the first four months of current FY 2016-17(April 2016-July 2016) stood at Rs.1,23,273 crore as compared to Rs. 81,748 crore during the same period in last Financial Year and thereby registering the growth of 50.8%.

Tax collections on account of Service Tax stood at Rs. 19,600 crore in month of July 2016 as compared to Rs. 15,685 crore during the same period in last year (July 2015) and there by registering a growth of 25% in this period. Total collections on account of Service Tax during the first four months of current FY 2016-17(April 2016-July 2016) stood at Rs.7,66,79 crore as compared to Rs. 60,974 crore during the same period in last Financial Year and thereby registering the growth of 25.8%.

Tax collections on account of Customs stood at Rs. 16,959 crore in month of July 2016 as compared to Rs. 19,045 crore during the same period in last year (July 2015) and showing a decline of 11% in this period. Total collections on account of Customs during the first four months of current FY 2016-17 (April 2016-July 2016) stood at Rs. 71,767 crore as compared to Rs. 66,495 crore during the same period in last Financial Year and thereby registering the growth of 7.9%.

Full details of Indirect Tax revenue (provisional) collections, along with growth rate compared to the corresponding period in the previous year are as given below in the tabulated form:

For the month July 2016

(Rs. in crores)

Tax HeadFor JulyUpto July% of BE achievementB.E.
2016-17
2015-162016-17% Growth2015-162016-17% GrowthCustoms2300001904516959(-) 1166495717677.931.2Central Excise*317000206583178253.88174812327350.838.9Service Tax231000156851960025.0609747667925.833.2Total778000553886834123.420921727171929.934.9

*Exclusive of cess administered by other departments.

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Direct Tax Collections upto July, 2016 indicate net revenue collections of Rs.1.59 lakh crore
Aug 10,2016

The figures for direct tax collections upto July, 2016 show that net revenue collections are at Rs.1.59 lakh crore which is 24.01% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. Till July, 2016, 18.82%of the Budget Estimates of direct taxes for FY 2016-17 has been achieved.

As regards the growth rates for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT), in terms of gross revenue collections, the growth rate under CIT is 11.65% while that under PIT (including STT etc.) is 31.47%. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in CIT collections is 2.84% while that in PIT collections is 46.55%. Refunds amounting to Rs.64,181 crore have been issued during April-July, 2016, which is 10.43% higher than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last year.

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India to have 13.5% share in global smart market by 2019: ASSOCHAM-KPMG study
Aug 10,2016

Thanks to digital revolution riding on the aggressively priced mobile data packages, India is expected to have a total number of 180 million smart phones by 2019 claiming 13.5 per cent of total global smart phone markets from 7.6 per cent at present, according to an ASSOCHAM-KPMG joint study.

Indias fastest growing market for mobile handsets globally contributed nearly 7.6 per cent to the global smartphone market in 2015 and is expected to touch 13.5 per cent by 2019 with increasing popularity of smartphones, better availability of data services etc.

With the advent of affordable smartphones (INR3,000 - INR10,000) designed for the Indian user from indigenous manufacturers, as well as increasingly low-cost data connectivity options, more people are shifting to smartphones and mobile Internet.

Out of a total handset sale of 30 crore units in FY15, smartphones contributed 11.40 crore units, i.e., 38 per cent. This contribution is projected to grow to above 50 per cent by 2020. Boost in smartphone penetration is expected to cater to m-enablement of a variety of services such as mobile banking, e-commerce, mobile health, e-agriculture and services to small and medium scale businesses.

With the urban penetration levels reaching saturation, the industry is looking at rural India for continued growth. As of February 2016, teledensity in urban areas was 153.93 vis-n++vis 50.76 for rural India. Rural mobile phone subscriptions are already on the upswing. Nearly 38 per cent of rural population used mobile phones as of May 2015, up from 22 per cent in 2010.

Another key contributor to this growth is the decreasing price of feature phones as well as smartphones. The industry expects to leverage on the rural demand and assist the government in realising the digital dream.

The growth of Indian handset manufacturing companies has been nothing less than miraculous over the last five years. India manufactured 11 crore mobile phones worth INR 54,000 crore in FY16, showing a year-on-year growth of 83 per cent and 186 per cent, in volume and value terms, respectively. With the ability to provide feature rich yet affordable handsets, domestic manufacturers share of the handset market is slated to grow further. This will be further enhanced by the increased penetration of telecom services in rural India.

India is the fastest growing market for mobile handsets globally, growing at a CAGR of nearly 14 per cent in the last four years from 2011 to 2015. Additionally it contributed nearly 7.6 per cent to the global smartphone market in 2015 and is expected to touch 13.5 per cent by 2019. With increasing popularity of smartphones and better availability of data services, the landscape of the Indian mobile handset industry has witnessed a paradigm shift, adds the joint study.

Out of 235.60 million handsets shipped in 2015, 40 per cent were smartphones and are projected to constitute 60 per cent of total mobile handset sales by 2020. The smartphone shipments in India grew a healthy 23 per cent annually in Q1 2016 compared to the global growth, which stalled for the first time ever since smartphones first began to sell. The average selling price (ASP) of a smartphone was INR 12,285 in 2015 - a 25 per cent y-o-y increase.

Increase in Smartphone sales has changed the face of e-commerce industry in India in the last two years. Mobile transactions accounted for 41 per cent of total e-commerce sales in 2014. Developing a mobile (sometimes mobile only) strategy has been an important agenda for many of the leading e-commerce players in the country over the last two to three years.

Indias mobile handset industry is a key enabler for the governments Digital India initiative, launched in July 2015 to work together on a common agenda to transform the country into a digitally powered society and economy. Several international device vendors have set up manufacturing facilities in India, supporting the governments Make in India initiative aimed at boosting local manufacturing.

The mobile handset sector is a key component in the overall telecom ecosystem and a key driver of the digital revolution in the country. Along with immense growth opportunities, the sector also seeks support from policymakers to address following challenges that it currently faces.

India is the second largest mobile market with over a billion subscribers at the end of Feb 2016, with 608.4 million urban subscribers and 443.5 million rural subscribers. There is a huge potential to grow in the rural sector where tele-density is still quite low at 50.76 as compared to urban tele-density at 153.93.03. While the mobile subscriber base is still growing by under one per cent on a monthly basis, the number of landlines is gradually decreasing. Overall telecom density increased to 82.9 per cent by the end of Feb16.

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Centre Allocated Rs. 675.86 crore for Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure in 2015-16
Aug 09,2016

The Government is implementing capital investment subsidy sub-scheme Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) scheme [the erstwhile two schemes viz. (i) Grameen Bhandaran Yojna (GBY), also known as Rural Godown Scheme; and (ii) Scheme for Strengthening/Development of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure, Grading & Standardization (AMIGS) have been subsumed into one scheme known as Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) on 01.04.2014]. Under the scheme, capital investment subsidy @ 25% of the capital cost for general category beneficiary and @33.33% for special category beneficiary is provided for construction/creation of scientific godowns and other marketing infrastructure in the country. However, the assistance for renovation is restricted to storage infrastructure projects of cooperatives only. Currently, AMI scheme is temporarily stopped w.e.f. 05.08.2014 for general category promoters due to exhaustion of funds. However, the scheme is open for SC/ST promoters and for promoters in North-Eastern Region.

There is no State-wise allocation of funds under the scheme. The releases of funds are made to the States as per sanction of projects under the scheme in the particular state.

The details of the funds earmarked, allocated by the Government and utilized under the scheme during the last three years, is as below:

(Rs. In crore)

YearName of the SchemeAllocation of funds

 

Utilization / Release of Funds 2013-14GBY344.16344.102014-15AMI926.71878.182015-16AMI675.86518.81

Under AMI scheme (storage component) (erstwhile GBY), up to 30.06.2016, a total of 37371 godown projects have been sanctioned for renovation/ construction throughout the country. The State-wise details are given below.

Further, under Private Entrepreneur Guarantee (PEG) Scheme, storage capacity of 134.83 lakh MT has been constructed.  

State-wise Godown projects Sanctioned for renovation/ construction under Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (Storage component) (erstwhile GBY) as on 30.06.2016 (Cumulative)  

Sl. No.State/U.T.No. of Projects Storage Capacity (in MT)1

Andhra Pradesh

12965156248.382

Arunachal Pradesh

1945.003

Assam

266724805.984

Bihar

990487187.395

Chhattisgarh

5811973538.476

Goa

1299.007

Gujarat

113464215750.278

Haryana

21387562826.969

Himachal Pradesh

7824797.6110

Jammu & Kashmir

1055648.0011

Jharkhand

23142316.0012

Karnataka

42283552873.3713

Kerala

20690006.5614

Madhya Pradesh

36179572573.5415

Maharashtra

33535791410.7516

Meghalaya

1621011.7617

Mizoram

1302.0018

Nagaland

1813.5719

Orissa

419781575.2420

Punjab

17336683489.1021

Rajasthan    

14182554768.2922

Tamil Nadu

10841260841.3423

Uttar Pradesh

11225243684.5824

Uttarakhand

278752792.5925

West Bengal

24801394532.5126

Tripura

4

Joint Venture agreement between Tesla and Indian Automobile Companies
Aug 09,2016

To encourage alternate pollution free transport in the country, Department of Heavy Industry has formulated FAME - India Scheme [Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India] having thrust on hybrid and electric vehicles to become the first choice for the purchasers so that these vehicles can replace the conventional vehicles and thus reduce fossil fuel consumption in the country from the automobile sector. The Government is offering incentive in the form of upfront reduction of price to the consumer who buys electric/hybrid vehicles under this scheme, which is specified in the Gazette Notification S.O. 830 (E) dated 13th March, 2015.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has also issued following notifications to encourage alternate pollution free transport in the country, which are available in the website of MoRTH:-

(i) GSR 682(E) dated 12/07/2016 regarding mass emission standard for flex-fuel (E 85) or (E 100) and ethanol (ED 95) vehicles.

(ii) G.S.R. 412(E) dated 11/04/2016 regarding Biodiesel.

(iii) G.S.R. 629(E) dated 24/06/2016 regarding retro-fitment of Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Automobile Industry was delicensed in July 1991 with the announcement of the New Industrial Policy. The passenger car was however delicensed in 1993. The norms for foreign investment and import of technology have also been progressively liberalized over the years for vehicles manufacturer including passenger cars in order to make this sector globally competitive.

Therefore the Department of Heavy Industry, Government of India is, at present, not aware of any such joint venture agreement between Tesla, the US based electric car manufacturing company and Indian automobile companies.

The Government has not made any such offer formally.

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The term fast food is not defined under Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder
Aug 09,2016

As per information provided by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the term fast food is not defined under Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations made thereunder.

The implementation and enforcement of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 primarily rests with State/UT Governments. Random Samples of food items are being drawn by the State Food Safety Officers and sent to the laboratories recognised by FSSAI for analysis. In cases where the samples are found to be not conforming to the provisions of the FSS Act, 2006 and the Rules and Regulations made thereunder, recourse is taken to the provisions for penal action against the offenders under Chapter IX of the FSS Act

FSSAI is operating food import clearance facilities at six locations viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Cochin and Tuticorin. The imported food consignments referred to FSSAI for clearance by the Custom Authorities are subjected to inspection and sampling by Authorised Officers of FSSAI. The samples so collected are subjected to testing at notified food laboratories as per the parameters laid down in the various FSS Regulations, 2011 for safety aspects. Based on the laboratory reports, NOC (No Objection Certificate) or NCC (Non Conformance Certificate) is issued for the consignments.

The materials imported for the preparation of products sold under Fast Food Business include:

a) Food ingredients: Paste, puree, sauces, spices, seasoning mixes, pasta, noodles, vegetable extract powders, batter mix, edible oils and fats, frozen vegetables, etc.

b) Food Additives: Emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickening agents, flavours, humectants, leavening agents, colours, preservatives, antifoaming agents, sequestering agents and buffering agents, etc.

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FMD Mukt Bharat in next few years
Aug 09,2016

Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD) is one of the most economically devastating contagious viral animal diseases affecting all susceptible cloven-footed animals. As per the estimates by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), direct loss due to milk and meat is to the tune of RS. 20,000 crores per annum. It can be much more if indirect losses due to reduced work capacity; abortions, subsequent infertility and sterility (that account for the reduced milk production subsequently) are taken into account.

In order to prevent economic losses due to Foot and Mouth Disease, a location specific programme called Foot and Mouth Disease Control Programme (FMD-CP) is under implementation since 10th Plan Period. Gradually FMD-CP was expanded during 11th & 12th Plan Period. Thus, as of now, it covers 351 Districts in 13 States and 6 UTs i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Rajasthan, Bihar, Puducherry, Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar, Dadar & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep. The scope of the programme will be extended to cover remaining States in a phased manner so as to have geographically contiguous areas to yield desired results for the creation of FMD Free Zones depending upon availability of resources. With robust implementation of FMD-CP in the States, disease occurrence has drastically been reduced particularly in FMD-CP States e.g. 879 FMD outbreaks were reported in 2012 throughout the country which have been reduced to 109 in 2015.

Looking at the economic importance of the control disease, the Department has conceived FMD Mukt Bharat in next few years. However, 16 States and one UT are yet to be covered under intensive FMD vaccination at six monthly intervals. Therefore, it has now been decided to take up FMD vaccination in these States under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during 2016-17.

Initially Rs. 100.00 crore has been allotted for FMD control under RKVY for these 16 States and one UT i.e. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, West Bengal and UT of Chandigarh. State-wise allocation has already been informed to respective State Governments and States have been requested to undertake FMD vaccination by availing the assistance under RKVY.

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RBI keeps policy rates unchanged
Aug 09,2016

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, it has been decided to:

n++keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.5 per cent;

n++keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL); and

n++continue to provide liquidity as required but progressively lower the average ex ante liquidity deficit in the system from one per cent of NDTL to a position closer to neutrality.

Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 6.0 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 7.0 per cent.

The RBI stated, that risks to the inflation target of 5 per cent for March 2017 continue to be on the upside. Furthermore, while the direct statistical effect of house rent allowances under the 7th CPCs award may be looked through, its impact on inflation expectations will have to be carefully monitored so as to pre-empt a generalisation of inflation pressures. In terms of immediate outcomes, much will depend on the benign effects of the monsoon on food prices.

In view of this configuration of risks, it is appropriate for the Reserve Bank to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at this juncture, while awaiting space for policy action. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative and will continue to emphasise the adequate provision of liquidity. Easy liquidity conditions are already prompting banks to modestly transmit past policy rate cuts through their MCLRs and pro-active liquidity management should facilitate more pass-through.

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RBI maintains status quo on policy rates
Aug 09,2016

In its third bi-monthly monetary policy review, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained status quo on key policy rates. The policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) is kept unchanged at 6.5%, while the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks is also left unchanged at 4.0% of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL).

As per the RBI, since the second bi-monthly statement of June 2016, several developments have clouded the outlook for the global economy. World trade remains sluggish in the first half of 2016. Yields on government bonds have fallen further and the universe of negative yielding assets is expanding at a fast pace, reflecting high risk aversion and expectations of further monetary accommodation by systemic central banks. Crude prices, which had risen to an intra-year high in May on supply disruptions, remain volatile. Other commodity prices, barring those of precious metals, remain soft due to weak demand.

On the domestic front, RBI believes that several factors are helping to support the recovery. After a delayed onset, the south west monsoon picked up vigorously from the third week of June. Industrial production picked up in May on the back of manufacturing and mining, following a contraction in the preceding month. There are some signs of green shoots in manufacturing, with purchasing managers and the Reserve Banks industrial outlook survey indicating a pick-up in new orders, both domestic and external. Business confidence is also looking up in recent months, though the Reserve Banks survey for March 2016 suggests that capacity utilization, seasonally adjusted, is still weak.

Service sector purchasing managers polled the thirteenth successive month of expansion in July on the basis of a sharp acceleration in new business. Business expectations remained optimistic on better economic conditions and planned increases in marketing budgets.

Retail inflation measured by the headline consumer price index (CPI) rose to a 22-month high in June, with a sharp pick-up in momentum overwhelming favourable base effects.

Liquidity conditions eased significantly during June and July on the back of increased spending by the Government which more than offset the reduction in market liquidity because of higher-than-usual currency demand.

In the external sector, merchandise export growth moved into positive territory in June after eighteen months. Cumulatively, the trade deficit narrowed in Q1 of 2016-17 on a year-on-year basis. Net receipts on account of services remained flat in April-May 2016, with net outflow under communication services and sluggish software earnings. While the pace of foreign direct investment inflows slowed in the first two months of 2016-17, net portfolio flows were stronger after the Brexit vote, notwithstanding considerable volatility characterising these flows. The level of foreign exchange reserves rose to US$ 365.7 billion by 05 August 2016.

Policy Stance and Rationale

On balance, inflation projections as given in the June bi-monthly statement, i.e. of a central trajectory towards 5% by March 2017 with risks tilted to the upside, are retained.

The GVA growth projection for 2016-17 is retained at 7.6%, with risks facing the economy at this juncture evenly balanced around it.

Risks to the inflation target of 5% for March 2017 continue to be on the upside. Te RBI has kept the policy repo rate unchanged at this juncture, while awaiting space for policy action. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative and will continue to emphasise the adequate provision of liquidity. Easy liquidity conditions are already prompting banks to modestly transmit past policy rate cuts through their MCLRs and pro-active liquidity management should facilitate more pass-through.

As regards the management of the imminent FCNR (B) redemptions, the Reserve Bank has been frontloading liquidity provision through open market operations and spot interventions/deliveries of forward purchases. The Reserve Bank will continue with both domestic liquidity operations and foreign exchange interventions that should also enable management of the FCNR (B) redemptions without market disruptions.

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Government decides to Auction Spectrum in September
Aug 09,2016

The Government has decided to allot the right to use certain spectrum for 20 years through Spectrum Auction to be conducted in the Month of September 2016. The Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for Auction of Spectrum has already been uploaded by DOT on its website < www.dot.gov.in > today. A single auction will be conducted in Simultaneous Multiple-Round Ascending (SMRA) format for 7 bands i.e. 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands together. Spectrum put on offer is as follows:S.N

Band (MHz)

Block Size MHz

Spectrum put to auction

Availability in          No of LSA

Total Quantity    (in MHz)1700 5       (Paired)22770.0028001.25  (Paired)1973.7539000.20  (Paired)49.40418000.20  (Paired)21221.40521005      (Paired)22360.006230010    (Unpaired)16320.007250010    (Unpaired)22600.00

2           The total quantity of spectrum put to auction is 2354.55 MHz. This includes 197 MHz of additional spectrum in 1800 MHz band and 37.5 MHz in 800 MHz band released due to harmonization of spectrum in these bands. 

 3           Rates of SUC for the access spectrum held or/and to be acquired through the forthcoming auction by various access service providers in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz& 2500 MHz bands shall be as follows:-

(i)     Spectrum acquired in forthcoming auction in 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 & 2500 MHz band is to be charged at the rate of 3% of AGR excluding the revenue from wire line services.

(ii)   The weighted average of SUC rates across all spectrum assigned to an operator (whether assigned administratively or through auction or through trading) in all access spectrum bands including BWA spectrum obtained in 2010 auction shall be applied for charging SUC subject to a minimum of 3% of AGR excluding revenues from wireline services. The weighted average is to be derived by sum of product of spectrum holdings and applicable SUC rate divided by total spectrum holding. The Weighted Average Rate should be determined operatorwise for each service area.

(iii)The amount of SUC payable by the operators during 2015-16 at weighted average derived after taking into consideration the spectrum acquired in the coming auction and excluding the spectrum in 2300 MHz/2500 MHz band acquired/allocated prior to 2015-16, be treated as the floor amount of the SUC to be paid by the operators. Further, in case there is a reduction in AGR of the service provider, the floor amount of SUC shall be reduced proportionately.

4           The option of making payment either full upfront or through deferred payment option has been retained.

5           In case of deferred payment option, the quantum of upfront payment in case of over 1GHz band i.e. 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz & 2500 MHz has been slightly modified w.r.t. 2015 auction from 33% (NIA 2015) to 50% of the bid amount. However, in case of below 1 GHz band i.e. 700 MHz, 800 MHz & 900 MHz there is no change w.r.t 2015 auction and has been kept same as 25% of bid amount.

6           The spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidder within 30 calendar days from the date of receipt of due payment under both options.

 7           For the successful bidder, the Lock-in period of equity in the company has been reduced to one year instead of earlier stipulation of minimum period of 3 years or completion of roll out obligation, whichever is later.

8           There is no change in the eligibility condition. All existing Access Service providers and the entity that are eligible to acquire Access Service authorisation are eligible to participate in this auction.

9           In case of deferred payment option the same methodology of making part payment as upfront and balance payment in 10 yearly instalments after 2 year of moratorium is retained

10       The interest rate for the deferred payment option has been prescribed at the prevailing SBI base rate of 9.3% (it was 10% in 2015 auction).

11       The method of calculation of spectrum cap w.r.t. previous auction has been modified. The spectrum surrendered has also been included in the calculation of spectrum cap apart from the spectrum put to auction and assigned spectrum. The spectrum cap shall not be reduced in case spectrum is allocated for non-commercial use after auction.

12       The department recognise that in case of mobile system, coverage is to be complemented by capacity augmentation. There are many other steps that had been taken for ease of doing business and speedy roll-out of the network. Such as;

(i)           Submission of self-certification of completion of roll-out obligation to the tune of 90%.

(ii)         The roll-out obligation has been f

Global Market-Based Measures in International Civil Aviation Must Take Care of Interests of Poor, Developing Countries- Environment Minister
Aug 09,2016

India has said that the global market-based measures in international civil aviation sector must follow the principles of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities - Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate, Shri Anil Madhav Dave said that the interests of poor, developing countries should be taken on board in the development of the global market-based measures. Moreover, in view of the universal consensus achieved under the Paris Agreement, all measures to address the greenhouse gases must follow the mandate and framework emanating from it.

Shri Dave was speaking at a meeting with the President of the Council of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, to discuss the global market-based measures in ICAO in the context of emissions from the civil aviation sector. The ICAO President lauded Indias constructive role during CoP-21 at Paris. He also appreciated the ambition displayed in Indias climate actions under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Liberalised visa Policy to Boost Trade
Aug 09,2016

A liberalized visa regime helps in promotion of trade in services in different modes of supply particularly, Mode 2 which includes tourism, medical value travel and education services. The Department of Commerce accordingly advocates for a liberal regime with adequate safeguards and works with Ministry of Home Affairs who deals with the subject. As per Ministry of Home Affairs, rationalization and simplification of the visa regime is a continuous process. A proposal to further liberalize the visa policy is under consideration in Ministry of Home Affairs in consultation with all stakeholders.

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Rs.142.00 Crore Sanctioned for Biogas Programme in 2016-17
Aug 08,2016

An amount of Rs.142.00 crore has been allocated under n++Biogas Programme during the current year 2016-17.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is promoting setting up of biogas plants under three Central Sector Schemes. National Biogas and Manure Management Programme (NBMMP) caters to setting up of family type biogas plants for meeting cooking energy needs of rural and semi-urban areas of the country. A target for setting up of 1,00,000 biogas plants under the NBMMP has been fixed during the current year, 2016-17 and communicated to the States. Biogas Power Generation Programme (Off-grid) is meant for setting up of biogas plants in the size range of 25 to 2000 cubic metre per day for producing biogas for power generation in the range from 3 kw to 250 kw or for thermal applications and Waste to Energy Programme for setting up of large size biogas plants to recover energy from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural wastes/residues..

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