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Moodys Liquidity-Stress Index rises in January; overall credit conditions supportive for spec-grade firms
Feb 06,2017

Moodys Liquidity-Stress Index (LSI) rose in January after nine months of gains that have occurred largely in tandem with the steady easing of strains in the energy sector, the rating agency says in its most recent edition of SGL Monitor Flash. The LSI came in at 6.2% last month, against 5.9% in December and a long-term average of 6.8%.

Moodys Liquidity-Stress Index falls when corporate liquidity appears to improve and rises when it appears to weaken.

The increase in the LSI in January resulted from four downgrades related to 2018 maturities and operational weakness that increased covenant violation risk, said Senior Vice President John Puchalla. More broadly, however, credit conditions remain supportive of speculative-grade companies as a relatively healthy US economy continues to bolster cash flows.

In addition, a steady stream of new speculative-grade issuance has been helping companies across the rating spectrum to address their refinancing and other balance-sheet needs, Puchalla says. High-yield bond issuance totaled a relatively healthy $24 billion last month, against $8 billion a year ago. Leveraged loan issuance was also strong.

Januarys four speculative-grade liquidity (SGL) rating downgrades were notable because they were all outside the energy sector, with companies in the retail/restaurants, chemicals, and paper and forest products sectors impacted. The downgrades were all also to Moodys lowest liquidity rating, SGL-4. While most spec-grade companies have been busy refinancing, a few face maturity-related stresses. Paper & forest products concern Appvion, Inc., for example, was downgraded to SGL-4 due partly to a revolver maturing in June 2018 and weak EBITDA.

Refinancings have continued to fuel upgrades, Moodys says. Energy companies are benefiting from higher oil prices, with exploration and production concern MEG Energy Corp., for instance, seeing an upgrade on the back of better oil prices and a debt refinancing. Chemical company Koppers Holdings Inc.s SGL rating was also raised in January due in part to a refinancing.

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All efforts on for smooth handling of data for transition to GST: Member, CBEC
Feb 06,2017

With the goods and services tax (GST) on the anvil, all state governments are working very closely with central government and all efforts are on to put the elaborate information technology (IT) infrastructure in place for smooth handling of massive amount of data, a top CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs) official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

n++We are on the anvil of introduction of GST, it is going to be a monumental change and a massive task for all the stakeholders - whether it is government, state governments, taxpayers and others,n++ said Mr S. Ramesh, Member (Central Excise, Service Tax and IT), CBEC said at an ASSOCHAM Post-Budget Seminar.

n++This budget has become very concise and has been done only where it was absolutely thought necessary, when this massive change (GST) is due it was in the fitness of things that the changes should be barest at the minimum,n++ said Mr Ramesh.

n++Still there are several changes as far as the rates, legal provisions, procedural aspects of customs, excise and service tax in this budget - impetus to Make in India theme which has been the major thrust area of the government, rationalisation of duty rates, promotion of cashless transactions which is the most important driving force for the present government, dispute resolution and avoidance of litigation and finally implementation of certain government policies and directives,n++ he added.

He said that whatever has been done as far as taxation of individuals and non-tax territory, they are fully within the ambit of present provisions. n++I would also like to say that these have been part of international best practices abroad and it is time that India also adopts such international best practices,n++ he added.

He further said that the government is committed to reduction of disputes which often arise in taxation matters due to various interpretational and other issues.

Mr Abrar Ahmed, Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Delhi said, n++We should diagnose what are the reasons for India being largely a non-tax compliant country, this is not alone the responsibility of the government.n++

He said that government has got limited resources and thus greater co-operation of industry, trade bodies and the public at large is required. n++Government is doing whatever is possible, so psychology has to be changed because we are non-compliant.n++

Highlighting the need for public at large to pay due taxes, Mr Ahmed said, n++We should educate and try to change the psychology of people to pay due taxes.n++

On the issue of honouring honest taxpayers, he said that though there are already many schemes, introduction of social security system like in other countries may also be devised. n++That can be examined and we can discuss with higher authorities as there is no dispute about honouring honest taxpayers.n++

He also said that as far as accountability of officers is concerned, there is much more transparency in the present era of RTI (Right to Information) and centralised public grievance redressal and monitoring system (CPGRAMS).

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Moodys: Asian non-financial corporates negative rating trend will likely moderate in 2017
Feb 06,2017

Moodys Investors Service says that the negative pressure on the ratings of non-financial corporates in Asia seen during 2016 will likely moderate over the next 12 months.

Our expectation that the negative rating trend will moderate in 2017 reflects the partial recovery made by commodities prices, the fact that the monetary policy of major central banks n++ with the exception of the US Fed n++ will likely stay accommodative, continued solid growth in the US, and growth in China stabilizing at close to the official target, says Clara Lau, a Moodys Group Credit Officer.

At the same time, several factors will likely lead to uncertainty in the capital markets and could reverse the stabilizing rating trend in 2017, adds Lau.

Moodys analysis is contained in its just-released report titled Credit Strategy & Standards: Asian Non-Financial Corporates Negative Rating Trend Will Likely Moderate in 2017, and is authored by Lau.

Moodys report points out that at end-4Q 2016, the share of ratings with negative implications n++ representing ratings with negative outlooks or which are placed under review for downgrade n++ stood at 29%, the lowest level for the four quarters of the year. However, the result was still higher than the 19% at end-4Q 2015.

The share of ratings with a stable outlook crept up to 65% at end-4Q 2016 compared to the 60% registered over the previous two quarters.

Moodys points out that there are a few factors which will lead to uncertainty in the capital markets and could reverse the stabilizing rating trend in 2017.

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates in December 2016, and the Fed anticipates three further hikes in 2017; a development which n++ if it occurs n++ would have negative implications for corporates in Asia Pacific, such as for companies holding large US-dollar debt without matching cash inflows.

The possibility that the European Central Bank could reduce the scale of its monetary stimulus program in 2017, and the Chinese governments tightening of capital outflows could also lead to increased volatility in the markets.

Moodys report says that overall, negative rating actions significantly outnumbered positive ones for non-financial corporates in Asia Pacific in 2016, with 148 negative versus 48 positive actions. By region, China was the main driver of the negative rating actions, accounting for 70 of the total 148. And, by industry, metals & mining companies and property developers each accounted for 22 negative actions.

There were two corporate defaults recorded in 2016 , significantly lower than the nine defaults seen in 2015.

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ASSOCHAM seeks RBI nudge to banks for full transmission of interest cuts, post- note ban
Feb 06,2017

As the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India meets on February 7 and 8 for next bi-monthly credit policy, apex industry body ASSOCHAM has impressed upon the central bank and the Finance Ministry to ensure adequate transmission of cuts in the interest rates even as the industry would seek at least 50 -75 basis point reduction in the benchmark lending rates, post demonetization.

n++As a majority owner of the banks and as a regulator, both the government and the RBI have roles in advising banks to pass on the commensurate reduction in the interest rates. This is all the more important in the wake of dismal credit growth, marked by subdued consumer demand and lack of investment appetite despite lowering of the lending rates,n++ the ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said.

While the lower lending rates do help the corporate India, the fresh borrowing could still be some distance away as the companies still grapple with the high level of existing debts. n++The banks should pass on the benefit of the lower interest rates on the old loans through different means so that the interest burden for the companies comes down. Even small quantum of reduction in interest rates makes a big difference when the loan size is pretty large. Along with other measures like protection of cheap imports, the benefits of the ample liquidity in the banking system must be extended to the firms, grappling with the old loan books, without much delay,n++ the chamber said.

It said, the industry is expecting at least 50-75 basis points reduction in the policy interest rates and the banks should pass on the entire benefit to the borrowers. n++This is because the demonetization has resulted in a windfall gains for the banks in the form of ultra low cost funds from the current account/saving account (CASA). The CASA rates are just about 3-4 per cent, while the base lending rates are still near the double digit. That is a huge spread for the banks which should transmit lower rates without necessarily cutting the time deposit rates,n++ the ASSOCHAM argued.

Even the Economic Survey has expressed concern over n++far from perfect,n++ transmission of the rate cuts, the base rate came down marginally from 9.30/9.70 in April 2016 to 9.30/9.65 as of 30th December 2016. Term deposit rates for greater than one-year maturity period declined from 7.00/7.50 to 6.50/7.00 in this period, as per the Economic Survey.

Quoting from the survey, the chamber expressed concern that the non- food credit (NFC) outstanding grew at sub 10 per cent for all the months except for September 2016). Credit growth to industrial sector remained persistently below 1 per cent during the current fiscal, with contraction in August, October and November.

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MSME Ministry received 4.40 lakh applications from entrepreneurs for setting up new businesses: H.P. Chaudhary
Feb 06,2017

The Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has received 4.40 lakh applications from budding entrepreneurs seeking assistance from the Government for setting up business, Minister of State for MSME, Mr H.P. Chaudhary informed at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++I recently took a meeting of small entrepreneurs in Mumbai and received applications from 4.40 lakh entrepreneurs for setting up new industries,n++ said Mr Chaudhary.

He thanked the Prime Minister and Finance Minister for allocating more funds than what was suggested by the MSME Ministry. n++Our department made a proposal demanding funds worth Rs 5,000 crore but the PM gave us funds worth Rs 6,500 crore.n++

n++This budget has provided a lot of support to the MSMEs firstly by almost doubling the allocation, now the small entrepreneur will get collateral free loans worth up to Rs two crore, presumptive tax reduction of two percentage point to six per cent are laudable steps that would help strengthen the sector,n++ he added.

Mr Chaudhary also said that these positive steps are in the right direction aimed at increasing the job generation in the MSME sector.

He further said that promotion to digital payments in MSME sector will spur the growth of MSMEs.

The Minister sought MSME industrys views and suggestions on goods and services tax (GST).

He also complemented the PM for successfully carrying out demonetisation drive. n++Demonetisation was not merely a historical but a risky step but the PM succeeded in his endeavour.n++

In his address at the ASSOCHAM summit, Mr Sanjay Kumar, general manager, RBI (Reserve Bank of India) said that India is rapidly moving towards becoming a less-cash economy which is likely to bring more transparency in monetary transactions.

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Budget 2017-18 focuses on educational empowerment and skill development of the Minorities: Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
Feb 06,2017

The Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge), Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the Union Budget (General) 2017-18 will be helpful in socio-economic-educational empowerment of Minorities. Shri Naqvi said that the Budget of Minority Affairs Ministry has been increased to Rs 4195.48 crore for 2017-18. This is Rs 368.23 crore more than 2016-17 Budget of Rs 3827.25 crore with an increase of about 9.6 per cent. The Central Governments focus is on educational and skill development of Minorities. Maximum part of the Budget 2017-18 would go for educational empowerment and skill development of the Minorities.

The Minister of Minority Affairs further stated that more than Rs 2600 crore have been provided for various scholarships and skill development schemes such as n++Seekho aur Kamaon++, n++Nai Manziln++, n++Nai Roushnin++, n++Usttadn++, n++Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centren++ and n++Begum Hazrat Mahal Scholarship for Girlsn++. Besides this, funds under Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) will also be utilised for various educational development activities. Rs 393.54 crore has been given for Merit-cum-Means based scholarship; Rs 950 crore for pre-matric scholarship; Rs 550 crore for post-matric scholarship; Rs 250 crore for n++Seekho aur Kamao (with an increase of Rs 40 crore compared to last budget); Rs 176 crore for n++Nai Manziln++ (with an increase of Rs 56 crore compared to last budget); Rs 113 crore for Maulana Azad Education Foundation; Rs 170 crore as equity for NMDFC.

Shri Naqvi informed that Rs 22 crore has been allocated for n++Usttadn++ scheme which aims to promote and provide national-international markets for traditional arts of the Minority communities. Rs 1200 crore has been allocated for Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) with an increase of Rs 141 crore compared to last years budget. MsDP scheme provides basic infrastructure for Minority concentrated areas such as schools, hospitals, roads, multi-purpose community centres n++Sadbhav Mandapn++ etc.

He said that for 2017-18, Centre has set a target to provide scholarships to about 35 lakh students. Employment oriented training will be provided to more than 2 lakh youths belonging to Minority communities. Besides this, Honble Prime Ministers new 15-Point Programme has been playing a key role in socio-economic-educational empowerment of Minorities. 24 schemes of 11 Ministries/Departments are presently covered under this programme. Various Ministries spend their about 15 per cent funds for development of Minorities. This has been increased by about 19 per cent.

Shri Naqvi further informed that in the last years budget, about 2800 crore out of Rs 3827 crore have been spent on scholarship, training and other educational related activities. This also include scholarships worth Rs 1816 crore. About 90,000 Minority youths have been trained under n++Seekho aur Kamaon++ scheme. About 70,000 women were provided leadership skills under n++Nai Roushnin++. Rs 650 crore were spent on educational infrastructure under Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP).

During last six months, the Ministry of Minority Affairs also approved about 200 n++Sadbhav Mandapn++ and 16 n++Gurukuln++ type of schools with a cost of about Rs 262 crore. n++Sadbhav Mandapsn++ will be used as community centres for various cultural-social-educational activities as well as relief centres during a calamity.

The Ministry of Minority Affairs has approved 16 n++Gurukuln++ residential schools across the country including Telanagana (7), Andhra Pradesh (6), Karnataka (2) and Jharkhand 1. We have also decided to help those Madrasas who are also providing mainstream education.

Shri Naqvi said that our efforts for empowerment of Minorities include n++Progress Panchayatn++, n++Hunar Haatn++, establishing n++Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centren++, n++Begum Hazrat Mahal Scholarshipn++ for girls, establishing five world class educational institutes for Minorities and 500 quality residential schools and job-oriented skill development centres. About Rs 5300 crore were granted to various states under MsDP in 12th Plan.

n++Hunar Haatn++:

Shri Naqvi said that the Ministry of Minority Affairs is organizing second edition of n++Hunar Haatn++ with the theme n++Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangamn++ from 11th to 26th February, 2017 at State Emporia Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Cannaught Place, New Delhi. n++Hunar Haatn++ is aimed at encouraging, promoting and providing national and international market to artisans/craftsmen belonging to the Minority communities.

Shri Naqvi said that this n++Hunar Haatn++, with the theme of n++Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangamn++ is unique in the sense that it would showcase crafts with the traditional cuisines brought from different parts of the country. n++Hunar Haatn++ is being organized through National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme of Ministry of Minority Affairs.

More than 500 applications of artisans & culinary experts have been received covering 24 states. A total of 100 artisans and 30 culinary experts will participate at about 130 stalls in the second n++Hunar Haatn++, which will also have n++Bawarchikhanan++ where various cuisine from different parts of the country will be showcased and the visitors can enjoy them. n++Hunar Haatn++ is aimed at providing opportunity and a platform under one roof to artisans & craft persons of Minority communities, to demonstrate, showcase and sell their products. The selected artisans include several Awardees from 5 Minority communities representing as many as 23 states.

For the first time in this exhibition very exquisite pieces of Handicraft & Handloom work like Makrana Marble products, Bandhej from Sikar, Mojri from Rajasthan, Banjara Embroidery from Telangana, Handmade Locks & Door Handles along with Phool Patti works from Aligarh, Cocoon decorated products from Nagaland, Mizoram Traditional Crafts, etc would be showcased and sold.

Different cuisines from 13 states are being brought by culinary experts for this second n++Hunar Haatn++. The culinary items includes Awadhi Mughlai foods from Lucknow, Dal Bati Churma & Thali from Rajasthan, Sandesh & Rasogolla from West Bengal, Malabari food from Kerala, Litti Chokha of Bihar.

Shri Naqvi expressed confidence that just like the first n++Hunar Haatn++, which was organized in November, 2016 at Pragati Maidan, the upcoming n++Hunar Haatn++ will also be successful.

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Closure of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)
Feb 04,2017

NITI Aayog constituted a committee on Sick/Loss making/Non performing Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on March 9th 2016. The committee noted that financial performance of 74 CPSEs has been unsatisfactory and a number of these have requested for and received periodic support from budgetary resources. Over the years, this has become a significant drain on limited resources of the government. The committee has made the recommendations of closure/winding up of 26 such CPSEs.

Under the Central Sector Scheme of DPE i.e. Counseling, Retraining & Redeployment (CRR Scheme) skill development training is providing to CPSEs employees separated under Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)/Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) (VRS/VSS Optees) to enable them to get redeployment or to take up self-employment. The Scheme has a provision for training of the dependent also in lieu of the VRS/VSS Optees.

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Wheat and Pulses have register record sowing in term of area
Feb 04,2017

As per preliminary reports received from the States, the total area sown under Rabi crops as on 3rd February 2017 stands at 645.12 lakh hectares as compared to 610.44 lakh hectare this time in 2016. Wheat and pulses have register record sowing in term of area.

             Wheat has been sown/transplanted in 317.81 lakh hectares (normal area 304.05 lakh hectare), rice in 25.64 lakh hectares, pulses in 159.72 lakh hectares( normal area 140.68 lakh hectares), coarse cereals in 57.61 lakh hectares and area sown under oilseeds is 84.34 lakh hectares.

The area sown so far and that sown during last year this time is as follows:

Lakh hectare 

CropArea sown in 2016-17Area sown in 2015-16Wheat317.81297.25Rice25.6429.03Pulses159.72143.70Coarse Cereals57.6161.05Oilseeds84.3479.42Total645.12610.44

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Opening of Bank Accounts and Promotion of Digital Payments in Textile Sector
Feb 04,2017

Government has launched a special drive for opening of bank accounts and promotion of digital payments in the textiles sector, by organizing special camps. As on 20 January 2017, a total of 11,86,203 bank accounts have been opened and activated for textile workers, which includes 17,245 jute workers. For weavers and artisans of handloom and handicraft sectors, 1,912 camps were organized upto 20 January 2017; a total of 6,28,215 bank accounts have been opened/mobile apps downloaded by the participants of these camps. Banks have provided micro-ATM facilities at weaving clusters.

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Total direct tax collections up to 16th January 2017 amount to Rs. 5,76,408 crore
Feb 04,2017

Total direct tax collections up to 16th January 2017 amount to Rs. 5,76,408 crore. For the financial year 2017-18, the Budget Estimates fixed for direct taxes are Rs. 9,80,000 crore.

As per Receipt Budget 2017-18, the Budget Estimates for direct taxes have been fixed at Rs. 9,80,000 crore, including Rs. 5,38,745 crore for Corporation Tax and Rs. 4,41,255 crore for Taxes on Income.

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Direct Benefit Transfer in Fertilizer Sector
Feb 04,2017

Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today, said that the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) being implemented in fertilizer subsidy payment is slightly different from the normal DBT being implemented in LPG subsidy. The Minister informed that under the DBT in fertilizer sector, the subsidy will be released to the fertilizer companies instead of the beneficiaries, after the sale is made by the retailers to the beneficiaries.

Shri Mandaviya further explained that at present direct transfer of subsidy to beneficiaries like in LPG cannot be introduced in fertilizer sector as the beneficiaries and their entitlement is not clearly defined. Multiple subsidized products, urea and 21 grades of Phosphatic&Potassic fertilizers have different subsidy rates. The subsidy rate in respect of urea varies from company to company due to different production processes, energy efficiencies of plants, vintage etc. As the amount of subsidy in some fertilizers, particularly urea is more than double the MRP, it will be a huge financial burden on the farmers to pay the MRP and subsidy upfront and receive the subsidy amount subsequently, he added.

The Minister informed that the pilot project to introduce DBT in Fertilizer Sector has been undertaken in 16 districts as given below: 

Sl. No.DistrictState 1.UnaHimachal Pradesh2.KishanganjBihar3.HoshangabadMadhya Pradesh4.KarnalHaryana5.Kurukshetra6.KannurKerala7.NasikMaharashtra8.Raigarh9.TumkurKarnataka10.RangareddyTelengana11.KrishnaAndhra Pradesh12.West Godavari13.MaldahWest Bengal14.South 24 paraganas15.NarmadaGujarat16.PaliRajasthan

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Nikkei India Services PMI: Services activity heads towards stabilisation
Feb 03,2017

The downturn in service sector activity across India softened during the opening month of 2017, with the slowdown reflecting a weaker contraction in new business inflows. Elsewhere, headcounts rose marginally, while work-in-hand increased for the eighth successive month. Input cost inflation slowed since December to a pace that was only marginal, whereas average selling prices decreased again.

Rising from 46.8 at the end of 2016 to 48.7 in January, the seasonally adjusted headline Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index pointed to the slowest fall in output in the current three-month sequence of reduction. Where contraction was signalled, panellists commented on ongoing declines in new work. Nevertheless, some firms indicated that market conditions had improved following the close of the window for exchanging high-value rupee notes.

The seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index rose from Decembers 38-month low of 47.6 to 49.4 in January, pointing to a weaker contraction in private sector activity that was only marginal. The slowdown was supported by a rebound in factory production.

New orders at services firms dipped at a softer rate in January. Almost 11% of panellists reported falling levels of incoming new business, which they commonly associated with a relatively lower amount of cash in circulation. Concurrently, factory orders rose in the latest month.

January data highlighted an increasing degree of pressure on the capacity of private sector firms operations as outstanding business rose to a greater extent than in December. Faster rates of backlog accumulation were noted in both the manufacturing and service sectors.

Service sector employment increased at the start of 2017, although only marginally. The respective index remained close to the no-change mark of 50.0, therefore continuing a trend of broadly stagnant workforce numbers that stretches back to late 2015. By comparison, goods producers left payroll numbers unchanged during January.

As has been the case since last September, input costs facing service providers increased during January. However, having eased from December, the rate of inflation was relatively muted in the context of historical data. Output prices, on the other hand, were lowered for the fourth straight month. That said, the rate of discounting was fractional overall. In the manufacturing industry, rates of inflation for input costs and selling prices were at 29- and two-month highs respectively.

Sentiment among services companies improved considerably during January on the back of expectations that market conditions will soon normalise. Exactly 17% of panellists anticipate higher activity levels at their units in the coming 12 months, while the remaining firms foresee no change. Likewise, manufacturers confidence improved from Decembers one-year low.

Commenting on the Indian Services PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, economist at IHS Markit, and author of the report, said:

n++Indias pivotal service sector remained in contraction territory in the opening month of 2017, with both new business and activity falling for the third straight month. However, a rebound in the near term is likely as rates of reduction softened and business confidence improved on the back of hopes that market conditions will soon normalise.

What started as a downturn driven by the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes ban appears now to be losing strength. In fact, manufacturers already saw a turnaround, with production being raised in line with higher order books. The upturn at goods producers combined with a slowdown in the contraction of services activity resulted in only a fractional drop in private sector output.

PMI price indicators point to relatively muted inflationary pressures in the private sector economy. As such, there is room for accommodative monetary policy.

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Share of Nuclear Energy in Electricity Generation was about 3.4% in the year 2015-16
Feb 02,2017

The share of nuclear power in the total electricity generation in the country was about 3.4% in the year 2015-16.

The share of nuclear power in total electricity generation is planned to be progressively increased by addition of nuclear power capacity. The present capacity of 5780 MW will reach 6780 MW by the end of this financial year, with the commercial operation of Kudankulam Unit-2, which is already generating infirm power at the rated capacity. The capacity is expected to reach 9580 MW by 2020 on progressive completion of projects under construction and about 12980 MW by 2024 on completion of new projects accorded sanction. A large expansion programme based on both indigenous technologies and with foreign technical cooperation is planned in future.

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Involvement of Private Sector in Nuclear Power Generation
Feb 02,2017

Proposals for setting up of ten indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors each of 700 MW and two Light Water Reactors each of 1000 MW (Kudankulam Units-5&6) with foreign cooperation have been prepared and finalised. These are presently under consideration of the Government for accord of administrative approval and financial sanction.

Presently two Central Public Sector Enterprises viz. Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation. In addition, the Government has amended the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to facilitate establishment of Joint Venture Companies (JVC) by NPCIL with other Central Public Sector Undertakings to set up nuclear power plants.

Government does not propose to allow private sector to enter into the nuclear power sector.

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India Signs Financing Agreement with World Bank for US$ 201.50 Million for n++Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP III)n++
Feb 02,2017

A Financing Agreement for IDA credit of US$201.50 million (equivalent) for the n++Third Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP III)n++ was signed with the World Bank here yesterday. The Financing Agreement was signed by Mr. Raj Kumar (Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs) on behalf of Government of India and Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank.

The objective of the Program is to enhance quality and equity in participating Engineering Education Institutes and improve the efficiency of the Engineering Education System in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, 8 North Eastern States and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Project has two main components, (i) Improving quality and equity in engineering institutes in those states; and (ii) System-level initiatives to strengthen sector governance and performance. The project has been designed as a disbursement linked one, that is, the World Bank loan will be disbursed on achievement of specific outcomes.

The closing date of TEQIP III is 31st March, 2022.

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