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Special assistance measure for Andhra Pradesh by way of special dispensation in funding of EAPs & funding of irrigation component of Polavaram project
Mar 16,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the Special assistance measure for the Successor State of Andhra Pradesh by way of special dispensation in funding of Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) and funding of irrigation component of Polavaram project.

The modalities for implementation of the announcements for providing central assistance to the State of Andhra Pradesh are as follows:

i. The Central Government will provide special assistance measure to Government of Andhra Pradesh, which would make up for the additional Central share the State might have received during 2015-16 to 2019-20, if the funding of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) would have been shared at the ratio of 90:10 between the Centre and the State. The special assistance will be provided by way of repayment of loan and interest for the Externally Aided Projects (EAPs) signed and disbursed during 2015-2016 to 2019-20 by the State.

ii. Funding of 100% of the remaining cost of the irrigation component only of the Polavaram project for the period starting from 1.4.2014, to the extent of the cost of the irrigation component on that date. Andhra Pradesh Government will execute the project on behalf of Government of India. However, the overall coordination, quality control, design issues, monitoring, clearances related issues etc. are to be dealt by the Polavaram Project Authority of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. The Polavaram Project Authority will also assess out the cost of the irrigation component as on 01.04.2014 in consultation with the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

This support for capital expenditure by way of repayment of EAP loans would help and assist the newly formed state of Andhra Pradesh to put the States finances on a firmer footing and promote economic growth. Further, the central funding of the irrigation component of the Polavaram Irrigation Project and its execution by the State Government shall expedite completion of the project and the increase irrigation prospects in the State benefitting the people at large.

Background:

The Government of India, while fulfilling its commitments under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014, has already provided Special Assistance of Rs.1,976.50 crore to the state during 2016-17. The amount includes Rs.1176.50 for Resource Gap, Rs.350 crore for the development of 7 backward districts covering Rayalaseema & North Coastal region and Rs.450 crore as assistance to the capital city.

Apart from this the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation has also provided Rs.2081.54 crore for the Polavaram Irrigation Project during the current financial year. Thus the Central Government, after the enactment of the Reorganisation Act, has provided central assistance of Rs.10,461.04 crore to the state of Andhra Pradesh which includes Rs.4403 crore released during 2014-15, Rs.2000 crore released during 2015-16 and Rs. 4058.04 in released in 2016-17.

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MoU between LBSNAA, Mussoorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) of Namibia for capacity building
Mar 16,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie and Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM), Namibia in the field of capacity building of public officials of Namibia and other training activities for the benefit of both the institutes.

The MOU will help the Academy to disseminate some of its experience in running a training institution for higher civil services in the country to NIPAM. It will also help the two sides to engage in collaborative activities in the sphere of public administration and capacity building.

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Cabinet approves of MoU between India and Bangladesh on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs)
Mar 16,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs) between the Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and the Department of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh.

The MoU envisages cooperation between Bangladesh and India:

a. To extend advice on lighthouses and beacons;

b. To extend advice on Vessel Traffic Service and chain of Automatic Identification System (AIS); and

c. To impart training as per International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) training module to AtoN Managers and Technicians for Bangladesh.

The MoU will enable both the countries to collaborate in the following areas:

a. To provide advice on AtoNs;

b. Provide academic interaction by imparting training to AtoN personnel; and

c. Provide necessary cooperation in organizing workshops/conferences for enhancement of skills in AtoN field.

The MoU will also help in greater cooperation in capacity building in the field of AtoN training in the South Asian region. This will give a boost to imparting training on the management of marine aids to navigation based on IALA Model Course E-141/1 and accordingly facilitate the delivery of a professional training course as per the IALA guidelines.

India and Bangladesh are two important developing nations in the South Asian region. Both countries maintain a long tradition of friendly and cordial relations which has been manifested in the several bilateral visits of dignitaries from both sides during recent years.

Background:

As per International Maritime Organisations (IMOs) requirement, authorities in various countries, provide appropriate Aids to Navigation in their waters as per international recommendations and guidelines. Marine aids to navigation such as lighthouses, beacons, DGPS, navigational and mooring buoys are operated to enhance the safe and efficient navigation of vessels and/or vessel traffic. Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships establishes and maintains Aids to Navigation in India, for safe navigation in Indian waters. DGLL having expertise in lighthouse engineering maintains large inventory of Aids to navigation which includes 193 lighthouses, 64 Racons, 22 Deep Sea lighted buoys, 23 DGPS stations, 01 Lightship, 04 tender vessels, National AlS Network, Vessel Traffic Service in Gulf of Kutch.

IALA is the international body coordinating and harmonizing the use of all Aids to Navigation. India represented through DGLL, is a member of IALA Council. As a step towards regional cooperation, India and Bangladesh have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on AtoN. As per the MoU, the DGLL on behalf of Ministry of Shipping, Government of India shall advise its counterpart Department of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping, Bangladesh on AtoNs including Vessel Traffic Service, Chain of Automatic Identification System. In order to train AtoN personnel of Bangladesh, DGLL shall organize training as per IALA training module to AtoN Managers and Technicians, organize Workshops/Conferences. This will help in capacity building of Bangladesh AtoN Personnel.

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Cabinet apprised of MoUs for cooperation in Youth and Sports Matters with Indonesia and the Kyrgyz Republic
Mar 16,2017

Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed between India and:

(i) Indonesia for cooperation in youth and sports matters, and

(ii) Kyrgyz Republic for cooperation in the field of youth development.

The MoUs envisage organizing Youth Exchange Programmes with Indonesia and Kyrgyz Republic, and cooperation in other youth and sports related matters.

International Youth Exchange programmes promote exchange of ideas, values and culture amongst youth and help in developing international perspective among the youth. Further, these Programmes promote peace and understanding, and strengthen friendly relations between countries. Cooperation in other youth and sports-related matters also helps in youth development and sports promotion in partner countries.

The benefits arising from bilateral exchange programmes in the field of Youth and Sports would be equally available to all youth irrespective of their caste, religion and gender.

The selection of youth for participation in youth exchange and other programmes shall be done in an objective and transparent manner and the outcomes of the programmes under the MoUs shall be open for public scrutiny.

Youth exchange and other programmes will help in developing international perspective among the youth and expanding their knowledge and expertise.

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Master Plan for Expansion of IGI Airport
Mar 15,2017

In compliance with the provisions of Operation, Management and Development Agreement (OMDA), M/s Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL) has reviewed and updated the Master Plan of IGI Airport, New Delhi in 2016 in consultation with the Airports Authority of India, Sovereign agencies providing reserved services at the airport and with other stakeholders.

The total area of IGI Airport demised to DIAL is 4608.90 acres. The land available is sufficient for executing the expansion plan under the Master Plan, 2016.

The updated Master Plan envisages expansion of passenger handling capacity of IGI Airport from existing 62 million passenger per annum (mppa) to 109.3 mppa in a phased manner by way of both Airside and Terminal side developments. The development works include expansion of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, construction of a new Terminal 4, construction of new runway etc. in three phases starting from 2017 and till 2034. The design, project cost and other details etc. are finalized during the finalization of the Major Development Plan in compliance with the OMDA. The development works under the updated Master Plan are based on traffic triggers, optimum utilization of Capex, induction of new technologies & best industry practices to enhance passenger experience and further improve service levels and maximization of the use of existing assets by improving operational efficiency, maintaining service levels and safety requirements, etc.

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Acquisition of Dreamliner by Air India
Mar 15,2017

Air India is procuring all the 27 Dreamliners by October, 2017 as per the contract. Air India has acquired 23 Dreamliners progressively from September, 2012 to 9th January, 2017. The Dreamliners aircraft have experienced technical reliability issues, since induction into Air India fleet. These issues, however, do not affect the safety of the airplane due to the system design and inbuilt system redundancy. Further, system improvements are incorporated as a part of reliability enhancement process and the glitches have significantly reduced.

One B787-8 aircraft will be delivered in July-17, two B-787-8 aircraft in August, 2017 and one B787-8 aircraft will be delivered in October, 2017.

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MoU signed between FTII and Canon to promote short courses in Film & Television
Mar 15,2017

Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that Technology has played a critical role in defining the contours of professional photography and art of film making. The exposure of budding young talent to the nuances of technology has a positive impact on their learning curve. This initiative would ensure the perfect blend of technology and young talent through the platform of FTII. The Minister stated this on the occasion of signing of an MoU between Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and Canon India.

The MoU between Film and Television Institute of India, Pune and Canon India Private Limited would promote film education through short-term courses across several towns and cities in the country. Under FTIIs unique initiative SKIFT (Skilling India in Film and Television) several short courses, mostly of skill-oriented nature have been proposed to be held in collaboration with State Governments, Universities and Educational institutions.

FTII Pune, one of Asias leading and Indias foremost institute in film and television education has been preparing to break new grounds by pushing to democratise cinematic education by offering quality and affordable training to general public and practitioners alike at locations where there is a demand for such courses. FTII is also in the process of aligning some of the short courses with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) under National Skill Development Council.

While speaking on the occasion Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi said that Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) was one of the most reputed institution across the world and Canon was proud to announce the partnership for SKIFT which has been designed to spread the art of cinematography and film making, across the length and breadth of the country. As a technology partner for this initiative, Canon India was delighted to add value to the program endeavored to scale skill development in film and television to greater heights.

Canon, an international brand in digital imaging, as Technology Partner of SKIFT would be providing high-end cameras and accessories free of cost for the courses. This support would be a major contributing factor in keeping the course fees affordable while offering an opportunity to course participants to use cutting-edge equipment.

The courses are proposed to be held in non-metros such as Guwahati, Jaipur, Vishakhapatnam, Raipur, Chandigarh, Raipur, Bhopal, Leh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands to begin with. Initially SKIFT would conduct courses such as Digital Cinematography, Documentary Film Making, Screenplay Writing, Acting, Film Criticism & Journalism and Film Appreciation.

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FM: Rate of increase of Non Performing Assets (NPAs) has slowed down in the last Quarter of the Current Financial Year
Mar 15,2017

The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley said that to deal with the Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of the banks is a challenging task even though the NPAs have shown declining trend in the last quarter of the current financial year.. He said that the core problem of NPAs is with very large corporates, though few in numbers, predominantly in the steel, power, infrastructure and textile sectors. He said that they had expanded their capacity during the boom period (2003-08) but could not face the onslaught of global financial crisis and consequent slow down thereafter. He said that the Government is taking sectoral specific measures to deal with the problem of NPAs specifically in the resolution of large debts. The Finance Minister added that the Steel Sector is on its path of recovery while many decisions have been taken in the Infrastructure, power and textile Sectors to resolve their problems. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was making his Opening Remarks at the First Meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Finance.

The Finance Minister further said that RBI has also made an Oversight Committee to look into process of the cases referred to it by the different banks. Seeing the response and its performance, the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that the Government is considering multiplication of such committees. On the issue of setting-up a bad bank, the Union Minister of Finance said that several possible alternatives exist and the issue is being debated on public platforms. The Union Minister of Finance further said that the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has already been set -up under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

Earlier, a presentation was made at the beginning of the Meeting on the the subject of NPAs. In the said presentation, details of various measures undertaken by the Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to deal with the problem of NPAs were highlighted. In the Steel Sector, Minimum Import Price (MIP) has been introduced on import of specific steel products in December 2016 and 10 coal mines have been auctioned to the steel sector. Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme has been approved by the Government in the Textile Sector. In the Power Sector, measures taken include introduction of Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), auction of natural gas for stranded gas power projects, and allocation of more than 100 coal mines to private and government companies through reverse e-auction. In the road sector, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has approved premium recast of 14-15 distressed road projects, new structures such as Hybrid Annuity Model and Toll-Operate-Transfer Model have been introduced and steps taken to fast track environmental clearance process.

The Reserve Bank of India has also taken measures such as Joint Lenders Forum (JLF) to be compulsorily formed when aggregate exposure is more than Rs 100 crore, Flexible Structuring (5/25) Scheme for infrastructure and core industries sector based on economic life of the project with periodic refinancing, Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) Scheme and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) among others.

During the presentation, the members were informed about the various legal mechanisms made available for recovery including the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDB&FI) Act, Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 among others.

Later, the Members of Consultative Committee who participated in Meeting gave various suggestions in order to deal with the large scale NPAs of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in particular, which are adversely affecting the overall performance of the banks. One member suggested that the concerned State Governments may be allowed to take part in the auction of stressed assets. It was also suggested by various members that since Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) are in private sector and their performance is not up to the mark in many cases, therefore, close monitoring of the operations of ARCs be done through stringent regulations especially in the wake of decision to allow 100% FDI in the ARCs through automatic route.

Another member suggested that to improve the confidence of bank officials, the Gross NPA norm may be fixed in the range of 9-10% as well as not counting the asset as NPA if it has been restructured. Some members suggested that the Government must go ahead to establish Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency (PARA) and it should only consider those NPAs where sector specific reforms do not work. It was also suggested to explore long term debt market for financing NPAs. One of the members said that the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Public Sector Bank be made a part of the Credit Committee of the bank and that first the Board of the bank should take a call about the decisions being taken by their officials rather than investigating agencies directly acting on the basis of their own information.. It was also suggested that apart from recovery proceedings, criminal action must be taken against the big wilful defaulters and their photographs may also be published. A member also suggested that under the SARFAESI Act, the focus should be on catching big wilful defaulters.

Other suggestions given by the members included that a Special Bank may be created where NPAs of all the Public Sector Banks be transferred. It was also suggested that when the minimum import price on import of specific steel products have been introduced, then the similar exercise should also be undertaken for the raw material being used to produce the finished products so that smaller units are also benefitted. Young entrepreneurs who have taken soft loans from the banks but suffered due to slow down may be supported by the banks in order to revive their businesses.

It was also suggested by some members that there is need to restore the confidence of the officers of the banks which have been off later adversely affected due to increasing NPAs. Measures be taken to comfort these officials and to enable them to take commercially viable and rational decisions. They suggested creating a Special Performance Vehicle (SPV) Committee outside the banking system to guide commercial decisions.

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So far an amount of Rs.49.98 crore has been disbursed under different components Capital Goods Policy Scheme
Mar 15,2017

Government has brought out a National Capital Goods Policy. The Policy envisages increase in production to about Rs.7,50,000 crore, direct employment to 5 million by the year 2025. The Policy also envisages increase in the share of capital goods contribution from present 12% to 20% by the year 2025.

Under the Capital Goods Scheme, so far 14 proposals have been approved. Out of these four pertains to Centre of Excellence for technology development by eminent Institutions like Central Manufacturing Technology Institute (CMTI), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Scientific and Industrial Testing and Research Centre (SiTarc), Coimbatore. Four proposals have been approved for Common Engineering Facility Centre which includes two Training Centres at HMT Machine Tools at Bangalore and at HEC Limited, Ranchi and two common engineering facilities in Chakan, Maharashtra and Bardoli, Gujrat. Further a Project for setting up an Integrated Machine Tool Park at Tumkur has been approved. Apart from the above, five projects have been approved under Technology Acquisition Fund Programme component of the Scheme.

In addition to the above, the projects pertaining to Capital Goods Industry under Uchchatar Avishkar Yojana and Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) Schemes of the Ministry of Human Resource Development are also being supported partly by the Department of Heavy Industry.

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Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) launched
Mar 15,2017

Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES). Speaking at the event she said the Scheme is focussed on addressing the needs of the exporters. Smt. Sitharaman said the focus is not just to create infrastructure but to make sure it is professionally run and sustained. The Minister added that there will be an Empowered Committee to periodically review the progress of the approved projects in the Scheme and will take necessary steps to ensure achievement of the objectives of the Scheme. She said the proposals of the implementing agencies for funding will be considered by an inter ministerial Empowered Committee specially constituted for this Scheme to be chaired by the Commerce Secretary. While appraising the project the justification, including the intended benefit in terms of addressing the specific export bottlenecks, would be evaluated.

Commerce Secretary Smt. Rita Teaotia said the scheme would provide assistance for setting up and up-gradation of infrastructure projects with overwhelming export linkages like the Border Haats, Land customs stations, quality testing and certification labs, cold chains, trade promotion centres, dry ports, export warehousing and packaging, SEZs and ports/airports cargo terminuses. She said last and first mile connectivity projects related to export logistics will also be considered.

About TIES- After delinking of the ASIDE Scheme in 2015, the State Governments have been consistently requesting the support of the Centre in creation of export infrastructure. This support is imperative to act as an inducement to the States to channelize funds from their increased devolution towards creation of export infrastructure. The objective of the proposed scheme is to enhance export competitiveness by bridging gaps in export infrastructure, creating focused export infrastructure, first mile and last mile connectivity for export-oriented projects and addressing quality and certification measures.

The Central and State Agencies, including Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ Authorities and Apex Trade Bodies recognised under the EXIM policy of Government of India; are eligible for financial support under this scheme.

The Central Government funding will be in the form of grant-in-aid, normally not more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50% of the total equity in the project. (In case of projects located in North Eastern States and Himalayan States including J&K, this grant can be upto 80% of the total equity).The grant in aid shall, normally, be subject to a ceiling of Rs 20 Cr for each infrastructure project.

The implementing agencies shall provide details of the financing tie-ups for the projects which will be considered before approval of the project. Disbursement of funds shall be done after financial closure is achieved.

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Import of Vegetable Oils down by 8% in November 2016-February 2017
Mar 15,2017

The Solvent Extractors Association of India has compiled the Import data of Vegetable Oils (edible & non-edible) for the month of February 2017. Import of vegetable oils during February 2017 is reported at 1,270,443 tons compared to 1,082,009 tons in February 2016 i.e. up by 17%, consisting of 1,234,255 tons of edible oils and 36,188 tons of non-edible oils. The overall import of vegetable oils during first four months of current oil year 2016-17, Nov.16 to Feb.17 is reported at 4,680,451 tons compared to 5,098,400 tons i.e. lesser by 8%.

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Twenty projects worth Rs 1,900 Crore approved for swift implementation of Namami Gange Programme in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi
Mar 15,2017

Picking up pace, projects worth nearly Rs 1,900 crore have been approved by the Executive Committee (EC) of National Mission for Clean Ganga. Out of 20 projects which were given EC approval, 13 are in Uttarakhand that includes creating new sewage treatment plants, upgrading existing STPs and laying of sewage networks in Haridwar at an estimated cost of approximately Rs 415 crore. Haridwar, one of the holiest cities of India, is thronged by millions of people every year. This approved plan is aimed at treating sewage water generated by not only citys 1.5 lakh local dwellers, but also by people who visit the holy place for various purposes. All these projects will be fully funded by the Central Government, including even the expenditure on operation and maintenance of these projects.

Among other projects approved in Uttarakhand are four pertaining to pollution abatement works for river Alakananda to ensure cleaner flow of the river downstream. This includes interception and diversion of drains along with creation of new small STPs at four crucial locations - Joshimath, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Kirti Nagar at an estimated cost of nearly Rs 78 crore. Apart from these, a major pollution abatement project for Ganga at Rishikesh has also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 158 crore. Beginning with Rishikesh, municipal effluent gets mixed in the Ganga and to rid Ganga of impurities just before it hits the plains, this all-encompassing project for this city has been given a go-ahead, which would not only make sure tapping of all city drains in Rishikesh merging into the river but will also treat the sewage water for reuse. The construction of a new 26 MLD STP at Lakkar Ghat with online monitoring system has also been envisaged in this Rishikesh-specific project.

In the National Capital, a project to construct new state-of-the-art 564 MLD Okhla sewage treatment plant with best effluent standards has also been approved at an estimated cost of Rs 665 crore, which will replace the existing STPs phase-I, II, III and IV. Besides, two projects for laying new sewage pipelines in Pitampura and Kondli to prevent leakages have also been approved at an estimated cost of more than Rs 100 crore.

Sewage related works in Karmalichak in Patna and Rajmahal in Jharkhand have also been given green signal for a cost of over Rs 335 crore. To address the issue of pollution of Ganga in Varanasi, a city thronged by millions of pilgrims throughout the year, a project under Hybrid-Annuity PPP model worth almost Rs 151 crore has also been given EC approval.

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Construction Resolution Board Likely For Armed Forces To Resolve Disputes With Their Builders: DG MAP
Mar 15,2017

Directorate General of Married Accommodation Project (DG MAP) on Friday announced that it has proposed setting up of Construction Resolution Board to address and resolve disputes relating to defence construction work between the army and their builders to avoid prolong litigations on account of which such works usually suffer.

An indication to this effect came from none other than Maj. Gen. Sanjeev Jain who is DG MAP.

Maj. Gen. Jain, however, added that the proposal is at preliminary stage which aims at faster resolving the disputes that sometimes stem between armed forces and their builders that are awarded construction related works for armed forces in creating general infrastructure such as roads and dwelling units and the like.

Lt. Gen. Sharma hinted that realization has picked up in the Defence Ministry for coming out with simpler construction procedures as per which the construction activities which could be outsourced with reasonable and simplified norms.

He, however, added that the government is considering to put in norms and procedures replacing the old ones to undertaking construction activities on conditions amiable for armed forces so that these are completed in time and scope for disputes is minimized without specifying a time limit for the proposed norms.

Secretary General, PHD Chamber, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal emphasized that in construction contracts awarded by the armed forces to the industry, there should be a provision of Exit Clause with stress on performance guarantee so that such contracts are accomplished in time without an edge for contract awarding entity.

He also suggested that the contracts agreed upon between armed forces and their builders, sufficient and adequate dwelling facilities be created for construction workers as it would amount to a great service to the nation, however, at the cost of the government.

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Mandatory for Hospitals to issue detailed bills to patients, separately disclosing cost of Coronary Stents
Mar 15,2017

Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, said that the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA), under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, has directed hospitals to issue detailed bills to the patients, specifically and separately mentioning the cost of the Coronary Stents, along with the brand name of the manufacturer and importer, batch number and other details.

Shri Mandaviya informed that non-compliance thereof will be treated as deliberate distortion of evidence along with charges of overpricing inviting prosecution under the Essential Commodities Act. The Minister said that the Government, through NPPA, is closely monitoring the situation and has alerted the State Governments and State Drugs Controllers to monitor the availability of stents. Industry has also been apprised that all manufactures and importers are under legal obligation to maintain smooth production and supply of coronary stents of all brands which were available in the country before price cap, he added.

All State Governments and State Drug Controllers have been advised to exercise the power of entry, search and seizure as per Para 30 of Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013 if manufacturers, importers or distributors try to create artificial shortage of stents. Government has had two rounds of discussions with the Stent companies, which in turn have promised required level of availability.

Further, Shri Mandaviya informed that aggrieved persons may send verifiable information and complaints regarding this on NPPA Help Line No. 1800111255 or through online complaint mechanism Pharma Jan Samadhan.

NPPA notified the ceiling price of Coronary Stents on 13th February 2017 at Rs. 7,260 for Bare Metal Stent (BMS) and Rs. 29,600 for Drug Eluting Stents (DES) including metallic DES and Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS)/ Biodegradable Stents. The average MRP before this notification was Rs. 45,100 for BMS and Rs. 1,21,400 for DES. Price regulation has brought down the prices of stents of BMS by 74% and of DES by 85%.

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CPI inflation rises to 3.7% in February 2017
Mar 14,2017

The all-India general CPI inflation increased to 3.65% in February 2017 (new base 2012=100), compared with 3.17% in January 2017. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.67% and urban area 3.55% in February 2017 as against 3.36% and 2.90% in January 2017. The core CPI inflation rose to 5.00% in January 2017 from 4.83% in December 2016.

Among the CPI components, inflation of food and beverages increased to 2.46% in February 2017 from 1.37% in January 2017 contributing to the rise in CPI inflation. Within the food items, the inflation increased meat and fish 3.50%, vegetables (-) 8.29%, fruits 8.33%, oil and fats 3.83% and sugar and confectionery 18.83%. On the other hand, inflation moved down for pulses and products to (-) 9.02%, spices 3.82%. The inflation also eased for egg 0.54%, milk and products to 4.22% and non-alcoholic beverages 3.17% in February 2017.

The inflation for housing eased at 4.90%, and that for miscellaneous items also eased to 4.79% in February 2017. Within the miscellaneous items, the inflation for Transport and communication jumped to 5.39%, and Education eased 5.37%, and inflation declined for personal care and effects to 5.15%, household goods and services 4.09% and health 4% in February 2017. The inflation for clothing and footwear eased to 4.38% in February 2017, while the CPI inflation of fuel and light increased to 3.90% in February 2017.

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