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142 villages electrified last week ; 8,384 villages electrified till date under DDUGJY
Jun 20,2016

142 villages have been electrified across the country during last week (from 13th to 19 th June 2016) under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY). Out of these electrified villages, 6 villages belong to Arunachal Pradesh , 80 in Assam, 16 in Jharkhand, 15 in Meghalaya ,5 in Rajasthan , 8 in Odisha, 3 in Uttar Pradesh, 5 in Bihar, 2 in Karnataka, 1 each in Chhattisgarh, and Himachal Pradesh.

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Ind-Ra: CAD Seen Higher at 1.3%-1.5% of GDP for FY17
Jun 20,2016

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has revised its FY17 estimate for current account deficit (CAD) to 1.3%-1.5% of GDP from 1.2%. This is based on the lower remittances and lower software earnings seen in 4QFY16.

CAD came in marginally lower at 1.1% of GDP in FY16 than Ind-Ras expectation of 1.2%.It narrowed to USD22.1bn in FY16 as against USD26.8bn in FY15 primarily led by a contraction in the trade deficit to USD130.1bn from USD144.9bn. CAD for 4QFY16 came in at USD0.3bn (0.1% of GDP), sequentially lower than USD7.1bn (1.3% of GDP) in 3QFY16, and also marginally lower than USD0.7bn (0.1% of GDP) in 4QFY15.

A low CAD suggests stability on the external front. However, there are two sides to a lower CAD for an economy like India that is reliant on private transfers, mainly remittances, and services exports to maintain a healthy and sustainable current account position. On one side, the low crude prices and collapse in the global prices of commodities have resulted in a lower trade deficit. On the other side, oil-rich economies in the Middle East have suffered due to low oil prices, which impacted the remittances of workers working overseas. Remittances or private transfers declined to USD63.1bn in FY16 from USD65.5bn in FY15. On a quarterly basis, private transfers declined to USD15.2bn in 4QFY16, which is the lowest since 1QFY12. Services exports declined to USD69.7bn in FY16 from USD76.5bn in FY15. Within services, software services sequentially declined to USD17.3bn in 4QFY16, which is a lower level than in the previous three quarters of FY16 although it has held up on a yearly basis (FY16: USD71.5bn; FY15: USD70.4bn).

On the whole, India appears to be a net beneficiary of low oil prices despite low services and merchandise exports. The import of crude petroleum and its products declined to USD52.4bn in FY16 from USD81.5bn. Ind-Ra believes sluggish global growth and weakness in prices will continue to impact exports growth, while weak domestic demand will keep a check on imports growth.

Net foreign direct investment inflows increased to USD36bn in FY16 from INR32.6bn in the previous year. However, sequentially net foreign direct investment inflows declined to USD8.8bn in 4QFY16 from USD10.7bn in the previous quarter. Net portfolio investment recorded a net outflow of USD4.1bn in FY16 (net inflow of USD41bn in FY15). In 4QFY16, portfolio investment outflow was USD1.5bn mainly due to debt outflows of USD970m.

The forex reserves increased by USD17.9bn in FY16, which is much lower than the USD61.4bn accretion to forex reserves registered in FY15. In 4QFY16, the accretion to forex reserves was lower at USD3.3bn than the USD4.1bn in the previous quarter and USD30.1bn in 4QFY15.

In the past, net inflow in the capital account has been the saviour of a high CAD. However, a closer look at the 4QFY16 numbers suggests that capital account surplus in 4QFY16 was the lowest since 2QFY14. Foreign currency non-resident deposits maturity starting from September 2016 is likely to put further pressure on the overall capital account, but given the forex reserve and the Reserve Bank of Indias (RBI) advance planning, it is unlikely to be disruptive.

The rupee will be mostly supported by the comfortable current account gap in FY17. As the concern from US Federal Reserves action has mostly been alleviated, the scope for an uptick in domestic growth and global risk appetite will determine the rupee trajectory. In the near term, UKs referendum will be critical, and Brexit can cause major instability in the global currency market. Nonetheless, Ind-Ra expects the rupee to remain stable due to a steady domestic macroeconomic environment.

From the bond market perspective, embryonic forex flows may be fruitful. With limited scope for a considerable improvement in portfolio flows, open market operations purchase will remain the preferred option for RBI to keep systemic liquidity at ease. In the current conjecture, with the least visibility of any rate action by RBI, incremental open market operations purchase could be the major determinant of the bond market performance henceforth.

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Overall Business Confidence Index increases by 7 points...however caution still underlines the mood of India Inc.
Jun 20,2016

The results of FICCIs latest Business Confidence Survey indicate an improvement in the confidence levels of members of India Inc. The Overall Business Confidence Index was seven notches higher at 64.3 in the present round, vis-n++-vis the value of 56.7 in the last round. This comes on the back of an improvement noted in both Current Conditions Index and Expectations Index. The proportion of respondents citing a moderately to substantially better performance vis-n++-vis last six months noted an increase at all the three levels - economy, industry and firm level. Also in the current round, participants seemed more positive about the near term prospects.

The Indian economy has moved into a zone of stability with key economic parameters strengthening. The reform process initiated by the Government has been noteworthy. The efforts made towards providing a conducive business environment have started yielding results and have improved the overall business sentiment.

However, what remains a concern is muted recovery in the industrial sector. The manufacturing growth numbers have not been very encouraging and the same is reflected in the financials of the companies as well. The latest survey results indicate not much improvement in the operational parameters of the companies. While the outlook with regard to parameters like sales, exports and employment did note an improvement; the respondents didnt seem optimistic about investment prospects and improvement in profit levels.

About 35% respondents said that they expect higher investments over the period April-September 2016, vis-n++-vis 41% stating likewise in the previous round. The companies remain cautious about undertaking fresh investments and about 46% respondents said that they foresee no change in investment levels.

Also, given the slew of measures undertaken in about past two years to kick start investments, the respondents were asked to indicate if they have witnessed any improvement in investment activity in and around their area of operation - and a majority of them said that they are yet to see investment fructifying. Amidst those who indicated that investments are taking place reported activity mostly in infrastructure projects including roads and highways, railways, renewable energy and defence.

With regard to sales prospects, respondents anticipated an improvement in the performance. About 58% of the participating companies said that they foresee higher sales over the coming six months. In the previous survey, 48% companies had reported the same. The anticipated pickup in sales despite investment intentions remaining subdued indicates companies looking at rolling out unutilized capacity. About 54% of the participants in the current survey reported a capacity utilization of more than 75%, in the last round the corresponding figure was 30%.

Weak demand has been one of the key constraining factors for businesses. The demand conditions have not been very favorable with both global and domestic factors at play. The global economy is still not in recovery mode and growth remains scattered. Further, two consecutive years of drought has impacted the domestic demand adversely, especially in the rural segment. In fact, in the current round about 64% of the participants indicated demand situation to be worrisome. Nonetheless, forecast of a normal monsoon is expected to bring in some improvement in the domestic demand situation.

Further, 32% of respondents in the latest round reported that they would consider hiring more people in the coming six months; the corresponding number in the last round was 23%. However, still a majority 61% of the participants did not foresee any fresh hiring over the near term.

A marginal improvement was noted in the proportion of respondents expecting higher exports over the near term. However, the global economic situation remains fragile and any firm recovery remains elusive. Thus external situation will continue to pose a challenge over the near term and would take some more time to strengthen.

With respect to the credit, the situation seems to have improved with a decline noted in the proportion of respondents citing availability and cost of credit as constraining factors. The Reserve Bank of India has cut the repo rate by 150 bps since January 2015. The transmission through banks is expected to improve with the recent reduction in small savings interest rate as well as the introduction of the marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR).

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Companies are adding yoga at workplace to boost productivity: ASSOCHAM survey
Jun 20,2016

Over 53% of the corporate companies are opting for yoga sessions in workplace to boost productivity, reduce sick days, increase mental clarity, combat fatigue, improve memory, fight stress and increase workplace satisfaction, an ASSOCHAM paper coinciding with the n++International Yoga Dayn++ (June 21) noted.

As per the ASSOCHAM recent estimates, there is about a 35 percent annual increase in demand for yoga learning in India with a growing publicity and health awareness. This demand trend will accelerate further to become multi-billion dollar market in the form of health clinics, ayurveda resorts, holiday camps, corporate training etc, conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) paper on n++International Yoga Dayn++.

The number of employee from the corporate world who seek yoga classes have gone up by about 35-40% this year compared with last year (20%), said Dr. B K Rao, Chairman of ASSOCHAM Health Committee Council. Many B-Schools are also taking the lead from corporate to have compulsory yoga modules to minimize the stress of the candidates.

According to the findings, nearly 53% of corporate companies are participating in yoga sessions in their offices as stress management activities and many individuals are also opting for personalized yoga classes at home. The corporate industry is looking to promote healthier practices for their employees to boost productivity, adds the survey.

Increasingly demanding schedules and high stress levels are leading to depression or general anxiety disorders in individual lives and have wide ranging effects like daytime fatigue, physical discomfort, psychological stress, performance deterioration and increased absenteeism. Almost 60 to 65% of executives are suffering from stress-related diseases, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM while releasing the survey.

ASSOCHAM Co-Chairman of Health Committee Council Dr. H K Chopra said, n++Yoga helps people to think clearly, sharpens intelligence, improves learning ability, helps cope with problems and produces better job performancen++. Having yoga in the workplace offers a convenient way for employees to have a balanced life and to fit a workout in, without having to leave the premises.

As per ASSOCHAMs corporate employees survey result, around 45.5% of the sample population are suffering from depression or general anxiety. Obesity is the second hard hit disease that was observed among the respondents, with 23% of the sample corporate employees suffering from obesity alone can modify occupational morbidity, mortality and injury risks that can further affect workplace absence, disability, productivity and healthcare costs. High blood pressure (B.P) and diabetes are the third and fourth largest disease with a share of 9 per cent and 8 per cent respectively as suffered among the corporate employees. Spondolysis (5.5 per cent), heart disease (4 per cent), cervical (3.0 per cent), asthma (2.5 per cent), slip disk (1 per cent) and arthritis (1.5 per cent) are the diseases that are mostly suffered by corporate employees.

The following statistics are sad and shocking, nearly 40.5% of corporate employees sleep less than 6 hours in a day due to high stressed levels that arise out of tough targets set for themselves by employers and cause diseases like depression, hypertension, sugar etc.,

The demand for yoga instructors has increased in the last one year. The increase in awareness on yoga is helping the market grow. In India, a yoga instructor, can earn between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000 a month, adds the paper.

Yoga is not only the greatest stress buster, but it is also an effective therapy option. It prevents and cures diseases and promotes general good health as it imparts mental, spiritual, and physical well being, said Dr. Rao.

As per the findings, Yoga sessions are introduced for an hour daily, from Monday to Friday, or for three days a week, depending on the employees requirements. The benefits of a workplace wellness program, improve presenteeism, Control/reduces escalating health care costs, improve productivity, increases employee loyalty and reduces attrition rate, employees leading healthy lifestyles tend to take lower sick leaves with improved work performance and increased productivity that reduces overall costs of the organisation.

The report is based on the views of 1,500 corporate employees from 250 companies across 18 broad sectors like media, telecom and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) etc.

The report included the major cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabd, Pune, Chandigarh, Dehradun etc. A little over 200 employee were selected from each city on an average.

Around 55 per cent of the survey respondents fall under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26 per cent), 40-49 years (16 per cent), 50-59 years (2 per cent) and 60-69 years (approximately 1 per cent). The survey was able to target corporate employees from 18 broad sectors, with maximum share contributed by employees from IT/ITes sector (17 per cent).

Employees working in engineering and telecom sector contributed 9 per cent and 8 per cent respectively in the questionnaire. Nearly 6 per cent of the employees belonged from market research/KPO and media background each. Management, FMCG and Infrastructure sector employees share is 5 per cent each, in the total survey. Respondents from power and real estate sector contributed 4 per cent each. Employees from education and food & beverages sector provided a share of 3 per cent each. Advertising, manufacturing and textiles employees offered a share of 2 per cent each in the survey results.

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Workshop on Ways to Promote Water Transportation
Jun 20,2016

The Ministry of Shipping is organizing a workshop with various stakeholders and industry representatives on 20th June 2016 to discuss ways and means to promote water transportation and make it competitive to roads and railways transportation.

The waterways mode of transportation is fuel-efficient, environment - friendly, and capable of easing traffic congestion on roads and railways thus preventing loss of human lives due to accidents. The Government of India is committed to promote coastal shipping and inland waterways transportation and has envisioned the increasing of the share of waterways transportation mode from the present level of 7% to 10% by 2020.

To optimize utilization of waterways as a transportation mode many important steps have already been taken, which include (i) moderating manning and technical requirements for vessels operating within Indian territorial waters through a river sea vessel notification; (ii) declaring the inland vessel limits for facilitating coastal trade operations; (iii) issuing coastal shipping rules for coastal vessels operating within 20 miles off the coast; (iv) advising major ports to introduce green channel for coastal cargo, priority berthing for coastal vessels and construction of exclusive coastal berths; (v) exempting customs and Central Excise duty on bunker fuels (IFO 180 and IFO 380 CST) for use by coastal vessels carrying EXIM cargo or empty containers or domestic cargo between two ports, in India; (vi) bringing abatement of service tax at 70% for coastal shipping at par with road and rail; (vii) simplification of customs procedures, etc.

To provide thrust to the transportation of automobile cargo through waterways, apart from relaxing cabotage for Roll-on-Roll-off vessels, the wharfage charges on per unit basis, instead of on ad volarem basis, have been introduced for major ports and tariff is prescribed at concessional rates for Roll-on-Roll-off (RoRo) vessels on coastal voyage for transporting cars from one Indian port to another Indian Port.

As a step towards finalizing the operationalization of the above initiatives, the workshop is being organized with participation of Indian Waterways Authority of India, Director General of Shipping, INSA, ICCSA, logistics companies and freight forwarders and other stakeholders to seek their views on modal shift of cargo transportation to coastal shipping and waterways, and to remove impediments and make water transportation competitive.

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Textiles Minister dedicates five Solarised Community Centres and 100 Shelter Homes for benefit of wool growers in Ladakh
Jun 18,2016

The Union Textiles Minister Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar dedicated five Solarised Community Centre and 100 shelter homes for the benefit of the nomads (wool-growers) involved in Pashmina sheep rearing, in very hard conditions; in Ladakh region.

The Minister, while interacting with the nomads announced that all other kinds of help in respect of marketing of raw pashmina and linking pashmina products with tourism would be facilitated by Government of India.

The Minister also informed that during the last two years, animal productivity (average pashmina yield) has gone up by 9.30%. He said that mortality of livestock has come down and critical rural infrastructure has been created under the scheme during this period, in remote and nomadic areas, situated mostly in border areas. Shri Gangwar noted that the health and body weight of animals have improved, socio-economic status of Pashmina breeders has improved and returns from Pashmina wool have gone up. The Minister said that Pashmina development schemes have ultimately resulted in increase profitability to herders engaged in Pashmina goat rearing, making it extremely popular among the livestock-rearing nomads of the Ladakh region.

Background

Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his visit to Leh on 12th August, 2014, announced Pashmina Promotion Programme (P-3) with additional financial assistance of Rs. 30 crore for improving quality and quantity of pashmina wool as well as living standards of nomads (wool growers) of Ladakh region.

Consequently, the Ministry of Textiles developed the Pashmina Promotion Programme (P-3) for these purposes, which was launched by Honble Minister of State for Textiles (Independent Charge), Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar in October 2014; the Minister also laid the foundation stone for a Pashmina Dehairing Plant building at Leh on the occasion.

Under this Programme, financial assistance is being provided under different components like Creation of Common Pashmina Facilitation Centre for Wool testing, Disease Surveillance Centre, Geographic Information System (GIS) Lab, Shelter for Nomads, Portable Electric Units for Handloom Spinning/Weaving, Solarised Community Centres, Open Fodder enclosures, Distribution of Foundation Stock (male & female goats) to farmers and construction of Shelter for Housing of Pashmina animals.

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Innovative Approach, Passion, Patience And Element Of Luck Make An Entrappers: MD, Harvest Gold At PHD Chamber
Jun 18,2016

Managing Director, Harvest Gold Industries Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Adil Hassan on Wednesday suggested innovative approach coupled with passion and patience as significant milestones to turn to be entrepreneurs without inheritance of business background.

Delivering his CEO Talk, organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its Young Business Leaders Forum, Mr. Hassan tendered an advice to aspiring entrepreneurs to take calculative risk, especially in choosing partners as your association with them can make and mar your business prospects.

He also emphasised that innovative approach with passion and patience should have sufficient support of the element of luck to make your business grow and expand in the absence of which, the business and even the best of entrepreneurial skills could collapse.

Entrepreneurial talent and skills make and motivate the aspiring business start-ups work for 24x7 as in modern businesses the calculative risks pay off rich dividends to those who have the capacity to work consistently without any break.

In his welcome remarks, Vice President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Anil Khaitan emphasised saying that the aspiring business lot need to be fearless to cut the mountains and face business challenges with fortitude and capacity to think differently.

Secretary General, PHD Chamber, Mr. Saurabh Sanyal praised the quality and precision with which the Harvest bread is made and attributed its success to the best quality processes that the product goes through the various value engineering and product processes.

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Launch of Korea Plus
Jun 18,2016

The Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman and Mr. Joo Hyunghwan, the Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy, Government of the Republic of Korea, today, launched Korea Plus, a special initiative to promote and facilitate Korean Investments in India.

An MOU for establishing Korea Plus was earlier signed between the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Govt. of the Republic of Korea and Invest India, the National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency of India in January 2016. This MOU came as an outcome of the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to South Korea in May 2015.

The launch took place in the presence of Mr. Cho Hyun, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India, officials of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Invest India team and several Korean Business delegates.

Korea Plus, operationalized on June 18, 2016 comprises of a representative from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Energy, Government of the Republic of Korea and representative from Korea Trade Investment and Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and three representatives from Invest India.

The mandate of Korea Plus covers the entire investment spectrum including supporting Korean enterprises entering the Indian market for the first time, looking into issues faced by Korean companies doing business in India and policy advocacy to the Indian Government on their behalf. Korea Plus will act as a mediator in arranging meetings, assisting in public relations and research/evaluation and provide information and counselling in regard to Korean companies investing in India.

India and the Republic of Korea relations have made great strides in recent years and Korea Plus will act as a catalyst in making these relations even more robust.

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All States Agree to Provide Power to all Households in 18452 villages by May 2017
Jun 18,2016

The Union Minister for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy, Shri Piyush Goyal has said that all the states have resolved to provide 24x7 power for all by March 2019 or earlier in their respective states. Further all states, except LWE affected, have also resolved to electrify all remaining unelectrified villages by 31st December 2016 and states will award contracts in the next 30 days for this work. Announcing this at a press conference at the state Power Ministers Conference, Shri Goyal said that states also agreed for providing 100 percent power to all households in 18452 villages in the country in a mission mode by 1st May 2017.The participating states also resolved to ensure that operational and financial milestones in the MOU for UDAY would also be implemented. In a landmark decision all states resolved to procure henceforth only Smart Meters which are tamper proof and communication enabled. The Minister said the cost of these smart meters has been brought down by 60 percent from Rs 8000 to Rs 3223 as a result of central procurement and the endeavor is to go for only such meters in the future for 25 crore consumers in the country.

The Minister also announced that one 4 digit all India number 1912 has been started for consumer complaints across the country. Sharing the outcome of the 2 day meeting, he said it was a successful fruitful dialogue over two days and everyone worked in service of the poor and farmers in a cooperative and collaborative manner demonstrating the strength of our democracy. Shri Goyal said the meeting disproved the notion that different political interests cannot bring about commonality of a purpose. The meeting also discussed Hydro power policy and sought to work out ways of reviving small (25 MW or less) stalled hydro projects with cooperation from the states to provide new thrust to the hydro sector. He said a committee for this has been set up which will submit its recommendations by 30th September 2016.

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4800 villages in Gujarat declared Open Defecation Free (ODF)
Jun 18,2016

The Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, went on a State visit to Gujarat today where he met the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Sanitation), and discussed the progress being made by the State towards achieving open defecation free (ODF) status.

The State Principal Secretary, Sanitation, Ms Jayanti Ravi, apprised the Central team about various initiatives being taken by the State in this regard. The State has achieved a sanitation coverage of 73.75%, and 4800 villages in Gujarat have declared themselves as ODF. This has been achieved through a strong emphasis on behaviour change trainings, involvement of Self Help Groups and involving various Development partners like World Bank, UNICEF and Tata Trusts closely.

An exhibition showcasing various innovative IEC (Information-Education-Communication) / Interpersonal tools was organized by the State on the occasion. The State also made a presentation highlighting the State strategy. Inter Departmental convergence came up as an important tool being deployed. Special focus was given during the discussion to capacity building in community approaches. It was decided that 20 virtual classrooms will be set up in the State to further support this purpose. State presented detailed plan of identifying and training motivators up to the village level.

A meeting was also held with all the development partners, which included discussion on progress, support requirements and challenges on the field.

The Secretary later met with the Chief Secretary of Gujarat, Shri G. R. Aloria, and held a video conference with all District Development Officers (DDOs) of Gujarat. The districts expressed readiness of plan and effort to achieve Swachhta soon.

The Secretary concluded by emphasizing that Swachh Bharat is a programme of behavioural change and while we should do it in a campaign mode, we will have to keep a focus on quality and sustainability. The demand generation by the people themselves for toilets is a must for success of the programme. It was agreed that the State will put in place an independent concurrent evaluation system.

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Kharif Crop Sown in 84.21 Lakh Hectare so far
Jun 17,2016

Preliminary reports of crop coverage in the kharif season have started coming in. The total sown area as on 17th June, as per reports received from States, stands at 84.21 lakh hectare as compared to 93.63 lakh hectare at this time last year.

It is reported that rice has been sown/transplanted in 9.17 lakh ha, pulses in 3.32 lakh ha, coarse cereals in 6.01 lakh ha, oilseeds in 1.88 lakh ha, sugarcane in 44.38 lakh hectare and cotton in 12.25 lakh ha.

The details of the area covered so far and that covered during this time last year are given below:

Lakh hectare 

CropArea sown in 2016-17Area sown in 2015-16Rice9.1710.19Pulses3.324.53Coarse Cereals6.017.19Oilseeds1.882.92Sugarcane44.3841.58Jute & Mesta7.217.56Cotton12.2519.66Total84.2193.63

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Safeguarding the interests of sportspersons and provision of effective Grievance Redressal System in the Constitution of National Sports Federations
Jun 17,2016

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has advised all National Sports Federations (NSFs) to consider that :

(i) an effective, transparent and fair grievance redressal system and mechanism is provided by each NSF in its constitution/bye-laws for expeditious settlement of any disputes arising between the sports persons and/or support personnel and its various committees constituted for any special task; and

(ii) a specific provision is made by each NSF in its constitution/bye-laws to the effect that any sports person and/or support personnel aggrieved by any decision or action of an International Sports Association/ Federation imposing any penalty or punishment by way of disciplinary action or otherwise may raise that dispute before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and/or the International Council of Arbitration for Sports (ICAS) either by himself/herself or through the NSF concerned.

Background

The Government of India has been, from time to time, taking various steps and initiatives to promote good governance practices in the management of sports at the national level. These are based on the Basic Universal Principles of Good Governance of Olympic and Sports Movement and do not interfere with the autonomy of National Sports Bodies, in discharging their functions and duties in accordance with the International Olympic Committee Charter. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recognizes one sports federation at the national level for each sports being played in the country. The NSFs are, in turn, responsible for promotion of the sports concerned and for participation of sportspersons playing these sports in international and national events. The Government supplements the efforts of these recognized National Sports Federations (NSFs) by providing them necessary financial assistance and various infrastructural and other facilities. However, the Government does not interfere with the internal functioning of these NSFs, duly recognizing their character, which owe their origin in their registration as societies, associations or companies, etc., under the relevant laws. These NSFs are expected to carry out, as per their own constitutions/bye-laws, their day-to-day activities and functions of promoting the sports concerned and safeguarding the interests of sports persons and other support staff including coaches, referees, etc., involved in these sports. The Government, however, has laid down certain guidelines which the recognized NSFs have to observe and follow for securing recognition by the Government as NSFs. For their convenience, these guidelines have all been codified in the National Sports Development Code of India (NSCI) 2011, which has been effective from 31st January, 2011.

One of the important guidelines contained in the said NSCI lays special emphasis on the provision of an effective system and mechanism in the constitutions/bye-laws of the NSFs for expeditious redressal of the grievances of the sportspersons and others involved in the sports concerned. Despite such specific emphasis on the above aspect in the NSCI, disputes often arise between the sportspersons and the managing committees, organizational committees, selection committees, etc., of NSFs, where the affected persons feel aggrieved and often approach the Honble High Courts seeking redressal of their grievances. In almost all such cases, the experience has shown that this Ministry is also unnecessarily made a party and impleaded as a respondent, though this Ministry has hardly any role to play in the settlement of such disputes which are basically internal matters of the NSFs concerned.

Apart from the above, instances have also come to the notice of this Ministry where certain sports persons/coaches and others participating in international events, organized by the international controlling bodies of those sports, have been unjustly penalized or subjected to harsh disciplinary proceedings for trifling faults on their part. In such cases, it has been found that no mechanism has been provided in the constitutions of the NSFs for taking of these matters either by the affected sportspersons or NSFs concerned to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), and/or the International Council of Arbitration for Sports (ICAS) both situated at Lausanne, Switzerland, and which are the highest bodies at the international level to resolve sports-related disputes through arbitration and mediation. An examination of the constitution of the CAS and ICAS shows that these bodies entertain disputes only if the federations, associations or other sports related bodies, at the national and international levels, make specific provisions in their regulations for referring such matters to them or agree to such reference by specific agreement.

One such incident of an Indian sports person being harshly penalized by an International Sports Association took place recently attracting nation-wide attention and which was even taken to the Honble Delhi High Court by way of Writ Petition (C) No.8730 of 2014 (Rajiv Dutta Vs. Union of India and Ors.), as that matter could not be taken to the CAS for want of necessary provision in the constitution of the NSF concerned. While disposing of the said writ petition, the Honble Delhi High Court, by its order dated 15th January, 2016, directed this Ministry to consider the prayer of the petitioner that it is essential to ensure incorporation of a specific provision by the NSFs in their constitutions/bye-laws for dispute settlement of such matters by the CAS/ICAS.

Having considered the matter in its entirety, Department of Sports has issued the above mentioned advise to all NSFs.

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Non Resident Indians (NRIs) can now join and subscribe to NPS online through eNPS
Jun 17,2016

NRIs have a pivotal role to play in the Indian economy. India has the second-largest Diaspora in the world, with around 29 million people living in over 200 countries and out of these 25% live in the Gulf countries. Most of the Indians going to the Gulf and some other countries go for employment and return to India after having worked abroad for a certain period.

NPS can provide a long term solution to their old age income security. NPS has been available to NRIs for some time through Bank offices and now, to further ease the process of joining, eNPS is being extended to Non-Resident Indian subscribers.

NRIs can now open NPS Accounts online if they have Aadhaar Card or PAN card

Till now, NRIs could open NPS accounts only through paper applications by approaching Bank offices but this has now changed. Through eNPS, a subscriber will be able to open an NPS account from the comfort of his home. All he will need is an internet connection and an Aadhaar/ PanCard.

Further, NRIs will be able to open NPS accounts both on Repatriable and on Non Repatriable basis. On a Repatriable basis, an NRI will have to remit the amount through his/her NRE/FCNR/NRO account.

For Non-Repatriable scheme, NRIs will be able to join NPS through their NRE/FCNR/NRO accounts at the time of maturity or during partial withdrawal, the NPS funds would be deposited only in their NRO accounts.

Both Repatriable and Non-Repatriable schemes will greatly appeal to NRIs who intend to return to India after their employment abroad, in view of their attractive returns, low cost, flexibility and their being regulated by the PFRDA, a Regulator established by the Central Government .

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Parliament Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice to visit Bengaluru, Chennai and Bhopal
Jun 17,2016

The Department-related Parliament Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice will visit Bengaluru, Chennai and Bhopal beginning 20th June, 2016. The committee consisting of 28 MPs will be chaired by Dr E.M.S. Natchiappan.

During the visit, the Committee will hold meeting with the representatives of recognised political parties and Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state on implementation of Model Code of Conduct for Political Parties during General Elections. The members will also meet the representatives of State Governments, State Public Service Commission and Administrative Training Institute and Indian Institute of Management in the respective states, on the subject of appointment of advisors/experts in Government establishments.

During visit to Bengaluru, the committee will visit the National Law School of India University and hold interaction with Christ University School of Law, Law Academies, Law firms including State Judicial Academy, Bar Council of Karnataka and University Law College, Bangalore University on n++Promotion of Legal Education and Research under the Advocates Act, 1961n++. The Committee will also hold meeting with State Bank of Mysore, Vijaya Bank, Aeronautical Development Establishment, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and National Small Industries Corporation on the n++Status of implementation of Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism, Vigilance Administration and Right to Information Actn++.

In Chennai, the committee will visit the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University and hold discussions on n++Promotion of Legal Education and Research n++. The committee will also hold meeting with representatives of Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), Indian Overseas Bank, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam (BHAVINI), National Thermal Power Corporation, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Airports Authority of India on the n++Status of implementation of Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism, Vigilance Administration and Right to Information Actn++.

During its visit to Bhopal, the committee will hold discussion with Gas Authority of India (GAIL), Northern Coalfields Limited, National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC), Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants (MECON), Bharat Coking Coal Limited and Oriental Insurance Company on the n++Status of implementation of Public Grievances Redressal Mechanism, Vigilance Administration and Right to Information Actn++. The committee will also visit the National Judicial Academy of India, Bhopal and hold interaction on Promotion of Legal Education and Research.

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Regular Review Meetings being held to monitor payment and settlement crisis in National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL)
Jun 17,2016

The matter relating to violations of law, criminal offences and default in payments to investors on the platform of National Spot Exchange (NSEL) is engaging the serious attention of the Government. Investigations and other enforcement measures are being taken by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Financial Intelligence Unit - India (FIU-IND) and Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). The progress of these activities is being monitored in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA),Ministry of Finance through Review Meetings. So far, eleven such meetings have taken place. The last such Review Meeting was held on 06 June 2016 under the Chairmanship of Shri Shaktikanta Das, Secretary (Economic Affairs),Ministry of Finance.

The latest status with regard to some of the important aspects of the case and the key decisions taken in the Review Meeting are as under:

n++ Government of Maharashtra has issued fifth Gazette notification on 17 March 2016 for attachment of 151 properties worth Rs. 358.46 Crores approximately. Till date, five Gazette notifications have been issued in respect of attachment of assets worth Rs. 6115.25 Crores approximately.

n++ MCA is working on the merger / amalgamation of NSEL with Financial Technologies (India) (FTIL). Bombay High Court had granted extension of time up to 15 February 2016 to MCA for taking final view on the draft order of the amalgamation. MCA issued the final Order on 12.2.2016 for the merger of NSEL with FTIL. Honble Bombay High Court, however, has restrained the Government from notifying the final Order dated 12 February 2016 in the Gazette. In the review meeting, MCA was requested to take quick action and ensure that the case is handled on priority. Further, it was advised that a senior officer should visit Mumbai to follow up on the Court case.

n++ The Enforcement Directorate had filed a prosecution complaint before the City Civil Court And Additional Sessions Judge, Greater Bombay on 30 March 2015 against NSEL and 67 other accused persons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA). The prosecution complaint details money trail amounting to Rs. 3721.22 crores. The next date of hearing is on 7 July 2016. It was pointed out to the Directorate that the violation of PMLA is a serious offence and therefore, the Directorate should be more proactive and take effective action quickly.

n++ FIU-IND passed an Order on 4.11.2015 under section 13 of the PMLA imposing a penalty of Rs. 1.66 crores on the NSEL for non-compliance of the Act. NSEL has gone in appeal in the PMLA Tribunal against the Order passed by Director, FIU-IND. Besides this, Show Cause Notices have been issued to officials / Directors concerned of NSEL. FIU-IND was advised that all out efforts may be made to ensure realisation of the penalty at the earliest.

n++ As decided in the previous review meeting, Government of Maharashtra is working on proposals for providing additional manpower for Economic Offence Wing of Mumbai Police which is investigating the NSEL case on an urgent basis; augmenting the number of Designated Courts under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) Act, 1999; and deployment of full time competent authorities for dealing exclusively with NSEL related work.

n++ Action has been initiated by the Government of Maharashtra to auction attached properties. The State Government was advised that it may closely monitor the progress of the investigation / prosecution by the EOW, Mumbai Police with a view to expediting the refund of the lost investment of public. The auction of attached properties needs to be expedited and the money realised may be returned to the investors at the earliest following the due procedure.

n++ SEBI has appointed empanelled auditors to conduct detailed inspection of books of five brokers of the erstwhile Forward Markets Commission whose names figure in the list of offenders received from EOW, Mumbai Police. SEBI was asked to get the audit of the books of brokers carried out in a comprehensive manner and expedite necessary action under law.

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