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India and Switzerland agree to move towards an early agreement for the implementation of AEOI between the two countries
Jun 16,2016

Fighting the menace of Black Money stashed in offshore accounts has been a key priority area for this Government. To further this goal, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met with the Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann at Geneva on 6th June 2016 and discussed the need for expeditious exchange of information for combatting tax evasion together with an early start to negotiations on the Agreement for Automatic Exchange of Information. As a follow up, Revenue Secretary Dr. Hasmukh Adhia and Switzerlands State Secretary for International Financial Matters Mr. Jacques de Watteville met here today and agreed to move towards an early agreement for the implementation of AEOI between the two countries. It was decided that experts of both the countries will meet before mid-September, 2016 to further discuss the modalities for the reciprocal bilateral implementation of AEOI between India and Switzerland with a view to reaching an agreement at the earliest, possibly by the end of the year. Once this agreement is signed, it will be possible for India to receive from 2018 financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland on automatic basis.

Noting the progress in bilateral tax cooperation since the last Secretary-level meeting in October 2014, the two Secretaries encouraged the competent authorities of both the countries to continue with regular bilateral meetings and contacts to further enhance the cooperation.The issue of requests based on n++stolen datan++ figured prominently in the talks and Revenue Secretary welcomed the decision of the Swiss Federal Council to amend the Tax Administrative Assistance Act in accordance with the OECD standard and provide administrative assistance in requests based on data obtained in breach of Swiss law. This is particularly significant in view of the recent challenges posed by the Panama Papers where voluminous information on offshore accounts has been placed in the public domain. The amended proposal is now with the Swiss Parliament. An early revision of the Swiss law in respect of stolen data would take the Indo-Swiss tax cooperation to a new level.

The two sides agreed to pursue the ongoing dialogue on tax and financial matters in a spirit of mutual friendship and cooperation. The text of the Joint Statement signed by the two Secretaries at the conclusion of the meeting is given below:

Joint Statement

In furtherance to the meeting of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Johann Schneider-Ammann at Geneva on 6 June 2016 and in continuation with the Secretary level talks in October 2014, Indias Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia and Switzerlands State Secretary Jacques de Watteville met today at New Delhi. They engaged in constructive dialogue on wide ranging bilateral and multilateral tax and financial issues. The talks reflected the increasing cooperation in tax matters as well as the strong political, economic and cultural ties between India and Switzerland. As a follow up of the meeting between the Indian Prime Minister and the Swiss President, representatives of both sides held in-depth discussions on current challenges relevant for both countries. Revenue Secretary Adhia and State Secretary de Watteville recognized the benefits of ongoing dialogue and mutual exchange for attaining effective and sustainable results in bilateral tax and financial cooperation.

Revenue Secretary Adhia and State Secretary de Watteville acknowledged the efforts made towards enhancing bilateral tax cooperation since the last high-level meeting in October 2014 and encouraged the competent authorities of both countries to continue with the regular bilateral meetings and contacts to further improve the cooperation under the Swiss-Indian Double Taxation Agreement, as revised by the Protocol of 30 August 2010. The Secretaries agreed that such contacts facilitate a common understanding of each others concerns so as to ensure that the requests are dealt with quickly and efficiently. To begin with, a team of officers from India would visit Switzerland for bilateral discussions towards expeditious resolution of pending exchange of information requests. On the issue of requests based on what Switzerland considers as data obtained in breach of Swiss law, Revenue Secretary Adhia, while reaffirming Indias position that Switzerland should share information in all cases in accordance with its treaty obligations, noted the progress made in a number of Indian requests based on investigations carried out independently of the stolen data. Secretary Adhia welcomed the decision of the Swiss Federal Council to dispatch to the Swiss Parliament a proposal to revise the Tax Administrative Assistance Act in order to clarify, in accordance with the OECD standard, the possibility to cooperate on requests based on data obtained in breach of Swiss law. A timely revision of the Swiss law in respect of stolen data would take the Indo-Swiss tax cooperation to a new level.

Reiterating their countries commitment to combat tax fraud and evasion within the applicable legal framework, Secretary Adhia and State Secretary de Watteville expect that the progress made by Switzerland in the field of administrative assistance in tax matters would be appropriately reflected in Switzerlands phase 2 review by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum). More generally, the Revenue Secretary and the State Secretary acknowledged the work of the Global Forum towards establishing a genuine worldwide level playing field for tax transparency. Referring to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting held in Washington D.C. in April 2016, the Anti-Corruption Summit held in London in May 2016 and in view of the recent challenges posed by the Panama Papers, Secretary Adhia and State Secretary de Watteville recognized the need to take firm collective action on improving basic, legal and beneficial ownership information of legal persons and legal arrangements, while underlining the importance of full implementation of FATF standards in this regard.

The discussions showed a convergence of views with regard to tackling offshore tax evasion. State Secretary de Watteville informed that Switzerland now has the necessary legal bases to begin with the implementation of automatic exchange of information (AEOI) under common reporting standard (CRS). Recalling the commitment of both the countries to the global standard on AEOI, Secretary Adhia and State Secretary de Watteville initiated discussions for the implementation of AEOI between the two countries and agreed to work towards concluding the agreement within a reasonable timeframe keeping in view their national parliamentary procedures and the need of a level playing field. They agreed that experts of both countries would convene swiftly at technical level not later than mid-September 2016 to further discuss the modalities for the reciprocal bilateral implementation of AEOI between India and Switzerland with the view to reaching an agreement at the earliest, possibly by the end of the year.

Both representatives expressed support for the work of the G20 and the OECD in the field of international economic cooperation. They shared the view that coordinated international actions, as in the case of tax base erosion and profit shifting, are central to achieving a sustainable development path, especially for developing countries. They welcomed the recent adoption of measures to address base erosion and profit shifting under the umbrella of the OECD/G20 BEPS Project, as well as the establishment of an Inclusive Framework to assist and review the implementation of the BEPS package. Both sides look forward to working closely together under the new Inclusive Framework to ensure a smooth implementation of the minimum standard. Revenue Secretary Adhia and State Sec

Freight rates for the direct road movement of fertilizers upto 500 Km from plant/port to block level approved
Jun 16,2016

To ensure timely and adequate availability of fertilizers to farmers at affordable prices, Department of Fertilizers has approved the freight rates for the direct road movement of fertilizers upto 500 km from plant/port to block level, as recommended by the Tariff Commission. A decision has been taken to reimburse the freight cost in respect of secondary movement of fertilizers from rake point to district/ block headquarter on monthly basis at the lower of the normative Per Tonne Per Kilometer (PTPK) rate or actual expenditure incurred by the company. The decision will come into effect from today.

The decision will ensure availability of urea in remote areas, while keeping the cost under control. It will be one of the major tool to maintain the demand and supply uniformly all over the country up to the block level and will benefit farmers during the peak demand season. Fertilizer companies will not be allowed to do circuitous routing of fertilizers which will save subsidy and promote efficient transportation of fertilizers. The district wise normative road freight rates have been computed in scientific manner in line with the policy.

Freight for Urea has been always driven by considerations of serving the farming population at large including those in remote and hilly areas. The intention of the Government had never been to save subsidy by paying lower than the actual expenditure on freight. Uncertainty of freight subsidy, on the other hand, can disrupt supply and create scarcity amidst plenty. In this, distribution and movement of urea is as important as its manufacture if not more.

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Cabinet approves of 4/6 laning of Kharar-Ludhiana Section of NH-95 (New NH-05) in Punjab
Jun 16,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the development of 4/6 laning of Kharar-Ludhiana Section of NH-95 (New NH-05) in Punjab.

The cost is estimated to be Rs.2069.70 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 76 kms.

This work will be done under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-V in Hybrid Annuity Mode.

The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Punjab and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Kharar and Ludhiana section. The development of this stretch will also help in uplifting the socio-economic condition of this region in the State. It would also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities.

It has been estimated that a total number of 4,076 mandays are required for construction of one kilometre of highway. As such, employment potential of 3,09,833 (approx.) mandays will be generated locally during the construction period of this stretch.

The Sub-project (Kharar-Ludhiana) is part of the project of Chandigarh-Ludhiana. The project was divided in two sections i.e. Chandigarh-Kharar and Kharar-Ludhiana. The Chandigarh-Kharar section has already been awarded for four laning on Engineering, Procurement and Construction mode.

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Cabinet approves disinvestment of 10% paid up equity of Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO)
Jun 15,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for disinvestment of 10% paid up equity of Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) out of Government of Indias shareholding of 100% through Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the domestic market as per the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Rules and Regulation.

The paid up equity capital of HUDCO is Rs.2001.90 crore and Government of India owns 100% 0f the equity at present. Net worth of the Company is approximately Rs. 7,800 Cr.

HUDCO was incorporated on 25th April 1970 as a wholly owned Government of India Enterprise under the administrative control of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation with the objective of providing long term finance for construction of houses for residential purposes. It also finances and undertakes housing and urban development projects in the country.

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Cabinet approves Civil Aviation Policy
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the Civil Aviation Policy. This is the first time since Independence that an integrated Civil Aviation Policy has been brought out by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Highlights

The Policy aims at:

n++ India to become 3rd largest civil aviation market by 2022 from 9th

n++ Domestic ticketing to grow from 8 crore in 2015 to 30 crore by 2022

n++ Airports having scheduled commercial flights to increase from 77 in 2016 to 127 by 2019

n++ Cargo volumes to increase by 4 times to 10 million tonnes by 2027

n++ Taking flying to masses - Enabling Indians to fly at Rs. 2,500 per hour under Regional Connectivity Scheme at unserved airports

n++ Requirement of 5 years of domestic flying for starting international operations removed

n++ Flexible and liberalized open skies and code share agreements

n++ Incentives to MRO sector to develop as hub for South Asia

n++ Ensuring availability of quality certified 3.3 lakh skilled personnel by 2025

n++ Development of green-field airports and heliports

n++ Enhancing ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures and e-governance

n++ Promoting Make In India in Civil Aviation Sector

Areas covered in the Policy:

i. Regional connectivity

ii. Safety

iii. Air Transport Operations

iv. Route Dispersal Guidelines

v. 5/20 Requirement for International Operations

vi. Bilateral traffic rights

vii. Code-share agreements

viii. Fiscal Support

ix. Airports developed by State Govt, Private sector or in PPP mode

x. Airports Authority of India

xi. Air Navigation Services

xii. Aviation security, Immigration and Customs

xiii. Helicopters

xiv. Charters

xv. Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul

xvi. Ground handling

xvii. Air-cargo

xviii. Aeronautical Make in India

xix. Aviation education and skill development

xx. Sustainable aviation

xxi Miscellaneous

xxiii. Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1968

Salient features of the Policy

i. The Viability Gap Funding (VGF) will be funded by a small levy per departure on all domestic routes other than Cat II/ Cat IIA routes, RCS routes and small aircraft at a rate as decided by the Ministry from time to time. A detailed scheme will be put up in the Public domain for stakeholders consultations.

ii. The 5/20 rule for commencement of international flight in operation since 2004 is replaced by a formulation which provides a level playing field and allows airlines, both new and old, to commence international operations provided they continue to meet some obligation for domestic operation. All airlines can commence international operations provided they deploy 20 aircraft or 20% of total capacity (in term of average number of seats on all departures put together), whichever is higher, for domestic operations.

iii. Necessary administrative and financial flexibility will be provided to Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for an effective aviation safety oversight system and for creating a transparent single-window system for all aviation safety related issues.

iv. The Route Dispersal Guidelines (RDG) have been rationalised by making the criteria for declaring a route as Category I (trunk route) more transparent, while the traffic to be deployed on Cat II and IIA expressed in terms of a percentage of CAT I traffic remains the same. The criteria proposed for a Cat I route are a flying distance of more than 700 km, average seat factor of more than 70% and annual traffic of 5 lakh passengers. The percentage for CAT III will be reduced in view of the Regional Connectivity Scheme coming into operation. Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have been included as part of category II routes.

v. The regime of bilateral rights and code share agreements will be liberalised leading to greater ease of doing business and wider choice to passengers. n++Open skiesn++ will be implemented on a reciprocal basis for SAARC countries and countries beyond 5000 kms from Delhi. A method will be recommended by a Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary for the allotment of additional capacity entitlements wherever designated Indian carriers have not utilised 80% of their bilateral rights but the foreign airlines/countries have utilised their part and are pressing for increase in the capacity.

vi. The Ministry will continue to encourage development of airports by the State Government or the private sector or in PPP mode and endeavour to provide regulatory certainty. Future greenfield and brownfield airports will have cost efficient functionality with no compromise on safety and security.

vii. Airport Authority of India (AAI) will continue to develop and modernise its airports and upgrade quality of services. AAI will be suitably compensated in case a new greenfield airport is approved in future within 150 km radius of an existing operational AAI airport which is not yet saturated.

viii. Upgradation and modernisation of Air Navigation Services will continue in line with global trends. AAI will provide a fully harmonised Air Navigation System considering International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Global Air Navigation Plan, Aviation system Block Upgrade and modern performance based technologies and procedures.

ix. The Government will promote helicopter usage by issuing separate regulations for helicopters and development of four heli-hubs initially. Ministry of Civil Aviation will also coordinate with all the agencies and stakeholders concerned to facilitate Helicopter Emergency Medical Services.

x. In the budget for 2016-17, the customs duty for MROs has been rationalised and the procedure for clearance of goods simplified, in particular duty on tools and tool kits. Further incentives have been proposed in the policy to give a push to this sector :-

n++ MoCA will persuade State Governments to make VAT zero-rated on MRO activities

n++ Provision for adequate land for MRO service providers will be made in all future airport/heliport projects where potential for such MRO services exists.

n++ Airport royalty and additional charges will not be levied on MRO service providers for a period of five years from the date of approval of the policy.

xi. The existing ground handling policy is being replaced with a new framework to ensure fair competition. The airport operator will ensure that there will be three Ground Handling Agencies (GHA) including Air Indias subsidiary/JV at all major airports as defined in AERA Act 2008. At non-major airports, the airport operator to decide on the number of ground handling agencies, based on the traffic output, airside and terminal building capacity. All domestic scheduled airline operators including helicopter operators will be free to carry out self-handling at all airports. Hiring of employees through manpower supplier will not be permitted.

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Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia on Labour Co-operation for General Category Workers Recruitment
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Agreement on Labour Co-operation between India and Saudi Arabia. The Agreement was signed in Riyadh on 2-3 April, 2016 during the visit of the Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia.

The Agreement would benefit the Indian emigrant workers, especially in the unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled categories of workers who are working in Saudi Arabia without consideration of caste, creed, religion or gender.

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Cabinet approves enhancement of age of superannuation to 65 years
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for enhancement of the age of superannuation of (i) Non-Teaching and Public Health Specialists of Central Health Service from 62 years to 65 years and (ii) Doctors of General Duty Medical Officers (GDMOs) sub-cadre of Central Health Service (CHS) to 65 years.

The target group would be officers of Non-Teaching, Public Health and GDMO sub-cadres of CHS. The decision would help in better patient care, proper academic activities in Medical colleges as also in effective implementation of National Health Programmes for delivery of health care services.

There is no financial implications as the vacant posts would have to be filled up quickly to ensure continuity of patient care.

Background:

n++ The age of superannuation in respect of all four sub-cadres of Central Health Service was 60 years prior to 2006.

n++ The age of superannuation of the three specialists sub-cadres (Teaching, Non-Teaching and Public Health), except GDMO sub cadre, was enhanced, with the approval of the Cabinet in its meeting held on 2.11.2006, from 60 to 62 years.

n++ The age of superannuation of teaching sub-cadre was further enhanced from 62 to 65 years with the approval of the Cabinet in its meeting held on 05.06.2008 in view of huge shortfall of teaching specialists. The approval was limited to Teaching specialists engaged in teaching activities only and not occupying administrative positions.

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Cabinet approves signing of contract for Exploration of Poly metallic Sulphides between India and International Seabed Authority
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of 15 years contract by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for undertaking exploration and other developmental activities related to Polymetallic Sulphides in the allotted area of 10,000 sq km. It will be done in parts of Central and South - West Indian Ridges (SWIR), located in the Indian Ocean.

By signing the 15 year contract, Indias exclusive rights for exploration of Polymetallic Sulphides in the allotted Area in the Central Indian Ridge, and South West Indian Ridge in Indian Ocean will be formalized. Further, it will enhance Indias presence in the Indian Ocean where other players like China, Korea and Germany are active. The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the participation from various national institutes and research laboratories/ organisations.

Background:

Deep seabed Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS) containing iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum in variable constitutions are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust discharged through mineralized chimneys. PMS in the Ocean Ridges have attracted worldwide attention for their long term commercial as well as strategic values.

The International Seabed Authority (ISA), under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), earlier approved an application submitted by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India, for allotment of 10,000 sq. km. area along with 15 years plan of work for exploration of Polymetallic Sulphide (PMS) along Central Indian Ridge (CIR) 85 Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) region of the Indian Ocean. ISA governs non-living resources of seabed lying in international waters.

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Cabinet approves Indias Membership of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for Indian membership of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) consortium by signing an MoU with the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for geosciences. This is a government-funded, Public Law Foundation of the State of Brandenburg, Germany.

By signing the MoU on the membership for a period of five years with ICDP, India would enable engaging internationally renowned experts with profound expertise in different aspects of scientific drilling in order to accomplish deep drilling and associated investigations in Koyna region. As a part of the membership agreement, India will get a seat on two ICDP panels - Executive Committee (EC) and Assembly of Governors (AOG). Also, ICDP will provide technical / operational support, facilitate capacity building in terms of manpower training in key scientific areas, sample and data management and support workshops for the Koyna scientific deep drilling project undertaken by Ministry of Earth Sciences.

As a member of ICDP, scientists/engineers from India would have right to submit proposals, to participate in all ICDP co-funded workshops and drilling projects and have access to all data results from ICDP projects. This will shed new light on the genesis of seismicity and better understanding of earthquake processes.

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Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement between India-Taipei Association in Taipei (Indias representative office in Taiwan) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (Taiwans representative office in India).

Presently there is no formal Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan and the Air Services are governed by an MoU exchanged between Air India Charters (AIRL) and Taipei Airlines Associations (TAA).

The Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Taiwan, and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two parties.

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Cabinet appraisal of MoU between ISRO and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding between Department of Space / Indian Space Research Organization (DOS/ISRO) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space. The MoU was signed in Ottawa, Canada on 15th April 2015.

The MoU would lead to establishment of joint team, drawing members from ISRO and CSA, which will further work out the plan of action including examination and defining cooperative projects and the time-frame. This will also provide opportunities for diverse research in the field of peaceful uses of space technologies.

Background

The successful space cooperation is being pursued through two Implementing Arrangements in the field of Satellite Tracking Network Operations, and in the field of the ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) Detector Subsystem, in support of the ASTROSAT astronomy mission in December 2003 and June 2004, respectively. It is aimed at future cooperation in and use of outer space for peaceful purposes to reinforce scientific and technological development and the ties between two countries at government, industrial and academic levels.

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Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwan for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sector
Jun 15,2016

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding between Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India and India Taipei Association in Taipei, Taiwan for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sector.

The MoU provides for cooperation in the fields of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Food Processing, Genetic Resources as well as Environmental Sustainability. Both sides will encourage the private sector in both countries to enter into cooperation in these areas. The cooperation between the two sides involves exchange of visits, information, technology and training and also expansion of agricultural trade while reducing trade barriers.

Under the MoU, a Joint Working Committee will be constituted to identify priority areas of mutual interest and follow up on the progress of implementation of the activities identified by both sides. The MoU will be initially signed for a period of five years and shall be automatically renewed for a subsequent periods of five years unless either party expresses its desire/intention to terminate it.

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Paswan flags off mobile vans to sell pulses in Delhi
Jun 15,2016

Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan flagged off mobile vans for selling pulses at reasonable prices. These mobile vans run by National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India (NCCF) will sell pulses mainly Tur and Urad at Rs. 120 /kg in various parts of Delhi. Outlets of Kendriya Bhandar and Safal are already selling pulses in Delhi and NCR at these rates.

Briefing the media on the occasion, Shri Paswan said that Government has procured about 1,46,000 MT pulses for buffer stock. States Government have been urged to take the pulses from the buffer stock and sell them not more than Rs. 120/kg to ensure availability at reasonable prices. He expressed the hope with the recently increase in the MSP and expected good monsoon pulses production will get desired boost.

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FICCI Report on Corporate Governance Seeks Further Amendments to the Companies Act
Jun 15,2016

FICCI released a survey-based report on the state of Corporate Governance in India. The report titled Corporate Governance in India@2016: Where do we stand? takes an objective look at the reforms introduced by the Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI Listing Regulations and their collective impact on the governance landscape in the country.

The survey reveals that there have been improvements post reforms with respect to financial and non-financial disclosures, assessment of related party transactions and effectiveness of boards as well as independent directors. However, the report is quick to point out that the upturn is not uniform across companies and quantum of benefits realised differs across unlisted and small & large listed companies.

The survey also explored the challenges companies are facing because of regulatory reforms. For instance, large listed companies perceive that threats of regulatory action by enforcement agencies loom large post-reforms due to enhanced risks of prosecution. All companies, big and small, are challenged by greater focus on compliance, not only due to increased costs but also because directors are getting distracted from their core strategic and business functions and focussing more on compliance functions. Companies thus believe that the compliance requirements have turned into a burden, rather than an opportunity for improvement and growth, which was the legislative intent.

Commenting on the report, Dr A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI said, n++The survey suggests that though many of the legal provisions are good in form, they have multiplied the compliance burden for companies. The need is to draw a balance between the need for higher reforms with the costs involvedn++. It further stated that the purpose of the report is to highlight the course correction needed and that the proposed changes would further facilitate the implementation of the law and help realize the effectiveness of the governance framework. FICCI has also applauded the Governments decision to move the second amendment to the Companies Act, 2013 for ensuring ease of doing business.

The survey also evaluates the comprehensive disclosure based regime ushered by the Act. While acknowledging that the elaborate disclosures proposed under the new framework were not intended to increase the burden, the report laments that a vast majority of requirements do not render adequate benefits and are mere n++form over content,n++ adding to the compliance burden.

Recognising that the effectiveness of reforms lies in the benefits they generate and the ease with which they can be complied with; the survey explores the level of difficulty in implementing the regulations and whether it is commensurate with the benefits gained. The survey found that overall compliance costs have increased. While large corporates have established compliance systems and resources to manage the extra burden, small listed companies find it difficult to mobilise resources and hence find it burdensome.

Based on the responses received, the report enunciates further changes that need to be incorporated in the legislation. Some of the recommendations include removing the requirement of boards certificate on the adequacy and effectiveness of internal financial control; constitution of Audit and Nomination & Remuneration Committee by unlisted companies, bringing down the quantum of penalties for errors of disclosure etc.

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Government Launches Scheme for setting up 1000 MW CTU- connected Wind Power Project
Jun 15,2016

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched Scheme for setting up of 1000 MW Wind Power Project connected to transmission network of Central Transmission Utility (CTU) with an objective to facilitate supply of wind power to the non-windy states at a price discovered through transparent bidding process. Ministry has designated Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as nodal agency for implementation of the scheme.

The Scheme will encourage competitiveness through scaling up of project sizes and introduction of efficient and transparent e-bidding and e-auctioning processes. It will also facilitate fulfilment of Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) requirement of non-windy states.

The Government of India has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GW power capacity from renewable energy resources by 2022 and out of this 60 GW has to come from wind power. The Scheme will be implemented for setting up 1000 MW capacity of CTU connected Wind Power Projects by Wind Project Developers on build, own and operate basis. However, the capacity may go higher than 1000 MW, if there is higher demand from Discoms of non-windy states.

MNRE has also issued Draft guidelines for implementation of scheme for setting up of 1000 MW CTU connected wind power projects issued by MNRE for stakeholders consultation.

BACKGROUND

The wind power deployment in the country started in early 90s. With the conductive policy environment provided at Central and State level, this segment has achieved highest growth amongst the other renewable energy technologies. The present wind power installed capacity in the country is nearly 26.7 GW sharing around 9% of total installed capacity. Globally, India is at 4th position in term of wind power installed capacity after China, USA and Germany.

The Wind power potential in the country is assessed by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) at 100 meter above ground level, which is estimated to be over 302 GW. Most of this potential exists in 8 windy states namely Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

In order to facilitate transmission of wind power from these windy states to non-windy states provisions have been made in the Tariff Policy to waive the inter-state transmission charges and losses for wind power projects.

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