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Government realizes Rs.21,432.38 crore, by end-November 2016, through CPSEs disinvestment receipts
Jan 03,2017

Following are the major reform measures, policy initiatives and achievements of the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance:

A. Disinvestment Target and Achievements during 2016-17

The disinvestment target for the Current Financial Year 2016-17 has been estimated at Rs.56,500 crore comprising Rs.36,000 crore from disinvestment of CPSEs and Rs.20,500 crore from strategic disinvestment.

During the current financial year 2016-17, the Government has so far realized Rs.23528.73 crore, which include Rs.21,432.38 crore through minority stake sale in 14 CPSEs and Rs. 2096.35 crore through strategic disinvestment. The total realization of Rs. 21,432.38 crore, by end-November 2016 through CPSEs disinvestment receipts, constitutes around 59.53 per cent of the Budgeted Target of Rs. 36,000 crore (CPSEs disinvestment).

B. Reform Measures and Policy Initiatives:

(a) Steps taken to accelerate the disinvestment process:

The Department has taken following measures to accelerate the disinvestment process:

(i) Replacing annual plan with rolling plans.

(ii) Creating a pipeline of proposals for CPSEs to take advantage of better market condition without any loss of time.

(iii) Fast tracking of approval process.

(iv) Disinvestment programme made more inclusive by following an approach to reserve 20 per cent of shares on PSUs-OFS transactions for retail investors on a case to case basis.

(v) Based on the suggestion made by the Department, SEBI has reduced the notice period for an OFS transaction from T-2 to T-1 (T being the transaction day). This will help in minimizing the possibility of price hammering between the notice day and the transaction day and suitably protecting the interest of retail investors by providing them sufficient time to participate in the OFS transaction.

(b) Restructuring and re-naming the Department to comprehensively manage the Governments investment in PSUs as DIPAM

(i) The Union Finance Minister has underlined the need for adopting a comprehensive approach to efficiently manage its investment in CPSEs as highlighted in Para 89 of his Budget Speech of 2016-17 as below:

n++We will adopt a comprehensive approach for efficient management of Government investment in CPSEs by addressing issues such as capital restructuring, dividend, bonus shares, etc. The Department of Disinvestment is being re-named as the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)n++

(ii) In the light of the announcement made, the Department has been re-named as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) which is in line with focus of the Government on management of its investment in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) for accelerating economic development as well as augmenting the Government resources for higher expenditure. It also underlines the Governments recognition of its investment in CPSEs as an important asset for accelerating economic growth and commitment to efficient use of its resources to achieve a better return on its investment in CPSEs.

(iii) As announced in the Budget, guidelines on n++Capital Restructuring of CPSEsn++ have also been issued by this Department on 27th May, 2016. These guidelines supersede all previously issued guidelines by various Ministries/Departments from time to time and comprehensively deal with the inter-related issues on payment of dividend, buy back of shares, issue of bonus shares and splitting of shares. The focus of these guidelines is on optimum utilization of funds by CPSEs/Government to spur economic growth.

C. The major achievements/highlights in respect of disinvestment of CPSEs are as under:

(i) NHPC OFS

CCEA in its meeting held on 10.09.2014 approved 11.36 per cent disinvestment in NHPC out of GoI shareholding of 85.96% per cent, through an OFS. The OFS took place on 27.04.2016 & 28.04.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.2,716.55 crore.

(ii) MOIL Buyback

The Alternative Mechanism in its meeting held on 07.06.2016 approved participation of Government in Buyback of shares by MOIL. The MOIL buyback offer opened on 19.09.2016 and closed on 30.09.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.793.87 crore.

(iii) NMDC Buyback

The Alternative Mechanism in its meeting held on 07.06.2016 approved participation of Government in Buyback of shares by NMDC. The NMDC buyback offer opened on 19.09.2016 and closed on 30.09.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.7,519.15 crore.

(iv) BEL Buyback

The Alternative Mechanism in its meeting held on 05.08.2016 approved participation of Government in Buyback of shares by BEL. The BEL buyback offer opened on 06.10.2016 and closed on 21.10.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.1,802.60 crore.

(v) NTPC Employee OFS -

NTPC Employee OFS was opened on 27.06.2016 and closed on 05.07.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.203.78 crore.

(vi) NHPC Employee OFS

NHPC Employee OFS was opened on 04.11.2016 and closed on 11.11.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.21.27 crore.

(vii) DCIL Employee OFS

DCIL Employee OFS was opened on 31.10.2016 and closed on 15.11.2016. The Government realised an amount of Rs.0.93 crore.

(viii) NALCO OFS

CCEA in its meeting held on 19/02/2015 approved disinvestment of 10 per cent paid up equity of National Aluminium (NALCO) out of Government of Indias shareholding of 80.93 per cent through Offer for Sale (OFS). The Legal Advisers and Merchant Bankers have been appointed and non deal road shows are being conducted.

(ix) Buyback of shares by NALCO

Board of NALCO in its meeting held on 25th May, 2016 recommended buyback of fully paid equity shares not exceeding 64,43,09,628 (of face value Rs. 5 each) at price of Rs. 44/- per share. Government of India also participated in said buyback. On this account, GoI received an amount of Rs. 2831.71 crore and its share holding came down to 74.57 per cent, from 80.93 per cent prior to buyback.

(x) HCL OFS

CCEA in its meeting held on 13/05/2015 had approved disinvestment of 15 per cent paid-up equity of Hindustan Copper (HCL) out of Government of Indias shareholding of 89.95 per cent through Offer for Sale (OFS). In first tranche, disinvestment of 7 per cent paid-up equity capital of HCL through OFS method was held on 29/09/2016 & 30/09/2016. A total number of 6,47,65,260 equity shares were offered for sale at floor price of Rs. 62/- per share. The issue was over-subscribed and GoI received an amount of Rs. 399.93 crores as disinvestment proceeds from the said transaction.

(xi) Buyback of shares by CIL

The Board of Coal India in its meeting held on 11th July, 2016 recommended buyback of fully paid equity shares not exceeding 10,89,55,223 ( Face value Rs. 10) at Rs. 335/- per equity share. GoI participated in said buyback. On this account, Government of India received an amount of Rs. 2638.24 crore. Post buyback, the GoI shareholding in CIL has slightly increased to 79.78 per cent from 79.65 per cent prior to buyback.

(xii) CONCOR Employees OFS

Government has received an amount of Rs. 9.34 crore on account of transfer of shares to the employees of CONCOR held in September, 2016 post OFS of the Company.

(xiii) IOCL Employees OFS

Government has received an amount of Rs. 262 crore on account of transfer of shares to the employees of IOCL held in May, 2016 post OFS of the Company.

(xiv) NBCC OFS

OFS of 15 per cent Government of India shareholding in NBCC was launched on 20th October, and completed on 21st October, 2016. The OFSs sale proceeds was Rs. 2201.14 crore.

(xv) Disinvestment of SUUTI holdings

1,48,23,702 shares of Larsen & Toubro (1.62 per

Government Constitutes a Committee for Improvement in National Sports Development Code and Functioning of National Sports Federations
Jan 03,2017

In the wake of IOA episode, the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel has decided to constitute a Committee headed by Secretary (Sports) to suggest improvements in the National Sports Development Code and functioning of Sports Federations etc. The committee will give its report within one month.

In the recent past the Ministry has already held meetings with the various stakeholders such as the National Sports Federations, Sports Ministers and Secretaries from different States, Olympians, Arjun Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, NGOs, field officers of the Sports Authority of India etc. on issues of good governance and transparency.

The new Committee will suggest improvements in the present National Sports Development Code on the basis of suggestions and feedback given in these meetings and submit a report within a month so that Sports Bodies work as per the public expectations for the promotion of sports in the country.

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Trash Skimmers to be Introduced In Six New Cities for Surface Cleaning Of Ganga
Jan 02,2017

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) will introduce trash skimmers for surface cleaning of Ganga in six more cities in the first week of this month. The cities are Rishikesh, Haridwar, Garh Mukhteshwar, Sahibganj, Kolkata and Navdweep. Urban Local Bodies will be the nodal agency to monitor this work. State Programme Management Groups (SPMGs) and Collectorate office will be supervising these works under the aegis of NMCG at State and district level respectively.

River Surface Cleaning (RSC) work was introduce last year in Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Mathura-Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh and Patna in Bihar. Trash skimmers were deployed at the foregoing locations and tonnes of floating waste was collected and disposed off in a proper manner. This task was performed under the CSR head and proved to be extremely effective. In the coming days, more towns will be identified for carrying out similar activities.

Namami Gange programme was launched as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning river Ganga in an effective manner with the unceasing involvement of all stakeholders, especially five major Ganga basin States - Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.

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Eight core infrastructure sector output rises 4.9% in November 2016
Jan 02,2017

The output of eight core infrastructure industries, comprising nearly 38% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), rose 4.9% in November 2016 over November 2015. Its cumulative growth also stood at 4.9% in April to November 2016-17.

Coal production (weight: 4.38%) increased by 6.4% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 increased by 1.6% over corresponding period of previous year.

Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22%) declined by 5.4% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 declined by 3.5% over the corresponding period of previous year.

The Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71%) declined by 1.7% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 declined by 3.7% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 5.94%) increased by 2.0% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 increased by 8.0% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%) increased by 2.4% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 increased by 4.5% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel production (weight: 6.68%) increased by 5.6% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 increased by 8.2% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement production (weight: 2.41%) increased by 0.5% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 increased by 4.3% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%) increased by 10.2% in November, 2016 over November, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to November, 2016-17 increased by 5.4% over the corresponding period of previous year.

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Many New Projects Under Namami Gange Approved For Haridwar and Varanasi
Jan 02,2017

Many new projects under Namami Gange programme in Haridwar and Varanasi have been approved by National Mission for Clean Ganga.

In Haridwar, approval for 68 MLD sewage treatment plant (STP) in Jagjeetpur and 14 MLD STP in Sarai have been approved at an indicative cost of Rs 110.30 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively under Hybrid Annuity based PPP mode. Apart from this, while Rs 8.34 crore has been allocated for tertiary treatment of existing 27 MLD plant in Jagjeetpur, Rs 5.32 crore has been allocated for tertiary treatment of existing 18 MLD plant in Sarai under Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) mode. Also, I&D works at Jagjeetpur and Sarai would be done at an indicative cost of Rs 81.15 crore and Rs 29.75 crore respectively under DBOT mode.

In-principle approval for the implementation of 50 MLD sewage treatment plant at Ramana in Varanasi has been given at an indicative cost of Rs 120 crore under Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode.

After the completion of the tender processes, Administrative Approval and Expenditure Sanction (AA&ES) of the projects will be given by the Executive Committee.

Namami Gange programme was launched as a mission to achieve the target of cleaning river Ganga in an effective manner with the unceasing involvement of all stakeholders, especially five major Ganga basin States - Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. The programme envisages River Surface Cleaning, Sewerage Treatment Infrastructure, River Front Development, Bio-Diversity, Afforestation and Public Awareness.

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Restaurants billing service charges in addition to taxes is optional: Department of Consumer Affairs
Jan 02,2017

A number of complaints from consumers have been received that hotels and restaurants are following the practice of charging service charge in the range of 5-20%, in lieu of tips, which a consumer is forced to pay irrespective of the kind of service provided to him. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides that a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or the supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or deceptive practice, is to be treated as an unfair trade practice and that a consumer can make a complaint to the appropriate consumer forum established under the Act against such unfair trade practices. In this context, the department of Consumer Affairs, Central Government has called for clarification from the Hotel Association of India, which have replied that the service charge is completely discretionary and should a customer be dissatisfied with the dining experience he/she can have it waived off. Therefore, it is deemed to be accepted voluntarily.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has asked the State Governments to sensitize the companies, hotels and restaurants in the states regarding aforementioned provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and also to advise the Hotels/Restaurants to disseminate information through display at the appropriate place in the hotels/restaurants that the service charges are discretionary/ voluntary and a consumer dissatisfied with the services can have it waived off.

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Under-recoveries for the month of January 2017 will be Rs. 12.78 per litre for PDS Kerosene
Jan 02,2017

The Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has reviewed international prices of crude oil and petroleum products for the month of December 2016. In the case of PDS Kerosene, the under-recoveries with effect from January 1, 2017 will be Rs 12.78 per litre. The under-recovery was Rs. 10.51 per litre in the first fortnight of December 2016 and Rs. 10.26 in the last fortnight of the month. The cash transfer to customer under DBTL will be Rs. 150.29, out of which Rs. 121.87 will be Cash Compensation on Domestic LPG by Govt. to consumers & Rs 28.42 will be the Cash compensation on Domestic LPG by OMCs towards Uncompensated Costs to consumers.  

 Product-wise Under-recoveries of Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs): 

ProductUnitUnder  Recovery (eff. 1st Jan 17)Cash transfer to customer under DBTL(eff. 1st Jan 17)PDS Kerosene*(Rs./Litre)12.78-Cash Compensation on Domestic LPG by Govt. to consumers**(Rs./Cylinder)-121.87Cash Compensation on Domestic LPG by OMCs towards Uncompensated Costs to consumers**(Rs./Cylinder)-28.42

 * Under Recovery is for Mumbai Market.

 ** Cash Subsidy is for Delhi market.

The under-recoveries/DBTL Subsidy for 2015-16 was Rs. 27,571 crore, while the figure was Rs 76, 285 crore for 2014-15.

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Government has allowed 100% FDI for trading including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured or produced in India
Jan 02,2017

The Ministry of Food Processing Industriesis implementing a number of Central Sector Schemes for promotion and development of food processing sector in the country since 12th Plan.

The major achievements of the Ministry during 2016 are as under:-

Government has allowed 100% FDI for trading including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured or produced in India. 100% FDI is already permitted in manufacturing of food products through automatic route. This will provide impetus to the foreign investment in food processing sector, benefit farmers immensely and will create vast employment opportunities.

The following additional fiscal concessions have been granted for boosting the investment in the food processing sector :

(a) Reduction in Excise Duty on Refrigerated Containers from 12.5% to 6%.

(b) Reduction in Basic Custom Duty on Refrigerated Containers from 10% to 5%.

(c) 5% Basic Customs Duty as presently available under project imports for cold storage, cold room also extended for Cold Chain including pre-cooling unit, pack house, sorting and grading lines and ripening chambers.

Under the Scheme of Mega Food Parks:

(a) The Indus Mega Food Park, Khargone (Madhya Pradesh); Jharkhand Mega Food Park Ranchi (Jharkhand), and Jangipur Bengal Mega Food Park, Murshidabad(West Bengal) were made operational and inaugurated.

(b) Foundation Stone of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation (PAIC) Mega Food Park Project in Ludhiana was laid.

(c) As such, 8 Mega Food Parks have been made operational so far.

(d) A Mega Food Park is likely to benefit about 25000-30000 farmers apart from creating employment for 5000-6000 persons, especially in rural areas.

(e) The Mega Food Park projects at Satara (Maharashtra), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Rayagada (Odisha) and Agartala (Tripura) are at advanced stage for operationalisation by the end of current financial year.

(f) NABARD has sanctioned term loan of Rs. 427.69 Crore to 10 Mega Food Park projects and 2 processing units under Food Processing Fund of Rs. 2000 Crore and out of this an amount of Rs. 81.10 Crore has been disbursed. The Ministry has notified 157 designated food parks in different States for the purpose of availing affordable credit from special fund with NABARD.

Under the Scheme of Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure:

(a) 20 projects have been operationalised in 2016. With their operationalisation, Ministry has created an additional capacity of 0.63 lakh metric tonnes of cold storage, 15 metric tonnes per hour of individual Quick Freezing (IQF), 10.65 lakh litres per day of Milk of processing/ storage and 99 reefer vans during 2016.

(b) During last two and half years, 54 Integrated Cold Chain projects have been made operational taking the total number of Cold Chain projects to 91. The Ministry has so far assisted 135 Cold Chain projects having a capacity of 3.67 lakh metric tones of cold storage, 94.29 metric tones per hour of individual Quick Freezing (IQF) 37.93 lakh litres per day of Milk processing/ storage and 549 reefer vans.

(c) The guidelines of Scheme have been revised on the basis of feedback and experience of this Ministry to make them investor friendly.

(d) On an average, each cold chain project benefits to around 500 farmers in fruits and vegetables sector and around 5000 farmers in dairy sector and creates employment for 100 persons.

Ministry has invited EOIs to fill up vacant slots of Mega Food parks and Cold Chain projects. The Ministry has received 54 proposals against 8 vacant slots of Mega Food Parks and 308 proposals for 100 Cold Chain projects which stand testimony to the increasing interest of the investors in this sector.

Under the Scheme of Setting up/ Modernization of Abattoirs, one project at Panji (Goa) has been operationalised.

During the year, 10 Food Testing Labs have been completed.

FSSAI has simplified product approval:

(a) approved a large number of new Additives harmonized with the International Codex Standards.

(b) notified an amendment to the regulations as a result of which non-standardized food products called proprietary foods (except novel food and nutra-ceuticals) that use ingredients and additives approved in the regulations will no longer require product approval. This has provided considerable relief to the industry.

A web-based on-line system has been operationalised for processing claims for release of grants-in-aid under the Schemes of Mega Food Parks and the Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure.

The National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli, Sonepat, Haryana and Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology (IICPT) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu are being developed by the Government as the Centres of Excellence. The pass-outs of these institutes have got 100% placements.

The Ministry is also taking steps to implement a new scheme namely Scheme for Agro-Marine produce Processing and Development of Agro-clusters (SAMPADA) for overall development of food processing sector, for providing enabling infrastructure, expanding processing and preservation capacities, controlled temperature logistics and backward and forward linkages, with an allocation of Rs.6000 Crore for a period co-terminus with 14th Finance Commission.

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Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI eases below 50 mark
Jan 02,2017

PMI data for December indicated that the rupee demonetization took a toll on manufacturing performance. Companies saw new work and output dip for the first time in 2016. In turn, quantities of purchases were scaled back and employment lowered. Meanwhile, input costs increased at a quicker rate, whereas output charge inflation eased.

The headline seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers IndexTM (PMITM) recorded below the crucial 50.0 threshold for the first time in 2016 during December. Down from 52.3 in November to 49.6, the latest reading was indicative of a marginal deterioration in the health of the sector. Nevertheless, the average over the October-December quarter (52.1) was broadly in line with that seen in the July-September period (52.2).

Four of the five sub-components of the PMI edged below 50.0, while average delivery times lengthened further. At the sector level, operating conditions deteriorated in both the consumer and intermediate goods categories.

Panel members widely blamed the withdrawal of high-value rupee notes for the downturn, as cash shortages in the economy reportedly resulted in fewer levels of new orders received. Concurrently, manufacturers lowered output accordingly. Rates of contraction in new work and production were marginal overall, but in both cases the reductions were the first in 2016. Businesses also highlighted challenging conditions in external markets, with a fall in new business from abroad ending a six-month sequence of growth.

Cash shortages and lower workplace activity resulted in job shedding and falling buying levels during December. Payroll numbers decreased only marginally, however, as the vast majority of panellists signalled unchanged workforces. A similar trend was seen with regards to quantities of purchases.

Higher prices paid for a range of raw materials led average cost burdens to increase for the fifteenth straight month in December, with the rate of inflation picking up since November. On the other hand, output charges rose at the slowest pace since August.

Both pre- and post-production stocks decreased during December. The former saw the first monthly drop in 13 months, while inventories of finished goods declined for the eighteenth month running (albeit to the least extent in this sequence).

Finally, cash flow issues reportedly impaired manufacturers ability to work on outstanding business. Backlogs rose for the seventh consecutive month, but at the slowest rate in this sequence.

Commenting on the Indian Manufacturing PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report, said: Having held its ground in November following the unexpected withdrawal of 500 and 1,000 bank notes from circulation, Indias manufacturing industry slid into contraction at the end of 2016. Shortages of money in the economy steered output and new orders in the wrong direction, thereby interrupting a continuous sequence of growth that had been seen throughout 2016. Cash flow issues among firms also led to reductions in purchasing activity and employment.

As the survey showed only a mild decline in manufacturing production in the last month of the year, the average reading for the Oct-Dec quarter remained in growth terrain, thereby suggesting a positive contribution from the sector to overall GDP in Q3 FY16/17. With the window for exchanging notes having closed at the end of December, January data will be key in showing whether the sector will see a quick rebound.

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Hotel bookings for New Years Eve celebrations down by up to 5%: ASSOCHAM
Jan 02,2017

Demonetisation and the consequent cash crunch seems to have some impact on New Years Eve celebrations as bookings received by star-rated hotels in metros have registered a decline of about 5-7 per cent, noted a quick survey undertaken by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation.

n++Besides, many hotels have not revised rates of New Year packages and have in fact lowered the rates by about 2-3 per cent and are bundling various offers, promotions, deals and discounts on services in one package at a bargain price,n++ according to the fortnight long survey carried out by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation.

The survey also highlighted that while many party-goers are hoping to get some good discounts at star properties, most others plan to celebrate the New Years Eve at house parties with friends and family or at their home.

The ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation had interacted with about 50 star-rated hotels in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai during the course of past midnight to ascertain how top hotels in metros are gearing up for annual New Years Eve parties.

Simultaneously, the chamber representatives also interacted with about 250 youngsters to gauge how people in urban centres are planning to bid farewell to 2016 whereby most said they plan to usher in the New Year in a cost-effective way by opting to party indoors.

n++New Years Eve is the perfect occasion for especially the youth to unwind and soak in the festivities with their friends and family, though with ever-growing per-capita incomes people do not mind indulging in some extravagance but cash crunch in wake of demonetisation seems to an impact on their plans this time,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the chambers survey.

n++Star-rated hotels to seems to be reeling under some impact of the Centres bold move of demonetisation, more so as this is really the best season for hotel industry but are being forced to scale down their New Years Eve activities as they are not able to draw many people,n++ he said.

Many of the participants with moderate budget, said they though New Year celebrations in star hotels has always been a expensive affair but demonetisation has certainly dented their plans in this regard.

Some even said they were shying away from splurging the much-needed cash on new outfits, food and drinks which used to be a sort of norm.

While those with bigger budgets said they were hoping to get some good deals/discounts as many hotels are likely to do away with usual price-hikes in entry fees and drinks costs.

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26.03 crore accounts opened as on 21 December, 2016 under PMJDY out of which 15.86 crore accounts are in rural areas and 10.17 crore in urban areas
Jan 02,2017

Year End Review- 2016 of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance

I. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

 With a view to increasing banking penetration and promoting financial inclusion and with the main objective of covering all households with at least one bank account per household across the country, a National Mission on Financial Inclusion named as  Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his Independence Day Speech on 15th August , 2014 . The Scheme was formally launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 28th August, 2014 at National level.

Objectives of PMJDY

(i)     Universal access to banking facilities for all households across the country through a bank branch or a fixed point Business Correspondent (BC) within a reasonable distance.

(ii)   To cover all households with atleast one Basic Bank  Account with RuPay Debit card having inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs.1 lakh.

(iii) An overdraft facility upto Rs.5000/- after satisfactory operation in the account for 6 months.

(iv) A Life Cover of Rs.30,000/- to those beneficiaries who open their accounts for the first time from  15.08.2014 to 31.01.2015.

(v)   Financial literacy programme which aims to take financial literacy upto village level.

(vi) The Mission also envisages expansion of Direct Benefit Transfer under various Government Schemes through bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

(vii) Providing micro-insurance to the people.

(viii) Un=organised sector Pension schemes through the Business Correspondents.

  Achievements under PMJDY (as on 21st December,2016)

(i)     26.03 crore accounts have been opened under PMJDY out of which 15.86 crore accounts are in rural areas and 10.17 crore in urban areas. 

(ii)   Deposits of Rs. 71,557.90 crore has been mobilized.

(iii)  19.93 crore RuPay Debit cards have been issued under PMJDY.

(iv)  Aadhaar seeding in PMJDY accounts 14.43 crore

(v)   Zero balance accounts has been reduced to 23.86%

(vi)  Household Coverage: 99.99% households out of the 21.22 crore households surveyed have been covered under PMJDY.

 As on 23rd December, 2016, out of total requirement of 1,27,198 fixed location Bank Mitras in Sub Service Areas (SSAs), 1,26,985 Bank Mitras  have been deployed  by banks.

Overdraft (OD) in PMJDY accounts

 As on 23rd December, 2016, 44.28 lakh accounts have been sanctioned OD facility  of which 23.85 lakh account-holders  have  availed  this   facility involving an amount of Rs.316.56 crore.

 Insurance Claims settled

(i)     As on 23rd December, 2016, out of 1712 claims lodged, 1626 claims have been disposed off under accidental insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh under RuPay debit card .

(ii)   As on 23rd December, 2016, out of 3936 claim lodged, 3421 claims paid under  Life Cover of Rs.30,000/- to those beneficiaries who opened their accounts for the first time from  15.08.2014 to 31.01.2015.

II         Jan Dhan to Jan Suraksha

 For creating a universal social security system for all Indians, especially the poor and the under-privileged by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched three Social Security Schemes in the Insurance and Pension sectors; namely the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna, the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and the Atal Pension Yojana on Pan India basis on the 9th of May, 2015. Salient features of the two schemes related to Insurance are given below:

 Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY)  

 The PMJJBY is available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 years having a bank account who give their consent to join / enable auto-debit. Aadhar would be the primary KYC for the bank account. The life cover of Rs. 2 lakhs shall be for the one year period stretching from 1st June to 31st May and will be renewable.   Risk coverage under this scheme is for Rs. 2 Lakh in case of death of the insured, due to any reason. The premium is Rs. 330 per annum which is to be auto-debited in one installment from the subscribers bank account as per the option given by him on or before 31st May of each annual coverage period under the scheme. The scheme is being offered by Life Insurance Corporation and all other life insurers who are willing to offer the product on similar terms with necessary approvals and tie up with banks for this purpose.

 By 28th December, 2016, Cumulative Gross enrolment reported by Banks, subject to verification of eligibility, etc. is over 3.08 crore under PMJJBY. 51,745 claims were registered under PMJJBY till 28thDecember, 2016 out of which 48,023 have been disbursed.

 Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana (PMSBY)

 The Scheme is available to people in the age group 18 to 70 years with a bank account who give their consent to join / enable auto-debit on or before 31st May for the coverage period 1st June to 31st May on an annual renewal basis. Aadhar would be the primary KYC for the bank account. The risk coverage under the scheme is Rs. 2 lakh for accidental death and full disability and Rs. 1 lakh for partial disability. The premium of Rs. 12 per annum is to be deducted from the account holders bank account through auto-debit facility in one installment. The scheme is being offered by Public Sector General Insurance Companies or any other General Insurance Company who are willing to offer the product on similar terms with necessary approvals and tie up with banks for this purpose.

By 28thDecember, 2016, Cumulative Gross enrolment reported by Banks subject to verification of eligibility, etc. is over 9.88 Crore under PMSBY. 10084 Claims were registered under PMSBY till 28thDecember, 2016 out of which 7282 have been disbursed. 

 Atal Pension Yojana (APY)

(i)     APY was launched on 9th May, 2015 by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

(ii)   APY is open to all bank account holders in the age group of 18 to 40 years and the contributions differ, based on pension amount chosen.

(iii) Subscribers would receive the guaranteed minimum monthly pension of Rs. 1000 or Rs. 2000 or Rs. 3000 or Rs. 4000 or Rs. 5000 at the age of 60 years.

(iv) Under APY, the monthly pension would be available to the subscriber, and after him to his spouse and after their death, the pension corpus, as accumulated at age 60 of the subscriber, would be returned to the nominee of the subscriber.

(v)   The minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government, i.e., if the accumulated corpus based on contributions earns a lower than estimated return on investment and is inadequate to provide the minimum guaranteed pension, the Central Government would fund such inadequacy. Alternatively, if the returns on inv

Indian Railways Measures to Promote Digital Payments
Jan 02,2017

In pursuance of this announcement made by Government of India for promotion of Digital & Cashless Economy, Ministry of Railways has initiated some additional following package of incentives and measures. This shall be made effective from 1st January 2017.

1. Ministry of Railways has decided to instruct Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSKs) to install POS machines and accept payments through all banks debit/credit cards for issuing both reserved and unreserved tickets. They are encouraged to accept payments through other modes also like UPI, USSD, e-wallet, Aadhar enabled payments system.

2. Ministry of Railways has decided to instruct Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBs) are also instructed to accept payments through other modes like UPI, USSD, e-wallets, Aadhar enabled payments system to issue unreserved tickets.

3. Ministry Of Railways have decided to allow 5% Discount for booking of Retiring Room through digital means like using debit/credit cards.

4. Ministry of Railways have decided that 0.5% discount in the base fare of season tickets (Monthly, quarterly, Half yearly, yearly) over suburban section shall be granted in case the payment is made through digital means through debit card, credit card etc.. Other charges like MUTP surcharge, Mela surcharge, service tax etc., if applicable shall be levied separately on the base fare arrived at after giving the 0.5% concession.

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Indian Railways takes Measures to Promote Digital Payments
Jan 02,2017

In pursuance of this announcement made by Government of India for promotion of Digital & Cashless Economy, Ministry of Railways has initiated some additional following package of incentives and measures. This shall be made effective from 1st January 2017.

1. Ministry of Railways has decided to instruct Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSKs) to install POS machines and accept payments through all banks debit/credit cards for issuing both reserved and unreserved tickets. They are encouraged to accept payments through other modes also like UPI, USSD, e-wallet, Aadhar enabled payments system.

2. Ministry of Railways has decided to instruct Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Seva (JTBs) are also instructed to accept payments through other modes like UPI, USSD, e-wallets, Aadhar enabled payments system to issue unreserved tickets.

3. Ministry Of Railways have decided to allow 5% Discount for booking of Retiring Room through digital means like using debit/credit cards.

4. Ministry of Railways have decided that 0.5% discount in the base fare of season tickets (Monthly, quarterly, Half yearly, yearly) over suburban section shall be granted in case the payment is made through digital means through debit card, credit card etc.. Other charges like MUTP surcharge, Mela surcharge, service tax etc., if applicable shall be levied separately on the base fare arrived at after giving the 0.5% concession.

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Indian Railways Extends the facility of 10% rebate in Basic Fare on Vacant Berth/Seats after Preparation of First Chart In All Kinds of Trains
Jan 02,2017

In continuation with its earlier announcement of providing 10% rebate in the basic fare on the vacant berths/seats after preparation of first chart in Rajdhani/Duronto/Shatabdi trains, Indian Railways has decided to extend this rebate in the reserved class of all other trains w.e.f. 01 January 2017 on an experimental basis for six months.

The detailed provisions are as under

1.1. 10% rebate shall be applicable on the base fare of last ticket sold for a particular class and train just before preparation of first chart.

1.2. Reservation fee and superfast charge as applicable shall be levied in full & service tax etc. as applicable shall be levied.

1.3. 10% discount shall also be applicable for allotment of vacant berths (due to non-turned up passengers) in the train by TTEs.

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India to Supply Additional 80 MW of Power to Nepal from 1st January 2017
Jan 02,2017

From the first day of the new year, 1st January, 2017, additional power transfer of 80MW to Nepal is expected to commence. With this, the total supply of electricity to Nepal from India will be about 400 MW.

Shri Janardan Sharma, Minister of Energy, Government of Nepal, in a recent visit to India, held discussions with Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India. Besides reviewing cooperation and expanding ties between the two countries in the power/energy sector, Minister of Energy of Nepal requested for an additional supply of 80 MW from India to alleviate power shortage in Nepal due to seasonal reduction in supply from domestic hydro projects in winter months.

In a swift response to this request, within a period of 20 days, the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) installed an additional 220/132kV, 100MVA transformer at Muzaffarpur substation in India. This transformer will facilitate additional power supply up to 80MW to Nepal through the Muzaffarpur (India) - Dhalkebar (Nepal) transmission line. With this augmentation, a total of 160 MW can now be supplied to Nepal through this transmission line.

The electrical grids of India and Nepal are connected through various radial lines at 132kV, 33kV and 11kV voltage levels. Prior to February 2016, as per the request received from Nepal from time to time, various short-term augmentation schemes were carried out which resulted in enhancement of power flow to Nepal from 50MW to about 240MW.

In February 2016, Prime Ministers of India and Nepal inaugurated the first high capacity 400kV cross-border line, initially being operated at 132kV, from Muzaffarpur in India to Dhalkebar in Nepal. This had resulted in additional flow of 80 MW, enhancing the total power supply to Nepal to about 320MW.

The Muzaffapur - Dhalkebar line is planned to be charged at 220kV with the commissioning of 220kV Dhalkebar substation in Nepal by March 2017. This will facilitate additional 150 MW of power transfer to Nepal. This would be followed by commissioning of 400 kV substation at Dhalkebar (Nepal), which would enable operation of Muzaffarpur - Dhalkebar 400 kV DC line at its rated voltage, leading to increase in power transfer to Nepal by 300-400 MW.

India is also working with Nepal to supply power through two more radial 132kV lines viz. Raxaul-Parwanipur and Kataiya-Kushaha, which are being commissioned through the grant assistance of Government of India.

India, through PGCIL, has also assisted Nepal in preparation of electricity Master Plan for Nepal- short term (up to 2018-19), medium term (up to 2021-22) and long term (up to 2035). Accordingly, a number of high capacity cross-border interconnections are being considered between India and Nepal. Initially, these interconnections would be utilized for transfer of power from India to Nepal and later with the development of hydro projects in Nepal, these links would be utilized for transfer of surplus power from Nepal to India.

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