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Ministry of Railways Signs Joint Venture Agreement with the Govt. of Kerala
Sep 01,2016

In the august presence of Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu a Joint Venture Agreement was signed today i.e. 1st September, 2016 between Ministry of Railways and Government of Kerala for developing railway infrastructure in the State. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Ashok Kumar Mital, Member Engineering, Shri Aditya Kumar Mittal and other Board Members, and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. The JV Agreement was signed by Shri S.C. Jain, Executive Director(Works) on behalf of Railways whereas it was signed by Shri K.R. Jyothilal, Secretary, Department of Transport & Revenue (Devaswom) on behalf of Govt. of Kerala.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the signing of JV Agreements with the State Governments is a farsighted step of Ministry of Railways by which Railways want to work hand in glove with the State Governments for the development of railway infrastructure in the State. He said that these kinds of JV Agreement is the best example of cooperative federalism for development of the nation as envisioned by our Prime Minister. Shri Suresh Prabhu pointed out that Kerala has been neglected for too long and now concerted efforts are needed to develop its railway infrstrucutre. He said that Railway Ministry has given maximum allocation to Kerala during 2014-15 to 2016-17. He further said that Railways is also working on the re-development of Kochi and Ernakulam Stations of Kerala State.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Railway Board said that todays JV Agreement will certainly fulfill the rail transport needs of the people of Kerala. He said that Railways want to extend railway network all over particularly in the States where demand is more and rail density is less. He said that railways has very limited resources and thus working in collaboration with the State Governments through JV Agreement can bring fruitful results for the people of the country.

Silent Feature of The Agreement

n++ Indian Railways has been playing a major role in national integration by connecting the remotest places and bringing people closer to each other. Railways receive a large number of demands for network expansion as a Railway line acts as an engine of growth for the area it serves.

n++ Railways have a large shelf of ongoing New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling projects needing about Rs 3.86 lakh crores to complete. We have been trying to meet the aspirations of public within limited availability of funds.

n++ To expedite the projects, Railways have been trying to mobilize resources through other than Gross Budgetary Support. Towards this mission, 10 State Governments have till now agreed to share the cost of 41 ongoing projects ranging from 25% to 67% of the project cost. Some States are providing land free of cost in addition to sharing of construction cost.

n++ In view of the growing demands for Railway Lines in various States and huge requirement of funds to execute them, Honble Minister for Railways has taken an initiative for setting up of Joint Ventures with States for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.

n++ Setting up of JVs will go a long way in identifying requirement of states keeping in line with other plans, finding avenues for funding of projects etc. Governments of Odisha, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat have already signed JV agreement with Ministry of Railways for the same.

n++ The present railway network density in Kerala is 2.70 Km per 100 square Km which is above national average 2.01 Km per 100 square Km. However, it is an established fact that the railway network density in the country as a whole needs to be improved and the States coming forward in this regard is a welcome step.

n++ Signing of these JVs will go a long way in developing infrastructure in the State of Kerala.

n++ The average outlay to Kerala in Railway Budget was Rs.821.0 crore during 2014-15 to 2016-17 which is an increase of 121% over the average outlay of 371.9 crore during 2009-10 to 2013-14.

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Duty Inversion Impacts Domestic Manufacturing: FICCI Survey
Sep 01,2016

According to recent FICCI Survey on Inverted Duty Structure in Indian Manufacturing Sector, a number of manufacturing sub-sectors continue to face inverted customs duty structure that is eroding their competitiveness against lower-duty finished product imports and discouraging domestic value addition.

In its report, FICCI said that various products spread across six manufacturing sectors have reported duty inversion, i.e. the import duty applicable on the finished product is lower than the import duty on the raw material or intermediate product. These sectors include capital goods (like boilers, pressure vessels, etc.), cement, electronics and electricals, rubber products (including tyres), minerals and textiles.

The Report, has been submitted to the concerned authorities, including Tariff Commission and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for necessary action, said FICCI. FICCI delegation of industry members has had several meetings with Tariff Commission and submitted detailed data required for carrying out valuation studies for different sectors.

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Swedish firms urged to cash in on early bird gains from Indias liberalised Defence Business Environment
Sep 01,2016

In a bid to deepen Indo-Swedish defence and aerospace cooperation, the Government of India has urged Swedish companies to forge large scale partnerships with Indian manufacturers and reap the early bird advantages from the amended defence procurement rules. The policy gives priority to indigenously designed, developed and manufactured defence equipment.

Mr. Sanjay Garg, Joint Secretary (DIP), Ministry of Defence, Government of India, the policy focus was not just on pure manufacturing. He said that the Government of India, on its part, in the last two years has approved 85% of the capital acquisition proposals under the new category called Buy Indian - Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) and Buy and Make (I). He said that the time was ripe for Swedish companies to find the right partner from the Indian defence manufacturing industry.

Ms. Josa Karre, Charge dAffaires, Embassy of Sweden, in her remarks, pointed out that both Sweden and India have a strong industry base and India had now become an attractive place for investors, adding that n++We have the expertise and know-how in the defence and aerospace sector to support your success.n++

Ambassador Anders Bengtcen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, said that there was tremendous scope for collaboration between Swedish and Indian companies in aviation, maritime security and combat training and simulation for army personnel. n++Swedish companies are here for a long haul and this was possible because of the trust and reliability that they enjoy,n++ he added.

Mr. Jayant D Patil, Chairman, FICCI Defence & Aerospace Committee and Senior Vice President and Member of the Board, L&T Heavy Engineering & L&T Shipbuilding; Mr. Sudhakar Gande, Vice Chairman, AXISCADES Aerospace & Technologies and Chairman, FICCI Taskforce on Aerospace and Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, shared their perspectives on Indo-Swedish cooperation in defence and aerospace sectors, stating that the policy framework had been streamlined and was extremely supportive of building strong partnerships between Swedish and Indian companies.

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Government notifies National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
Sep 01,2016

Government has notified National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. It is for the first time a scheme has been notified to offer financial incentives to employers. The Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore with a target of 50 Lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20.Apprenticeship Training is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to develop skilled manpower for the country. It provides for an industry led, practice oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training. The National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi focuses on apprenticeship as one of the key components for creating skilled manpower in India. The policy proposes to work pro-actively with the industry including MSME to facilitate tenfold increase opportunities in the country by 2020.

25% of the prescribed stipend payable to an apprentice would be reimbursed to the employers directly by the Government of India. The scheme also supports basic training, which is an essential component of apprenticeship training by sharing of basic training cost with basic training providers in respect of apprentices who come directly to apprenticeship without any formal trade training (fresher apprentices).

Online portal for ease of administering. All transactions including registration by employers, apprentices, registration of contract and payment to employers will be made as online mode. Eligible employers shall engage apprentices in a band of 2.5% to 10% of the total strength of the establishment. Employers need to register on the apprenticeship portal and must have TIN/TAN and any one of EPFO/ESIC/LIN. Employers are invited to register on the apprenticeship portal to avail benefits under the scheme.

Brand Ambassadors will be appointed for states and for local industrial clusters to act as facilitators and promoters to promote apprenticeship training.

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Telcos to Exercise Selective Bidding; Spectrum Acquisition Strategy to Revolve Around 4G
Sep 01,2016

The upcoming telecom spectrum auctions slated for October 2016 will accelerate the ongoing industry consolidation, whereby the top telecom companies (telcos) will strengthen their spectrum holding positions, further marginalising smaller telcos, which are unlikely to meaningfully participate and invest further, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). Ind-Ra expects Vodafone India (Vodafone) and Idea Cellular (Idea) to be active bidders in the upcoming spectrum auctions for their 4G network rollout and Bharti Airtel (Bharti) -the most diversified spectrum holder - will look to bridge the gaps in its spectrum.

The proposed auction addresses supply side issues adequately, since the spectrum which has been put under auction represents 87% of the existing spectrum. The bidding is anticipated to be more balanced than the previous auctions in 2015 and 2014, where spectrum acquisition was driven by license expiry and hence continuity of operations. Participation will be also affected by the steep pricing of 700MHz band which constitutes 72% of the aggregate spectrum value at the base price.

Ind-Ra opines that the top telcos already have moderate-to-high leverage levels, which will weigh on their participation. Idea reported a higher net debt/EBITDA ratio in FY16 at 3.25x (FY15: 1.31x), which is its peak financial leverage of the last five years. Bhartis financial leverage was 2.4x at FYE16, which is expected to go up in FY17 with the increase in capex and margin moderation due to the intensifying competition in the data segment. Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) on the other hand is highly leveraged (net debt/EBITDA: 5.6x in FY16). Ind-Ra also expects key players to invest in profitable and bigger circles and rationalise spectrum in others and divest non-core assets to free up capital for investment into 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure.

Bharti has the largest spectrum holding at present, of the total 770MHz, across bands (900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz and 2,300MHz); followed by Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio), which holds 596MHz spectrum across 800MHz, 1,800MHz, and 2,300MHz bands. This puts Vodafone (302MHz) and Idea (271MHz) at a disadvantage since they do not possess airwaves in the 2,300MHz category. Each of the top telcos are likely to bid in their respective top five circles by revenue, to plug in the data spectrum gaps in an effort to strengthen established operations.

Ind-Ra expects limited participation compared to the quantity put on sale, as one-third of the spectrum supply is of the high-priced 700MHz band, which is 3x-4x more expensive than 900MHz/1,800MHz bands and also involves a new ecosystem. Telcos interest however would be higher in circles where the pricing of 700MHz is lower than that of 800MHz/900MHz bands (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh -East and Uttar Pradesh -West), or where spectrum in 800Mhz and 900Mhz bands is not put to auction (Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, and North East). The 1,800MHz band could generate higher interest as it is an alternative band for 4G and priced cheaper than 700MHz. The 2,500MHz is also a new ecosystem and participation is expected to be muted.

The indicative schedule for payment under the deferred payment option for 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz, 2,300MHz and 2,500MHz bands includes the upfront payment of 50% of the bid amount and the balance after a moratorium period of two years in 10 equal annual installments, at an interest rate of 9.3%p.a., reduced from the earlier 10% in the spectrum auction of 2015. Telcos that win spectrum in 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands will need to pay 25% upfront and the balance after a moratorium of two years in ten equal annual installments, with interest.

The Indian telecom sector is at an inflection point of massive data adoption, repeating the precedence of the voice market growth trajectory (2007-2011) and therefore necessitating continued investment in the key resource - spectrum -during the coverage expansion phase. The spectrum acquisition will be subject to market evolution and 4G network rollout is expected to be undertaken pocket-wise, covering high data consumption residential and commercial locations instead of a circle wise rollout.

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Digitising govt. processes imperative to minimise corruption & ease state machinery operations: ASSOCHAM plea to UP govt.
Sep 01,2016

Improving ease of doing biz to positively impact employment generation even beyond UPs borders

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government to improve the level and extent of digitisation of processes to ensure smooth operations in shorter timeframes which will minimise contact with government agencies and reduce scope for corruption.

n++The UP government should conduct a detailed study using primary research methodologies to quantify total results of government initiatives in improving ease of doing business in the state,n++ suggested an ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI) study titled Ease of doing business in Uttar Pradesh.

n++The administration should constantly monitor systems and processes of state machinery, revamp or discard outdated processes and set up new ones in keeping with modern business ethos,n++ recommended the study that was jointly released by ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat and Ms Kshama Kaushik, director, TARI at a press conference in Lucknow today.

n++UP being Indias most populous state, improving ease of doing business in the state will have a positive impact on employment even beyond its borders,n++ said Mr Rawat.

n++Regulatory reforms and initiatives taken by UP government like setting up a single window system of Nivesh Mitra, online industrial grievance redressal mechanism, issuance of VAT registration certificate in a single day, e-stamping facility, self-certification for compliance with labour laws, e-sancharan system and others are steps in the right direction,n++ said Mr Rawat.

Uttar Pradesh holds enormous industrial potential, which is yet to be fully realised and considering that the state has set an average growth rate of 10 per cent in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the 12th Plan (2012-17), it needs to attract large scale investment in manufacturing, infrastructure and services sectors to generate more employment opportunities for its large working population.

n++Improving regulatory framework for business is a key pre-requisite for increasing investment and thereby creating jobs, as such the role of state in ensuring ease of doing business holds utmost importance for growth of manufacturing and services sector and generate employment,n++ suggested the ASSOCHAM-TARI study.

Though various industrial policies of the UP government provide concessions and incentives like stamp duty, entry tax exemptions, interest free loan, capital interest subsidy and others, however availing the same is often cumbersome and time taking involving many administrative processes and checks.

n++The UP government may consider developing a standard checklist of documents and standard operating procedures (SOP) for entrepreneurs availing these incentives and publicise them through website and other channels to bring transparency and efficiency in processes,n++ recommended the study.

Besides, a clear timeframe may be established for completion of various process and granting approvals for availing these incentives.

ASSOCHAM has also suggested to integrate the system of providing incentives under industrial policies with single window system of Nivesh Mitra, where an entrepreneur can check application, make payments, track status of approvals and refunds/credits under schemes.

Considering that Nivesh Mitra does not facilitate entrepreneurs with a composite application form for all departments, the study has suggested the UP government to implement a composite application form.

Besides it should ensure that all no objection certificates (NOCs) required for setting up an industry in the state is received online and there is minimal manual intervention. It should also facilitate payment of fees of various departments online to get clearances.

The study has further suggested that single tax identification (ID) for an entrepreneur may be generated through the single window system of Nivesh Mitra for paying all taxes.

n++Single tax ID will greatly facilitate the entrepreneurs with greater transparency and compliance who are subject to various taxes at a state level, including value added tax (VAT), central sales tax (CST), entry tax, entertainment tax and luxury tax,n++ it said.

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Streamlining the Process of NOC, PCC, Voyage Return and Voyage Assessment in case of Foreign Shipping Companies (FSCs)
Sep 01,2016

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a Circular bearing number 30/2016 on 26th August, 2016 for the purpose of streamlining the process of issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC), Port Clearance Certificate (PCC), Voyage Return and Voyage Assessment in case of Foreign Shipping Companies (FSCs). This prescribes guidelines for assessing officers to be followed for issue of said NOC leading to Port Clearance of ships belonging to foreign shipping companies. The assessment of voyage returns subsequently filed by the FSCs shall also be governed by the same.

The Circular has done away with the administrative requirement of obtaining a voyage NOC for foreign shipping companies entitled to 100% relief from payment of taxes in India on account of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the country to which the foreign shipping company belongs.

This Circular is another step by the CBDT towards further improving the ease of doing business in India for the foreign shipping companies.

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Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI at 13-month high in August 2016
Sep 01,2016

Indian manufacturers enjoyed a solid improvement in operating conditions during August. With demand from the domestic and external markets picking up, companies raised output accordingly. Firms recorded an easing in cost inflation during the month, which in turn resulted in a softer overall increase in factory gate charges.

Climbing from 51.8 in July to a 13-month high of 52.6 in August, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers IndexTM (PMITM) - a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance - showed a solid improvement in the health of the sector.

Contributing to this was a sharp upturn in new business inflows, which expanded at the fastest pace since December 2014. Consumer goods producers led the increase, although solid growth was also seen in the intermediate and capital goods categories.

Manufacturers indicated that both the domestic and external markets had been sources of incoming new work. Indeed, August saw new export orders expand at the quickest rate in one year.

Subsequently, companies continued to raise output in August, with growth picking up to the strongest in one year. Consumer goods was, once again, the strongest-performing sector on this front.

Greater output requirements led some manufacturers to hire additional workers in August, but the overall rate of job creation remained marginal as the vast majority of firms left workforce numbers unchanged.

Buying levels were also raised, as companies attempted to build inventory levels. The upturn in purchasing activity was moderate, but the rate of growth was at a 12-month high.

Concurrently, holdings of pre-production items rose in August. Having eased since July, the rate of accumulation was only marginal. In contrast, post-production inventories declined for the fourteenth month running and to a greater extent. According to survey participants, orders were often fulfilled directly from stocks.

Higher prices paid for petrol and other raw materials led overall cost burdens faced by Indian manufacturers to rise further. However, the rate of inflation was only slight and the slowest since February. Similarly, factory gate charges rose at a softer pace that was weak by historical standards.

Finally, survey data highlighted an increasing degree of pressure on the capacity of manufacturers operations as backlogs rose to the greatest extent since December 2013.

Commenting on the Indian Manufacturing PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report, said: n++Manufacturing PMI data show that the positive momentum seen at the beginning of the second semester has been carried over into August, with expansion rates for new work, buying levels and production accelerating further. Moreover, the sectors growth dynamics for the near-term are encouraging as companies will likely continue their efforts to replenish stocks. In fact, IHS Markit forecast a robust 7.5% increase in real GDP during the fiscal year 2016/17.

n++On the price front, survey data highlighted softer increases in input costs and output charges and, in both cases, inflation rates were below their respective trends. In light of these numbers, the RBI has scope to loosen monetary policy in the upcoming meeting to further support economic growth in India.n++

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Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposes penalties upon cement companies for cartelisation
Sep 01,2016

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties upon 10 cement companies and their trade association i.e. Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) for cartelisation in the cement industry.

The final order has been passed by CCI pursuant to the directions issued by Competition Appellate Tribunal remanding the matter back while setting aside the original order of CCI.

The information in the present case was filed by Builders Association of India under Section 19(1)(a) of the Competition Act, 2002 (the Act) against the cement companies and CMA alleging contravention of the provisions of the Act.

While holding the cement companies and CMA in contravention of the Act, it was noted by CCI that the cement companies used the platform provided by CMA and shared details relating to prices, capacity utilisation, production and dispatch and thereby restricted production and supplies in the market, contravening the provisions of Section 3(1) read with Section 3(3)(b) of the Act. Further, CCI also found the cement companies to be acting in concert in fixing prices of cement in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(1) read with Section 3(3)(a) of the Act.

Accordingly, penalties of Rs. 1147.59 crores (ACC), Rs. 1163.91 crores (ACL), Rs. 167.32 crores (Binani), Rs. 274.02 crores (Century), Rs. 187.48 crores (India Cements), Rs. 128.54 crores (J K Cements), Rs. 490.01 crores (Lafarge), Rs. 258.63 crores (Ramco), Rs. 1175.49 crores (UltraTech) and Rs. 1323.60 crores (Jaiprakash Associates Limited) have been imposed by CCI. In addition, a penalty of Rs. 0.73 crore has also been imposed on CMA. While imposing penalties, the Commission noted the action of the cement companies and CMA as being not only detrimental to the interests of consumers but also as detrimental to the whole economy, as cement is a critical input in construction and infrastructure industry - and thus vital for the economic development of the country.

The cement companies and CMA have been directed to cease and desist from indulging in any activity relating to agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement in the market. CMA has been further directed to disengage and disassociate itself from collecting wholesale and retail prices through member cement companies or otherwise. Also, CMA has been restrained from collecting and circulating the details relating to production and dispatch by cement companies.

While highlighting the role played by trade associations in promoting the interests of their members and the industry they serve, CCI noted in its order that cement companies were interacting using the platform made available by the trade association (CMA). Such interactions have been found to have transgressed the limits in sharing of information and extended to discussions on cost, prices, production and capacities, thereby, facilitating the enterprises to determine prices and production in a concerted and collusive manner, than in a competitive manner. CCI cautioned that all those who participate in association activities, through meetings or otherwise, whether as a member or an executive or manager or employee, have to be sensitive to the discussions not transgressing advertently or otherwise into anti-trust behaviour or practices.

Vide separate order, CCI has also imposed a penalty of Rs. 397.51 crore upon Shree Cement Limited in RTPE No. 52 of 2006.

The order(s) of CCI were passed in Case No. 29 of 2010 and RTPE No. 52 of 2006 and copies thereof have been uploaded on the website of CCI at

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Government agencies directed to ensure procurement of coming crop of pulses directly from farmers
Sep 01,2016

The Government agencies - NAFED and FCI have been directed to submit state wise road map of procurement of new crop of pulses directly from farmers. They have been asked to start procurement of Moong in Karnataka immediately at MSP and bonus as new crop has started to arrive. Chairing the inter-ministerial committee meeting on prices, Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs, Shri Hem Pande also asked the government agencies to ensure direct payment to the farmers for procurement.

Shri Hem Pande said that procurement centres including mobile centres should be arranged near to farm gates. Wide publicity should be given to the procurement price i.e MSP plus bonus, procurement schedule and to the locations of the centres so that farmers get benefit of the initiative.

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Streamlining the Election process of Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils
Sep 01,2016

The Commission has issued directions that in future integrated violet sketch pen of specific design and manufactured by a particular firm both approved by ECI, shall be used in all future elections. Such pen will be the instrument for recording preferences on ballot paper by the voter and at time of poll, it shall be given to each voter by the designated polling officer and shall be taken back from him after the voter comes out of the voting compartment. Any deviation from it will not be allowed under any circumstance. The Commission has further elaborated the role and responsibilities of Chief Electoral Officer in above said elections. A robust on line complaint monitoring system as well as measures to curb ostentatious display of money power and training of officials at IIIDEM have also been put in place.

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Cabinet approves Initiatives to revive the Construction Sector
Sep 01,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved various measures to revive the construction sector which has been undergoing stress.

Under the proposal put forward by NITI Aayog and approved by the CCEA. Government agencies would pay 75% of the arbitral award amount to an escrow account against margin free bank guarantee, in those cases where the award is challenged.

The escrow account can be used to repay bank loans or to meet commitments in ongoing projects. This is a major step which will allow recovery of loans by banks and allow construction companies to speed up execution of ongoing projects. It will also increase the ability of construction companies to bid for new contracts and the resulting competition will be beneficial in containing the costs of public works. This measure will provide a stimulus to the construction industry and to employment.

Government Departments and PSUs have also been instructed to transfer cases under arbitration to the amended Arbitration Act which has an expedited procedure, with the consent of the contractors. In the long run, other measures are also under consideration, including changes to bid documents and model contracts, and increased use of conciliation. NITI will also examine the idea of creating claim take out funds financed by private sector investors, while the Department of Financial Services will examine a suitable scheme for addressing stressed bank loans in the construction sector.

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Indias GDP growth slows to 7.1% in Q1FY2017
Aug 31,2016

Indias Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at constant (2011-12) prices slowed down to 7.1% in Q1 of FY2017, as against 7.9% in the preceding last quarter and 7.5% increase in the corresponding quarter last year. Quarterly GVA at Basic Price at constant (2011-2012) prices rose 7.3% in Q1 of FY2017 compared with 7.4% growth in the preceding last quarter and 7.2% growth in the corresponding quarter of previous year.

The economic activities which registered growth of over 7% in Q1 of FY2017 over Q1 of 2015-16 are manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply & other utility services, trade, hotels, transport & communication and services related to broadcasting, financial, insurance, real estate and professional services and public administration, defence and other services.

The growth in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and quarrying, and construction is estimated to be 1.8%, (-) 0.4%, and 1.5%, respectively in Q1 of FY2017.

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Eight core infrastructure sector output rises 3.2% July 2016
Aug 31,2016

The index of eight core infrastructure sector rose 3.2% in July 2016 over July 2015, while its cumulative growth stood at 4.9% in April to July 2016-17.

Coal production (weight: 4.38%) increased 5.1% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 increased by 5.3% over corresponding period of previous year.

Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22%) decreased by 1.8% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 decreased by 2.9% over the corresponding period of previous year.

The Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71%) increased by 3.3% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 declined by 3.8% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 5.94%) increased by 13.7% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 increased by 8.7% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%) increased by 2.5% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 increased by 8.6% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel production (weight: 6.68%) decreased by 0.5% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 increased by 2.8% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement production (weight: 2.41%) increased by 1.4% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 increased by 4.6% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%) increased by 1.6% in July 2016 over July 2015. Its cumulative index during April to July 2016-17 increased by 7.1% over the corresponding period of previous year.

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Doubling the Farmers income, sooner the better - Shri Devendra Chaudhry
Aug 31,2016

Secretary (Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Devendra Chaudhry chaired a Review Meeting with Principal Secretaries/Secretaries of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries of State Governments here on 29th August, 2016. Shri Chaudhry has underscored the ultimate goal of doubling the farmers income, sooner the better, and has devoted the entire Agenda Points towards achieving the target in a time bound and specific result oriented manner. The entire days deliberations addressed the issues, inter alia, of improving the breeding of high yielding indigenous breeds, infrastructure and technological support to dairy sector and livestock development through veterinary support, preparing launching pad for blue revolution, upgradation of poultry and small ruminants etc.

The interactive session benefitted the participants through sharing of successful entrepreneurship experiences and difficulties both at grass root level and State specific issues. DADF at Central Government level has been benefitted by the varied experiences and would like to incorporate suitably while formulating policy frameworks for upscaling the livestock, fisheries and poultry sectors in a big way. It is a proven method of bringing significant change in the life of common man, farmers and vulnerable sections by enhancing their financial and livelihood opportunities.

Highlights of achievement of schemes are as under:-

n++ Blue Revolution:Proposals of Rs.436.52 crore for 23 States/UTs have been approved and Rs.107.04 crore has been released as 1st installment of Central share;

n++ National Livestock Mission: Fund of Rs.129.82 crore has been released to 9 States/UTs as Central share for implementation of National Livestock Mission;

n++ National Programme for Bovine Breeding and RashtriyaGukul Mission:Fund of Rs.17.31 crore has been released to the State Government for implementation of the project.

n++ National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD): Central share of Rs.239.95 crore has been released to 17 States out of total approved project cost of Rs.340.77 crore. Till date, 278.6 Thousand Liters Per Day (TLPD) of milk processing capacity and 93.5 TLPD milk chilling capacity have been created under the project and 977 Dairy Cooperative Societies have been organized.

n++ Livestock Health & Disease Control: Central share of Rs.164.88 crore has been released to the State. About 26.8 million vaccination have been carried out.

The Central Government (DADF) conjointly with the State Governments is striving towards the goal of doubling the farmers income in real sense by adopting various Mission Mode approaches. State Governments and entrepreneurs have to take advantage of the available opportunities and support to excel in this endeavour.

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