The 106th session of Indian Science Congress (ISC), 2019 concluded in Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar today.  The five-day session was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister ShriNarendraModiand attended by Union Science &Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhanon 3rd January, 2018.  As a part of the Indian Science Congress, Women’s Science Congress was held which was inaugurated by Union Minister for Textiles & Industry Smt. SmritiZubinIraniand concluded by Union HRD Minister ShriPrakashJavadekar.  Science Communicators’ Meet was inaugurated by Minister for Electronics & IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad.  The Children’s Science Congress was inaugurated by the Nobel Laureates AvramHershko from Israel and F.DuncanM.Haldane from USA. 

During five days, significant lectures from three Nobel Laureates; 20 Plenary Sessions & several sectional symposia with top authorities from DRDO, ISRO, DST, ICAR, CSIR, ICMR, AICTE, NAAC, UGC, ISCA, the USA, UK Universities, were attended bynearly 30,000 participants.More than fifteen thousand delegates participated at this  scientific meet.

An exhibition ‘Pride of India’ was also held during the event wherein 150 organisations including DRDO, DST, Min/o Earth Sciences, CSIR, ICAR, ICMR, NPCIL, and various other scientific departments and universities participated.  The major attractions of the exhibition were the replicas of Akash Missiles, Brahmos missiles, GSLV-MK III, Astrosat satellite, INSAT-4A, IRNSS Satellite.

 The major attractions were the 55-feet, 25-ton massive robot ‘Metal Magna’ installed at the entrance gate. A giant microscope and a trainer plane were also displayed.

During the ISC, a solar-powered driverless bus designed and created by the students of Lovely Professional University was also inaugurated.  A Time capsule with items representing today’s technology and India’s scientific prowess was buried to be opened after 100 years.

The event played a vital role in stimulating scientific research effort and raising the scientific temperament in the country and the world. During concluding ceremony, 37 awardees in the categories of Young Scientists, Best Poster presentation and Pride of India-Science Exhibition were honoured. The event at LPU, which commenced with lighting of ‘VigyanJyot’, was handed over to General President elect for 2019 K S Rangappa for organization of 107th ISC.

While making concluding remarks of the event, General President, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) 2019, Dr Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti highlighted that 106th edition of ISC provided the best platform to exchange ideas and innovations among scientists gathered from across the world.He also applauded the invaluable contribution of Indian Scientists and all at different events of ISC-2019, particularly the scientific temperament of people of Punjab who participated in huge numbers.

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Read more: Five Day 106th Session of Indian Science...

United States has been blocking the appointment of members of the WTO Appellate Body on some systemic and procedural issues. About 1/4th of the 164 WTO members, including India, have expressed concerns on the matter at every relevant WTO meeting. Further, India along with EU and 12 other countries have submitted a communication to the WTO General Council for addressing the issues raised by United States on functioning and operations of Dispute Settlement Body, including appointment of Appellate Body members.

 

India has 7 disputes at WTO which are at different stages of settlement. India is defending its interest in these disputes with the help of experienced Law Firms.

 

  1. DS430 - Import of poultry and poultry products from United States, Complainant: India,
  2. DS436 - Countervailing duty by United States on Indian steel products, Complainant: India,
  3. DS456 - National Solar Mission dispute with United States, Complainant: United States,
  4. DS510 - United States’ Sub-Federal Renewable energy programme, Complainant: India,
  5. DS518 - India-certain Measures on imports of iron and steel products from Japan, Complainant: Japan,
  6. DS541 - Export Subsidies measures of India, Complainant: United States,
  7. DS-547 - United States-Certain measures of Unites States on steel and aluminium products, Complainant: India.

 

This information was given by the Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.

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MM/SB

Read more: Issues at WTO

 Railways have undertaken some major initiatives to Go Green. The details of the areas/activities identified and their present status are as under:

  1. Ministry of Railways has planned to set up 1000 Mega Watt (MW) solar power by 2020-21 which would help Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewable source. Indian Railways have already installed about 71.19 MW of Solar plants over rooftops at Railways stations and service buildings.
  2. Wind energy plants of 36.5 MW have been installed out of which, 26 MW at Jaisalmer was installed in 2015-2016.
  3. Use of LED lights on electrified railway stations and service buildings. All electrified Railway stations (except those under gauge conversion) and 99% of service buildings have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries over Indian Railways.
  4. Blending of 5% bio-diesel in High Speed Diesel (HSD) for diesel locomotives was started in June, 2015.
  5. 20% Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) substitution in diesel engines of 23 Diesel Power Cars of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains and introduction of Solar energy based DEMUs.
  6. Tree plantation to increase green cover in Railway Premises. Track side boundary plantation also started in 2016. On Indian Railways, 1.25 crores saplings were planted during 2016-17, 88.96 lakh in 2017-18 and 97.33 lakh during 2018-19 upto November, 2018.
  7. Towards better Water Management, Water Audits at major consumption centres as well as proliferation of Water Recycling Plants and Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) Systems are undertaken. Water Policy of Indian Railways was issued in March, 2017.
  8. Assessment and rating of Indian Railway’s Production Units and major Workshops as Green Industrial Units started with ‘GreenCo’ certification of 2 Workshops and 1 Production unit in 2016-17. 31 more Workshops, 4 more Production Units, 2 Diesel Sheds, one Stores depot and 2 Supervisors Training Centres have been ‘GreenCo’ certified since then. Eight Railway Stations, two Railway Schools and one Railway Hospital have also achieved Green Certification.
  9. Pace of installation of environment friendly bio-toilets in passenger coaches has been increased. Nearly 163,000 bio-toilets have been installed in around 44,500 coaches, out of which more than 127,000 bio-toilets were installed in around 33,500 coaches since April, 2016.
  10. Pace of electrification has been increased. As on 1st April, 2018, 30,212 Route Kilometers (RKM) of Indian Railways are electrified out of which 5,733 RKM was done in two years 2016-17 and 2017-18. Electrification work is in progress on 33,658 Route Kilometers.
  11. In 2016, a policy decision was taken for allocating 1% cost in all sanctioned works for execution of environment related works.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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Read more: Go Green Initiatives in Indian Railways

100 Smart Cities Selected In 4 Rounds-- Spvs Incorporated In All--5,151 Projects Worth More Than Rs. 2 Lakh Crore In Various Stages Of Implementation --534 Projects Worth Rs. 10,116 Crore Completed--Implementation Commenced For 1,177 Projects Worth Rs. 43,493 Crore & Tendering Started For 677 Projects Worth Rs. 38,207 Crore

78 Indicators Across 15 Categories Used To Rank 111 Cities On Ease Of Living Index--Smart City Fellowship & Internship Programs Launched

All India Challenge (Citiis) Launched In Partnership With Afd & Eu To Select 15 Innovative Projects --Smart Cities Digital

34,893 Real Estate Projects &27,073 Real Estate Agents Registered Under Rera -- 28 States/Uts Notify Rules Under Rera

Real Estate Regulatory Authority Set Up In  28 States/Uts --21 States/Uts Set Up Real Estate Appellate Tribunal--Regulatory Authorities Of 23 States/Uts Operationalise Websites 

536 Kms Of Metro Rail Lines Operational In 10 Cities Including Delhi & Ncr, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai & Gurugram

13 New Metro Projects For 248 Kms At A Cost Of Rs. 68,021 Crore Approved Since May, 2014 For Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Gurugram, Lucknow, Chennai Extension, Pune, Delhi Metro Extensions, Noida – Greater Noida, Bhopal & Indore.

Around 650 Kms Of Metro Rail Projects At Various Stages Of Implementation--About 750 Kms Of Metro Rail Systems & 373 Kms Of Rrts Under Planning

I-Metros-A Platform To Exchange Ideas, Pooling Of Knowledge & Sharing Of Experience, Best Practices Launched In March 2018 

To Promote “Make In India” & Indigenization Of Various Metro Rail System, Standard Specificationsissued

Amendments To Mpd-2021 Notified To Provide Relief To Citizens From Sealing Drive--Special Task Force (Stf) Under Vc, Dda Constituted To Address Illegal Constructions/Encroachments

Land Pooling Policy & Regulations To Implement It Aimed At Providing Affordable Housing Notified

In-Situ Development Project Under Ppp Model At Kathputli Colony On Course For Completion In 2019

Paisa- Centralised Web Portal Launched For Subvention Of Interest To Day-Nulm Beneficiaries

13 Lakh Urban Poor Imparted Skill Training From May 2014 Onwards & 4.5 Lakh Provided Placement—1.9 Lakh Beneficiaries Imparted Skill Training In 2018

3,45,450 Shgscomprising Of More Than 34 Lakh Women Formed & 2,35,712 Shgs Assisted With Revolving Fund

4,097 Projects Worth Rs 54,816 Crore Awarded Under Amrut--1,035 Projects Worth Rs. 2,388 Crore Completed

Online Building Permission System (Obps) Implemented In 1,453 Cities–Implemented In All Ulbs In 10 States

More Than Rs. 2,700 Crore Raised Through Municipal Bonds During 2018 For Upgrading Urban Infrastructure

All 70 Projects Worth Rs. 422.61 Crore Approved For 12 Hriday Cities Under Various Stages Of Implementation—On Course For Completion By March 2019--Rs. 310.43 Crore Released

 

Year Ender-MOHUA-7-Final 2018:

URBAN RENAISSANCE FORREVITALISING& REJUVENATING INDIAN CITIES BEINGACHIEVED THROUGHINFUSION OFMORE THANRS.6,85,758 CR

Shri Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has informed that Swachh Survekshan 2019 will cover all ULBs in the country and commence from 4th January 2019. Addressing the media persons at the year-end Press Conference of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, he informed that in order to foster a healthy competition between cities for improving cleanliness standards, Swachh Survekshan survey was conducted for the rating of 73 cities in 2016 followed by ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’ ranking 434 cities. Indore secured 1st rank in ‘Swachh Survekshan’ 2017. The third round was conducted from 4th January to 10th March, 2018 covering 4203 statutory towns in India, and Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh have emerged as the top 3 cleanest cities in the country.  Several initiatives have been introduced to inculcate behavioural change, i.e., a national helpline number – 1969 –launched, to address queries from citizens around Swachh Bharat Mission. A ‘Swachhata’ app has been launched as a grievance redressal platform for any complaints from citizens related to cleanliness. SBM-Urban has introduced an online educational portal where 150 best practices have been uploaded, in the form of training modules. An innovative audio campaign titled ‘Swachhata Selfie’ has been launched.

Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary in the Ministry, while providing details of the progress made under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) informed that more than 68.7 Lakh houses have been approved so far for construction under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY-U) Mission. Out of these, 37 lakh houses are undervarious stages of construction of which 13.5 lakh houses have already been completed.  The Government is on course to sanction 1 crore houses well before 2020 to ensure that construction activities are completed to provide “Housing for all by 2022”. Under the PMAY(U), the total investment involved is Rs 3.85 lakh crore.Rs 34,000 crore have already been released to States/UTs out of the approved total central assistance of Rs 1,05,404crore. An interest subsidy of Rs 7,543crore on housing loans has been credited directly to 3,39,713 beneficiaries under CLSS (Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme), he stated. 

            Stating that his Ministry has been implementing one of the most ambitious programmes undertaken in the world for Urban renaissance for revitalising and rejuvenating Indian cities through number of initiatives including infusion of more than Rs. 6,85,758 crore for ensuring ease of living for the citizens in urban areas, Shri Hardeep Puri informed that the transformation has been undertaken by way of implementing key urban reforms, projects for urban rejuvenation, construction of public and household toilets and solid waste management under the Swachh Bharat Mission, initiation and implementation of more than 5000 smart city projects worth Rs.2,05,018 crore under the Smart City Mission, sanctioning of more than 65 lakh houses for construction under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in urban areas, provision of water, sewerage and sanitation under the Mission AMRUT by sanctioning projects worth Rs.77, 640 crore, augmenting the urban transport by way of new metro lines, embarking on an ambitious target for skill development of urban youth for gainful employment under DAY-NULM and approving implementation of city HRIDAY plans for 12 cities. The Ministry is also vigorously pursuing reforms in the real estate sector for the benefit of homebuyers by ensuring implementation of RERA in all parts of the country.  The Mission-wise progress is as under -

SWACHH BHARAT MISSION - URBAN

Since April 2018, an additional 1612 cities have been declared as ODF taking the total number to 4124,62 lakh Individual Household Toilets (IHHL) and5 lakh Community and Public Toilet seats (CT/PT) have been constructed or are under construction. Further, Urban areas of 21 States/UTs have been declared ODF (namely, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Manipur, Sikkim, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Puducherry, Punjab, and Karnataka). The Government of India launched the “Swachh Bharat Mission” (Urban) on 2nd October 2014 for 5-year period with the objective of achieving 100% open defecation free (ODF) status and putting in place systems to achieve 100% solid waste management in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in the country. The estimated cost of implementation is Rs. 62,009/- crore, including Government of India’s share of Rs. 14,600/- crore and State share of Rs 4,874/- crore.

   To enable people to easily locate public toilets and give feedback on the same, a major initiative of mapping all public toilets in the country on Google Maps has been launched. Till date, 835 cities have uploaded more than 33000 PTs mapped on google maps.  MoHUA has also launched the following:

  • ODF+ and ODF++ protocols’, with a focus on sustaining ODF outcomes and achieving holistic sanitation (wherein ODF+ protocol focuses on O&M of community / public toilets by ensuring functionality and proper maintenance of CT/PTs for their continued usage, and ODF++ focuses on addressing safe management of faecal sludge from toilets, and ensuring that no untreated sludge is discharged into open drains, water bodies or in the open), 
  • Star Rating Protocol or garbage free cities’ to motivate cities to achieve garbage free status. It is a single metric rating system, based on 12 parameters of Solid Waste Management covering, Source segregation, Door to Door Collection, compliance by bulk waste generators, daily sweeping, scientific processing of waste, scientific land filling, plastic waste management, construction and demolition waste management, dumpsite remediation, citizen grievance redressal system etc., all of which together contribute to a city’s overall cleanliness and garbage free status.
  • ‘Swachh Manch’, which acts as an online knowledge management and stakeholder engagement portal to galvanize the SBM into a true ‘JanAndolan’.

Currently, 71,797 wards out of 84,229 wards, i.e. 85 % of wards, are practicing door to door collection, and 46.03% of waste generated is being processed. Waste-to-Compost (WTC) plants-635 Plants are operational with 40.47 lakh TPA compost production capacity and 206 Plants with 6.84 lakh TPA output capacity are in progress. Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plants-7 Plants are operational with 88.4 MW capacity and 56 Plants with 415 MW capacity are in progress. It has been made mandatory for DISCOMs to purchase WtE power

PRADHAN MANTRI AWAS YOJANA (PMAY-U)

To fast track the construction of sanctioned houses, the Ministry has identified 24 new technologies for mass housing construction and further issued schedule of rates for 11 new construction technologies and building materials for adoption among States/UTs. In addition, the Ministry is also organizing Global Housing Technology Challenge (GHTC) to co-opt internationally acclaimed rapid mass housing construction technologies and to help States/UTs to construct sanctioned houses under PMAY(U) to address housing shortage in the urban areas by 2022.

A National Urban Housing Fund for Rs. 60,000 crore has been set up for raising Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) for the rapid implementation of PMAY (U). A sum of Rs. 8,000 crore was mobilised under this fund in FY 2017-18. In FY 2018-19 approval has been secured to raise Rs. 25,000 crore under this mechanism out of which a sum of Rs. 5050 crore has been already raised and disbursed to the States/UTs and CNAs (Central Nodal Agencies). This process of raising resources through EBR ensures that there will be unhindered availability of resources for PMAY(U).

The Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) was established in National Housing Bank (NHB) with an objective to improve the affordability of the target group to own their homes. The first tranche of Rs. 2,500 crore which was received by NHB in Aug 2018 out of the total corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore has already been disbursed.  The next tranche of Rs 2,500 crore is expected to be received by NHB soon.

The huge investment of 3.6 Lakh crore in housing sector is providing more job opportunities in construction and allied sectors with the help of induced effect and contributing to overall health of the economy.

SMART CITY MISSION

Under the SCM, 100 Smart Cities have been selected in 4 Rounds based on All India Competition. All 100 cities have incorporated Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). Since the launch of the mission, a total of 5,151 projects have been identified for implementation by the cities worth more than Rs. 2 lakh crore which are in various stages of implementation in the 100 cities. 534 projects worth Rs. 10,116 crore have been completed and implementation has commenced for 1,177 projects worth Rs. 43,493 crore while tendering has started for 677 projects worth Rs. 38,207 crore. The progress with respect to implementation of projects pertaining to Smart Solutions, Smart Roads, Smart Water, Solar Rooftops, and Visible & Impactful is given below:

·For Smart Command & Control Centres projects worth Rs. 1,558 crore in 11 cities have been completed; projects worth Rs. 3,049 crore in 29 cities are under progress; Projects worth Rs. 2,730 crore in 21 cities already tendered.·For Smart Roads projects, worth Rs. 228 crore in 4 cities have been completed; projects worth Rs. 3,819 crore in 34 cities are under progress; projects worth Rs. 2,069 crore in 10 cities already tendered.·For Smart Water projects, worth Rs. 902 crore in 18 cities have been completed; projects worth Rs. 5,961 crore in 35 cities are under progress; projects worth Rs. 921 crore in 17 cities already tendered.·For Solar projects, worth Rs. 58 crore in 8 cities have been completed; projects worth Rs. 828 crore in 42 cities are under progress; further tenders have been issued for projects worth Rs. 300 crore in 9 cities already tendered.·For Visible and impactful projects, worth Rs. 179 crore in 16 cities have been completed; projects worth Rs. 3,701 crore in 32 cities are under progress; further tenders have been issued for projects worth Rs. 2,828 crore in 20 cities.Other significant initiatives under the Smart Cities Mission

  • The “Ease of Living” Index is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to help cities assess their liveability vis-à-vis global and national benchmarks and encourage cities to move towards an ‘outcome-based’ approach to urban planning and management. It was decided in June 2017 to rank 116 cities based on the liveability parameters. The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January, 2018. The Ministry has launched the outcome/rankings of 111 cities on the Ease of Living index on 13 August, 2018. The framework covers all the critical pillars of urban development (Physical, Institutional, Social and Economic) and uses 78 indicators across 15 categories (governance, identity and culture, education, health, safety and security, economy, affordable housing, land use planning, public open spaces, transportation and mobility, assured water supply, waste-water management, solid waste management, power, and quality of environment).
  • Indian Smart City Fellowship and Indian Smart City Internship programs were launched on 9 July 2018. More than 3000 applications were received for Fellowship. The first batch of 30 young graduates/post graduates and PhDs in the fields of Urban Planning, Urban Design, Engineering, Information and Technology, Urban Mobility, Finance, Social Sector and Environmental issues has been selected by the Ministry in November 2018.
  • An all-India Challenge named CITIIS (Cities Investments to Innovate Integrate and Sustain) was launched on July 9, 2018 in partnership with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and European Union. A Loan of EUR 100 million will be extended by AFD which shall be given as a grant to Smart Cities for implementation of 15 innovative projects selected through the All-India Challenge. The projects would be in four sectors- sustainable mobility, public open spaces, urban governance & ICT and social and organizational innovation in low-income settlements. Technical support with global expertise will be provided for preparation and implementation of selected demonstrative projects. A preparatory Workshop on CITIIS was held with international experts in September 2018. Proposals submitted by cities are under evaluation.
  • Smart Cities Digital Payments Awards 2018 were launched on 9 July, 2018. The objective of the awards is to guide, motivate, recognize and reward the Smart Cities for promoting digital payments and carrying out innovative payment initiatives. 65 cities have participated in Stage II of the questionnaire. The submissions are under evaluation. Results will be declared shortly.

RERA (REAL ESTATE (REGULATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 2016 (RERA)

Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) was passed by the Parliament in March, 2016 heralding a new era of transformation in the real estate sector. The core objective of this transformative legislation is to ensure regulation and promotion of real estate sector in an efficient manner and to protect the interest of home buyers. The updated status of RERA is as follows:

  • 28 States/UTs have notified rules under RERA except-
  • Jammu & Kashmir (as RERA is not applicable there).
  • 6 North Eastern States (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim)
  • West Bengal has enacted its own Act I.e. Housing & Industry Regulation Act (HIRA), however state has been advised to notify the rules under Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016.

 

  • 28 States/UTs have set up Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Regular - 15, Interim - 13).21 States/UTs have set up Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (Regular -09, Interim – 12).Regulatory Authorities of 23 States/UTs have operationalized their websites under the provisions of RERA.34,893 Real Estate Projects and 27,073 Real Estate Agents have registered under RERA across the country.

  Municipal bonds are an important instrument to mobilise financial resources for investment in Urban Infrastructure.  Municipal bonds of Rs. 2,709.90 crore were issued in 2018 by Hyderabad (2 tranches of Rs. 200 crore and Rs. 195 crore), Indore (Rs. 139.90 crore), Amaravati (Rs. 2,000 crore), and Bhopal (Rs. 175 crore).  This is expected to help cities meet their financing requirements and supplement the budgetary resources made available to them. 

URBAN TRANSPORT

  At present, about 536 kms of Metro Rail lines are operational in 10 cities i.e. Delhi & NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai and Gurugram. Since May, 2014 to till date, about 287 Kms of metro rail lines have been commissioned in Delhi & NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Gurugram. In 2018 (from January, 2018 to till date), about 110 Kms of metro rail lines have been commissioned in Delhi & NCR, Hyderabad and Chennai.Since May, 2014 to till date, 13 new metro projects with a total length of about 248 Kms at a total cost of Rs. 68,021 Cr have been approved for Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Gurugram, Lucknow, Chennai Extension, Pune, Delhi Metro Extensions, Noida – Greater Noida, Bhopal and Indore. In 2018 itself, 3 new projects with a length of about 66 Kms at a total cost of Rs. 16, 408 crore have been approved for Bhopal, Indore and Delhi Metro Extn from Noida City Centre to Noida Sector 62.

            The Prime Minister has laid foundation of six metro projects since May, 2014, for Nagpur, Pune, Mumbai Line 2A, Mumbai Line 2B, Mumbai Line-4 and Mumbai Line-7. He has also inaugurated several new metro lines since May, 2014 in Delhi, Hyderabad and Kochi. In 2018 itself, the Prime Minister has inaugurated the Delhi Metro extension from Mundka to Brigadier Hoshiyar Singh (11.18 Km) on 24.06.2018 and Delhi Metro extension from Escort Mujesar to Raja Nahar Singh Ballabgarh (3.205 km) on 19.11.2018.Around 650 kms of metro rail projects are at various stages of implementation in Delhi & NCR, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Jaipur, Mumbai (including State initiatives by MMRDA), Hyderabad, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune, Noida, Bhopal and Indore. About 750 kms of metro rail systems and 373 km of Rapid Rail Transit Systems (RRTS) are under planning in various cities.

            In order to promote “Make in India” and indigenization of various metro rail system, standard specification of rolling stock, signalling system, electrical & electromechanical metro rail components and civil engineering structures have been issued. Further, eligibility criteria for procurement of rolling stocks has also been issued.

            I-Metros (Indian Metro Rail Organisations’ Society) - a platform to exchange ideas, pooling of knowledge and sharing of experience, best practices, innovations etc. among the Indian metro rail companies to nurture excellence in performance was launched in March 2018.

DELHI DIVISION

1. Amendment to the Master Plan for Delhi-2021

In order to provide relief to the citizens from the ongoing sealing drive amendments to the Master Plan for Delhi-2021 have been notified on 21.06.2018, to revise the Development Control Norms for Shop-cum Residential Plots and Godown clusters existing in non-confirming areas.  These amendments have paved way for regularization of the misuse of premises and unauthorized constructions in eligible cases by providing for additional FAR in eligible cases while at the same time taking care of issue such as parking spaces, greenery, accessibility to fire services, infrastructure requirements and convenience of inhabitants.

2. Extension of NCT of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011

The validity of the  National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second Act, 2011, which was expiring on 31.12.2017, has been extended upto 31.12.2020, providing continued protection to certain forms of unauthorised developments from punitive action and at the same time allowing time to the Government, urban local bodies and other organisations involved to take a balanced and well considered view on policies, norms and strategies for orderly implementation of plans regarding these unauthorised developments.

3. Constitution of Special Task Force

A Special Task Force (STF) under the Chairmanship of Vice Chairman, DDA has been constituted on 25.04.2018, with members from various organisations viz. MCDs, NDMC, Delhi Police, GNCT of Delhi, Central Ground Water Board, ASI, DJB, etc. to comprehensively address the problems of illegal constructions and encroachments on public lands, parking spaces, roads, pavements, etc.  STF is also entrusted with the task of ensuring coordination among various agencies and timely and effective action by such authorities for ensuring compliance with statutory provisions including MPD-2021 and the Unified Building Bye laws. 

4. Formulation of Action Plan for construction activities in Delhi

AnAction Plan has been formulated on 23.05.2018, clearly specifying the name, designation of officer concerned to be held responsible for all future irregular and unauthorized constructions/violations of MPD-2021, DMC Act, 1957 and Building Bye-laws etc.Besides punitive action under disciplinary rules, including suspension, filing of FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act would also be initiated against the erring officer. 

5. Land Pooling Policy

The long pending land pooling policy, which basically aims at providing affordable housing to the residents of Delhi, has been notified by the Ministry on 11th October, 2018 and the regulations to implement the policy have been notified by DDA on 24th October, 2018.

7.  Kathputli Colony:

      In-situ development project under Public Private Partnership at Kathputli colony near Shadipur Depot which commenced during 2017 is expected to be completed during 2019.  Under the project a total of 2,800 EWS flats are being constructed to rehabilitate the jhuggi dwellers on in-situ basis by the developer entity on Public Private Partner mode.

8. Projects in Delhi funded through Urban Development Fund(UDF):

   During the year 2018, the several projects involving funding from the UDF were approved: These include upgradation of District Centres at Nehru Place:  UDF funding of Rs 130.23 crore i.e., 80% of cost of Rs 162.79 crores; Upgradation of District Centre at Bhikaji Cama:  UDF funding of Rs 58.03 crore i.e., 80% of cost of Rs 72.54 crore; Solid Waste Management Project for three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (North, South and East):  UDF funding of Rs 216.42 crore i.e., 80% of cost of Rs 236.44 crores; SW Drain at Sector 8 Dwarka to cater to discharge of Airport:  UDF funding of Rs 70.85 crore i.e., 80% of cost of Rs 88.56 crores. foundation for construction of flyover passes between Northern Mahipalpur by pass road and Airport road near Hanuman Mandir and inauguration of Skywalk/ FoB at ITO crossing and Grade Separator at Rani Jhansi Road was also undertaken during the year. 

ESTATES

            “Sampada 21” has been implemented wherein 21 services offered by the Directorate have been fully computerized and all such applications are received online. A new website of the Directorate of Estates has been developed for computerised issue of No Demand Certificate/Retention/Allotment for Vigyan Bhawan/ 5 Ashoka Road and for marriage purposes.       Amendments have been made in the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971 to speed up eviction of the unauthorised occupations from the Government Premises in 2015.

DEENDAYAL ANTYODAYA YOJANA - NATIONAL URBAN LIVELIHOODS MISSION (DAY-NULM)

More than 1,90,000 beneficiaries have been imparted skill training in 2018 and 94,753 have been provided placement. Loans with interest subvention have been provided to 58,879 beneficiaries for self-employment through individual/group micro-enterprises and 63,720 loans have been disbursed to SHGs under SHG-Bank Linkage Programme. 53,087 SHGs have been formed, and 31,686 SHGs have been assisted with Revolving Fund.

Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme being implemented in the statutory towns in the country for reducing the poverty and vulnerability of urban poor households since April 2014. The primary target of DAY-NULM is urban poor, including urban homeless & urban street vendors and emphasis is laid on mobilisation of vulnerable sections of urban population into Self Help Groups (SHGs).Further, during the year

  • Personalized After-training Rapid Assessment (PARAS) system has been launched to get direct feedback from skill trained candidates regarding quality of skill training through SMS/ online feedback.A centralised web portal named PAiSA, developedin collaboration with the Allahabad Bank, has been launched for subvention of interest to DAY-NULM beneficiaries under SEP component through Direct Benefit Transfer mode.For skill training of DAY-NULM beneficiaries in construction sector under ESTP component, Memorandum of Understanding has been entered with National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) and SULM, Maharashtra. Swachhata Excellence Awards were distributed among the Area Level Federations (ALFs) of Self Help Groups (SHGs) from various States for their exemplary performance in creating awareness about sanitation, elimination of open defecation, bringing out behavioural change towards healthy sanitation practices etc.
  • DAY-NULM, in collaboration with Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is facilitating City Livelihood Centres (CLCs) in standardization of products and their specifications, identification of products to be launched on e-marketplace and registration on GeM portal as ‘seller’. Also, it has been decided to develop two Model Shelters for urban homeless in each state, one in the state capital and one in another big city, having sizable population of urban homeless. Also, two ULBs in each state, one in a million plus city and one in another big city are to be developed as Model ULBs for urban street vendors.

Under DAY-NULM, between May 2014 to November 2018, 12,94,252 urban poor have been imparted skill training to improve employment opportunities and of these, 4,58,849 persons have been provided placement. Loans with interest subvention provision have been provided to 3,55,383 beneficiaries for self-employment through individual/group micro-enterprises and 4,67,355 loans have been disbursed to SHGs under SHG-Bank Linkage Programme.3,45,450 SHG’s comprising of more than 34 lakh women have been formed & 2,35,712 SHGs assisted with Revolving Fund. Street Vendor Survey has been completed in 2332 cities. 16,89,564 street vendors have so far been identified and 8,18,095 of them have been given ID cards. 1,776 shelters for urban homeless have been sanctioned and 1,084 shelters are operational.

AMRUT

Out of the total State Annual Action Plan(SAAP) size of Rs. 77,640 crore, contracts for 4,097 projects worth Rs. 54,816 crore have been awarded including 1,035 projects worth Rs. 2,388 crore which have been completed. Tenders have already been issued for 755 projects worth Rs. 14,770 crore and DPRs for 458 projects worth Rs. 9,183 crore have been approved. The sector wise progress is as under:

• In the water supply sector, contracts for 965 projects worth Rs. 29,205 crore have been awarded including 154 projects worth Rs. 1,325 crore which have been completed. 151 projects worth Rs. 8,047 crore have been tendered and DPRs for 97 projects worth Rs. 4,318 crore approved. • In the sewerage and septage management sector, contracts for 491 projects worth Rs. 21,508 crore have been awarded including 40 projects worth Rs.520 crore which have been completed. 151 projects worth Rs. 5,596 crore have been tendered and DPRs for 85 projects worth Rs. 4,507 crore approved.• In the drainage sector, contracts for 516 projects worth Rs. 2,101 crore have been awarded including 51 projects worth Rs.81 crore which have been completed. 144 projects worth Rs.645 crore have been tendered and DPRs for 25 projects worth Rs. 111 crore approved.• In the urban transport sector, contracts for 244 projects worth Rs.709 crore have been awarded including 18 projects worth Rs.41 crore which have been completed. 76 projects worth Rs.251 crore have been tendered and DPRs for 40 projects worth Rs.123 crore approved.• In the green spaces and parks sector, contracts for 1,881 projects worth Rs. 1,293 crore have been awarded including 772 projects worth Rs.421 crore which have been completed. 233 projects worth Rs.231 crore have been tendered and DPRs for 211 projects worth Rs.124 crore approved. To optimize the energy consumption in streetlights, over 54 lakh streetlights have been replaced with LED lights.

AMRUT Mission also has a reform agenda spread over 11 reforms comprising 54 milestones to be achieved by the States and Union Territories over a period of four years.  For the year 2018-19, an amount of Rs.600 crore has been earmarked to incentivize the states/ UTs for implementing reforms out of which, Rs.260 crore has been earmarked to incentivise the AMRUT cities for issuing municipal bonds, on first-come-first-serve basis. An amount of Rs.340 crore has been disbursed to 21 States/ UTs during the year 2018-19 for implementation of reforms. Further, Rs.119 crore has been awarded as incentive to 5 cities viz. Pune, Hyderabad, Indore, Bhopal and Amravati for issuing the municipal bonds.

The World Bank has recently released the Doing Business Report (DBR) 2019 and the country’s rank in Construction Permits indicator has gone up to 52 from 181, a year ago. This could be possible due to the reforms implemented and consistent efforts of the Municipal Corporations of Delhi and Mumbai in facilitating Ease of Doing Business in construction permits. Further, Online Building Permission System (OBPS) has been implemented in 1,453 cities across the country including 436 Mission cities. Ten States namely Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Telangana and Tripura have implemented OBPS in all the ULBs. This is being extended to all the cities/ towns across the country.

National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)

The National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) was launched on 21st January, 2015 for the period until 31st March, 2019. HRIDAY is being implemented in 12 cities, namely, Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwaraka, Gaya, Kancheepuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Velankanni and Warangal. In 2018, 20 projects amounting to Rs. 140.14 Crores have been completed in the cities of Ajmer, Amaravati, Amritsar, Badami, Dwaraka, Puri and Varanasi. Few notable projects completed in 2018 are as follows:

In order to enhance the experience of religious tourists visiting prominent heritage sites in the HRIDAY Cities, upgradation of 59 roads leading to various heritage sites in the city of Varanasi, Ajmer, Amritsar and Amaravati have been completed. With increased pressure on land to accommodate the increasing population, there is need for creation of green spaces which should be a key consideration in urban planning to improve the health of a city and its people. With this objective, 3 projects for rejuvenation of public parks and gardens in the cities of Amritsar (Gol Bagh), Ajmer (Subhash Udyan) and Puri (Banki Muhana) have been completed.In order to revive the local heritage in cities and create additional tourist attractions, 3 projects for development of heritage walks in Pushkar, Ajmer and Varanasi connecting important monuments, along the lanes with historical architecture have been completed.With the objective of restoring existing heritage buildings, 2 projects for Adaptive Reuse of Rambagh Gate in Amritsar and Town Hall in Varanasi have been completed. Rambagh Gate will house a museum and Town Hall is being used as a cultural center or programs.

  • Many traditional water bodies in heritage cities have no water, but lot of solid waste and have primarily become garbage dump sites. Under HRIDAY, revival work of few heritage water bodies has been taken place. 1 such project for Annasagar Lakefront Development has been completed.To ensure sustainability of heritage assets created under HRIDAY, a four day capacity building workshop was organized at SPA, Bhopal between 31 July- 3 August, 2018 for all Hriday city officials with an objective to train the officials to comprehend the attributes of HRIDAY cities, work out ways to incorporate heritage assets in planning documents, develop tools for management of heritage resources and assets created under HRIDAY scheme, innovative revenue opportunities and achieve sustainability goals for all HRIDAY cities. All the HRIDAY cities have been asked to develop a sustainability model for their cities with focus on revenue generation through facilities developed under HRIDAY for their cities.

RJ/KGS/SL

Read more: Year Ender-MOHUA-7-Final 2018:

A Time Capsule with items representing today’s technology and India’s scientific prowess was buried today by Nobel Laureates Avram Hershko from Israel and F.Duncan M. Haldane from USA on the occasion of the on-going 106th Indian Science Congress at Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar.

 

The Time Capsule contains 100 items that represent modern-day technology as experienced in India.  Besides replicas of Mangalyaan, Brahmos Missile and Tejas fighter jet representing India’s scientific prowess, the Capsule contains laptop, landline phone,smart phone, drone, VR glasses, stopwatch, Amazon Alexa etc.  It also includes consumer durables like air filter, induction cooktop, air fryer etc which are part of our day-to-day life.  Some other products preserved are solar panels, hard disk with latest documentaries and movies and current science books being used for teaching class 12 students and a mirror-less camera. 

The Capsule made by students from various departments of Lovely Professional University, was buried at a depth of 10 feet and will remain buried for the next 100 years.  A plaque has been erected wherein It has been written that the Time Capsule will be opened on 3rd January, 2119.

           

New technological capabilities are being added every few years.  The Time Capsule has been developed to represent the technology know-how as it stands today and will provide an opportunity for future generations to have a glimpse of today’s technology a century later. 

***

 

GK/nb

Read more: Time Capsule Buried to Preserve for 100 Years to...

The Indian Government has made significant strides in the last 4 years in taking India to new heights in terms of the welfare of the citizenry, the overall structure& growth of the economy, and creating a strong presence as an emerging global power.

To fuel such achievements, the Government has worked tirelessly for shouldering a number of bold and important socio-economic reforms. The Government has undertaken its reform drive with the spirit of inclusiveness of the marginalized and hitherto socio-economically neglected classes in the overall development process. To this end, right at the beginning of its term, theGovernment came-up with the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana(PMJDY) in August 2014, for giving space to the deprived classes into the formal banking system and making Financial Inclusion as its prime goal. Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana’s success has led to the creation of the much needed financial infrastructure, which serves as a runway for taking-off other Social Security Schemes like Atal Pension Yojana (APY), Pradhan MantriSurakshaBimaYojana(PMSBY) and Pradhan MantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana(PMJJBY).

Taking a step further towards up-liftment of the neglected, the Government recognized the need for targeted welfare reforms to cater to special needs of certain sections of the society. In this direction, the Government came-up with Pradhan MantriSukanyaSamridhiYojana, which provides financial security to the girl child when she grows up.

Not only financial security, but also the financial independence of the women was taken care of through Stand Up India Scheme, which expands its ambit to Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes. Stand Up India gives subsidized loans to harness and ignite the latent entrepreneurial zeal of the hitherto disadvantaged communities.

Financial needs of all the stakeholders ranging from the budding entrepreneurs to the hard-working farmers have also been catered to through various initiatives.An important initiative in this direction is the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana. During the Financial Year 2018-19, the number of loans sanctioned are 2,81,08,814 with total amount sanctioned worth Rs.1,48,503.57 Crore, with total amount disbursed Rs.1,42,009.91 Crore.

Alongside the farmer’s needs have also been addressed. The Kisan Credit Card Scheme (KCC) was strengthened for contributing towards the liberation of peasantry from the shackles of exploitative money lenders by improving their access to formal credit.

Reforms and initiatives like GST, Demonetization, Operation Clean Money and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code have made the Indian economy more efficient and transparentand haveensured financial discipline along with better compliance.

The success of Government’s policies is further reaffirmed and underscored when the International Organizations like the World Bank and IMF recognize India as the fastest growing Emerging Economyin the world and applaud the resilient and stable growth India has witnessed.

According to a recent World Bank report, India is a top improver in the Ease of Doing Business Rankings for the second year in a row. India has improved 65 places from 142 to 77 in span of last 4 years which is a remarkable achievement in itself.

A Department-wise description of the Major Activities undertaken during the year 2018 is as follows.

I . Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)

Ø  Overall fundamentals of the economy remained strong for the Year 2018-19

Macroeconomic Indicator

For Year 2018-19

GDP Growth Rate (%)

7.1 (Up to Q2)

CPI

3.9% (Q2)

WPI

4.64% (over November, 2017)

Current Account Deficit (CAD)

US$ 15.8 billion (Q1)

Trade Deficit

US$ 45.7 billion (Q1)

External Debt to GDP Ratio (%)

20.5% ( till March, 2018)

FDI Inflows

US $16,868 million (April –June, 2018)

Foreign Exchange Reserves

US$ 393.7 billion

(As on November 30, 2018)

(Source; RBI Bulletin,PIB Website)

 

 

Ø  GDP and the Economy

The Indian Economy is on track to maintain a high growth rate in the current global environment.

The share of Indian economy in world(measured as a ratio of India’s GDP to world’s GDP at current US$) increased from 2.6 percent in 2014 to 3.2 percent in 2017 (as per World Development Indicators database). The average share of Indian economy in world during 1960 to 2013 was 1.8 percent. The average growth of the Indian economy during 2014-15 to 2017-18 was 7.3 per cent, fastest among the major economies in the world.

Indian economy is projected to be the fastest growing major economy in 2018-19 and 2019-20 (International Monetary Fund October 2018 database). This is borne by GDP growth of 7.6 per cent in the first half of 2018-19.

The Second Quarter has seen a reasonable overall GDP growth of 7.1%.  The H-1 2018-19 growth of the GDP is 7.6% and the H-1 GVA growth is 7.4%.  The Growth in the Second Quarter is on higher base compared to the growth of the First Quarter. 

The Manufacturing Growth on a base of 7.1% in Q2 2017-18 has been 7.4% in Q2 of 2018-19.  The Construction Sector has grown by 7.8%.  The Gross Fixed Capital Formation as a ratio of GDP has increased by almost 1.3 percentage points over Q2 of last year.  The Exports for Q-2 have grown by 13.4%.  The Government consumption for the Quarter has also significantly increased by 12.7%. 

 
 
 

 

This is ratified in the reports of International Organizations like World Economic Forum.

As per the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018 Report of the United Nations, the outlook for India remains largely positive, underpinned by robust private consumption and public investment as well as ongoing structural reforms.

According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 Report, India’s ranking improved by 65 positions to 77th rank in 2018. 

The Government of India has taken various initiatives to improve the confidence in the Indian economy and boost the growth of the economy and which, inter-alia, include; fillip to manufacturing, concrete measures for transport and power sectors as well as other urban and rural infrastructure, comprehensive reforms in the foreign direct investment policy, special package for textile industry, push to infrastructure development by giving infrastructure status to affordable housing and focus on coastal connectivity.

Inflation during 2017-18 Averaged to the Lowest in the Last Six Years 

Inflation in the country continued to moderate during 2017-18. Consumer Price Index(CPI) based headline inflation averaged 3.3 per cent during the period which is the lowest in the last six financial years. This has been stated in the Economic Survey 2017-18 placed in Parliament by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley.

This progress is a result of a number of initiatives and reforms undertaken by the government which follows in the subsequent pages.

 

Ø  Curbing Black Money

 The Government first targeted the black money outside India.  Asset holders were asked to bring this money back on payment of penal tax. Those who failed to do so are being prosecuted under the Black Money Act.  Details of all accounts and assets abroad which have reached the Government resulted in action against the violators.

 Steps for Curbing the Black Money stashed abroad has led to Positive Results

The Government of India has taken various steps for curbing the black money stashed abroad, which has led to positive results. These steps include the following:

1.    India has been a leading force in the efforts to forge a multi-lateral regime for proactive sharing of Financial Information known as Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) which will greatly assist the global efforts to combat tax evasion. The AEOI based on Common Reporting Standard (CRS) has commenced from 2017 enabling India to receive financial account information of Indian residents in other countries. 

2.    India has also entered into information sharing agreement with the USA under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) of USA. The exchanges under FATCA have taken place for the financial years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

3.    Indian Money in Swiss Bank: The data collected by Swiss National Bank in collaboration with Bank for International Settlements (BIS) shows that the loans and deposits of Indians, other than Banks, in the Swiss banks decreased by 34.5% in the year 2017 as compared to 2016. Further, there has been significant reduction in Swiss non-bank loans and deposits of Indians by 80.2% between 2013 and 2017.

  Unearthing Benami Property

§  Income Tax Department steps-up actions under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act : Benami properties of more than Rs. 3,500 crore in more than 900 cases attached

Cabinet approves appointment of Adjudicating Authority and establishment of Appellate Tribunal under Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988. The approval will result in effective and better administration of cases referred to the Adjudicating Authority and speedy disposal of appeals filed against the order of the Adjudicating Authority before the Appellate Tribunal.

§  New Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018 was launched by the Income Tax Department’

Under the Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, a person can get reward up to Rs. One crore for giving specific information in prescribed manner to the Joint or Additional Commissioners of Benami Prohibition Units (BPUs) in Investigation Directorates of Income Tax Department about benami transactions and properties as well as proceeds from such properties which are actionable under Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, as amended by Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

§  Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill

With the assent of the President of India, the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 was promulgated; New law laid down the measures to empower Indian authorities to attach and confiscate the proceeds of crime associated with economic offenders and the properties of the economic offenders. 

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to introduce the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 in Parliament.  The Bill would help in laying down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

 The cases where the total value involved in such offences is Rs.100 crore or more, will come under the purview of this Bill.

  

 

 Impact:      

The Bill is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. This would also help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, improving the financial health of such institutions.

§  ShellCompanies

Task Force on Shell Companies took pro-active and coordinated steps to check the menace of shell companies: The major achievements of the Task Force include the compilation of a database of shell companies by SFIO. This database, as on date, comprises of 3 lists, viz the Confirmed List, Derived List and Suspect List. The Confirmed List has a total of 16,537 confirmed shell companies on the basis of the information received from the various Law Enforcement Agencies of the companies found to be involved in illegal activities.

 

Ø  Push to MSME sector:

Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi launched historic Support and Outreach Initiative for MSME Sector

·         59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs

·         Mandatory 25 percent procurement from MSMEs by CPSEs

·         Ordinance for simplifying procedures for minor offences under Companies Act   

The Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi, launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. As part of this programme, the Prime Minister unveiled 12 key initiatives which will help the growth, expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. 

The Prime Minister said that the success of economic reforms launched by the Union Government can be gauged from the rise in India's “Ease of Doing Business Rankings,” from 142 to 77 in four years.

The Prime Minister said that there are five key aspects for facilitating the MSME sector. These include access to credit, access to market, technology upgradation, ease of doing business, and a sense of security for employees. He said that as a Diwali gift for the sector, the 12 announcements he is making, will address each of these five categories.

 

 

 

 Access to Credit

As the First Announcement, the Prime Minister announced the launch of the 59 minute loan portal to enable easy access to credit for MSMEs. He said that loans uptoRs. 1 crore can be granted in-principle approval through this portal, in just 59 minutes. He said a link to this portal will be made available through the GST portal. The Prime Minister asserted that in New India, no one should be compelled to visit a bank branch repeatedly.

The Prime Minister mentioned the Second Announcement as a 2 percent interest subvention for all GST registered MSMEs, on fresh or incremental loans. For exporters who receive loans in the pre-shipment and post-shipment period, the Prime Minister announced an increase in interest rebate from 3 percent to 5 percent.

The Third Announcement made by the Prime Minister was that all companies with a turnover more than Rs. 500 crore, must now compulsorily be brought on the Trade Receivables e-Discounting System (TReDS). He said that joining this portal will enable entrepreneurs to access credit from banks, based ontheir upcoming receivables. This will resolve their problems of cash cycle.

Access to Markets

The Prime Minister said that on access to markets for entrepreneurs, the Union Government has taken a number of steps already. In this context, he made his Fourth Announcement thatPublic Sector Companies have now been asked to compulsorily procure 25 percent, instead of 20 percent of their total purchases, from MSMEs.

The Prime Minister said his Fifth Announcement is related to women entrepreneurs. He said that out of the 25 percent procurement mandated from MSMEs, 3 percent must now be reserved for women entrepreneurs.

The Prime Minister said that more than 1.5 lakh suppliers have now registered with GeM, out of which 40,000 are MSMEs. He said transactions worth more than Rs. 14,000 crore have been made so far through GeM. He said the Sixth Announcement is that all Public Sector Undertakings of the Union Government must now compulsorily be a part of GeM. He said they should also get all their vendors registered on GeM.

 

Technology Upgradation

Coming to technological upgradation, the Prime Minister said that tool rooms across the country are a vital part of product design. His seventh announcement was that 20 hubs will be formed across the country, and 100 spokes in the form of tool rooms will be established. 

Ease of Doing Business

On Ease of Doing Business, the Prime Minister’sEighth Announcement was related to pharma companies. He said clusters will be formed of pharma MSMEs. He said 70 percent cost of establishing these clusters will be borne by the Union Government.

The Prime Minister’sNinth Announcement on Simplification of Government Procedures was that the return under 8 labour laws and 10 Union regulations must now be filed only once a year.

The Prime Minister’s Tenth Announcement was that now the establishments to be visited by an Inspector will be decided through a computerised random allotment.

The Prime Minister noted that as part of establishing a unit, an entrepreneur needs two clearances namely, environmental clearance and consent to establish. HisEleventh Announcement was that under air pollution and water pollution laws, now both these have been merged as a single consent. He further said that the return will be accepted through self-certification.

As the Twelfth Announcement, the Prime Minister mentioned that an Ordinance had been brought, under which, for minor violations under the Companies Act, the entrepreneur will no longer have to approach the Courts, but can correct them through simple procedures. 

Social Security for MSME Sector Employees

The Prime Minister also spoke of social security for the MSME sector employees. He said that a mission will be launched to ensure that they have Jan Dhan Accounts, Provident Fund and Insurance.

The Prime Minister said that these decisions would go a long way in strengthening the MSME sector in India. He said the implementation of this Outreach Programme will be intensively monitored over the next 100 days. 

Ø  SIDBI launched a National Level Entrepreneurship Awareness Campaign, UdyamAbhilasha (उद्यमअभिलाषा)in 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Aayog in 28 States and reaching to around 15,000 youth.

Ø  Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2018 -19: TheGovernment of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds-2018-19. The Sovereign Gold Bonds will be issued every month from October 2018 to February 2019.

Ø  Fifteenth Finance Commission constituted a High Level Group to examine the strengths and weaknesses for enabling balanced expansion of Health Sector
The Fifteenth Finance Commission has constituted a High Level Group consisting of eminent experts from across the country in Health Sector. Dr. RandeepGuleria, Director, AIIMS, New Delhi will be its Convenor.

 

Ø  International Agreements and Engagements

There have been a number of International Agreements and Engagements that has helped India to increase and enhance its Global Presence.

Some of the International appointments and engagements are as under:

·         India became the Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years, from July, 2018 to June, 2020.

·         Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) concluded its 3rd Annual Meeting on an optimistic note to raise its lending capacity to boost prosperity and security in the region. AIIB decided to invest $140M to improve Rural Connectivity in India. 

 

Some Important Loan Agreements:

 

1.      Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $80 million loan agreement to help boost youth employability in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

2.      The Government of India and World Bank signed $100 million project to boost rural economy of Tamil Nadu.

3.      The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $250 million loan to improve rural connectivity in the 5 states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under PMGSY.

4.      Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $75 million loan to improve urban services in 4 Karnataka towns

5.      Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $200 million loan to improve State Highways in Bihar

6.      Government of India and the World Bank signed $310 million loan agreement for Jharkhand Power System Improvement Project to provide reliable, quality, and affordable 24x7 electricity to the citizens of Jharkhand

7.      Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $105 million loan to Support Hydropower Transmission in Himachal Pradesh

8.      Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $300 million loan to support India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL)in India

9.      Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $169 million loan to provide water and sanitation services in Tamil Nadu

10.  India and Japan signed a loan agreement worth Rs. 1817 crore for the ‘Project for the Construction of Turga Pumped Storage (I)’contributing to the industrial development and living standard improvement in the state of West Bengal.

11.  Indo- Japanese agreements for bilateral currency swap arrangement of seventy five billion dollars

12.  Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding between India and Singapore on setting up of a Joint Working Group on FinTech

13.  Cabinet approved signing of bilateral investment agreement between India Taipei Association in Taipei and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India

14.  India and ADB signed $110 Million Loan to improve rural connectivity in Madhya Pradesh

15.  Government of India and The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $100 million loan agreement to expand sewerage and drainage coverage in Kolkata

16.  Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed $ 150 million loanagreementto support India’s first global skills park in state of Madhya Pradesh

17.  India and ADB signed $240 million loan to provide safe drinking water service in 3 West Bengal districts

18.  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India signed $150 million loan to improve regional connectivity

19.  India and Japan signed loan agreement for construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project (I) and Kolkata East West Metro Project (III) with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

20.  India signed financing loan agreement with the World Bank for US$ 74 million for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP)

21.  Cabinet approvedMoU on collaborative research on distributed ledger and block chain technology in the context of development of digital economy by Exim Bank under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism

22.  Government of India and ADB signed $346 million loan to improve state highways in Karnataka

23.  Government of India and ADB signed $375 million loan to improve irrigation efficiency in Madhya Pradesh

24.  Cabinet approved Memorandum of Understanding between India and USA in insurance regulatory sector

25.  Government of India and the World Bank signed $300 million agreement to help scale-up India’s Energy Efficiency Program

26.  The Government of India, Government of Rajasthan and World Bank signed a $250 million agreement to support electricity distribution sector reforms in Rajasthan

27.  Indo-German Government to Government Umbrella agreements worth Euro 653.7 million (approx. Rs. 5253 crore) on Financial Cooperation and Technical Cooperation 2017 were signed.

28.  India signed loan agreement with the World Bank for USD 21.7 million for strengthening the Public Financial Management in Rajasthan Project;

29.  Cabinet approvedMoU between India and Turkey on trade in poppy seeds to ensure quick and transparent processing for import of poppy seeds from Turkey

30.  CBDT notified the protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and Kuwait

31.  India signed loan agreement with World Bank for US$ 125 million for “Innovate in India for Inclusiveness Project”

32.  Government of India and World Bank signed agreement to improve rural road network in Madhya Pradesh

33.  India signed loan agreement with World Bank for USD 48 million for Meghalaya community - led Landscapes Management Project

34.  Government of India,Government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signeda new project to benefit over 25 million small and marginal farmers in Maharashtra.

35.  India and ADB signed $120 million loan to improve rail infrastructure

36.  Cabinet approved agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion between India and Iran

37.  Cabinet approved agreement between India and Jordan on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters

38.  Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed $ 84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in the state of Bihar

39.  Government of India signed a MoU with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in national capital​.

40.  India and Iran signed in New Delhi an agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income.

41.  Cabinet approved signing and ratification of protocol amending the agreement between India and China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion

42.  Cabinet approved signing of India-Australia Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for Secondment Programme.

 

II . Department of Revenue

Ø  GST

 This year on 1st July 2018, theGovernment of India celebrated the 1st GST Day.

GST Revenue Collections:

The GST Revenue collection for the month of November 2018 has crossed Ninety-Seven Thousand Crore rupees. The total gross GST revenue collected in the month of November, 2018 is Rs. 97,637 crore of which CGST is Rs. 16,812 crore, SGST is Rs. 23,070 crore, IGST is Rs. 49,726 crore (including Rs. 24,133crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs. 8,031 crore (including Rs. 842 crore collected on imports).  


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Ø  GST Council: Important decisions

GST Council 31st Meeting:

GST Rate Cuts on Goods

GST Council in the 31st Meeting held on 22nd December, 2018 at New Delhi took following major decisions relating to changes in GST rates, and clarification (on goods). The decisions of the GST Council have been presented for easy understanding. The same would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/ circulars which shall have force of law.

 

 

  1. GST rate reduction on goods which were attracting GST rate of 28% :
  1. 28% to 18%
  • Pulleys, transmission shafts and cranks, gear boxes etc., falling under HS Code 8483
  • Monitors and TVs of uptoscreen size of 32 inches
  • Re-treaded or used pneumatic tyres of rubber;
  • Power banks of lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are already at 18%. This will bring parity in GST rate of power bank and lithium ion battery.
  • Digital cameras and video camera recorders
  • Video game consoles and other games and sports requisites falling under HS code 9504.
  1. 28% to 5%
  • Parts  and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons
  1. GST rate reduction on other goods,-
  1. 18% to 12%
  • Cork roughly squared or debagged
  • Articles of natural cork
  • Agglomerated cork
  1. 18% to 5%
  1. 12% to 5%
  • Natural cork
  • Walking Stick
  • Fly ash Blocks
  1.  12% to Nil:
  1. 5% to Nil
  • Vegetables, (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boilinginwater), frozen, branded and put in a unit container
  • Vegetable provisionally preserved (for example by sulphur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulphur water or in other preservative solutions), but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption.
  1. Miscellaneous
  • Exemption from GST on supply of gold by Nominated Agencies to exporters of article of gold Jewellery.
  • Exemption from GST on proceeds received by Government from auction of gifts received by President, Prime Minister, Governor or Chief Minister of a State and public servants, the proceeds of which is used for public or charitable cause.
  • Exemption from IGST/Compensation cess on vehicles imported for temporary purposes under the Customs Convention on the Temporary importation of Private Road Vehicles (carnet de passages-en-douane).
  • Rate of 5%/18% to be applied based on transaction value of footwear
  • Uniform GST rate of 12% on Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC) from existing 5%/12% (depending on the value)

 III. GST on solar power generating plant and other renewable energy plants

  • GST rate of  5% rate has been prescribed on renewable energy devices & parts for their manufacture (bio gas plant/solar power based devices, solar power generating system (SGPS) etc) [falling under chapter 84, 85 or 94 of the Tariff]. Other goods or services used in these plants attract applicable GST.
  • Certain disputes have arisen regarding GST rates where specified goods attracting 5% GST are supplied along with services of construction etc and other goods for solar power plant.
  • To resolve the dispute the Council has recommended that in all such cases, the 70% of the gross value shall be deemed as the value of supply of said goods attracting 5% rate and the remaining portion (30%) of the aggregate value of such EPC contract shall be deemed as the value of supply of taxable service attracting standard GST rate.

 

GST Rate Cuts on Services

GST Council in the 31stmeeting held on 22nd December, 2018 at New Delhi took following decisions relating to changes in GST rates, ITC eligibility criteria, exemptions andclarificationson connected issues.The decisions of the GST Council have been presented in this note in simple language for easyunderstanding. The same would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/ circulars which shall have force of law.

 

 Reduction in GST rates/exemptions on Services:

  1. GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs. 100 shall be reducedfrom 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets uptoRs. 100 from 18% to 12%.
  2. GST rate on third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles shall be reduced from 18% to 12%
  3. Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under PradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) shall be exempted.
  4. Services supplied by rehabilitation professionals recognized under Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992at medical establishments, educational institutions, rehabilitation centers established by Central Government / State Government or Union Territories or entity registered under section 12AA of the Income-tax Actshall be exempted.
  5. Services provided by GTA to Government departments/local authorities which have taken registration only for the purpose of deducting tax under Section 51 shall be excluded from payment of tax under RCM and the same shall be exempted. 
  6. Exemption on services provided by Central or State Government or Union Territory Government to their undertakings or PSUs by way of guaranteeing loans taken by them from financial institutions is being extended to guaranteeing of such loans taken from banks.
  7. Air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government of India under bilateral arrangements shall attract the same rate of GST as applicable to similar flights in Economy class (i.e. 5% with ITC of input services).

 Rationalization

  1. Parliament and State legislatures shall be extended the same tax treatment with regard to payment of tax under RCM (reverse charge mechanism)as available to Central and State Governments.
  2. Security services (supply of security personnel) provided to a registered person,except Government Departments which have taken registration for TDS and entities registered under composition scheme, shall be put under RCM.
  3. Services provided by unregistered Business Facilitator (BF) to a bank and agent of Business correspondent (BC) toa BC shall be put under RCM.

 

GST Council’s 30th Meeting:

During the 30th Meeting of the GST Council, the proposal of the State of Kerala for imposition of Cess on SGST for rehabilitation and flood affected works was discussed in detail.  The Council decided to constitute a 7-Member Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine this issue in depth.  Accordingly, the Union Finance Minister, Shri ArunJaitley, had approved the constitution of a Group of Ministers on 28thSeptember, 2018 to examine the issue regarding ‘Modalities for Revenue Mobilization in case of Natural Calamities and Disasters’

 

GST Council :28th Meeting:

The GST Council in its 28th Meeting took the following decisions on GST Rate on Goods and Services.

GST Rate on Goods:

  1. GST rates reduction on 28% items:
  1. 28% to 18%

·         Paints and varnishes (including enamels and lacquers)

·         Glaziers’ putty, grafting putty, resin cements

·         Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment including water cooler, milk coolers, refrigerating equipment for leather industry, ice cream freezer etc.

·         Washing machines.

·         Lithium-ion batteries

·         Vacuum cleaners

·         Domestic electrical appliances such as food grinders and mixers & food or vegetable juice extractor, shaver, hair clippers etc

·         Storage water heaters and immersion heaters, hair dryers,  hand dryers, electric smoothing irons etc

·         Televisions upto the size of 68 cm

·         Special purpose motor vehicles. e.g., crane lorries, fire fighting vehicle, concrete mixer lorries, spraying lorries

·         Works trucks [self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment] of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short transport of goods.

·         Trailers and semi-trailers.

·         Miscellaneous articles such as scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, powder-puffs and pads for the application of cosmetics or toilet preparation.

  1. 28% to 12%

·         Fuel Cell Vehicle. Further, Compensation cess shall also be exempted on fuel cell vehicle.

  1. Refund of accumulated credit on account of inverted duty structure to fabric manufacturers: Fabrics attract GST at the rate of 5% subject to the condition that refund of accumulated ITC on account of inversion will not be allowed. However, considering the difficulty faced by the Fabric sector on account of this condition, the GST Council has recommended for allowing refund to fabrics on account of inverted duty structure. The refund of accumulated ITC shall be allowed only with the prospective effect on the purchases made after the notification is issued.

III. GST rates were recommended to be brought down from,-

  1. 18%12%/5% to Nil:

o    Stone/Marble/Wood Deities

o    Rakhi [other than that of precious or semi-precious material of chapter 71]

o    Sanitary Napkins,

o    Coir pith compost

o    Sal Leaves siali leaves and their products and Sabai Rope

o    PhoolBhariJhadoo [Raw material for Jhadoo]

o    Khali dona.

o    Circulation and commemorative coins, sold by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd [SPMCIL] to Ministry of Finance.

  1. 12% to 5%:

o    Chenille fabrics and other fabrics under heading 5801

o    Handloom dari

o    Phosphoric acid (fertilizer grade only).

o    Knitted cap/topi having retail sale value not exceeding Rs. 1,000

  1. 18% to 12%: 

o    Bamboo flooring.

o    Brass Kerosene Pressure Stove.

o    Hand Operated Rubber Roller.

o    Zip and Slide Fasteners.

  1. 18% to 5%:

o    Ethanol for sale to Oil Marketing Companies for blending with fuel

o    Solid bio fuel pellets

 

IV. Rate change made in respect of footwear

o    5% GST is being extended to footwear having a retail sale price up to Rs. 1000 per pair

o    Footwear having a retail sale price exceeding Rs. 1000 per pair will continue to attract 18%

V.GST rates were recommended to be brought down for specified handicraft items [as per the definition of handicraft, as approved by the GST council]

  1. 18% to 12%:

o    Handbags including pouches and purses; jewellery box

o    Wooden frames for painting, photographs, mirrors etc

o    Art ware of cork [including articles of sholapith]

o    Stone art ware, stone inlay work

o    Ornamental framed mirrors

o    Glass statues [other than those of crystal]

o    Glass art ware [ including pots, jars, votive, cask, cake cover, tulip bottle, vase ]

o    Art ware of iron

o    Art ware of brass, copper/ copper alloys, electro plated with nickel/silver

o    Aluminium art ware

o    Handcrafted  lamps (including panchloga lamp)

o    Worked vegetable or mineral carving, articles thereof, articles of wax, of stearin, of natural gums or natural resins or of modelling pastes etc, (including articles of lac, shellac)

o    Ganjifa card

  1. 12% to 5%:

o    Handmade carpets and other handmade textile floor coverings (including namda/gabba)

o    Handmade lace

o    Hand-woven tapestries

o    Hand-made braids and ornamental trimming in the piece

o    Toran

  1. Miscellaneous Change relating to valuation of a supply

o    IGST @5% on Pool Issue Price (PIP) of Urea imported on Government account for direct agriculture use, instead of assessable value plus custom duty.

o    Exemption from Compensation cess to Coal rejects from washery [arising out of cess paid coal on which ITC has not been taken].  

GST Rate on Services

The GST Council in its 28th meeting took following decisions relating to exemptions / changes in GST rates / ITC eligibility criteria, rationalization of rates / exemptions and clarification on levy of GST on services.

It would be noted that multiple reliefs from GST taxation have been provided to following categories of services –

(i) Agriculture, farming and food processing industry,

(ii) Education, training and skill development,

(iii) Pension, social security and old age support.

Hotel industry has been given major relief by providing that the rate of tax on accommodation service shall be based on transaction value instead of declared tariff.

Services provided in sectors like banking, IT have been provided relief by exempting services supplied by an establishment of a person in India to any establishment of that person outside India [related party].

As a green initiative, GST on supply of e-books has been reduced from 18 to 5%. 

EXEMPTIONS / CHANGES IN GST RATES AND SERVICES

Sector –Farmers/ Agriculture/ Food Processing

1.         Exempted services by way of artificial insemination of livestock (other than horses).

2.         Exempted warehousing of minor forest produce in line with exemptions provided to the agricultural produce.

3.         Exempted the works of installation and commissioning undertaken by DISCOMS/ electricity distribution companies for extending electricity distribution network upto the tube well of the farmer/ agriculturalist for agricultural use.

4.         Exempted services provided by FSSAI to food business operators.

Education/ Training/ Skill Development

5.         Reduced rate of GST from 18% to 5% on supply only of e-books for which print version exist.

Social Security/ Pension Security/ Senior Citizens

6.         Exempted services provided by Coal Mines Provident Fund Organisationto the PF subscribers from the applicability of GST on the lines of EPFO.

7.         Exempted supply of services by an old age home run by State / Central Government or by a body registered under 12AA of Income Tax Act) to its residents (aged 60 years or more) against consideration upto Rupees Twenty Five Thousand per month per member provided consideration is inclusive of charges for boarding, lodging and maintenance.

8.         Exempted GST on the administrative fee collected by National Pension System Trust.

9.         Exempted services provided by an unincorporated body or a non-profit entity registered under any law for the time being in force, engaged in activities relating to the welfare of industrial or agricultural labour or farmer; or for the promotion of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, art, science, literature, culture, sports, education, social welfare, charitable activities and protection of environment, to own members against consideration in the form of  membership fee up to an amount of one thousand rupees per member per year.

Banking/ Finance/ Insurance

10.       Exempted Reinsurance Services provided to specified Insurance Schemessuch as Pradhan MantriRashtriyaSwasthyaSuraksha  Mission (PMRSSM) (Ayushman Bharat), funded by Government.

Government Services

11.       Exempted services provided by Government to ERCC by way of assigning the right to collect royalty, DMFT etc. from the mining lease holders.

12.       Exempted the guarantees given by Central/State Government/UT administration to their undertakings/PSUs.

Miscellaneous

13.       Exempted GST on import of services by Foreign Diplomatic Missions/ UN & other International Organizations based on reciprocity.

14.       Exempted services supplied by an establishment of a person in India to any establishment of that person outside India, which are treated as establishments of distinct persons in accordance with Explanation I in section 8 of the IGST Act provided the place of supply is outside the taxable territory of India in accordance with section 13 of IGST Act

15.       Prescribed GST rate slabs on accommodation service based on transaction value instead of declared tariff which is likely to provide major relief to the hotel industry.

16.       Prescribed GST rate of 12% with full ITC under forward charge for composite supply of multimodal transportation.

17.       Rationalized thenotificationentry prescribing reduced GST rate on composite supply of works contract received by the Government or a local authority in the course of their sovereign functions.

18.       Rationalized entry relating to composite supply of food and drinks in restaurant, mess, canteen, eating joints and such supplies to institutions (educational, office, factory, hospital) on contractual basis at GST rate of 5%; and making it clear that the scope of outdoor catering under 7(v) is restricted to supplies in case of outdoor/indoor functions that are event based and occasional in nature.

Also, the GST Council in its 28th Meeting had approved the New Return Formats and associated changes in law. It may be recalled that in the 27thMeeting held on 4thof May, 2018, the Council had approved the basic principles of GST return design and directed the law committee to finalize the return formats and changes in law. The formats and business process approved in 28th meeting were in line with the basic principles with one major change i.e., the option of filing quarterly return with monthly payment of tax in a simplified return format by the small tax payers.

 

 

GST Refunds

Total GST refunds to the tune of Rs 91,149 crores have been disposed by CBIC and State authorities out of the total refund claims of Rs 97,202 crores received so far. Thus, the disposal rate of 93.77 per cent has been achieved. The pending GST refund claims amounting to Rs 6,053 crores are being expeditiously processed so as to provide relief to eligible claimants. Refund claims without any deficiency are being cleared expeditiously.

 

 

GST Evasion

 

Ø  E-way Bill System

 The E-way Bill System had been introduced nation-wide for inter-State movement of goods with effect from 1st April, 2018 while the States were given the option to choose any date till 3rd June, 2018 for the introduction of the E-way bill system for intra-State supplies. The objectives of E-way bill system are as below:

  1. single and unified E-way bill for inter-State and intra-State movement of goods for the whole country in self-service mode, 
  1. enabling paperless and fully online system to facilitate seamless movement of goods across all the States, 
  1. improve service delivery with quick turnaround time for the entire supply chain and provide anytime anywhere access to data/services, 
  1. to facilitate hassle free movement of goods by abolishing inter-State check posts across the country

Ø  Demonetization and Unearthing Black Money

The larger purpose of demonetisation was to move India from a Tax Non-compliant society to a compliant society.  This necessarily involved the formalization of the Economy and a blow to the black money.

Demonetization compelled holders of cash to deposit the same in the banks.  The enormity of cash deposited and identified with the owner resulted in suspected 17.42 lakh account holders from whom the response has been received online through non-invasive method. Larger deposits in banks improved lending capacity for the banks.  A lot of this money was diverted to the Mutual Funds for further investments.  It became a part of the formal system.

The impact of demonetization has been felt on collection of personal income tax.  Its collections were higher in Financial Year 2018-19 (till 31-10-2018) compared to the previous year by 20.2%.  Even in the corporate tax the collections are 19.5% higher.  From two years prior to demonetization, direct tax collections have increased 6.6% and 9% respectively.  In the next two years, post demonetization the increase by 14.6% (part of the year before impact of demonetization in 2016-17) and an increase of 18% in the year 2017-18.

Appropriate action by the Income-tax Department (ITD) and other Law Enforcement Agencies has been taken against those involved in the misuse of the Scheme of Demonetization.

During the period November 2016 to March, 2017, ITD conducted searches in 900 groups, involved in various activities and business, leading to seizure of Rs. 900 crores, including cash seizure of Rs. 636 crores. During the same period, 8239 surveys were conducted leading to detection of undisclosed income of Rs. 6745 crores.

With the objective of obtaining people’s participation in the Income Tax Department’s efforts to unearth black money and reduce tax evasion, a new reward scheme titled “Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme, 2018” has been issued by the Income Tax Department, superseding the earlier reward scheme issued in 2007.

 

Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT)

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into nine more Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (UAPAs) during the month of July, 2018. With the signing of these Agreements, the total number ofAPAs entered into by the CBDT has gone up to 232, which includes 20 Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (BAPAs). 

  

Ø  Direct Tax

There has been continuous increase in the amount of income declared in the returns filed by all categories of taxpayers over the last three Assessment Years (AYs). For AY 2014-15, corresponding to FY 2013-14 (base year), the return filers had declared gross total income of Rs.26.92 lakh crore, which has increased by 67% to Rs.44.88 lakh crore for AY 2017-18, showing higher level of compliance resulting from various legislative and administrative measures taken by the Government, including effective enforcement measures against tax evasion.

Refunds amounting to Rs.1.23 lakh crore have been issued during April, 2018 to November, 2018, which is 20.8% higher than refunds issued during the same period in the preceding year.

So far as the Growth Rate for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) is concerned, the Growth Rate of Gross Collections for CIT is 17.7% while that for PIT (including STT) is 18.3%.

According to the Direct Tax Statistics released by CBDT:

·         There is a constant growth in direct tax-GDP ratio over last three years and the ratio of 5.98% in FY 2017-18 is the best DT-GDP ratio in last 10 years.

·         There is a growth of more than 80% in the number of returns filed in the last four financial years from 3.79 crore in FY 2013-14 (base year) to 6.85 crore in FY 2017-18.

·         The number of persons filing Return of Income has also increased by about 65% during this period from 3.31 crore in FY 2013-14 to 5.44 crore in FY 2017-18.

 

III.Department of Financial Services

Ø  Reforms for addressing the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs):

The government has strongly come out with key measures and reforms in order to address the increase in NPAs, which are detailed as under.

1.      Recapitalization of Public Sector Banks (PSBs):

Government moved proposal in Parliament for enhanced bank re-capitalisation outlay from Rs.65,000 crore to Rs.1,06,000 crore in the current financial year to propel economic growth, cementing India’s position as the fastest growing economy of the world. This would enable infusion of over Rs.83,000 in Public Sector Banks (PSBs).

 

 

 

The enhanced provision is aimed at:

(1)  Meeting regulatory capital norms

(2)  Providing capital to better-performing PCA Banks to achieve 9% Capital to Risk-weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR); 1.875% Capital Conservation Buffer and the 6% Net NPA threshold, facilitating them to come out of PCA

(3)  Facilitating non-PCA banks that are in breach of some PCA thresholds to not be in breach

(4)  Strengthen amalgamating banks by providing regulatory and growth capital

Following comprehensive clean-up of the banking system under Government’s 4R’s approach of Recognition, Resolution, Recapitalisation and Reforms, the envisaged recapitalisation would equip banks financially at levels higher than the global norms. In this connection, it is pertinent that India’s capital norms for banks are 1% higher than the norms recommended under the global Basel-III framework. Further, unlike the early intervention regime of other major economies, India’s PCA framework for weaker banks has more onerous thresholds, viz., higher capital thresholds and a Net NPA threshold that further embeds capital requirement on account of provisioning of NPAs. Today’s proposal in an expression of Government’s commitment that each PSB is an article of faith, and aims at securing compliance even for the higher regulatory norms.

2.      One market place for Public Sector Bank loans

The reforms agenda aimed at Enhanced Access & Service Excellence (EASE), encapsulates a synergistic approach to ensuring prudential and clean lending, better customer service, enhanced credit availability, focus on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and better governance. 

3.      Consolidation of Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)

With a view to enable Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to minimize their overhead expenses, optimize the use of technology, enhance the capital base and area of operation and increase their exposure, the Government has sought comments of respective State Governments and Sponsor Banks on a roadmap for Amalgamation of RRBs within a State.

Apart from these measures, a number of other measures have been undertaken. As a result, PSBs recovered an amount of Rs. 1,58,259 crore, during the financial years 2015-16 to 2017-18. 

  1. To avoid recurrence and for stringent recovery, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) has been enacted to create a Unified Framework for resolving insolvency and bankruptcy matters.
  2. The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 was amended, to provide for authorization to RBI to issue directions to banks to initiate the insolvency resolution process under IBC. Under this, by adopting a creditor-in-saddle approach, with the interim resolution professional taking over management of affairs of Corporate Debtor at the outset, the incentive to resort to abuse of the legal system was taken away. This coupled with debarment of wilful defaulters and persons associated with NPA accounts from the resolution process, has effected a fundamental change in the creditor-debtor relationship.
  3. Further, as per RBI’s directions, cases have been filed under IBC in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in respect of 39 large defaulters, amounting to about Rs. 2.69 lakh crore funded exposure (as of December 2017).
  4. In addition, recapitalisation of PSBs, announced and initiated by the Government, has enabled upfront provisioning, easing apprehensions in actively pursuing resolution.
  5. Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) has been amended for faster recovery with a provision for three months imprisonment in case the borrower does not provide asset details and for the lender to get possession of mortgaged property within 30 days. Also, six new Debts Recovery Tribunal have been established to expedite recovery.
  6. PSB Reforms Agenda announced by the Government, PSBs have committed to strengthen recovery mechanism by setting-up Stressed Asset Management Verticals for focussed recovery, clean and effective post-sanction follow-up on large-value accounts by tying up with Agencies for Specialized Monitoring for loans of Rs. 250 crore and above, and strict segregation of pre- and post-sanction roles for enhanced accountability.
  7. To reduce incidence of default on account of and to effect recovery from wilful defaulters, as per RBI’s instructions, wilful defaulters are not sanctioned any additional facilities by banks or financial institutions, their unit is debarred from floating new ventures for five years, and lenders may initiate criminal proceedings against them, wherever necessary. 
  8.  Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations have been amended to debar wilful defaulters and companies with wilful defaulters as promoters/directors from accessing capital markets to raise funds.
  9.  Further, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has been amended to debar wilful defaulters from participating in the insolvency resolution process.

 

Ø  Global Recognition of Government’s Reform Drive

The reform drive undertaken by the government has been recognized by International Organizations like Standard &Poor’s which states, inter-alia, that “the worst is almost over for India’s banks”. It states that the Government is working on a four-pronged strategy to improve the health of the banking sector: recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reform (“4Rs”), and that their stable outlook on the banks reflect their view that the “4Rs” and other initiatives taken by the Government and RBI will strengthen the banking system over the next couple of years. 

  

Ø  Streamlining of National Pension System (NPS) 

 

 
 

The Union Cabinet in its Meeting on 6th December, 2018 has approved the following

 

 

Ø  Financial Inclusion

Finance Ministry launches Mobile Application “Jan DhanDarshak” as a part of Financial Inclusion

Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance and National Informatics Centre  (NIC) has jointly developed a mobile app called Jan DhanDarshak as a part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative . As the name suggests, this app will act as a guide for the common people in locating a financial service touch point at a given location in the country.

 

Ø  Major Schemes and their Improvements:

Issue of Kisan Credit Cards

There is positive growth in terms of both individual policies as well as first year premium during 2017-18. Apart from interest rates, there are other factors which affect the life insurance growth such as overall economic growth, sales force, product portfolio, level of competition with other financial products etc.

 

 

Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY): Under Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana33.4 Crore beneficiaries banked so far ₹85,494.69 Crore balance in beneficiary accounts as on 17th December, 2018

Pradhan MantriVayaVandanaYojana extended up to March 2020: Exemption of Interest Income on deposits increased to Rs 50,000. Existed limit on investment under PMVVY enhanced to Rs 15 lakhs.

SukanyaSamridhi Account Scheme: Until 30 June, 2018 more than 1.39 crore accounts have been opened across the country in the name of girl-child securing an amount of Rs.25,979.62crore.

Atal Pension Scheme: The Subscriber base under APY has crossed 1.24 crore mark; More than 27 lacs new subscribers have joined the Scheme during the Current Financial Year 2018-19 (As on 2nd November,2018). The Scheme is very easy to understand and it is very transparent. States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka are the top contributors in APY enrollment. The Scheme allows any Indian Citizen between the age group of 18-40 years to join through the bank or post office branches where one has the savings bank account.

Pradhan MantriSurakshaBimaYojana(PMSBY) and  PradhanMantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana (PMJJBY)

·         Pradhan MantriSurakshaBimaYojana:  As per data uploaded by banks, the number of persons enrolled under Pradhan MantriSurakshaBimaYojana (PMSBY) as on 31.10.2018 is 14.27 Crores.

·         Pradhan MantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana:5.47 crore subscribers under Pradhan MantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana (PMJJBY) with 1.10 lakh claims, involving an amount of Rs. 2,206.28 crore settled so far. (As on 8th September,2018)

Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8, 2015 for providing loans upto 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. During the financial year 2018-19, the number of loan sanctioned are 2,92,30,665 with total amount sanctioned Rs. 1,53,783.83Crores, with total amount disbursed Rs.1,47,115.20Crores (As 14th December,2018)

Stand Up India Scheme

Progress around Stand-Up India Scheme is as under

 

 

Performance under Stand Up India Scheme

 

(Amt. in Rs. Crore)

 

 

 

 

 

SC

 

 

ST

 

 

 

Women

 

 

Total

 

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Of

Sanctioned

 

No Of

Sanctioned

No Of

 

Sanctioned

 

No Of

 

Sanctioned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A/Cs

Amt.

 

A/Cs

 

Amt.

A/Cs

 

Amt.

 

A/Cs

 

 

Amt.

 

31.10.2018

9175

1776.87

 

2770

557.35

54135

 

12096.91

 

66080

 

14431.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rates of Small Saving Schemes was increased for Financial Year 2018-19.

 

Ø  Public Financial Management System (PFMS) Achieves a Historical Record Breaking Volume of Digital Transaction

Public Financial Management System (PFMS) is an ambitious project of Government of India being implemented by Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance. PFMS has proved as a robust digital platform towards Prime Minister’s vision of DIGITAL INDIA.

On 28th March, 2018, an historic amount of Rs. 71,633.45 crore has been digitally transacted/routed through PFMS Portal for 98, 19,026 transactions in a single day.

IV. Department of Disinvestment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM)

·         As on 11th December, 2018, the Government had realized Rs. 34,005.05 crore as disinvestment proceeds against the BE of Rs. 80,000 crore during the current financial year (2018-19).

·         The FFO 3 of CPSE-ETF in November 2018 was the biggest disinvestment transaction through ETF raising Rs. 17,000 crore.

·         Total disinvestment proceeds during 2017-18 was Rs. 1,00,056.91crorevis-a-vis the revised target of Rs. 1,00,000 crore.

·         CPSEs constitute 8.81% and 8.89% of the total market capitalisation of companies listed at BSE and NSE respectively (as on 7th December, 2018)

·         The Initial Public Offering (IPO) of CPSE IRCON had been subscribed 9.5 times. The Government expected to raise Rs 466 crore from the issue. IRCON is the second CPSE to launch an IPO in the Current Fiscal besides being the second Railway CPSE to be listed on the stock markets after RITES in June this year.

·          

(Source – DIPAM site)

·         Further Fund Offer of Bharat – 22 ETF had been a resounding success with strong participation of FIIs.

·         Also, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi had given ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 100% Government of India's shares in DCIL to consortium of four ports namely, Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, JawaharLal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust.

·         In January, The Government of India had also entered into an agreement with ONGC for the strategic sale of its 51.11% equity share-holding in HPCL at a consideration of Rs. 36,915 crore.

 

V . Department of Expenditure

·         The Finance Minister said that in order to impart unquestionable credibility to the Government’s commitment for the revised fiscal glide path, he proposed to accept key recommendations of the Fiscal Reform and Budget Management (FRBM) Committee relating to adoption of the Debt Rule and to bring down the Central Government’s Debt to GDP ratio to 40%. The Government also accepted the recommendation to use Fiscal Deficit target as the key operational parameter. 

·         Presenting the General Budget 2018-19 in Parliament here, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri ArunJaitely  said that the total earmarked allocation for SCs in 279 programmes had been increased from Rs.34,334 crore in 2016-17 to Rs.52,719 crore in RE 2017-18.  Likewise, for STs, earmarked allocation had been increased from Rs.21,811 crore in 2016-17 to Rs.32,508 crore in RE 2017-18 in 305 programmes.  The Finance Minister said that earmarked allocation had been further increased to Rs.56,619 crore for SCs and Rs.39,135 crore for STs in BE 2018-19.

·         The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi has approved to release an additional installment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 01.07.2018 representing an increase of 2% over the existing rate of 7% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise. 

·          Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) had been made applicable across the country vide M/o Finance OM dated 12.12.2014. Till 15/02/2018, 366 such schemes/components were identified where cash was directly transferred to bank account of the beneficiaries. Till 15/02/2018, Rs. 2,64,113 crore was transferred to the beneficiaries in the Cash Schemes. 

·         Total Agriculture Credit Disbursement increased from Rs. 9,15,509.92 Crore in 2015-16 to Rs. 11,68,502.84 Crore in 2017-18

·         To enhance their skills and keep pace with the changes in the World Global Environment, the Department of Expenditure took the lead role in the capacity building of Financial Advisers

 

***

 

DSM

 

Read more: Year End Review – 2018- Ministry of Finance

HIGHLIGHTS OF ACTIVITIES

 

Index

  1. Introduction
  2. Construction of national highways
  3. Road safety
  4. Initiatives in transport sector
  5. Green initiatives
  6. E- initiatives
  7. International cooperation
  8. Others

 

 

INTRODUCTION

  1. The year 2018-19 was declared by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways as the  YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION. This was a year for consolidating the gains that have accrued from major policy decisions taken in the previous four years, a time for monitoring of ongoing projects, tackling road blocks and adding to the already impressive pace of work achieved last year. The Ministry took a decision to complete all ongoing projects that had been awarded upto 2015-16, and placed the highest ever target  of constructing at least 12,000 kms of national highways as against 9829 kms achieved during 2017-18, and make special efforts to take this length to 16000 km. Overall, more than about 61,300 km length of road projects, costing more than Rs. 6.48 lakh crore, are in progress at present. The balance ongoing works (which have been awarded, appointed dates declared and works going on at sites) are more than 30,200 kms during the year. In the first nine months of FY 2018-19, 5,759 km has been completed in 18-19 against 4,942 km up to same period in last year.

1.2 In order to achieve this target the Ministry brought in policies, guidelines and practices for expediting pre-construction activities and bringing in more efficiency and transparency in the process. The Bidder Information Management System (BIMS)was developed to streamline the process of pre-qualification of bidders for contracts on EPC Mode. BhoomiRashi portal is being used extensively for expediting the process of notification for land acquisition. The portal BIMS and BhoomiRashi portals have further been linked with Public Financial Management System(PFMS) to facilitate real time payment to beneficiaries.

1.3 On the finance front too, National Highways Authority of India did a successful financial closure of its first project under Toll- Operate –Transfer this year andoffered 586 km of national highways under the second bundle. The first TOT bundle of 9 projects, totaling approximately 681 KM of roads in two states of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, was awarded earlier during the year for Rs. 9,681 Crore, which was 1.5 times the Authority’s estimate. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also got an unsecured loan of Rs 25,000 crore from State Bank of India for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments. This is the largest amount of loan to have been sanctioned to NHAI in one stroke by any institution. This is also the largest long term unsecured loan sanctioned by SBI at a time to any entity.

    1. The year has also seen a lot of movement in the transport sector, with focus on reducing carbon footprint while enhancing road safety, efficiency and convenience of road users. An MoU signed with Transport for London’ (TFL) to revamp the public transport system in the country, building mini wayside amenities at toll plazas, establishing a quality – based ranking system for toll plazas, simplification of Driving License application,  notifying  emission standards for construction equipment vehicles andtractors, issue of guidelines to set up well equipped  and  competent  Driving  Training Centres (DTC) at district levels and for granting financial assistance to NGOs for undertaking road safety advocacy, launch of SukhadYatra App and Toll Free Emergency Number, the decision to allow free passage to user in case of malfunctioning of Electronic Toll Collection infrastructure, compensation of Rs. 5,00,000/- to road accidentvictims, notification regarding blending of gasoline with methanol in order to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and import burden and linking of vehicle emission data with State/Central Register ofVehicles are all notable initiatives taken by the Ministry in this direction.
  1. CONSTRUCTION OF NATIONAL HIGHWAYS
    1. Award / Construction Statistics:

A two days long exercise was conducted to review of over 700 ongoing National Highway projects in the country, and over 300 projects were identified to be completed by 2019 achieving the highest ever construction in financial year 2018-19.

The table below details the trends of NH construction over the years. 

Year

Award (kms)

Construction (kms)

2014-15

7972

4410

2015-16

10098

6061

2016-17

15948

8231

2017-18

17055

9829

Note: In FY 2018-19, 5,759 km of Highways have been constructed till 30.11.18 as against 4,942 kms during the corresponding period last year. The Ministry’s focus is to ensure that pre-construction activities are substantially completed before award of projects.

    1. Progress of Major Programmes/ Landmark Projects:
  1. BharatmalaPariyojana: Phase-I

This is the umbrella program for the highways sector unrolled in 2017-18, that aims to optimize the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. 34,800 km of National Highways are to be constructed under the Phase-I of the programme between 2017-18 to 2021-22 in a phased manner at a cost of Rs. 5,35,000 crore. This includes 5,000 kms of the National Corridors, 9000 kms of Economic Corridors, 6000 km of Feeder Corridors and Inter-Corridors, 2000 kms of Border Roads, 2,000 kms of Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity Roads and 800 kms of Green-field Expressways.

Projects for 6,407 km road length have been awarded under the BharatmalaPariyojana(including residual NHDP) till the end of October this year.  DPRs are being prepared for projects for the balance length. De- congestion projects have been completed for 13 out of 191 congestion points identified, and are under progress for de-congestion of 80 other points. In addition, DPRs are being prepared for 93 congestion points.Out of the 35 locations identified for Multimodal Logistics Parks, DPRs have been initiated for 7 locations and availability of land parcels is being confirmed with State Governments for the rest of the locations.

  1. SetuBharatam

In order to ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic, Ministry has envisaged a plan for replacement of Level Crossings on National Highways by ROBs/ RUBs under a scheme known as SetuBharatam. Under this programme, out of 174 ROBs/RUBs which are to be constructed, 91 have been sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs.7,104.72 crore.  Out of 91 sanctioned, 59 ROBs/RUBs have been awarded which are in various stages of progress.

  1. ChardhamMahamargVikasPariyojna

The project envisages development of easy access to the four prominent Dhams, namely, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedranath and Badrinath, situated in the state of Uttrakhand. These four Dhams are prominent pilgrimage centres. The project entails development of 889 km of roads with configuration of two-lane with paved shoulders at an estimated cost of about Rs. 12,000 crore. The projects are being taken up on EPC mode and the programme is targeted for completion by March, 2020.

  1. Eastern Peripheral Expressway– Western Peripheral Expressway

The two projects of Peripheral Expressways around Delhi, comprising 135 km Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), and 135 km Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) connecting NH-1 and NH-2 from Western and Eastern side of Delhi was completed this year and inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister in May 2018 and November 2018 respectively. The EPE was constructed by NHAI and WPE by Haryana Government. The two expressways were envisaged with the twin objectives of decongesting and de-polluting the national capital by diverting the traffic not destined for Delhi.

The EPE stretches from Kundli on NH 1 to Palwal on NH 2, and was constructed at a cost ofRs. 4617.87 crore, in addition to Rs. 5900crorewere spent on acquiring 1700 acres of land. It was completed in a record time of about 500 days against the scheduled target of 910 days.  It is a fully access-controlled six-lane expressway with a closed tolling system. The expressway has an iconic toll plaza equipped with electronic toll collection infrastructure, ITS control system of the entire EPE and a digital art gallery, with holographic models of major structures and making of the EPE.    Weigh-in-Motion equipment at all 30 entry points, solar power on the entire length, eight solar power plants with a capacity of 4000 KW, rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation and 36 replicas of monuments depicting Indian culture and heritage are major features of this expressway.  This project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days.

  1. Delhi-Meerut Expressway
  1. Delhi-Meerut Expressway aims to provide a faster and safer connectivity between Delhi and Meerut and beyond this, with Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The alignment of DME starts from Nizammudin Bridge from Delhi and follows existing NH 24 uptoDasna. While one leg of DME will continue from Dasna on NH 24 to Hapur, a Greenfield alignment has been planned from Dasna to Meerut. The Expressway is being constructed in 4 packages. The total length of the project is 82 km, of which the first 27.74 kms will be 14-laned, while the rest will be 6-lane expressway. The project is likely to cost Rs 4975.17 crore.

The 8.36 km long Package -1 of the projects was inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister in May this year. It is a 14 lane, access-controlledsection stretching from Nizammudin Bridge to Delhi UP Border, and was completed in a record time of 18 months as against the earlier expected construction period of 30 months, at a cost of about Rs. 841.50 crore. This is the first National Highway in the country with 14 lanes, and has several features that would help reduce pollution. These include a 2.5-metre-wide cycle track on either side of the highway, a vertical garden on the Yamuna Bridge, solar lighting system and watering of plants through drip irrigation only.

Package II from UP Border to Dasna(19.28 km), Package –III - Dasna to Hapur( 22.27) km and Package –IV - Green-field Alignment from Dasna to Meerut –(31.78 km) are under construction and are likely to be completed by March 2019.

  1. Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway

The 473 km expressway will link Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway to Mumbai-Pune Expressway thus providing Expressway connectivity from Ahmedabad to Pune for a length of about 650 Km.

  1. Delhi – Mumbai Expressway

This 1250 km Expressway is being developed along a new alignment between Delhi and Mumbai, which passes through backward and tribal districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat. A sum of one lakh crore rupees will be spent on this expressway.It will reduce the distance between Delhi and Mumbai from the present 1450km through NH 8 to 1250 km, and the travel time to 12 hours. The sections of proposed highway from Delhi to Dahod in Rajasthan are under tendering, while the section between Vadodara to Ankleshwar in Gujarat have already been awarded. The DPR is under progress for the remaining sections.

  1. Bangalore-Chennai Expressway

DPR is under progress for this 260 km Expressway. This is a green-field alignment. There are two existing roads connecting Bangalore-Chennai, one is via Hoskote (Bangalore)-AP then to Chennai & second is via Electronic City (Bangalore) Hosur(Tamil Nadu) and then to Chennai. The alignment of the proposed expressway is passing in between these two stretches.

  1. Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway

Greenfield alignment is being explored for this 500 km long proposed Expressway.

  1. Nagpur-Hyderabad-Bangalore (NBH) Expressway

DPR has been awarded and alignment finalization is under progress for the new green-field 940 km Nagpur – Hyderabad – Bangalore EXP.

  1. Kanpur Lucknow (KL) Expressway

DPR is in progress for 75 km of Kanpur – Lucknow EXP

  1. Varanasi Airport Road and Ring Road

Hon’ble Prime Minister inaugurated the 16.55 km, Rs 759.36 crore Varanasi Ring Road Phase-I and 17.25 km, Rs 812.59 crore Babatput-Varanasi road on NH-56 in November. It has reduced the travel time from Varanasi to the airport, and is proving a big relief to the people of Varanasi and to tourists providing a more convenient access to Sarnath, an important site for Buddhist pilgrimage.

  1. ByetDwarka – Okha Bridge

The Ministry has taken up construction of a signature 4-lane Bridge to connect the mainland at Okha to Byet-Dwarka Island off the Gujarat Coast with this SignatureBridge spanning a length of 2.32 kms. The Project has been awarded on 01.01.2018 at a cost of Rs. 689.47 crores. This will be the longest span cable stayed bridge in India with the main span of 500 mtrs. The project is scheduled to be completed in a period of 30 months.

  1. Bridge over Ganga in Phaphamau in Allahabad

Approval has been given for a project for construction of 9.9 km long new 6 - lane bridge across river Ganga on NH - 96 at Phaphamau in Allahabad with total capital cost of Rs. 1948.25 crore. The construction period for the project is three years and likely to be completed by December, 2021. The new bridge will resolve the traffic congestion on existing old 2 - lane Phaphamau bridge on NH-96 at Allahabad. The new bridge will also facilitate to the large congregation of people at Holy City Allahabad during Kumbh, Ardh-Kumbh and other yearly ritual baths at SANGAM in Prayag. This will give a boost to pilgrimage tourism and local economy of Holy city of Prayag. This new 6 - lane bridge will also be beneficial for the Lucknow / Faizabad bound traffic coming from Madhya Pradesh via National Highway - 27 and National Highway - 76 through Naini Bridge. In addition, this project of new bridge will generate direct employment during construction for about 9.20 lakh mandays.

  1. Bridge over River Kosi at Phulaut in Bihar

Approval was given to a project for construction of 6.930 km long 4-lane bridge at Phulaut in Bihar, along with approval for rehabilitation and up-gradation of existing Birpur- Bihpur section of National Highway-106. The construction of this new Bridge will fill the existing 30 km long gap between Udakishanganj and Bihpur of National Highway Number 106 in Bihar, which will provide through connectivity between Nepal/ North Bihar/ East-West Corridor (passing through NH- 57) and South Bihar/ Jharkhand/ Golden Quadrilateral (passing through NH -2), besides full utilization of National Highway Number-31.

  1. LogisticsParks

A network of 35 Multimodal Logistics Parks had been identified for development in the Phase – 1 of BharatmalaPariyojana. The availability of the land parcels for development of Multimodal Logistics Parks has been confirmed at 7 locations and DPRs have been initiated in all the nodes.

  1. Zojila Tunnel

This is a project for constructing a 14.150 km long, 2-lane bi-directional Zojila Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. This would be India’s longest road tunnel and the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. The construction of this tunnel will provide all weather connectivity between Srinagar, Kargil and Leh and will bring about all round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.

  1. Silkyara- Bend - Barkot Tunnel

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the construction, operation and maintenance of the 2- Lane, 4.532 Km long Bi-directional Silkyara Bend - Barkot Tunnel on Dharasu-Yamunotri section along NH -134 in the State of Uttarakhand. The project forms part of the Chardham Plan. The construction period of the project is 4 years at an estimated cost of Rs. 1383.78 crore. Once complete, this stretch will reduce the travel distance from Dharasu to Yamunotri by about 20 Km and travel time byaboutanhour.It will also provide all weather connectivity to Yamunotri, encouraging regional socio-economic development, trade and tourism within the country. The project will be implemented by National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL).

  1. Highways Projects in the North East

Around Rs. 1,90,000 crore worth of projects have been sanctioned for the construction of road projects for over 12,000 km in the North East region. The projects being executed by NHIDCL are to the tune of Rs. 1, 66,026 crore, covering 10,892 km of roads in all the eight NE states. Projects costing Rs. 17,257 crore have been allotted to the respective state PWDs. Further, projects costing Rs. 7,000 crore are entrusted to the NHAI.

    1. Funding Models and Other Policies to Facilitate Construction of National    Highways:
  1. Measures to revive Languishing stalled projects

The Ministry has focused on completion of on-going projects along with sanction and award of new projects. A total of 73 projects (8,187 km) worth an estimated investment of Rs.1,00,000 crore wereidentified as Languishing Projects. The reasons for delay were identified and policy interventions undertaken to address the same.

  1. Toll-Operate-Transfer Model

The Ministry is monetizing its road assets constructed with public funds through Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) scheme. The scheme envisages bidding of bundled national highways for a concession period of 30 years. The first bundle comprised 9 projects, totalling 681 km of roads in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. It was awarded in 2018 to Macquarie for Rs. 9,681 Crore, which was 1.5 times the NHAI’s estimate.The second bundle comprises over 586 kms spread over four states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar. The offer has 12 toll plazas across four highways.

  1. MoU between NHAI and SBI

TheNational Highways Authority of India (NHAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU)withtheStateBankofIndiatoreceiveRs.25,000croreasa long-term,unsecuredloanfor10years.Thisisthelargestamountofloantohavebeen sanctioned by the SBl in one go. This is also the largest ever fund that NHAI has ever received in one go.

  1. Guidelines for alignment of National Highways

The Ministry has issued detailed guidelines for determination of proper alignment of NH projects, advising executing agencies to examine the feasibility of a green- field alignment, especially in the case of economic corridors, instead of widening existing highways. This has been done because widening involves acquisition of land for Right of Way (RoW), shifting of utilities and demolition of built up structure, all of which involves a lot of time and cost. Also, earlier highways were largely planned to be serpentine, linking all possible towns in the vicinity. This road geometry has been found to be sub optimal, especially in case of economic corridors. BharatmalaPariyojanaalso calls for a corridor approach for economic corridors. It has also been found in a few test cases that it is feasible to acquire a RoW of 60 to 70 mtrs for a green field road project at the same cost as involved in the expansion of an existing road, especially when the associated costs and time taken in utility shifting, tree felling, additional compensation for demolition of structures coming in the RoW under expansion are taken into account.

  1. Platform for e-Gazettingand Payment of Compensation for LandAcquisition through PFMS

AWebUtilityhasbeendevelopedwherebythelandacquisitionprocedureforthe NH projects, including processing of all LA related gazette notifications, are being done through a common platform called “BhoomiRashi". The Utility has been linked with the e-gazette platform of the MinistryofUrbanDevelopment,GovernmentofIndia,forpublicationofGazette Notifications.TheuseofBhumi Rashi has helped in cutting down the processing time from 2 to 3 months earlier to one to two weeksnow.

BhoomiRashi has also been integrated with the Public Financial Management System(PFMS)platformoftheMinistryofFinancefordepositofcompensationin theaccountsoflandowners/interestedpersonsonarealtimebasis, instead of being parked with CALA.

  1. Bidder Information Management System

The Ministry has developed a Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) to streamline the process of pre-qualification of bidders for contracts on EPC mode for all NH works and centrally sponsored works.BIMS acts as a data base for allbasic details of bidders like civil works experience, cash accruals and network, annual turnover etc,. This allows quick pre-qualification assessment of bidders based on evaluation parameters like threshold capacity and bid capacity from already stored data. Technical evaluationcantherefore be carried out faster using this information.

  1. Launch of Annual Awards for Excellence In National Highways Sector

AnnualawardsforexcellenceinNationalHighwayssectorhasbeeninstitutedfrom thisyearonwardsforrecognizingconcessionairesandcontractorswhohavebeen performing exceptionally well. Applications have been invited from all the concessionaires and contractors working in the field of highways construction and tolling. These awards are designed across the fivecategories of construction management, operation and maintenance, best toll plaza, safest highway, innovation in design and construction technology.

  1. Highway Capacity Manual

India's first Highway Capacity Manual developed by CSIR-CRRI was launched this year. The manual is designed to be a tool for guiding road engineers and policy makers in the country. It lays down guidelines for the development and management of different types of roads, based on traffic characteristics on such roads having varying lane configurations.

  1. Workshop on issues relating to Land Acquisition, Contract Document etc.

The Ministry has organized a workshop on 18.12.2018 in Delhi for Regional Officers of Ministry, NHAI and NHIDCL to discuss the issues relating to land acquisition, contract document (EPC/DPR) and E-Disha (ERP projects), new standards and technical specifications. A Manual of Guidelines on Land Acquisition for National Highways under the National Highways Act, 1956 has also been released for seamless process of Land Acquisition for National Highways.

  1. ROAD SAFETY
    1. Reduction in number of road accidents

As per the Ministry’s annual report on road accidents based on the data reported by Police authorities throughout India, there has been some marginal reduction in the number of road accidents and fatalities in 2017, as can be seen from the table below.

Parameter

2016

2017

% changeover previous year

Number of road accidents

4,80,652

4,64,910

(-) 3.3

No. of persons killed

1,50,785

1,47,913

(-) 1.9

 

The Ministry has been making concerted efforts to address the problem of road safety through a series of measures that include improving road infrastructure, road safety audits, identification and rectification of black spots on roads and strengthening the automobile safety standards, organizing road safety awareness programmes and strengthening enforcement etc. These efforts have started showing some results.

  1. Rectification of Accident Black Spots

The Ministry has so far identified 789 road accident black spots in various States of which 651 ON National Highways and 138 are on State roads. Work for rectification of these black spots is at various stages of completion.

  1. Guidelines for setting up Driver Training Schools in districts

The Ministry has been working in association with States, Vehicle manufactures and NGOs for strengthening the driving training.  Institute of Driving training and Research (IDTRs), Regional Driving Training Centres (RDTCs) and Driving Training Centre (DTC) have been established which act as model Driving Training Centres with state of art infrastructure.  Ministry has also launched a scheme for creating driving training centres in all the districts of the country and support refresher-training programme for heavy commercial vehicles drivers.  The Ministry is implementing a scheme for setting up of Model Institute of Drivers Training and Research (IDTR) by States/UTs.  So far 24 (nos.) ITDRs have been sanctioned in different States/UTs and bout 16 are complete and functioning.

  1. Guidelines for financing NGOs for road safety advocacy

The Ministry has issued guidelines associating Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for promoting awareness about road safety under a scheme titled “Grant of financial assistance for administering Road Safety Advocacy and awards for the outstanding work done in the field of Road Safety". It is envisaged that the NGOs will undertake activities for creating road safety awareness among citizens.

  1. SukhadYatra App and Toll-Free Emergency Number

A mobile App and Toll- free Emergency number 1033 for highway users, developed by NHAI, were launched in March this year. The SukhadYatra mobile application provides information on toll gates. The key feature of the app includes a provision for the user to enter road quality-related information or to report any accident or pothole on the highway. It also provides users with real-time data related to waiting time expected at  toll plazas and various facilities like points of interest, highway nest/ nest mini, etc. The app can also be used to purchase FASTags.

The toll-free number 1033 will enable users to report an emergency condition, or highway-related feedback, across the highway. The service has also been integrated with ambulance / tow away services along the roads.

  1. Observance of the 29th National Road Safety Week

This Ministry observed the 29th National Road Safety Week from 23rdto 30thApril 2018. This year’s focus was on schools and commercial drivers and the theme was “Sadak Suraksha JeevanRaksha”. In the opening ceremony the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways emphasized the Ministry’s priorities in ensuring safety of road users in the country. Awards were given to 10 school children who won the national level essay competition on road safety. The Hon’ble Minister also administered the road safety pledge to all those present on theoccasion. A variety of programmes related to the Road Safety were also organized in several cities across the country to enlighten people on Road Safety, and Driving Rules. Many NGOs participated in the Ministry’s efforts to create awareness about the issue.

  1. GoM on Road Safety

The Ministry had constituted a group of State Transport Ministers under the Chairmanship of Shri Yunus Khan, Transport Minister of Rajasthan to work out interstate issues and reach a consensus on adoption of uniform rates of taxation, permits and other issues. A Group of Transport Ministers from 13 states met in Guwahati on 18-19 April this year and adopted a 9-Point Guwahati Declaration aimed at harmonization of taxes and permits, road safety measures, policy changes and measures for strengthening State Road Transport Undertakings. The most important decisions taken by during the meeting included the recommendation for One Nation One Tax for the diverse road tax structure, which would ease travel.

  1. Rs. 5 Lakh Compensation to accident victims:

In order to help accident victims in getting reasonable and fast compensation from insurance companies, the Ministry revised the relevant rules of the Motor Vehicles Act according to which every accident victim or his next of kin will be entitled to a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in case of death, and uptoRs 5 lakh, proportionate to the extent of injury in case of grievous hurt and disablement. Accident victims can claim higher compensation through court if they are not satisfied, but with this rule even the poorest of the poor will get a fast and reasonable compensation.

  1. CCTV installation at Toll Plazas:

A Central Command and Control Centre is being set up at the NHAI HQ for CCTV surveillance and Monitoring of Vehicular Congestion at 210 Fee Plazas of National Highways that have higher traffic volumes. it is proposed to be connected with Regional Offices and the project execution is on service model for a period of five years.

  1. Films on Road Safety:

Three short films for generating public awareness for the need to comply with the rules of the road, eventually contributing to the cause of road safety, were launched by Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways, on 14th' August, 2018. Film actor Shri Akshay Kumar who featured in these films on pro bono basis, has also been appointed as Road Safety Brand Ambassador by the Hon'ble Minister.

  1. Capacity Building in the area of Road Safety:

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has designated the Asian Institute of Transport Development as an apex body for capacity building in the area of road safety. The objective is that this centre would act as a depository of research studies and best practices.Human resource development and exchange of knowledge form an important component of its activities. Up to October 2018, the National Centre for Road Safety has been able to train over 1,400 professionals in road safety and road safety audit by conducting 31 courses pan India.

  1. INITIATIVES IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR:

The Ministry took several initiatives in the transport sector during the year to make road travel more convenient for people. Some of these areas under-

  1. Simplification of Driving License Application

To improve ease in licensing, this Ministry has simplified the driving license application form. Four forms i.e. (a) Learner License, (b) Driving License, (c) Renewal of License, and (d) updation of Address - all have been consolidated into one. The new form will enable Aadhar based verification of the applicant’s identity to provide online services for renewal, change of address etc. Another highlight of the new form is that it would capture an applicant’s willingness for organ donation.

  1. Revision of Axle Weight:

The permissible safe axle weight of goods vehicles was revised and increased by about 15% to 20 % for different configurations of axles. The decision was taken with a view to help in increasing the carrying capacity of goods transport vehicles and bring down logistics cost. The amendment will increase the carrying capacity of goods vehicles by about 20-25 % and lower logistics costs by about 2%. It will also bring down the incidence of overloading. While automobile technology and road construction quality have improved greatly over the years, the axle loads have remained the same since 1983 when they were last notified. There was a felt need to harmonize the axle load with international standards.

  1. Launch of Ranking System for Toll Plazas

NHAI has developed a matrix-based methodology to rank the Fee Plazas on parameters such as electronic tolling, time taken in clearance of FASTag lanes, display panels, staff behaviour, cleanliness, etc. The data for the matrix is to be collected by the Regional Officers who will use the same to rank the Fee Plazas under their jurisdiction. Meanwhile, a countrywide drive was launched by NHAl on more than 300 toll plazas across the country on 10 February, 2018, to address issues that affect highway users. Officers visited toll plazas and addressed issues of user convenience and took feedback from the people.

  1. Revision in Maximum Speed of vehicles

The Ministry has revised the maximum speed of various classes of vehicles vide notification dated 6th April 2018. The notification prescribes the speed of various classes of vehicles. Thus a passenger vehicle with not more than 8 seats including driver can have a maximum speed of 120 km/hr on expressways and 70km/hr on municipal roads.

  1. Acceptance of Documents through DigiLocker and mParivahan Platform

An advisory has been issued by the Ministry to all the States / UTs to accept the documents in electronic form through DigiLocker platform of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and the mParivahan mobile app of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. Such electronic records available on DigiLocker or mParivahanare deemed to be legally recognized at par with the original documents as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.  This will also address Grievances / RTI applications of the citizens and facilitate promotion of Digital India campaign.

  1. Notification regarding Vehicle Location Tracking Device and Emergency Button in all public service vehicles

With a view to enhancing the safety of women passengers, detailed standards for Installation of Vehicle Location Tracking Device (VLT) and Emergency Button on public service vehicles have been notified on October 25, 2018. The States/ UTs have been mandated to ensure compliance of the rule and check fitment and functional status   of the VLT device in the public   service vehicles at the time of checking of the vehicles for fitness certification. The Command and Control   Centres in the States will be used to provide interface to various stakeholders such as  State  emergency  response  centre,  the  Transport  authorities of  the  state  and  central  governments,   device  manufacturers   and  their  authorized dealers, testing agencies etc. The Command and control Centre will also be able to provide feed to the VAHAN database or the relevant data base of the state with regard to over speeding and the health status of the device.

  1.  Fitness Certificate in respect of Transport Vehicle

As per this notification the renewal of the fitness certificate in respect of transport vehicle up to eight years old shall be done for two years and for one year for vehicle older than eight years. No fitness certification shall be required at the time of registration for the new transport vehicle sold as fully built vehicle and such vehicle shall be deemed to be having certificate of fitness for a period of two years from the date of registration.     

  1.  Use of Dual Fuel

The Ministry has issued a notification for Dual fuel usage which covers Emission of smoke and vapour from agriculture tractors, power tillers, construction equipment vehicles and combine harvesters driven by dual fuel diesel with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (Bio-CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engines.

  1. GREEN INITIATIVES:
    1. Electric, Ethanol and Methanol Vehicles exempted from Permit       

Keeping in view the need for promoting electric mobility and alternate fuels, the Ministry, vide notification issued on October 18, 2018, has exempted Battery Operated Vehicles, as well as vehicles driven on Methanol fuel or Ethanol fuel, from the requirement of permit for carrying passengers or goods.

  1. Advisory on Linking of PUC data (emission related data) with the VAHAN database

A system has been developed and tested by this Ministry for linking of Pollution Under Control (PUC) data with the VAHAN database. An advisory dated October 1, 2018 has been issued to all the States by the Ministry wherein all the PUC vendors have been directed to comply with the guidelines and facilitate electronic uploading of emissions test data to VAHAN database.

  1. Notification regarding Registration Mark of Battery Operated Vehicles

To give a distinct identity to the electric vehicles, it has been decided that the registration mark will be exhibited on a number plate with Green background. A notification to this effect was issued on 7th August, 2018.

  1. M 15 (15%) Methanol blending with Gasoline

The Ministry issued a notification regarding the blending of Gasoline with methanol in order to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions and also to reduce the import burden on account of crudepetroleum fromwhichgasolineis produced.The Hon’ble Prime Minister had announced an ambitious target of reducing 10% import dependence of oil and gas by 2022 from 2014-15 levels. Methanol can be used as an alternative transportation fuel thereby reducing Import dependence to some extent.

  1. Requirement of PUC Certificate for vehicle insurance/ renewal of insurance

The Ministry has requested IRDA and the MDs / Chairpersons of all general insurance companies on to ensure that no third-party insurance policy is issued or renewed without ascertaining the availability of a valid PUC. This has been done following orders of the Supreme Court of India.

  1. Emission Standards for Construction Equipment Vehicles and Tractors

The Ministry has notified emission standards for Construction Equipment Vehicles and Tractors. These standards would be implemented w.e.f. 1st October, 2020 (Trem IV) and from 1st April, 2024 [Bharat Stage (CEV/Trem)-V]. This would help in ensuring environment friendly construction / mining activities.

  1. Quadricycles included as Non-Transport Vehicles

The Ministry notified the insertion of the item ‘Quadricycle’ as a ‘non-transport’ vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. A Quadricycle is a vehicle of the size of a 3-wheeler but with 4tyres and fully covered like a car. It has an engine like that of a 3-wheeler. This makes it a cheap and safe mode of transport for last mile connectivity. Quadricycleswere only allowed for transport usage under the Act, but now has been made usable for non-transport also.

  1. E INITIATIVES:

6.1   National Award on e-Governance to INAMPRO

The “INAMPRO" project initiated by NHIDCL, a CPSE under this Ministry, has been conferred with a ‘Gold' award under Category- I “Excellence in Government Process Re-engineering" for the National Award in e-Governance by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances.

6.2   Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)

The Electronic Toll Collection Program has seen exponential growth in terms of number of Fastags sold and user fees collected electronically. With a total number of 440 Toll Plazas, more than 34.3 lakh Fastags units have been issued till October this year, and 25 to 27% of the revenues are being collected using the ETC mode. Use of FASTag has also seen significant growth, both in terms of user fees collected and penetration, from Rs 210.1 Cr with 13.1% penetration in April 2017 to Rs 44ó. 8 Cr with 24.8% penetration in the month of August 2018.

6.3       Linkage of PFMS with Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) and             BhoomiRashi

The two IT initiatives of this Ministry, which are aimed at expediting pre- construction processes relating to bidding and land acquisition respectively, have now been integrated with the Public Financial management System (PFMS). The Bidder Information Management System (BIMS) is aimed at streamlining the process of pre-qualification of bidders for EPC Mode of contracts for National Highway workswithenhanced transparency and objectivity. The BhoomiRashiportal of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways allows for totally digital and paper-less processing of land acquisition cases, and has resulted in transparent, quick, corruption-free and error-free  handling  of  land  acquisition  cases. It has alsomade the possible  real-time tracking  of  activities  and  generation  of  reports  relating  to  land acquisition. Revenue records of about 7 lakh villages across the country have been integrated in the portal. This digital change has drastically reduced the time taken for issuance of land acquisition notifications from 3-6 months to 1-2 weeks. Over 2000 notifications have already been issued by the Ministry in the first eight months of this financial year that while during the past two years, about a thousand land acquisition notifications could be issued every year. The process has also brought transparency in the system. Earlier the approved compensation amount used to be parked with the CALA (Competent Authority  for  Land  Acquisition)  but  with  BhoomiRashi  portal  this  amount  directly transferred into the account of the person concerned, through Public Financial Management System  which  is  an  integral  part  of  the  portal.  In addition  to  this,  the  process  is  also environment  friendly  since  there  is  no  physical  movement  of  files  –  all  work  is  done digitally.

  1.   Advisory regarding keeping transport related documents in an electronicform

An advisory has been issued by this Ministry wherein the citizen can produce the transport related documents such as registration, insurance, fitness and permit, the driving licence, certificate for pollution under check and any other relevant documents, if required, in physical or electronic form, on demand by any police officer in uniform or any other officer authorized by the State Government in this behalf. This would enable the use of digital platforms for carrying and verification of the documents and is a step towards citizen facilitation and to ensure so that citizen are not harassed/ inconvenienced.

  1. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
    1. MoU with Transport for London

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways signed a MoU with Transport for London (TFL) on 10thJanuary, 2018. TFL is an agency that manages the transport system for Greater London, and has demonstrated its capability by creating strong and dependable public transport system in the city of London. It has created a unique system of operating buses in PPP model with over 17 operators under a single brand. The MoUis aimed at using the expertise of TFL to revamp the public transport architecture in the country.

  1.  2NDmeeting of India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Working Group

After a long hiatus, the 2nd meeting of India-Nepal Cross Border Transport Facilitation Working Group was held at Kathmandu on 23rd February, 2018 under the India-Nepal Motor Vehicle Agreement for regulation of vehicular traffic between the two countries. It was agreed to start regular bus services on the new routes of Mahendrangar- Dehradun, Nepalgunj- Haridwar, Nepalgunj-Lucknow, Nepalgunj -Delhi and Kathmandu-Gorakhpur, through designated operators from Nepal and India. It was also agreed to start operation of bus services on Kathmandu -Siliguri and Janakpur- Patna routes. Both sides also noted with mutual interest the possibility of opening of other routes to be considered on the basis of commercial demand and availability of infrastructure by mutual consent.

  1. Bus trial run across Bangladesh, India and Nepal

Taking another step towards furthering seamless passenger vehicle movement across Bangladesh, Indiaand Nepal (BIN) under BBIN MVA signed in June 2015.Atrial run of two passenger buses from Dhaka, was conducted in April, 2018, with 43 passengers.  The trial run started from Dhaka on 23rd April and reached Kathmandu on 26th April 2018. The participating countries have also agreed to conduct more trial runs for cargo vehicles under the agreement.

  1. First Working Group Meeting of BIMSTEC

The first Working Group meeting of BIMSTEC to negotiate the draft text of Motor Vehicles Agreement for the regulation of passenger and cargo vehicular traffic among and between member states was held in April this year. Delegations from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar attended the meeting. The draft text of the agreement was discussed and amended. The member countries will further examine the amended text.

  1. MoU between India and Uganda

An MoU was signed between the Central Materials Laboratory (ML), Kampala, Uganda and the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) under Ministry of Road Transport &Highways, India, during the visit of the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India  to Uganda on 24-25 July, 2018, for establishment of a Regional Materials Testing Laboratory for Highways in Uganda.

  1. 65th India-Japan Joint Working Group Meeting in the Roads and Road Transport Sector

The 5th India-Japan Joint Working Group Meeting in the Roads and Road Transport Sector was held on 12th November, 2018 in New Delhi as provided under the Framework of Cooperation (FoC) between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), India and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Japan. In the meeting, information regarding the latest technological developments in "Operation and Maintenance of Expressway", "Development of Mountainous Road in North East Regions" and "Countermeasure of Aging Structure" etc. was shared.

  1. MoU of India with Russia

The proposal for a MoU on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport & Road Industry sector, between Ministry of road transport & Highways and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, has been approved by the Union Cabinet in its meeting on October 3, 2018.

  1. OTHERS:
    1. Wayside Amenities and Highway Nest (Mini)

While the procurement process is under way for the development of Wayside Amenities of larger sizes in PPP mode along the National Highways, the NHAI has taken up construction of 314 numbers Highway Nest (mini). These are being developed near Toll Plazas, approximately 200 meters downstream on a 10mX20m paved platform and comprises of facilities like toilets, water, ATR, a small kiosk with Tea / Coffee vending machine and packaged food items for Highway users.

  1. SwachhtaPakhwada and ’Swachhta Hi Sewa’ Campagin (SHS)

The SwachhtaPakhwada was organised by the Ministry between September 15, 2018 and October 2, across all National Highways. Several activities related to shramdaan and cleaning of schools in villages adjacent to the National Highways were also organized by the NHAI during the period. Construction of toilets, both for men and women, installation of litter-bins and hoardings at NHAI toll plazas have been taken up by the Ministry under Swachh Bharat Mission. The Ministry was conferred with a special award for its implementation of the Swachhta Action Plan for 2017-18 by the nodal Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

 

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NP/MS

Read more: Year end Review: Ministry of Road Transport and...

During the recent visit of French Foreign Minister to India, both the Governments noted that satisfactory progress had been made in pursuance of the Industrial Way Forward Agreement in 2018 between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Electricite de France (EDF) and adopted the Status of Progress for implementation of Industrial Way Forward Agreement.

 

India and France are today the leading nations in the fight against climate change. The joint hosting by India and France of the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 11th March 2018 in New Delhi and the first General Assembly in New Delhi from 2nd to 5th October 2018 has bolstered our joint resolve to fight climate change.

 

The ISA has now transformed into a treaty based international and intergovernmental organization headquartered in India. Out of 71 countries that have signed Framework Agreement of the ISA, 48 countries have deposited the instrument of ratification.  India and France share a common interest to cooperate and collaborate for the stability and prosperity of Africa, including through development oriented initiatives such as capacity building programs and joint projects.

       

The second India-France Dialogue on Africa, which took place on 11th December 2018, provided both countries an opportunity to exchange views on the latest developments in Africa as well as to explore possibilities for joint endeavour to contribute towards peace, stability and prosperity in Africa.

                       

During the visit of French President Mr. Emmanuel Macron to India in March 2018, both leaders reiterated their willingness to implement common projects in Africa. Discussion on projects to be implemented on ground are currently being discussed by the two sides.

 

This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

 

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BB/NK/PK

Read more: INDO-France Pact For Sustainable Development 

The Nation has achieved yet another milestone in the power sector with completion of electrification in hundred percent household in 25 states at the year end.

Now, only about 10.48 Lakh households are left to be electrified in 4 States viz., Assam, Rajasthan, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh. These States are also taking all concerted efforts to achieve, at the earliest, saturation of household electrification in their respective States.

The Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy Shri RK Singh congratulated all these States for achieving this herculean task. Taking note of the volume of electrification work that was completed in UP, Shri Singh thanked Shri Shrikant Sharma, Energy Minister, UP during a meeting with him here today.

Since launch of Saubhagya, in the State of Uttar Pradesh 74.4 Lakh willing households have been electrified and State Government has declared saturation of all 75 districts. Government of Uttar Pradesh has launched a special campaign in all parts of the State to identify any left out un-electrified households and to provide electricity connections to such households. Under the campaign, a special vehicle ‘Saubhagya Rath’, is moving around in villages/towns and any left out households may approach them to avail electricity connection under the scheme. Also, any left out household requiring electricity connection may dial 1912 to avail the facility.

Government of India launched ‘Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana’  (Saubhagya) in Sept. 2017 to achieve the goal of universal household electrification in the country by 31st March 2019. The scheme envisages to provide last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all remaining households in rural as well as urban areas. The Government with the support of State Power Departments and DISCOMs have already connected about 2.39 Crore households since launch of scheme.

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MS

Read more: Hundred percent household electrification...

 मंच पर उपस्थित सभी महानुभाव, कार निकोबार के मेरे प्‍यारे भाइयो और बहनों।

मैं कल काशी में मां गंगा के पास था और आज सुबह यहां इस विराट समंदर की गोद में आप सबके बीच मौजूद हूं। मां गंगा अपनी पवित्रता से जिस प्रकार भारत के जनमानस को आशीर्वाद देती रही है, उसी प्रकार ये सागर अनंतकाल से मां भारती के चरणों का वंदन कर रहा है, राष्‍ट्र की सुरक्षा और सामर्थ्‍य को ऊर्जा दे रहा है।

साथियो, आज जब मैं यहां आया हूं, तब आपसे पहले मैं कार निकोबार सहित यहां के तमाम द्वीपों पर बसे हमारे पूर्वजों को नमन करता हूं, जिन्‍होंने आजादी के लिए, यहां के विकास के लिए अपना जीवन समर्पित कर दिया।

साथियो, आपके पास प्रकृति का अद्भुत खजाना तो है ही, आपकी संस्‍कृति, परम्‍परा, कला और कौशल भी बेहतरीन है। थोड़ी देर पहले यहां पर जो नृत्‍य प्रस्‍तुत किया गया, बच्‍चों ने जो कला का प्रदर्शन किया; वो दिखाता है कि भारत की सांस्कृतिक सम्पन्नता हिंद महासागर जितनी ही विराट है।

विशेषतौर पर आप लोगों ने संयुक्‍त परिवार की जिस परम्‍परा को संजोकर रखा है- joint family, वो भारतीय जीवन-शैली की एक बहुत बड़ी ताकत है। काम का, संसाधनों का, श्रम का किस प्रकार से उचित उपयोग हो सकता है, कैसे मिल-बांटकर जीवन जिया जाता है; उसकी ये सच्‍चीमिसाल है।करगिल से लेकर कार निकोबार तक, कच्‍छ से लेकर कोहिमा तक हमारे समाज में ये family institution, family system बहुत बड़ी ताकत रहा है।

साथियो, थोड़ी देर पहले मैं सुनामी मेमोरियल, Wall of Lost Souls गया था। वहां मैंने उस भीषण प्राकृतिक आपदा में जीवन खोने वाले स्‍वजनों को श्रद्धासुमन अर्पित किए। 14-15 वर्ष पहले उस हृदय विदारक घटना ने यहां के जनमानस, आप सभी के जीवन को अस्‍त–व्‍यस्‍त कर दिया था, अपनों को दूर कर दिया था। लेकिन जिस प्रकार अपने पुरुषार्थ से आप सभी ने कार निकोबार को खड़ा कर दिया है, वो सचमुच में प्रशंसनीय है।

भाइयो और बहनों, कार निकोबार में जीवन और आसान हो, आप सभी को बेहतर सुविधाएं मिलें, अवसर मिलें- इसके लिए आज करोड़ों रुपये के projects का यहां लोकार्पण और शिलान्‍यास किया गया है। इसमें शिक्षा से लेकर स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य तक, रोजगार से लेकर skill development तक, transportation से लेकर बिजली तक, sportsसे लेकर tourism तक के अनेक projectशामिल हैं। इन सभी projects के लिए मैं आप सभी को बहुत-बहुत बधाई देता हूं। ये देश के विकास के लिए हमारी उस सोच का विस्‍तार है, जिसके मूल में infrastructure है, connectivity  है। ‘सबका साथ सबका विकास’ यानी विकास से देश का कोई नागरिक भी न छूटे और कोई कोना भी अछूता न रहे, इसी भावना का ये प्रकटीकरण है1

देश के विस्‍तृत हिस्‍से की दूरियां भी मिटें और दिलों में सह-अस्तित्‍व का भाव भी मजबूत हो, इसी लक्ष्‍य के साथ हम काम कर रहे हैं। पिछले चार वर्षों से मेरा ये निरंतर प्रयास रहा है कि प्रधानमंत्री होने के नाते मैं खुद देश के कोने-कोने में जाऊं और आप सबसे मिल करके आप से संवाद कर सकूं।

साथियो, थोड़़ी देर पहले जिन परियोजनाओं का लोकार्पण और शिलान्‍यास किया गया है, उसमें sea wall का प्रोजेक्‍ट भी शामिल है। आप सभी की ये लम्‍बे समय से मांग थी कि मिट्टी के कटाव के चलते जो खतरा पैदा हो रहा था, उससे निपटने के लिए उपाय किए जाएं। आपकी इस मांग को देखते हुए करीब 50 करोड़ रुपये की लागत से Sea Wallका निर्माण यहां किया जाएगा, जिसका शिलान्‍यास आज करने का मुझे सौभाग्‍य मिला है। अब इस कार्य पर तेज गति से काम होगा और जब ये निर्माण पूरा हो जाएगा तो ये Sea Wall कार निकोबार के लिए सुरक्षा कवच की तरह काम करेगी।

साथियो, सुरक्षा के साथ-साथ कार निकोबार में विकास की पंचधारा बहे- बच्‍चों को पढ़ाई, युवाओं को कमाई, बुजुर्गों को दवाई, किसानों को सिंचाई और जन-जन की सुनवाई; ये सभी सुविधाएं मिलें, इसके लिए भी काम किया जा रहा है। मुझे एहसास है कि यहां के युवा साथियों को शिक्षा के लिए, ट्रेनिंग के लिए दूर-दूर तक जाना पड़ता था। अब Arong गांव में industrial training institute  यानी ITIबनने से आप सभी युवा साथियों को बहुत लाभ होने वाला है। यहां से अब कार निकोबार के युवा electrician, plumber, automotive technician बन करके निकलेंगे और देशभर में कहीं पर भी रोजगार के लिए समर्थ होंगे।

साथियो, कार निकोबार के युवा पारम्‍पारिक रोजगार के साथ-साथ आज शिक्षा, चिकित्‍सा और दूसरे कामों में भी आगे बढ़ रहे हैं। Sports की skill तो यहां के युवा साथियों में रची-बसी है। आपकी रगों में खेलकूद है। कार निकोबार फुटबॉल समेत अनेक खेलों में देश के बेहतरीन sporting talent के लिए भी मशहूर हो रहा है।थोड़ी देर पहले यहां के प्रतिभाशाली खिलाडि़यों से मुझे मिलने का अवसर भी मिला। मुझे बताया गया है कि यहां की जूनियर फुटबॉल टीम ने चार बार मशहूर सुब्रतो मुखर्जी कप जीता है।

साथियो, यहां के talent को, यहां की प्रतिभा को और निखारने के लिए अब लपाती गांव में बना आधुनिक खेल परिसर आपके लिए समर्पित है। ये अंडमान और निकोबार द्वीप समूह का एकमात्र ऐसा परिसर है। करीब 8 करोड़ रुपये की लागत से बने इस खेल परिसर में तमाम सुविधाएं बनाई गई हैं। Boys और Girls hostel के साथ-साथ यहां एक synthetic track भी बनाया गया है।

साथियो, फुटबॉल के अलावा साईक्लिंग हो, कायाकिंग हो, रोइंग हो- कार निकोबार के अनेक प्रतिभाशाली खिलाड़ी आपने देश को दिए हैं। आज जिस खेल परिषद को लोकार्पण हुआ है, भविष्‍य में यहां साइक्लिंग के लिए वेलोड्रोम और स्‍वीमिंग पूल बनाने की भी योजना है।

साथियो, केन्‍द्र सरकार अंडमान और निकोबार में रहने वाले हर नागरिक के लिए जीवन से जुड़ी हर व्‍यवस्‍था को आसान करने में जुटी है। सस्‍ता राशन हो, स्‍वच्‍छ पानी हो, गैस कनेक्‍शन हो, केरोसिन तेल हो; हर सुविधा को आसान करने का प्रयास किया जा रहा है। विशेषतौर पर यहां रहने वाले आप सभी जनों को बेहतर स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य सेवाएं देने के लिए भी सरकार प्रतिबद्ध है। डिगलीपुर के सब-डिस्ट्रिक्‍ट अस्‍पताल का विस्‍तार होने से स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य सेवा में बहुत सुधार होने वाला है।

साथियो, केन्‍द्र सरकार यहां की आवश्‍यकताओं, यहां की परिस्थितियों के हिसाब से ही विकास करने में जुटी है। सरकार का प्रयास है कि पर्यावरण और स्‍थानीय संस्‍कृति के संरक्षण के साथ-साथ विकास हो। इसी भावना के तहत सरकार ने अनेक महत्‍वपूर्ण फैसले लिए हैं।

अंडमान निकोबार समेत देश के समुद्री तटीय इलाकों में रहने वाले कोपरा और नारियल के खेती से जुड़े किसानों के लिए बड़ा फैसला सरकार ने लिया है। कोपरा में, जो कोपरा के एमएसपी में 2000 रुपये प्रति क्विंटल की बढ़ोत्‍तरी की गई है, जो मिलिंग कोपरा होता है उसका समर्थन मूल्‍य अब 7,750 रुपये से बढ़कर 9,500रुपये प्रति क्विंटल किया गया है तो वहीं बॉल कोपरा का समर्थन मूल्‍य 7,750 रुपये से बढ़ाकर 9,920 रुपये किया गया है। इस बढ़ोत्‍तरी से कोपरा की खेती से जुड़े अनेक किसानों को लाभ होगा।

साथियो, केन्‍द्र सरकार हमारे मछुआरों को सशक्‍त करने में जुटी है। हाल में ही देश में मछली पालन को लाभकारी व्‍यवसाय बनाने के लिए सात हजार करोड़ रुपये के एक विशेष फंड का प्रावधान किया गया1 इसके तहत मछुआरों को उचित दरों पर ऋण उपलब्‍ध कराया जा रहा है।

हमारे समुद्री किनारे Blue Revolution के सेंटर बनने में सक्षम हैं- इसी सोच के साथ सरकार आगे बढ़ रही है। मछली से जुड़ा व्‍यवसाय हो, seaweedकी खेती हो; ऐसे अनेक प्रोजेक्‍ट्स को प्रोत्‍साहित किया जा रहा है। आधुनिक boats के लिए सरकार मछुआरों को आर्थिक सहायता भी दे रही है।इसी vision के साथ यहां fisheries, खेती और पशुपालन से जुड़ी अनेक योजनाओं के लिए पैकेज दिया गया है।

भाइयो और बहनों, कार निकोबार के पर्यावरण को संरक्षित रखते हुए सौर ऊर्जा की संभावनाओं को तलाशा जा रहा है, तराशा जा रहा है। आज भारत दुनिया के उन देशों में है जहां सौर ऊर्जा का उत्‍पादन और उपयोग सबसे तेजी से आगे बढ़ रहा है। सौर ऊर्जा से देश को सस्‍ती और green energy देने के लिए हम प्रतिबद्ध हैं। आज International solar alliance के माध्‍यम से पूरी दुनिया में सौर ऊर्जा की क्रांति के लिए भारत लीडरशिप ले रहा है, अगुवाई कर रहा है।One world, One Sun,  One Gridके व्‍यापक vision के लिएभारत काम कर रहा है।

साथियो, भारत का जो समुद्री तट है, यहां तो renewable energy के लिए बहुत अधिक संभावनाएं हैं। इन संभावनाओं को हम अवसरों में बदलने के लिए काम कर रहे हैं। इसी योजना के तहत कार निकोबार में 300 किलोवॉट के Roof Top Solar Plant लगाने का लक्ष्‍य रखा गया है। मुझे जानकारी दी गई है यहां के स्‍कूलों, अस्‍पतालों समेत अनेक संस्‍थानों में 50-50 किलोवॉट के Solar Panel already काम कर रहे हैं, लगाए जा चुके हैं। सरकार का प्रयास है कि आने वाले समय में कार निकोबार की सारी बिजली की सारी जरूरतें सौर ऊर्जा से ही पूरी हों।

साथियो, हमारा ये कार निकोबार, ये पूरा समुद्री क्षेत्र, देश, ये Malacca Strait,संसाधन और सुरक्षा दोनों के लिए बहुत महत्‍वपूर्ण है। ये हिन्‍द महासागर और प्रशांत महासागर के बीच एक प्रमुख Shipping Channel है। ये मालवाहक जहाजों के लिए दुनिया का सबसे व्‍यस्‍त रास्‍ता है। इसको ध्‍यान रखते हुए यहां Transportation के माध्‍यमों का भी विकास किया जा रहा है। इससे आप सभी को सुविधा भी मिलेगी और रोजगार के अवसर भी तैयार होंगे।

भाइयो और बहनों, देश की जरूरतों को ध्‍यान में रखते हुए यहां Trans-shipment Port की आधारशिला आज रखी गई है। इस परियोजना से खाड़ी के दक्षिणी हिस्‍से में नए उद्यमों के लिए अवसर बनेंगे।

इसी के साथ-साथ सागरमाला योजना के तहत देशभर के समुद्री तटों को विकसित करने, यहां Infrastructure विकसित करने की बड़ी योजना चल रही है। इस योजना के तहत करीब ढाई लाख करोड़ रुपये की लागतसे सैंकड़ों projects पर काम चल रहा है। देशभर में 14 Coastal Employment Zones यानी CEZs का विकास आने वाले समय में देश के समुद्री किनारे के आसपास होना है।

सा‍थियो, सागरमाला योजना के तहत कार निकोबार में भी Campbell Bay में करीब 50 करोड़ रुपये की लागत से Campbell Bay Jettyका विस्‍तार करीब 150 किलोमीटर तक किए जाने का निर्णय लिया गया है। इसके साथ-साथ Mus Jettyकी गहराई बढ़ाने के लिए भी योजना बनाई गई है ताकि यहां बड़े जहाजों को रुकने में मुश्किल न हो।

भाइयो और बहनों, आने वाले समय में यहां हवाई सेवाओं की बेहतर connectivity की तरफ भी सरकार काम कर रही है। सरकार आप सभी के जीवन स्‍तर को ऊपर उठाने, आपका जीवन आसान करने के लिए प्रयासरत है।

साथियो, मैं Tribal Council का भी हृदयपूर्वक आभार व्‍यक्‍त करता हूं। आप सभी देश के लोकतंत्र को मजबूत करने और यहां के विकास की गति को तेज करने में महत्‍वपूर्ण भूमिका निभा रहे हैं। मुझे बताया गया है कि यहां जो Village Council है, उनमें बहनों-बेटियों की अच्‍छी भागीदारी है। ये भी सराहनीय प्रयास है।

साथियो, कार निकोबार के विकास के लिए सरकार पूरी तरह से प्रतिबद्ध है। आने वाले नए साल में भी हमारे प्रयास नए उत्‍साह, नए जोश के साथ जारी रहेंगे। अंत में एक बार फिर आप सभी को विकास की तमाम योजनाओं के लिए बहुत-बहुत‍ बधाई देता हूं।

बहुत-बहुत धन्‍यवाद। जय हिंद।

***

अतुल तिवारी/शाहबाज हसीबी/निर्मल शर्मा

Read more: Text of PM’s speech at a public meeting at Car...

Indian Railways have already provided solar panels on roof top of 19 Narrow Gauge coaches on Trains in Kalka – Shimla and Kangra Valley in Northern Railway and 23 Broad Gauge non-air conditioned coaches in service (13 coaches in 2 trains of Northern Railway, 7 coaches in 1 train of Southern Railway, 2 coaches in 1 train of Konkan Railway and 1 coach in 1 train of West Central Railway). Solar system works during sunlight and generates battery backup of approx. 4 to 5 hours. System does not work properly during fog/rain and winter season and battery backup goes down to 2 to 3 hours depending upon weather condition.

Railways have taken decision to provide solar panel on roof top of general coaches of two number of day running intercity trains in Northern and Southern Railway and 50% Narrow Gauge coaches plying on Pathankot-Joginder Nagar route in Kangra Valley section and Kalka-Shimla section of Northern Railway for conducting extended trials for one year in all weather conditions.

This information was given by the Minister of State of Railways, Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

****

SVS/MKV/ENS

Read more: Solar Panels on Roof Top of Trains

1.       The summary of the Index of Eight Core Industries (base: 2011-12) is given at the Annexure.

2.     The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).  The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 128.5 in November, 2018, which was 3.5per centhigheras compared to the index of November, 2017. Its cumulative growth during April to November, 2018-19was 5.1per cent.

Coal

3.       Coal production (weight: 10.33per cent)increased by 3.7 per cent in November, 2018 over November, 2017. Its cumulative index increased by 9.0 per centduring April to November, 2018-19over corresponding period of the previous year.

Crude Oil

4.     Crude Oil production (weight: 8.98per cent) declinedby 3.5 per cent in November, 2018 over November, 2017. Its cumulative index declined by 3.6 per centduring April to November, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Natural Gas

5.       The Natural Gas production (weight: 6.88per cent) increased by 0.5per cent in November, 2018 over November, 2017. Its cumulative index declined by 0.7 per centduring April to November, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

 

Refinery Products

6.       Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 28.04per cent) increased by 2.3 per cent in November, 2018 over November, 2017. Its cumulative index increased by 5.3 per centduring April to November, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizers

7.       Fertilizers production (weight: 2.63 per cent) declined by 8.1 per cent in November, 2018 over November, 2017. Its cumulative index declined by 1.3 per centduring April to November, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel

8.       Steel production (weight: 17.92per cent)increasedby 6.0 per cent in November, 2018 over November, 2017. Its cumulative index increased by 3.7per centduring April to November, 2018-19 over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement

9.       Cement production (weight: 5.37per cent) increasedby 8.8per cent in November, 2018over November, 2017. Its cumulative index increased by 14.2per centduring April to November, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity

10.     Electricity generation (weight: 19.85per cent) increased by5.4 per centin November, 2018over November, 2017. Its cumulative indexincreased by6.7per cent duringApril to November, 2018-19over the corresponding period of previous year.

Note 1: Data for September, 2018, October, 2018 and November, 2018are provisional.

Note 2: Since April, 2014, Electricity generation data from Renewable sources are also included.

Note 3: The industry-wise weights indicated above are individual industry weight derived from IIP and blown up on pro rata basis to a combined weight of ICI equal to 100.

Note 4: Release of the index for December, 2018 will be on Thursday, 31stJanuary, 2019.

 

 

Annexure

Performance of Eight Core Industries

Yearly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2011-12=100

 

Index

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Apr-Nov 2017-18

Apr-Nov 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

103.2

104.2

112.6

118.0

121.8

124.9

109.8

119.6

Crude Oil

8.9833

99.4

99.2

98.4

97.0

94.5

93.7

94.3

90.9

Natural Gas

6.8768

85.6

74.5

70.5

67.2

66.5

68.4

69.1

68.6

Refinery Products

28.0376

107.2

108.6

108.8

114.1

119.7

125.2

122.8

129.4

Fertilizers

2.6276

96.7

98.1

99.4

106.4

106.6

106.6

106.6

105.2

Steel

17.9166

107.9

115.8

121.7

120.2

133.1

140.5

138.5

143.6

Cement

5.3720

107.5

111.5

118.1

123.5

122.0

129.7

124.1

141.8

Electricity

19.8530

104.0

110.3

126.6

133.8

141.6

149.2

150.5

160.5

Overall Index

100.0000

103.8

106.5

111.7

115.1

120.5

125.7

123.2

129.5

 

 

Growth Rates(in per cent)

Sector

Weight

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Apr-Nov 2017-18

Apr-Nov 2018-19

Coal

10.3335

3.2

1.0

8.0

4.8

3.2

2.6

1.7

9.0

Crude Oil

8.9833

-0.6

-0.2

-0.9

-1.4

-2.5

-0.9

-0.2

-3.6

Natural Gas

6.8768

-14.4

-12.9

-5.3

-4.7

-1.0

2.9

4.4

-0.7

Refinery Products

28.0376

7.2

1.4

0.2

4.9

4.9

4.6

3.6

5.3

Fertilizers

2.6276

-3.3

1.5

1.3

7.0

0.2

0.03

-1.1

-1.3

Steel

17.9166

7.9

7.3

5.1

-1.3

10.7

5.6

7.0

3.7

Cement

5.3720

7.5

3.7

5.9

4.6

-1.2

6.3

0.6

14.2

Electricity

19.8530

4.0

6.1

14.8

5.7

5.8

5.3

5.1

6.7

Overall Index

100.0000

3.8

2.6

4.9

3.0

4.8

4.3

3.9

5.1

 

Performance of Eight Core Industries

Monthly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2011-12=100

Index

Sector

Coal

Crude Oil

Natural Gas

Refinery Products

Fertilizers

Steel

Cement

Electricity

Overall Index

Weight

10.3335

8.9833

6.8768

28.0376

2.6276

17.9166

5.3720

19.8530

100.0000

Nov-17

133.5

90.8

68.5

126.0

111.8

137.5

125.4

140.1

124.1

Dec-17

142.6

94.2

69.2

133.1

112.1

138.0

135.3

143.9

128.8

Jan-18

149.5

93.8

67.6

135.4

105.5

145.0

140.6

149.5

132.5

Feb-18

143.2

86.1

62.1

120.9

102.2

141.7

138.0

136.1

123.2

Mar-18

184.9

95.8

69.8

130.3

107.0

153.2

149.6

156.7

138.5

Apr-18

118.8

91.8

67.1

119.1

93.1

138.1

149.1

153.7

124.3

May-18

125.2

94.8

68.7

131.6

106.6

142.8

145.3

164.7

131.9

Jun-18

120.0

90.9

67.4

133.8

108.3

143.8

150.7

159.9

131.2

Jul-18

108.1

91.2

68.5

134.1

110.0

140.3

136.0

162.1

129.2

Aug-18

103.8

91.6

70.2

127.7

109.4

144.5

134.5

167.2

128.8

Sep-18

109.8

88.1

67.6

125.8

108.0

143.2

133.9

162.9

127.2

Oct-18

132.9

90.9

70.3

133.8

103.3

150.5

148.4

166.0

134.8

Nov-18

138.4

87.6

68.9

128.9

102.7

145.8

136.5

147.6

128.5

 

 

Growth Rates (in per cent)

Sector

Coal

Crude Oil

Natural Gas

Refinery Products

Fertilizers

Steel

Cement

Electricity

Overall Index

Weight

10.3335

8.9833

6.8768

28.0376

2.6276

17.9166

5.3720

19.8530

100.0000

Nov-17

0.7

0.2

2.4

8.2

0.3

14.5

16.9

3.9

6.9

Dec-17

0.4

-2.1

1.1

6.6

3.0

0.4

17.7

4.4

3.8

Jan-18

3.8

-3.2

-1.2

11.0

-1.6

1.7

19.6

7.7

6.2

Feb-18

1.3

-2.4

-1.8

7.8

5.2

5.0

23.0

4.6

5.4

Mar-18

9.1

-1.6

1.0

1.1

3.2

4.7

13.5

6.0

4.5

Apr-18

15.2

-0.8

5.7

2.7

4.6

3.0

21.9

2.1

4.7

May-18

12.0

-2.9

-1.4

4.9

8.4

-0.1

13.0

4.1

4.1

Jun-18

11.5

-3.4

-2.7

12.1

1.0

4.2

14.2

8.4

7.8

Jul-18

9.8

-5.4

-5.2

12.3

1.3

6.9

11.2

6.7

7.3

Aug-18

2.4

-3.7

1.0

5.1

-5.3

4.0

14.6

7.6

4.7

Sep-18

6.4

-4.2

-1.7

2.5

2.5

3.2

11.8

8.2

4.3

Oct-18

11.3

-5.0

-0.9

1.3

-11.5

2.6

18.4

10.9

4.8

Nov-18

3.7

-3.5

0.5

2.3

-8.1

6.0

8.8

5.4

3.5

 

 

***

MM/ SB

Read more: Index of Eight Core Industries (Base:...

World’s largest science meet ‘Indian Science Congress (ISC)-2019’is going to be held from 3rd to 7th January 2019, in Jalandhar, Punjab. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 106th edition of ISC-2019, based on the theme ‘Future India: Science and Technology’ on 3rd January. PM Modi will also address about 30,000 delegates including many Nobel Laureates, Union Cabinet Ministers of India, science policymakers, administrators, eminent scientists, young men-women researchers & school children from across India & abroad. During the five day long congress, around 100 plus conferences and events of scientific and technology origin will also be held, where eminent personalities from DRDO, ISRO, DST, AIIMS, UGC, AICTE, and many elite universities of the USA, UK, India and other countries will participate. Union Cabinet ministers including Science and Technology Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Textile Minister SmritiIrani will also attend the event.

Union Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan believes that the 106th edition of Science Congress with its theme of FUTURE INDIA – Science and Technology would help showcase what is being done, what can be done and what would define the future of Science and Technology in India. “Government’s aim is to deliver the benefits of Science & Technology to the last man in the society and scientists being a pivot should put their heart and soul into finding new solutions to the problems facing the nation and improve the quality of life of common man.”, said Dr. Harsh Vardhan in his message.

The event will play a pivotal role in stimulating scientific research effort and raising the scientific temperament in the country and the world. The Nobel Laureates who will be  participating include German-American biochemist Prof. Thomas Sudoph, who has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for work on vesicle trafficking; a Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry Prof.Avram Hershko; and, a British born physicist Frederick Duncan Michael Haldane who has been awarded 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics.

General President, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) Dr Manoj Kumar Chakrabarti believes that 106th session of ISC will be a milestone for the future development of India since it is going to provide a great platform to exchange ideas and innovations among young minds. Chancellor of Lovely Professional University, where the five-day long Congress is going to be held, Mr Ashok Mittal expresses his happiness on organizing one of the foremost scientific events of the world, which interests the international scientific community. Mr Mittal added, “a special ‘Solar powered Multi-Seated Driver-Less Bus’ is also designed and created by our engineering students, and this will ferry PM Modi to the ISC venue. It is the only second time for a University of Punjab to organize this herculean science spectacle.

To be inaugurated on the 2nd day of ISC, 4th January 2019, Children’s Science Congress will target 10-17 years of children for carrying forward innovation and research in science to a next level. Near 150 science projects finalized by DST are to be showcased, and children will also have the opportunity to listen, interact with eminent scientists and Nobel Laureates.

On the third day of ISC, two-day Science Communicators’ Meet- 2019 will be inaugurated, where the main aim will be to brainstorm ways of  dissemination of scientific information and inculcation of scientific attitude among masses. Various Journalists from top media-houses would also be a part of communicators’ meet.

With inauguration on 5th January, ‘Women’s Science Congress’ will showcase the contribution of women in Science, Technology and the Society. Here, renowned women scientists and leaders from Government, academia and industry, who are decision-makers will be delivering lectures and participate in panel discussions for promoting talent among women. In addition, there would be 14 Plenary Sessions chaired by science and technology stalwarts, which will be an added bonanza for the gathered science community.

Other major attraction of ISC-2019 will be ‘Pride of India’ Expo to be organized separately under six gigantic stalls specially raised at LPU Campus. Exhibition organization is to popularize science amongst the youth to further prepare brilliant scientists and innovators of tomorrow. Major exhibitors include CSIR, ISRO, DAE, ICMR, DST, DRDO, ICAR and more.

There will be many interesting things which will be showcased during different days of the science congress and the science congress will witnessabout 30,000 people from diverse sectors of the science community from top educational institutions, industry and allied areas of India and other countries.

***

GK

Read more: Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate 106th...

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