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Increasing the Authorized Share Capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation



Increasing the Authorized Share Capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today gave its approval for enhancement of. Authorized Share Capital of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) working under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment from Rs. 1000 crore to Rs. 1200 crore.


The approval will enlarge the quantum of funds available for economic activities, better coverage and enhanced outreach to double the Below Poverty Line (DPL) Scheduled Caste beneficiaries. Enhancement of share capital would expand its ambit of coverage and increase disbursement of funds to larger sections of the economically deprived scheduled caste population. The target of NSFDC for the year 2015-16 is to cover 63,000 beneficiaries.

NSFDC implements its schemes through 37 State Channelizing Agencies in 32 States/UTs. NSFDC will also implement its schemes through select Public Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks and Other Institutions, wherever required, to enhance its outreach.

Background:

The NSFDC provides loans through its Channelizing Agencies at concessional interest rates for self-employment & economic development activities to its target group. NSFDC also sponsors skill/entrepreneurial training programmes to assist the unemployed members of scheduled castes in wage/self-employment. The Central Government has almost exhausted its contribution of authorized share capital of Rs. 1000 crore by paying Rs.998.13 crore to NSFDC. Hence, it became essential to enhance the Authorized Share Capital of the Corporation to expand its ambit of work. 
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Agreement between the India and Russia for cooperation on a coordinated grant competition for conducting basic and exploratory scientific research 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised about signing of an agreement between India and Russia in May 2015. The Agreement provides for competitive research grants to Indian and Russian researchers for joint implementation of research projects in areas of Basic and Exploratory Sciences.

The Agreement is valid for a period of six years and could be extended through mutual consent between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Russian Science Federation (RSF).

This competition would be conducted in the areas of Mathematics, Computer & System Science; Physics & Space Science; Chemistry & Material Science; Biology and Life Science; Basic research for Medicine, Agricultural Science, Earth Science and Engineering Science. Decision to identify research projects for funding would be taken jointly by DST and RSF. The results of this cooperation will lead to generation of new knowledge, joint scientific publications, manpower training and IP generation through collaboration. 
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Returning of additional land of Auto Testing Track of NATRIP Project in Pithampur, Indore, Madhya Pradesh 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today gave its approval for returning of approximately 478.307 hectares of land to the State Government of Madhya Pradesh. The land comprises approximately 461.607 hectares private acquired land and 16.70 hectares Government land, valued at approximately Rs.740 crore of Auto Testing Track in Pithampur, Indore (NATRIX) in Madhya Pradesh of NATRIP Project.

The land returned would be utilized by the State Government for allotment to the auto and related ancillary industries which will have a synergistic effect with the existing NATRAX project. 
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Revised cost estimate of Rs.969 crore in connection with the Afghan Parliament Building in Kabul 
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today gave its ex-post facto approval for completion of the Afghan Parliament Building in Kabul by 31st December, 2015 at a revised project cost of Rs.969 crore.

The project provides for completion of a new Parliament Building for Afghanistan, keeping in view the traditions and values of Afghanistan. It is part of India’s efforts in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan. The project is a visible symbol of India’s contribution to strengthening and rebuilding democracy in Afghanistan. The construction of Afghan Parliament Building has been completed in December, 2015 under India-Afghanistan development cooperation and minor touch-up works, including parts of sound system and furniture are now being undertaken. The Parliament building will be handed over the Afghan authorities by 31st March, 2016.

Background: 

The project was inaugurated and dedicated jointly by Prime Minister of India and President of Afghanistan on 25th December 2015. Addressing the Members of Meshrano Jirga (Upper House) and Wolesi Jirga (House of the People) on the occasion in the newly inaugurated premises, the Prime Minister complimented the people of Afghanistan and their elected representatives on consolidation of democracy in the country. 
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Cabinet approves raising of 17 Indian Reserve Battalions by J&K and LWE States 
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the raising of 17 India Reserve Battalions (IR Bns) by Jammu & Kashmir and Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected States. It includes five IR Bns in the state of J&K, four IR Bns in Chhattisgarh, three IR Bns in Jharkhand, three IR Bns in Odisha and two IR Bns in Maharashtra.

The major thrust in raising these 17 Bns. is as follows:

• Local youths will be recruited. To achieve this, the States will relax the age and educational criteria, if required.

• In respect of the 05 IR Bns to be raised by J&K, 60% of the vacancies will be filled from the border districts of J&K for the posts of constables and class IV.

• For LWE states, 75% of the vacancies of constables will be filled up from 27 core districts under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Scheme.

The Government of India introduced the scheme of Indian Reserve Battalions in 1971. The Government of India has so far, sanctioned 153 IR Bns to various States, out of which 144 IR Bns have been raised and one IR Bn in Jharkhand has been converted into Specialized Indian Reserve Battalion (SIRB) having two engineering companies and five security companies. 
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Signing of Memorandum of Understandings betweenIndian Computer Emergency Response Team with (i) CyberSecurity, Malaysia; (ii) Cyber Security Agency of the Republic of Singapore; and (iii) Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center on Cooperation in Cyber Security 
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was today apprised of the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)signed between Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) with its counterparts in Malaysia, Singapore and Japan.

Three MoUs have been signed on cooperation in Cyber Security and the details are follows:-

(i) MoU between CERT-In of the Republic of India and CyberSecurity, Malaysia for Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security signed on 23rd November, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during Prime Minister’s visit to Malaysia.

(ii) MoU between CERT-In of the Republic of India and Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT), Cyber Security Agency (CSA) of the Republic of Singapore for Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security signed on 24th November, 2015 in Singapore during Prime Minister’s visit to Singapore.

(iii) MoU between CERT-In and Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center (JPCERT/CC) for Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security signed on 7th December, 2015 through diplomatic exchange and exchange of the signed MoU between the two partiescompleted by 22na December, 2015.

The MoUs related to Cyber Security will promote closer cooperation for exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security related incidents between India and respective country. 
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Hybrid Annuity model for implementing highway projects 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Hybrid Annuity Model as one of the modes of delivery for implementing the Highway Projects. Adopting such a model for projects not found viable on BOT (Toll) mode shall be more effective in terms of maximizing the quantum of kilometers implemented within the available financial resources of the Government. The main object of the approval is to revive highway projects in the country by making one more mode of delivery of highway projects.

By adopting the Model as the mode of delivery, all major stakeholders in the PPP arrangement - the Authority, lender and the developer, concessionaire would have an increased comfort level resulting in revival of the sector through renewed interest of private developers/investors in highway projects and this will bring relief thereby to citizens / travelers in the area of a respective project.

It will facilitate uplifting the socio-economic condition of the entire nation due to increased connectivity across the length and breadth of the country leading to enhanced economic activity.

Background:

The decision taken on 11.09.2014 by the CCEA has delegated the authority for deciding on the mode of delivery of highway projects to Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

The erstwhile Planning Commission developed the first version of the Model Concession Agreement (MCA) for highways in 2006. This was done considering the need to standardize documents and processes for the PPP framework in the country for ensuring uniformity, transparency and quality in development of large-scale infrastructure projects including highways. Subsequently, the Planning Commission had developed various other versions of the MCA for highways considering the different PPP modes like BOT (Toll), BOT (Annuity) and OMT addressing to a significant extent, the changing needs of the sector.

One of the documents developed by the Planning Commission for infrastructure including highways is the MCA for Annuity Projects -version April, 2014. The above MCA provides an alternative model in the form of Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) where the project is financed only to the extent of a certain percentage of the cost by the private investor and this investment is recovered through annuity payments to be made by the Government/Authority over a specified period commencing from the date of commissioning of the project. The balance percentage of the project cost is provided by the Government during the construction period.

Since the need for improved road connectivity was a continuing imperative, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) including its implementing agencies like the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had to increasingly resort to the public funded Engineering, Procurement and Construction.

(EPC) mode as the preferred mode of delivery for highway projects in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

There is an inherent limitation in implementing projects on EPC mode as such implementation is restricted by the financial resources available with the Government. In that context, MoRTH intends to introduce an alternative mode of delivery in order to sustain the pace of implementation of highway projects through optimum utilization of available financial resources. Accordingly, it was decided to consider the Planning Commission MCA for Annuity Projects -version April, 2014. This model also provides an increased comfort level for the lenders and concessionaires as traffic and inflation risks are taken by the Authority.

An important feature of the Hybrid Annuity Model for highways development is the rational approach adopted for allocation of risks between the PPP partners - the Government and the private partner i.e. the developer/investor. While the private partner continues to bear the construction and maintenance risks as in BOT (Toll) projects, it is required only to partly bear financing risk. Further, the developer is insulated from revenue/traffic risk and the inflation risk, which are not within its control. 
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PM’s interaction through PRAGATI


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired his ninth interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

Taking strong exception at complaints and grievances from people, related to the customs and excise sector, the Prime Minister asked for strict action against responsible officials. He urged all Secretaries whose departments have extensive public dealing, to set up a system for top-level monitoring of grievances immediately.

In course of his review today, the Prime Minister reviewed the progress of vital infrastructure projects in the road, railway, coal, power and renewable energy sectors, spread over several states, including Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan.

Among the significant projects reviewed today were the Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link, the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Jal Marg Vikas Project from Allahabad to Haldia.

The Prime Minister reviewed the progress of the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY).

The Prime Minister reviewed the implementation of the National Old Age Pension Scheme, and emphasized the need to ensure that beneficiaries receive the payment on time. 


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