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Funding of exports to Iran from India through the Export Development Fund of Exim Bank



Funding of exports to Iran from India through the Export Development Fund of Exim Bank

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for increasing the framework agreement between Exim Bank of India and a consortium of Iranian banks lead by Central Bank of Iran for financing the purchase of goods and services from India to Rs.3000 crore from Rs. 900 crore. This will be done by utilising the Export Development Fund (EDF). The proposal provides for domiciling two contracts of export of steel rails by STC and for the Chabahar Port Development project previously approved by the Cabinet under EDF.

The proposal will promote the country's exports with Iran. It will also deepen India's relationship with Iran as a strategic partner.

Background The Exim Bank of India and seven Iranian Banks led by Central Bank of Iran had negotiated a framework agreement in November, 2014 for financing the purchase of goods and services from India by Iranian entities to the tune of Rs.900 crore under EDF. The increase to Rs. 3000 crore will enable the Exim bank to provide Buyer's credit facility to Iran, secured via sovereign guarantee from Iran, for the export of goods and services. This will provide opportunity to Indian Companies to penetrate and enhance their footprint in Iran along with facilitating the growing trade and investment with Iran. This will also help in employment generation and development of ancillary activities in India.

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National Hydrology Project
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to Implementation of the National Hydrology Project.  It will be a central sector scheme with a total outlay of Rs. 3679.7674 crore.  This includes Rs.3,640 crore for National Hydrology Project (NHP) and Rs. 39.7674 crore for National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) to be taken up in two stages.  It also provides for establishment of NWIC as an independent organization under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD&GR).

The NHP will help in gathering Hydro-meteorological data which will be stored and analysed on a real time basis and can be seamlessly accessed by any user at the State/District/village level.  The project envisages to cover the entire country as the earlier hydrology projects covered only 13 States.

The components of the proposal are:
a)             In Situ Hydromet Monitoring System and Hydromet Data Acquisition System.
b)             Setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC).
c)             Water Resources Operation and Management System
d)            Water Resources Institutions and Capacity Building

The NHP will result in the improvement of:

1.      Data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination through National Water Informatics Centre.
2.      Lead time in flood forecast from 1 day to at least 3 days
3.      Mapping of flood inundation areas for use by the disaster management authorities
4.      Assessment of surface and ground water resources in a river basin for better planning & allocation for PMKSY and other schemes of Govt. of India
5.      Reservoir  operations  through   seasonal  yield   forecast,   drought  management, SCADA systems, etc.
6.      Design of SW & GW structures, hydropower units, interlinking of rivers, Smart Cities.
7.      Fulfilling the objectives of Digital India.
8.      People Centric approach:  The programme envisages ultimate aim for water management through scientific data collection, dissemination of information on water availability in all blocks of the country and establishing of National Water Information Centre.  The automated systems for Flood Forecasting is aimed to reduce water disaster ultimately helping vulnerable population.  It is people and farmer centric programme as information on water can help in predicting water availability and help farmers to plan their crops and other farm related activities.  Through this programme India would make a place among nations known for scientific endeavours.

Out of the total outlay of Rs. 3679.7674 crore, Rs.3,640 crore has been earmarked for National Hydrology Project  while Rs. 39.7674 crore has been kept aside for NWIC.   Out of the total outlay, fifty per cent of the amount that is Rs.1839.8837 crore, would be World Bank loan which would be repaid by Central Government. The remaining 50% that is Rs. 1839.8837 crore would be Central Assistance from the budgetary support. The entire World Bank's Loan component and Central assistance to the States and Central Organisations shall be passed on to them as Grants.

Elucidation on the impact of the Project:

a)      Development of real time flood forecasting and reservoir operations in a manner that does not result in sudden opening of gates which inundates the area down below;
b)      It will facilitate integrated water resource management by adopting river basin approach through collation and management of hydro-meteorological data.  This will also help in water resource assessment – as surface as well as ground water, for water resource planning, prioritize its allocations and its consumptive use for irrigation;
c)       It will help in providing real time information on a dynamic basis to the farmers about the ground water position for them to accordingly plan their cropping pattern;
d)     This will also help in promoting efficient and equitable use of water particularly of ground water at the village level;
e)      This will also provide information on quality of water
Background

The National Hydrology Project (NHP) is intended for setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management. It will also provide tools/systems for informed decision making through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought management, etc. NHP also seeks to build capacity of the State and Central sector organisations in water resources management through the use of Information Systems and adoption of State-of-the-art technologies like Remote Sensing.

The MoWR, RD&GR has adopted a paradigm shift in the management of water resources of the country by adopting a river basin approach, In order to efficiently use and manage water resources of the country; adequacy of data, resource assessment, decision support systems, etc. are a prerequisite for allocation and prioritization of this fast depleting resource.

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Revised Policy on crude oil import for oil PSUs
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to replace the existing policy on crude oil import by Oil PSUs and vest the oil PSUs with the power to evolve their own policies. This will provide a more efficient, flexible and dynamic policy for crude procurement, eventually benefiting the consumers.

The existing policy for import of crude oil was approved by the Cabinet in the year 1979. In 2001, the Cabinet approved some amendment to the policy. While the current policy has ensured that collective energy needs of Oil PSUs are consistently met over the years, the policy needs to evolve with the changing times. With the changing geo-political environment, the crude oil import policy needs to be modified to bring it in tune with current needs. The current market practices for purchase of crude oil on spot basis also need to be adopted to compete effectively in the market. The current policy has certain limitations and restrictions in this regard, which limit the potential sources and methods of procurement.

After the last decision of the Cabinet in 2001, the Govt. of India has delegated substantial powers to Navaratna and Maharatna companies among PSUs. Such companies are given high degree of autonomy in various operational, financial and investment matters.
Accordingly, the Cabinet has approved that the Oil PSUs of the Govt. of India shall be empowered to evolve their own policies for import of crude oil, consistent with CVC guidelines and get them approved by the respective Boards. This measure, which is in keeping with the principle of Minimum Government Maximum Governance, will increase the operational and commercial flexibility of the oil companies and enable them to adopt the most effective procurement practices for import of crude oil.

                                                                  

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