A number of initiatives proposed in the budget concerning the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers

A number of initiatives proposed in the budget concerning the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
In the Union Budget of 2016, a number of initiatives have been proposed for the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. The Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri Ananth Kumar outlined the initiatives:

Department of Fertilizers

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)
Based on the successful experience, the government has proposed to introduce DBT on pilot basis for fertilizers in a few districts across the country, with a view to improving the quality of service delivery to farmers.

Soil and seed testing facilities at retail outlets of Fertilizer companies
The Soil Health Card Scheme is now being implemented with greater vigour. Through this, farmers get information about nutrient level of the soil and can make judicious use of fertilizers. It has been decided that 2,000 model retail outlets of Fertilizer companies will be provided with soil and seed testing facilities during the next three years.

City Compost
The Fertilizer companies will also co-market city compost which increases the efficacy of chemical fertilizers. A policy for conversion of city waste into compost has also been approved by the Government under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Exemption of excise duty
Excise duty on physical mixture of fertilizers, made out of chemical fertilizers on which duty of excise has been paid, by Co-operative Societies, holding certificate of manufacture for mixture of fertilizers under the Fertilizer Control Order 1985, for supply to the members of such Co- operative Societies, is being exempted.
Concessional Basic Custom Duty (BCD)/Countervailing Duties (CVD)
Actual user condition for the imports of Phosphoric Acid and Anhydrous Ammonia at concessional Basic Custom Duty/CVD for manufacture of Fertilizers being prescribed.

Department of Pharmaceuticals

Making quality medicines available at affordable prices has been a key challenge. We will reinvigorate the supply of generic drugs. 3,000 Stores under Prime Minister’s Jan Aushadhi Yojana will be opened during 2016-17.

Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals

Customs and excise duty structure plays an important role in incentivizing domestic value addition towards Make in India campaign of the Government. In line with that, the Government has proposed to make suitable changes in customs and excise duty rates on certain inputs, raw materials, intermediaries and components and certain other goods and simplify procedures, so as to reduce costs and improve competitiveness of domestic industry in sectors like chemicals & petrochemicals and many other sectors.

Chemicals and Petrochemicals

BCD on all acyclic hydrocarbons and all cyclic hydrocarbons (other than paraxylene which attracts NIL BCD and styrene which attracts 2% BCD) being rationalized.
BCD on denatured ethyl alcohol (Ethanol) being reduced, subject to actual user conditions.
SAD on orthoxylene, being reduced, for the manufacture of phthalic anhydride subject to actual user condition.
BCD on electrolysers, Membrane and their parts required by caustic soda/potash unit using membranes cell technology being exempted.


 GSLV launch services for the foreign customer satellites 

Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of ISRO, is holding preliminary discussions with some of the space agencies/companies across the world for providing GSLV launch services for the foreign customer satellites. 

 The launch pads at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota are used exclusively for launch vehicles developed by ISRO. 

 However, one of the leading space company from USA is under initial phase of discussion with Antrix, to utilise the GSLV launch services for one of their communication satellite. The other countries that have shown interest in utilising GSLV launch services include space agencies/ companies from Canada, France, Republic of Korea and Turkey. 

 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 a reply to an unstarred question in Lok Sabha today. 


Civil Aviation Minister says Budget 2016-17 has paved the way for developing India the MRO hub of Asia. 


The Minister of Civil Aviation Shri P Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said that the Budget 2016-17 has paved the way for developing India as a Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling (MRO) hub of Asia. Speaking to media persons  in New Delhi today, he said that the budget has made provisions for incentivising domestic value addition to help Make in India. Under this, the following provisions have been made for the MRO business in India :

a)      The tools and tool-kits used by the MRO have been exempted from Customs and Excise duty. 

b)      The exemption shall be given on the basis of documents certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. 

c)      Procedure for availment of exemption from customs and excise duty being simplified based on records and subject to actual user condition.

d)      Restriction of one year for utilisation of duty free parts being removed.

e)      The notification on Standard Exchange Scheme has been revised to allow import of unserviceable parts by MROs for providing exchange / advance exchange.

f)       Foreign aircraft brought to India for MRO work will be allowed to stay up to 6 months or as extended by the DGCA. The aircraft can carry passengers in the flights at the beginning and end of the stay period in India.  

The MRO business of Indian carriers is  around Rs 5000 crore, 90% of which is currently spent outside India – in Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE etc. Given our technology and skill base, the government is keen to develop India as an MRO hub in Asia, attracting business from foreign airlines while retaining the domestic business. The above budget provisions will go a long way in realizing this aim, he said. 

Shri Gajapathi Raju also welcomed the budget provisions aimed at reviving the unserved and under-served airports in the country for increasing regional connectivity. The Budget 2016 provides that the Central Government will partner with the State Governments to develop some of these airports and airstrips in the country The Minister shared with the media persons the following Action Plan for revival of such airports : 

a)      Identification of airstrips controlled by State Governments: 

(i)      Airports/Airstrips under control of State Governments will be identified for development in consultation with State Governments and airlines to make such airports operational.

(ii)    Commitment from the State Governments on tax exemptions, reimbursement of expenditure of the recurring operational cost by providing free electricity, water and security to the airport.  The entire airport project to have tax exemption from all municipal/property tax and VAT on ATF are to be brought down.  State Government to share the costs for identified airports/airstrips proposed to be developed.

b)      Revival of AAI owned non-operational airports:  

      In the financial year 2015-16, AAI proposes to revive 10 non-             operational airports.  These airports are initially unviable and would  require budgetary support from the Government.

Talking about the budget announcement to  implement Indian Customs Single Window Project. at major ports and airports starting from beginning of next financial year Shri Raju said that this will reduce the dwell time of export and import air cargo by bringing all regulatory agencies responsible for giving clearances to a common platform. It will also enable the integration of processes of import cargo stakeholders so as to enable easy adoption of EDI. Further, he said that the opportunity for deferred payment of customs duties as provided by the Budget will facilitate importers and exporters with proven track record for faster processing of cargo. Hence, this will reduce the dwell time of their cargo.

About  the likely impact of budget on skill development, the Minister said that 
Service Tax exemption under Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana will enable, firstly, training providers to set up training institutes across the country. Secondly, it will attract youth for cargo and ground handling from rural areas of the country. Exemptions for assessing bodies empanelled centrally by Directorate General of Training will also promote setting up of training institutes and attracting youth towards civil aviation sectors. About the increase of Excise Duty on Air Turbine Fuel from 8 % to 14 % the Minister said that the decrease in ATF base price over the last 13 months is around 25.04%. The increase in ATF prices due to increase in excise duty from 8% to 14% comes to around 6.56%

The Minister of State for Civil Aviation and Culture & Tourism (I/C) Dr Mahesh Sharma welcomed the provisions made for the Civil Aviation sector in the Budget 2016 and said it would give a major boost to the aviation sector in the country and make flying easy for the common man.

Secretary Civil Aviation Shri Rajiv Nayan Choubey and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.


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