19 June 2017


Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau

14.06.2017

Banking

Cabinet approves Interest Subvention to banks on Short-Term crop loan to farmers

MANU/PIBU/0625/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for the year 2017-18. This will help farmers getting short term crop loan up to Rs. 3 lakh payable within one year at only 4% per annum. The Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 20,339 crore for this purpose. The interest subvention will be given to Public Sector Banks (PSBs), Private Sector Banks, Cooperative Banks and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) on use of own funds and to NABARD for refinance to RRBs and Cooperative Banks. The Interest Subvention Scheme will continue for one year and it will be implemented by NABARD and RBI.

The objective of the scheme is to make available at ground level, agricultural credit for Short Term crop loans at an affordable rate to give a boost to agricultural productivity and production in the country.

The salient features of the scheme are as follows:

a) The Central Government will provide interest subvention of 5 per cent per annum to all prompt payee farmers for short term crop loan upto one year for loan upto Rs. 3 lakhs borrowed by them during the year 2017-18. Farmers will thus have to effectively pay only 4% as interest. In case farmers do not repay the short term crop loan in time they would be eligible for interest subvention of 2% as against 5% available above.

b) The Central Government will provide approximately Rs. 20,339 crore as interest subvention for 2017-18.

c) In order to give relief to small and marginal farmers who would have to borrow at 9% for the post harvest storage of their produce, the Central Government has approved an interest subvention of 2% i.e. an effective interest rate of 7% for loans upto 6 months.

d) To provide relief to the farmers affected by natural calamities, the interest subvention of 2% will be provided to Banks for the first year on the restructured amount.

e) In case farmers do not repay the short term crop loan in time they would be eligible for interest subvention of 2% as against available above.

Major Impact :

Credit is a critical input in achieving high productivity and overall production in the agricultural sector. The Cabinet's approval of a sum of Rs.20,339 crore to meet various obligations arising from interest subvention being provided to the farmers on short term crop loans, as also loans on post harvest storages meets an important input requirement of the farmers in the country. This institutional credit will help in delinking the farmers from non-institutional sources of credit, where they are compelled to borrow at usurious rates of interest.

Since the crop insurance under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is linked to availing of crop loans, the farmers would stand to benefit from both farmer oriented initiatives of the Government, by accessing the crop loans.

An important initiative of the government is market reforms, with a view to ensuring that the farmers benefit from remunerative prices for their produce in the market. The electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) that was launched by Government on April, 2016 aims at integrating the dispersed APMCs through an electronic platform and enable price discovery in a competitive manner, to the advantage of the farmers. While the farmers are advised to undertake on-line trade, it is also important that they avail themselves of post-harvest loans by storing their produce in the accredited warehouses. The loans are available to Kisan Credit Card (KCC) holding small and marginal farmers at interest subvention of 2 per cent on such storages for a period of upto six months. This will help the farmers to sell when they find the market is buoyant, and avoid distress sale. It is, therefore, needful for the small and marginal farmers to keep their KCCs alive.

The Government is keen in improving income of the farmers, for which it has launched several new initiatives that encompass activities from seed to marketing. The credit from institutional sources will complement all such government initiatives like Soil Health Card, Input Management, Per Drop More Crop in Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana (PMKSY), PMFBY, e-NAM, etc.

Background:

The scheme has been running since 2006-07. Under this, the farmers can avail concessional crop loans of upto Rs.3 lakh at 7% rate of interest. It also provides for an additional subvention of 3%. Prompt Repayment within a period of one year from the date of advance. As a measure to check distress sale, post-harvest loans for storage in accredited warehouses against Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (NWRs) are available for upto 6 months for KCC holding small & marginal farmers. During the year 2016-17, the volume of short term crop loan lent stood at Rs.6,22,685 crore, surpassing the target of Rs. 6,15,000 crore.

Attention: Brief for Electronic Media

Government provides Interest subvention to different banks and cooperatives for short term crop loan extended by them to farmers at concessional rate of 7% and in case of timely repayment, an additional subvention of 3%. In effect, crop loans are available to farmers at 4% rate of interest. The scheme also envisages other benefits including interest at concessional rate of 7% for storage in ware houses accredited by Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA) for upto 6 months post harvest for avoiding distress sale. This provides institutional credit to the farmers and disengages them from non-institutional sources of credit, where they are prone to exploitation by private money lenders. All short term crop loan accounts will be Aadhaar linked from current year.

Tags : Approval Interest Subvention Banks

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Press Information Bureau

14.06.2017

Civil

Cabinet approves signing of Memorandum of Understanding between India and Bangladesh for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics

MANU/PIBU/0618/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised about an Memorandum of Understanding which has already been signed between India and Bangladesh for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E).

The MoU was signed in April, 2017 between Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India and Information and Communication Technology Division of Bangladesh. It will remain in force for a period of five years. Thereafter, the MoU will be extended at any time within the period it remains in force by mutual written consent of the Parties. It can be terminated by either Party after giving six months' prior notice in writing to the other Party.

The MoU in the field of IT&E is technical in nature and focused primarily on e-Governance, m-Governance, e-Public Services Delivery, Cyber Security, Capacity Building etc. The MoU aims to explore business opportunities, IT&E market in Bangladesh by Indian IT companies and attract investment in Indian electronics and IT sectors in India which would indirectly generate employment opportunities.

Tags : Approval MOU Information Technology Electronics

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Election Commission of India

14.06.2017

Election

Notice given by the Returning Officer regarding the election to fill the office of the President of India

MANU/NMIC/0197/2017

O.N.42(E).--Whereas a notification under sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, for the holding of an election to fill the Office of President of India has been issued by the Election Commission, I, Anoop Mishra, the Returning Officer for such election, do hereby give notice that-

(i) nomination papers may be delivered by a candidate or anyone of his proposers or seconders to the undersigned at his office in Room No.18, Ground Floor, Parliament House, New Delhi, or if he is unavoidably absent, to the Assistant Returning Officers, Shri Ravindra Garimella, Joint Secretary or Shri Vinay Kumar Mohan, Director, Lok Sabha Secretariat, at the said office between 11 A.M. and 3 P.M. on any day (other than a public holiday) not later than the 28th June, 2017;

(ii) each nomination paper shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the candidate in the electoral roll for the Parliamentary constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector;

(iii) every candidate shall deposit or cause to be deposited a sum of rupees fifteen thousand only. This amount may be deposited in cash with the Returning Officer at the time of presentation of the nomination paper or deposited earlier in the Reserve Bank of India or in a Government Treasury and in the latter case a receipt showing that the said deposit of the sum has been so made is required to be enclosed with the nomination paper;

(iv) forms of nomination papers may be obtained from the above said office at the times aforesaid;

(v) the nomination papers, other than those rejected under sub-section (4) of section 5B of the Act, will be taken up for scrutiny at the said office in Room No.I8, Ground Floor, Parliament House, New Delhi on 29 June, 2017, at 11 A.M.;

(vi) the notice of withdrawal of candidatures may be delivered by a candidate, or anyone of his proposers or seconders who has been authorised in this behalf in writing by the candidate, to the undersigned at the place specified in paragraph (i) above before three o'clock in the afternoon of 1 July, 2017;

(vii) In the event of the election being contested, the poll will be taken on 17 July, 2017 between the hours of 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. at the places of polling fixed under the rules.

Tags : Notice Election President

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Press Information Bureau

14.06.2017

Indirect Taxation

Carry Forward of un-availed Cenvat Credit in respect of assignment of right to use any natural resource under GST

MANU/PIBU/0622/2017

Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 provide that credit of Service Tax paid in a Financial Year, on the onetime charges payable in full upfront or in installments, for the service of assignment of the right to use any natural resource by the Government, local authority or any other person, shall be spread evenly over a period of three years.

Cenvat Credit Rules have been amended vide notification No. 15/2017-Central Excise (N.T.) dated 12.06.2017 so as to provide that Cenvat credit in respect of such services which remains unavailed on the day immediately preceding the 'appointed day' may be availed of in full on that very day. Appointed day means the day when Central GST comes into effect. The Amendment would enable service recipients to carry forward such unavailed credit of Service Tax under the GST regime. As a result Telecom Service Providers, who have been allotted Spectrum in auction conducted in 2016 and have already availed one third credit in respect of Service Tax paid by them, during 2016-17, would be eligible to take the remaining two thirds credit pertaining to 2016-17 in the GST regime, scheduled to roll-out on 1st July, 2017.

Tags : Cenvat Credit Un-availed Carry Forward GST

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Press Information Bureau

14.06.2017

Insurance

Cabinet approves proposal to introduce the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017

MANU/PIBU/0619/2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal to introduce a Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017. The Bill would provide for a comprehensive resolution framework for specified financial sector entities to deal with bankruptcy situation in banks, insurance companies and financial sector entities.

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance, Bill 2017 when enacted, will pave the way for setting up of the Resolution Corporation. It would lead to repeal or amendment of resolution-related provisions in sectoral Acts as listed in Schedules of the Bill. It will also result in the repealing of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961 to transfer the deposit insurance powers and responsibilities to the Resolution Corporation.

The Resolution Corporation would protect the stability and resilience of the financial system; protecting the consumers of covered obligations up to a reasonable limit; and protecting public funds, to the extent possible.

The Government has recently enacted the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 ("Code") for the insolvency resolution of non- financial entities. The proposed Bill complements the Code by providing a resolution framework for the financial sector. Once implemented, this Bill together with the Code will provide a comprehensive resolution framework for the economy.

The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017 seeks to give comfort to the consumers of financial service providers in financial distress. It also aims to inculcate discipline among financial service providers in the event of financial crises by limiting the use of public money to bail out distressed entities. It would help in maintaining financial stability in the economy by ensuring adequate preventive measures, while at the same time providing the necessary instruments for dealing with an event of crisis. The Bill aims to strengthen and streamline the current framework of deposit insurance for the benefit of a large number of retail depositors. Further, this Bill seeks to decrease the time and costs involved in resolving distressed financial entities.

Tags : Approval Bill Financial Resolution Deposit Insurance

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Ministry of Commerce and Industry

12.06.2017

Commercial

Changes in IEC with the introduction of GST

MANU/DGFT/0052/2017

The Foreign Trade (Development &Regulation) Act, 1992 provides that no person shall make any import or export except under an Importer Exporter Code (IEC) number, granted by the Director General of Foreign Trade or the officer authorized by the Director General in this behalf. Further, Para 2.05 of the FTP, 2015-20 lays down that IEC, a 10 digit number, is mandatory for undertaking any import export activities, while Para 2.08 of the HBP (2015-20) lays down the procedure to be followed for obtaining an IEC, which is PAN based. As on date PAN has one to one correlation with IEC.

2. With the implementation of the GST w.e.f. (the notified date), GSTIN would be used for purposes of (i) credit flow of IGST on import of goods, and (ii) refund or rebate of IGST related to export of goods. Registration No. under GST, called GSTIN, is a 15-digit alpha numeric code with PAN prefixed by State Code and suffixed by 3 digit details of business verticals of the PAN holder. As GSTIN will be used for the purposes mentioned above, it thereby assumes importance as identifier at the transaction level. In view of this, it has been decided that importer/exporter would need to declare only GSTIN (wherever registered with GSTN) at the time of import and export of goods. The PAN level aggregation of data would automatically happen in the system.

3. Since obtaining GSTIN is not compulsory for all importers / exporters below a threshold limit of turnover, all exporters / importers may not register with GSTIN [barring compulsory registration in certain cases as provided in Section 24 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) or in cases where either credit is claimed of IGST], therefore, GSTIN cannot become universal, as IEC is for import/export business. Further, DGFT recognizes only the corporate entity (single identity) and not individual transactions.

4. As a measure of ease of doing business, it has been decided to keep the identity of an entity uniform across the Ministries/Departments. Henceforth (with the implementation of GST), PAN of an entity will be used for the purpose of IEC, i.e., IEC will be issued by DGFT with the difference that it will be alpha numeric (instead of 10 digit numeric at present) and will be same as PAN of an entity. For new applicants, w.e.f. the notified date, application for IEC will be made to DGFT and applicant's PAN will be authorized as IEC. For residuary categories under Para 2.07 of HBP 2015-20, the IEC will be either UIN issued by GSTN and authorized by DGFT or any common number to be notified by DGFT.

5. Further, for the existing IEC holders, necessary changes in the system are being carried out by DGFT so that their PAN becomes their IEC. DGFT system will undertake this migration and the existing IEC holders are not required to undertake any additional exercise in this regard. IEC holders are required to quote their PAN (in place of existing IEC) in all their future documentation, w.e.f. the notified date. The legacy data which is based on IEC would be converted into PAN based in due course of time.

Tags : Importer Exporter Code Change GST

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Press Information Bureau

12.06.2017

Commercial

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) signs Agreement with the Metal Industries Development Institute (MIDI), Ethiopia

MANU/PIBU/0609/2017

Keeping in line with Prime Minister Modi's stress on stronger and long-term cooperation between African countries and India for mutual benefits in the areas of agriculture, women empowerment, rural development, infrastructure etc., while addressing the annual meeting of African Development Bank at Gujarat recently, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has entered into an agreement with the Metal Industries Development Institute (MIDI), Ethiopia to implement a twinning programme. The same is aimed at R&D capacity building of MIDI. CSIR has clinched this multi-million US dollar assignment through a process where many international organisations were considered. The twinning is one of the largest programs (in terms of contractual amount) between a CSIR institute and a foreign entity. It should also facilitate CSIR's future collaborations with African Organizations.

The agreement was signed on 7th June, 2017 at Addis Ababa in the gracious presence of H.E. Dr. Alemu Sime, State Minister of Industry, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Mr. Teshome Lemma, State Minister of Education, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Girish Sahni, Director General, CSIR and H.E. Mr. Anurag Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Ethiopia, Djibouti and African Union. Dr. Girish Sahni on the occasion said that the knowledgebase of CSIR in the identified areas could be of immense importance for leveraging the technology capacity of African countries. He invited the industry to join hands with CSIR and its counterparts in respective African countries to deploy the technology for benefitting the masses in the region.

The agreement was signed by the Director of National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur (CSIR-NML) on behalf of the participating CSIR Laboratories, and the Director General of Metals Industry Development Institute (MIDI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. CSIR will enhance the capacity and capability of MIDI under the twinning arrangement and thereby enable it to contribute more efficiently towards the development of Metals and Engineering sectors in Ethiopia and thus enhance their competitiveness. The MIDI will be positioned to emerge as a globally competitive center of excellence in the field of Metals and Engineering, through the twinning programme.

This agreement signing is the follow-up action of the execution of a Letter of Intent (LoI) between Metal Industry Development Institute (MIDI), Ethiopia and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India. The assessment of the requirements of MIDI and GAP analysis of MIDI were major initial activities which a CSIR team carried out as a prelude to Twinning with MIDI.

The constituent laboratories of CSIR, namely CSIR-NML, Jamshedpur, CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, CSIR-CEERI, Pilani, CSIRCSIO, Chandigarh and CSIR-CLRI, Chennai, through a common collaboration platform, will execute the twinning arrangement. These laboratories have demonstrated expertise in minerals and metals extraction, casting, forming and shaping of metals, manufacturing processes and process controls, electronics and instrumentations, soft skills and quality management systems.

Tags : Agreement Signing of CSIR

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Press Information Bureau

12.06.2017

Service

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) included under Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016

MANU/PIBU/0610/2017

With an objective of bringing in transparency, efficiency and to enable beneficiaries to get their entitlement directly in a convenient and seamless manner, Aadhaar card has been constituted as the primary document in identification of the beneficiary under the Aadhaar Act which came into effect from 12th September 2016.

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has now been included under the Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. As per the provisions of the Act, any individual who is eligible to receive benefits under the APY will have to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo enrolment under Aadhaar authentication. A copy of the notification is attached.

Accordingly, an APY subscriber will have to get the Aadhaar number recorded in his or her APY pension account and also in his/ her savings account where the periodic pension contribution instalments are debited and government co-contribution is to be credited. In case a subscriber is not yet having an Aadhaar card, he/ she should immediately get him/ her enrolled for the Aadhaar card for which he or she can visit the nearest Aadhaar enrolment centre. The list of all such centers is available on UIDAI website.

PFRDA has identified nearly 12.35 lakh subscribers who are eligible for Government of India co-contribution for an amount upto Rs 1000 for the financial year 2016-2017 which will be released to the eligible subscribers' savings bank accounts which are seeded with Aadhaar. These subscribers are advised to approach their Bank or Postal Branch for seeding their Aadhar Number.

In the recent times, various new initiatives like online viewing of Statement of Transactions (SOT) and online PRAN card under APY have been taken up by PFRDA for facilitating subscribers under the scheme. Atal Pension Yojana currently has more than 54 lacs subscribers with an asset base of more than Rs. 2,200 crores.

Tags : Pension Yojna Inclusion Aadhar Act

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