24 September 2018


Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau

18.09.2018

Civil

Government modifies operational guidelines for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), Performance evaluation of insurance companies has been made stringent

MANU/PIBU/1340/2018

The Government has decided to incorporate the provision of penalties for States and Insurance Companies for the delay in settlement of insurance claims under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). This crucial provision is part of the new operational guidelines issued by the Govt. for the implementation of PMFBY. The farmers will be paid 12% interest by insurance companies for the delay in settlement claims beyond two months of prescribed cut-off date. State Governments will have to pay 12% interest for the delay in release of State share of subsidy beyond three months of prescribed cut-off date submission of requisition by insurance companies. The new operational guidelines come at the onset of the rabi season, which starts from 1st of October.

The new operational guidelines also detail a Standard Operating Procedure for evaluation of insurance companies and remove them from the scheme if found ineffective in providing services. The Government has also decided to include perennial horticultural crops under the ambit of PMFBY on a pilot basis. The scheme, as per the new operational guidelines provides add on coverage for crop loss due to attack of wild animals, which will be implemented on a pilot basis. Aadhaar number will be mandatorily captured to avoid duplication of beneficiaries.

In order to ensure that more non-loanee farmers are insured under the scheme, apart from various awareness activities being scheduled, the insurance companies are given a target of enrolling 10% more non-loanee farmers than the previous corresponding season. The insurance companies will have to mandatorily spend 0.5% of gross premium per company per season for publicity and awareness of the scheme.

The new operational guidelines address the current challenges faced while implementing the scheme by putting forth effective solutions. The much demanded rationalization of premium release process has been incorporated in the new guidelines. As per this, the insurance companies need not provide any projections for the advance subsidy. Release of upfront premium subsidy will be made at the beginning of the season based on 50% of 80% of total share of subsidy of corresponding season of previous year as GOI/State subsidy. Balance premium will be paid as a second installment based on the specific approved business statistics on the portal for settlement of claims. Final installment will be paid after reconciliation of entire coverage data on portal based on final business statistics. This will reduce the delay in settling the claims of farmers.

Tags : Guidelines PMFBY Modification

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Press Information Bureau

18.09.2018

Commercial

CCI imposes penalties upon Sugar Mills and their Associations for rigging the bids in respect of Joint Tender floated by Oil Marketing Companies for procurement of Ethanol for blending with Petrol

MANU/PIBU/1336/2018

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed penalties upon 18 sugar mills and 2 Associations (Indian Sugar Mills Association and Ethanol Manufacturers Association of India) for rigging the bids in respect of a Joint Tender floated by Oil Marketing Companies (HPCL/BPCL/IOCL) on 02.01.2013 for procurement of ethanol for blending with petrol.

The Final Order was passed by CCI on 18.09.2018 on a batch of informations filed by India Glycols Limited and 5 other Informants.

Pursuant to a Notification dated 02.01.2013 issued by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India, regarding mandatory 5% blending of ethanol with motor spirit/gasoline, the Government owned Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) viz. IOCL/HPCL/BPCL invited quotations from alcohol manufacturers for supply of ethanol through a Joint Tender dated 02.01.2013 which was issued by BPCL on behalf of OMCs - as the coordinator of the tender process. Through the joint tender, OMCs invited sealed tenders under the two bid system i.e. technical bid and price bid from ethanol suppliers. The supply was to be made available to various Depots/Terminals of OMCs across the country for a period of one year w.e.f. 01.03.2013.

The Informant (India Glycols Limited), however, alleged that Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) and Ethanol Manufacturers Association of India (EMAI) persuaded the OMCs to come-out with a Joint Tender for the purpose of procuring ethanol. The said joint tendering by OMCs was alleged to be an Agreement amongst horizontal players to procure ethanol from various suppliers in contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002 ('the Act') which was likely to cause appreciable adverse effect on competition within India in supply and distribution of ethanol. It was also alleged that the sugar manufacturers who had participated in the Joint Tender of 2013 manipulated the bids by quoting similar rates and in some cases identical rates through an understanding and collective action in violation of the provisions of Section 3 of the Act.

The Commission in its order noted that the bidders through their impugned conduct have contravened the provisions of Section 3(3)(d) read with Section 3(1) of the Act by acting in a collusive and concerted manner which has eliminated and lessened the competition besides manipulating the bidding process in respect of the impugned tender floated by OMCs. The bidders who participated in respect of the depots located in UP, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh in response to the joint tender floated by OMCs, were found to have acted in a concerted and collusive manner in submitting their bids. This was evidenced from the prices quoted, quantities offered and the explanations given by the parties. Such collusion was further strengthened from the fact that the bidders utilized the platform of ISMA and also acted on the signals emitted by EMAI which influenced the bidding behavior of the parties.

Accordingly, a total penalty of Rs. 38.05 crore was imposed upon 18 Sugar Mills and their Trade Associations (ISMA/EMAI). Besides, a Cease and Desist Order was also issued against them. While imposing penalties, the Commission applied the principle of relevant turnover and based the penalties on the revenue generated by the sugar mills from sale of ethanol only. The penalty was imposed by the Commission @ 7% of the average relevant turnover of the sugar mills. However, penalty @ 10% of the average receipts was imposed upon the Trade Associations viz. ISMA and EMAI keeping in view the key role they played in facilitating bid rigging.

The Order of the Commission was passed in Case Nos. 21, 29, 36, 47, 48 & 49 of 2013 and a copy thereof has been uploaded on the website of CCI at www.cci.gov.in.

Tags : Penalty Imposition Bid rigging

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Press Information Bureau

18.09.2018

Commercial

India signs Financing Loan Agreement with the World Bank for US$ 74 Million for Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP)

MANU/PIBU/1338/2018

A Loan Agreement for IBRD Credit of US$74 million equivalent for the Uttarakhand Workforce Development Project (UKWDP) was signed with the World Bank here today. The Loan Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Jorge Coarasa, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. A Project Agreement was also signed by Dr. Iqbal Ahmed, Additional Secretary, Skill Development and Employment, Government of Uttarakhand and Mr. Jorge Coarasa, Acting Country Director, World Bank.

The Project objective is to improve the quality and relevance of training at priority Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and to increase the number of labor-market-relevant workers through short term training in Uttarakhand. The Project has three components: (1) Improving the quality and relevance of ITI Training; (2) Increasing the number of skilled workers certified under National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQE) - Compliant Short Term Training; and (3) Policy and Institutional Development and Project Management.

Twenty-five ITI's have been selected - 13 located in District Centers and 12 ITI's that are well-linked to industries. Two out of four women's ITIs in the State will be included in the list. The Project has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 17 years. The closing date for the Project is 30th June, 2023.

Tags : Loan Agreement World Bank Project (UKWDP)

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Press Information Bureau

18.09.2018

Service

Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurates 'All India Pension Adalat', Anubhav Awards 2018 presented to six pensioners

MANU/PIBU/1339/2018

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 inaugurated the 'Pension Adalat' here today, organised by the Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India. He also presented the 'Anubhav' awards 2018 to six pensioners for their contribution towards creating institutional memory for the departments. On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh also launched a booklet-"An era of sustained reforms for Central Government Pensioners" enumerating simplification of rules and steps initiated to strengthen the Grievance Portal and make it user friendly.

Inaugurating the All India Pension Adalat, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that Pension Adalats will help in on-the-spot redressal of pensioners' grievances. This has given the right of "Ease of Living" to the pensioners, he added. Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the Prime Minster Shri Narendra Modi has directed that Pensioners be provided a hassle-free administrative system to resolve their grievances. Dr. Jitendra Singh also appealed to the States to implement the Good Governance measures taken by the Central Government.

Speaking about the benefits of the Grievance Portal for the Central Government pensioners called CPENGRAMS, the Minister said that we have saved huge resources and precious time of the people by using the technology.

The Minister said that a number of reforms have been undertaken by the Government to facilitate the pensioners. Highlighting the initiatives of the Government, he said that one of the main initiatives taken was to fix the minimum pension at Rs. 1,000. He said that other initiatives such as Bhavishya, Sankalp, Jeevan Praman-digital life certificates, doing away with the obsolete laws and self-attestation, among others have also been taken. He said that a mechanism has been put in place where pensioner will get PPO on the day of his retirement. He further said that the retired population is increasing in India and we should do our best to channelize their energies in a positive manner. There should be smooth transition from their active life to retired life, he added. The pensioners should re-orient themselves to a new beginning, the Minister said.

The Pension Adalats are being convened with the objective of bringing on a common table the aggrieved pensioner, the concerned department, the bank or CGHS representative, wherever relevant, so that such cases can be settled across the table within the framework of extant rules.

On the occasion, Dr. Jitendra Singh gave away the third Anubhav Awards-2018 to six Central Government employees to recognise their contribution to the Anubhav portal which is designed to create an institutional memory for successive generations of Central Government employees. Congratulating the awardees, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that under Anubhav, the retiring employees give an account of their experiences during service. He said that these experiences are an important account for research and resource for administrative reference and thus will help in improving our working.

The Anubhav scheme was instituted at the call of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the year 2015. Till date, more than 5,000 contributions have been made for Anubhavs by Government employees from 91 Departments.

The Secretary, Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare and Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, Shri K. V. Eapen, in his welcome address, said that the aim of the Department is to provide a life to dignity to the pensioners post-retirement.

Besides the Pension Adalat, a Pre-Retirement Counselling (PRC) was also conducted for the Central Government employees who are about to retire in the next six months. 600 retiring Central Government employees participated in this PRC out of which a significant number were from the Central Armed Police Forces. The objective of the PRC Workshop is to create awareness about post-retirement entitlements as well as to educate them on advance planning for retirement including medical facilities and participation in voluntary activities after retirement.

Tags : Pension Adalat Awards Inauguration

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Press Information Bureau

17.09.2018

Banking

Government initiates consolidation - amalgamated entity to be India's third largest bank

MANU/PIBU/1333/2018

First-ever three-way bank amalgamation process commences Government paves the way for amalgamated Public Sector Banks with global heft and business synergies for providing wider products & services and enhanced access.

The Alternative Mechanism comprising of its Chairperson, the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley and Cabinet Ministers, Shri Piyush Goyal and Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman met here today in New Delhi and decided that Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank may consider amalgamation of the three banks. The envisaged amalgamation will be the First-ever three-way consolidation of banks in India, with a combined business of Rs. 14.82 lakh crore, making it India's Third Largest Bank.

The consolidation will help create a strong globally competitive bank with economies of scale and enable realisation of wide-ranging synergies. Leveraging of networks, low-cost deposits and subsidiaries of the three banks has the potential of yielding significant synergies for positioning the consolidated entity for substantial rise in customer base, market reach, operational efficiency, wider bouquet of products and services, and improved access for customers.

Some of the strengths of the envisaged amalgamated entity are-

Provision Coverage Ratio (PCR) at 67.5% is well above Public Sector Banks (PSBs) average (63.7%), and steadily increasing.

Net NPA ratio at 5.71% significantly better than PSB average (12.13%), and declining further.

Gross NPAs for the combined entity have started declining (decline of Rs. 1,048 crore in Q1).

Cost to income ratio of the combined entity at 48.94% better than the PSB average of 53.92%.

Dena Bank's strength in MSME will further augment the strength of the other two to position the amalgamated bank for being an MSME Udyamimitra.

Capital Adequacy Ratio (CRAR) at 12.25% is significantly above the regulatory norm of 10.875%, and stronger amalgamated bank will be better positioned to tap capital markets.

Significant cost benefits from synergies: Larger distribution network will reduce operating and distribution costs with benefits for the amalgamated bank, its customers and their subsidiaries.

Global network strength of Bank of Baroda will be leveraged to enable customers of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank to have global access.

Access improvement through amalgamation of networks.

Wider range of products and services through leveraging of bank subsidiaries and leveraging of a larger network for offering more value-added non-banking services and products.

Tags : Amalgamated entity Largest bank Initiation

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Ministry of Finance 

17.09.2018

Customs

Amendment in Notification No. 50/2017-Customs, dated the 30th June, 2017

MANU/CUST/0076/2018

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 25 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962) and sub-section (12) of section 3 of the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), the Central Government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby makes the following further amendments in the notification of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 50/2017-Customs, dated the 30th June, 2017, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i), vide, number G.S.R. 785(E), dated the 30th June, 2017, namely:-

In the said notification, in the third proviso for the words and figures "18th day of September, 2018", the words and figures "the 2nd day of November, 2018" shall be substituted.

Tags : Amendment Notification

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Press Information Bureau

17.09.2018

Direct Taxation

Exemption to Interest Income on Specified Off-shore Rupee Denominated Bonds

MANU/PIBU/1334/2018

Interest payable by an Indian company or a business trust to a non-resident, including a foreign company, in respect of rupee denominated bond issued outside India before the 1st of July, 2020 is liable for concessional rate of tax of Five Percent (5%). Consequently, Section 194LC of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act) provides for the deduction of tax at a lower rate of five percent on the said interest payment.

Consequent to review of the State of Economy on 14th September, 2018 by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley had announced a Multi-pronged Strategy to contain the Current Account Deficit (CAD) and augment the Foreign Exchange Inflow. In this background, Low Cost Foreign Borrowings through Off-shore Rupee Denominated Bond have been further incentivised to increase the foreign exchange inflow.

Accordingly, it has been decided that interest payable by an Indian company or a business trust to a non-resident, including a foreign company, in respect of Rupee Denominated Bond issued outside India during the period from 17th September, 2018 to 31st March, 2019 shall be exempt from tax, and consequently, no tax shall be deducted on the payment of interest in respect of the said Bond under Section 194LC of the Act.

Legislative amendments in this regard shall be proposed in due course.

Tags : Interest Income Denominated Bonds Exemption

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