11 March 2019

Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau



Single Card for Seamless Travel through different Metros and Other Transport Systems, National Common Mobility Card - India's First Indigenously developed Payment Platform launched by PM in Ahmedabad


One Nation, One Card for transport mobility was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a function in Ahmedabad yesterday. The Indigenous Automatic Fare Collection System based on One Nation One Card Model i.e. National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) is the first of its kind in India. India's First Indigenously Developed Payment system for transport consisting of NCMC Card, SWEEKAR (SwachalitKiraya: Automatic Fare Collection System) and SWAGAT (Swachalit Gate) is based on NCMC Standards.

These are bank issued Debit/Credit/Prepaid cards and the customer may use this single card for payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail. The stored value on card supports offline transaction across all travel needs with minimal financial risk to involved stakeholders. The service area feature of this card supports operator specific applications e.g. monthly passes, season tickets etc.

The National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) to enable seamless travel by different metros and other transport systems across the country besides retail shopping and purchases is an initiative of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs. The card will address the challenges associated with the cash payment e.g. cash handling, revenue leakages, cash reconciliation etc. Various initiatives have been taken by transit operators to automate & digitize the fare collection using Automatic Fare Collection System (AFC). The introduction of closed loop cards issued by these operators helped to digitize the fare collection to a significant extent. However, the restricted usability of these payment instruments limits the digital adoption by customers.

The customers need not carry multiple cards for different usage. Further, the super quick contactless transactions will improve the seamless experience. This will also help in higher digital payments penetration, savings on closed loop card lifecycle management cost and reduced operating cost. The rich data insights may be used by operators for business intelligence leading to efficient operation.

Tags : Single Card Seamless Travel Payment Platform Launch

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Press Information Bureau



India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 25.2 Million for Chhattisgarh Public Financial Management and Accountability Program


The Government of India, the State Government of Chhattisgarh and the World Bank signed here in New Delhi today a $25.2 Million Loan Agreement to support the State's Reforms in Expenditure Management. This support will cover Expenditure Planning, Investment Management, Budget Execution, Public Procurement and Accountability.

The Chhattisgarh Public Financial Management and Accountability Program, which is the First Bank-Financed State-Level Project in Chhattisgarh in nearly a decade, will also help the State strengthen its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Tax Administration Systems.

The New Project will build capacity of the State's Human Resources and the Institutions Handling Management of Public Finances. The World Bank will facilitate cross-learning from Public Financial Management (PFM) Reforms undertaken by it in other Indian States while bringing in global experiences.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that the Government of India supports reforms that will contribute toward improving Public Expenditure Management. The Chhattisgarh PFM reflects the priorities identified by the State, and builds, incrementally, on ongoing reforms around Public Financial Management, he added.

The Loan Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Ms Kamal Preet Dhillon, Secretary, Finance, on behalf of the Government of Chhattisgarh; and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank.

After the Loan Signing Ceremony, Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank said that the Chhattisgarh Government has correctly identified improvements in Public Financial Management as a key step for achieving its development potential. This will ensure that the State can invest more and with greater efficiency, for its poor and vulnerable. He said that the New Project, with its focus on IT solutions, will benefit almost 11,000 Village Panchayats and 168 Urban Municipalities in the State.

With 92 % households in the State belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, the Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) are increasingly being used by the Central and State Governments to channel resources to households and individuals. The Program will support development of systems that will facilitate inter-departmental data interaction under secured protocols and automate most of the processing and payment of DBTs in the State.

Almost 11,000 Village Panchayats and 168 Urban Municipalities in Chhattisgarh are likely to benefit from the program's emphasis on transparency and accountability. It will also support the State Government's initiative to put in place systems to automate most of the processing and payment of DBTs to beneficiaries; improve property tax collection through the digitization of property tax rolls; and extending the property surveys to 47 municipalities. Enhanced outreach and improved tax return filing performance are also likely to help the State's objective of increasing the number of GST Taxpayer Registrations.

Mr. Manvinder Mamak and Mr. Papia Bhattacharjee, Senior World Bank Financial Management Specialists, and Mr. John Blomquist, Lead Economist and the Task Team Leaders for the Program said that with enhanced devolution of taxes, 60 percent of the Public Expenditure now takes place at the State Level. This, coupled with greater flexibility in Planning Development Programs to suit local needs, deepening Public Financial Management Capacity at the State Level is imperative. They said that the World Bank's international experience and learning from other States of India will help Chhattisgarh gain from appropriate solutions.

The $25.2 Million Loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a final maturity of 10.5 years.

Tags : Loan Agreement World bank Signing of

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India


Media and Communication

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released a Report on 'Mobile Network QoS on Delhi Airport and Dhaula Kuan'


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today released a Report on 'Mobile Network QoS on Delhi Airport and Dhaula Kuan'. Full text of the report is available on TRAI's website.

TRAI undertook an extensive drive test and general inspection of the Delhi Airport Area (includes, airport terminal area, runway and apron area etc), Airport Express Line and Approach Roads from Dhaula Kuan to Airport. The deficiencies in the area have been identified and highlighted in the report. Additionally, probable solutions to the issues have been addressed in the report. Technologies and innovative solutions which may be deployed to improve network Quality of Service (QoS) have also been mentioned.

Key findings of report are summarized below:

a) Assessment of quality of service, in this specific area, measured on average Drop Call Rate (DCR) basis is satisfactory for almost all Telecom Service providers (TSPs).

b) However, in certain patches of tested and inspected areas, issues related to poor network have been observed. Capabilities of IBS deployed at Terminal 3 is not same as of outdoor network and due to this QoS is affected. The degree of extent of problems varies in different pockets and scenarios. Poor quality is linked with infrastructure deficiencies. In order to overcome such deficiencies agencies such as GMR, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Defence (MoD), who are controlling the area and granting the permissions to install towers, are required to own the responsibilities to solve the problem of the quality of mobile networks in their areas and extend the necessary support to TSPs to take remedial measures.

c) Authorities are required to change the model of selecting Infrastructure Provider (IP) from current practice of selecting bidders giving higher revenue to bidders who is offering lower cost to build and maintain QoS.

d) TSPs need to explore and deploy more innovative solutions to maintain performance of network at a level which is required to maintain good quality experience of the users

e) TSPs need to coordinate on more regular basis with authorities controlling the area and buildings, such as GMR/DIAL, DMRC, Ministry of Defence (MOD) to improve upon the services.

f) Testing in areas difficult to approach need to be carry out by TSPs on regular basis of the area so as to optimize their networks.

g) DoT need to examine various structural issues highlighted in the report in solving the problems of QoS.

Tags : Report Release Mobile Network

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Press Information Bureau



'Centre for Disability Sports' to be set up at Gwalior


A 'Centre for Disability Sports 'will be set up at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. The proposal regarding setting up of it has been approved by the Government. It will be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, which is to function under the name of Centre for Disability Sports, Gwalior. Improved sports infrastructure created by this Centre will ensure effective participation of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in sports activities and also enable them to compete at national and international levels. Setting up of the Centre will develop a sense of belonging in Divyangjan to facilitate their integration in society.

Taking 1st April, 2019 as the zero date, the project is expected to be completed in two year time, i.e, by 31st March, 2021. Thereafter, it will take another 6 months for the Centre to become operational. Once operational, this Centre will result in employment of 140 personnel. In addition, construction and allied activities will also generate considerable employment opportunities. Setting up of the Centre shall entail an estimated cost of Rs. 170.99 crore (Non-recurring Rs. 151.16 crore and Recurring Rs. 19.83 crore), spread over a period of 5 years.

The Centre will have an Outdoor Athletic Stadium, Indoor Sports Complex, Basement Parking Facility; Aquatic Centre having 2 Swimming Pools, one covered Pool and an Outdoor Pool; High Performance Centre with classrooms; medical facilities; Sports Science Centre; hostel facilities for athletes, support facilities including accessible lockers, dining, recreational amenities and Administrative Block. The facilities so developed would be multi-functional centres with provision for training, selection, sports academics and research, medical support, spectator galleries and suitable for holding national/international events.

The sports identified for training in the Centre are as under:

Integrated sports (Indoor) like Badminton, Basketball, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Judo, Taekwondo, Fencing and Rugby;

Adapted sports (Indoor) like Boccia, Goalball, Football 5 a side, Para Dance Sport and Para Power Lifting;

Integrated sports (Outdoor) like Athletics, Archery, Football 7 a side and Tennis; and

Integrated sports (Indoor & Outdoor) - Swimming.

Tags : Disability Sports Centre Gwalior

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Press Information Bureau



Government decides to allow one more opportunity to employees of Public Sector Insurance Companies who joined on or before 28th June, 1995


The Government of India has decided to allow one more opportunity to employees of Public Sector Insurance Companies (PSICs) who joined on or before 28th June 1995, to opt for Pension, as a retirement benefit. Pension was introduced as a retirement benefit in PSICs with effect from 28th June 1995. In April 1997, employees of LIC and Public Sector General Insurance Companies namely, GIC, NICL, OICL, UIICL and NIACL, who joined service on or before 28th June 1995 were given another opportunity to opt for Pension, as a retirement benefit. However, many eligible employees could not exercise the option and there has been a long standing demand from them to be given another option.

In order to mitigate the hardship of such employees of whom many have retired, Government has decided as a welfare measure, to allow one more opportunity to employees of PSICs who joined service on or before 28th June 1995, to opt for the Pension scheme of their respective organizations, in lieu of Contributory Provident Fund. This decision is expected to benefit 42,720 employees (serving and retired) of which 24,595 are of LIC and 18,125 of PSGICs.

Tags : Opportunity Employees Pension Option

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Reserve Bank of India



RBI introduces the Voluntary Retention Route for Investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs)


The Statement on Development and Regulatory Policies in the Monetary Policy Statement dated October 05, 2018 had announced a separate scheme called 'Voluntary Retention Route' (VRR) to encourage Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) to undertake long-term investments in Indian debt markets. Under this scheme, FPIs have been given greater operational flexibility in terms of instrument choices besides exemptions from certain regulatory requirements. A discussion paper on the VRR scheme was placed on the Reserve Bank's website for public consultation. Based on the feedback from the public and in consultation with Government of India, the scheme has been finalized and has been notified today, vide, A.P (DIR Series) Circular No. 21 dated March 1, 2019.

Investment under the VRR scheme shall be open for allotment from March 11, 2019. The details are as under:

The aggregate investment limit shall be Rs. 40,000 crores for VRR-Govt. and Rs. 35,000 crores for VRR-Corp.

The minimum retention period shall be three years. During this period, FPIs shall maintain a minimum of 75% of the allocated amount in India.

Investment limits shall be available on tap for investments and shall be allotted by Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) on 'first come first served' basis.

The investment limits under the current tranche shall be kept open till the limits are exhausted or till April 30, 2019 whichever is earlier.

FPIs desirous of investing may apply online to CCIL through their respective custodians.

CCIL will separately notify the operational details of application and allotment.

Tags : Voluntary Retention Route Investments FPIs

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Press Information Bureau



Government of India and ADB sign $926 Million Loan Agreement for Mumbai Metro Rail Project


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $926 Million Loan Agreement today to operationalize two lines for the Mumbai Metro Rail System that will ease the distress of millions of commuters each day and help provide a cleaner, less congested city.

The Single Largest Infrastructure Project Loan in ADB history approved by the ADB Board on 26 February, 2019 - will help fund lines 2A (Dahisar to D.N. Nagar), 2B (D.N. Nagar-Bandra-Mandale), and 7 (Dahisar [East] to Andheri [East]), totalling about 58 kilometers (km). The project will fund 63 six-car trains, signaling and safety systems, and help establish a new dedicated metro operations organization to manage the entire metro network in Mumbai. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will implement the project.

Once operational by the end of 2022, an estimated 2 million passengers a day will use the two new lines, travelling in improved safety and comfort. It will also reduce emissions from vehicles, with carbon dioxide emissions expected to fall by about 166,000 tons a year.

"ADB financing will ease travel for millions of commuters across Mumbai, help decongest heavily crowded suburban rail systems, and contribute to providing modern, clean, and liveable urban environment to its citizens," said Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission who signed the loan agreement for ADB.

"The New Mumbai Metro is an ambitious and truly transformative venture planned by the state government which will contribute to enhance the efficiency of the urban transport network and productivity of India's financial center," said Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance who signed the loan on behalf of Government of India.

Mumbai, with a population of about 12 million, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and renowned as the financial capital of India. Maharashtra accounts for about 15% of India's gross domestic product, about 40% of which is generated from the Mumbai metropolitan region. Rail is the primary means of transport in Mumbai, where the suburban network totals almost 400 km and carries more than 7.5 million passengers a day.

Recognizing the transportation challenges, the government has developed a plan for 12 metro lines with a total length of 276 km. Line 1, completed in 2014 on a public-private partnership model, carries about 400,000 passengers a day and has reduced travel time along its east-west route from 71 minutes to 21 minutes. Other new metro lines will ease travel and make the city more livable and competitive. Since access to the stations is sometimes difficult, ADB is also assisting MMRDA to improve last mile connectivity by piloting electric vehicles and non-motorized transport at select stations.

Carriages procured under this project will feature high-level safety features and automation, including surveillance systems, door closing, and train obstacle detectors. Platforms will have automatic doors, which will be synchronized with the trains, so there will no longer be a danger of surging crowds pushing passengers onto the tracks. The tracks will be elevated about 9 meters above road level, ensuring no nearby residents are put at risk.

Various features that will benefit women include women-only carriages, mobile applications for women's security, separate ticket counters, and reporting desks to address incidents of harassment. It will ensure women have improved opportunities for employment along the new lines, including a station staffed only by women. There will be station and carriage facilities for elderly or differently-abled passengers including priority e-ticket counters.

The Project also marks ADB's first co-financing with the Shanghai-based New Development Bank, which will provide $260 million toward the metro systems project. The MMRDA will implement civil works and other related components for the lines 2A, 2B, and 7.

Tags : Loan Agreement Signing of Rail Project

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Press Information Bureau



Tribal Affairs Ministry to Hold Meeting with States on 6th March to Ensure Effective Implementation of Supreme Court Directions in the Case of Sts and OTFDS Under FRA 2006


The matter pertaining to eviction of Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) whose claims for forest land rights have been rejected under FRA 2006, had come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on 28.02.2019 where Shri Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General represented the Ministry of Tribal Affairs besides counsels of several States.

The Solicitor General had put across that since 2014, the Ministry had been exhorting the States to carry out effective implementation of the Act. He also spoke about various letters written to this effect by Ministry of Tribal Affairs to the States and the meeting proposed by Ministry of Tribal Affairs with the State Governments on the process being followed by them in respect of claims filed, rejected as well as the exact details of the rejection cases. The Court was also apprised on the composition and functions of the State Level Monitoring Committee (SLMC).

The Apex Court gave following important directions:

The Order dated 13.02.2019 was stayed as regards evictions to be carried out. However, the order relating to the satellite survey to be carried out by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) to place on record the encroachment position was retained at the request of the counsel for Wildlife Trust of India.

The Court directed that the State Governments should file detailed affidavits by 10th July, 2019 giving information regarding constitution of office Review Committees, details regarding the procedure having been followed on the claim applications under the Act as well as the appeals filed against the rejection cases.

The Court also required information to be filed as to the procedure which is to be followed after finally arriving at the rejection cases in each of the States.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is holding a meeting with these State Governments on 06.03.2019 to ensure the effective implementation of the directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court.

Tags : Implementation Directions Sts and OTFDS

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