8 July 2019

Notifications & Circulars

Press Information Bureau



Headline inflation based on CPI-C declined to 3.4 per cent in 2018-19


Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index () declines over last five years, and remains below 2.0 per cent for the last two consecutive years Rural Inflation (CPI) declined during FY 2018-19; many States witnessed fall in CPI Inflation during FY 2018-19.

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Parliament today. The Economic Survey states that the economy witnessed a gradual transition from a period of high and variable inflation to more stable and low level of inflation in the last five years.

The Survey notes, "Headline inflation based on the Consumer Price index - Combined (CPI-C) has been declining continuously for the last five years. Headline CPI inflation declined to 3.4 per cent in 2018-19 from 3.6 per cent in 2017-18, 4.5 per cent in 2016-17, 4.9 per cent 2015-16 and 5.9 per cent in 2014-15". The Economic Survey further adds, "It stood at 2.9 per cent in April 2019 as compared to 4.6 per cent in April 2018. Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) declined to a low of 0.1 per cent during the financial year 2018-19".

Referring to Inflation based on Wholesale Price Index (WPI), the survey states, "It remained moderate at 3.0 per cent in 2017-18 compared to 1.7 per cent in 2016-17, (-)3.7 per cent in 2015-16 and 1.2 per cent in 2014-15. During FY 2018-19, WPI inflation stood at 4.3 per cent".

Current trends in Inflation

Referring to the current trends in Inflation, the Economic Survey states "The CPI-C inflation for the month of April 2019 stood at 2.9 per cent same as in March 2019 as compared to 4.6 per cent in April 2018". It further states that the decline in the inflation in the FY 2018-19 was mainly due to low food inflation which ranged between (-) 2.6 to 3.1 per cent.

According to the Economic Survey, Food Inflation in the country has been extremely benign. It stood at 1.1 per cent in April 2019 compared to 0.3 per cent in March 2019 and 2.8 per cent in April, 2018. Food inflation based on Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) declined to 1.8 per cent in 2017-18 from 4.2 per cent in 2016-17, 4.9 per cent in 2015-16 and 6.4 per cent in 2014-15. Average food inflation for the financial year 2018-19 declined to a low of 0.1 per cent. "The food deflation in the second half of FY 2018-19 is mainly due to deflation in vegetables, fruits, pulses and products, sugar & confectionary and eggs, which together account for 13.1 per cent rate in overall CPI-C", the Survey notes.

The Survey further states, "Food inflation based on Wholesale Price Index too declined over the last two financial years. It was over 0.6 per cent in 2018-19. WPI food inflation was at 4.9 per cent in April, 2019 as compared to 3.9 per cent in March, 2019 and 0.8 per cent in April, 2018".

Reduction in both Rural & Urban Inflation

According to the Economic Survey, the current phase of low inflation is also marked by reduction in both urban and rural inflation. It states that the decline in rural inflation is steeper than that of urban inflation since July, 2018 resulting in decline in headline inflation. "Fall in rural inflation is due to moderation in food inflation, which has been negative for last six months (October 2018 to March, 2019)" the Survey adds.

Many State Witness Fall in CPI Inflation

The Survey notes that many States witnessed fall in CPI inflation during FY 2018-19 and Inflation in 23 States/UTs was below 4 percent in FY 2018-19. It further states that as many as 16 States/UTs had inflation rate lower than All India average for FY 2018-19 with Daman & Diu having the lowest inflation followed by Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

Drivers of Inflation

According to the Economic Survey, at all India level, CPI-C inflation during FY 2018-19 was driven mainly by miscellaneous group followed by housing as well as fuel and light group. The Survey further states that the relative importance of services in shaping up headline inflation has increased as it has contributed more than its weight. 40 items of services account for 23.37 per cent weight in CPI-C.

Measures to Contain Inflation

Elaborating the measures taken by the Government to contain inflation, the Economic Survey states that controlling Inflation remains a key area of policy focus. The Government has taken a number of measures to control inflation specially food inflation. "The measures, inter alia, taken include both general measures and specific measures", the Survey adds.

According the Survey, the general measures include regular monitoring of Inflation, issuing advisories to States against hoarding and black marketing, holding regular review meetings on prices and availability of key commodities, higher Minimum Support Prices for pulses and other crops to incentivize production and setting up of Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) for procurement of agri-horticultural commodities.

As per the Survey, the specific measures taken by the Government include releasing the onions at reasonable prices from the stock procured under PSF, utilization of pulses from buffer for strategic market interventions and to meet the requirements of Army and Central Para-Military Forces, etc.

Tags : Inflation CFPI Decline

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Press Information Bureau



Availability of officers to hear Public Grievances


As per the guidelines issued by the Government of India, each Ministry/Department is required to nominate a Director of Public Grievances for ensuring proper action on public grievances. Every Wednesday of the week has been earmarked for receiving and hearing of grievance petitions in person by the Directors of Public Grievances in each Ministry/Department.

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 written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

Tags : Officers Availability Public Grievances

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Press Information Bureau



Debt recovery mechanism strengthened with the enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 - Survey


The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Parliament today. Taking note of the recent successes in recovery of loans since the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 came into effect, the Survey proposes further strengthening of the National Company Law Tribunals (NCLT) and the appellate tribunal.

The Survey says the ecosystem for insolvency and bankruptcy is getting systematically built out with recovery and resolution of significant amount of distressed assets. Till March 31, 2019, the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) yielded a resolution of 94 cases which has resulted in the settlement of claims worth Rs.1,73,359 crore. Moreover, as on February 28, 2019, 6,079 cases involving a total amount of Rs. 2.84 lakh crores have been withdrawn before admission under provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Further, as per RBI reports, Rs. 50,000 crore has been received by banks from previously non-performing accounts. RBI also reports that additional Rs. 50,000 crore has been "upgraded" from non-standard to standard assets. Taking note of the accelerated recoveries, the Economic Survey says, all these shows behavioural change for the wider lending ecosystem even before entering the IBC process.

Terming the IBC as "one of the most important economic reforms of recent times designed to effectively deal with non-performing Corporate Debtors, the Survey says "the NCLT infrastructure requires to be scaled up" so as to achieve timely resolution of debt recovery.

"The Government is actively considering measures to address delays and has created six additional posts of the judicial and technical members for NCLAT. Setting up Circuit Benches of NCLAT is under consideration," the Survey points out.

At present, there are 32 Judicial Members and 17 Technical Members of the NCLT in 20 Benches located in major cities.

The Survey notes, "the IBC has initiated a cultural shift in the dynamics between lender and borrower, promoter and creditor. Before enactment of the IBC, the recovery mechanisms available to lenders were through Lok Adalat, Debt Recovery Tribunal and SARFAESI Act. While the earlier mechanisms resulted in a low average recovery of 23%, the recoveries have risen to 43% under the IBC regime.

The Survey says, since enactment of the IBC, India significantly improved its 'Resolving Insolvency' ranking 108 in 2019 from 134 in 2014 where it remained stagnating for several years. Last year India won the Global Restructuring Review award for the most improved jurisdiction. An IMF-World Bank study in January 2018 observed "India is moving towards a new state-of-the-art bankruptcy regime."

Stating that the future of IBC lies in the hands of young entrepreneurs, professionals and scholars contributing to a robust economic order through a dynamic insolvency framework, the Survey says the government is in the process of creating a suitable architecture comprising programmes and institutions that will help in advancing this goal. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has announced the launch of Graduate Insolvency Programme (GIP), the first of its kind, for those aspiring to take up the discipline of Insolvency Programmes as a career or other roles in the value chain.

Stating that most sophisticated economies have well-developed cross border insolvency laws, the Survey states India has initiated the steps to adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency. The IBBI has also set up two separate Working Groups on Group and Individual Insolvencies.

Tags : Debt recovery Mechanism Strengthening of

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Reserve Bank of India



Inclusion of "India Post Payments Bank Limited" in the Second Schedule of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934


We advise that the "India Post Payments Bank Limited" has been included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 vide Notification DBR.NBD.(PB-IPPB).No.9980/16.13.215/2018-19 dated May 27, 2019 and published in the Gazette of India (Part III - Section 4) dated June 22- June 28, 2019.

Tags : Post Payments Bank Inclusion

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Press Information Bureau



Linking of Organic Farming With Processing


Government of India has been promoting traditional farming in the States through dedicated Schemes, namely, Mission Organic Value Chain Development North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER) and Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) since 2015-16. Under these schemes assistance is provided to the farmers for on-farm and off-farm input production/procurement, creation of post harvest infrastructure and connecting it through production to processing by the following ways :

(i) Market linkage of producer clusters with some major agri-business, phytochemical and online grocery stores have been established under MOVCDNER.

(ii) Providing incentives for infrastructure creation, storage, grading, packaging, branding, publicity, transportation, value addition, development of integrated value chain and organic fairs.

(iii) Promoting formation of Farmer Producers Companies (FPCs)/ Organizations (FPOs)/Clusters, thereby assisting member farmers to receive remunerative prices for their organic produce due to improved economies of scale, value addition and access to market for their organic produce.

(iv) Government has launched a www.jaivikkheti.in portal acting both as a knowledge as well as marketing platform. Details of farmers involved in Organic farming, input suppliers, certification agencies (PGS) and marketing agencies are available for smooth implementation from production to marketing. PKVY/PGS groups can take the advantage of this portal for capacity building, technical know-how, communicating with marketing channels/ other groups and direct marketing of their produce to prospective buyers and consumers.

Tags : Organic Farming Processing Linking of

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Press Information Bureau





Bt. cotton is the only Genetically Modified (GM) crop approved in 2002 by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for commercial cultivation in the Country and, therefore, cultivation of other unapproved GM crops are banned in India. Few incidences of suspected open cultivation of Bt. brinjal and HT cotton were reported in Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has issued advisories to States to take appropriate necessary action to curb and control the spread of Bt. Brinjal and HT cotton. State Governments have given the directions to all District Administration to take necessary legal steps to curb the production and selling of illegal GM crops.

There is a well established regulatory framework for approval of GM Crops as per "Rules for the Manufacture/Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989" under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 in the Country.

Evaluation of each application of GM crop is done on a case-to-case basis after a thorough examination of health, environment, food and feed safety assessment studies undertaken in a systematic and scientific manner as per prescribed guidelines, manuals and standard operating procedures stipulated by various regulatory agencies under the Rules, 1989 from time to time. The data generated by the applicants is reviewed at every step in the development process of GM crops by various Statutory Committees under the Rules, 1989 such as Institutional Biosafety Committee, Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation and Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee.

A series of guidelines and protocols have been issued by Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change relating to Genetically Modified Organisms and product thereof as under:

Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1990

Revised Guidelines for Research in Transgenic Plants, 1998

Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically Engineered Plants, 2008

Guidelines for the monitoring of Confined Field Trials of Regulated, Genetically Engineered (GE) Plants, 2008

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Confined Field Trials of Regulated, Genetically Engineered (GE) Plants, 2008

Protocol for Food and Feed Safety Assessment of GE crops, 2008

Guidelines and Handbook for Institutional Bio-safety Committees (IBSCs), 2011

Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Plants: A Guide for Stakeholders, 2016

Guidelines for the Environmental Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Plants, 2016.

x Risk Analysis Framework, 2016.

Tags : BAN Cultivation GM CROPS

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Press Information Bureau



Credit Cards for Fishermen


The Government of India has extended the facility of Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to help them meet their working capital needs. The KCC facility will help fisheries and animal husbandry farmers to meet their short term credit requirements of rearing of animals, poultry birds, fish, shrimp, other aquatic organisms and capture of fish.

Under Kisan Credit Card (KCC) facility, for the existing KCC holders the credit limit is Rs. 3 lakh including animal husbandry and fisheries activities whereas the KCC holders for animal husbandry and fisheries have the credit limit of Rs. 2 lakh to meet their working capital requirements for animal husbandry and fisheries activities. Under KCC facility, Interest subvention is available for animal husbandry and fisheries farmers @ 2% per annum at the time of disbursal of loan and additional interest subvention @ 3 % per annum in case of prompt repayment as Prompt Repayment Incentive.

The criteria for eligible beneficiaries under Kisan Credit Card (KCC) for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries is as follows:.

I. Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture:

Fishers, Fish Farmers (individual & groups/partners/share croppers/tenant farmers), Self Help Groups, Joint Liability Groups and Woman groups.

The beneficiaries must own or lease any of the fisheries related activities such as pond, tank, open water bodies, raceway, hatchery, rearing unit, possess necessary license for fish farming and fishing related activities, and any other State specific fisheries and allied activities.

II. Marine Fisheries

Beneficiaries as listed at 1.1 above who own or lease registered fishing vessel, boat, possess necessary fishing license/permission for fishing in estuary and sea, fish farming/mariculture activities in estuaries and open sea and any other State specific fisheries and allied activities

III. Poultry and small ruminant

Farmers, poultry farmers either individuals or joint borrower, Joint Liability Groups or Self Help Groups including tenant farmers of sheep/goats/pigs/poultry/birds/rabbit and having owned/rented/leased sheds.

IV. Dairy

Farmers and Dairy farmers either individuals or joint borrower, Joint Liability Groups or Self Help Groups including tenant farmers having owned/rented/leased sheds.

Tags : Credit Cards Facility Fishermen

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