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ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

Major Boost for Development Programs in North-East

Expenditure worth Rs. 4500 crore approved for three years up to March 2020.

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The Union Cabinet of the Narendra Modi-led government has approved the following schemes of M/o DONER for continuation till March 2020:

  • Under the Schemes  of  NEC – Special   Development  Projects, with the  existing funding pattern (90:10 basis) for ongoing projects and on 100% Central funding for new projects;
  • For other projects funded by NEC – both Revenue and Capital – as 100% Central funding basis, to continue with the existing pattern;
  • Extension   of   100%   centrally   funded   North   Eastern   Road   Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS);
  • Transfer to  NEC for implementation,  the  Non-Lapsable Central  Pool  of Resources (NLCPR-C);
  • Proposal to ensure optimization of resources through the convergence of efforts of various Ministries/Departments.

The projects under the existing Schemes of NEC, NLCPR (Central) and NERSDS will accrue socio-economic benefits to the people of North Eastern Region enhancing their capabilities and livelihood.

Presently, the major chunk of projects (599 projects out of 840) with 72.12% approved cost (Rs.5375.12 crore out of total Rs.7453.02 crore) and 66% of pending liabilities (Rs 1518.64 crore out of Rs 2299.72 crore) for all ongoing projects is funded through “the Schemes of NEC- Special Development Project”-wherein funds for the selected projects are shared between Centre and State on 90:10 basis and the execution of work is done by the respective State Governments.

Apart from this, some funds are provided – both Revenue and Capital – as 100% Central funding basis, implemented through State and Central agencies.

The Scheme of NEC – Special Development Project will be changed to be a Central Sector Scheme with 100% grant, instead of the earlier block grant on 90:10 basis. The remaining component will continue to be funded on 100% Central funding basis as at present.

Apart from the above, NEC is also implementing “North Eastern Road Sector Development Scheme – Programme Component” for upgradation of the important and strategic inter-state roads. Transferred from DONER to NEC for implementation, the scheme is 100% Centrally funded.

A sum of Rs. 1000 crore has been allocated under the scheme.

Another Scheme namely “Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources-Central [NLCPR (Central)]”, presently funded by M/o DoNER, provides resources to the concerned line Ministries/their agencies for projects like Agartala-Akhaura Rail Link, checking erosion in Majuli Island. This Scheme will also be transferred to NEC for implementation.

Previously, there was no fixed arrangement for distributing the funds to State or Central component.  Now, the total funds available to NEC are proposed to be bifurcated into two components (State component – 60% and Central component – 40%).  The State component would be utilised for the projects in each State as per their share on a normative allocation basis.

For the Central component, the projects having regional character, requiring Inter-Ministerial intervention are to be taken up.

Priority sectors have been identified such as bamboo; piggery; regional tourism; higher education, tertiary healthcare & special intervention in backward areas; livelihood project; Science & Technology Interventions in NER; Survey & Investigation and NER Promotion.

By the above, a clear apportionment or division of sectors is ensured between DoNER and NEC to avoid duplication.

In order to give a boost to the Tourism in NE Region, amongst other things,  the outstanding liabilities in tourism sector under Product Infrastructure Development for Destinations & Circuits (PIDDC) may also be addressed.

Further, a mechanism on the pattern of Standing Finance Committee  (SFC) with representatives from the concerned line Ministries and from Ministry of DoNER would be constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary, NEC for approval of the projects costing between Rs. 5-15 crore.

This is aimed at bringing synergy with programmes of other Union Ministries and avoiding of duplication through the process of SFC.

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ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

IMF Sees Greater Role for India in the Indo-Pacific

At the same time, the IMF believes there is scope to do more on trade reform in India.

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WASHINGTON D.C. (United States): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said India’s role in the development of the Indo-Pacific region will continue to expand because of its robust growth.

Deputy Director of Asia and Pacific Department in the IMF, Ken Kang said in a news conference in Washington that India’s growth is rising to 7.8% in 2019 from 7.4% in 2017-2018 and there is room to increase its export orientation and to reduce further barriers.

Answering a question on the role India can play in the development and growth of the Indo-Pacific region, Kang, said there is scope to do more on trade reform.

He said the statutory tariff rate in India is relatively high at about 15% and higher than those in the rest of the region.

The IMF in the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) has projected India to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019.

China is expected to grow respectively at 6.6% and 6.4% in the two years.

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ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

Delhi Police Busts Bitcoin-Virtual Currency Racket

The accused have cheated thousands of people through their online portal.

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NEW DELHI: The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Saturday busted a Bitcoin-virtual currency racket and arrested two people for allegedly duping people.

They allegedly launched a fraudulent scheme on the pretext of high returns on bitcoin investment.

As per the information, the accused have cheated thousands of people through their online portal.

Under their scheme, the returns to the tune of 12 percent in a month were offered. They also offered a monthly payout and referral income for the persons on the top line.

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ECONOMY-DEVELOPMENT

RBI Revises its KYC Guidelines

This will be subject to the final decision of the Supreme Court on making of Aadhaar mandatory.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): The Reserve Bank of India has revised its “Know Your Customer” or the KYC guidelines.

It said the KYC norms have been revised following the government’s decision to update the ‘Prevention of Money Laundering’ rules in June last year.

In a circular issued in Mumbai, the RBI made linking of national biometric ID Aadhaar to bank accounts mandatory.

However, it said this will be subject to the final decision of the Supreme Court on making of Aadhaar mandatory.

Till now, an Officially Valid Document for address proof together with Permanent Account Number issued by the Income Tax department and a recent passport size photograph were the key KYC documents.

But in the amended Customer Due Diligence procedure, the Aadhaar number, the PAN or Form No. 60 need to be obtained from an individual who is eligible for applying for the biometric ID.

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