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June 2017 Economic Affairs

  • RBI amends Banking Ombudsman Scheme
    The central bank has extended the scope of Banking Ombudsman Scheme. The Reserve bank said that under the amended scheme, a customer would also be able to lodge a complaint against the bank for its non-adherence to RBI instructions with regard to mobile banking/ electronic banking services in India. 

    As per the amendment, the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an award has been doubled to 20 lakh rupees. 

    The Reserve Bank extended the scope of Banking Ombudsman Scheme under which banks could be penalised for mis-selling third-party products like insurance and mutual funds via mobile or electronic banking. 

    Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority functioning under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006. The authority was created to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to services rendered by the lenders. 

  • RBI: States' fiscal deficit rises to Rs 4.93 trillion in FY16
    The gross fiscal deficits of all the states skyrocketed to 4,93,360 crore rupee in the last fiscal from the 18,790 crore rupee in the financial year 1991, according to the latest RBI data. 

    Most populous state Uttar Pradesh and the largest Rajasthan lead the list of states with highest deficit. According to the second edition of RBI's statistical publication titled 'Handbook of Statistics on States 2016-17', released on 25th June, the gap is projected to improve in the current fiscal. It is estimated to be 4,49,520 crore rupee as per the budget estimates of the states for financial year 2017. 

    The publication follows the 'one-indicator-one table' approach and covers all sub-national statistics on socio- demographics, state domestic product, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, banking and fiscal indicators across the states over a period ranging from 1950-51 to 2016-17. 

    It also offers data on state-wise availability of power, per capita availability of power, installed capacity of power, and power requirement, length of national highways, roads and state highways, and railheads. 

  • Centre, states will pay GST Network costs
    Filing a tax return on the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) portal by an entity will cost Rs 55 a month but the state will bear this burden. The user charge for all eight million taxpayers will be borne by the union and the state governments, to keep revenue flowing for GSTN, the company charged with providing the information technology (IT) backbone for the reform, without burdening the assesses. 

    GST is set to be rolled out from, 1st July and will absorb a slew of indirect taxes — including service tax, central excise, value added tax, central sales tax and octroi. 

    GSTN, officially a private body (it was formed at the government's behest and support), has estimated the total cost of the project at Rs 3,000 crore. That covers salaries, interest cost, security operations for five years of operation and the ongoing development period of two years. It awarded a contract worth Rs 1,320 crore to Infosys for building and maintain the IT network, crucial for implementing the proposed system across the country, for five years. 

    The Centre and states will pay Rs 550 crore to GSTN for the expenses incurred this financial year. The budget proposal was approved by the GST Council in its recent meeting. "We will get money on a per-taxpayer basis for all the cost we are incurring and other expenses that will come up. We have worked out the per-taxpayer cost," said Navin Kumar, chairman, GSTN. 

  • Model Sector Skill Centres to be set up in Haryana
    Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudi has said that Model Sector Skill Centres will be set up at Faridabad, Nuh, Hisar, Fatehabad and Bhiwani in Haryana, where trainees will be imparted training in different skills. 

    He said that these skill centres would start functioning in coming four to five months. Union Minister, with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal and Haryana Industries Minister Vipul Goyal, was reviewing the progress of Skill Development programme in the state. 

  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises launches Digital MSME Scheme
    Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on 27th June launched a Digital MSME Scheme to further boost Ministry's efforts towards making Digital India Mission successful. 

    This scheme revolves around Cloud Computing which is emerging as a cost effective and viable alternative in comparison to in-house Infrastructure installed by MSMEs. 

    In this scheme MSMEs can use the internet to access common as well as tailor-made IT infrastructure including software for managing their business processes. 

    The scheme was launched by Mr. Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises at a function in New Delhi. 

    The Minister also gave away MSME National Awards under various categories. The awardees include 50 MSMEs and six banks. The awards were given on the occasion of first International Day for MSMEs. 

    Three MoUs were also exchanged with SAP India, Intel and HMT. MSME has jointly launch Bharat ERP with Tech major SAP, a programme aimed at digital empowerment of small businesses in the country. The initial aim of this agreement is to digitally enable nearly 30 thousand MSMEs and youth in the next three years. SAP will provide software and training curriculum to trainers identified by the ministry under the 'train the trainer' method. 

  • AP MSME Corporation to be set up with Rs 100 cr
    The Andhra Pradesh Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Corporation will be set up with a budget of Rs. 100 cr to strengthen MSMEs in the state, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has said. Launching the logo of AP MSMEDC on 27th Jun e on the occasion of International MSME Day, he said the corporation would help in marketing, branding, skill development and quality improvement of MSME products. 

    He said 15 acres of land would be allotted for MSME Bhavan in Amaravati for research, development and training programmes. 

    He said the State Government would give subsidies to MSMEs at the right time and asked small entrepreneurs to adopt latest technology to meet the marketing demands. If necessary, consultants should be appointed for promotion of small enterprises and common infrastructure should be developed in industrial townships for the benefits of small entrepreneurs. 

    The Chief Minister said that in the past three years 20,448 MSME units were grounded with an investment of Rs. 9,418 cr providing employment opportunity to 2.5 lakh people in the state. 

  • Aadhaar with PAN linking mandatory 
    The Government has made it mandatory to link existing Aadhaar numbers with Permanent Account Number (PAN) of taxpayers with effect from July 1. Amending income tax rules and notifying the same, the Government has also made quoting of the 12-digit biometric Aadhaar or the enrolment ID a must at the time of application of permanent account number (PAN). The revenue department said the rules will come into force from July 1, 2017. 

    There are over 25 crore PAN card holders in the country while Aadhaar has been issued to 111 crore people. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had upheld the validity of an I-T Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and ITR filing, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy. 

  • Cabinet gives in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India
    The Cabinet gave its in-principle approval for the disinvestment of debt -ridden of public carrier Air India. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, a group will be set up to finalise modalities and details of disinvestment including the quantum of stake sale. The airline has a debt of more than 52,000 crore rupees and is surviving on a 30,000 crore rupees bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012. 

  • India needs single regulator to govern energy sector: NITI Aayog
    The NITI Aayog has made a case for a single regulator to govern India’s energy market to make its economy energy-ready in 2040. According to the draft National Energy Policy, Coal and upstream petro sectors have lacked independent, statutory regulators. NITI Aayog has sought public feedback till July 14. 

  • Govt to clear all FDI proposals in 8-10 weeks
    The government will clear all FDI proposals within a maximum of 10 weeks after the receipt of an application as per the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) on 29th June. 

    The new mechanism will replace the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) which has been abolished by the government. The move is aimed at improving investment climate of the country. 

    As per the guidelines, proposals not requiring security clearance will be cleared in eight weeks and applications that require security nod would take a cumulative time period of ten weeks. The FDI proposals requiring government's nod will have to be vetted by the concerned ministries or departments. 

    Proposals for foreign investment in sectors requiring government approval will be filed online on the revamped FIPB portal which has been renamed as Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIFP). 

  • Seventy per cent commodities to become cheaper under GST: ICAI
    With the goods and services tax (GST) set to be rolled out from July 1, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on 29th June sought to dispel the concerns about price rise due to the new indirect tax regime. The ICAI’s indirect tax committee chairman, Madhukar Narayan Hiregange, said prices of 70 per cent commodities would come down if the GST chain was not broken. 

    A study by the institute has revealed that the GST regime would yield Rs 6,700 crore to the Delhi exchequer in the current financial year as people from the unorganised sector would come into the tax fold. In general, GST will also have a cascading effect on the direct tax collections of the state government, said Hiregange. 

    Meanwhile, ICAI would launch a new course on the GST regime, which would be unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 1 — the day of the GST roll-out. The institute’s course was last revised 13 years ago. 

  • GST ushers in an ‘Indian Common Market’
    After 17 arduous years of negotiations by successive governments at the Centre and in the States, the Narendra Modi government has finally introduced a uniform Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime that converts the country into a single market. 

    The new tax regime has become a reality from July 1, more than seven years after the original deadline of April 1, 2010. 

    GST, which works as a tax on consumption, subsumes Central levies including excise duty and service tax, as well as State value-added tax and levies such as octroi. Its historic nature lies in the fact that both the Centre and the States have yielded ground on their taxation rights. 

    Its impact will be felt most dramatically in the ease of inter-State movement of goods, which should provide a fillip to the economy. 

    To usher in the new tax, which it hopes will improve compliance, lower prices and boost revenue, the government held a glitzy function in the Central Hall of Parliament at midnight. 

    The Railway Ministry has granted exemption from GST in respect of passengers travelling in second class, metro and sleeper class. GST levy is restricted to 5 per cent for those travelling in first class and air-conditioned coaches. Transport of goods by rail will be taxed at 5 per cent, but essential goods like milk and agriculture produce will be exempt. 

    The Council had fitted nearly 2,500 goods and services in the five-tier tax structure of 0, 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. With higher input tax credit, prices of most, if not all, goods may reduce, but services, most of them taxed at 18 per cent, could become more expensive. 

  • India to give to UN Tax Fund with $100000 contribution
    India has contributed $100,000 to a United Nations fund to help developing countries actively participate in the discussion of tax issues, becoming the first country to make the contribution. The UN Tax Committee a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC) provided guidance on current issues such as double taxation treaties, transfer pricing (profit shifting) taxation of the extractive industries and taxation of services. 

  • Govt levies 10 per cent customs duty on imported cell phones
    The government has imposed 10 per cent basic customs duty on mobile phones and parts like charger, headsets, battery and USB cable with immediate effect to boost domestic manufacturing. 

    According to an official statement, the 10 per cent customs duty, will be levied on imported cellular mobile phones and accessories such as charger, battery, wire headset, microphone and receiver, key pad, USB cable and other specified electronic goods. 

    However, present exemption from basic customs duty on specified parts of mobiles printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), camera module, connectors display assembly, touch panel, cover glass assembly, vibrator motor and ringer will continue. 

  • 65 MoUs signed in textiles sector in Textiles India 2017 Fair
    Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani witnessed the signing of 65 MoUs in the textiles sector on 1st July on the 2nd day of mega textiles trade fair, Textiles India 2017, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. 

    MoUs were signed between various domestic and international organizations from industry and government. The MoUs signed relate to exchange of information and documentation, Research & Development, commercialization of handloom products and silk production, cooperation in Geo textiles, skill development and supply of cotton and trade promotion with overseas partners among others. 

    According to the textiles Minister the current age is a golden era for development of textile industry. She affirmed the commitment of the Government of India in promoting the sector. 

  • Government notifies Goods and Services Tax identification number rules
    The government has notified the rules related to Registration and Composition Scheme of Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) that came into effect from June 22, 2017. 

    The intent of notifying these rules is to start the process of issue of registration certificate, GSTIN, to taxpayers who have already been issued provisional ID for registration (PID) as well as to the new taxpayers, a Finance Ministry statement on 1st July

    Any person who has been granted PID and who opts for composition scheme, should submit an intimation of option in a prescribed form on GSTN on or before July 21, 2017

    Any person who has PID may submit the required documents on GSTN for getting the certificate of registration. It is clarified that a period of three months is allowed to complete this procedure, that is, the formalities can be completed on or before September 22, 2017. In the interim, they can issue tax invoice using the PID already allotted to them, the statement clarified. 

    A person seeking fresh registration can apply for registration within thirty days from the date on which he becomes liable for registration. They can also opt for composition scheme at the time of filing of registration form. 

  • GST Council gives relaxation of 2 months for filing tax returns
    The GST Council on 18th June relaxed return filing rules for businesses for the first two months of the rollout of the new indirect tax regime. According to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, to obviate any lack of preparedness, a slight relaxation of time for two months has been given and from September, strict adherence to time will go on. 

    As per the revised return filing timeline decided by the Council, for July, the sale returns will have to be filed by September 5 instead of August 10. Companies will have to file sale invoice for August with the GST Network by September 20 instead of September 10 earlier. 

    The industry has been pushing for deferment of the tax implementation. On AC hotels, the Council decided to raise the threshold for the 28 per cent tax to 7,500 rupees from 5,000 rupees at present. An 18 per cent GST will be levied on bills of 2,500 rupees to 7,500 rupees. 

    GST Council gave its nod to tax lotteries in two segments with state-run ones attracting 12 per cent GST and the state-authorised 28 per cent. The council categorically decided to stick to the deadline of July 1st to roll out GST. An official launch of the GST will take place in New Delhi on that day. The GST Council will meet again on 30th June on the eve of the launch. 

    The Finance Minister also said that GST network will take four to five months to prepare E-Way Bill. He added that it was decided in the meeting to have further deliberations on E-way Bill as Council had two opinions. He said having IGST on shipping vessels at 5 percent is still a pending issue. 

  • India ratifies United Nations Transports Internationaux Routiers Convention
    India on 19th June said it had ratified the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention, a move that would ensure a secured supply chain and boost trade. 

    The accession to the TIR Convention is part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity. 

    Managed and developed by International Road Transport Union (IRU), the world road transport organisation, TIR is the global standard for goods customs transit. 

    The decision had put India and its neighbours at the centre of efforts to increase overland trade and regional integration across South Asia and beyond, fast-tracking the region’s potential to become a strategic trade hub. 

    In March this year, Union Cabinet had given its approval to India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) and for completion of necessary procedures for ratification, for its entry into force. 

    TIR will be critical in helping India implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which it entered into this year. Compliance with the Convention shall ensure enhanced security in the supply chain as only approved transporters and vehicles are allowed to operate in terms of the Convention. 

    The Convention will help Indian traders have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle-free international system for movement of goods by road or multi-modal means across the territories of other contracting parties. 

  • ADB to provide $275 mn loan for water supply project in Madhya Pradesh
    Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $275 million loan for a piped water supply project for rapidly urbanising small towns, covering 3 lakh households, in Madhya Pradesh. 

    The state government will provide a $124 million counterpart support for the project which is estimated to be completed by June 2022, ADB said. 

    The loan agreement for $275 million has been signed between ADB and the central government for the project that aims to improve urban services to about 3 lakh households in 64 small towns in Madhya Pradesh. Urban population in the state is expected to increase from 28% in 2016 to 35% by 2026, ADB said in a release, adding that the project supports the government's priority to develop urban infrastructure. 

    It will develop sustainable, inclusive and climate resilient water supply in 64 small and mid-sized towns, said the Manila headquartered multi-lateral funding agency. 

  • SEBI decides to ease entry norms for FPIs
    Markets regulator Sebi on 21st June decided to ease the entry norms for overseas investors by permitting a direct access to Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from eligible jurisdictions. After its board meeting in Mumbai, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi said that the regulator has rationalised "fit and proper" criteria for FPIs as well as simplified broad based requirements for such investors. 

    The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will issue a discussion paper on easing registration of FPI. He further said that the regulator has decided to expand "the eligible jurisdictions for grant of FPI registration to category I FPIs by including countries having diplomatic tie-ups with India". Besides, it has permitted FPIs, operating under the Multiple Investment Managers (MIM) structure and holding foreign venture capital investors (FVCI) registration, to appoint multiple custodians. 

    Moreover Markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday sought to curb the use of participatory notes (P-Notes) by levying a fee of 1,000 US dollars each transaction and barred their issuance for non-hedging or speculative purposes. 

    However it ruled out a complete ban on this controversy ridden investment instrument. Briefing reporters after the board meeting, Sebi Chairman Ajay Tyagi said, the regulator is not looking at completely banning these instruments as some new investors tend to use them to test the Indian markets. He said, SEBI would want foreign investors to come directly but P-Notes also have their usefulness. 

    There have been demands from various political quarters to check the P-Note route, while a special investigation team on black money, constituted by the government on the Supreme Court directions, has also been asking Sebi to take steps to curtail misuse of these instruments. P-Notes have been long seen as being possibly misused for routing of black money from abroad. 

  • EPFO inks MoU with Hudco for housing subsidy
    Retirement fund body, EPFO, on 22nd June signed a memorandum of understanding with Hudco to facilitate its four crore subscribers to withdraw 90 per cent of their PF funds for housing purposes, as also pay the loans back in installments. 

    About 10 lakh houses can be constructed in two years after the signing of this MoU. EPFO can apply individually or jointly through a housing society for a loan through any primary lending institution (PLI), including Hudco Niwas. However, land for the housing would have to be acquired by the respective States. 

  • MeitY launches Web Portal for smooth GST implementation
    In order to ensure smooth GST implementation from 1st July, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has launched a dedicated Webpage for facilitating taxpayers with regard to addressing issues related to Information Technology Services and Electronics goods. 

    Individuals, Companies and Entrepreneurs in IT and Electronics sector can visit the webpage for sector-specific information. It also enables filing of grievances in relation to implementation of GST. 

  • AP launches rural prosperity mission
    Tata Trusts has joined hands with the Andhra Pradesh government to accelerate the Rural Prosperity Mission, in which the World Bank is the strategic partner. 

    An MoU was signed between the Tata Trust and the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty of the state government in the presence of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada. 

    World Bank is supporting the CM’s vision of ensuring a net income of Rs. 10,000 a month for each self-help group (SHG) household. 

    A Centre of Excellence for Rural Prosperity will be established to study and catalyse practical applications of technology across agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, handloom and non-farm enterprises. 

    All the relevant technology, strategy and capacity building will be supported by the stakeholders, World Bank, Tata Trusts, SERP and AP State Development Planning Society. 

  • India's forex reserves at record high of $381.95 billion
    The country's forex reserves increased by $799 million, mainly on account of rise in foreign currency assets (FCAs), to touch a record high of $381.955 billion in the week to June 16, RBI said. In the previous week, the reserves had declined marginally by $11.5 million to $381.156 billion. FCAs, a major component of overall reserves, rose by $802.4 million to $358.084 billion in the reporting week. 

  • Thiruvananthapuram tops list of 30 smart cities; 4 TN cities in new batch
    Tiruppur, Tirunelveli, Tiruchirapalli and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu are among the new batch of 30 cities announced by the Centre on 23rd June to be developed as smart cities, taking the total number to 90. Thiruvananthapuram, the captital of Kerala, topped the list in this round of selection, followed by Naya Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh. 

    Announcing the new batch of smart cities, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, said that 45 cities contested for the 40 available smart city slots, but only 30 were selected to ensure feasible and workable plans. 

  • Telangana pegs credit plan at Rs. 1.14 lakh crore
    Telangana has pegged its annul credit plan for 2017-18 at Rs. 1.14 lakh crore for the year, out of which 34.76 per cent will be crop loans. The annual credit plan target for 2016-17 was Rs. 90, 777 crore while the achievements up to March 2017 was Rs. 1,41,390 crore, according to the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC). 

  • Greenfield airports at Chennai, Pune and Vizianagaram construction started 
    The Centre has begun work on developing greenfield airports at Chennai, Pune and Vizianagaram, according to the Civil Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey. 

    The Central government has held its first round of meeting with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for developing a second airport for Chennai, apart from the existing airport operated by Airports Authority of India (AAI), which has an annual terminal capacity of 18 million passengers. 

    The Airports Authority of India (AAI) had asked the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) to study the model followed by a few other States on land pooling. Under the model, land owned by different people is pooled together and the land owners get back a certain portion of land in a developed area, whose value is significantly higher than the value of the original land holding. 

    The Tamil Nadu government is already considering several sites to develop the second airport for Chennai. This includes sites near Walajabad and Madhuranthakam in Kancheepuram district, and Alamathy and Gummidipoondi in Tiruvallur district. 

    Recently, two greenfield projects at Mopa in Goa and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra were awarded to private airport operators GMR and GVK respectively. 

  • Maharashtra waives Rs. 34,000-cr. farm loans
    Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a Rs. 34,000-crore loan waiver on 24th June, with an emphasis on marginal farmers. The measure will wipe out loans of up to Rs. 1.5 lakh outstanding against agriculturists. 

    According to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Fadnavis this farm loan waiver approved by the State Cabinet will clear up the 7/12 (property cards mortgaged for loans) of 40 lakh farmers. For the remaining farmers (an estimated 49 lakh whose outstandings are over Rs. 1.5 lakh), the government would pay up Rs. 1.5 lakh of their loan, with the agriculturists being offered a one-time settlement facility for the remaining portion of their loan. The waiver will include both short-term and medium-term loans. 

  • Andhra Pradesh first state to exhaust rural BPO quota
    Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the first state in the country to exhaust all the seats allocated to it under the India BPO promotion scheme (IBPS) for setting up business process outsourcing (BPO) units in rural areas. The state was allotted 2,200 seats under the scheme, but with the rising demand from companies to create more seats an additional 850 have been allocated. 

    The target under the scheme is to create 48,300 BPO seats across states and Union territories (UTs) based on population percentage according to Census 2011. 

    Metro cities such as Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, National Capital Region (NCR), and Pune, along with their urban agglomeration were excluded. Of the total seats to be created, 18,160 allocations have been made in the country, according to the project’s official website. 

    The central government had approved IBPS under the Digital India Programme to create 150,000 employment opportunities and promotion of BPO/ITes operations across the country, to secure balanced regional growth of the industry, with an outlay of Rs 493 crore. 

    The scheme provides capital support along with special incentives up to Rs 1 lakh in the form of viability gap funding (VGF). About 15 companies have proposed to set up BPO centres in Andhra Pradesh, including Karvy Data Management Services and Omega Healthcare. 

    Apart from Andhra Pradesh, the response in Tamil Nadu has also been satisfactory. Against 2,800 seats earmarked for Tamil Nadu, only 100 seats were left to be allocated, added the official. In the UT category, Chandigarh and Puducherry have exhausted all seats allotted to them. Chandigarh and Puducherry were given 100 seats each. 

  • GST council reduced tax levels on 66 goods
    According to the Finance minister Arun Jaitley GST council reduced tax levels on 66 goods as against representations received for 133 items. In the 16the meeting of GST council in New Delhi, omposition amount under GST raised to 75 lakh rupees for traders, manufacturers, restaurants against earlier 50 lakh. 

    GST rate on insulin has been reduced from 12 to 5 per cent. Several food items tax reduced from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. He said 28 per cent GST for cinema ticket above 100 rupees and 18 per cent GST for cinema ticket below 100 rupees. 

  • Industrial output growth slows to 3.1% in April
    Industrial output in the country rose by 3.1 per cent in April from a year earlier, mainly due to an increase in electricity generation and mining. 

    This is the second time the figures for factory output, measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), have been calculated with 2011-12 as the base year. 

    The new-look IIP as well as the wholesale price index had been introduced last month with the aim of capturing the economic data in a more comprehensive manner. 

    Under the new series, IIP growth had been 3.7 per cent in March, while it had been 2.5 per cent going by the old series. The slowdown in growth could be due to the lagged effect of demonetisation, which might play out even in the first quarter of FY18, said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings. 

    The April figures, released by the government, showed that electricity generation was up by 5.4 per cent in April. However, growth in mining slowed considerably to 4.2 per cent. 

    The data show that manufacturing, which constitutes more than three-fourths of the index, rose by 2.6 per cent. This is mainly on the back of a rise in consumer non-durables, which rose by 8.3 per cent, and the newly-introduced segment of construction goods, which rose by 5.8 per cent. 

  • Telangana industrial investment vehicle rakes in Rs. 73,000 cr in 2 years
    Telangana has attracted investments worth Rs. 73,000 crore after it introduced the new industrial policy in 2015. The TS-iPASS helped create 2.46 lakh jobs. 

    The Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self- Certification System (TS-iPASS) mandates the officials to give clearances to proposals to establish industries within a stipulated time. 

    According to Telangana Minister for Industries, Commerce and IT KT. Rama rao, the new investments include from the public sector agencies like Telangana Genco. But those proposals too were cleared through the TS-iPASS. 

    The Annual Performance Report of the Department of Industries and Commerce was released, according to that…
    • 3,828 proposals were cleared so far.
    • The mandates clearance of proposals for mega industries within 15 days and others in 30 days with self certification and deemed clearance facilities.
    • The State government is considering special incentives for companies that come forward to set up units in the hinterland.
    • The State witnessed a growth rate of 10.10 per cent in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) as against the national average of 7.1 per cent.
    • The State could dispel fears of uncertainty and doubts after the formation of the State.
    • The State could emerge as a leader in the country in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).
    • A 20-lakh sq ft incubation and laboratory space is coming up at the Genome Valley in association with the IKP Knowledge Park.
    • A 250-acre Medical Devices Park would come up at Sultanpur near Hyderabad later this month.
    • The first phase of the Pharma City is expected to be commence by October.
    • The Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) has allotted land to about 500 industries with an expected investment of about Rs. 1,000 crore, promising 50,000 jobs.


  • Kolkata to get India's First Underwater Metro Rail Link Service
    Kolkata city will set to have an underwater Metro Rail Service under the river Hoogly. 

    It is the India's first underwater transportation tunnel of India. The project connects Howrah to the west and Salt Lake to the east. The stretch of 16.6 km will have 12 stations, six of which will be under the ground, while the remaining six stations will be on elevated tracks. 

    The cost of the project will be around 60 crores. The project is expected to be completed by December 2019. 

  • RBI to soon put new Rs. 500 banknotes in circulation
    Reserve Bank of India will soon put into circulation a new batch of 500 rupees banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi new series, printed in 2017. RBI said in a statement on 13th June that the new batch of banknotes will bear the signature of Dr. Urjit R Patel. 

    The statement said, the release of new batch of 500 rupee notes is in continuation of issuing 500 rupee denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series from time to time, which are currently legal tender. Design-wise, these notes will be similar to the existing 500 rupee banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi new series. 

  • SC partially stays linking of PAN with Aadhaar
    The Supreme Court on 9th June put a partial stay on the implementation of the provisions in the Income Tax (I-T) Act making Aadhaar number mandatory for allotment of PAN card and filing of income tax returns (ITR). 

    However, the apex court upheld the validity of Section 139AA of the I-T Act, subject to the outcome of the batch of petitions before its Constitution bench which is examining if the Aadhaar scheme infringes on the Right to Privacy and if there is threat of data leakage. 

    A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also upheld the legislative competence of Parliament in enacting the law to this effect. 

    It also clarified that it has not touched upon the issue of Right to Privacy and other aspects that the Aadhaar scheme affects the human dignity which has to be decided by the Constitution bench. 

    The bench asked the government to take appropriate steps to ensure there was no leakage of data from the Aadhaar scheme. The bench made it clear that there was no conflict between the impugned provisions of the Income Tax Act and the Aadhaar Act. It also said that PAN card without Aadhaar number would not be treated invalid till the Constitution bench decides the larger issue of Right to Privacy. 

    It said previous transactions won't be affected or nullified with partial stay on the new law till privacy issue linked to Aadhaar is decided. 

  • Centre sets up 18 sectoral groups for smooth GST rollout
    The government has set up 18 sectoral groups, comprising senior members from the Centre and the States, to ensure the smooth rollout of the Goods and Services Tax

    These sectoral groups are to ensure a timely response to the problems of their respective sector by interacting with and examining representations received from trade and industry associations, highlighting specific issues for the smooth transition of the respective sector to the GST regime, and preparing sector-specific draft guidance. 

    The 18 sectors that will be represented by these groups include banking, telecom, exports, IT & ITeS, transport and logistics, textiles, MSMEs, oil and gas, gems and jewellery, government services and food processing. 

    Other groups include those representing e-commerce, big infrastructure, transport and tourism, handicraft, media and entertainment, drugs and pharmaceuticals, and mining. 

  • NIIT launches products to meet digital skill demand
    NIIT perceived “the tsunami of requirement for digital skills —for both freshers and re-skilling existing professionals — as early as 2015, and created a product ‘StackRoute Immersive (SRI)’ to address the issue, according to NIIT Chief Executive Officer Rahul Keshav Patwardhan. 
    According to him:
    • It is a full-time three-month immersive programme aimed at giving working experience rather than imparting training modules in classroom environment
    • To complete the programme, graduates will have to develop, test and release complex new systems that are cloud- and mobile-enabled, scalable with industry-standard performance levels.
    • SRI is aimed at the start-up sector’s full-stack programmer needs.
    • By design, it is meant for small groups and not to meet the huge need for reskilling existing workforce, he said.
    • NIIT’s digiNXT series of programme was created as an outcome of StackRoute to service the needs of fresh graduates
    • To help companies retrain their existing professionals in digital technology and those keen to equip themselves with digital skills, NIIT has launched new products such as StackRoute Online andDdigiNXT


  • Automated fertiliser handling system at Krishnapatnam Port
    Krishnapatnam Port has installed a first of its kind automated fertiliser handling system in the country that handles cargo from vessel to rail or road, saving hours. 

    Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, on 4th June inaugurated the automated fertiliser handling system at the port, the country’s largest all-weather, deepwater port located in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. 

    This facility is equipped to handle fertiliser cargo operations right from cargo discharge from the vessel till evacuation by road/rail. The all-weather cargo handling solution will enable the port to meet the increasing demand for imported fertilisers. 

    The system integrates multiple processes to augment the fertiliser handling capacity at Krishnapatnam Port while offering customised solutions to fertiliser importers. 

    This facility will enhance Krishnapatnam port’s existing handling capacity to more than three million tonnes a year. While manual handling of fertiliser cargo used to take two to three days, the time has now been reduced to six to eight hours. 

    The procedure includes unloading from the vessel, packaging at the port, moving to warehouse, and then loading on a rake (rail). Further, bagging and loading of the shipments can happen any time of the year, including rainy season as the entire process takes place in shielded environment

  • World Bank projects 7.2% growth rate for India in 2017
    World Bank has projected a strong 7.2 per cent growth rate for India this year against 6.8 per cent growth in 2016. World Bank revised India's growth figures by 0.4 percentage points as compared to its January forecast, noting it is recovering from the temporary adverse effects of demonetisation. It also said, despite the slight slump in growth rate India still remains the fastest growing major economy in the world. The growth projections for China remains unchanged at 6.5 per cent for 2017 and then 6.3 per cent for the next two years 2018 and 2019. 

  • India overtakes China to top global retail index: Study
    India has surpassed China to secure the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business, according to a study that cited India's rapidly expanding economy, relaxation of FDI rules and a consumption boom as the key drivers. 

    The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), now in its 16th edition, ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide and analyses 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables. 

    India's rapidly expanding economy, easing of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules and a consumption boom are the key drivers for India's top ranking in the GRDI. 

    The GRDI, titled 'The Age of Focus', ranks China in second place. Despite its slower overall economic growth, the market's size and the continued evolution of retail still make China one of the most attractive markets for retail investment. 

    India's retail sector has been growing at an annual rate of 20 per cent. Total sales surpassed the $ 1 trillion-mark last year and the sector is expected to double in size by 2020. 

    Rapid urbanisation and a growing middle class with higher income levels is driving up consumption across the country, the consultancy group said. The government's continued support to relax FDI regulations in key areas of the retail sector have provided further boost to its growth, it noted. 

    In the past year, the government has allowed 100 per cent foreign ownership in B2B e-commerce businesses and for retailers that sell food products. India's retail sector has also benefited from the rapid growth in e-commerce. It is projected to grow 30 per cent annually and reach $48 billion by 2020. 

    Retailers have been quick to seize the opportunity with 86 per cent of e-commerce dominated by pure-play online retailers in 2016

  • Income Tax Department notified new rules for capital gains tax exemption
    The Income Tax Department on 6th June notified rules specifying equity transactions that will attract capital gains tax if securities transaction tax (STT) was not paid on them. 
    According to the notification, draft rules issued in April: 
    • The Central Board of Direct Taxes has specified transactions where payment of STT would be mandatory to get the benefit of exemption from capital gains tax.
    • These include acquiring existing listed equity shares through a preferential issue in a company whose shares are not frequently traded, transactions off the stock exchange, and acquisition during the delisting period of the company


  • Reserve Bank of India kept repo rate unchanged at 6.25%
    The Reserve Bank of India on 7th June left its key policy rates unchanged, in it monetary policy review. Headed by Reserve Bank governor, Urjit Patel, the Monetary Policy Committee for the fourth straight time kept the repo rate, the rate at which the RBI lends to banks, unchanged at 6.25 per cent. 

    The reverse repo, the rate at which the RBI borrows, was also kept steady, at 6 per cent. Five of the six MPC members were in favour of maintaining status quo on the monetary policy decision. But the Reserve Bank slashed the Statutory Liquidity Ratio, SLR, or the percentage of deposits that banks have to park in government securities, by 0.5 per cent, to 20 per cent. 

    The apex bank lowered its GDP forecast to 7.3 per cent for the current fiscal, from 7.4 per cent earlier. The RBI said implementation of the Goods and Services Tax is not expected to have a material impact on overall inflation. 

  • 83% currency remonetised: RBI
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said nearly 83% of the currency has been remonetised so far and denied there was any shortage of cash in the system. The government had demonetised old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 9, junking nearly 87% of the currency in circulation. 

  • Farm loan waivers may harm fiscal discipline; stoke inflation: RBI
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7th June warned that large-scale farm loan waivers by state governments will severely harm the country’s fiscal health and may spur inflation. 

    RBI Governor Urjit Patel said unless state governments’ budgets allow that fiscal space to go in for a loan waiver, it would be risky to tread on that path. 

    The risk of fiscal slippages, which by and large can lead to inflation, has risen with the announcements of large farm loan waivers. The risk of going down the "slippery path" of waiver could dissipate the important gains that the states made in fiscal rectitude over the past two-three years, Patel said addressing media after second monetary policy review for FY18. 

    Early this month, the Maharashtra government announced loan waivers in the state for small and marginal farmers. It plans to implement the waiver before October 31. With this decision, about 10.7 million farmers with less than five acres of land would be eligible for benefits. The fiscal burden of the scheme is estimated at Rs 30,000 crore. 

    In April, the Uttar Pradesh government had waived farm loans worth Rs 36,000 crore. 

    Like the RBI, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has also flagged adverse effects of waving off credit. There should not be omnibus waivers and such schemes should be designed only for the needy, the Nabard had said in April. 

    Farmers in Madhya Pradesh, too, have been agitating since June 1, seeking loan waivers, higher minimum support prices and other benefits. There has been a clamour for similar schemes in other states such as Haryana and Tamil Nadu. 

  • India among top FDI destinations
    India continues to be a favourite FDI destination though tax-related concerns remain a deterrent for some foreign investors. 

    An UNCTAD report said, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to developing Asia shrank by 15 per cent to 443 billion US dollars in 2016, the first decline since 2012. This affected three sub-regions, with only South Asia spared. 

    However, UNCTAD's World Investment Report 2017 said an improved economic outlook in major economies, such as ASEAN, China and India, is likely to boost investors' confidence, propping up the region's FDI prospects for 2017. 

    In South Asia, FDI inflows increased by 6 per cent to 54 billion US Dollars. Flows to India were stagnant at 44 billion US Dollars. 

  • Commerce Ministry given power to grant licenses for defence manufacturers
    Private sector players can now apply to Commerce Ministry for licences to manufacture tanks, fighter planes, warships and other defence equipment. In a gazette notification, Home Ministry said the Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, DIPP, can now issue licences for manufacturing of defence items. However, the licences will be issued to the prospective manufacturers by the DIPP under the Home Ministry's supervision and control. 

    The DIPP under the commerce and industry ministry, is mainly responsible for formulation of polices with regard to promotion of foreign investment and manufacturing industries. The decision has been taken to expedite the Make In India initiative and to invite private sector in the defence manufacturing sector. 

    Earlier, the Home Ministry was carrying out this exercise. The Home Ministry has given security clearance to nearly 3,300 fresh investment proposals in the last three years after conducting national risk assessment. 

  • World Bank to extend $240 mn credit for AP’s Power for All project
    The World Bank has announced $ 240 million credit line to support Andhra Pradesh Government's effort to provide 24x7 quality and affordable power to its citizens. The loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5-year grace period, and a maturity of 19 years. 

    The project is the first in India being co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The World Bank and AIIB will provide loans in a 60:40 ratio for all components of the project. 

    While a significant portion of the proposed investments are aimed at improving power supply to rural areas, the project will also focus on demonstrating the deployment of smart grids in selected towns. 

    The project is part of the Government of India’s Power for All programme launched in 2014. Andhra Pradesh is one of the first states to roll-out the programme. 

    The energy demand in the state is expected to grow to 78,900 GWh (Gigawatt-hour) by FY 2019 from 56,313 GWh in FY 2015, which shows an annual energy requirement of more than 8.5 per cent. 

    The projects seeks to strengthen the intra-state transmission and distribution network, bring down transmission losses and set up a High Voltage Distribution System in selected rural areas. 

    The project will also support smart consumer meters, with two-way communication and backend IT infrastructure, deployed in select urban towns. 

  • Indian economy likely to grow at 7.2% this fiscal: World Bank
    The World Bank expects India’s economy to expand at 7.2 per cent this fiscal, but said that the note ban temporarily disrupted growth last fiscal, which slowed to an estimated 6.8 per cent. 

    The report comes ahead of the release of provisional estimates of national income for 2016-17 by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on May 31. The CSO, in its advance estimates, had pegged GDP growth at 7.1 per cent in 2016-17. 

    The World Bank had in January scaled down India’s growth forecast to 7 per cent for 2016-17 and had estimated growth to rebound in 2017-18 to 7.6 per cent. 

    However, it expects the economy to recover gradually and growth to increase to 7.7 per cent in 2019-2020. 

    According to the report, reforms such as the insolvency code and measures to deal with bad loans of public sector banks, including promulgation of the new ordinance, will also be crucial to enhance growth. 

    It expects inflation and external conditions to remain stable this fiscal. 

    The World Bank highlighted issues of weak private investments, low credit growth and rising anti-trade rhetoric globally as challenges to growth. 

    The report also stressed that job creation, especially for women, should be the next focus for the government after GST, which can boost growth into double digits. 

    India’s potential GDP growth can rise by 1 percentage point if half the gap in female labour force participation rate (LFPR) with Bangladesh or Indonesia is closed, according to an assessment by the World Bank. 

    While Bangladesh or Indonesia have a women’s LFPR of 53-59 per cent, in India it is a mere 27 per cent. 

    Six months after the demonetisation of high-value currency notes, the World Bank termed it “a gargantuan and unprecedented” exercise. 

    While it helped curb black money, the report said that the challenge will now be to sustain compliance by tax-payers as well as the shift to digital transactions from cash payments. 

  • Production of horticulture crops during 2016-17 estimated to be more 
    The production of horticulture crops in the country in 2016-17 is estimated to be more than 295 million tonnes which is 3.2 per cent higher than previous year.The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare today released the Second Advance Estimates of Area and Production of Horticulture Crops for 2016-17. 

    The department said, the estimates are based on the information received from different State and Union Territories. 

    In 2016-17 the area under horticulture crops has increased from 245 lakh hectare to 249 lakh hectare which shows an increase of 1.9 per cent over previous year. 

    Fruits production during the current year is estimated to be 93 million tonnes, 2.9 per cent above last year. Production of vegetables too is estimated to be 3.5 per cent higher at 175 million tonnes. 

    Likewise, production of onion is estimated to increase by 3 per cent, potato by 7, tomato by 5 and flower by 3 per cent. 

  • GDP grows 6.1% year-on-year during January-March period
    Country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 6.1% year-on-year during the January-March period. The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, released the provisional estimates of national income for the financial year 2016-17 and quarterly estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter (January-March) of 2016-17. 

    The GDP for the full year (2016-17 ) came in at 7.1 per cent in line with official estimate compared to a revised growth figure of 8 per cent in financial year 2016-17. 

    During the quarter, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors grew at 5.2 per cent, mining and quarrying at 6.4 per cent, manufacturing at 5.3 per cent, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services at 6.1 per cent, trade, hotels, transport and communication at 6.5 per cent; financial, real estate and professional services at 2.2 per cent, and public administration, defence and other services at 17 per cent. However, the construction sector shrank 3.7 per cent. 

    The agricultural sector posted a huge jump in growth as it expanded by 4.9 per cent during 2016-17 compared to dismal growth of 0.7 per cent in the previous year. The data further said the per capita income during 2016- 17 is estimated to have attained a level of 1,03,219 crore rupees as compared to the estimates for the year 2015-16 of 94,130 crore rupees showing a rise of 9.7 per cent. 

  • India signs loan agreement of 36 million dollar with World Bank
    India on 31st May signed a loan agreement of 36 million dollar with the World Bank for Himachal Pradesh Public Financial Management Capacity Building Programme. The project aims to improve the efficiency of public expenditure management and tax administration in Himachal Pradesh. 

    The agreement was signed by Joint Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs Raj Kumar and the Bank's Country Director Junaid Kamal Ahmad. 

  • Per capita income rises 9.7% to Rs 1.03 lakh in 2017
    The per capita income at current prices during 2016-17 is estimated to have attained a level of Rs 1,03,219 as compared to the estimates for the year 2015-16 of Rs 94,130 showing a rise of 9.7 per cent

    The data forms part of the 'Provisional Estimates of Annual National Income 2016-17 and Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product 2016-17' released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on 31st May. Per capita income is a crude indicator of the prosperity of a country. 

    In real terms (at 2011-12 prices), per capita income in 2016-17 rose 5.7 per cent to Rs 82,269, against Rs 77,803 a year ago. The rate of growth in real terms was, however, slower than 6.8 per cent in the preceding year. 

    The country's Gross National Income (GNI) at 2011-12 prices was estimated at Rs 120.35 lakh crore during 2016-17, against Rs 112.46 lakh crore a year ago. 

  • Telangana launches T-Wallet for people with and without mobile phones
    The Telangana Government has launched a digital wallet, named T-Wallet, which doesn’t charge transaction fee from consumers. The government is planning to use the wallet, available in Google Play, for remittances under job guarantee scheme MNREGA and scholarships for students. 

    It also can be used over the web version. One can top up the wallet using credit or debit cards, Internet banking or through cash at Mee Seva centres. It allows a maximum transaction of Rs. 1 lakh for e-KYC (know your customer) users. For non-KYC users, the limit is set to Rs. 20,000. 

    The government has picked Transaction Analysts (TA), which secured an RBI licence to run mobile wallets, to run the wallet. Vijaya Bank, a banking partner for the initiative, will provide an escrow account facility for Transaction Analysts. The settlement process and merchant settlement of T-Wallet will also be handled by the bank.The wallet supports, presently available in Android version, supports English, Telugu and Urdu. 

  • New rules for packaged commodities sold through e-commerce platforms
    E-commerce platforms and the vendors who sell on them will soon have to mandatorily declare the minimum retail price, net quantity and grievance redressal procedure on all packaged goods, as the Centre is planning to amend the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities Rules)-2011. The amendments would be enforced through an official notification expected to be issued in the next few weeks. 

    New rules
    1. Sellers on e-commerce platforms and the platforms itself would have to mandatorily display MRP, Net Quantity, consumer grievance process in all packaged commodities sold
    2. The sellers said many of these recommendations are already being complied with
    3. The draft amendments were put in public domain for comments and opinions
    4. Post that it has been vetted by the Law Ministry and is now ready for being implemented through a gazette notification
    5. The amendments would double the display size of quantity, MRP on small packets, while on bigger ones it would be increased by 1.5 times.


  • Economy expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in current fiscal: NITI Aayog
    NITI Aayog on 2nd June said that country economy is expected to grow by 7.5 per cent in the current fiscal. According to NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, the GDP is expected to reach 8 per cent by the end of current government's term. Major highlights of his speech are: 
    • The Aayog has moved ahead in many ways and inflation has come down and growth momentum has been restored.
    • GST is the most important reform that has happened in the country.
    • The focus will be on creating and funding public universities under the World Class University Programme.
    • The agenda also includes creating a tiered regulation of universities and college to provide greater autonomy to top universities.
    • There is a need to create an ecosystem where labour-intensive industries can flourish.
    • Emphasized on creating coastal employment zones to boost exports and generate high productivity jobs.
    • NITI Aayog is working on reducing fiscal deficit to 3 per cent of the GDP by next financial year and revenue deficit to 0.9 per cent by 2019-20.


  • India signs loan agreement of 36 million dollar with World Bank
    India on 2nd June signed a loan agreement of 36 million dollar with the World Bank for Himachal Pradesh Public Financial Management Capacity Building Programme. The project aims to to improve the efficiency of public expenditure management and tax administration in Himachal Pradesh. 

    The agreement was signed by Joint Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs Raj Kumar and the Bank's Country Director Junaid Kamal Ahmad. 

  • New GST rate of 3% for gold, diamonds
    The Goods and Services Tax Council on 3rd June finalised the rates on all the remaining products, including gold, footwear, textiles, agricultural implements, biscuits, and beedis. The Council also cleared the rules regarding return filing, and transitional provisions. 

    Union Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley, while briefing the media following the conclusion of the one-day meeting, said gold, silver, and diamonds would be placed in a new rate category of 3% while rough diamonds would attract a nominal rate of 0.25%.

    Biscuits, currently taxed at a combined State and central tax rate of 20-23%, have been placed in the 18% GST rate category. 

  • GAIL to invest Rs 4,276 cr to improve natural gas network in Odisha
    State-run gas company GAIL (India) Ltd has proposed to invest Rs 4,276 crore for supply of natural gas in major industrial hubs in Odisha and city gas distribution for Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. 

    The company will have its natural gas pipeline in the districts of Bhadrak, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Khordha. It needs around 51 acres in various locations for sectional valve, pigging station, dispatch/receiving terminals, city gas stations and pipeline. 

    The project has an employment potential of 1,141. The proposal of GAIL was considered by the State Level Single Window Clearance Authority and referred to the High Level Clearance Authority chaired by the chief minister for approval. 

    GAIL has committed an investment of Rs 1,750 crore to build the City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Of the envisaged investment, Rs 1,000 crore would be spent on Bhubaneswar while the remaining Rs 750 crore is proposed for Cuttack. Gas distribution to households in the twin city region is expected to be a reality by December 2019 or early 2020.
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