Finance Minister To Review Key Financial Sector Issues

Finance Minister To Review Key Financial Sector Issues with Ceos of Public Sector Banks and Financial Instiutions During The Quarterly Review Meeting Next Month

The Unio Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley will review various key financial sector issues like Credit off take in the economy, achievement under Priority Sector Lending (PSL) and progress made under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) etc. with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs)/Financial Institutions (FIs) here on 5th March, 2015 during the Quarterly Review Meeting.

The periodic review meeting will also focus on taking forward the intention of the Department of Financial Services(DFS) to improve the performance of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Financial Institutions(FIs) through steps like the recent additional infusion of Rs. 6,990 crore in Public Sector Banks (PSBs) on the basis of performance measured by return on assets/equity.


New Upgraded and Secure Portal for E-Filing of Applications for Foreign Direct Investment Launched

Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance launched here today a new upgraded and secure user friendly web site for filing and processing of applications for Foreign Direct Investment (FD) requiring Government approval. Presently the applications are filed online at which had limited features and processing capabilities. The new website, which becomes operational from today, shall henceforth receive applications regarding FDI in approval route sectors.

With the introduction of the new website, applicant will have to submit only SINGLE copy of the application for records with the FIPB Secretariat instead of 15-18 copies being filed earlier.  

The initiative is part of the Government’s ongoing efforts for Good Governance by enhancing transparency and accountability in its procedures and is a step towards Minimum Government and Maximum Governance.  The innovative features of the website are:

Global Reach -Apply from anywhere in the world! Access your status from anywhere in the world!
E-communication – communication between the applicant, FIPB and other ministries/ departments is online.
Quicker communication- All the correspondence including updates/ decisions are communicated through SMS/emails and thus eliminating physical delivery and loss of time due to postal delays.
Less Paperwork - Single signed copy only needed (for record) instead of present multiple sets of the application.
SMS/email alert- Regular alerts are sent to the applicants related to the queries raised by the administrative ministries, inclusion of the proposal in the scheduled FIPB meeting and decisions.
Transparency and security- all transactions and correspondences are recorded online and are secure.
Query module- Any doubts? A user can raise a query online which shall be replied by the relevant ministry.

Click here to see PDF:


MHA Consultative Committee discussed Electronic Travel Authorization
Over 65000 ETAs issued in 75 days

The Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to the Ministry of Home Affairs discussed the Visa Enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) and Immigration, Visa, Foreigners Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) project here today.

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh informed the members that the IVFRT is one of the Mission Mode Project (MMP) undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). Shri Rajnath Singh further informed that the scope of the project covers 178 Indian Missions abroad and 13 Foreigners Regional Registration Offices (FRROs), 674 Foreigners Registration Offices (FROs) and 83 Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) within the country.

The Home Minister stated that as on date the project has been implemented in 155 Indian Missions abroad and 13 FRROs, 450 FROs and 81 ICPs covering 85% of the foreigners coming to India. The implementation of the project in remaining 23 Indian Missions abroad, Biometrics software installation in 116 Indian Missions abroad, 224 Foreigners Registration Offices and implementation of e-gates at Airports will be completed by March, 2017.

Shri Rajnath Singh informed the members that the Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is an important component of IVFRT project and was launched in 44 countries on November 27, 2014. After the launch of TVoA enabled by ETA Scheme, 65,000 ETAs have been issued in 75 days and on an average 1000 ETAs are being issued per day at present. Shri Rajnath Singh informed that there had been 421.6% jump in Tourist Arrival during Dec. 2014 as compared to the previous year. He mentioned that the Government had issued 2,700 visas during Dec. 2013 whereas the number of ETAs issued during December 2014 was 14,083.

Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled by ETA Scheme for 44 countries includes Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kingdom of Tongo, Laos, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Papua & New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea), Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam and Vanuatu. This facility is available at nine designated international airports of the country viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

The project was allocated budget of Rs.1011 crore which was subsequently re-estimated at Rs.638.90 crores. The development of all software applications by NIC resulted in higher strategy control and cost savings. Biometric enrollment software has also been developed in NIC and during the reworked extension of the project, an amount of Rs.372.10 crores resulted as savings.

The members appreciated the scheme and discussed its various aspects such as safety and security of tourists, promotion of tourism and necessary advisories for important tourist places and destinations. They also suggested upgrading infrastructure facilities such as verification of hotels, updating of their records, safe transportation facilities and better connectivity at different places. They also requested the Chairman to ensure that these facilities are availed on reciprocal basis from these countries. There was an appreciation for the use of IT as enabler for better implementation of VISA facilities.

S/Sh. Devendra (alias) Bhole Singh, Faizal P. P. Mohammed, Hukum Singh, Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, Tariq Hameed Karra, Thokchom Meinya amd T.G.Venkatesh Babu from Lok Sabha and S/Shri Basawaraj Patil, H.K.Dua, K.C.Tyagi, Mohd.Ali Khan, Mukul Roy, Ram Gopal Yadav, S.Muthukaruppan and Shantaram Naik from Rajya Sabha attended the meeting.

The Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju, Home Secretary Shri L.C.Goyal, Secretary (BM) Smt. Sneh Lata Kumar and senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Central Armed Police Forces attended the meeting.


I&B Ministry to Outline Awareness Campaign for Amaranth Yatra-2015

Campaign to Focus on Awareness Generation amongst Pilgrims

Secretary I&B,Shri BimalJulka, today conveneda meeting with the Media Heads of I&B ministry to outline the communication strategy for the proposed AmarnathYatra which is scheduled to commence on the 2nd of July,2015.During the meeting, Secretary, Shri Julka discussed the measures to be undertaken to implement an effective campaign amongst pilgrims for awareness generation.The meeting also discussed the role of the media campaign in increasing awareness about the yatra and the challenges the yatris were likely to face, once they embarked on this arduous trek.CEO Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, Shri Rakesh Kumar Gupta was also present in the meeting.

During the meeting, Shri Julkadiscussed strategies for the use of appropriate communication tools on various media platforms to make the pilgrims aware of the facilities/ procedures as well as the precautions to be taken before embarking on the journey. The focus was on the need to sensitiseand inform thepilgrims about the pre –travel preparation including procedures related to registration, need for Compulsory health certificate for registration, the Dos and Don’ts to be followed during the pilgrimage and related health advisories. The issues related to high altitude sickness were flagged. While the Dos would focus on measures to prevent high altitude sickness, the Don’ts would focus on the prevention of the sickness. The health advisories would be telecast/broadcast from 15th June to 29th August, 2015.

Elaborating further, the Secretary discussed the need for a well-planned campaign through Doordarshan, All India radio and other media units for spreading awareness about the Yatra. He stated that a sustained campaign would include broadcast/telecast of Public Interest messages /Documentary Film/Video and Audio spots foreducating the pilgrims about the challenges that they may face during the Yatra.

Doordarshan and All India Radio launched an effective Media Campaign for the Yatra,last year employing video /audio spots and messages. The media campaign proved very effective in increasing awareness about the Yatra among the Pilgrims.

This year, the AmarnathjiYatra will commence on the 2nd of July 2015 via both routes Baltal and Pahalgam and will conclude on the 29th August, 2015. Compulsory registration for the Yatra will start from 1st March, 2015 via selected bank branches of J&K Bank, PNB Bank and Yes Bank. A Health Certificate issued by the Authorised Doctor/Reputed Private Medical Institution is compulsory for registration.


Resolving the Business Disputes

Adoption of Appropriate Methods and Processes Needed for Ensuring A Robust and Conducive Work Environment to Meet the Requirements of Building the Physical Infrastructure -DV Sadananda Gowda

            Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister of Law & Justice has highlighted the need of adopting methods and processes to resolve the business disputes to ensure a robust and conducive work environment to meet the requirements of building the physical infrastructure. He was Inaugurating the 2015 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) workshop organized by Construction Industry Arbitration Council and Construction Industry Development Council in the scope complex, New Delhi last evening.

            Shri Sadananda Gowda while inviting Construction Industry Arbitration Council to work with the Ministry, emphasized the need for resorting to Institutional Arbitration in place of the Ad-hoc mode of arbitration, a quick post award settlement of the disputed issues and also extensively use of conciliation and mediation as an effective tool of dispute resolution. He suggested that his ministry can develop a panel of bodies providing institutional arbitration and advise Government departments and public enterprises to include institutional arbitration clause in their contracts. Shri Gowda also spoke about resorting to on-line-dispute resolution, in view of the smart cities being planned.

            The minister stressed upon the need to train a strong cadre of specialists as Arbitrators as well as mediation and conciliation experts.

            Shri Gowda also distributed the certificates of competence to various experts empanelled by CIAC as Institutional Arbitration Specialists. In view of over 55 lakh crores investment going in building the physical infrastructure in the nation, this meet was both timely and helpful in meeting the national objectives.

            Shri P.K Malhotra, Secretary Law & Justice, Government of India, Mr. Joao Riberio of UNCITRAL, Dr. Uddesh Kohli Chairman, Construction Industry Arbitration Council, Dr. B. D Mundhra, Chairman UNECEP and several other Indian as well as the overseas experts addressed a galaxy of legal as well as engineering sector experts.

            It is noteworthy to mention that UNCITRAL has organized this important event after 50 years for the first time in India and has also joined hands with CIDC to establish a center of excellence for Highway Construction, under PPP mode.


RE-INVEST 2015 Concludes with 2,66,000 MW Commitments of Green Energy

The RE-INVEST 2015 which concluded today is the take off point which will have a multiplier effect in the economic front, said the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley. Addressing the valedictory session of the three day event, Shri Jaitley said that this will lead to enormous jobs generation, investments resulting in profitability, competitiveness between various sectors, filling up the gaps in power supply, enhancement of manufacturing sector, and yet not hurting the environment. The Finance Minister pointed out that this conference is a starting point of a great initiative whose effect will be clearly visible in the coming years.

Shri Jaitley said India has a very large land mass and therefore raw material required for renewable energy is right in front of us. It would be sheer incompetence if we are not able to convert this into a resource, and therefore the initiative which the Prime Minister has taken in the renewable energy sector , created an economically conducive environment. There is a huge change of mood and attitude in India, and that is reflective in the large scale enthusiasm shown in this conference. The Finance Minister said the kind of enthusiasm that the international investors are reposing in India today is a very rare occasion in the history, where you can become a natural recipient of both domestic and international investments. There is a great opportunity for India to grow in terms of manufacturing and we also have to concentrate on our infrastructure. Shri Jaitley added that the starting point of all this has to be the credibility of the Indian economy, the faith of people in Indian economy, and our ability to provide opportunity to investors and it is from that point of view our own systems have to be tuned themselves accordingly.

The Finance Minister said that the coal auctions initiated by the present government, will ultimately lead to a roadmap for cheaper electricity, and the process of reverse bidding will reach the common man in a sustainable manner.

Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu, said that RE-INVEST 2015 is a significant step in making India self reliant in energy. With the ambitious target of 200GW of solar energy, he said this is going to be a game changer for the energy scenario of the world and India would soon be the Renewable Energy capital of world. The Minister said if more commercial electricity is made available to villages, then migration from villages could be stopped.

The Minister of State(IC) for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar announced that environment clearances for green energy will be given through green channel. He also said that the government would provide predictable policy regime with standard guidelines.

The Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, Shri Arvind Panagariya speaking on the occasion said that there is a vast potential of wind and solar energy in the country which are complementary to each other which needs massive investments. He also said that in the coming years, challenges in cost effective renewable energy appliances have also to be taken into consideration.

Outlining the future action plan in the renewable energy sector, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State ( IC) for Coal, Power and New & Renewable energy said that a long term roadmap will be drawn to achieve the targets of RE . He said there will be a monthly working session with various states so that the developers and states can work in partnership and there will be a six monthly personal review to ensure that the policies are actually implemented on the ground. The Ministry of New and Renewable energy will work actively in identifying the infrastructure requirements and de-bottling them, so that the manufacturers in India can successfully take their plans forward, Shri Goyal added.

On the occasion, 14 banks and financial institutions, 8 PSUs and private manufacturers, 15 private sector companies gave their Green Energy Commitments to the Ministers. Green Energy Commitments worth 2, 66, 000 MW were received during the conference. 2800 delegates from 42 countries participated in the three day RE-INVEST 2015 . 202 speakers addressed various sessions, out of which the 40 international speakers were from 29 countries. Shri Goyal also complemented the 118 exhibitors who showcased India’s strength and potential . 200 global investors providing financing and investment solutions also participated. 9 states showcased their policy initiatives in the renewable energy sector.

Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry New & Renewable Energy informed the meeting that 14 companies from seven countries have their Green Energy Commitments for 58 GW. Similarly, 22 PSUs for 18 GW, 257 private limited companies for 190 GW and the Railways for 5000MW have submitted their commitments for renewable energy. In addition, 27 banks have also submitted their commitments for financing 72 GW renewable energy projects. Shri Dipak Dasgupta, Board Member Green Climate Fund was also present in the valedictory session.


RE-INVEST 2015 Expo draws huge Crowds

Exhibition Features Country Pavilions of Germany, UK , Italy & UAE

RE-INVEST Expo held on the sidelines of RE-INVEST 2015 showcased India’s manufacturing capabilities and technologies in solar , wind & bio-mass being used to provide an idea to the foreign investors about the potential areas of investment in renewable energy sector.

A total of 119 companies including 4 countries have set their pavilions in the sprawling lawns of Hotel Ashok in New Delhi. The four participating countries are Germany, UK, Italy and UAE. Apart from this States like Madhya Pradesh , Andhra Pradesh , Punjab and Jharkhand and associations of solar and wind power developers / manufacturers have showcased their initiatives in the renewable energy sector. Besides , several Indian majors in the renewable sectors are also participating with their stalls.

There are also stalls of various financing agencies which are offering several investment options to the entrepreneurs .

The three day RE-INVEST 2015 attended by 2800 delegates from 41 countries will come to a close today.


RWWCO Organizes Children Sports Event

Chairman Railway Board gives away the Prizes to the Winners

As part of its annual activities the Railway Women’s Welfare Central Organization (RWWCO) organized a Sports Meet for the children of staff and officers working in Railway Board & other PSU and departments of Ministry of Railway like RITES, IRCON, COFMOW, CRIS, IRWO, CONCOR, DFCCIL, RVNL, etc. on 15th February, 2015 at the Karnail Singh Stadium, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi. Shri A.K.Mital, Chairman, Railway Board was the Chief Guest who gave away certificates, prizes & souvenirs to the winners. The event was earlier inaugurated by Smt. Rashmi Mital, President/RWWCO. Nearly 200 children participated in various events. On this occasion, a colorful cultural programme featuring folk dances from the state of Madhya Pradesh was presented by the cultural team from Jabalpur Division, of West Central Railway.

RWWCO is the apex body of the chain of women’s welfare organisations spread over all Indian Railways engaged in the task of welfare of railwaymen and their families through various need ¬based social welfare activities. The organization started its activities in 1962 after Indo¬China War, and while the primary concern of the Organisation is the welfare of Railway employees and their families, it has always risen to the call of the society and the nation¬ be it environmental awareness, family welfare drives, disturbances on the borders or the natural calamities. It is one of the fore¬runner voluntary Organisations in the country today.


Finance Minister To Review Key Financial Sector Issues Finance Minister To Review Key Financial Sector Issues Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:18 PM Rating: 5

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