Policy Watch – November 2nd, 2017

Important policy updates from 27th October 2017 – 2nd November 2017

Finance

NPS increased from 60 years to 65 years

The government has increased the maximum age of joining the National Pension System (NPS)-Private Sector from the existing 60 years to 65 years. “Now, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident, between the age of 60 and 65 years, can also join NPS and continue up to the age of 70 years,”. Subscribers joining NPS after the age of 60 years will have an option of normal exit from NPS after completion of 3 years. This initiative will allow a larger segment of society, particularly senior citizens, to reap benefits of NPS and plan for their regular income.

For more information: Financial Express

PFMS for all Central Sector Schemes

The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley launches the mandatory use of Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for all Central Sector Schemes; He states that PFMS would ensure that the benefits of the various government schemes reach the last mile; Shri Jaitley further said that due to the monitoring of funds through PFMS, one can know the actual status of utilization of funds by the multiple implementing agencies of the Central and the State Governments. The Finance Minister specifically mentioned about the implementation of various Schemes through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism in this regard.

For more information: PIB Release

Home Affairs

MHA boost “Make in India” for arms Manufacturing

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on 30-10-2017 has liberalised the Arms Rules to boost Make in India manufacturing policy of the Government as also to promote employment generation in the field of manufacturing of arms and ammunition. The liberalisation of the Arms Rules will encourage investment in the manufacturing of arms and ammunition and weapon systems as part of the Make in India programme. The liberalised rules are expected to encourage the manufacturing activity and facilitate the availability of world-class weapons to meet the requirement of Armed Forces and Police Forces in sync with country’s defence indigenization programme.

For more information: Business Standard

Railways

International Conference on Green Initiatives & Railway Electrification

Sh. Piyush Goyal inaugurated International Conference on Green Initiatives & Railway Electrification organised by Ministry of Railways through Institution of Railways Electrical Engineer (IREE) India on 27th October 2017. On this occasion, he states that “Indian Railways is working with a renewed attitude and confidence. The mindset of Indian Railways has changed. Indian Railways is working with “will do/can do” spirit. Indian Railways is working in a mission mode and coming up with solutions to the problems. Indian Railways is working with a commitment to serve in a time bound manner for the common people. This conference shall ensure to find solutions to all the bottlenecks with a view to implementing the electrification in mission mode.

For more information: Economic Times

Japan to Cooperate in Rail Safety.

Ministry of Railways (GoI) had requested Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for technical cooperation in Rail Safety. Responding to Ministry of Railway’s request, MLIT deputed a team of Japanese Railway experts to India to assess incidents of rail breakage and suggest measures to improve safety in train operations. The Memorandum of Cooperation on Railway safety was signed on 17.2.2017 between Ministry of Railways (GoI) and MLIT, Japan. Now, on 31.10.2017, Hon’ble Railway Minister Sh. Piyush Goyal along with Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) and other Board Members met Japanese delegation comprising members of terms of reference (TOR) mission and members from the rail-related industries over incidents of rail breakage and suggested measures to improve safety in train operations.

For more information: Business Standard

Shipping

Indian Minister Flags Off RORO from Chennai To Mongla

Indian Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari on 30-10-2017 digitally flagged off a RoRo cum general cargo vessel M.V. IDM DOODLE carrying a consignment of 185 trucks from Chennai Port to Mongla port in Bangladesh. He informed that these trucks, which are being exported by M/s.Ashok Leyland Ltd. was being sent to Bangladesh through the land route till now, travelling a distance of about 1500 km. Transport through the sea route will save about 15-20 days of travel time. For this trip alone that involves transport of 185 trucks, a total of about 3 lakh vehicle-km of road travel will be saved as the land route is longer  and much time is lost at the congested Petrapole-Benapole checkpoint at the Indo- Bangladesh border.  

For more information: Marinelink

Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

MSME Launches ‘Samadhaan’ Portal

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Sh. Giriraj Singh launched MSME Delayed Payment Portal – MSME Samadhaan (http://msefc.msme.gov.in) on 01-11-2017. The Portal will empower the MSE’s to see the current status  & register their new cases relating to delayed payments by Central Ministries/Departments/CPSEs/State Governments etc.

For more information: Business Standard

Education

Cabinet approves amendment in the NCTE Act, 1993

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993, namely the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Act, 2017 to grant retrospective recognition to the Central/State/Universities who are found to be conducting teacher education courses without NCTE permission till the academic year 2017-2018. The retrospective recognition is being given as a onetime measure so as to ensure that the future of the students passed out/enrolled in these institutions isn’t jeopardized. The amendment will make students studying in these Institutions/Universities, or already passed out from here, eligible for employment as a teacher. With a view to achieving above mentioned benefits, Deptt. of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development has brought about this amendment.

For more information: Business Standard

Agriculture

Cabinet approves RKVY as RKVY-RAFTAAR for three years

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) for three years i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20.  The financial allocation of the scheme will be Rs. 15,722 crore with the objective of making farming as a remunerative economic activity through strengthening the farmer’s effort, risk mitigation and promoting agri­business entrepreneurship.

For more information: PIB Release