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1. Operation Greens

What is Operation Greens?

  • Operation Greens is a 500 crore project on the lines of Operation Flood for enhancing production & reducing price volatility of fruits & vegetables.

  • Government has decided to start focusing on three basic vegetables namely tomatoes, onions and potatoes (TOP) initially. They form almost half of vegetable production in the country.

  • It will further promote Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management to achieve its objectives

  • It will help in doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022 by providing sustainable prices as these commodities generally face price collapse during the periods of high production due to lack of cold storage facilities and poor linkages of farmers with processing and organised retailing.

  • Price stability would also ensure availability of these basic vegetables at affordable prices to consumers Suggestions to curb Price Volatility for Perishables India is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world, with production of about 180 MMT, next only to China. The government has mainly relied on banning exports, de-stocking and conducting income-tax raids on traders to check price volatility till now. Some other measures that can be taken are:

  • Incentivising farmers to grow diverse crops would help minimize the impact of price volatility.

  • Cluster based Cultivation of horticulture crops to bring advantages of scales of operations which can spur establishment of entire chain from production to marketing.

  • Incentivising Value addition in agriculture by setting up a food processing target of at least 25% of the produce as India is currently way behind on this compared to most of Southeast Asian countries in this area.

  • Market Reforms o Undertaking mapping of mega-consuming centres and link their retail networks with producing centres of each commodity identified with minimal number of intermediaries. o Amending APMC Act to allow direct buying from FPOs, and giving incentives to FPOs, private companies and NGOs, to build back-end infrastructure, as was done for milk. 27  

 

Issues with Insecticides Act 1968 Long registration process-

  • The registration of new molecule takes about 3-4 years. Which further hampers its input value to agriculture. Lack of data protection – causing delay in farmers getting access to new and green chemistry pesticides in comparison to developed world. Low compensation amount in case of eventualities. Lack of stringent penal provision and excessive centralisation mechanism for pesticides management.

  • Reducing Market Exploitation by making sure that farmers must receive at least 60% of what consumers pay on lines of milk wherein farmers get more than 75% of what consumers pay.

  • States should also be encouraged to adopt Price deficiency payment schemes such as Haryana’s Bhavantar Bharpai Yojna for vegetables in case of fluctuation in prices.

  • Allowing futures trading and creating a national market for agriculture. Investment in agri-logistics, starting with modern warehouses and cold storages that can minimise wastages to less than 10% compared to 25-30% in traditional storages on farmers’ fields.

 

2. Draft Pesticides Management Bill 2017

  • Highlights of the Bill Repeal archaic law: The bilk seeks to replace the Insecticides Act of 1968 and is proposed to be a step towards promoting safe use of pesticides.

  • Setting up of Central Pesticides Board: to advise centre and state government on prevention of risks due to pesticide, monitoring performance of registered pesticides, procedures for manufacturing pesticides, regulation and guidelines for advertising them.

  • Setting up of a Registration Committee: for speedy registration of pesticides, allowing or restricting use of pesticides, notifying pesticides etc.

  • Classification: It defines the criteria by which a pesticide is to be classified as misbranded, sub-standard, or spurious. Penalties: It favors an increase in penalties on violators and gives more power to state governments to take action against them.

  • Compensation: It provides for compensation to the affected farmers or users under the provisions of the Consumer Protection law.

  • Tightening of the norms: Further, it has tightened the guidelines for registration and licensing of new molecules. Moreover, tolerance limits for pesticides are to be specified according to the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

  • Reporting: State governments have to report all cases of poisoning to the centre on a quarterly basis and states can also ban chemical pesticides for up to six months against the present ban for up to two months.

 

Related Information

  • Currently India is the largest producer of pesticides in Asia and ranks 12th in world for application of pesticides. In India nearly 150 pesticides are registered Around 40 per cent of the total cultivated area is treated with the pesticides (State of India Agriculture 2015-2016). Andhra Pradesh is the leading consumer of pesticide followed by Maharashtra and Punjab.

  • Other Initiatives for Pesticide Monitoring of Pesticide Residues at National Level: a central sector scheme under Ministry of Agriculture, for monitoring and analysis of pesticide residues in agricultural commodities in different agro-ecological regions of the country.

  • Strengthening and Modernization of Pest Management Approach in India: to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Grow Safe Food Campaign has been launched to create awareness among the stakeholders.

  • NITI Aayog’s Doubling the Farmer Income: proposed the organic farming so as to minimise the consumption of pesticides. India is signatory to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) led Stockholm Convention for persistent organic pollutants and Rotterdam convention for export import of pesticides.   

 

What are FPCs?

  • It is a hybrid between cooperative societies and private limited companies which provides for sharing of profits/benefits among the members. The important features include:

  • It is formed by a group of producers for either farm or non-farm activities;

  • It is a registered body and a legal entity (under Companies Act, 1956);

  • Producers are shareholders in the organization;

  • It deals with business activities related to the primary produce/product;

  • A part of the profit is shared amongst the producers and rest of the surplus is added to its owned funds for business expansion. It involves collectivization of Producers especially small and marginal farmers to help them collectively address many challenges of agriculture.

  • NABARD initiated the Producer Organisation Development Fund (PODF) and Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) has set up nearly 250 FPOs since 2011. To strengthen their capital base, SFAC has launched a new Central Sector Scheme “Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Farmers Producer Companies”.

  • Analysis of Bill Lax definition: of pesticides and various other terminology, such as ‘user’ is not defined under the bill, thereby, responsibility for improper use may fall on farmers.

  • Lack of accountability: The bill is silent on time frame of data protection and approval of spurious pesticides by inspector.

  • Penal Provision: The bill does not address the issues of applying penal provisions on companies marketing pesticides.

 

Way Forward

  • National Oversight Committee-namely Pesticide Development and Regulation Authority to make oversight more effective is need of the hour.

  • Transparency: All samples collected and test results by the Registration Committee should be displayed on the internet for a predetermined duration and Mandatory e-documentation (as per the IT Act, 2000) for agriculture departments will expedite the process and increase transparency.

  • Delegation of power: Currently, only a magistrate can order suspension of pesticide sales over an evident violation. These powers need to be delegated to a pesticide inspector.

  • Improve competition by removing the entry barriers and introducing the new-generation pesticides.

  • Enable a robust retail network- managed by qualified dealers, so that they are able to provide extension service apart from just selling pesticides to the farmers.

  • R&D: Incentivising Research and Development (R&D) activities by the pesticide industry will promote ‘Make in India’ and reduce dependency on imported formulations.

  • Post-use management: Empty container management is emerging as a challenge. Its safe disposal and incineration needs a system to be put in place and farmers need to be educated about it as part of ‘Swachha Bharat’.

 

3. Farmer Producer Companies

Details

  • While the I-T Act exempts cooperatives from paying under the section 35CCC, FPCs are taxed on par with private and public-limited companies. Majority of these companies are paying now 20 per cent income tax and 30 per cent dividend tax. After the said changes, FPCs registered under the Companies Act, having an annual turnover up to ₹ 100 crore, need not pay tax on profits derived from farm-related activities.

 

Need for FPCs Structural Challenges-

  • like poor market infrastructure, credit unavailability from formal channels, access and knowledge about market, information asymmetries, interlocking of factor and product market, lower bargaining power 29  

  • NABARD was created on July 1982 on the recommendations of Committee to Review the Arrangements for Institutional Credit for Agriculture and Rural Development under the Chairmanship of Shri B. Sivaraman. It is an apex development bank of country and is engaged in agricultural credit and other economic activities in rural areas.

 

Functions:

  • provides refinancing facilities to banks promotes rural industries, small scale and cottage industries provides funds to State governments for undertaking developmental and promotional activities in rural areas financing R&D of agricultural and rural industries finance for promoting non-farm activities and employment in non-farm sectors inspection work of Co-operative banks and Regional rural banks. and holding capacity, higher input costs and output yield due to fragmented buying and selling and competition from other forms of private organisations in the market.

  • Small Farmer Constraints - India accounts for a majority of farmers who operate on less than 2 hectares land per household. Majority of them still operate for subsistence based farming. Together the small & marginal farm holdings in the year 2010-11 accounted for 85% of total farm holdings in the country.

  • Failure of Cooperatives- Due to heavy political interference, bureaucratic control and capturing of management by poor leadership and powerful elite, the cooperatives have not been as effective as expected. They also had an issue of not being business oriented.

  • Challenges & further Scope for FPCs Lack of Patient Capital/Long term Capital- as these entities are not seen to be as viable business enterprises. Thus, Patient capital and skilled resources with a firm business plan need to be infused in these enterprises. Besides lack of entrepreneurial capabilities, the small farmers show a lack of understanding of business plans and the growth trajectory for the FPCs towards enterprise models. Thus, different stakeholders particularly Banks and NGOs should create awareness among farmers. There is a lack of administrative capacity resulting in poor management of books. Government may take steps to improve the administrative structure to improve overall accountability and transparency. Role of NGO’s- While NGO’s are playing a crucial role in development of FPCs as promoting institutions, the political Economy of aid and donations make them work in a certain manner and ultimately making these institutions as fragile units which remain small within a region. Thus, more approaches of social enterprises should be infused to further develop these companies.

 

4. Amendments To Nabard Act, 1981

Why amendment needed?

  • Expansion in activities of NABARD: It needed to be provided with additional equity from time to time to enable it to meet its objectives and existing commitments relating to the long-term irrigation fund and enhanced refinance support to cooperative banks.

Remove conflict in RBI’s Role:

  • RBI holds 0.4% of the paid-up capital of NABARD. The remaining is held by the Central government. This causes conflict in the RBI’s role as banking regulator and shareholder in NABARD.

  • However, experts feel that RBI would lose an important supervisory and development institution in rural credit activity.

 

Increased ambit of refinance activities of NABARD:

  • The government proposed to include enterprises related to employment potential in rural areas, medium enterprises, and handlooms. Details of amendments in NABARD (Amendment) Bill, 2017 Empowers the Central government to increase the authorised capital of NABARD from ₹5,000 crore to ₹30,000 crore as the current authorised capital of NABARD is fully paid-up. This can be increased further in consultation with RBI.

  • Transfers the RBI’s balance equity of ₹20,000 crore in NABARD to the Central government. 30  

  • Coal Reserves in India The reserves are located mainly in states of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. Indian coal reserves are primarily of Lignite and Bituminous types (other two types are Peat and Anthracite. Problems with Indian coals are-

  • o Lower calorific value

  • o Higher ash content

  • o Less efficient coal mines in India Problems with present system CIL is unable to keep pace with demand from new power plants and has consistently missed government targets.

  • Thus, there has been a significant surge in imports in recent years despite having rich coal-bearing belts and increased output. The companies which produce electricity for their own use have to purchase costlier imports because of not getting adequate supplies as contracted with CIL The monopoly has also affected the quality of coal produced in the country. Indian coal has an average ash content of about 45% far higher than the 25-30% that ensures efficient power generation.

 

For Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME):

  • The Bill replaces the terms ‘small-scale industry’ and ‘industry in the tiny and decentralised sector’ with the terms ‘micro enterprise’, ‘small enterprise’ and ‘medium enterprise’ as defined in the MSME Development Act, 2006.

  • Under the 1981 Act, NABARD was responsible for providing credit and other facilities to industries having an investment of upto Rs 20 lakh in machinery and plant. The Bill extends this to apply to enterprises with investment upto Rs 10 crore in the manufacturing sector and Rs five crore in the services sector.

 

Consistency with the Companies Act, 2013:

  • The Bill substitutes references to provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 under the NABARD Act, 1981, with references to the Companies Act, 2013. These include provisions that deal with:

  • (i) definition of a government company, and

  • (ii) qualifications of auditors.

 

5. Commercial Mining In Coal

  • Background Since nationalization of the sector in 1970s, Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its associates had monopoly over mining and selling of coal. It accounts for over 80% of the country’s coal supply. Remaining comes from another public sector firm, Singareni Collieries Company, and some captive coal mines allotted to private players for specific end-uses such as in the steel and power industries. The Supreme Court had in 2014 cancelled 204 coal blocks allocated to various state and private companies. Following this, Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 was enacted to replace administrative allocation of coal blocks with auction and allotment. This also opened up commercial coal mining in theory to private entities In 2016, coal blocks were awarded to state-controlled mining corporations for commercial mining. Now, government has allowed all private entities to enter into commercial mining without end use or price restrictions. Also, the bid parameter will be the price offer in rupees per tonne, which will be paid to the State government on the actual production of coal.

  • Expected Benefits of allowing Commercial Mining Increased production and energy security: It will also help the country come closer to its vision of producing 1.5 billion tonne of coal annually by 2022.

  • Reduced imports: It has potential to save on import bill by Rs 30,000 crore as currently about 22% of domestic demand is being met through imports despite India being the 3rd largest coal producing country in the world. Cheap domestic supply will also keep import prices in check.

  • Benefit to power sector: Coal accounts for around 70% of the country’s power generation. Thus, it would help stressed power plants to attempt a turnaround through better fuel management.

  • Improved efficiency: as coal sector would shift from monopoly to competition. This would attract investments from private and foreign players and bring best possible technology in the sector. 31  

  • Recent efforts to bring Transparency in Coal Sector Transparent coal allocation policy for power sector, SHAKTI, issued in May 2017 Third-party sampling procedure was put in place to address concerns of grade slippage and other quality issues for coal consumers Inter-company safety audit of all 366 operative mines of Coal India Limited has been completed In November 2017, “Grahak Sadak Koyla Vitaran App” was launched for the benefit of customers lifting coal via the road mode. As a step towards transparency, the app provides date-wise, truck-wise quantity of coal delivered against the sale orders.

  • Development of coal bearing states: especially in the eastern part of the country, as the entire revenue from these auctions will accrue to them. Also, revenure may increase as the coal blocks will be allocated to the highest bidder. Industry consolidation: as it may see rise of large vertically-integrated energy companies with interests in coal mining, power generation, transmission and distribution to retail supply.

  • Benefits to people: as it will create direct and indirect employment in coal bearing areas as well as increase accessibility to low cost power, steel etc.

  • Attract foreign investment: as it provides a great opportunity to overseas companies in countries where coal mining is either on the wane or has been stopped completely.

  • Concerns Regulatory concerns: Significant proportion of India’s coal resources lies under lands that require forest and environment clearances, thus, government needs to ensure that private coal miners adhere to these norms.

  • Poor track record of private sector captive miners: The production levels have not been very encouraging as it accounts for only 6- 10% of the overall domestic production.

  • Risk of domination by a handful of companies: as coal sector is a capital intensive investment and according to industry estimates blocks of 40-50 million tonnes will be viable, only large companies may be able to invest.

  • Against global trends: There is going to be continuous pressure internationally and from civil society to cut back on coal usage. Also, Coal India Ltd released the draft Coal Vision 2030 that suggested that the country does not need new mines.

  • Focus on clean energy: Every country including India is focusing on renewable energy and if any breakthrough happens in cleaner energy technology, thermal will be left behind.

  • Other issues: local protests against mining operations, issues of transport linkages and logistics, challenges in land acquisition, delays in approval etc.

 

Way Forward

  • Capacity building of state governments: The state governments have to be proactive by improving ease of doing business and easing procedures for regulatory clearances.

  • Shifting aim of coal auction: from revenue maximisation to improving the efficiency of India’s energy economy. Thus, private and overseas companies with superior technology, proven mining experience and core competence should be chosen.

  • Easing clearance pressures: Model of ultra-mega power projects where a shell company is created to acquire land and get environment clearance before handing over the project to private sector can be followed.

  • Better regulation: by laying out standards for operational efficiency and miner’s safety, guidelines for testing, sampling and certifying the quality of coal. Thus, an independent coal regulator may be established as envisaged in lapsed Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013.

 

6. Draft National Mineral Policy 2018

Why in news

  • Recently, draft National Mineral Policy (NMP) 2018, was released which seeks to replace NMP (2008). Background Supreme Court on August 2, 2017 directed the Government to revisit the NMP (2008) and announce a new Mineral Policy.

  • National Minerals Policy 2008 It seeks to make the process of allocation more transparent by making regulatory mechanisms technologically advanced and in consonance with the investment flow. Strengthening the role of Geological Survey of India, Indian Bureau of Mines and State Directorates of Mining and Geology. Developing and enforcing a Sustainable Development Framework so that the rights of indigenous population are not hampered and also ensuring a sustainable ecological balance. Discouraging unsustainable mining and promoting zero-wastage mining. Developing cluster based approach of mining small deposits.

  • The Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015. It mandated the setting up of District Mineral Foundations (DMFs) in all districts in the country affected by mining related operations and to protect the interests of tribal communities who have borne the costs of mining. The miners have to contribute a fraction to DMF of total royalty payable to people. Establish

  • National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET): It is a non-profit body run by the Central government with the primary objective of promoting regional and detailed mineral exploration in the country

  • Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKY) To provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs). To implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining affected areas that complement the existing ongoing schemes/ projects of State and Central Government: To minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts To ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas. All areas directly affected by mining related operations as well as those areas indirectly affected by such operations will be covered under PMKKKY Management of Mineral resources is the responsibility of both Central under entry 54 of Union List and State under Entry 23 of the State lIst in 7th Schedule of Constitution According to NITI Aayog, the ratio of minerals produced to minerals imported in India was 1:10.

  • Around 90% of India’s Obvious Geological Potential (OGP) area remains unexplored.

  • Exploration expenditure per square km in India is $9, while it’s $5,580 in Australia and $5,310 in Canada.

  • Highlights of the policy Transparent Mechanism: There shall be transparency while reserving areas for state agencies unless security considerations or specific public interests are involved. Facilitator role of the government in survey and regulation of exploration, while the private sector would be encouraged to take up exploration activities through an adequate financial package or through right of first refusal at the time of auction.

  • Grant Industry Status To Mining Sector : to facilitate easy institutional financing of mine development. To attract FDI in sector, it seeks to provide assurances on export of minerals.

  • Ease of doing Business: Clearances will be streamlined with simpler, accountable, and time-bound procedures. Right of First Refusal will be offered to mineral exploration companies when mines explored by them are auctioned. In the offshore areas, country's exclusive economic zone should be explored and exploited. Special attention will be given towards exploration of energy critical minerals, fertilizer minerals, precious metals & stones and strategic minerals which are otherwise difficult to access Encouraging beach sand mining for improving economic growth in accordance with the conformity of different laws and regulation such as Atomic Energy Act, 1962 etc. Dedicated Mineral Corridors shall be planned to facilitate transport of minerals for mining areas in hinterland. Establish Mining Tenement System (MTS) which would primarily involve automating the entire concession life-cycle using State-of-the-art IT systems. Public Investment in areas where private sector investments are not coming in due to high uncertainties. Preferential right to any mine, which has small deposits and is situated in one of the scheduled areas, should be given to any scheduled tribe (STs) 33  

  • Cluster approach will be adopted where small deposits are not susceptible to viable mining, by granting the deposits as a single lease within a specified geographical area. National web portal to monitor and review the implementation of schemes under DMF for giving effect to PMKKKY. Human Resource Development through basic and specialized training to ensure adequate manpower for mining development Constitute an inter-ministerial body to institutionalise a mechanism for ensuring mining with adequate concern for environment and socio-economic issues in mining areas and to advise the Government on rate of royalty, dead rent etc. Evolving a mechanism to improve living standard of the affected population and ensuring them a sustainable income. Also, benchmarks for sustainable mining should be established Issues with draft policy Lack of clarity related to fiscal incentives that would be made available to a potential investor Mineral policy has no provisions of transfers of mineral concessions as is the standard practice in other mineral rich nations

  • Silent on Intergenerational Equity: A doctrine, also referred by Economic Survey 2016-17, which says that humans hold resources in common both with other members of the present generation and with other generations, past and future.

 

7. Productivity Council (Npc)

News Hightlight

  • Recently, NPC celebrated National Productivity Day and National Productivity Week on its 60th anniversary.

  • About NPC It is an autonomous organization under the administrative control of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to promote productivity culture in India. Established as a registered society in 1958 by the Government of India, it is a tri-partite non-profit organization with equal representation from the government, employers and workers’ organizations, apart from technical and professional institutions including members from local productivity councils and chamber of commerce on its Governing Body. It provides training, consultancy and undertaking research in the area of productivity. It carries out the programmes of the Tokyo based Asian Productivity 36  

 

What is Green Mobility?

  • It refers to all those mobility options which emit lower CO2 g/km than pure internal combustion engine vehicles. Based on current technological maturity and commercial viability, we have following green mobility options:

  • o Bio-Fuel and Methanol Based mobility

  • o CNG based mobility o Electric and Hybrid Mobility (xEV)

  • o Hydrogen Energy and Fuel-cell based mobility Such technologies have potential to revolutionise the transportation of people and goods. India lags far behind China, USA, Norway, and United Kingdom in use of Green mobility options.

 

Bharat Stage (BS) VI norms

  • They are emission standard norms to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. All automobiles in India BS-IV compliant from 1 April 2017 The target is to adopt BS-VI norms from 1 April 2020, skipping BS-V. Thus, two changes are required in vehicle’s engine

  • o Diesel particulate filter – to remove particulate matter or soot from diesel exhaust

  • o Selective catalytic reduction technology – to reduce the oxides of nitrogen in the engine exhaust It would also require upgraded fuel quality from BS-IV standards to BS-VI standards, i.e., from concentration of 50 parts per million (ppm) to 10 ppm.

  • Organization (APO), an inter-governmental body of which the Government of India is a founder member. It has been appointed as one of the National Monitoring and Implementation Unit (NMIU) for the implementation of Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme under National Manufacturing Competitiveness programme.

 

8. Draft National Auto Policy 2018

  • Why needed?

  • To provide a comprehensive policy framework so that automotive industry grows as per goals of Automotive Mission Plan 2016-26 (AMP 2026) i.e. to make India one of the top 3 in world in engineering, manufacturing and exports of vehicles and auto-components.

  • Key Proposals Develop a comprehensive long term roadmap for the development of automotive industries and define emission standards after Bharat Stage VI in accordance with the global standards by 2028. Develop a road map for reduction in CO2 emissions through Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) system by 2022, and provisions of penalties/incentives afterwards. CAFE norms require cars to be 30% or more fuel efficient from 2022 and 10% or more between 2017 and 2021 Introduce a composite length and emissions based criterion for vehicle taxation to neutralize impact on GST revenue and increase share of greener vehicles. Achieve harmonisation of standards in next 5 years in line with UNECE WP.29 (United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe-Working Party of experts on technical requirement of vehicles) to eliminate a major technical barrier to trade. Improve skill development and training ecosystem through improved accountability of ASDC (Automotive Skill Development Council) by linking its funding to performance and implementation of a Labour Market Information System (LMIS) by ASDC to match demand and supply of skilled labor.

  • Promote Innovation and R&D – by scaling up indigenous R&D with commercially viable innovations, implementing an outcome-based funding scheme for Industry Academia collaboration and Propose and implement tax exemption on different levels of R&D expenditure

  • Promote auto components manufacturing by developing capabilities and technology improvement in identified areas for auto component manufacturing, harmonising AIS (Automotive Industry Standards) and BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) for safety critical auto components, offering fiscal support for technology improvements in auto components sector and supporting auto component cluster programs in dedicated regions to establish shared training and testing facilities. 37  

  • Fast track adoption of Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) through upgrading testing facilities as per BNVSAP and make it mandatory for fleet purchases in identified public and private sector (taxis, rental cars etc.) to be of minimum BNVSAP rating

  • Define a Green Mobility roadmap for India and expediting adoption of green mobility in public domain. A national plan for establishment of public infrastructure for green vehicles should also be defined and roll out of FAME (Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) Scheme should be strengthened.

  • Monitoring and review - In addition to the continuous monitoring, the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) will conduct an independent assessment and mid-term review of the Auto Policy in the year 2022. Also the effective implementation of these policies will require co-ordination across different ministries (Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways etc.), thus, formation of a nodal body is proposed by the policy

  • Other measures include - Implement measures to increase exports of vehicles and components, conduct a detailed study to assess the logistics challenges being faced by the auto industry, ensure upgradation of test facilities in alignment with overall industry roadmap.

 

9. Dry Port

Why in news

  • Recently, Commerce Ministry announced overhauling of the infrastructure standards in Dry Ports or Inland Container Depots (ICD’s).

  • About Dry ports They are inland terminal, directly connected to a seaport by rail or road, which provides similar services as that of a seaport such as handling, temporary storage, inspection and customs clearance for international freight etc. They are known to improve logistics, supply chain and reduce capacity constraints faced by sea ports Issues with ICD’s ICDs in India containerize only 17 to 18% cargo, below the international standards of 76 to 77 % due to various reasons:

  • Under-Utilisation of Dry Port: Utilisations vary from as low as 20% to as high as 85% in certain regions, making business uneven.

  • Near Government Monopoly: Nearly 70 % of ICDs are owned by government-owned Container Corporation of India, a Navratna company established under Companies Act.

  • Location Issue: ICD are unevenly distributed in country, which negatively impact its sustainability. o Poor Connectivity: Rail and road connectivity network to the ICDs are not sufficient

  • Poor Investment Environment: Investments in ICDs are largely dominated by domestic companies while Global companies have refrained from investing in it.

  • Significance Boosting Export: Efficient Dry port infrastructure would help in achieving the country target of 5% share in world exports, which needs to grow at an average rate of over 26% for the next five years.

  • Achieving economies of scale: Involvement of ICD will help in reducing the logistics cost, as currently it account for 14-15% of manufacturing costs, which is among the highest in the world.

  • Synergizing with Sagarmala project (port-led development): Under this, Government aims to reduce logistics costs for EXIM and domestic cargo which if complemented with ICD development would lead to overall cost savings.

 

Way Forward

  • Locational factor: To be a sustainable business model, an ICD must be surrounded by a manufacturing and consumption hub.

  • Augmenting Infrastructure: Developing infrastructure in and around ICDs is crucial to attract investments into the sector. 40  

  • CRILC (Central Repository of Information on Large Credits) is responsible for collecting, storing and disseminating credit data to banks on credit exposures of Rs. 5 crore and above. Core banking solution (CBS) It is a back-end system that processes daily banking transactions and posts updates to accounts and other financial records. It allows customers to manage their accounts and use various banking facilities from any part of the world. In simple term, there is no need to visit your own branch to do banking transactions. e-Kuber is the CBS of Reserve Bank of India. It provides the provision of a single current account for each bank across the country, with decentralised access to this account from anywhere-anytime using portal based services in a safe manner.

  • Unsecured creditors, such as suppliers of raw materials often approached courts delaying the whole process.

 

How will these new guidelines help the bad loan problem?

  • The new rules will instil a sense of transparency, more investor confidence in the financials of banks and change the way banks do business. There will be greater prudence in lending. The tolerance for defaults is being lowered considerably. This will ensure loan repayment terms are more realistic. Banks will also pay better attention to developing risk management frameworks, something the government has been trying to push as part of its banking reforms package along with recapitalisation. The new norms will also instil some discipline in the corporate sector on honouring debt servicing commitments on time. With the insolvency and bankruptcy code, there are higher chances of a company getting liquidated, prompting better promoter behaviour. However, there is also a concern that the strict timelines could mean that a larger number of accounts go into insolvency and haircuts that banks may need to take & the probability of liquidation in some accounts may also rise.

 

10. Linking Swift To Core Banking

  • SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication System platform), promoted in 1973 by banks globally, is used to transmit messages relating to cross border financial transactions. SWIFT enables secure, seamless and automated financial communication between users. On receiving message through SWIFT, banks abroad (mostly branches of Indian banks) especially in the case of Indian firms provide funds to them. This credit which is against import documents is normally for 90 days and this facility is used regularly especially by companies which are in the business of gold, gems and jewellery. Companies take recourse to this form of funding as the costs of raising money overseas are relatively lower compared to rupee funding. This is essentially a short term foreign currency loan on which banks charge 60 to 90 basis points over the LIBOR. LIBOR (London Interbank Offer Rate) It is the global reference rate for unsecured short-term borrowing in the interbank market. It acts as a benchmark for short-term interest rates. It is used for pricing of interest rate swaps, currency rate swaps as well as mortgages. It is an indicator of the health of the financial system and provides an idea of the trajectory of impending policy rates of central banks. The Indian equivalent is known as The Mumbai Inter-Bank Offer Rate (MIBOR). 41  

 

What is FIU-Ind?

  • Financial Intelligence Unit – India was set by the Government in 2004 to provide quality financial intelligence for safeguarding the financial system from the abuses of money laundering, terrorism financing and other economic offences. It is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister. It is a multidisciplinary body with members from various government departments including Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Department of Legal Affairs and Intelligence agencies. Functions Receiving, processing, analyzing and disseminating information relating to suspect financial transactions. Coordinating and strengthening efforts of national & international intelligence, investigation and enforcement agencies in pursuing the global efforts against money laundering and related crimes.

 

11. The Ombudsman Scheme For Nbfcs

What is NBFC?

  • An NBFC is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/ stocks/ bonds/ debentures/ securities issued by Government, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, purchase or sale of any goods (other than securities) or providing any services and sale/purchase/construction of immovable property. They are registered with RBI under Section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934.

  • Difference between banks & NBFCs NBFCs cannot accept demand deposits; NBFCs do not form part of the payment and settlement system and cannot issue cheques drawn on itself; Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available to depositors of NBFCs, unlike in case of banks.

  • Importance of NBFCs: Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) bring in diversity and efficiency to the financial sector and make it more responsive to the needs of the customers. The NBFC sector, as a whole, accounted for 17 per cent of bank assets and 0.26 per cent of bank deposits as on September 30, 2017. NBFCs depended largely on public funds for funding their balance sheets.

 

Why needed?

  • Strong growth in advances by NBFCs and rising complaints against non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) regarding deficiency in services. The present Banking Ombudsman doesn’t cover NBFCs. The Financial Intelligence Unit has put 9,491 NBFCs under the high-risk category because of non-compliance with Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

  • About scheme It would provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the scheme. To begin with, the Scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs. Based on the experience gained, the RBI would extend the scheme to cover NBFCs having asset size of Rs. 1 Billion & above with customer interface. One or more officers at the RBI not below the rank of General Manager, may be appointed as ombudsman for tenure of 3 years. The offices of the NBFC Ombudsmen will function at four metro centres viz. Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi so as to cover the entire country.

  • A customer can file a complaint with the ombudsman if the NBFC rejects the complaint or does not respond within a month. Grounds of complaint - like non-payment or delay in payment of interest, non-repayment of deposits, lack of transparency in loan agreement, non-compliance with RBI directives, levying of charges without sufficient notice to the customers and failure or 42  

  • What is a 'Ponzi Scheme' A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. The Ponzi scheme generates returns for older investors by acquiring new investors. Eventually there isn't enough money to go around, and the schemes unravel. delay in returning the securities documents despite repayment of dues etc.

  • Powers of ombudsman to call for information from concerned NBFC and power to award compensation not exceeding 1 lakh rupees. The complainant/ NBFC has the option to appeal against the decision of the Ombudsman before the Appellate Authority. The ombudsman will be required to send an annual report to the RBI governor on 30 June containing general review of the activities of his office during the preceding financial year and other information required by the central bank.

 

12. Banning Of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill And Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018

The Banning Of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018

  • Why needed? In the recent past, there have been rising instances of people in various parts of the country being defrauded by illicit deposit taking schemes. The worst victims of these schemes are the poor and the financially illiterate, and the operations of such schemes are often spread over many States. Companies/ institutions running such schemes exploit existing regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people. The Finance Minister in the Budget Speech 2016-17 had announced that a comprehensive central legislation would be brought in to deal with the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes.

  • Recent scams: West Bengal-based Saradha Group scam (at least Rs20,000 crore of deposit-holders’ money is at risk after the sudden closure of the firm), Rose Valley scam etc.

  • Salient Features of the bill It contains a substantive banning clause which bans Deposit Takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme. It creates three different types of offences, namely, running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes. It provides for severe punishment and heavy pecuniary fines to act as deterrent. It has adequate provisions for disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally. It provides for attachment of properties/ assets by the Competent Authority, and subsequent realization of assets for repayment to depositors. Clear-cut time lines have been provided for this. It enables creation of an online central database, for collection and sharing of information on deposit taking activities in the country. It defines "Deposit Taker" and "Deposit" comprehensively.

  • "Deposit Takers" include all possible entities (including individuals) receiving or soliciting deposits, except specific entities such as those incorporated by legislation.

  • "Deposit" is defined in such a manner that deposit takers are restricted from camouflaging public deposits as receipts, and at the same time not to curb or hinder acceptance of money by an establishment in the ordinary course of its business.

  • It adopts best practices from State laws and entrusts the primary responsibility of implementing the provisions of the legislation to the State Governments. It also provides for designation of Courts to oversee repayment of depositors & try offences under the Act. There is also a listing of Regulated Deposit Schemes in the Bill, with a clause enabling the Central Government to expand or prune the list.

 

THE CHIT FUNDS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2018

  • The Bill makes amendments to the Chit Funds Act, 1982, to facilitate orderly growth of the Chit Funds sector and remove bottlenecks being faced by the Chit Funds industry, thereby enabling greater financial access of people to other financial products.

  • Chit fund A chit fund is a type of saving scheme where a specified number of subscribers contribute payments in instalment over a defined period. Each subscriber is entitled to a prize amount determined by lot, auction or tender depending on the nature of the chit fund. Typically the prize amount is the entire pool of contribution minus a discount which is redistributed to subscribers as a dividend.

  • Importance: With a reported 10,000 chit funds in the country handling over Rs 30,000 crore annually, chit fund proponents maintain that these funds are an important financial tool. However, these can be misused by its promoters and there are many several instances of people running such Ponzi schemes and then absconding with investor’s money.

  • Regulation: being part of the Concurrent List of the Indian Constitution; both the centre and state can frame legislation regarding chit funds. RBI is the regulator for banks and other NBFCs but does not regulate the chit fund business. However, RBI can provide guidance to state governments on regulatory aspects like creating rules or exempting certain chit funds. SEBI regulates collective investment schemes. However, the SEBI Act specifically excludes chit funds.

  • Details of Bill Use of the words "Fraternity Fund" for chit business to signify its inherent nature and distinguish its working from "Prize Chits" which are banned under a separate legislation; It allows two minimum required subscribers (for drawing chits) to join through video conferencing duly recorded by the foreman, as physical presence of the subscribers towards the final stages of a chit may not be forthcoming easily. The foreman shall have the minutes of the proceedings signed by such subscribers within a period of two days following the proceedings It increases the ceiling of foreman's commission from a maximum of 5% to 7%, as the rate has remained static since the commencement of the Act while overheads and other costs have increased manifold.

  • It allows the foreman a right to lien for the dues from subscribers, so that set-off is allowed by the Chit company for subscribers who have already drawn funds, so as to discourage default by them; and It removes the ceiling of one hundred rupees set in 1982, which has lost its relevance. The State Governments are proposed to be allowed to prescribe the ceiling and to increase it from time to time.

 

13. Government Abandons Revenue Deficit Targeting

  • Rationale behind the decision Country like India with numerous development deficits, an undue focus on revenue deficits may be detrimental to equitable development. Human capital development initiatives which include schools, hospitals and also maintenance of assets, which are in nature of revenue expenditure, are as important to improve productivity as buildings and roads. Thus, there is no qualitative difference in government’s capital and revenue expenditure. The distinction is more artificial than real.

  • Recommendations of the NK Singh (FRBM Review) Committee Public debt to GDP ratio should be considered as a medium-term anchor for fiscal policy in India. The combined debt-to-GDP ratio of the centre and states should be brought down to 60% by 2023 (comprising of 40% for the Centre & 20% for states) as against the existing 49.4%, and 21% respectively. It advocated fiscal deficit as the operating target to bring down public debt. For fiscal consolidation, the centre should reduce its fiscal deficit from the current 3.5% (2017) to 2.5% by 2023. The Committee set 0.5% as escape clause for fiscal deficit target to adjust with cyclical fluctuations The central government should reduce its revenue deficit steadily by 0.25 percentage (of GDP) points each year, to reach 0.8% by 2023, from a projected value of 2.3% in 2017. It suggested the setting up of a ‘fiscal council’, an independent body which will be tasked with monitoring the government’s fiscal announcements for any given year. It will provide its own forecasts and analysis for the same as well as advise the finance ministry on triggering the escape clauses. Revenue Deficit refers to the excess of revenue expenditure over revenue receipts or the extent of borrowings used for revenue expenditure. It signifies if the day to day expenditure of the government can be met by its day to day income.

  • FRBM Act 2003 called for bringing this deficit to absolute zero by 2008-09 Effective revenue deficit is revenue deficit minus grants to states for creation of capital assets.

  • Fiscal Deficit is the difference between the total expenditure and revenue receipts plus non-debt capital receipts. It indicates the amount the Government has to borrow to meet its annual targets.

  • Primary Deficit is measured by fiscal deficit less interest payments. It shows what the Fiscal Deficit would’ve been for this particular year if no interests were to be paid. It ignores the loans taken by the previous Governments in previous financial years.

  • Capital expenditure: Expenditures which result in creation of physical or financial assets or reduction in financial liabilities. Revenue expenditure: Expenditure incurred for purposes other than the creation of physical or financial assets of the central government. It relates to expenses incurred for the normal functioning of the government departments.

  • Concerns This decision may lead government’s expenditure towards more consumption spending away from more productive capital expenditure. India is significantly lacking in physical infrastructure, hence adequate resources should be allocated towards building sustainable infrastructure rather than prioritising doing away with targeting revenue deficit. The philosophy behind the FRBM Act was to force government from switching from consumption to capital expenditure as the latter has a higher multiplier effect on GDP growth. Doing away with revenue deficit targeting will have serious implication not only on GDP growth but also on achieving public debt target. Borrowing for expenditures that are to be incurred year after year which is actually revenue deficit is neither desirable nor sustainable as this would create debt trap for the government. N.K. Singh Committee had also recommended reduction of revenue deficit.

 

Way forward

  • Social infrastructure like health and education should be financed through increase in tax-GDP ratio, while fiscal deficit can be used to finance physical capital formation while keeping revenue deficit in balance. However, Government has accepted the key recommendations of the N.K. Singh committee on fiscal discipline to bring down debt-to-GDP ratio to 40% by 2024-25, and to use fiscal deficit target as the key operational parameter. Centralized Communication Scheme 2018

 

14. Minimum Alternate Tax

  • In a written reply in Lok Sabha, the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs said that the investments required in urban areas for a 20-year period between 2012-13 and 2031-32 is estimated to be Rs 39 lakh crore based on the report of the high-powered expert committee. Status of urban infrastructure spending India’s annual per capita spending on cities is $50 which is less than that of China ($362), South Africa ($508) and U.K. ($1772). The projected figure of Rs.39 lakh crore goes up to Rs.59 lakh crore, if operation and maintenance expenses are included. The total combined outlay of the Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT is only Rs.1 lakh crore, or about 2% of the funds required by 2031. 46  

  • Government initiatives to increase investments in urban infrastructure Credit linked subsidy under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Housing for All (URBAN) 100% deduction for profits to an undertaking in housing project for flats up to 30 sq. metres in four metro cities and 60 sq. metres in other cities to promote affordable housing. Establishing National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) for infrastructure development in commercially viable projects, both Greenfield and Brownfield, including stalled projects. 100% FDI is allowed under the automatic route for urban infrastructure areas like urban transport, water supply, sewerage and sewage treatment subject to relevant rules and regulations. Credit Rating of cities and towns, 94 of the 500 cities included in Smart City Mission and AMRUT have obtained such ratings which are necessary for issuing Municipal Bonds for mobilization of resources.

  • Value Capture Financing (VCF): The VCF policy framework was introduced by the Ministry of Urban Development in February 2017. VCF is a principle that states that people benefiting from public investments in infrastructure should pay for it. Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban – This will also spur economic growth thus, creating avenues for more investments as a World Bank study on the economic impacts of inadequate sanitation in India estimated that India lost the equivalent of 6.4 per cent of GDP due to inadequate sanitation.

  • Issues with urban infrastructure finance Dependence for funds on states and centre: Devolution of funds is not predictable and timely, especially from the state governments. Further, these devolved funds are largely tied in nature, to either specific sectors or schemes. This constraints the ability of local governments to spend on local public good as per their own priorities.

  • Inadequate revenue generation: They generate revenue below their potential and spend even less on services and infrastructure. Indian cities revenue is less than 1% of GDP.

  • ULBs’ revenue share often doesn’t rise with economic growth of an area due to factors like undervaluation (Land), limits on taxation power (Professional tax) etc.

  • Weak credit worthiness & underdeveloped municipal bond market due to outdated and mismanaged accounting practices leads to lack of interest from private investors, for example 39 out of 94 surveyed cities received credit ratings below the investment grade(BBB-).

  • Absence of financial investment: plans due to lack of expertise and resources.

  • Lack of stakeholder consultation: while formulating and implementing projects leads to a disconnect between ULBs and citizens Weak Asset Management leads to loss of revenue for the ULBs, even though they own substantial assets. Absence of data availability and mapping leads to litigations and inefficient policy making and implementation.

 

Way forward

  • The costs of providing water and sewer lines, as well as public roads, must be recovered from developers through a combination of land tax, development charges and betterment fees. Rational user charges should be levied for the continued provision of public services like water supply, with a fairly priced monthly lifeline charge for the poor and a graded increase in charges (based on usage) to ensure the rich don’t end up getting subsidised. There is a need for use of financial instruments like municipal bonds to raise money to direct development along certain corridors or geographies, so that the city government can control growth instead of leaving it to developers. India needs to develop its own National Urban Policy (NUP) as an instrument for applying a coherent set of interventions in relation to the future growth of cities, in partnership with all stakeholders. Globally, around one-third of countries have a NUP in place.

February Indian Economy

15. National Urban Housing Fund (Nuhf)

Significance

  • It will enhance the competitiveness of India's service sectors through the implementation of focused and monitored Action Plans, thereby promoting GDP growth, creating more jobs and promoting exports to global markets. o The share of India's services sector in global services exports was 3.3% in 2015 compared to 3.1% in 2014. Based on this initiative, a goal of 4.2 % has been envisaged for 2022. o A goal of achieving a share of services in GVA of 60 % (67% including construction services) has been envisaged by the year 2022 which is currently about 52%.

 

16. Better Regulatory Advisory Group

  • The Better Regulatory Advisory Group has been convened under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to look into the issues of regulatory processes for fast tracking of investments, both from the domestic and the foreign companies. Six sub-groups have been formed to identify regulatory bottlenecks and suggest best practices followed world over.

  • The sub-group would look into areas of: Income Tax, Goods and Services Tax, Corporate Laws, Financial Securities Law, Regulatory Impact Assessment and MSMEs. It would help in promoting ease of doing business in the country.

 

17. Kusum

Why in News

  • Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahaabhiyan (KUSUM) scheme was announced in Budget 2018-19. About KUSUM It aims to incentivise farmers to run solar farm water pumps and use barren land for generating solar power to have extra income. The total cost of the capacities under this scheme would be Rs 1.4 lakh crore, out of which, the Centre will provide Rs 48,000 crore financial assistance.

  • Components of KUSUM Utilisation of barren land by farmers to generate 10,000 MW of solar energy and sell it to grid. For this, discoms would be given 50 paise per unit as generation based incentives to buy power from farmers for five years. The government will provide subsidy to farmers for buying 17.5 lakh off grid solar farm pumps. The Centre and the states will provide 30% subsidy each on solar pumps. Another 30% will be met through loans while 10% of the cost will be borne by the farmer. Solarisation of grid-connected farm pumps involving 7,250 MW capacity. Solarisation of government departments' grid connected water pumps. Expected Benefits It would help in de-dieseling of the agriculture sector which currently uses approximately 10 lakh diesel run pumps. Help the financial health of DISCOMs by reducing the subsidy burden to the agriculture sector. Promotion of decentralised solar power production Provide water security to farmers through provision of assured water sources through solar water pumps – both off-grid and grid connected To support States to meet the renewable purchase obligation targets To fill the void in solar power production in the intermediate range between roof tops and large parks Reduce transmission losses through off-grid systems. 49 

  • Need The 19th Livestock Census (2012) estimates India’s cattle population at 300 million (highest in the world), putting the production of dung at about 3 million tonnes per day. According to a 2014 ILO study, the productive use of dung could support 1.5 million jobs nationally. For the farmer, there is a significant potential of greater income from the sale of cow dung. The ILO study also reports that the value of one kg of cow dung multiplies over 10 times, depending on whether the end product is fresh dung (sale price of Rs 0.13) or as input for a one megawatt biogas plant along with compost output (Rs 1.6).

 

About PMEGP

  • It is a major credit-linked subsidy programme being implemented by the Ministry of MSME since 2008-09 by merging the two schemes, namely Prime Minister's Rojgar Yojana (PMRY) and Rural Employment Generation Programme. It is aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth in rural as well as urban areas.

  • Decentralised Implementation: The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the nodal implementation agency for the PMEGP at the national level. At the state/district level, state offices of KVIC, Khadi and Village Industries Boards (KVIBs) and District Industry Centres (DIC) are the implementing agencies. The scheme’s targets are fixed taking into account the extent of backwardness of state; extent of unemployment; extent of fulfilment of previous year targets; population of state/union territory; and availability of traditional skills and raw material Higher rate of subsidy (25%-35%) will be applicable for women, SC/ST, OBC, Physically Disabled, NER applicants in rural areas.

 

18. Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme

  • Changes made in scheme A second loan of up to Rs 1 crore to existing and better performing PMEGP units for upgrading with subsidy of 15%. Merger of Coir Udyami Yojana, a credit linked subsidy scheme to establish coir units, in PMEGP Introduction of concurrent monitoring and evaluation Mandatory Aadhaar and Pan card and Geo-tagging of units. Dispensing with the ratio of 30:30:40 for KVIC/KVIB/DIC. Negative list (which contains list of activities not permitted under PMEGP for setting up of micro enterprises/ projects /units) has been amended, allowing serving/selling non-vegetarian food at Hotels/Dhabas and Off Farm/Farm Linked activities. Cap the working capital component for manufacturing units to 40% of the project cost and for service/trading sector to 60% of the project cost A minimum target of 75 project/district is awarded to all districts of the country to achieve Inclusive Growth.

 

19. Gobardhan Yojana

About Gobardhan (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) Yojana

  • It would be implemented under Swacch Bharat Mission- Gramin with twin objectives - To make villages clean and generate wealth and energy from cattle and other waste. It would focus on managing and converting cattle dung and solid waste in farms to compost, biogas and bio-CNG. An online trading platform will also be created to connect farmers to buyers so that they can get the right price for cow dung and agricultural waste. The challenge is to incentivise farmers to think of their cattle waste as a source of income and, in the process, also keep their communities swachh

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