Housing Current Affairs

India, Nepal sign 8 MoUs

India and Nepal have signed eight Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in various fields, including Housing grant, prevention of drugs, post-earthquake reconstruction packages in health and education sectors.

The agreements were inked after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba in New Delhi. The two leaders also jointly inaugurated the Kataiya-Kusaha and Raxaul-Parwanipur cross border Transmission lines.

Signed MoUs are

  • Agreement on Cooperation in the field of standardization and conformity assessment.
  • MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN).
  • MoU on Modalities for Utilization of India’s Housing Grant Component to support Reconstruction of 50,000 Houses.
  • Three MoUs on Implementation of the Grant Component of India’s Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Package in the Education Sector, Cultural Heritage Sector and Health Sector in Nepal.
  • MoU for Implementation Arrangement for Construction of Mechi Bridge under ADB’s SASEC Road Connectivity Programme (Tranche 2), Funded by India.
  • MoU on Drug Demand Reduction and Prevention of Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemical and Related Matters

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Key announcements of PM Narendra Modi’s new year eve’s speech

Following the tough decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today thanked citizens for undertaking sacrifice to cleanse the economy of black money.

In his address, he announced a number of welfare sops to help the poor, the rural sector, small businesses and other citizens to lighten the burden of demonetization. 

Some of the few announcements are
  • Rural and Urban Housing for poor: PM announced two new housing schemes for the urban poor. Under Pradhan Mantri Aawaz Yojana (PMAY), the poor and middle class in cities will get 4% exemption on interest for home loans up to Rs 9 lakh and 3% exemption for home loans up to Rs 12 lakh.
  • Under PMAY, 33% more houses will be built in villages. Home loans up to Rs 2 lakh will get 3% exemptions for building a new house and also for renovation in villages.
  • Farmers: 3 crore Kisan credit cards will be converted into RuPay cards in coming 3 months. Government will bear 60 days interest on select farm loans.
  • Government will add Rs 20,000 crore more to fund created by NABARD of Rs 21000 crore for giving loans to cooperative banks and societies at low interest rate.
  • Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME): To give boost to the small entrepreneurs credit guarantee for small businesses doubled to Rs 2 crore.
  • Banks have been asked to raise cash credit limit for small business to 25% from 20%. Banks also have been asked to increase working capital loans from 20% of turnover to 30% for enterprises that transact digitally.
  • Women and elderly: Pregnant women and lactating women in above 650 rural districts will get Rs 6,000 in bank accounts to meet medical expenses and reduce child, woman mortality.
  • Senior citizens will get guarantee of 8% interest rate on deposits up to Rs 7.5 lakh for 10 years.

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