Jal Marg Vikas Project Current Affairs - 2019

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Key Highlights of Union Budget 2019-20 (Part 1)

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs recently presented Union Budget 2019-20 before Parliament. Key Highlights of which are-

10-point Vision for the decade

  1. Jan Bhagidari: Minimum Government Maximum Governance for Building Team India.
  2. Space: Launching Gaganyan, Chandrayan, other Space and Satellite programmes
  3. Environment: Achieving green Mother Earth and Blue Skies through a pollution-free India
  4. Self-sufficiency and export of food-grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and vegetables.
  5. Digital India: Making Digital India reach every sector of the economy.
  6. Building physical and social infrastructure.
  7. Water: Water, water management, clean rivers
  8. Blue Economy
  9. Health: Achieving a healthy society via Ayushman Bharat, well-nourished women & children, safety of citizens
  10. Emphasis on Start-ups, MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), defence manufacturing, electronics, automobiles, fabs and batteries, and medical devices under Make in India

Towards a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy

India Inc. are India’s job-creators and nation’s wealth-creators”- Finance Minister.

Indian economy to become a $3 Trillion economy in current year (2019-2020)

Government aims to make India a $5 trillion economy.

Need for investment in: Infrastructure, Digital economy and Job creation in small and medium firms

Initiatives to be proposed for kick-starting the virtuous cycle of investments and

Common man’s life changed through MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Bank) loans for ease of doing business (EDB).

Measures related to MSMEs:

Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Maandhan Scheme (PMKYMS):

  • Pension Benefits: to about 3 crore retail traders & small shopkeepers with annual turnover of less than Rs.1.5 crore
  • Scheme Enrolment to be kept simple, requiring only Aadhaar, bank account and a self-declaration-
  • 350 crore allocated for Financial Year 2019-2020 for 2% interest subvention (on fresh/incremental loans) to all GST-registered MSMEs, under Interest Subvention Scheme (ISE) for MSMEs.
  • Payment platform for MSMEs to be created to enable filing of bills and payment thereof, to eliminate delays in government payments.

INFRASTRUCTURE

National Common Mobility Card: India’s first indigenously developed payment ecosystem for transport, based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards, launched in March 2019.

Ease of Travelling: Inter-operable transport card runs on RuPay card and would allow the holders to pay for bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping.

Massive push given to all forms of Physical Connectivity via: Bhartamala (road and highways project) and Sagarmala projects (national water port development connectivity scheme), Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), Jal Marg Vikas and UDAN Schemes, Industrial Corridors and Dedicated Freight Corridors.

State road networks to be developed in 2nd phase of Bharatmala project.

Jal Marg Vikas Project: Under it Navigational capacity of Ganga to be enhanced through multi modal terminals at Sahibganj and Haldia and a navigational lock at Farakka by 2019-20.

Ganga Waterways: 4 times increase in next 4 years estimated in cargo volume on Ganga, leading to cheaper freight and passenger movement and reducing import bill.

Railways:

For Railway Infrastructure during 2018-2030, Rs.50 lakh crore investments is needed

Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) proposed for development and completion of tracks, delivery of passenger freight services and rolling stock manufacturing.

657 kilometers of Metro Rail network has become operational across India.

Aviation:

Policy interventions to be made for development of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), to achieve self- reliance in aviation segment

Government will be laying a Regulatory roadmap for making India a hub for aircraft financing and leasing activities from Indian shores

e-vehicles:

Outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore for 3 years approved for Phase-II of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles) Scheme

Upfront incentive proposed on purchase and charging infrastructure, to encourage faster adoption of Electric Vehicles (EV).

Under FAME Scheme only advanced-battery-operated and registered e-vehicles to be incentivized

Highways: National Highway Programme (NHP) to be restructured to ensure a National Highway Grid, using a financeable model

Power: to be provided to states at affordable rates ensured under ‘One Nation, One Grid’ and package of power sector tariff and structural reforms to be soon announced.

Undesirable duties on captive generation or open access sales for industrial as well as other bulk power consumers to be removed under Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).

Blueprints to be made available for water grids, gas grids, i-ways, and regional airports

Gas:

Implementing HLEC (High Level Empowered Committee) Recommendations which is- Addressing low utilization of gas plant capacity due to paucity of Natural Gas; Retirement of old & inefficient plants.

Housing:

Model Tenancy Law to be finalized and circulated to all states in country

To promote rental housing appropriate reform measures are to be taken up

For public infrastructure and affordable housing on land parcels held by Central Government and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), a joint development and concession mechanisms to be used.

FINANCE

Measures for enhancing sources of capital for Infrastructure Financing:

Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation to be set up in FY 2019-2020

To deepen the market for long term bonds Action Plan to be put in place with focus on infrastructure

Proposed transfer/sale of investments by FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investor)/FPIs (Foreign portfolio investment) (in debt securities issued by IDF-NBFCs) to any domestic investor within specified lock-in period

Measures to deepen bond markets:

To enable securities exchange (or stock exchange) to allow AA rated bonds as collaterals

Review the User-friendliness of trading platforms for corporate bonds

Social stock exchange:

Electronic fund raising platform under regulatory ambit of SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India)

Listing social enterprises and voluntary organizations

To raise capital as debt, equity or units like a mutual fund

Investment:

SEBI to consider raising threshold for minimum public shareholding in listed companies from 25% to 35%

Government to supplement efforts by RBI to get retail investors to invest in government treasury bills and securities (G-Sec), with further institutional development using stock exchanges

Measures for making India a more attractive FDI destination:

Know Your Customer (KYC) norms for FPIs to be made more investor friendly

Foreign Direct Investment in sectors like media (animation, AVGC), insurance sectors and aviation can be opened further after multi-stakeholder examination.

Insurance Intermediaries to get 100% FDI

Easing local sourcing norms for FDI in Single Brand Retail sector.

Annual Global Investors Meet to be organized by Government in India, using National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) as an anchor to get all three sets of global players (pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds).

The statutory limit for FPI investment in a company is suggested to be increased from 24% to sectoral foreign investment limit. Also, option to be given to the concerned corporate to limit it to a lower threshold

FPIs to be permitted to subscribe to listed debt securities issued by Real estate investment trusts (REITs) and Infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs).

NRI-Portfolio Investment Scheme Route is proposed to be merged with FPI Route.

Cumulative resources garnered through new financial instruments such as InvITs, REITs as well as models like Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) exceed Rs. 24,000 crore.

INDIA and SPACE:

New Space India Limited (NSIL), a Public Sector Enterpises (PSE), incorporated as a new commercial arm of Department of Space (DoS)

To tap benefits of Research & Development carried out by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) such as commercialization of products like launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products

Month: Categories: Business, Economy & Banking

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PM inaugurates country’s first multi-modal terminal constructed on river Ganga in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first Inland Multi-Modal Terminal Port on river Ganga at Ramnagar in Varanasi and received first container cargo belonging to PepsiCo. It is the first of four Multi-Modal Terminals being constructed on National Waterways-I (NW1) on River Ganga as part of World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI). The other three terminals are under construction at Sahibganj, Haldia and Gazipur. It enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 DWT on river Ganga.

Background

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) was approved in January 2017 for capacity augmentation of navigation on NW-1. It was approved at a cost of Rs 5369.18 crore with technical assistance and investment support of World Bank. Following this, IWAI in February 2018 had signed project agreement with World Bank for Jal Marg Vikas Project. World Bank provided $375 million loan for the project.

Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP)

The project aims to enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500 – 2000 tons on NW1. It includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals at Varanasi, Haldia and Sahibganj, modern River Information System (RIS), strong river navigation system, Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, construction of navigational lock at Farakka. It will result in environment-friendly, fuel-efficient and cost-effective alternative mode of transportation, especially for bulk, hazardous goods and over-dimensional cargo. Its development and operations will provide direct employment generation to 46000 people and indirect employment of 84000 in states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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