Niti Aayog Current Affairs - 2019
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The 2nd India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue (IRSED) was held in New Delhi. It took place under chairmanship of Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog and Mr. TimurMaksimov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Russian Federation.
Key Highlights of IRSED
Participants: included government officials, business leaders and experts. All brought in diverse perspectives for ideation.
Six Core Areas of Cooperation focused on 2nd IRSED meeting-
- Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies
- Development of Agriculture and Agro-Processing sector
- Small and Medium Business support
- Digital Transformation and Frontier Technologies
- Cooperation in Trade, Banking, Finance, and Industry
- Tourism & Connectivity.
Parallel Roundtables included in IRSED discussed areas of cooperation and concrete roadmaps for future negotiations across outlined core areas such as-
- Roundtable on Digital transformation and Frontier Transformation: It focussed on areas of collaboration between India and Russia in digital space and frontier technologies and potential for future collaborations across various sectors like payments platform, joint startup ecosystem, use of digital technology in areas of education, construction and skilling.
- Roundtable on Development of Transport Infrastructure and Technologies: It discussed areas of cooperation across various modes of transport like creation of twin ports between India and Russia, ship building and river navigation, safety and passenger comfort in railways, speed upgradation, ensuring predictability of cost and movement schedules across transport corridors and research and development.
- Roundtable for increasing collaboration and cooperation between Small and Medium Businesses in India and Russia: It recommended setting up of nodal points of interaction between two countries and ensuring access to finance, access to E-markets and seamless digital banking.
- Roundtable on Agriculture and Agro-processing: It noted dynamic nature of agriculture, livestock rearing and food processing in both countries and immense opportunities of cooperation.
- Roundtable on Tourism and Connectivity: It highlighted need for increasing bilateral tourism and exploring natural avenues for economic and commercial partnerships such as expanding visitor itineraries for both countries, and creating more products for tourist interest like yoga and medical tourism.
- Roundtable on Industrial Trade and Cooperation: It emphasised awareness exchange between two countries in areas of investment opportunities, exploring better Business-to-Business (B2B) communication and collaboration, generating greater investment flows through public and private cooperation in an organised way.
Significance: Such discussions help enhance strategic economic cooperation between two countries. It gives opportunity to discuss and prepare specific proposals for joint action in future and establish economic relations which reflect potential of cooperation between two nations.
About India-Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue
It was established after a bilateral MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between India’s NITI Aayog and Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development of Russian Federation. The MoU was signed during 19th edition of Annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit which was held on 5 October 2018, in New Delhi.
1st IRSED was held in St. Petersburg in Russia from 25-26 November 2018. It was chaired by Russia’s Minister of Economic Development of Russian Federation Mr. Maxim Oreshkin and Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog.
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has issued the guidelines for monetisation of non-core assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and immovable enemy properties.
Guidelines for Monetisation of Non-Core Assets
- An inter-ministerial group chaired by the secretary of DIPAM will identify the non-core assets of the CPSEs on its own and also on the basis of recommendations of the Niti Aayog.
- The final call will be taken by the Finance minister-headed panel.
- Once the panel approves the assets for monetisation, it should be completed within 12 months from the date of approval, failing which the finance ministry may restrict budgetary allocations to the CPSEs.
- CPSEs can also seek relaxation from the inter-ministerial group of the 12-month deadline for sale of non-core assets.
- In case of immovable enemy properties, the guidelines said that the assets would be identified for disposal in consultation with the stakeholders including the respective state governments.
The amount raised through the sale of non-core assets would form part of the disinvestment proceeds. The government has set a target of Rs 90,000 crore to be raised through CPSE disinvestment in the current financial year.