Here is the weekly round-up of several governance and economic development related news in India.
Enhancing Efficiency of India’s Major Ports – New Act Introduced
Union Cabinet cleared the Major Port Authorities Bill, replacing the 1963 Act that regulated 12 major ports in India. The new law will account for the entry of private players and public private partnership (PPP) model currently under deployment in various port redevelopment and management. Provisions for resolving disputes with private players have also been incorporated into the Act.
The new law will enhance the overall efficiency of the major ports which collectively handled 699 million tons of cargo in 2018-2019.
You can learn more about the Modi Government’s push for port-led development and trade here.
Empowering Female Entrepreneurship – MUDRA Loans Break Barriers
Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur informed the Parliament that over 15 crore loans, amounting to ₹4.78 lakh crore, have been disbursed to women borrowers under Mudra Yojana to date. It is important to note that 70% of all loan sanctioned through MUDRA has been allocated to female beneficiaries, reported ANI.
Tamil Nadu topped the list of female MUDRA beneficiaries, with a total sanctioned amount of ₹58,227 crores, followed by West Bengal and Karnataka with ₹55,232.19 crore and ₹47,714.04 crore respectively.
From Dispute to Trust – Vivad Se Vishwas Approved by Cabinet
Taking forward the proposal from Budget 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the Vivad se Viswas Bill 2020. Under Vivad se Vishwas, only the disputed amount needs to be paid, while all interests and penalties that have accrued over time will be waived.
The scheme will also cover litigations pending in various Debt Recovery Tribunals. Tax disputes pending at the level of commissioner (Appeals), Income Tax Appellate Tribunals, High Courts and the Supreme Court are already covered under the scheme. It is expected that cases of direct tax collections involving ₹9 lakh crore shall get resolved through this scheme.
Protecting Farmer’s Land Through Safe Pesticides
Pesticide Management Bill 2020 was approved by the Cabinet. The Bill is aimed at protecting the interest of the farmers, so that they get safe and effective pesticides.
The Bill’s provisions enable farmers to get all information regarding the available pesticides, their strength, weaknesses, and risks from the dealers they choose to purchase the pesticide from. Information regarding all pesticides would be available in in the public domain, in all languages in digital format. The bill also has a provision to provide compensation if there is any farm loss because of low quality or spurious pesticides.
Transparent and Faster Procurement Through Government e-Market Place
The Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal, which was launched in 2016, registered total public procurement to the value of ₹40,000 crore till date, and has 3.24 lakh registered vendors. DAata reveals about one lakh e-bids or tenders are uploaded on the portal.
You can read more about how the GeM portal has brought in Transparency into public procurement and encouraged MSME entrepreneurship here.
India’s Pride, IT Industry Shines Bright
India’s IT Industry continues to lead the way in revenue growth and employment generation in India. A NASSCOM Report on IT Industry projects 7.7% revenue growth for IT Industry for FY21, which will take its revenue to $191 billion. The industry also added 2.05 lakh jobs in 2019-20, with a major share of the workforce being the youth segment.
Growth was also seen in IT services export, signaling an improvement in global demand for IT services, where the Indian IT Industry is a leader. It also indicates that the Indian IT industry is fast adjusting to new technologies like AI, Big Data, Automation and Blockchain and carving a place for itself.
You can learn more about how the IT sector remains the brightest star in Indian Economy here.
India’s Food Processing Sector Sees Massive FDI Inflows
India received FDI of $463.44 million in the food processing sector in the first half of the fiscal year 2019-20. Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry received the highest FDI inflow in the country at $244 million, followed by Maharashtra with $25 million. You can read more about how food processing is helping double farmers income here.
New Records Set by Digital Payments and FASTag
Owing to the consistent support of the government to Digital India, January 2020 recorded the highest number of IMPS and UPI based transactions in India. IMPS based transactions valued ₹2.16 lakh crore, the highest number to date. UPI also reached its highest cumulative value of transactions, crossing ₹2.16 lakh crore, with the government-owned BHIM App registering 1.85 crore transactions worth ₹6,611.22 crore.
Read more about Digital revolution brought about by UPI here.
The issuance of FASTags surged by over 47 per cent from November to reach 1.16 crore in December 2019. The number of transactions also nearly doubled to 6.43 crore in December, amounting to ₹1,256.84 crore
Read more about how Fastags are making Travel barrier free and fast here.