Insights Daily Current Affairs, 30 December 2016

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Insights Daily Current Affairs, 30 December 2016


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Govt meets PMUY target of 1.5 crore LPG connection additions this financial year

 

The government has met the 1.5 crore target for LPG connections to be added in this financial year under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). With this, LPG coverage across the country has been increased to 70% as of December 1.

 

Key facts:

  • Target of 1.5 crore connections fixed for the current financial year for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has been achieved within a span of less than eight months and the scheme is being implemented now across 35 States/UTs.
  • The top five states with the highest number of connections are Uttar Pradesh (46 lakh), West Bengal (19 lakh), Bihar (19 lakh), Madhya Pradesh (17 lakh) and Rajasthan (14 lakh).e Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
  • The households belonging to SC/ST constitute large chunk of beneficiaries with 35% of the connections being released to them.
  • 14 States/UTs with LPG coverage less than the national average, such as the hilly states of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and all North-East states have been identified as priority states for implementing PMUY.

 

About the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana:

Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Rs.8,000 crore has been earmarked for providing 50 million LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.

  • Under the scheme, an adult woman member of a below poverty line family identified through the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is given a deposit-free LPG connection with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection by the Centre.
  • Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories.
  • The scheme will be implemented over the next three years.
  • The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

Financial data management body mooted

 

The Committee, headed by Ajay Tyagi, has submitted its report and a draft bill titled ‘The financial data management centre bill 2016’.

  • The panel has suggested setting up a financial data management centre (FDMC) for managing the repository of financial regulatory data to ensure stability in the economy.

 

Key facts:

  • The powers of the Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) will include the establishment, operation and maintenance of the financial system database along with collecting financial regulatory data and providing access to it.
  • The body will also provide analytical support to the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on issues relating to financial stability.

 

Important recommendations made by the committee:

  • Efforts should be concentrated on framing the law, setting up of centre and standardizing processes around collection of data from central level regulators and entities.
  • As the system matures and if it is decided to integrate data of state level financial sector regulators, the same has to be done with wide consultation with the states, which is a long drawn process.
  • Centre should establish an electronic database for financial regulatory information. It should be in-charge of the day to day operations, maintenance and updating the electronic database, analyse the data submitted in the database and provide analytical support to FMDC.
  • To ensure secrecy and avoid conflict of interest, member, employee or officer of the centre having access to confidential data should not be allowed to render advice or accept any employment with a financial service provider for a period specified in the act until the person has taken approval of the centre.
  • The committee has also asked the government to grant the status of “public servants” to the members, officers and employees of the centre.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

 

FIPB clears 6 FDI proposals worth Rs 1,200 crore

 

Inter-ministerial body Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved six investment proposals envisaging foreign investment of Rs 1,200 crore.

 

Background:

India allows FDI in most sectors through the automatic route, but in certain segments considered sensitive for the economy and security, the proposals have to be first cleared by FIPB.

 

About FIPB:

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), housed in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, is an inter-ministerial body, responsible for processing of FDI proposals and making recommendations for Government approval.

 

Main tasks:

  • It considers and recommends foreign direct investment (FDI) which does not come under the automatic route.
  • It provides a single window clearance for proposals on FDI in India.

 

FIPB comprises of the following Secretaries to the Government of India:

  • Secretary to Government, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance – Chairperson
  • Secretary to Government, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Secretary to Government, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry
  • Secretary to Government, Economic Relations, Ministry of External Affairs
  • Secretary to Government, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

 

On what basis decisions on FDI are taken by the FIPB?

The extant FDI Policy, Press Notes and other related notified guidelines formulated by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are the bases of the FIPB decisions.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.  

 

Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative

 

The government has launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative. It was launched by the Union Health Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Human Resource Development.

 

Key facts:

  • The initiative is aimed at strengthening health centres in open defecation-free blocks.
  • The objective is to strengthen community health centres in 708 open defecation-free blocks across the country to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Under it, 10 lakh rupees of financial assistance will be given to the community health centres so that they can be strengthened to meet the standards of sanitation, hygiene and infection control.
  • The initiative is a part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, under the National Health Mission. It is focused on the twin objectives of constructing toilets and enabling behavioural change, with the goal of making India free of open defecation by October 2, 2019.

Sources: the hindu.


 

Paper 2 Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

 

Wage payment through banks ordinance gets President’s nod

 

President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016, to enable industries to pay wages through cheque or by direct credit into bank accounts of workers earning up to Rs. 18,000 a month without their permission.

 

Key facts:

  • The ordinance empowers the Centre or State governments to specify industries or establishments where wage payment can be made mandatory through the banking system.
  • The ordinance doesn’t make payment of wages mandatory through the banking system and employers can still pay salaries through cash. The Payment of Wages Act of 1936 required employers to take permission from employees before paying salaries through cheque or bank credit.

 

Background:

The government introduced the Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha on December 15, but it couldn’t be cleared, owing to the impasse in Parliament.

 

Way ahead:

An ordinance is valid for six months and the Centre needs to get it passed in Parliament within that period.

Sources: the hindu.