Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Amendment in RTI Act


The Government is considering a proposal to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005.

A notice of intention has been given to introduce “The Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2018” in the Rajya Sabha for consideration and its passage during the current session of Parliament.  The purport of the amendments proposed is to provide for enabling provision under the RTI Act to frame Rules regarding salaries, allowances and conditions of service for Chief Information Commissioners and Information Commissioners and State Information Commissioners.  Presently, there are no such provisions available under the RTI Act.

Consultations with Department of Expenditure, Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Department have been undertaken while preparing/formulating the RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Grievance Redressal Officers for processing the complaints/information under e-way Bill System


As per the decision of the GST Council, e-way bill system has been rolled-out in a staggered manner across the country. E-way bills are getting generated successfully and till 17th July, 2018, more than Thirteen Crore and Fifty Lakh e-way bills have been generated which includes Six Crore and Fifty Lakh E-way bills for Intra-State movement of goods.
            Grievance Redressal Officers have been appointed by both the Central and State Governments under the provisions of e-way bill rules for processing the complaints/information uploaded by taxpayers/transporters regarding detention of their vehicle. List of these Grievance Redressal Officers is available at http://www.cbic.gov.in/resources//htdocs-cbec/gst/GRO%20Officers%20-%20180718.pdf . 
            Any difficulties or issues being faced by the trade and industry may be brought to the notice of Grievance Redressal Officers in your jurisdiction. Trade is also advised to make themselves conversant with e-way bill rules and be aware of mechanisms available for redressal of all their concerns.
Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Cabinet approves Special Package for Irrigation Projects in Vidarbha, Marathwada and other chronically drought prone areas of Rest of Maharashtra



The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra.

Impact:

Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

Details:

The special package shall help in creation of additional potential of 3.77 L Hectares. In Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of rest of Maharashtra.

The projects included under special package are over and above the 26 major/ medium projects of Maharashtra having ultimate potential of 8.501 Ha being funded under PMKSY-AIBP, which are planned to be completed by December,2019.

Progress of the projects would be monitored by State as well as Central Water Commission.

Financial Implications:

The overall balance cost of the projects as on 01.04.2018 is estimated to be Rs. 13,651.61 crore.

This amounts @ 25% of the balance cost of these 91 projects as on 01.04.18 as well as 25% reimbursement for the expenditure incurred during 2017-18, keeping in view that funding of these projects is under consideration since 2017-18, would be provided. Total Central Assistance to be provided for implementation of these projects is Rs. 3,831.41 crore. Rest is to be provided by Government of Maharashtra. It is also envisaged that State Share may be arranged through NABARD.

Benefits and Employment Generation:

On completion of the projects, the utilization of irrigation potential of about 3.77 lakh ha will transform the agriculture scenario of the region resulting in generation of substantially more employment opportunities through increase in cropping intensity, change in cropping pattern, agro processing and other ancillary activities.

Moreover, implementation of scheme will generate employment of approximately 341 lakh man-days for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers.

Background:

Maharashtra has experienced hydrological and agricultural drought during the years 2012 to 2016. The situation has been worst in Vidharbha and Marathawada region with unfortunate incidence of suicides by farmers been reported there. Also Drought Prone Areas (DPA) in rest of Maharashtra have experienced distress in the recent years. These projects are ongoing, yet, they are languishing due to fund constraints as informed by the State Government. The completion of balance works of these projects will help in creation of additional 3.77 lakh hectare of irrigation potential and assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects. This will increase yield of their crops and thereby increase the income of the farmers.

Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Cabinet approves Policy framework for streamlining the working of Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) in Pre-NELP and NELP Blocks







The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the policy framework for streamlining the operations of Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) for increased domestic production of hydrocarbon resources. The policy framework includes:


a) Special dispensation for E&P activities in North Eastern Region (NER).


Based on recommendations in 'Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North East', Government has extended timelines for exploration and appraisal period in operational blocks of North Eastern region of India considering geographical, environmental and logistical challenges. The exploration period has been increased by two years and appraisal period by one year. Further, to stimulate natural gas production in NER, Government has also allowed marketing including pricing freedom for natural gas to be produced from discoveries which are yet to commence production as on 1st July, 2018. PSC blocks in NER will be benefited from this special dispensation.


b) Sharing of Royalty and Cess in Pre-NELP Exploration Blocks.


Government has created an enabling framework for sharing of statutory levies including royalty & cess in proportion to the participating interest of the Contractor in Pre-NELP Exploration Blocks, and same has been made cost recoverable with prospective effect. This will benefit Pre-NELP Exploration Blocks in which fresh investment for additional development & production activities is expected as sharing of royalty and cess, and cost recoverability of same will help in making additional investment commercially viable for Licensee company; ONGC/OIL.


c) Extending tax benefits under Section 42 of Income Tax, 1961 prospectively to operational blocks under Pre-NELP discovered fields for the extended period of contract under PSC extension policy dated 28th March, 2016. Section 42 of Income Tax allows the companies to claim 100% of expenditure incurred under a PSC as tax deductible for computing taxable income in the same year. While signing PSC of Pre-NELP discovered fields, 13 contracts out of 28 contracts did not have provision for tax benefit under Section 42 of Income tax Act. Now, this will bring uniformity and consistency in PSCs and provide incentive to contractor to make additional investment during the extended period of PSC.


d) Relaxing the timeline from 7 days to 15 days for giving written notice to notify the occurrence of a Force Majure event in the PSCs.


The approval is expected to help in ensuring expeditious development of hydrocarbon resources.






Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Cabinet approves continuation of the Schemes of (i) Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme; (ii) Post Matric Scholarship Scheme; and (iii) Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme for the students belonging to Minority Communities

Cabinet approves continuation of the Schemes of (i) Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme; (ii) Post Matric Scholarship Scheme; and (iii) Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme for the students belonging to Minority Communities during 2017-18 to 2019-20
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for Continuation of Pre-Matric, Post Matric and Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Schemes for the students belonging to the six notified Minority Communities at a total cost of Rs. 5338.32 crore for period up to 2019-20. This will benefit 70 lakh students annually.


Salient Features:



The major features of the schemes are as under:




These Schemes shall be implemented through the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) and scholarships are disbursed through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode. 




Around 70 lakh scholarships are likely to be disbursed. 




Scholarship is awarded to students who have secured not less than 50% marks in the previous final examination. 




The students should be studying in Government Schools/ Institutes or recognized private schools/ institutes. 




The State/Community-wise target/allocation as per Census 2011. 




Physical targets are fixed only for fresh scholarships. 




Renewal scholarships are also awarded, in addition to the fresh scholarships. Renewal scholarships are for all such students who have been awarded scholarships in the previous years and fulfill the eligibility criteria. 






Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme:




The objective of the Scheme is to encourage parents from minority communities to send their school going children (from Class I to X) to school, lighten their financial burden on school education and sustain their efforts to support their children to complete school education. 




Annual income of parents/ guardian should not be more than Rs 1.00 Lakh. 




Target-30,00,000 (Thirty lakh) for Fresh applicants. 






Entitlements:

Item

Entitlements

Rate of Scholarship Admission + Tuition Fee

Admission Fee for Class VI to X: Rs. 500/- per annum subject to actuals (both Hosteller & Day Scholar)

Tuition Fee for Class VI to X: Rs. 4,200/- per annum subject to actuals (both Hosteller & Day Scholar)

Maintenance Allowance

For Class 1 to V: Rs 1,000/- per annum for Day Scholar

For Class VI to X (Hosteller): Rs. 6,000/- per annum For Class VI to X (Day Scholar): Rs. 1,000/-per annum


Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme:

  • The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial assistance to the poor and meritorious minority students with better opportunities for higher education, increase their rate of attainment in higher education and enhance their employability in organized sector.

  • Annual income of parents/guardians should not be more than Rs. 2.00 Lakh.

  • Target- 5,00,000 (Five lakh) for Fresh applicants.
Entitlement:
Item

Entitlements

Rate of Scholarship Admission + Tuition Fee


Admission and Tuition fee Class XI & XII: Rs. 7,000/- per annum subject to actuals (both Hosteller & Day Scholar)

Admission and Course/Tuition fee for technical and vocational courses of XI and XII level (Courses of one or more year of duration): Rs. 10,000/- per annum subject to actuals (both Hosteller & Day Scholar)

Admission and Tuition fee for UG & PG level including M.Phil & Ph.D: Rs. 3,000/- per annum subject to actuals (both Hosteller & Day Scholar)

Maintenance Allowance

For Class XI & XII including Tech. & Voc. Course: Rs. 3,800/- per annum for Hosteller & Rs. 2,300/- per annum for Day Scholar


For Courses other than Tech. & Prof, courses at UG & PG level: Rs. 5,700/- per annum for Hosteller & Rs. 3,000/- per annum for Day Scholar

For M. Phil & Ph.D.: Rs. 12,000/- per annum for Hosteller & Rs. 5,500/- per annum for Day Scholar



Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme:




The objective of the Scheme is to provide financial assistance to the poor and meritorious minority students to enable them to pursue professional and technical courses at under Graduate and post Graduate levels leading to upliftment of the socio economic conditions of the minority communities.




Annual income of parents/guardians should not be more than Rs. 2.50 Lakh.




Target- 60,000 for Fresh applicants.






Entitlements:
Full Course fee reimbursed to the students from 85 institutes listed under the scheme; and for others at Rs. 20,000/- per annum subject to actuals.
Maintenance allowance @ Rs. 10,000/- per annum for hostellers and @ Rs. 5,000/- for day scholars.


Special focus by earmarking funds:






Although 30% of scholarships are earmarked for girl students, more than 35% of the total scholarships are disbursed to them.






Major Impact:




The implementation of these Schemes during the past years have made a great impact on the general literacy rate/level across the minority communities. As per Census 2011, the Literacy Rate of Muslim has gone up from 59.1% to 68.5%, for Christian from 80.3% to 84.5%, for Sikh from 69.4% to 75.4%, for Buddhist from 72.7% to 81.3% and for Jains from 94.1% to 94.9% as compared to Census 2001 figures, with more improvement in respect of females (data not available for Parsis).




There is still a high demand for scholarships from minority students. For the year 2017-18, against the annual target of 35.60 Lakh, about 60.00 Lakh Scholarships have already been disbursed and the disbursement process continues in 2018-19.




By availing scholarships under the aforesaid three Scholarship Schemes, minority students shall be able to pursue their school/higher/professional education and enhance their employment opportunities for jobs in Government/ Private Sector or self-employment.






Financial implications:


Funding of the scheme would be from annual budgetary provisions of the Ministry. The Expenditure Finance Committee, Department of Expenditure has recommended for the continuation of this Scheme. The annual estimated expenditure is detailed below:

Year

2017-18*

2018-19

2019-20

Funds required (in Rs. Crore)

1,779.44

1 ,779.44

1,779.44

Total for 3 years- Rs.5,338.32 Crore


*(The Budgetary expenditure of Rs.1,971.04 crore was made during 2017-18. The Scheme was implemented on the same format as approved by Cabinet for implementation during 12th Plan period).






Beneficiaries:






For all three Scholarship Schemes, the State/Community-wise target/allocation shall be applicable as per Census 2011. Around 70 lakh scholarships are likely to be disbursed to the students belonging to the six notified Minority Communities viz. Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi who are from the economically weaker sections of the society.






States/Districts covered:






These three Scholarship Schemes shall be implemented in all 29 States and 7 Union Territories across the country for the students belonging to the six notified Minority Communities viz. Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi.






Background:






It is a continuing Scheme from 11th & 12th Five Year Plan and shall be implemented during the next three years i.e. during the balance period of 14th Finance Commission from 2017-18 to 2019-20.






The objective of the Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme is to encourage parents from minority communities to send their school going children (from Class I to X) to school, lighten their financial burden on school education and sustain their efforts to support their children to complete school education while the objective of the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme is to provide financial assistance to the poor and meritorious minority students with better opportunities for higher education, increase their rate of attainment in higher education and enhance their employability in organized sector. Similarly, the objective of the Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship Scheme is to provide financial assistance to the poor and meritorious minority students to enable them to pursue professional and technical courses at under Graduate and post Graduate levels leading to upliftment of the socio economic conditions of the minority communities.


Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Cabinet approves establishment of Medical College, Salempur at Deoria, Uttar Pradesh


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the State Government of Uttar Pradesh for establishment of new medical college at Deoria at a cost of Rs.250 crore under Phase-II of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme.



Under Phase-II of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme for establishment of new medical colleges attached with existing District/Referral hospitals, the criteria for one medical in every three Parliamentary Constituencies and one Government medical college in each State was adopted. Accordingly, a requirement of 24 additional medical colleges including eight medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh has been approved.



Out of the eight identified Blocks in Uttar Pradesh, the Block-6 consists of (70) Ghosi, (71) Salempur and (72) Ballia Parliamentary Constituencies. The State Government of Uttar Pradesh has recommended for establishment of Medical Colleges, Salempur at Deoria by up-gradation of District Hospital, Deoria.



The State Government has informed that Salempur is part of District Deoria and Salempur Parliamentary Constituency is partly covered under District Deoria. The District Hospital, Deoria is also suitable as it has sufficient number of beds and other facilities including availability of land as per MCI norms for the establishment of medical college of all possible locations in the identified Block.

Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Text of the PM Shri Narendra Modi’s statement ahead of the beginning of the Monsoon Session of Parliament


वर्षा सत्र में देशहित के कई महत्‍वपूर्ण मसले उसका निर्णय होना जरूरी है, जिसका निर्णय होना जरूरी है। देश के कई महत्‍वपूर्ण मसलों पर चर्चा होना जरूरी है और जितनी व्‍यापक चर्चा होगी सभी वरिष्‍ठ अनुभवी लोगों का सदन को मार्गदर्शन मिलेगा, उतना देश को भी लाभ होगा, सरकार को भी अपनी निर्णय प्रक्रिया में अच्‍छे सुझावों से फायदा होगा। मैं आशा करता हूं कि सभी राजनीतिक दल सदन के समय का सर्वाधिक उपयोग देश के महत्‍वपूर्ण कामों को आगे बढ़ाने में करेंगे। हर किसी का पूर्ण सहयोग रहेगा और देशभर में भारत की संसद की गतिविधि की छवि राज्‍य विधानसभाओं के लिए भी प्रेरक बने, ऐसा उत्‍तम उदाहरण सभी सांसद सदस्‍य और सभी राजनीतिक दल प्रस्‍तुत करेंगे, ऐसी मेरी पूरी आशा है । हर बार मैंने अपनी आशा प्रकट भी की है, प्रयास भी किया है। इस बार भी आशा प्रकट कर रहा हूं। इस बार भी प्रयास कर रहे हैं और हमारा प्रयास निरंतर रहेगा। कोई भी दल, कोई भी सदस्‍य किसी भी विषय में चर्चा करना चाहता है, सरकार हर चर्चा के लिए तैयार है। यह मानसून सत्र है, देश के कई भागों में वर्षा के कारण कुछ आपदाएं भी हैं और कुछ स्‍थान हैं जहां अपेक्षा से कम वर्षा है। मैं समझता हूं ऐसे विषयों की चर्चा ही बहुत उपयुक्‍त रहेगी। बहुत-बहुत धन्‍यवाद।


Courtesy:pib.nic.in

Amendment in RTI Act

The Government is considering a proposal to amend the Right to Information Act, 2005. A notice of intention has been given to intr...