1. Maharashtra extends its Electronic Policy tenure by two years from April 10, 2021 to March 31, 2023.
- Maharashtra has extended its Electronic Policy tenure by two years from April 10, 2021 to March 31, 2023.
- Maharashtra Electronic Policy was issued in 2016. Maharashtra cabinet also decided to align Maharashtra Electronic Policy with center’s Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS).
- Compound semiconductors, silicone photonics devices, and integrated circuits will also be included in definition of FAB (common term for semiconductor fabrication plant).
- Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) was notified by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on 1 April 2020.
- Under SPECS, a financial incentive of 25% on capital expenditure for certain lectronic goods and products is provided.
2. Government invites Expression of Interest (EoI) for strategic disinvestment in BEML Limited.
- Government has invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) for strategic disinvestment in BEML Limited.
- Government has decided to disinvest 26% of equity share capital of BEML Limited. Government’s current shareholding in BEML Limited is 54.03%.
- Minister of Coal & Mines has said that Rs 30,000 crore will be invested by National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) for its expansion and diversification plans.
- Minister was addressing 41st Foundation Day event of NALCO. He also said that the government had started a non-ferrous metal import monitoring system for aluminum and copper.
- Government has also invited bids for managing the share sale process in Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilizers Ltd (RCFL). Government’s shareholding in RCFL is 75%. It intends to sell 10% stake in RCFL.
- Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (RCFL) is a PSU under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers. It is India’s fourth-largest producer of fertilizers. It is a Mini Ratna Company.
- BEML Limited was earlier named Bharat Earth Movers Limited. It is a Public Sector Undertaking that comes under Defence Ministry. It is the biggest Defence, Mining & Construction and Rail Coach Manufacturer in India.
- National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) is a Navratna Central Power Sector Enterprise (CPSE). It comes under Ministry of Mines.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
3. Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) introduces Liberalised Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Package for MSMEs.
- Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) has introduced Liberalised Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Package for MSMEs.
- CBIC has simplified compliance criteria and documentary requirements. MSMEs must have a valid certificate form their line-Ministry.
- Under the relaxed norms, MSMEs filing minimum 10 Customs clearance documents in one year and having clean compliance record over 2 years can apply for the scheme.
- CBIC has committed that it will decide on an application for grant of AEO status within only 15 days from electronic submission of complete documents for AEO Tier T1.
- Reduction in Bank Guarantee requirements, have also been introduced for MSMEs.
- Liberalised MSME Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Package is a voluntary compliance programme. It enables swift clearance for accredited stakeholders in global supply chain.
- Indian AEO programme was started in 2011. Statutory framework for AEO programme provides for three tier AEO (AEO T1, AEO T2, AEO T3) status for Exporters and Importers. AEO T3 is the highest level of accreditation.
Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes
4. Scheme for industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir approved by CCEA.
- Scheme for industrial development of Jammu and Kashmir has been approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
- Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has made a proposal for Central Sector scheme for the industrial development of J&K.
- CCEA has now approved DPIIT’s proposal for Central Sector scheme with a total outlay of Rs 28,400 crore up to 2037.
- Under the scheme, capital intensive incentives, capital interest subvention, working capital incentive and GST-linked incentives will be provided to companies.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA):
- It is a cabinet committee working to develop a coherent and integrated economic policy, reviewing economic trends, problems and prospects.
- It is headed by the Prime Minister of India.
5. Annual Lightning Report 2019-20 says every third death from natural hazards is result of lightning.
- Annual Lightning Report 2019-20 says every third death from natural hazards is result of lightning a major killer as per data of the last 54 years (1967 to 2020).
- Lightning Resilient India Campaign 2019-20 has brought out Annual Lightning Report 2019-20.
- Data in the report says that lightning deaths are increasing in India. Odisha, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh have declared lightning as State-specific disaster.
- CROPC’s report also says that number of deaths due to lightning strikes reduced by about 33% from 2018-19 to 2019-20.
- Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand reported over 60% of deaths in lightning incidents.
- Lightning Resilient India Campaign is a joint initiative of following organizations.
- Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROPC)
- India Meteorological Department (IMD)
- Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
- India Meteorological Society
- World Vision India
- Lightning Resilient India Campaign aims to reduce lightning deaths of human beings, livestock and wild animals by 80% in next 03 years.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
6. National Statistics Office (NSO) releases 1st Advance Estimates (AE) of GDP for 2020-21.
- National Statistics Office (NSO) has released 1st Advance Estimates (AE) of GDP for 2020-21.
- As per the first AE of GDP for 2020-21, it is estimated that real GDP at 2011-12 prices in 2020-21 may contract by 7.7% and nominal GDP at current prices by 4.2%.
- Finance Ministry said that 1st AE of 2020-21 show that continuous growth in economic activity in Q3 and Q4.
- As per the Finance Ministry, government consumption will show growth of 5.8% in 2020-21 and agriculture will show growth of 3.4% in 2020-21.
- It is estimated that the electricity sector in manufacturing sector will show positive growth of 2.7%.
- Trade, hotels, transport and communication services are estimated to contract by 21.4% in FY 2020-21.
- Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Goldman Sachs had earlier estimated a GDP contraction of 8%, 9.6% and 10.3%, respectively.
7. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approves appointment of B K Tyagi as new director at Shipping Corporation of India Ltd.
- Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved appointment of Binesh Kumar Tyagi as new director at Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) Ltd.
- He is currently the general manager at SCI. Sangeeta Sharma retired from the post on November 30.
- The post of finance director is also vacant as Harjeet Kaur Joshi became chairperson and MD of company in December 2019.
- Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) Ltd was in news as on December 22, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) invited expression of interest to privatize SCI by selling government 63.75% in it.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
8. $105 million project signed to improve waterways in West Bengal.
- $105 million project has been signed by Government of India, Government of West Bengal and World Bank to improve inland waterways in West Bengal.
- The project is named West Bengal Inland Water Transport, Logistics and Spatial Development Project. It will make passenger and freight movement across the Hooghly River easier.
- Currently, West Bengal’s existing ferry system caters to less than 2% of passenger traffic and a small portion of freight movement.
- The maturity period of $105 million loan from International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is 17 years. This includes a grace period of 7 years.
- Additionally, loan agreement for two road projects has also been signed between Government of India, Andhra Pradesh government, and New Development Bank (NDB).
- The names of the projects are Andhra Pradesh Roads and Bridges Reconstruction Project and Andhra Pradesh Mandal Connectivity and Rural Connectivity Improvement Project.