The Gist of Press Information Bureau (PIB): January 2015

The Gist of Press Information Bureau: January 2015

There is Urgent Need for Technological Up-Gradation in Handloom and Power Loom Sector

The Prime Minister Shri Modi said that artisans, weavers and craftsmen need to be provided training in a scientific manner at their working place itself. He said that new generation should be provided financial incentives to join and continue with this profession. The Prime Minister Shri Modi was addressing a large gathering in Varanasi today which included large number of weavers, craftsmen and artisans among others. Earlier, the Prime Minister Shri Modi laid the foundation of a Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) and a Crafts Museum as well as inaugurated a Power loom Service Centre at CPWD Complex, Bada Lalpur in Varanasi today. He also visited the Exhibition organized on this occasion and saw live demonstration by artisans, weavers and craftsmen and a model of proposed T FC and Crafts Museum displayed there. A film showing highlights of the textile sector as well as the proposed Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) and a Crafts Museum was also shown on this occasion.

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said that textile sector is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture sector. He said that weavers, craftsmen and artisans not only weave the variety of threads in a specific design but also helps in unifying the different sections of society as this sector employs people from all sections cutting across the boundaries of caste, creed and religion. The Prime Minister Shri Modi said that every profession has to keep pace with time and adept itself with changing requirements. Same is true with handloom and power loom sector as well, he added. They also need to change and develop according to the demands of the day. The Prime Minister Shri Modi said that this sector therefore has to focus to upgrade its technology, marketing tactics, create new designs and products at large in order to meet the requirements of consumers and buyers. Shri Modi said that in today’s era, e-commerce and e-business is up-coming in a big way and this sector has to make its best use to take its products to people at large. He said that there is already a big market for Banarasi handloom and handicrafts products but there is a challenge to make them reach at every household in every nook and corner of the country and the world at large. The Prime Minister said that indeed, there is need to provide finance to this sector. He said that the focus of his Government is on the development and growth of Eastern part of the country at par with Western part in order to achieve the goal of holistic growth. In this regard, he mentioned about the recent decision of the Central Government to allocate Rs. 2,375 crore as revival package for district cooperative banks. 16 of these banks are in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. This would ensure easy availability of credit to the lower and middle class, and help revive the handloom and powerloom sector, he added.

Home Minister emphasises on prison reforms, by using technology and improving infrastructure .

The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh has emphasised on the need of prison reforms, by using technology and improving the infrastructure. Addressing the National Seminar on Prison Reforms organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), here today, he said that the prisons should be modernized. Shri Singh said that the prisons should not be seen only as places of confinement, but also for reforming the prisoners. He said that the prisoners should be imparted appropriate skill training.

Shri Rajnath Singh said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has already issued Advisories to state governments on the basis of recommendations by the NHRC and the Supreme Court of India. The Minister said that the phase 1 of modernization of prisons concluded in 2009 and phase 2 of the modernization scheme will be taken up from February 2015. Stressing the need of checking the overcrowding in prisons, he expressed concern that two-third of those living in prisons are under-trials. The Union Home Minister said that this aspect should be addressed by setting up fast-track courts. The Minister also said that centre has asked the states to set up model prisons and only 6 states have set up such prisons so far. Efforts will be taken to set up more model prisons, he added. The Minister said that care should be taken of health and hygiene needs of the prisoners. Shri Rajnath Singh said that due care needs to be taken of women prisoners and their children staying with them there. The Union Home Minister thanked the NHRC for discussing and making recommendations on prison reforms and assured that the centre will put all-out efforts to get them implemented by the state governments. The Minister also assured that he will also visit some jails to check whether the recommendations are being properly implemented.

Draft Civil Aviation Policy Geared to Face New Global and Domestic Demands

While developing airports, it is equally essential to ensure that related sectors such as access to manufacture, business, tourism and pilgrim centres are developed. This needs to be done in association with other Central Government Departments as well as the State Government/Union Territory.The six metropolitan airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad would be developed as major international hubs and would in future be the main access points for international travel to and from India.In future a “hub-and-spoke” model would be followed, which would also facilitate the development of regional networks and air connectivity as a whole. The existing bilateral agreements with foreign bilateral agreements will be designed in such a way as to facilitate the hub-and-spoke model.

The Draft puts emphasis on rationalizing the cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF). Due to high rates of taxes, the cost of ATF in India is 40 to 45% higher than the international costs. Steps will be taken in association with the Ministry of Finance and State Governments to rationalize the rate of taxes so that our costs are competitive.Regarding development of the cargo sector, the Government proposes to substantially develop the transport of cargo by air for which there is considerable potential. To achieve the objective, the six metro airports will be developed as regional cargo hubs, integrating multi-modal transport facilities, cold chains and other commodity specific requirements. The turnaround time for cargo will be upgraded to international standards. Air Freight Stations will be developed in different parts of the country to streamline Customs clearance and to reduce congestion in the airports. As institutional reforms,an Expert Committee will be constituted to develop a future roadmap for Air India. Airports Authority of India will be corporatised, followed by listing in the Stock Exchanges, in order to improve efficiency and transparency. Pawan Hans Ltd. will be listed in the Stock Exchanges with the same objective. A mission mode project will be set up to ensure that organizations under the Ministry are competitive in terms of efficiency and costs.

Government’s objective will be to provide optimum air connectivity to all regions, subject to commercial viability. A special package will be developed for the North-Eastern Region to improve air connectivity and provide linkages to remote locations. The Route Dispersal Guidelines will be reviewed with the objective of encouraging Indian carriers to enhance regional connectivity through deployment of small aircrafts and code sharing arrangements. The 5/20 guidelines will be reviewed with a view to encouraging the entry of new Indian carriers. For development of the civil aviation sector, provision of Air Navigation Services (ANS) of international standards is essential. The Airports Authority of India has taken several initiatives in this direction. These would be intensified with the objective of reducing flying time, elimination of crowding at airports, direct routing of aircrafts from destination to destination and enhancing communication and navigation services to international standards.

Helicopter Aviation is a segment that has considerable potential for growth in areas such as reducing congestion in the big cities, medical evacuation, relief operations, law and order, oil exploration etc. Heliports and helipads will be developed in locations with sufficient potential. It is also proposed to provide suitable incentives to helicopter operators in respect of operational costs in the airports.The rules and regulations followed by DGCA will be upgraded to international standards. Systems will be introduced for online receipt and clearance of various permissions and clearances. The functioning of Ministry of Civil Aviation and the offices under the Ministry will be digitized to improve efficiency and transparency. The service and clearances to be given by different agencies will be made online. Electronic procurement systems will be strengthened to ensure transparency and accountability.

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