The Gist of Press Information Bureau: October 2014
Outcome of Brics summit-2014
Major outcomes of the 6th BRICS Summit include signing of an
Agreement setting up a New Development Bank and signing of a Treaty setting up
the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), which will work as a multilateral
currency swap amongst BRICS Central Banks. MoS (IC) for Commerce and Industry
signed these documents on behalf of India.
An MoU on technical cooperation amongst Export Credit
Guarantee Agencies of BRICS countries aimed at improving environment for
increasing trade opportunities among BRICS countries and an Inter-Bank
Cooperation Agreement on Innovation to support financing of innovation projects
of mutual interest were also signed at the Summit.
The Fortaleza Declaration issued at the conclusion of the
Summit captures the discussions and consensus among the BRICS countries on a
wide range of issues covering reform of global governance – both political and
economic, trade, finance, regional political issues as well as global issues
including WTO, terrorism, transnational organized crime, climate change,
post-2015 development agenda, etc.
At the Summit India expressed support for an open, inclusive,
efficient and rule-based global trading regime under the WTO that would address
the aspirations of the developing countries and the special needs of the poor
countries particularly in the area of food security.
The Fortaleza Declaration has endorsed that the work
programme to be established after the 9th WTO Ministerial Meeting held in Bali
must prioritise issues where legally binding outcomes could not be achieved
including in public stockholding for food security purposes. A reference has
also been made to the implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation in
the work programme. This clearly shows the balance and equity that been sought
by BRICS Leaders in the implementation of the Bali Trade deal which in itself is
a positive gain for developing countries. Relevant portion of Paragraph 21 of
the Fortaleza Declaration which captures this position is reproduced below:
“…..we reaffirm our commitment to establish by the
end of this year a post-Bali work program for concluding the Doha Round,
based on the progress already made and in keeping with the mandate
established in the Doha Development Agenda. We affirm that this work program
should prioritize the issues where legally binding outcomes could not be
achieved at MC9, including Public Stock-Holding for Food Security Purposes.”
Monitoring of Central Projects
Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Statistics &
Programme Implementation Shri Rao Inderjit Singh has said that Ministry of
Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors the on-going Central Sector
Infrastructure Projects costing Rs. 150 crore and above on time and cost
overruns, after the projects are approved by the competent authority.
As on 1st May 2014, 727 on-going Central Sector Projects were
on the monitor of this Ministry. 282 projects were delayed as against their
original dates of commissioning. He said, as reported by the project
implementing agencies, the main reasons for delay in implementation are law and
order problems, delay in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement
problems, fund constraints, delay in forest and environment clearances, right of
way/right of use issues, delay in supply of material, contractual issues, etc.
The Minister said, major steps undertaken to ensure timely
completion of Central Sector Infrastructure Projects include rigorous project
appraisal; On-line Computerized Monitoring System (OCMS) for regular integrated
monitoring; setting up of Standing Committees in the Ministries for fixation of
responsibility for time and cost overruns; regular review of infrastructure
projects by the concerned administrative Ministries; and setting up of Central
Sector Projects Coordination Committees (CSPCCs) in the States under the Chief
Secretaries for removal of bottlenecks and for facilitating the speedy
implementation of major projects.
Development and Rejuvenation of Ganga
During 12th Plan, outlay for Rs. 2200 crore has been
provisioned for National Ganga River BasinAuthority (NGRBA), which has been
entrusted with the work of controlling pollution in the river Ganga.Further,
Government is giving special emphasis on rejuvenation of River Ganga.
Consultation with different stakeholders viz., Ministries such as Ministry of
Environment & Forests; Water Resources, Ganga Rejuvenation and River
Development; Urban Development; Tourism; Shipping; Drinking Water Supply and
Sanitation; Rural Development, etc., as well as academics, technical experts and
NGOs associated with cleaning of Ganga, is in progress. Crystallisation of
action plan, including framing of its salient features, time line and likely
expenditure would be known only after the finalisation of the action plan for
cleaning of River Ganga. This would include issues of ecological flow in River
Ganga as also curbing of pollution.
Ministry of Environment & Forests have informed that the
State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) are required to implement the effluent
discharge standards by the industries. Action is to be taken against the
defaulting industries by the SPCBs under powers delegated to them by the Central
Government under relevant provisions of Water (Prevention & Control of
Pollution) Act, 1974 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
Further, efforts made by the Government for management of Industrial Pollution
affecting Rivers includes notifying industry specific effluent standards. The
Ministry of Environment & Forests has identified 764 Grossly Polluting
Industries (GPIs) discharging 501 million litres per day (mld) of wastewater
into Ganga and its major tributaries. 704 industries have been inspected Under
NGRBA programme by the NGRBA Cell, CPCB till May, 2014. Directions have been
issued to 165 industries, of which 48 are the closure directions under Section
-5 of E(P) Act,1986.
Government is also promoting setting up of Common Effluent
Treatment Plants (CETPs), Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) and Environmental
Surveillance of industries by CPCB, State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution
New Program of Financial Inclusion
The Union Finance Minster Shri Arun Jaitley said that the
Government is going to launch a new program of Financial Inclusion in Mission
Mode which will provide households with facilities of savings, credit,
remittances, insurance and pension among others. He said that this is a marked
shift from earlier effort where only opening of account was the focus of the
financial inclusion drive.
The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley further said that this time
the Government is targeting the individual households rather than the village.
He said that there are 7.5 crore households in the country who do not have bank
account so far. The Finance Minister said that the Government is targeting that
every village should get a banking facility within a reasonable distance and
that every household should have at least one bank account within the time frame
of one year. This is a big challenge and there are several difficulties like
lack of connectivity and infrastructure facilities etc, the Minister added.
The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that in our country
where we have very low levels offinancial literacy, it is essential that people
understand the importance of availing financial services which will enable them
to participate in the growth story. Therefore, financial literacy will receive a
special emphasis in this new programme of financial inclusion, the Minister
The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that technology has
made rapid strides in recent times and, therefore, the Government must use
technology, especially mobile based services in a big way to achieve the desired
results. The Government has integrated provisions of access to banking
facilities, account opening, financial literacy, credit availment, micro
insurance and pension, the Minister added.
The Financial Inclusion Mission has two phases starting from
15thAugust this year. The first phase will get over by 14thAugust, 2015 and the
second Phase by 14thAugust, 2018. Most of the activities will be done in Phase –
I and insurance and pension would be covered in Phase – II. The Finance Minister
Shri Jaitley said that the primary method of branchless banking has been that of
the Business Correspondents. It is therefore important to ensure that the
Business Correspondents have a viable business model and for this purpose
Government has decided to encourage transfer of subsidies directly to bank
accounts of the beneficiaries.
The GSLV project has successfully launched GSLV-D5 flight
with indigenous Cryogenic engine and stage on 5th January 2014 from Satish
Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota and is currently preparing for the next flight
GSLV namely, GSLV-D6.
The GSLV-F02, GSLV-D3 and GSLV-F06 flights could not
accomplish the mission objectives. Subsequently, failure analysis committees
were formed to (a) carry out in-depth analysis of the flight performance and
identify causes for the failure, and (b) recommend corrective measures and
future course of action on the GSLV Vehicle. The failure analysis committees
have submitted their recommendations. Based on the suggestions made by the
failure analysis committees, ISRO has implemented the modifications and
improvements in GSLV, which include independent inspection and quality checks
for all critical components and sub-assemblies, change of bearing housing
material, revision of tolerances and seal clearances of Fuel Booster Turbo Pump
of Cryogenic Engine, redesign of the Cryogenic Stage Lower Shroud, revision of
connector mounting scheme and wire tunnel configuration.