February, 2015

general budget

general budget 2015-16
Union Budget 2015-16 is being presented by Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley in the Parliament in 28th Feb.
Budget Highlights
•The objective of this Budget is to improve quality of life and to pass benefits to common man.
•Indian Govt has 3 major achievements: Jan Dhan Yojana, Coal Auction and Swacch Bharat programme
•Incremental change is not going to take us anywhere, will need to think in terms of quantum jump
•Under Swacch Bharat Yojana, 50 lakh toilet already built, 6 crore toilet targeted
•Government will encourage new start ups and entrepreneurship
•Government is still firm on achieving fiscal deficit target of 3 % of GDP eventually
•Real GDP expected to accelerate to 7.4%
•Current FOREX reserves $340 bn, Second best stock market in Asian economy
•Govt will utilize vast postal network for increasing access to institutional banking
•Roadmap to achieve Fiscal deficit of 3% of GDP in three years: Target is 3.9% in 2015-16, 3.5% in 2016-17, 3% in 2017-18.
•National Insurance scheme called PM Suraksha Bhima Yojana, offering coverage of 2 lakh rupees for just premium of ` 12 per year.
•5300 crore allocated for micro irrigation
•Target of ` 8.5 lakh crores credit to be given to farmers in 2015-16
•Target of ` 8.5 lakh crore of credit for agricultural sector
•Unclaimed deposits of ` 3,000 crore in PPF and ` 6000 crore in EPF; to create senior citizens welfare fund from this corpus
•Atal Pension Yojana to provide defined pension according to contribution ; 50% contribution to be from Govt.
•Increased Budgetary allocation to Roads & Railways
•5 Ultra Mega power projects, of 4000 MW announced
•Initial sum of ` 150 Cr to create world class IT hub to take advantage of our competitiveness
•Start-ups: mechanism for techno-financial incubation for start ups; govt sets aside ` 1000 crore
•National Infrastructure Fund will try to leverage Infrastructure companies ; Tax free bonds for Roads , Railways & irrigation
•Renewable energy target will be increased to 1,75,000 MW
•Highest ever allocation for MGNREGA, by increasing it this year by 5,000 crore rupees
•Ports in public sector will be encouraged to corporatize & become companies under companies act
•EPF & ESI has hostage rather than client ; ESI should be made optional to employees
•GST will be put in place state of art internationally indirect tax system by April 1st 2016: FM
•An addition of ` 1,000 crores for Nirbhaya Fund
•Govt proposes to increase visa-on-arrival to 150 countries to increase tourism
•Initial outlay of ` 75 crore for development of electric vehicles
•For better regulation a merger of FMC & SEBI is being currently worked out
•National Skill Mission to be launched through skill development and entrepreneurship ministry, to develop employability of youth, especially below 25 years of age
•Section 6 of FEMA to be amended
•Committee to be set up to plan the celebration of the 100th birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya
•Propose to set-up an IT based student financial aid system under PM Vidya Laxmi scheme
•The new Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Programme will ensure no student misses out on higher education opportunities due to lack

28 February observed as National Science Day

Every year February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas. In 2015, the theme of the day is “Science for Nation Building”. This year’s theme has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation on scientific issues for the development of nation. This day marks the epoch-making discovery of Raman Effect by Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman) on February 28, 1928.In 1930, for this discovery he was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Farmers open to ‘Khet Heen Kisan’

There was positive response from the farming community to the proposed ‘Khet Heen Kisan’ initiative, with a majority of farmers stating that it would do wonders if implemented successfully. This scheme is for the financial assistance to those farmers who do not own their lands. Organising farmers into groups and extending financial assistance to them through NABARD to take up farming will yield good results provided the government backs every group till results are achieved.

Three-point action plan to realise ‘Make in India’ dream

The non-controversial response lies in improving the business environment by making regulations and taxes less onerous, building infrastructure, reforming labour laws, and enabling connectivity. The next response could be in the form of ‘industrial policy’. This could focus on promoting manufacturing by providing subsidies, lowering the cost of capital, and creating special economic zones (SEZs) for manufacturing activity. This could focus on promoting manufacturing by providing subsidies, lowering the cost of capital, and creating special economic zones (SEZs) for manufacturing activity.

Railway Budget 2015-16

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has, in his maiden budget, shunned populism and focused on fiscal consolidation to improve financial health of the country’s largest public transporter. He refrained from announcing new trains, stated to be a first by any rail minister in the past three decades, focused on bringing down operating ratio and increased freight rates to rake in more money. Passengers were spared from any fare hike and there was a 67 per cent jump for improving passenger amenities. The Railway Minister announced his market borrowing plan of Rs.17,655 crore for capital expenditure with the help of Indian Railways Finance Corporation and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited.
Takeaways for Tamil Nadu :
• Tambaram as coaching terminal with Rs. 10 crore • Thanjavur-Ponmalai doubling (46.96 km) with bypass line before Ponmalai (113 km), Rs. 72.3 crore • Madurai – Maniyachi – Tuticorin (80 km); Rs. 18.29 crore (Project cost : Rs. 800 crore) • Tiruchchirapalli – Nagore – Karaikal with extension of Nagapattinam – Velankanni – Tiruthuraipoondi : Rs. 20 crore • Chennai Beach – Korukkupet 3rd line (4.1 km) : Rs. 50 crore • Chennai Beach – Attipattu 4th line (22.1 km) : Rs. 50 crore • Chennai Central – Basin Bridge 5th and 6the line : Rs. 2 crore • No. of coaches increased on high-demand trains • Rs. 96,182 crore to expand capacity of 9,420 km rail lines • 6608 km of track to be electrified • 120 days window to book tickets ahead of journey, to curb tout menace • 0.8–10% increase in freight fares of 12 commodities, including cement, coal, steel, urea and foodgrains • 9 Railway Corridors to have speed increased from 110 to 160 kmph, 130 to 200 kmph to complete inter-metro journeys overnight.

RAILWAY BUDGET 2015-16 (` crore)

Interim Interim
Budget Budget Budget Budget
2013-14 2014-15 2014-15 2015-16

Income from Passenger train 36,532.25 11,645 43,002 50,175
Income from Goods train 93,905.63 1,05,770 1,06,927 1,21,423
Total Transportation income 1,39,558.18 1,60,165 1,59,248 1,83,578
Total Income 1,43,213.88 1,64,374.30 1,63,450.13 1,88,556.70
Total Expenses 1,60,320.76 1,48,049 1,45,970 1,62,210
Net Income 11,749.07 15,198.74 16,452.59 25,076,45

Clemson University honoured Ratan Tata with Doctorate of Automotive Engineering

Ratan Tata was honoured an honorary Doctorate of Automotive Engineering by the Clemson University at the South Carolina Automotive Summit. He was awarded for his contributions to the global automotive industry. Ratan Tata is the ex-chairman of the Tata Group. He was named Chairman of Tata Industries In 1981, where he was responsible for transforming it into a group strategy think tank and a promoter of new ventures in high technology businesses. Ratan Tata serves on the board of directors of Alcoa and Mondelez.

Kshatrapati Shivaji to be new CMD of SIDBI

Kshatrapati Shivaji, a 1986 batch IAS officer, has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). Shivaji has been appointed on deputation basis for a period of three years from the date of his taking over the charge, a Finance Ministry release said. Shivaji is currently Principal Secretary (Expenditure), Finance Department in Maharashtra government.

Economic Survey 2015: Highlights

The Economic Survey, prepared by the finance ministry’s chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, was tabled in the Lok Sabha. India’s economic survey pegged growth at more than 8 per cent for the next fiscal and said inflation was now declining, while also setting the agenda for reforms needed to further drive the expansion, prune wasteful expenditure and promote productive investment.
Following are the highlights of the survey:
•Double digit economic growth trajectory now a possibility
•Government will adhere to fiscal deficit target of 4.1% of GDP in 2014-15
•Economic Survey says estimates current account deficit to fall to 1 pct of GDP in coming fiscal year
•Average WPI inflation declines to 3.4% in 2014-15 (April-December) against 6% previous year
•Need to improve productivity in the agricultural sector to ensure food security
•Post Office can be linked with AADHAR based benefits transfer architecture to allow linkage to AADHAR accounts

Apple Ordered to Pay $553 Million

US Tech giant Apple Inc has been fined $553 million for three patent infringements owned by patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC. This verdict was given by federal Jury in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The Jury in its verdict found out that Apple Inc’s iTunes software has infringed three patents owned by Smartflash LLC. The federal jury in its verdict also held that Apple had not only used Smartflash’s patents without permission, but also used them willfully.

India bans ISIS under UAPA

Dreaded terror group ISIS and all its affiliate organisations, responsible for series of savage attacks and killings in Iraq and Syria, have been banned in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The Islamic State/Islamic State of Iraq and Levant/ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Daish and all its manifestations have been declared as outlawed in India under UAPA.