After nearly two years of its establishment, the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) was got its first investor – the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). As per the NIIF Chief Executive, Sujoy Bose, the Authority will invest $1 bn in the Quasi-Sovereign investment fund. ADIA, formed in 1976 is a major sovereign fund in the world and uses the foreign exchange reserves of UAE that is mainly obtained from crude oil exports. The Agency is managing a huge $1.320 trillion asset with investment, though its asset under management is expected to be around $800 million. It makes investment in all types of assets - equities, debt instruments including government bon
The government is imparting more energy into the Strategic Partnership (SP) model in defence manufacturing. Around six domestic firms – mostly private will be picked as strategic partner to manufacture high end defence equipments with the partnership of foreign original equipment manufacturers. The Strategic Partnership initiative is to build the base for indigenous defence manufacturing capability besides fulfilling the job creation objective of Make in India programme. Foreign firms including Lockheed and Martin are in the fray according to defence sources. An important component of SP model is the selection of domestic private sector partners in defence equipment manufac
The Union Cabinet allowed financially sound state entities to borrow funds from Official Development Assistance (ODA) for financing infrastructure projects. Explaining the decision of the Cabinet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely hoped that the move will help to support vital infrastructure project at the state level. Objective of the move Enabling the state entities to directly access funds from official lenders like ADB will avoid the debt to enter into the book of the state government. On the other hand, a state government initiated borrowing is a budgetary exercise and will aggravate the revenue deficit problems. States generally are reluctant to do it as it will adversely
If one pleasant change is happening for Indian Railways in recent years, it is merger of its budget with the general budget. This time, the Rail budget will be presented as a part of the general budget. Here, the age-old transportation giant gets an opportunity to enhance its performance. Putting Railways under the general budget will help the institution to evade free-bee searching public eye for fare concessions. Finance Minister in a recent press Conference told that Railways should concentrate more on performance, switching away from populism. The new rail budget format is expected to pursue serious disciplines which are in dire need to rebalance the railway finance. Fares m
The UIDAI’s (Unique Identification Authority of India) mega identification programme Aadhaar so far covered 106.69 crore people making it the biggest identification programme in the world. Aadhaar has now become the data base platform for delivering several of the government’s transfers to the people. In the context of the success, the Authority of India) is aiming to bring all people including the so far excluded from the Aadhaar network. For this, it will roll out a plan called ‘Challenge drive’ from October 15th onwards. Challenge drive will be launched in 22 states and union territories where the coverage has reached nearly 100 percent. The prog
developed as part of the Rs 48000 crore Smart Cities Mission. This is the third list of the cities to be developed under the mission. The new list includes 27 new cities including five from Maharashtra, four from Tamil Nadu and three from UP. In the three rounds, sixty cities were chosen, including 20 in January and 13 in May and the remaining will be selected by 2018. Altogether 100 cities are to be brought under modification as part of the Smart Cities Mission. The five cities from Maharashtra are Aurangabad, Kalyan-Dombivli, Nagpur, Nashik and Thane. For Tamil Nadu, the selected cities are Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur and Vellore. Karnataka gets smart city nomination fro H
India’s forex saving policy on solar front that of local manufacturing should take place in India has to be abandoned with the WTO verdict against it. The WTO in its verdict has agreed with the US stance and directed that India’s domestic component manufacturing for energy projects under the National Solar Mission is against the National Treatment principles of WTO. Earlier, the US, one of the largest producers of solar photovoltaic cells sued India at the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body that India’s domestic manufacturing requirements are anti trade. The issue was related with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission which tried to encourage solar energy
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is planning to double target electricity production from its ace Solar park programme to 40000 MW from the present 20000 MW. Solar Park Scheme was launched to construct solar parks that can generate electricity between 500 MW and 1000 MW. Speaking at the 10th Renewable Energy India Expo in the capital, Upendra Tripathi, Secretary of MNRE, told that the ministry will seek cabinet approval for scaling up the target. Already, the solar energy target of 100 GW set for 2022 is described as ambitious from the angle of huge investment required. Solar energy potential of the country is estimated at 1000 GW which is four times the present i
Software promotional organization Nasscom predicts that India is going to be the second largest internet using country after China in three years from now. The prediction is for 2020, when the country’s internet users will reach 750 million. As on 2015, there are around 350 mn internet users in the county. The two times increase in the internet using population will be supported by rural penetration. Nearly 75% of the new internet users will come from rural areas where 68% of the country’s population resides. The report titled ‘The Future of Internet in India’ was published by NASSCOM along with Akamai Technologies. At present, China is having the largest
In a trend setting verdict on diesel cars and environmental standards, the Supreme Court allowed large diesel cars subjected to the payment of 1% green tax in Delhi. The new verdict will end the ban on cars above 2000 cc imposed by the Court in December last year. The bench also said it is open to extend the tax to small diesel cars as well. The verdict by the SC was based on the appeal by Mercedez Benz – the leader in the large car segment. Over the last one year, the Delhi government was in hard efforts to find ways to check worsening air quality in the National Capital. Practical difficulties were highlighted by the manufactures in their representation at the SC and the
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