Economic Scene

A approves setting up of over 5000 MW of Grid- connected Solar PV Power Projects : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on January 20, 2016 gave its approval for setting up over 5,000 MW of Grid- Connected Solar PV Power Projects on build, own and operate basis. The work will be implemented by Solar Power Developers (SPDs) with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-IV of Phase-II of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). The total investments expected under the scheme is about Rs. 30,000 crore. This would help in creating additional 5,000 MW capacity of Grid-connected solar PV power-generation projects in four trenches of each 1,250 MW capacity during four financial years – 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. It will also help in employment generation of about 30,000 people in rural and urban areas with reduction

of about 8.525 Million T of C02 emissions into environment every year.

Installation of 5,000 MW Solar PV plants will generate about 8,300 million units per year, which caters power to almost 2.5 million households. The Scheme will be implemented by Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as per the guidelines of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). The State governments will appoint a State Level Agency for providing necessary support to facilitate the required approvals and sanctions in a time bound manner to achieve commissioning of the projects within the scheduled timeline.

Union Cabinet approves creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA loans : The Union Cabinet on January 6, 2016 approved creation of a Credit Guarantee Fund for Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) loans. The Fund is expected to guarantee more than Rs. 1 lakh crore worth of loans to micro and small units in the first instance. The Credit Guarantee Fund for MUDRA Units (CGFMU) has been established for guaranteeing loans sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana with effect from April 8, 2015. The Fund’s objective is to reduce the credit risk to Banks/NBFCs/MFIs/other financial intermediaries, who are Member Lending Institutions (MLIs). The Trustee of the Fund will be the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd. (NCGTC Ltd.). NCGTC Ltd. is a wholly-owned company of Government of India constituted in 2013 under the Companies Act, 1956 to manage and operate various credit guarantee funds. Besides, the Cabinet also approved to convert MUDRA Ltd. into MUDRA Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) Bank as a whollv-owned subsidiary of SIDBI. The MUDRA (SIDBI) Bank will undertake refinance operations and provide support services with focus on portal management; data . analysis, etc. apart from any other activity entrusted/advised by the Government of India.

The Union Budget 2015-16 provided for MUDRA Bank and a Credit Guarantee Fund which was to be set up with a refinance corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore and a corpus of Rs. 3,000 crore respectively. MUDRA Ltd. was set up as a corporate subsidiary of SIDBI in March 2015. It was set up as a precursor to the launch of the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY). For this, RBI had allocated Rs. 20,000 crore.

Andhra Bank launches Immediate Payment Service : Andhra Bank on January 6, 2016 launched Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) across all its branches in association with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

The service makes payments possible within fraction of seconds with all the standards and integrity maintained for security. The IMPS was enabled across all branches to provide inter-bank electronic fund-transfer service capable of processing person to account remittances. Unlike National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), IMPS will be available round-the-clock under which a real-time instant fund-transfer system for inter-bank remittances is possible. The maximum cap of transaction will be Rs. 2 lakh and charged at the rate of Rs. 5 per transaction.

ONGC receives environmental nod for KG basin project: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on January 22, 2016 received environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for drilling 45 developed w’ells in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin in Andhra Pradesh. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs. 53,000 crore. ONGC is planning to drill 45 development wells and set up a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility, among others. The project will be implemented in the northern discovery area of NELP-I offshore block KG-DW N-98/2. It is expected that the proposed development drilling and subsequent development of fields will lead to production of 51.33 billion cubic metres of gas over a period of 16 years and 26.71 million cubic metres of oil in 12 years. Among specific conditions, ONGC has been asked to obtain Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance and approval from Directorate General of Shipping for commencement of drilling. ONGC has also been asked to comply with all recommendations and conditions specified by Andhra Pradesh Coastal Zone Management Authority. It has also been asked to use high-efficiencv diesel generator sets, adopt conservation measures to protect marine life and develop waste-minimisation plan, among others.


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