PIB Analysis : 4th February

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

Topics Covered

  1. Kisan Credit Card
  2. Export Promotion and Capital goods scheme
  3. Generalized system of Preference
  4. National Virtual Library of India
  5. Indian Ocean RIM Association
  6. Target Olympic Podium Scheme
  7. Draft National River ganga bill
  8. Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana

1 . Kisan Credit Card

Context : The Government of India has decided to launch a campaign with immediate effect and accorded the highest priorityto saturate farmers for financial inclusion under Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).
Indian Banking Association today issued advisory guidelines requesting banks to waive off the processing, documentation, inspection, ledger folio charges and all other service charges for Kisan Credit Card /crop loans upto 3 Lakhs.

Objective

The scheme aims at providing adequate and timely cred it for the comprehensive credit requirements of farmers under single window for their cultivation and other needs as indicated below:

  • To meet the short term credit requirements for cultivation of crops
  • Post harvest expenses
  • Produce Marketing loan
  • Consumption requirements of farmer household
  • Working capital for maintenance of farm assets, activities allied to agriculture, like dairy animals, inland fishery and also working capital required for floriculture, horticulture etc.
  • Investment credit requirement for agriculture and allied activities like pump sets, sprayers, dairy animals, floriculture, horticulture etc

Eligibility

  • All farmers-individuals/Joint borrowers who are owner cultivators.
  • Tenant farmers, Oral lessees and Share Croppers etc.
  • SHGs or Joint Liability Groups of farmers including tenant farmers, share croppers etc.

Advantages of the KCC Scheme to the farmers

  • Simplifies disbursement procedures
  • Removes rigidity regarding cash and kind
  • No need to apply for a loan for every crop
  • Assured availability of credit at any time enabling reduced interest burden for the farmer.
  • Helps buy seeds, fertilizers at farmer’s convenience and choice
  • Helps buy on cash-avail discount from dealers
  • Credit facility for 3 years – no need for seasonal appraisal
  • Maximum credit limit based on agriculture income
  • Any number of withdrawals subject to credit limit
  • Repayment only after harvest
  • Rate of interest as applicable to agriculture advance
  • Security, margin and documentation norms as applicable to agricultural advance
  • Access to adequate and timely credit to farmers
  • Full year’s credit requirement of the borrower taken care of. Minimum paper work and simplification of documentation for withdraw  of funds from the bank.
  • Flexibility to draw cash and buy inputs.
  • Assured availability of credit at any time enabling reduced interest burden for the farmer. Flexibility of drawals from a branch other than the issuing branch at the discretion of the bank.

Salient features Scheme

  • Eligible farmers to be provided with a Kisan Credit Card and a pass book or card-cum-pass book.
  • Revolving cash credit facility involving any number of drawals and repayments within the limit.
  • Limit to be fixed on the basis of operational land holding, cropping pattern and scale of finance.
  • Entire production credit needs for full year plus ancillary activities related to crop production to be considered while fixing limit.
  • Sub-limits to cover short term, medium term as well as term credit are fixed at the discretion of banks.
  • Card valid for 5 years subject to annual review. As incentive for good performance, credit limits could be enhanced to take care of increase in costs, change in cropping pattern, etc.
  • Conversion/reschedulement of loans also permissible in case of damage to crops due to natural calamities.
  • Security, margin, rate of interest, etc. as per RBI norms.
  • Operations may be through issuing branch (and also PACS in the case of Cooperative Banks) through other designated branches at the discretion of bank.
  • Withdrawals through slips/cheques accompanied by card and passbook.
  • Crop loans disbursed under KCC Scheme for notified crops are covered under Crop Insurance Scheme, to protect the interest of the farmer against loss of crop yield caused by natural calamities, pest attacks etc

2 . Export Promotion and Capital goods scheme

Context : In order to facilitate import of capital goods for producing quality goods and services and enhance India’s manufacturing competitiveness, the Central Government has been implementing a Scheme called the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme under the Foreign Trade Policy for manufacturer exporters with or without supporting manufacturer(s), merchant exporters tied to supporting manufacturer(s) and service providers.

About the Scheme

  • EPCG Authorizations are issued with actual user condition and import validity of 24 months to import capital goods (except those specified in negative list) for pre-production, production and post-production at zero customs duty.
  • However, the scheme is subject to an export value equivalent to 6 times of duty saved on the importation of such capital goods within 6 years from the date of issuance of the authorization.
  • In simple words, there is a compulsion on the business to bring in foreign currency which is equal to 600 percent of duty saved on such importation measured in domestic currency. This is to be done within six years from availing the Export Promotion Capital Goods scheme,
  • In addition, the Authorization holder is required to fulfil Average Export Obligation achieved by him in the preceding three licensing years for the same and similar products.
  • However, if minimum 75% of specific Export Obligation and 100% of Average Export Obligation is fulfilled within half the original export obligation period, remaining export obligation can be condoned.
  • Further, in case of indigenous sourcing of capital goods and for exports of Green Technology products, specific EO is only 75%.
  • For Units located in North East Region and Jammu & Kashmir, specific EO is only 25%. Presently, capital goods imported for physical exports are also exempt from IGST and Compensation Cess up to 31.03.2019.

3 . Generalized System of Preferences

Context : As per World Trade Organization’s (WTO) systems, the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) enjoy Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) because of which they enjoy duty advantage. In view of this India faces duty disadvantage upto 9.6% vis-à-vis other neighbouring LDCs. The global demand of textiles has also declined significantly between 2014-17 contributing to reduction of textiles exports from India.

About Generalized System of Preference

  • Under GSP schemes selected products originating in developing countries are granted reduced or zero tariff rates over the MFN rates. The least developed countries (LDCs) receive special and preferential treatment for a wider coverage of products and deeper tariff cuts.
  • The GSP was adopted at UNCTAD II in New Delhi in 1968.
  • The Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, is a preferential tariff system which provides for a formal system of exemption from the more general rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), (formerly, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or GATT).
  • In essence, MFN requires WTO member countries to treat imports coming from all other WTO member countries equally, that is, by imposing equal tariffs on them.
  • GSP exempts WTO member countries from MFN for the purpose of lowering tariffs for the least developed countries, without also lowering tariffs for rich countries.

4 . National Virtual Library of India

Objective : The objective of National Virtual Library of India (NVLI) is to facilitate creation of a comprehensive database on digital resources of India on information about India in an open access environment.

Salient features of NVLI

  • Federated searching through multilingual user interfaces.
  • Virtual learning environment
  • E-Governance platform facilitating data analytics
  • Multilingual searching and retrieval on ontology/thesaurus based

5 . Indian Ocean RIM Association

Context : The Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is organising a meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Cluster Group on Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

About Indian Ocean RIM Association

  • Indian Ocean RIM Association is an inter-Govt organisation
  • Countries bordering the Indian Ocean are its members
  • It has many disaster-prone countries among its 22 members and nine dialogue partners. DRM is one of its priority areas and its Action Plan (2017-2021) has specific goals to improve resilience in IORA countries.

Objectives of IORA

  1. To promote sustainable growth and balanced development of the region and member states
  2. To focus on those areas of economic cooperation which provide maximum opportunities for development, shared interest and mutual benefits
  3. To promote liberalisation, remove impediments and lower barriers towards a freer and enhanced flow of goods, services, investment, and technology within the Indian Ocean rim.

Six priority areas

  1. maritime security,
  2. trade and investment facilitation,
  3. fisheries management,
  4. disaster risk reduction,
  5. academic and scientific cooperation and
  6. tourism promotion and cultural exchanges.

6 . Target Olympic Podium Scheme

Context :

About TOPS

  • The Target Olympic Podium Scheme is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which is an attempt to provide assistance to India’s top athletes.
  • The Scheme looks to add a premium to the preparations of these athletes so that they can win Olympic medals in 2020 and 2024 Olympics
  • Under the Scheme, the Department of Sports shall identify athletes who are potential medal winners in 2020 / 2024 Olympics.
  • The idea of the Scheme is to also keep an eye in the future and fund a Developmental Group of Athletes who are medal prospects for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles Games in 2028.

About National Sports Development Fund

  • NSDF aims to mobilizing resources from Government as well as non-government organizations and individuals to provide required support for promotion of specific sports disciplines and improving performance of Indian sports in the major international events.
  • Institutions, government and non-government organizations exclusively dealing with promotion of sports and individual sportspersons of outstanding ability will be eligible for getting financial assistance from NSDF for specific projects.

7 . Draft National River Ganga Bill

About the Bill

  • The bill propose to ban the construction of jetties, ports or “permanent hydraulic structures” in the Ganga, unless permitted by the National Ganga Rejuvenation Authority.
  • It proposes to create a management structure that will supervise the health of the 2,500-kilometre long Ganga which, the draft Bill defines, as ‘India’s national river.’
  • The Bill lays down a host of restrictions to ensure the “uninterrupted, ecological flow” of the river. Currently, a host of dams in the upper stretches of the river lead to the river’s flow being obstructed.
  • The proposed legislation specifies that “unauthorized” activities that cause obstruction or discontinuity of water in the River Ganga due to engineered diversion of water or stoppage of water. Carrying out such activities are liable to a prison term of 3 years or fines upto ₹50 crore, or both.
  • The Ganga Protection Corps is proposed to be empowered to arrest or caused to be arrested for offence under the Act, and to take the person to the nearest police station. The Court would take cognizance of the offence on the basis of the complaint filed by the officers who are authrorized under the proposed Act.
  • The draft Act contemplates certain provisions conferring powers to the “National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga” [National Ganga Council] to arrange to carry out or caused to be carried out impact assessment of certain projects and activities which affect or are likely to affect the flow of water in river Ganga, such as building barrages, deforestation on hill slopes, hydroelectric projects etc.

8 . Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana

Context : Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was launched by the Government on 1st May 2016. The initial target under PMUY was 5 crore LPG connections, which was subsequently enhanced to 8 crore.  As on 28.01.2019, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have released more than 6.23 crore LPG connections under the Scheme across the country.

Main features of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)

  • LPG connection is released in the name of an adult woman of the poor family, subject to the condition that no LPG connection exists in the name of any family member of the family, including the applicant.
  • Under PMUY, cash assistance upto Rs 1600/- is provided for releasing deposit free LPG connection.
  • The beneficiary bears the cost of Hot Plate and purchase of first refill. The beneficiary has an option to take the Hot Plate or the first refill or both on loan basis, from Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) at zero interest rate.

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