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FinMin denies farmers to buy seeds with old notes

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New Delhi, November 18: The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has rejected a proposal entailing permission for farmers to buy seeds worth Rs 10,000 per day with old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 until November 24 for Rabi crop. The proposal was sent by Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh on November 15.

Thus demonitisation of 86 % of cash inflow in Indian economy is hard hitting country’s 500 million farmers as this is the most ripe period of season to sow the Rabi crop.

The Agriculture Minister also highlighted how badly the sector is hit by the ban as the country’s Rabi target is around 638.09 lakh hectares of sown area while till November 11 only 146.85 lakh hectares which is 23 per cent of the national target was achieved. After December 10, the sowing seeds would hurt the both the quality and yield.

Finance Minister rejected the proposal and allowed farmers to draw up to Rs 25,000 per week against crop loans.

Department of Economic Affairs however cited the “rise of deposits in Jan Dhan accounts” to reject the Agriculture minister’s request of allowing old currency for seed purchase. The Ministry also said this may turn into “a conduit to offload black money.

Rejecting the Mohan Singh’s plea for relaxation to farmers for the coming week, the Ministry further 16 crore Jan Dhan active accounts in the rural sector could be used by farmers to exchange currency or withdraw cash and used for buying seeds and fertilisers.

The agriculture minister also highlighted that if farmers could buy new seeds with old currency they could purchase certified quality seeds from public sector National Seeds Corporation (NSC) rather than relying on low-yielding seeds saved from their earlier produce due to lacking funds.

The low quality seeds would lower the national output and waste the high-yielding seeds cultivated by NSC, said the agriculture minsiter.

The proposal was well designed as Mohan Singh had also suggested that selling agencies like NSC, ICAR or state agriculture departments may collect attested identity cards and details by farmers so ensure the best use of the provision. Another suggestion was to deny the refund of money or seeds for the made purchases through old currency notes.

But the finance Ministry rejected the proposal and allowed 25000 allowed farmers to draw up to Rs 25,000 per week against crop loans.

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India

Status of Skill Development in the Country

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Skill Development in India

New Delhi: Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is implementing a flagship scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana-2016-20 (PMKVY 2.0) across the country with the objective to impart short duration skill development training.

Under PMKVY2.0, in the last three years, as on 17.03.2020, 88.91 lakh candidates have been trained / oriented across the country. The State-wise and year-wise number of candidates trained/oriented in the last three years under PMKVY 2.0 (Short term training and Recognition of prior learning) is given at Annexure I.

In addition to above short-term training, Directorate General of Training (DGT) under MSDE is implementing long duration vocational courses through Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) which offer range of one or two years’ vocational /skill training courses. The state-wise and year-wise number of trainees enrolled under ITIs is given at Annexure II.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Shri R.K. Singh in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

Annexure I

State-wise and year-wise number of candidates trained/oriented during last three years under PMKVY 2.0 (Short term training and Recognition of prior learning) is given below:

S. No.State/UT2017-182018-192019-20
 Andaman and Nicobar Island0741,274
 Andhra Pradesh58,36864,42198,740
 Arunachal Pradesh1,0224,59815,951
 Assam37,87350,5491,94,434
 Bihar92,08788,0991,76,394
 Chandigarh1,9255,46312,227
 Chhattisgarh23,09542,90540,571
 Dadra and Nagar Haveli1861,7461,108
 Daman and Diu2401,6304,857
 Delhi88,64684,3793,88,239
 Goa8461,7644,119
 Gujarat32,89786,5341,47,019
 Haryana1,87,2461,18,8141,89,170
 Himachal Pradesh16,93932,40943,097
 Jammu and Kashmir44,87336,5881,20,495
 Jharkhand31,35237,31771,983
 Karnataka72,3931,13,6111,71,035
 Kerala65,59441,33971,654
 Lakshadweep0060
 Madhya Pradesh1,89,6341,56,6692,03,996
 Maharashtra97,6211,69,5336,78,328
 Manipur4,8944,43029,685
 Meghalaya4,0587,54312,307
 Mizoram02,85511,326
 Nagaland1,7451,51016,599
 Odisha66,26093,2582,15,566
 Puducherry3,4516,3287,324
 Punjab1,03,13065,2601,07,677
 Rajasthan2,14,9111,42,5354,60,214
 Sikkim5251,9685,017
 Tamil Nadu1,33,5891,27,8501,73,156
 Telangana91,42458,6271,02,063
 Tripura13,3347,74147,606
 Uttar Pradesh3,56,7693,10,1445,67,274
 Uttarakhand27,76947,24163,148
 West Bengal91,14281,5651,84,356
Total21,55,83820,97,29746,38,069

Annexure II

State-wise and year-wise number of trainees enrolled under ITIs is given below:

S. No.State / UT201720182019
 Andaman and Nicobar Island355385441
 Andhra Pradesh527366033955446
 Arunachal Pradesh598648566
 Assam269728273611
 Bihar100370107603111670
 Chandigarh10709071043
 Chhattisgarh176382183822077
 Dadra and Nagar Haveli114116112
 Daman and Diu223207152
 Delhi86241317710559
 Goa208119131837
 Gujarat719949208270967
 Haryana444106844055822
 Himachal Pradesh207122155621726
 Jammu and Kashmir272128475040
 Jharkhand294132997233475
 Karnataka722758189374342
 Kerala296253841136004
 Lakshadweep8787268
 Madhya Pradesh571548270371685
 Maharashtra118050122219111909
 Manipur12211788
 Meghalaya568683613
 Mizoram421443329
 Nagaland111168265
 Odisha485085133749984
 Puducherry1038943858
 Punjab371934193440309
 Rajasthan135447125527157181
 Sikkim339401216
 Tamil Nadu384434293436470
 Telangana337323624232687
 Tripura150427921745
 Uttar Pradesh247784355399371103
 Uttarakhand105581287910877
 West Bengal289333346132762
Total121764814554301424239
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India

Centre enhances approval free limits for FDI in defence

“Proposals for raising FDI beyond 49 per cent from such companies will require government approval.”

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FDI

New Delhi, Sep 18 : The Centre has enhanced the FDI limit for defence sector by allowing up to 74 per cent capital via automatic route.

Government approval will be required for in-take of foreign capital beyond 74 per cent with a stipulation that the foreign capital “is likely to result in access to modern technology or for other reasons to be recorded”.

According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the decision will take effect from the date of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Mana gement Act) notification.

“FDI up to 74 per cent under automatic route shall be permitted for companies seeking new industrial licenses,” DPIIT said in a press note.

“Infusion of fresh foreign investment up to 49 per cent, in a company not seeking industrial license or which already has government approval for FDI in Defence, shall require mandatory submission of a declaration with the Ministry of Defence in case change in equity or shareholding pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor for FDI up to 49 per cent within 30 days of such change.”

“Proposals for raising FDI beyond 49 per cent from such companies will require government approval.”

The development assumes significance as the Centre is trying to boost domestic defence sector manufacturing.

At present, India is considered to be one of the largest weapons importers in the world.

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Govt’s stake divestment to be credit negative for PSBs: ICRA

Furthermore, ICRA expects the deposit franchise for these banks will be monitorable as these deposits could be highly sensitive to their ownership.

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Centre proposes Disinvestment

New Delhi, Sep 17 : The proposed divestment of the Centre’s majority stake in certain PSBs will be credit negative for these lenders, ratings agency ICRA said on Thursday.

Citing recent reports which suggest a possible divestment of majority stake in few PSBs that were left out of the PSBs consolidation exercise announced last year, ICRA said that most of these PSBs have weak credit profile and their credit ratings are primarily supported by their sovereign ownership and a stable deposit base, which in turn is supported by their ownership.

“The existing ratings are also notched up from the standalone credit profile and going forward, the ratings on these PSBs would reflect their standalone credit profile depending on their new ownership of these banks,” it said in a statement.

Furthermore, ICRA expects the deposit franchise for these banks will be monitorable as these deposits could be highly sensitive to their ownership.

The ratings agency noted that the proposed divestment of these PSBs will require amendment to the Banking Companies (Acquisition And Transfer Of Undertakings) Act, 1970/1980, which mandates the Centre to hold no less than 51 per cent of the paid-up capital of these lenders.

Commenting on these developments, Karthik Srinivasan, Group Head – Financial Sector Ratings, ICRA said: “The financial profile of these PSBs is very weak and the standalone profiles of these banks could be low within investment grades rating given their weak asset quality, profitability, capital and solvency profile.”

“The liability profile for these banks will become a key monitorable in the immediate term.”

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