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Modi’s electrification drive fails to improved many powerless households: Niti Aayog

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Niti Aayog

New Delhi, July 17, 2017: The think-tank of India, Niti Aayog on Sunday revealed that “the government’s rural electrification drive has not improved the situation ‘appreciably’ as many households in electrified villages continue to live without power.”

On 15 August 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Red Fort address had pledged to provide electricity to 18,452 villages in the next 1,000 days i.e. May 1, 2018.

This year in May, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said that out of 18,452 dark villages, 13,516 villages are electrified, 944 are uninhabited and remaining 3,992 villages would be electrified by May 1, 2018.

But the government think-tank report had said with nearly 304 million Indians without access to electricity, and about 500 million people still dependent on solid bio-mass for cooking, it may be acknowledged that the country has to still go a long way on securing its energy security objective.

The Aayog has said in its draft National Energy Policy (NEP) that “Studies have revealed that in spite of major strides made by the earlier schemes in providing connections and now, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), the problem of electricity ‘access’ did not improve appreciably.”

The think-tank also hit on flaw in the power ministry’s approach saying, “An inherent challenge in the process is ensuring the coverage of households as opposed to only villages”.

“Several states with high electrification rates still have poor household electrification,” it added.

NITI Aayog’s report assumes significance as the think-tank reports directly to its Chairman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and its views shape the government’s policy.

The Aayog further recommended that there is also a need to redefine the concept of ‘electrification’, as occurs in the DDUGJY to include stages of electrification in a village, with the village being deemed completely electrified if and only if all households of a village have a power connection, which witnesses reliable supply at least for a set number of hours.

It also suggested that non-BPL households may also be offered support, albeit at a different level.

Meanwhile, Niti Aayog has extended the time period for comments on draft National Energy Policy till July 24, 2017.

Wefornews Bureau

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Your money is safe in banks, says Modi on FRDI

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New Delhi, Dec 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday sought to allay the fears of bank account holders, saying their deposits in banks will be safe and their interests would not be harmed in any way.

Addressing the Ficci annual general meeting, he said rumours were being spread by some sections about provisions of the proposed Financial Regulation and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill under which the depositors would suffer.

“The government is trying to strengthen the banking system by policy initiatives on a daily basis. But on social media rumours are being spread about the FRDI Bill, which is completely opposite to the reality. We are trying to protect the depositors interest and the banks as well,” Modi said.

He was apparently referring to the raging controversy over a bail-in provision in the FRDI Bill under which banks will be allowed to forfeit major portion of deposits of account holders in case of crisis in the financial institution.

The Prime Minister said the UPA government had completely spoilt the banking system of the country. He said the biggest liability passed on by the previous government was the non-performing assets (NPA).

Modi said the last government had put pressure on banks and forced them to lend to influential people, which further led to NPAs. “Commonwealth scam, 2G scam and Coal scam, and the biggest scam – the banking scam – all happened during UPA regime.”

He said the government is working to create a system that is transparent and sensitive.

Talking about the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Modi said the government’s effort is to ensure that maximum businesses register for GST. “The more formal the system becomes, the more it will benefit the poor. It will enable easier availability of credit from the banks, and reduce cost of logistics, thereby enhancing competitiveness of businesses.”

Modi recalled that around the time of Ficci’s founding in 1927, Indian industry had united against the Simon Commission that was constituted by the then British government. He said that Indian industry had joined all other sections of Indian society, in national interest, at that time.

He said a “similar atmosphere” exists today when people of the country are coming forward to fulfil their responsibilities towards the nation. Modi said the hopes and aspirations of people are to rid the country of internal problems like corruption, and black money.

IANS

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10% hike in placements at IIT Delhi

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New Delhi, Dec 13: In comparison to last year, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi witnessed an increase of 10 per cent in the number of placements offered to students this season so far, the institute said on Wednesday.

Till the 10th day of the ongoing placement exercise which began on December 2,  the institute registered a 10 per cent rise in the overall jobs offered to students across streams, while for the Post Graduate (PG) students this increase was 17 per cent against last year.

“While the overall placements have been better than last year, recruitment trends of PG students is very encouraging for the future of engineering research in the country,” news agency IANS quoted, I.N. Kar, Professor-in-charge of Training and Placement at IIT Delhi, wrote in a statement.

“I am hopeful that the overall percentage increase in the recruitment of both UG (Under Graduate) and PG students will improve further”, Kar added.

The score is likely to climb up by the end of this phase of the placement season on December 15. The next phase will commence in January next year.

WeForNews 

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Deadline to link Aadhaar with bank accounts extended till March 31

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Aadhaar

New Delhi, Dec 13: The deadline to link the Aadhaar number with bank accounts has been extended by three months till March 31, the government announced on Wednesday, as the Supreme Court is set to commence hearing from Thursday on its mandatory linking to various schemes.

The deadline was earlier December 31 for linking the 12-digit unique identification number with both Permanent Account Number (PAN) and bank accounts. However, the government extended the deadline last week for linking it with PAN till March 31.

A notification to link it with bank accounts was later issued on Tuesday by the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry. The notification, however, did not mention the new deadline, leaving it open-ended.

The government later issued a press release which contained the deadline of March 31.

According to the December 12 notification, the words “submit the Aadhaar number and PAN by December 31, 2017” have been substituted by “submit the Aadhaar number, PAN or Form No 60 by such date as may be notified by the Central government”.

The release said under the provisions of Prevention of Money-laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017, it was provided that if a client already having a bank account or any other account-based relationship with reporting entities prior to date of this notification fails to submit the Aadhaar number and PAN by December 31, “the said account shall cease to be operational till the time the Aadhaar number and PAN is submitted by the client”.

In case of a person opening a new account, the deadline for submitting Aadhaar number and PAN was “six months from the date of the commencement of the account based relationship”.

“After considering various representations received in this regard and inputs received from banks, it has been decided to notify March 31, 2018 or six months from the date of commencement of account based relationship by the client, whichever is later, as the date of submission of the Aadhaar number, and Permanent Account Number or Form 60 by the clients to the reporting entity,” the statement said.

IANS

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