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Latest NewsIndia attracted USD 6.24 billion total FDI inflow during April 2021 | Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines | Rural India accounts for 64 per cent of vaccine doses administered on first day of vaccination under revised guidelines | ED seizes huge assets of fugitives | India reports 50,848 new COVID cases in last 24 hours | Union Health Ministry advises Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh on Delta Plus Variant | Karnam Malleswari appointed as first Vice Chancellor of Delhi Sports University | PM shares a blog post on reforms and policymaking on LinkedIn | PM shares a blog post on reforms and policymaking on LinkedIn | CCI approves acquisition of additional equity shareholding by Heineken International B V of United Breweries |
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India attracted USD 6.24 billion total FDI inflow during April 2021

 

The measures taken on the fronts of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy reforms, investment facilitation and ease of doing business have resulted in increased FDI inflows into the country.

The following trends in India's Foreign Direct Investment are an endorsement of its status as a preferred investment destination amongst global investors:-

India has attracted a total FDI inflow of USD 6.24 billion during April, 2021 and it is 38 per cent higher as compared to April 2020 (USD 4.53 billion).

During April, 2021 FDI Equity inflows amounting to USD 4.44 billion were reported in the country which is an increase of 60 per cent over the FDI Equity inflow of April 2020 (USD 2.77 billion).

During April 2021, Mauritius is the top investing country with 24 per cent of the FDI Equity inflows, followed by Singapore (21 per cent) and Japan (11 per cent).

'Computer Software and Hardware' has emerged as the top sector during April 2021 with around 24 per cent share of the total FDI Equity inflow followed by Services Sector (23 per cent) and Education Sector (8 per cent) respectively.

Karnataka is the top recipient state during April 2021 with a 31 per cent share of the total FDI Equity inflows, followed by Maharashtra (19 per cent) and Delhi (15 per cent).

#FDI
23-June-2021
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Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines

 

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an agreement between the Republic of India and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines for the Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes.

Details of the Agreement:

i)     This is a new Agreement between the Republic of India and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines. There was no such agreement in past between the two countries.

ii)    Agreement mainly proposes to facilitate the exchange of information between the two countries and to provide assistance to each other in the collection of tax claims.

iii)    Agreement also contains tax examination abroad provisions which provide that a country may allow the representatives of the other country to enter its territory (to the extent permitted under its domestic laws) to interview individuals and examine records for tax purposes.

Impact:

Agreement between the Republic of India and Saint Vincent and The Grenadines will help in facilitating the exchange of information between the two countries including sharing of information held by the banks and other financial institutions encompassing the information regarding the legal and beneficial ownership. It will also facilitate the assistance in the collection of the tax claims between the two countries. Thus, it will strengthen India's commitment to fight offshore tax evasion and tax avoidance practices leading to the generation of unaccounted black money.

Background:

There was no such agreement with Saint Vincent and The Grenadines in the past and India was negotiating this agreement since a long time. Finally, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines agreed to conclude this agreement with India which will promote tax cooperation between the two countries through exchange of information and assistance in collection of outstanding tax claims between the two countries.

#UnionCabinet
23-June-2021
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Rural India accounts for 64 per cent of vaccine doses administered on first day of vaccination under revised guidelines

 

The COVID-19 vaccines administered in rural areas came to 63.68 per cent of the total vaccinations done on Monday (June 21, 2021), the first day when the revised vaccination guidelines came into force.

Out of total vaccine doses administered on the day, 56.09 lakh vaccines were given from rural vaccination centres, while the urban areas recorded vaccination of 31.9 lakh people.

Addressing the COVID-19 media briefing in New Delhi on Tuesday, Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog informed that particular emphasis has been given on rural coverage of vaccination. "The rural coverage is intense and in a good proportion. The vaccination numbers from Monday (June 21, 2021) were almost in proportion to the rural-urban population division in the country. It proves that it is possible to take the vaccination drive to the rural and remote areas."

Full vaccination coverage in rural areas is possible

Dr Paul further informed that 71 per cent of the vaccination centres are in rural areas, and consistently, more than half of the total vaccinations carried out in the last few weeks were in the rural areas. "With the increase in use of IT system, educating people about the use of vaccination and with people accepting it, with more vaccines being taken to the rural areas, we are getting more confidence and hope that covering rural areas entirely will be possible." He also noted that no glitches were seen in the CoWIN platform while administering such a huge number of vaccine doses (88.09 lakh) on Monday.

Dr Paul further noted that Government centres have played a big role in the new vaccination drive. "92 per cent vaccine doses were administered from government centres on June 21, 2021. This sets an example about the strength, resilience and reach of our public healthcare system." The experiences of implementing universal immunization programmes have been critical in the COVID-19 vaccination drive, he added.

Need to inspire more women to get vaccinated

Dr Paul noted that 46 per cent of those who received the vaccine yesterday were women, while around 53 per cent were men. "We need to rectify this gender-imbalance in all places where it exists. We need to bring more women forward for getting vaccinated."

#COVID19
23-June-2021
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ED seizes huge assets of fugitives

 

The Enforcement Directorate today stated that it has attached/seized assets worth Rs 18,170.02 crore (80.45 per cent of total loss to banks) in case of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi under the PMLA.

The ED also stated that it has transferred a part of attached/seized assets of Rs 9,371.17 Crore to the PSBs and Central Government.

The three fugitives cheated the public sector banks to the tune of Rs 22,586 crore.

The ED unearthed the money trail by exposing a web of domestic and international transactions and stashing of assets abroad. The investigation by ED revealed that the three accused used dummy entities controlled by them for rotation and siphoning off the funds provided by the banks.

#EnforcementDirectorate
23-June-2021
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India reports 50,848 new COVID cases in last 24 hours

 

India has reported 50,848 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.

Further details:-

Last 24 hours:-

Discharges - 68,817

Deaths - 1,358 

Till today:-

Active cases - 6,43,194

Total Recoveries - 2,89,94,855

Death toll - 3,90,660

Total vaccination - 29,46,39,511

#COVID19
23-June-2021
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Union Health Ministry advises Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh on Delta Plus Variant


Based on the recent findings of INSACOG, the Union Health Ministry has alerted and advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh regarding the Delta Plus variant of COVID19 being found in some districts in these States.

Union Health Secretary has communicated to these three states that this variant has been found in genome sequenced samples from Ratnagiri and Jalgaon Districts of Maharashtra; Palakkad and Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala; and Bhopal and Shivpuri Districts of Madhya Pradesh.

INSACOG is a consortium of 28 laboratories of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for whole-genome sequencing in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. INSACOG is tasked with not just the whole genome sequencing but also with giving timely inputs on appropriate Public Health Response measures to be adopted by States and UTs.

INSACOG has informed that the Delta Plus Variant, currently a Variant of Concern (VOC), has the following characteristics:

Increased transmissibility
Stronger binding to receptors of lung cells
Potential reduction in monoclonal antibody response

The Union Health Ministry has advised Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh that the Public Health Response measures, while broadly remaining the same as have been implemented by them earlier, have to become more focused and effective. The States Chief Secretaries have been advised to take up immediate containment measures in the districts and clusters (as identified by INSACOG) including preventing crowds and intermingling of people, widespread testing, prompt tracing as well as vaccine coverage on a priority basis.

They were also advised to ensure that adequate samples of positive persons are promptly sent to the designated laboratories of INSACOG so that clinical epidemiological correlations can be made for further guidance to be provided to States.

#HealthMinistry #COVID19
23-June-2021
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Karnam Malleswari appointed as first Vice Chancellor of Delhi Sports University

 

Renowned weightlifter and Olympic medal winner Karnam Malleswari has been appointed as the first Vice Chancellor of the Delhi Sports University.

An official order stated, "Lt Governor, who is also Chancellor of Delhi Sports University, is pleased to appoint the Padmashri awardee as first Vice Chancellor of the university."

Ms Malleswari is the first and the only Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics. In 1995, she received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour, and in 1999, the civilian Padma Shri award.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Malleswari lifted 110 kg in the "snatch" and 130 kg in the "clean and jerk" categories for a total of 240 kg and bagged the Bronze medal.

#KarnamMalleswari
23-June-2021
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PM shares a blog post on reforms and policymaking on LinkedIn

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today posted a blog titled "Reforms by Conviction and Incentives" on LinkedIn platform.

The post is as below:-

The Covid-19 pandemic has come with a whole new set of challenges to Governments across the world in terms of policy-making. India is no exception. Raising enough resources for public welfare while ensuring sustainability is proving to be one of the biggest challenges.

In this back-drop of financial crunch seen across the world, do you know that Indian states were able to borrow significantly more in 2020-21? It would perhaps pleasantly surprise you that states were able to raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crores in 2020-21. This significant increase in availability of resources was made possible by an approach of Centre-State bhagidari. 

When we formulated our economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to ensure that our solutions do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ model. For a federal country of continental dimensions, finding policy instruments at the national level to promote reforms by State Governments is indeed challenging. But, we had faith in the robustness of our federal polity and we moved ahead in the spirit of Centre-State bhagidari. 

In May 2020, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the Government of India announced that State Governments would be allowed enhanced borrowing for 2020-21. An extra 2% of GSDP was allowed, of which 1% was made conditional on the implementation of certain economic reforms. This nudge for reform is rare in Indian public finance. This was a nudge, incentivising the states to adopt progressive policies to avail additional funds. The results of this exercise are not only encouraging but also run contrary to the notion that there are limited takers for sound economic policies.

The four reforms to which additional borrowings were linked (with 0.25% of GDP tied to each one) had two characteristics. Firstly, each of the reforms was linked to improving the Ease of Living to the public and particularly the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class. Secondly, they also promoted fiscal sustainability.

The first reform under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ policy required State Governments to ensure that all ration cards in the State under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) were seeded with the Aadhaar number of all family members and that all Fair Price Shops had Electronic Point of Sale devices. The main benefit from this is that migrant workers can draw their food ration from anywhere in the country. Apart from these benefits to citizens, there is the financial benefit from the elimination of bogus cards & duplicate members. 17 states completed this reform and were granted additional borrowings amounting to Rs. 37,600 crores. 

The second reform, aimed at improving ease of doing business, required states to ensure that renewal of business-related licences under 7 Acts is made automatic, online and non-discretionary on mere payment of fees. Another requirement was implementation of a computerized random inspection system and prior notice of inspection to reduce harassment and corruption under a further 12 Acts. This reform (covering 19 laws) is of particular help to micro and small enterprises, who suffer the most from the burden of the ‘inspector raj'. It also promotes an improved investment climate, greater investment and faster growth. 20 states completed this reform and were allowed additional borrowing of Rs. 39,521 crores. 

The 15th Finance Commission and several academics have emphasised the crucial importance of sound property taxation. The third reform required states to notify floor rates of property tax and of water & sewerage charges, in consonance with stamp duty guideline values for property transactions and current costs respectively, in urban areas. This would enable better quality of services to the urban poor and middle class, support better infrastructure and stimulate growth. Property tax is also progressive in its incidence and thus the poor in urban areas would benefit the most. This reform also benefits municipal staff who often face delay in payment of wages. 11 states completed these reforms and were granted additional borrowing of Rs. 15,957 crores. 

The fourth reform was introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in lieu of free electricity supply to farmers. The requirement was for formulation of a state-wide scheme with actual implementation in one district on a pilot basis by year end. Additional borrowing of 0.15% of GSDP was linked to this. A component was also provided for reduction in technical & commercial losses and another for reducing the gap between revenues and costs (0.05% of GSDP for each). This improves the finances of distribution companies, promotes conservation of water and energy and improves service quality through better financial and technical performance. 13 states implemented at least one component, while 6 states implemented the DBT component. As a result, Rs. 13,201 crore of additional borrowings was permitted. 

Overall, 23 states availed of additional borrowings of Rs. 1.06 lakh crores out of a potential of Rs. 2.14 lakh crores. As a result, the aggregate borrowing permission granted to states for 2020-21 (conditional and unconditional) was 4.5% of the initially estimated GSDP. 

For a large nation with complex challenges as ours, this was a unique experience. We have often seen that for various reasons, schemes and reforms remain un-operational often for years. This was a pleasant departure from the past where the Centre & States came together to roll out public friendly reforms in a short span of time amidst the pandemic. This was made possible due to our approach of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Officials who have been working on these reforms suggest that without this incentive of additional funds, enactment of these policies would have taken years. India has seen a model of ‘reforms by stealth and compulsion’. This is a new model of ‘reforms by conviction and incentives’. I am thankful to all the states who took the lead in ushering in these policies amidst tough times for the betterment of their citizens. We shall continue working together for the rapid progress of 130 crore Indians.

#NarendraModi
22-June-2021
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PM shares a blog post on reforms and policymaking on LinkedIn

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today posted a blog titled "Reforms by Conviction and Incentives" on LinkedIn platform.

The post is as below:-

The Covid-19 pandemic has come with a whole new set of challenges to Governments across the world in terms of policy-making. India is no exception. Raising enough resources for public welfare while ensuring sustainability is proving to be one of the biggest challenges.

In this back-drop of financial crunch seen across the world, do you know that Indian states were able to borrow significantly more in 2020-21? It would perhaps pleasantly surprise you that states were able to raise an extra Rs 1.06 lakh crores in 2020-21. This significant increase in availability of resources was made possible by an approach of Centre-State bhagidari. 

When we formulated our economic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to ensure that our solutions do not follow a ‘one size fits all’ model. For a federal country of continental dimensions, finding policy instruments at the national level to promote reforms by State Governments is indeed challenging. But, we had faith in the robustness of our federal polity and we moved ahead in the spirit of Centre-State bhagidari. 

In May 2020, as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the Government of India announced that State Governments would be allowed enhanced borrowing for 2020-21. An extra 2% of GSDP was allowed, of which 1% was made conditional on the implementation of certain economic reforms. This nudge for reform is rare in Indian public finance. This was a nudge, incentivising the states to adopt progressive policies to avail additional funds. The results of this exercise are not only encouraging but also run contrary to the notion that there are limited takers for sound economic policies.

The four reforms to which additional borrowings were linked (with 0.25% of GDP tied to each one) had two characteristics. Firstly, each of the reforms was linked to improving the Ease of Living to the public and particularly the poor, the vulnerable, and the middle class. Secondly, they also promoted fiscal sustainability.

The first reform under the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ policy required State Governments to ensure that all ration cards in the State under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) were seeded with the Aadhaar number of all family members and that all Fair Price Shops had Electronic Point of Sale devices. The main benefit from this is that migrant workers can draw their food ration from anywhere in the country. Apart from these benefits to citizens, there is the financial benefit from the elimination of bogus cards & duplicate members. 17 states completed this reform and were granted additional borrowings amounting to Rs. 37,600 crores. 

The second reform, aimed at improving ease of doing business, required states to ensure that renewal of business-related licences under 7 Acts is made automatic, online and non-discretionary on mere payment of fees. Another requirement was implementation of a computerized random inspection system and prior notice of inspection to reduce harassment and corruption under a further 12 Acts. This reform (covering 19 laws) is of particular help to micro and small enterprises, who suffer the most from the burden of the ‘inspector raj'. It also promotes an improved investment climate, greater investment and faster growth. 20 states completed this reform and were allowed additional borrowing of Rs. 39,521 crores. 

The 15th Finance Commission and several academics have emphasised the crucial importance of sound property taxation. The third reform required states to notify floor rates of property tax and of water & sewerage charges, in consonance with stamp duty guideline values for property transactions and current costs respectively, in urban areas. This would enable better quality of services to the urban poor and middle class, support better infrastructure and stimulate growth. Property tax is also progressive in its incidence and thus the poor in urban areas would benefit the most. This reform also benefits municipal staff who often face delay in payment of wages. 11 states completed these reforms and were granted additional borrowing of Rs. 15,957 crores. 

The fourth reform was introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in lieu of free electricity supply to farmers. The requirement was for formulation of a state-wide scheme with actual implementation in one district on a pilot basis by year end. Additional borrowing of 0.15% of GSDP was linked to this. A component was also provided for reduction in technical & commercial losses and another for reducing the gap between revenues and costs (0.05% of GSDP for each). This improves the finances of distribution companies, promotes conservation of water and energy and improves service quality through better financial and technical performance. 13 states implemented at least one component, while 6 states implemented the DBT component. As a result, Rs. 13,201 crore of additional borrowings was permitted. 

Overall, 23 states availed of additional borrowings of Rs. 1.06 lakh crores out of a potential of Rs. 2.14 lakh crores. As a result, the aggregate borrowing permission granted to states for 2020-21 (conditional and unconditional) was 4.5% of the initially estimated GSDP. 

For a large nation with complex challenges as ours, this was a unique experience. We have often seen that for various reasons, schemes and reforms remain un-operational often for years. This was a pleasant departure from the past where the Centre & States came together to roll out public friendly reforms in a short span of time amidst the pandemic. This was made possible due to our approach of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Officials who have been working on these reforms suggest that without this incentive of additional funds, enactment of these policies would have taken years. India has seen a model of ‘reforms by stealth and compulsion’. This is a new model of ‘reforms by conviction and incentives’. I am thankful to all the states who took the lead in ushering in these policies amidst tough times for the betterment of their citizens. We shall continue working together for the rapid progress of 130 crore Indians.

#NarendraModi
22-June-2021
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CCI approves acquisition of additional equity shareholding by Heineken International B V of United Breweries

 

The Competition Commission of India has approved the acquisition of additional equity shareholding by Heineken International B.V. ("HIBV") of United Breweries Limited ("UBL") under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

The proposed transaction, which was approved yesterday, relates to HIBV's potential acquisition of an additional equity stake up to a maximum of approximately 16.40 per cent shareholding in UBL.

HIBV is an investment holding company and is itself not engaged in any business activity. It is a direct/ indirect shareholder for all non-Dutch companies that form part of the Heineken Group. Heineken Group is an international group of companies engaged in the production, manufacture, packaging, distribution, marketing and sale of beer, non-alcoholic beer, cider and cider-based beverages, and a range of other beverages.

UBL is a public limited company incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and is principally engaged in the manufacture, sale and distribution of beer in India. UBL’s shares are listed on the BSE Limited and the National Stock Exchange of India Limited.

#CCI
22-June-2021