PIB News 8th Sep, 2020


 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Cabinet approves asset monetization of subsidiaries of Power Grid Corporation of India limited through infrastructure investment trust

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in a path breaking reform, has approved monetisation of assets of POWERGRID, a  Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under Ministry of Power, through Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) model. This is the first time any PSU in Power Sector will undertake asset recycling by monetising its assets through theInvITmodel and using the proceeds to fund the new and under-construction capital projects.

This approval would help POWERGRID to monetise in the first lot, assets with gross block value of more than 7000 crore. These assets, which are mainly High Voltage Transmission lines and substations, are held by POWERGRID in form of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs). The proceeds from the asset monetization would be deployedby POWERGRID in their new and under-construction projects.

Background

POWERGRID, a public limited company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Government of India, started its commercial operation in the year 1992-93 and is today, a Maharatna company, engaged in the business of power transmission. The Company, along with its wholly owned subsidiaries acquired through the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB)process,owns and operates a pan India transmission network. The Company meets its fund requirement for its Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) through its internal accruals and debt.

The Budget 2019-20 emphasized investment led growth and indicated that new and innovative financial instruments including Infrastructure Investment Trusts (lnvITs), have been launched as part of the brown field asset monetization strategy for augmenting infrastructure investment.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has accorded approval to the POWERGRID to monetise transmission assets held in SPVs through InvIT model. The asset monetisation through InvIT by POWERGRID is a first for the Power Sector PSU.The proceeds from the asset monetization would be utilized by POWERGRID for its CAPEX and the premium generated would augment the net worth of POWERGRID.

In the first block, POWERGRID would monetize assets with gross block of more than Rs7000 crore. Based on the experience gained, further monetization shall be carried out in future.

Asset recycling is a key strategy of the Government of India to release the capital invested in operational assets and the proposed InvIT of POWERGRID would attract both domestic as well as global investors including Sovereign Wealth Funds. Sale of assets to InvITs is a way of accessing long term, relatively cheap finance required to fund infrastructure projects in Transmission Sector. The CAPEX plan of POWERGRID for next two years (2020-21 and 2021-22) is Rs. 20,500 cr. The Government of India has enacted an enabling regulatory and taxation framework for InvITs and the proposed InvIT by POWERGRID would deepen this market.

The InvIT would provide an opportunity to the general public and institutional investors such as Pension Funds, Mutual Funds, to benefit from this investment opportunity and participate in the growth of Indian Infrastructure Sector.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launches 22 bamboo clusters in 9 States; Logo for National Bamboo Mission also released
India moving towards increasing exports of bamboo products, support being given by National Bamboo Mission to local artisans will actualize PM’s goal for progress of local industries – Shri Tomar

Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today inaugurated by virtual mode 22 bamboo clusters in 9 States (Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Karnataka). A logo for the National Bamboo Mission was also released. Lauding the success of the National Bamboo Mission, Shri Tomar said that the country is now gearing up to increase the export of bamboo products.

Addressing the video conference, the Union Agriculture Minister said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has always strived that local industries should be protected and make progress so that local artisans get a source of livelihood. The Government’s goal in the bamboo sector is being achieved with the concerted efforts of all stakeholders of the Bamboo Mission. Keeping in consideration the importance of bamboo, the Indian Forest Act 1927 was amended in the year 2017 to remove bamboo for the category of trees, as a result now anyone can undertake cultivation and business in bamboo and its products. Import policy has also been modified to ensure progress of the bamboo industry in the country. Shri Tomar said that the use of bamboo has been an ancient tradition in India and it is now being supported with modern technology. Youth are also being given training for bamboo industry.

The Minister called upon the States to take forward the objectives of the Mission which would contribute to the call of Hon’ble Prime Minister of an AatmaNirbhar Bharat through an AatmaNirbharKrishi. The support being given by the Mission to local artisans through locally grown bamboo species will also actualize the goal of Vocal for Local. This will help increase income of farmers and at the same reduce dependency on imports of some raw material. With the wealth of bamboo in India and growing industry, India should aim to establish herself in global markets for both engineered and handcrafted products.

The restructured National Bamboo Mission was launched in 2018-19 for holistic development of the complete value chain of the sector. The Mission is being implemented in a hub (industry) and spoke model, with the main goal of connecting farmers to markets so as to enable farmer producers to get a ready market for the bamboo grown and to increase supply of appropriate raw material to domestic industry. The Mission was launched as a natural corollary of the historic amendment of the Indian Forest Act in 2017, removing bamboo from the definition of trees, hence bamboo grown outside forests no longer need felling and transit permissions.

The bamboo ecosystem has been energized with 23 States being assisted, including all the 8 States of North East. 10 most important species which are required by industry have been identified and quality planting material is being made available to farmers for plantations. Assam has already engaged FPOs for raising plantations. New FPOs will also be formed under the recently approved scheme of DACFW for formation of 10,000 FPOs in 5 years. Further primary processing, CFCs are being set up close to the plantations which will enable cost of transportation of whole bamboo to be reduced, increase local entrepreneurship and move to a zero waste approach.

These will be engaged in raising nurseries and plantations and/or product development like furniture, agarbatti, venetian blinds, chopsticks, toothbrush, lifestyle products, jewellery, bottles, yoga mat, charcoal, etc. Together with industrial products, the National Bamboo Mission also endeavors to upgrade skills of traditional bamboo craftsmen as per requirement of contemporary markets with tie up with enterprises and premier institutes so that our cultural heritage is continued. The Sector Skill Councils established under National Skill Development Agency will also impart skills and Recognition of Prior Learning to traditional artisans. This will also encourage the youth to carry forward their family traditions.

The winner of the logo contest, Shri Sai Ram Goudi Edigi of Telengana was selected from 2033 entries received on MyGov platform from across the country. The logo portrays a bamboo culm in the center of a circle composed of half an industrial wheel and half farmers, depicting the objectives of NBM appropriately. The green and yellow colour of the logo symbolise bamboo often termed as green gold. 

 

(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.)

In a nationwide investigation, RPF disrupts the operation of illegal software called “Real Mango” used for cornering confirmed Railway reservation
The software has now been fully decimated
RPF have been able to apprehend around 50 criminals so far involved in operation of this illegal software and block live tickets worth more than Rs. 5 Lakhs

In a nationwide investigation, RPF has disrupted  the operation of illegal software called “Real Mango” used for cornering confirmed Railway reservation.

In view of the apprehension of increase in touting activity after restart of the passenger services, drive against touts was intensified by Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways. Operation of an illegal software called “Rare Mango” (later changed its name to “Real Mango”) was revealed on 09.08.2020 during action against touts by the field units of RPF. RPF units of North Central Railway (NCR), Eastern Railway (ER) and Western Railway (WR) apprehended some suspects and initiated the process of understanding and unravelling the operation of RareMango/Real Mango Software. In course of systematic unravelling of the working of the illegal software, it has been found that:-

            1.         Real mango software bypasses V3 and V2 captcha.

            2.         It synchronises bank OTP with help of a mobile app and feeds it to the  requisite form automatically.

            3.         The software auto-fills the passenger details and payment details in the forms.

            4.         The software logs in to the IRCTC website through multiple IRCTC Ids.

            5.         The illegal software is sold through five tiered structure: System Admin & his   team, Mavens, Super sellers, Sellers and Agents.

            6.         System admin is receiving payment in bitcoins.

Field units of RPF have been able to apprehend 50 criminals so far including the King pin (system developer) and key managers involved in operation of this illegal software and block live tickets worth more than Rs 5 Lakhs. Five key operatives of the illegal software have been arrested from West Bengal. The software has now been fully decimated.

It may be noted a coordinated nation-wide action by RPF between December 2019 to March 2020 led to arrest of 104 criminals involved and disruption of many illegal softwares like ANMS/ Red Mirchi/Black TS, TikTok, I-Ball, Red Bull, MAC, N-GET, Cycle, Star-V2 etc. The information supplied by RPF helped CRIS/IRCTC to strengthen security features in PRS system due to which the softwares stopped functioning at that time.


 










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