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Evening News Digest, 17 August 2017

RBI makes Aadhar linkage mandatory for farmers to avail short-term crop loans in 2017-18

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked banks to make the Aadhar linking for the farmers to be compulsory for availing short-term crop loans up to Rs3 lakh in 2017-18.
  • The aim is to help the farmers have easy access to the benefits under Interest Subvention Scheme.
  • In line with the government's policy, farmers can avail short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at an interest rate of 7%, which will drop down to 4% for those who will repay the amount in time.
  • The interest subvention of 2 percent will be charged on the crop loan amount from the date of its disbursement/ drawal up to the date of actual repayment of the crop loan by the farmer or up to the due date of the loan fixed by the banks whichever is earlier, subject to a maximum period of one year.

                                                                                                              Source: The Hindu

 Budgetary Support under GST to eligible industry units in Hilly States approved

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Scheme of providing Budgetary Support under Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime for eligible industrial units Hilly States.
  • These Hilly States comprise of North Eastern States including Sikkim and Special Category States of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
  • Total Number of 4284 industrial units in the North East and Himalayan States will get GST relief in the form of refund of Central share of CGST and iGST.
  • The support shall be available for the residual period (ten years from the date of the commercial production) in the States of North Eastern region and Himalayan States.

What is GST regime?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in India came into effect on July 1, 2017. It was introduced as The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act 2017. The GST is governed by a GST Council and its Chairman is the Union Finance Minister. Under GST, goods and services are taxed at the following rates, 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.

                                                                                                               Source: PIB          

Completion of North Koel Reservoir Project to be accelerated

  • The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal to complete the balance works of the North Koel Reservoir Project in Jharkhand and Bihar.
  • The total estimated expenditure on balance work will be Rs.1622.27 crore, which will be incurred during three financial years from the start of the project.
  • Besides, the Cabinet also approved storage of water in dam restricted at lower level than envisaged earlier to reduce the submergence and to protect Betla National Park and Palamau Tiger Reserve.

What is North Koel Reservoir Project?

The project is situated on North Koel river which is a tributary of Sone River finally joining the river Ganga.  The North Koel Reservoir is located in the most backward tribal areas in Palamau and Garhwa districts of Jharkhand State. The construction was originally started in the year 1972 and continued till 1993 when it was stopped by the Forest Department, Govt. of Bihar.

                                                                                                           Source: The Hindu

 Union Cabinet approves Extra Budgetary Resource of Rs 9020 crore for Long_Term Irrigation Fund

  • The Union Cabinet approved the Extra Budgetary Resource (EBR) for raising Rs 9020 crore for Long Term Irrigation Fund during 2017-18. The EBR will be raised by NABARD through the issuance of Bonds at 6 percent per annum as per requirement.
  • The approval was given in light of the fact that a large number of major and medium irrigation projects taken up under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) were languishing mainly due to inadequate provision of funds.

What is Long-Term Irrigation Fund?

The Union Finance Minister, during his Budget speech 2016-17, announced creation of dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) in NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore for funding of Central and State share for the identified ongoing projects under PMKSY (AIBP and CAD).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Source: PIB

 US designates Pak-based Hizbul Mujahideen as terrorist organization

  • The United States (US) designated Kashmiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a "foreign terrorist organisation", nearly two months after declaring the group's Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist
  • The designation, which slaps a series of US sanctions on the outfit, came against the backdrop of upsurge in the terror activities of the militant group in Kashmir in recent months.
  • Among other consequences, all of Hizbul Mujahideen's property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group.

                                                                                                          Source: Times of India 

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