Thursday, February 23, 2012

19 % import duty likely on power equipment for mega projects

Power generation equipment for projects above 1000 MW may attract import duty at the rate of 19%. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is expected to take a call on the issue in next two weeks. If the proposal is approved, it will give domestic equipment manufacturers such as BHEL, L&T and Bharat Forge a major boost. At present, power generation equipment for projects below 1000 MW bears a duty of 5% while there is almost nil duty for equipments for projects above 1000 MW.

EPFO may fix minimum pension at Rs. 1000 per month

Retirement fund body EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund of India) may take a final decision on fixing the minimum pension for its subscribers at Rs. 1000 per month, at a meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) scheduled on Feb. 22.

Golden Jubilee convocation of the IARI

The annual farm growth rate was expected to be 3.5 % in the 12th plan period ending this year. Prime Minister who was awarded a honorary doctorate by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute(IARI) said 3.5 % per annum growth rate is commendable. But we must improve upon it to reach 4 % or even higher in the 12th plan. For this our Government is committed to raising Research and Development spending as a whole to at least 2% of the GDP by the end of the 12th plan from the current level of about 1%.

Financial Inclusion

Under the financial inclusion programme, PSBs are required to extend banking facilities to all habitations with a population of 2000 persons by end-March 2012. In all, about 73000 villages had been identified for coverage under this programme.

Capital support assured for public sector banks

The finance Minister MR. Pranab Mukherjee said that the Government is ready to infuse more capital in public sector banks (PSBs) to help them employ with the Basel III capital regulations, while envisage more stringent norms for capital adequacy. The Basel III capital regulations are to be implemented from January 1, 2013 and will be fully phased in by January 1, 2019.

Worth reading