Evening digest: Stalled road projects get revival funds

GN Bureau | October 14, 2015


#road projects   #Young poll   #Agartala Kolkata bus   #Dhaka   #India   #Sweden   #CCTVs in Delhi   #cybersecurity   #app for terror operations  

The Cabinet today approved a slew of measures, including a one-time financial assistance for stalled road projects and a cash boost for fertiliser firms. In a boost for infrastructure, the Cabinet gave its nod for one-time fund infusion to revive stressed national highway projects. The incentive will be extended to such projects on BOT ( annuity) mode. The projects where construction has been 50 per cent completed till November 2014 will be eligible for this one-time financial assistance. This will be done through a tripartite agreement between the funding agency, the NHAI and the builder. The Cabinet gave its approval for extending the existing productivity-linked reward for port and dock employees for payment of Productivity-Linked Reward from 2014-15 to 2015-16. The payment of PLR would be made after adjusting the ad-hoc amount already paid for the year 2014-15. It will benefit about 44,000 major ports and dock workers/employees/officers and will help ensure a better industrial relationship and congenial work atmosphere in the port sector.

The Cabinet also okayed a special banking arrangement for a loan of Rs 7,000 crore with the consortium of PSBs led by SBI and PNB for settlement of outstanding indigenous urea subsidy bills of fertilizer companies in 2014-15. The Cabinet allowed construction of 13,072 houses and 113 barracks of various types at 68 locations of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) during 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). This will be at an estimated cost of Rs 3090.98 crore.

India named top investment destination in Ernst & Young poll
India has been named the most attractive country for investment in a survey of more than 500 global investors published by accounting firm EY (Ernst & Young) on Wednesday. Thirty-two percent of the 505 executives questioned said India was their favoured market for investment, with China second on 15% of the vote, followed by Southeast Asia, Brazil and North America. “There is no doubt that interest in India has increased,” Mark Otty, EY area managing partner for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa said. “Investors increasingly see the potential and understand the fundamentals.”

Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka from Friday
The Agartala-Kolkata bus service via Dhaka, which was scheduled to begin today, has been postponed and would begin from Friday. A new Volvo bus would ply between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka.

India, Sweden agree to cooperate in urban sector initiatives
India and Sweden today agreed to cooperate in the implementation of new urban sector initiatives in India relating to promotion of public transport, municipal waste management and digitalization. "Both the countries have agreed to identify specific projects for promoting sustainable urban development in India," a statement released said after a meeting between visiting Swedish Minister of Housing, Urban Development and Information Technology Mehmet Kaplan and Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu. The two ministers have identified promotion of public transport, municipal waste management and digitalization as priority areas for cooperation in the context of initiatives for development of smart cities and upgrading basic infrastructure in other cities in India, it said.

'Dark spots' to be lit up and CCTVs installed soon in Delhi
Delhi government has asked the PWD to light up 'dark spots' across the capital and decided to bring a proposal to install CCTV cameras soon, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said today. In a meeting of its Cabinet, the AAP government also took a decision to revise minimum wages in the capital and to "blacklist" contractors who don't follow the norm in this respect.  "Del Cabinet decides 2 revise min wages in del. HODs must ensure workers get min wages. Contractors who don't pay min wages will b blacklistd. "Cabinet took 2 imp decisions 4 women safety -PWD shud lit up all dark spots in Del n bring a proposal soon to put CCTV cameras all over Del," Kejriwal tweeted.

Incidents of cybersecurity breach shoot up 117% in India
Incidents of cybersecurity breach surged by a record 117 per cent during the year and companies are investing more to tackle this menace, as also improve business performance, said a survey. According to global consultancy firm PwC along with CIO and CSO, "The average number of information security incidents detected by respondents increased by 117 per cent over the previous year, up from 2,895 last year to 6,284 this year." Meanwhile, the increase in incidents of cybersecurity breach globally stood at just 39 per cent during the period under consideration (July 2014-June 2015). The report said that companies in India are investing more to reduce cybersecurity risks and improve business performance as a 71 per cent increase in budget on cybersecurity were seen during the said period.

Efforts on to plug major gas leak at OIL well in Rajasthan
Efforts are on to control a major gas leakage at an Oil India Ltd (OIL) well in Rajasthan's Dandewala region, from where the highly inflammable gas has been oozing out for the last six days. Machines and equipments, brought from Maharashtra and Gujarat, have been deployed by the experts, who will supply chemical into the well to plug the leakage, but the flow wasn't contained yet, an official said today.

District collector VM Sharma said that the situation was under control and it will take a couple of more days to contain the leakage fully.There is no population in the radius of around 35 kms, he said.

An app for terror operations by LeT
Dreaded Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has now developed an exclusive mobile application for its operatives active in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere to make their communication secure, a report said on Wednesday. As per a report published in the Hindustan Times, the new mobile application will help the LeT operatives in keeping their communication highly secure. The application allows the user to make phone calls and send text messages to other users who have the same application installed on their devices. This was confirmed by a central counter terror official who said that captured LeT terrorist Mohammad Naved had revealed during his interrogation that his commander in the Valley, Abu Qasim, was using an app on his mobile to stay in touch with his handlers and other operatives.Naveed also confirmed that the app was specially developed by LeT for its operatives.

Sensex closes 67 points lower
The benchmark BSE Sensex dropped 0.25% to 26,779.66, down 1.1% for the week.The broader Nifty fell 0.29% to 8,107.90, extending its weekly loss to 1%. The stock markets edged lower on Wednesday, posting their third consecutive loss, after blue-chips Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) and Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) declined following disappointment over their quarterly earnings. Although TCS, India’s largest software services exporter, met market expectations on Tuesday with a 14.5% rise in quarterly net profit, some analysts had hoped for better earnings and said the outlook for the sector could get tougher. Meanwhile, HUL, India’s largest consumer goods company, on Wednesday reported a 2.6% fall in second-quarter profit, missing analysts’ expectations.

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