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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Singapore Companies and Investors to Invest in Port Infrastructure and Shipping Projects in India

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Press Information Bureau Ministry of I&B <>
Date: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 4:47 PM
Subject: Releases.........pt3

Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Ministry of Shipping

Union Minister of Shipping Shri G. K. Vasan Calls Upon

Singapore Companies and Investors to Invest in Port

Infrastructure and Shipping Projects in India

New Delhi: September 28, 2010.


Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan led a 20 member strong Indian delegation comprising of senior government functionaries from the Shipping Ministry and business leaders on a Ports and Maritime Mission to Singapore. The Minister participated in the seminar on " Port and Maritime Industry in India" jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and High Commission of India in Singapore on 27-28 September,2010. More than two hundred top Corporates from the Shipping industry and investors from Singapore participated in the meet.

Shri G. K. Vasan highlighted the achievements of India and the investor friendly policy framework available in the country to promote foreign direct investment and private sector participation in the Port and Shipping sector. He called upon the Singapore based companies to join as active partners in the massive infrastructure development programme, given the tremendous opportunities available in the Port and Maritime sector in India.

Earlier the delegation visited the PSA Container Terminal in Singapore port. Shri G. K . Vasan also called on the Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport of Singapore, Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua and discussed issues of mutual interest relating to the Shipping industry. The high powered delegation included Director General of CII, Mr.Chandrajit Banerjee and Secretary(Shipping) Mr. Mohandas among others.


mc/mk/dk/kol/16:38 hrs.


Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Ministry of Power

SJVN Pays Rs. 160 Crore Final Dividend to Government

New Delhi: September 28, 2010.


Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN) has paid a final dividend of Rs.160 crore to the Government of India. The dividend cheque was handed over to Shri Sushilkumar Shinde, Union Minister of Power in the presence of Shri P. Uma Shankar, Secretary (Power), here yesterday.

The Company had declared a total dividend of Rs. 328.20 crore for the performance during the financial year 2009-10. The total dividend included an interim dividend of Rs.80 crore already paid to the equity partners i.e. Government of India & Government of Himachal Pradesh.

During the financial year 2009-10, the Company had earned a net profit of Rs.972.70 crore. The Company has been consistently making profits since commencing commercial generation in the year 2004-05 and has accumulated reserves of Rs. 2528 crore for funding its upcoming projects in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal and Bhutan.


rj/mrs/skk/dk/kol/16:38 hrs.


Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

I.V. Subba Rao Appointed Establishment Officer

New Delhi: September 28, 2010.


The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Shri I.V. Subba Rao, IAS (AP:79), presently in the cadre, as Establishment Officer and Additional Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions in the vacancy of Shri P.K. Misra, IAS (UP:76).


rs/sr/dk/kol/16:38 hrs.


Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Ministry for Development of North-East Region

Shri Handique Chairs 59th North Eastern Council Meeting

New Delhi: September 28, 2010.


The Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and Mines, Shri B.K. Handique has said that North Eastern Council (NEC) would play more proactive role in the development of the Region by promoting the capacities in emerging opportunities. Speaking at the 59th North Eastern Council Meeting here today, he said that NEC has recently signed an agreement with the State of Nagaland for setting up of regional institute for training of paramedics.

Shri Handique said Tripura has also evinced interest for establishing a Regional Nursing College in the State in partnership with NEC. The Minister informed the members of the Council that the Union Cabinet has recently approved the proposal of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to upgrade and declare the Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing College (RIPANS), Aizawl as a Regional Paramedical Institute by bringing under the National Institute.

The meeting is convened to discuss important issues related to the development of the North Eastern Region.

Following is the text of the Minister's speech on the occasion:

"Your Excellencies the Governors and Hon'ble Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States, Hon'ble Members of the NEC and distinguished invitees from the Central Ministries and organizations and officers…

I welcome you all to this 59th Meeting of the North Eastern Council. Today, I am looking forward to discuss important issues related to the development of the North Eastern Region.

In the last meeting held at Guwahati, I got the sense of expectations of the members and priorities of the States. Accordingly, NEC and Ministry of DoNER has been focusing on the issues discussed and deliberated in the last session. Hon'ble Members had also raised some important issues that they have wanted to be resolved as regards the Central Ministries. As a representative of the Member States both the NEC and the Ministry of DoNER are trying to facilitate this ongoing process of dialogue between the States and the Central Ministries and Departments. This indeed, is critical for implementation of Vision 2020. Today, we proposed to have presentations from four three Union Ministries of Telecommunications, Shipping and Railways on their action plans as regards implementation of Vision document. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Power could not be present today as our Plenary is clashing with a meeting of the Standing Committee of that Ministry. I appreciate their efforts and the sincerity of their intentions in firming up such plans. Under NER Vision 2020, we have been pursuing the line Ministries to formulate their Action Plans.

I am happy that the Ministries of Shipping (for Inland Waterways), Telecommunications and Railways are represented here today at their highest levels. These Plans have already been communicated to you. We hope that today's session will resolve many issues that have been plaguing the implementation of the projects in these sectors and bring forth the requirements of the States.

In this connection, while releasing the Vision 2020 document for the region, Hon'ble Prime Minister, Dr Man Mohan Singhji desired that there should be a proper synergy amongst the Planning Commission, the Ministry of DoNER and the NEC in planning for the NER.

In tandem with the expectations of the hon'ble members, NEC would play more proactive role in the development of the region by promoting the capacities in emerging opportunities, NEC has signed on 22 September 2010 an agreement with the State of Nagaland for setting up of regional institute for training of paramedics. I congratulate the Nagaland Government for the same. The Government of Tripura has also evinced interest for establishing a Regional Nursing College in the State in partnership with NEC. I am also happy to inform you that Union Cabinet has recently approved the proposal of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to upgrade and declare the Regional Institute of Paramedical and Nursing College (RIPANS), Aizawl as a Regional Paramedical Institute by bringing under the National Institute.

NEC has also engaged the Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation (India) Ltd., Noida, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, to assess the overall health infrastructure available in the North Eastern States at tertiary, secondary and primary levels and gaps persisting therein. The study is divided into two broad components namely (i) health workforce development plan in the NER and (ii) the North Eastern Region: health facility study. It is requested of the health departments and directorates of the North Eastern Governments to extend necessary support for this study.

NEC is consulting the Assam Rifles to facilitate admission of violence affected and poor students of all 8 states in the Assam Rifles School in Shillong from class VIIIth to Xth at its expense. This will promote 'inclusiveness for those sections of society which need it most. . We are hopeful to start it from the next academic year.

To further the process of Look East Policy, My Ministry has arranged for visit of 8 ASEAN Ambassadors to Manipur recently, though, unfortunately, their visit to Mizoram had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. This indicates the interest that the North East is generating in our neighbouring countries and their desire to have closer ties with the region. Under youth exchange programme, Myanmar team visited Kohima, Imphal and Guwahati in November 2009 and we deputed a renowned Chorus band from our region, Symbiosis, to Myanmar in April 2010. We are in the process of sending some more teams to other South East Asian Countries. Further, on the occasion of 150th Birth Centenary of Kabiguru Rabindranath Thakur, we are proposing send teams from Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura to Bangladesh for cultural exchange. My Ministry is in active consultation with the Ministry of Culture on this issue.

I am happy to announce that the Ministry of DONER will be partnering the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2011. It will showcase the North East with the themes of tourism, health and education sectors. I congratulate the Manipur Government for the quick response we have received from them on the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

The youth of our States are our most promising resource. Their education and skills should be our prime responsibility. I congratulate the Chief Minister of Mizoram for commissioning a comprehensive study on the education scenario of the State by eminent educationists. I urge him to implement the recommendations in this report.

To give impetus to the sports talent of the region, a football tournament, Dr. T. Ao Regional Football Tournament was started by NEC which would now be held annually in each of the 8 States by rotation. The first tournament was held in Nagaland in October, 2009 and the response was very encouraging. The same would be held in Manipur during the current year.

In order to support and sustain development activities, we need to tap External Aided Projects. I am glad to note that the Government of Meghalaya has taken an initiative of seeking external assistance from the Asian Development Bank for a programme on financial restructuring of the State called Meghalaya Public Resources Management and Reform Programme.

To promote efficient performance under NLCPR scheme, my Ministry has proposed an incentive by way of retention of projects amounting to Rs.20 crore from the priority list of a particular year over and above the annual entitlement of the State. The state of Sikkim is the first recipient of this incentive. I congratulate them for their good performance under NLCPR.

My Ministry closely monitors the expenditure of the minimum stipulated 10% of GBS of the 52 non-exempted Ministries of the Union Government. We found that some schemes do not have enough response from the State Governments. We, therefore, undertook an exercise to review the suitability of central schemes of selected Ministries in so far as the NER is concerned by senior officials of the State Governments of NER. The recommendations regarding Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Health and Food Processing have been communicated to the respective Ministries and the Planning Commission so that appropriate corrections are made in the 12th Plan.

We have made efforts to expedite sanction of some pending projects under NEC. I am happy to inform you that a project for upgradation and operationalisation of airport at Tezu has been sanctioned at a total cost of Rs.79 Crore. Arrangements as regards of air services in the NER with Alliance Air has been renewed for two more years, i.e. up to December 2011 and a more lasting and viable solution to the vexing problem of intra regional connectivity is being examined. NEC is sponsoring a study through Ministry of Civil Aviation a comprehensive study for Air Connectivity of the region and I hope that very soon, we can embark upon more concrete steps in this direction rather than piece meal approach.

NEC has already constituted a Working Group to identify Transport and Communication Projects for 12th Plan with members from the States, line Ministries and Planning Commission. The Working Group would identify interstate road, ISBT, ISTT and bridges which would be taken up in the 12th Plan. Two meetings of the Working Group have already been held. The final report of the Working Group is likely be submitted before end of this financial year. NEC is in the process of constituting Working Groups for the 12th Five Year Plan in other sectors as well.

In the last meeting at February, 2010 at Guwahat, several Members have raised issues relating to the progress of the Railway Projects. I urge the State Governments to complete land acquisition works and sort out any contentious issues particularly for the Dudhnoi-Mendipathar line and Harmuti-Itanagar line. The slow progress of the Lumding-Silchar line is regrettable. I urge all concerned parties to do everything possible to complete this critically important line. I also urge the Council Members to put forth their future requirement for the railway sector to the senior officials of the Railway Ministry who are present here today.

The Hon'ble Members of the Council are aware that following the Joint Statement of Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Manmohan Singhji and Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, a railway line connecting Agartala in Tripura and Akhaura in Bangladesh will be constructed by India. My Ministry is in discussion with the Ministry of Railways and the State Governments to develop it as a multi-modal transport facility.

My Ministry is in discussion with the Ministry of Culture for setting up a North East Cultural Forum in association with the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, under the Ministry of Culture, located in Dwarka, Delhi.

While retaining sanctioning or approving projects under NLCPR or NEC, it is seen that the State Governments often do not take the required statutory or administrative approval from the line Ministries wherever applicable. This lapse delays the entire process. The States may like to keep this point in mind while posing projects to my Ministry or NEC.

I would like to now brief the Hon'ble Members some substantial achievements made under NLCPR. To increase the pace of sanction of projects, the Ministry has established a Technical Wing headed by a Superintending Engineer. It has also signed an agreement with M/S WAPCOS, a CPSU under Ministry of Water Resources for vetting of DPRs of road and bridges sector which comprises 40% of NLCPR funds.

Ministry completed retention of projects from Priority List 2010-11 of 7 States immediately on its receipt. Retention of projects in respect of Meghalaya is delayed due to late submission of Priority List by the State Government.

As advised by the Planning Commission in its Annual Plan meeting, Ministry decided to give an incentive every year to a good performing State in terms of completion of projects by retaining projects up to Rs. 20 crore as per States choice, over and above its entitlement. This year this incentive was given to the State of Sikkim.

NLCPR guidelines revised on 6.8.2009 to increase the flow of funds in NLCPR projects and make them more effective in the interest of faster implementation of projects. As per revised guidelines, the release of funds is restricted to only 3 installments of 40%, 40% and 20%.

Lastly, before I conclude I would like to put on record my appreciation of all the help I am getting from my colleagues in the Council without which it would not have been possible for me to function actively. I look forward for fruitful discussion today. I also take this opportunity to thank all my officers for all the support to the cause of the North Eastern Region."


*Photographs are also available on PIB Website.

nsk/db/dk/kol/16:39 hrs.


Press Information Bureau

Government of India

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Ministry of Finance

Finance Minister Releases the First Budget Manual of Union Government

New Delhi: September 28, 2010.


Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee released the first Budget Manual of the Union Government, here today. Releasing the Manual, the Finance Minister said that the Union Budget has evolved over the past six decades to reflect the strength of India's democratic processes in shaping its economy, and has emerged as a crucial tool for Public Finance Management. He said that this Manual is an attempt to bring together the entire Budget related activities and procedures etc. which were hitherto available in a dispersed manner in the form of executive instructions and guidelines . The Manual has been prepared by the Budget Division of the Department of Economic Affairs. Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee congratulated the Division for taking this initiative.

The Finance Minister said Budget Manual is a comprehensive document explaining in detail the procedures and activities connected with the preparation of Budget. Mr Mukherjee said that Budget Manual will serve as a guidance document to the officials involved in Budget making in the Finance Ministry as well as in other Ministries/Departments. He said that it is also expected to act as a good reference document for interested readers and stakeholders. He said that this document is an effort in the direction of fostering greater transparency and better understanding about procedures and systems relating to making of Union Budget.

At the outset, the Manual brings out the Constitutional provisions related to the Budget. It describes the contents of various Budget documents. The Finance Minister said that the Manual also deals with the Organizational aspects, roles and responsibilities of the Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and the responsibilities of various wings of the Executive in the Budget making process. The Union Government's accounting and classification systems have also been explained apart from the working of the Consolidated Fund of India, the Contingency Fund of India and the Public Account of India, the Finance Minister added.

Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena alongwith the Secretaries of different departments of the Ministry of finance including Finance Secretary, Shri Ashok Chawla, Revenue Secretary, Shri Sunil Mitra, Expenditure Secretary, Smt. Sushma Nath, Secretary, Financial Services, Shri R. Gopalan, Secretary, Disinvestment, Shri Sumit Bose and Chief Economic Advisor, Dr. Kaushik Basu were also present on this occasion among others.

The core sections of the Manual explain the entire chain of activities related to Budget preparation right from the issue of Budget Circular in September to the Budget Day in February, including the processes of estimation of receipts and expenditure, their firming-up and finalization through the Pre-Budget Meetings and their compilation. The comprehensive calendar of Budget related activities, their timelines, details of the related duties and responsibilities of the officers and staff together with the Security and 'Lock-in' procedures have also been brought out. Finally the Manual deals with the Implementation and Reporting of various Budget announcements. There are also a series of Annexes which provide a holistic perspective on the related subjects. An attempt has been made to incorporate all the Budget related issues in the Manual so as to make it a self contained and one stop guidance document.

Text of the Finance Minister's address on the occasion is given below:

"I am pleased to participate in this function to release the Budget Manual for the Union Government. The Budget process of our country predates the Independence and has evolved over the past six decades to reflect the strength of our democratic processes in shaping our economy. It has emerged as a crucial tool for public finance management.

Budget was first introduced on 7th April, 1860, two years after the transfer of Indian administration from East-India Company to British Crown. The first Finance Member, who presented the Budget, was James Wilson. Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Member of the Interim Government presented the Budget of 1947-48. After Independence, India's first Finance Minister, Shri Shanmukham Chetty, presented the first budget of independent India on 26th November, 1947.

Toni Morrison, the famous author and winner of the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize for literature, had once stated, I quote-

"If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it".

~Toni Morrison

The Union Government Budget Manual is one such book, the need for which has been felt for long. I am happy to note that the Budget Division has brought out this Manual. Large areas of the Budget making procedures and processes have not been in public domain, leading at times to some misinterpretations and conjectures. The Budget Manual will shed such misconceptions. I am sure this Manual will bring about greater transparency and better understanding about the Union Government Budget making procedures and systems.

The Manual attempts to outline the entire chain of events leading to the Union Budget. The purpose of this Budget Manual is to provide guidance and a training tool for the officers and staff engaged in the Budget preparation, not only in the Finance Ministry but in other Ministries/Departments as well.

Finally, I would also like to express my appreciation to the officials of the Finance Ministry for taking this initiative and completing the task of preparing the Union Government Budget Manual.

With these words I would now like to release the Budget Manual for the Union Government."


dsm/gn/dk/kol/16:39 hrs.

Palash Biswas
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