Nitish congratulates Centre for ‘balanced’ Union Budget despite Covid challenges
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar congratulated the Centre for coming out with a “balanced” Union Budget for the financial year 2021-2022 despite constraints on revenue collection in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also hailed Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s proposal to increase the budgetary outlay for health to over Rs 2.23 lakh crore in FY22 from Rs 94,452 crore estimated in the current fiscal.
Kumar said the Centre presented a Rs 34.8 lakh crore Union budget for 2021-22, which is more than the estimated total expenditure of Rs 30.42 lakh crore in the current financial year, and proposed to increase the capital spending by 34.5 per cent to Rs 5.5 lakh crore.
The Ujjwala Scheme has benefited eight crore poor households across the country.
Kumar said the Centre is promoting solar and renewable energy and will provide financial assistance to check air pollution, which is an encouraging step to save the country’s environment.
The Bihar government has already decided to install “pre-paid smart meter”, the CM said, adding that the Centre has also decided to extend it further.
Nepal decides to award hydropower project to India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam
Nepal has decided to award the contract for construction of 679 megawatt Lower Arun Hydropower Project to India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN). ‘‘
The project was awarded to the SJVN under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) delivery method. ‘‘
Similar to the Arun III hydel project, which will provide 21 per cent free power to Nepal during the concession period, the developer of the Lower Arun hydel project should also prioritise providing certain percent of power free of cost. ‘‘
The developer will hand over the ownership of the project to the government of Nepal after 20 years of commercial operation.
India ranks 10th in EIU’s Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index
India has been ranked 10th among 11 Asia Pacific countries in a newly-launched ‘Asia-Pacific Personalised Health Index’ by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). ‘‘
The index aims to measure the progress of each of the 11 countries towards adopting personalised healthcare, enabling the right care to be made available to the right person at the right time. ‘‘
Overall, Singapore has topped the index. It is followed by Taiwan (2nd), Japan (3rd) and Australia (4th). ‘‘
Indonesia was the last ranked country at 11th in the index.
Indian Coast Guard celebrates its 45th Raising Day on 01 February
The Indian Coast Guard celebrated its 45th Raising Day on 01 February 2021.
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) through its tireless pursuits of excellence has established itself as a reliable force that responds with alacrity to situations impinging on the Security of the Coastline, Safety of the Seafaring Community and Coastal Populace.
As the fourth largest Coast Guard in the world, Indian Coast Guard has played a significant role in securing the Indian Coasts and enforcing regulations within the Maritime Zones of India.
On an average, the Coast Guard saves one precious life every second day at sea.
From a modest beginning with just 7 surface platforms in 1978, ICG has grown into a formidable force with 156 ships and 62 aircraft in its inventory and is likely to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.
National Marine Turtle Action Plan by Union Ministry
The Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued the “National Marine Turtle Action Plan” and also issued the Marine Mega Fauna Stranding Guidelines.
These documents contain methods to not only promote inter-departmental protection actions, but also guide the government, civil society and all relevant stakeholders to strengthen coordination and protection in response to cases of stranding, entanglement, injury or death of marine mammals and also conservation of Marine Turtles.
These two documents focus on the actions that should be taken when dealing with stranded animals on the shore, animals stranded or entangled at sea or on ships, to improve coordination, reduce threats to marine species and their habitats, and restore degraded habitats. Promote people’s participation, advance scientific research and the exchange of information about marine mammals and turtles and their habitats.
NSO released Revised Estimates of Economic Growth
The National Statistical Office (NSO) released revised estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data on January 29, 2020. This data has been revised for the 2017-18 to 2019-20 fiscal year.
The first revised estimate shows a 4% increase in GDP in the 2019-20 fiscal year. This is 20 basis points lower than the 4.2% growth in provisional estimate released in 2020.
This highlights that GDP is expected to shrink by 7.7% in 2020-21 and will grow to 7.8%.
The second revised estimate of GPD for 2018-19 is 6.5%, while the third revised estimate of 2017-18 GDP is 6.8%.
Previously, GDP growth in 2018-19 and 2017-18 was 6.1% and 7%, respectively.
In addition, the revised estimates for 2019-20 have reduced the growth of the primary and secondary sectors. However, it expects a positive growth trajectory in the tertiary sector.
The Gross Value Added (GVA) of the secondary sector shrank by 1.1% in 2019-20, while the GVA of the tertiary sector will increase by 7.2% in the revised estimate.
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