Current Affairs 19th March 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Huawei today announced appointment of soccer superstar Lionel Messi as global brand ambassador for its consumer business group that deals in mobile devices.Lionel Messi will help our brand encourage people to focus, persevere to connect with greatness, especially in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, where Huawei puts great devotion.The partnership with Messi showcases the brand's alignment with people and brands that demonstrate, and strive towards its shared value of connecting greatness .Messi is also global brand ambassador for Indian auto major Tata Motors .Messi is the epitome of perseverance, excellence and commitment," Huawei India CBG President Allen Wang said. Huawei shipped 108 million smartphones in 2015 and became the third-largest player after Apple and Samsung. The company has set a target of growing its smartphone sales by 300 per cent this year. It has been in the Indian market for the last 16 years and has associated itself with cricket as a sponsor of IPL team RCB. Besides cricket, football is another game which has a lot of followers in India and we are excited to be associated with the world's top football athlete.

Ace fashion designer Ritu Beri has said that as an advisor for Khadi promotion, she will do her best to make Khadi “a global fabric to reckon” with.“Honoured to be advisor Khadi and Village Industries Commission,” Beri tweeted on March 18,2016.The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament (No.61 of 1956, as amended by act no.12 of 1987 and Act No.10 of 2006). In April 1957, it took over the work of former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board.The KVIC is charged with the planning, promotion, organisation and implementation of programmes for the development of khadi and other village industries in the rural areas in coordination with other agencies engaged in rural development wherever necessary.

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the first bank to commence the sale of Indian Gold Coin (IGC) in the domestic market.It has tied up with MMTC for the sale of IGC of 24 carat purity. The IGC has the national emblem, the Ashok Chakra, engraved on one side and the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the other.The coin carries advanced anti-counterfeit features and comes in tamper-proof packaging.The current denominations available are 5, 10 and 20 gm. IGC is the first ever national gold offering by the Centre and was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5.IGC in Delhi was launched in the presence of Alok Pande, Director in the Department of Financial Services, Finance Ministry, and Anand Trivedi, Director (PMS), MMTC, besides other senior officials.This gold coin is minted by the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd and hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

General Lori Robinson has been nominated to lead the US Northern Command, Mr Carter announced on Friday.The position is one of the most senior in the US military and must be confirmed by the Senate.She is currently commander for the Pacific Air Forces and enrolled in the Air Force in 1982.General Robinson, it just so happens, would also be the first ever female combatant commander, Mr Carter said at an event in Washington hosted by Politico.That shows yet another thing - which is that we have, coming along now, a lot of female officers who are exceptionally strong. And Lori certainly fits into that category."The US Northern Command oversees all of North America.US media reported that Ms Robinson would be the likely choice in January. If appointed, she would replace Admiral Bill Gortney, who has had the position since 2014.In December of last year Mr Carter opened all combat roles in the US military to women.America's force of the future," he said, must be able to benefit from the "broadest possible pool of talent".The move opened up about 220,000 positions to women.

Repeat animal testing of new drugs already tested abroad is now banned as per a ruling by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This move comes after Union Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi wrote to the ministry regarding the practice.In this regard, the ministry has as amended Schedule Y of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.There is no need for repeat tests on animals for new drug registrations if complete data from similar toxicity experiments already exists for drugs approved abroad. However, no permission will be required to conduct clinical trial intended for academic purposes in respect of approved drug formulation The amendments come after repeated appeals by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Union Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi who is a well-known animal rights activist.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurate three-day 'Krishi Unnati Mela' providing information on new farm schemes and technologies that will help farmers double their incomes within the next few years. The mela, or fair, is being held at the Pusa campus in the national capital. Modi will give away 'Krishi Karman Awards' to states and progressive farmers who have made outstanding contribution in the field of agriculture. He will also visit the theme pavilion and address farmers. o reach out to farmers at the block level across the country, the whole event would be telecast live at block panchayat level for the first time," Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters. The national fair, from March 19-21, will have separate workshops on key schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana, e-agriculture marketing, integrated farming system, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojan, soil health and livestock issues. There will be live demonstration of agriculture and horticultural crops, animal husbandry, innovative technologies and farm mechanisation in big plots. Both public and private companies will display their farm inputs and technologies in over 500 stalls. Krishi Karman Awards would be given away to eight states -- Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Meghalaya, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal -- for 2014-15. The commendation awards would be given to three states -- Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa. 

India and Sri Lanka on 13 March 2015 signed four agreements. These agreements were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the island nation as part of three-nation of Indian Ocean tour of Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.The four agreements signed are Agreement on visa. Agreement on customs.Agreement on youth development. Agreement on building memorial of Rabindranath Tagore in Sri Lanka.Both nations agreed to strengthen the economic relations between India and Sri Lanka. India to help Sri Lanka to develop a petroleum hub at Trincomalee city. Fresh Line of Credit (LOC) up to $318 million will be provided by India for the railways sector in Sri Lanka. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to enter into a Currency Swap Agreement of $1.5 billion in order to keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.

The Haryana government has blocked internet services in Rohtak as a precautionary measure over concerns of a fresh Jat agitation in the state..Rohtak Superintendent of Police (SP) Shashank Anand told ANI that the action had been taken as a precautionary measure.Anand had said earlier admitted to high chances of internet services being blocked again giving the looming threat of Jat unrest in the state.The Haryana Government has stepped up security in many towns as the deadline issued by the Jat community to accept their demand for quotas ended yesterday.Meanwhile, representatives from the state government are holding talks with the Jat leaders in Chandigarh.According to reports, the Jat leaders would also be meeting Haryana Chief Secretary Deepinder Singh Dhesi and Director General of Police (DGP) Y.P. Singhal to put forth their demands.They would not resume the agitation till then.

Tata Consultancy Services on 17 March 2016 announced a three year partnership with the Virgin Money London Marathon.The aim of the partnership is to enhance the digital experience delivered to marathon participants.Under the terms of the partnership, TCS will become the race’s official technology partner for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 events.The Virgin Money London Marathon is a long-distance running event held in London, United Kingdom.The event was first run on 29 March 1981. Since then, it has been held in the spring of every year since.The race was founded by the former Olympic champion and journalist Chris Brasher and athlete John Disley.Set over a largely flat course around the River Thames, the race begins at three separate points around Blackheath and finishes in The Mall alongside St. James's Park.The event has raised over 450 million pound for charity since 1981, and holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world.

Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on 18 March 2016 presented the Annual State Budget 2016-17 in the state legislature.While presenting the budget, which largely focused on the agriculture sector, the finance minister added that 2016-17 will be observed as theShetkari Swabhiman Varsh. He dedicated the budget to the balirajaor the farmer.In the budget, Mungantiwar projected revenue mobilisation of 220810 crore rupees against revenue expenditure of 224454 crore rupees.The revenue deficit, which was estimated at 3757 crore rupees by the end of 2015-16, had been revised to 9209 crore largely due to expenses incurred on drought relief in over 15000 villages. The minister also proposed an allocation of 25000 crore rupees for the farm sector after output declined 2.7 per cent against a target of six per cent growth.Also, budget estimates anticipated a decline in the share of tax revenue in total receipts from 8.06 per cent in 2015-16 to 7.97 per cent in 2016-17.For the irrigation sector, the minister proposed an allocation of 7850 crore rupees against 7272 crore rupees in 2015-16.Registration documents to be uploaded online, which will eliminate the need to visit sales tax office for verification.Deemed acceptance of returns within 4 years if returns filed and payment made and returns are correct.Assessment proceedings can be closed if a dealer agrees with observations of assessing officer and files revised return.Employer can transfer TDS credit to sub contractor.An amnesty scheme proposed under the Industrial Policy 2013 for closed and un-revivable units.An amnesty scheme for professional tax enrollment holders with a provision that tax liability and penalty will be restricted to the previous three years.Exemption of VAT proposed on warping and sizing of yarn for promoting the textile industry.Increase in the turnover limit for composition to retailers under the Maharashtra VAT Act to 1 crore rupees from 50 lakh rupees.Exemption of VAT on mammography machines used for detection of breast cancer.Advance Ruling provision in place of DDQ.Information return by e-commerce portals will contain information about suppliers.Entry tax levied on marble and granite slabs. PT exemption given to CRPF and BSF.Sugarcane purchase tax exemption for 2015-16 given to sugar factories exporting sugar as per government policy.Tax on petrol and diesel, which was imposed from 1 October 2015, to continue for another year.VAT Floor rate increased from 5 to 5.5 per cent.Mobile handsets purchased locally and sold in the course of inter-state trade to be eligible for set-off to the extent of the liability under the Central Sales Tax Act on their sales.Coconut oil sold in packing up to 500 ml to be taxed at 12.5 per cent instead of 5 per cent.Medicinal Hair oil made taxable at 12.5 per cent.Sweet corn made taxable at 5 per cent.Barbed wire, wire mesh and chain links made taxable at 5 per cent instead of 12.5 per cent.VAT on cotton seed reduced to 2 per cent from 5 per cent.VAT on battery operated and hybrid fuel operated public transport buses exempted.VAT on pyrolysis oil and LED tubelights reduced to 5.5 per cent.VAT on Sterlie water for injection reduced to 5.5 per cent from 12.5 per cent.

The World Health Organization has suspended the approval of tuberculosis drugs made by India’s Svizera Labs, a major supplier to developing countries, following an investigation into standards.The United Nations agency, which acts as a drug watchdog in markets lacking robust local regulation, said on Friday it had suspended all TB products made at Svizera’s Mumbai site because manufacturing standards and quality management were unreliable.It also said independent experts should retest batches of medicine already on the market and it might be necessary to recall supplies, depending on the outcome of those tests.The move is a fresh blow for India’s pharmaceuticals industry, which supplies cheap generic medicines to countries worldwide but has been tarnished by a series of quality problems in recent years, denting confidence in its products.The WHO had previously issued a warning letter to Mumbai-based Svizera Labs, part of Maneesh Pharmaceuticals, in September 2015, after finding dirty surfaces, black mould in a cleaning area, low hygiene standards and inadequate record-keeping.The latest “notice of suspension” letter was posted on the WHO’s website 15 days after being sent to the company. It highlighted several complaints about the quality of certain drug batches.Boudewijn Ploos van Amstel, managing director of Svizera Europe, said the company disagreed with the assessment, adding that the WHO had ignored information from the company showing that Svizera’s operations were up to standard.“The letter of suspension is very misleading,” he told Reuters by telephone from the Netherlands.The WHO plays a critical role in monitoring drug quality in poorer countries through its Prequalification of Medicines Programme, which ensures that treatments supplied by UN agencies such as UNICEF are of acceptable quality.The programme is also used by governments to guide the bulk purchase of medicines. Reuters.

Member (Planning) Sudhir Raheja has been given the additional charge of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman after R K Srivastava’s tenure was curtailed suddenly by the government.This is the second time Raheja has been entrusted with the task of heading the national airport company.In August 2014, Raheja was given the additional charge following the repatriation of the then acting Chairman Alok Sinha to his parent cadre, Uttar Pradesh.Raheja today (Friday) took over the additional charge of the post left vacant by the sudden exit of R K Srivastava,” an AAI source said. Srivastava, a 1984 batch Jharkhand-cadre IAS officer, was removed from the post by the government, nearly 15 months after he was brought at the helm for a five-year term.58-year-old Srivastava had taken charge on January 2, 2015 and his appointment was announced by the government in December 2014. His tenure was for five years.However, this is not for the first time that an AAI Chairman has been shown the door. In January 2014, the then UPA government had abruptly removed V P Agarwal.AAI manages 125 airports, including 18 international aerodromes, 78 domestic and 26 civil enclaves at defence airfields.It also provides air navigation services. Set up under an Act of Parliament, AAI came into being in April 1995 by merging erstwhile National Airports Authority and International Airports Authority of India.

The Reserve Bank has provided some relief to banks holding bonds of debt-ridden State Electricity Boards (SEBs) that were issued to them as part of the cleaning up exercises of these power utilities.According to sources, banks have been allowed to keep Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme bonds under the held-to-maturity (HTM) category.This will ease pressure on bond yields and debt market, sources said.HTM refers a part of debt holdings of the banks which are not subjected to daily price movement and can be held by banks till maturity.Earlier in the day Power Minister Piyush Goyal retweeted that the central bank has allowed lenders to hold the bonds under the HTM category.Under the UDAY scheme, state governments which own the power discoms, can take over 75 per cent of their debt as of September 30 and pay back lenders by selling bonds.For the remaining 25 per cent, discoms will issue bonds. The rescue plan, called Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojna or UDAY, provides “a permanent resolution of past as well as potential future issues of the sector” and empowers the utilities to break even in next 2-3 years.Operational efficiency improvements are proposed to be brought in by compulsory smart metering, upgradation of transformers and meters to reduce electricity lost during transmission and distribution (or theft) from around 22 per cent to 15 per cent by 2018-19, as per the scheme.

Brazilians have protested in several cities against President Dilma Rousseff after she named her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Chief of Staff.In the capital Brasilia, riot police fired pepper spray at protesters outside the presidential palace.Lula is currently being investigated in a major corruption scandal.Brazil’s leader, who is herself facing impeachment proceedings, defended the appointment. She said Lula was a “skillful political negotiator” and experienced leader who would help kick off economic recovery.Lula was briefly detained and questioned earlier this month over allegations of money laundering connected to Operation Car Wash, a massive investigation into corruption at the state oil giant, Petrobras.He denies the allegations, saying they are aimed at preventing him from running for president again in 2018.The two politicians have been close for decades – Lula was Ms Rousseff’s political mentor and she is his hand-picked successor. During his time in office, the Brazilian economy experienced unprecedented economic growth and wealth redistribution.In 1980 he founded the Workers’ Party (PT), the first major socialist party in Brazil’s historyElected president in 2002 at the fourth attempt and went on to serve two terms.Pumped billions of dollars into social programmes such as Bolsa Familia that benefited tens of millions of Brazilians.

Aadhaar enabled e-KYC (Know Your Customer) process could save over Rs 10,000 crore for banks and telecom operators over the next five years, says a survey.According to a recent study by MicroSave, a development consulting firm, using Aadhaar enabled e-KYC process for customer acquisition, could be highly beneficial for banks and telecom operators in India.If e-KYC is adopted for customer on-boarding by banks (for savings bank account opened through branches and alternate channels) and by MNOs (for pre-paid mobility), an estimated Rs 10,000 crore can be saved over the next five years (by 2021).The study further said that apart from substantial cost savings for banks and financial institutions, Aadhaar enabled e-KYC is significantly more efficient compared to current paper-based KYC.Customer enrolment processes followed by banks also take longer time and it can be two to four weeks before an account is activated. Whereas Aadhaar e-KYC enabled bank accounts can be activated and ready to transact in a few minutes.Given that e-KYC provides near instant verification of customers' identity and their address, substantial cost reduction can be achieved through elimination of paper based verification, movement and storage being replaced by digital processes.Further, automation of the KYC verification process leads to a more efficient process that takes less time, thereby offering faster customer on boarding

The World Sleep Day is observed on Friday of the second full week of March. In 2016, the day falls on March 18. It is an annual event organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) since 2008.It is aimed to celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep and to draw society attention to the burden of sleep problems and their medicine, education and social aspects; to promote sleep disorders prevention and management.The World Sleep Day is being celebrated the world over under the supervision of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).The association has gone back to its old theme ‘Good sleep is a reachable dream’ this year.The three elements of good quality sleepDuration- The length of sleep should be sufficient for the sleeper to be rested and alert the following day.Continuity- Sleep cycles should be seamless without interruption.Depth- Sleep should be deep enough or sufficiently sound to be restorative and refreshing.Turn off your gadgets : This is a good strategy according to Russell Foster, director of Oxford University’s SCNi (Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute), as blue light emitted from smartphone, TV and computer screens can suppress melatonin (a hormone helping you sleep) and increase your alertnes.Get up early: If you’re having trouble sleeping, getting up earlier could be the solution for you. It may seem brutal, but it can get results.Forget your worries : Setting aside a quiet time in the evening to meditate, relax or pray was a popular response on Twitter.Work out : Whether you’re swimming, running, or practicing yoga, regular exercise can make for a great night’s sleep.Have a hot drink : A hot (non alcoholic) beverage before bed is a great way to relax and prepare for sleep says Foster, as long as it doesn’t contain caffeine.

Realty portal has acquired property analysis platform for an undisclosed amount and plans to come up with reports for more than 10,000 projects in six metros that would help prospective buyers in taking right, which started its operation in 2013, has presence in Bengaluru. The startup provides detailed research to buyers and has prepared reports for about 100 has acquired Invact Technologies, which runs which does independent analysis of projects. This will help the consumer to make an informed property buying decision," CEO Sudhir Pai told PTI.This is the first acquisition by the, he said, but it did not disclose the acquisition value.Given our reach and scale, we would be taking this platform to six metros including Bengaluru. We would like to prepare report for 10,000-15,000 projects, both completed and under-construction, having great demand.

The NDA government is all set to ease restrictions against the U.S.-based Ford Foundation and remove the international NGO from the “prior permission” category.Citing “national security”, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had put the association under the “prior permission” category last year after it received a report from the Gujarat government that the organisation funded the “anti-India” activities of Teesta Setalvad’s two NGOs Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust.The move comes in the wake of the Ford Foundation’s compliance with the government’s condition to register itself under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999, which enables it to receive foreign funds in its accounts.The Ford Foundation, which has been operating in India since 1952, was not registered either as an NGO or under any other category like the Indian Society Act till now.All this while it was operating on the basis of an understanding with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).Since they have registered themselves under FEMA, we are inclined to remove them from the prior permission category. It will be done soon,” said a senior government official.Besides the Ford Foundation, there are 15 other NGOs and associations which are under this restricted category. Organisations in the prior approval category are required to seek the MHA’s clearance before transferring money to any bank account in India.The U.S. government has, on several occasions, taken up the issue of the clampdown on the Ford Foundation with Indian authorities.

Tikka Shatrujit Singh, the royal scion of Kapurthala’s Ahluwalia dynasty, has been conferred with the prestigious Knight of the Legion of Honour for his “extraordinary work in the exchanging the French lifestyle and Indian culture with each other.French ambassador to India Francois Richier bestowed the honour on the 54-year-old Singh in a ceremony here late Thursday evening.The business journey with Tikka started with Louis Vuitton and he has been an incredible man of culture working tirelessly for promoting the French culture in India,” the ambassador said.He was born with a French history, and he turned out to be the right person at the right place. Had he not done, what he did, the relationship between the two countries would not have been this great,” he said.Singh, known as the “guru of luxury,” is the Advisor to the Chairman of multinational group Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH). The great-grandson and heir of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala who was a celebrated Francophile, Singh got his understanding of French culture in legacy.It is an honour for me to receive this recognition. I get the aesthetic experience of French culture from my great grandfather. I think it’s genetic to keep up the high esteem of French culture as he did,” Singh said.A banker for almost 10 years after completing his education from Doon School and Delhi University, Singh joined LVMH as the Chief Representative in Asia in 1995.Dressed in Punjabi attire with a turban on his head, Singh attended the function with his mother Maharani Geeta Devi. Pioneering the entry of LVMH perfumes and cosmetics and the LVMH fashion group into India, Singh has also organised many events including “Paris – Delhi – Bombay” in 2011 where he hosted fifty famous Indian and French artists at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.Through years of my service to LVMH, I am deeply satisfied to to see that my work has helped in developing a worthy relationship in diverse fields which will enrich both the countries.Singh is also known for his endeavours to preserve the tangible and intangible heritage of Kapurthala, which is a blend of Indo-French architectural styles.The Legion d’Honneur, created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.A photo-feature detailing of the legacy of the royal family of Kapurthala was also screened at the occasion.

British astronomers have discovered largest sample cluster of nine monster stars named as R136 using NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The cluster  is the largest group of very massive stars ever identified. The research findings were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.The R136 cluster of monster stars have masses over 100 times and are 30 million times brighter than of our Sun in the star cluster located about 170,000 light-years away. It is located in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud – a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way. The young cluster hosts many extremely massive, hot and luminous stars whose energy is mostly radiated in the ultraviolet (UV).

In a step towards consumer friendly approach and increasing transparency in business operations of Coal India Limited (CIL), Union Minister of State for Power, Coal New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal launched a web portal for distribution of coal by State Nominated Agencies (SNA).Speaking on the occasion, Mr Goyal said the portal symbolizes the level of transparency that Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised the people of the country.The Minister also called for creating the web portal’s mobile application. He suggested tying up with the Railways for coal rake booking of smaller quantities through the portal. Mr Goyal also received feedback from the stakeholders at the event.Secretary (Coal) Anil Swarup said the web portal would revolutionize the way coal business was done in the country. Motivating states for paperless communication, he said that digitizing information and putting it public purview will save time and energy of Government departments.     The web portal would provide small and medium consumers access to information about SNAs,availability, booking/supply distribution of coal in public domain. It offers facility of online registration to consumers. The web portal also provides monitoring of sales margins of SNAs and platform to the consumers for feedback

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar holding the Finance portfolio on 16 March 2016 presented a 158 crore rupees revenue surplus budget in the State assembly. The total size of the budget for 2016-17 is 14694 crore rupees.This is 9 percent higher compared with the 2015-16 figures. This is the first time in four years that the state increased the VAT on motor spirits by 7 percent. The budget focuses on increasing all round allocations especially on social welfare, education, health and infrastructure apart from agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and fisheries.The State achieved highest per capita income of 257490 rupees in the country during 2015-16. The State GDP achieved 10 percent growth rate with a GSDP of 60893 crore rupees.The fiscal deficit was kept at 2.4 percent, well below the limit of 3 percent. The government borrowing ratio is also within the stipulated limit.He also announced that Coconut trees will now be brought under the agriculture department instead of the forests department with a provision for mandatory permission for cutting any coconut tree.VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was increased to 18 percent from 12.5 percent.Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol was increased to 22 percent from 15 percent.Coconut trees will now be brought under the agriculture department instead of the forests department with a provision for mandatory permission for cutting any coconut tree.VAT as well as tax on entry of goods in respect of regasified liquefied natural gas used by the industry was increased from the existing 20 percent to 30 percent.Goa Staff Selection Commission will be constituted for selection of candidates for   appointments to the subordinate services, i.e. all non-gazetted  posts  in  the  Government organization  as  well as  autonomous  bodies  and  semi  Government organizations.Two Offices of Deputy Collector will be established at Sattari and Sanguem respectively.Single window system will be created by integrating all services related to land matters, so that people buying land will not have to undergo various procedures.Digital Locker Integration will be created in line with Digital India Initiative of the Union Government wherein people will not have to submit required documents repeatedly for availing any certificate or service.The state government will increase the age limit for government job aspirants from 40 to 45 years.A full-fledged Coconut Development Board would be put in place headed by Coconut Farmer or an expert. It would be mandatory to seek NOC from the agriculture department to cut coconut trees.The government also announced the enhancement of support price for Coconut increased from 8 rupees to 10 rupees per coconut. IFFI-Secretariat will be developed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis with a token provision of amount of 1 crore rupees.With a seed capital funding of up to 50 Lakh rupees for start-up, the government will target 100 such start ups and invest through Investment Promotion Board (IPB).The luxury tax on hotel stay is reduced from 60 percent to 25 percent during off season between June and September.Entry fee for Casinos has been enhanced from of 700 to 1000 rupees per person.Necessary amendments will be made to remove Feni from ‘Liquor’ category and place it as a Heritage drink, since it has medicinal and other values. The state will reduce 5 percent of VAT on Feni to support local producers.

Union urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu on 18 March 2016 conferred with the Skoch Lifetime Achievement Award at 43rdSKOCH summit held in New Delhi.He was selected for the award for his contributions to inclusive growth and towards poverty alleviation in India.Besides, IT minister of Telangana State KT Rama Rao was awarded the Skoch Award in the Startup India category for his initiative in establishing the path breaking tech incubator T-Hub.These awards were instituted in 2003 as the highest independently instituted civilian honours.These were have been conferred on some of the best brains from across the country for their efforts in the area of digital, financial and social inclusion.

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