PIB Notes – February 14, 2014

1. Approval to establish two Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication Manufacturing Facilities in India

The Cabinet has approved setting up of two Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication (FAB) Manufacturing Facilities in India. These FAB units are to be set up at Yamuna Expressway, Uttar Pradesh and Prantij, Gujarat.

The proposed FABs will create direct employment of about 22,000 and indirect employment of about one lakh.

These FABs will have a big impact on the development of Electronics System Design and Manufacturing eco-system across the country. This will help set up a critical pillar required to promote Electronics System Design and Manufacturing in India. The Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication units when set up, will stimulate the flow of capital and technology, create employment opportunities, help higher value addition in the electronic products manufactured in India, reduce dependence on imports, and lead to innovation.

The following main incentives will be extended :

  1. 25% subsidy on capital expenditure and tax reimbursement as admissible under Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) Policy.
  2. Exemption of Basic Customs Duty (BCD) for non-covered capital items
  3. 200% deduction on expenditure on R&D as admissible under Section 35(2AB) of the Income Tax (IT) Act.
  4. Investment linked deductions under Section 35AD of the IT Act.
  5. Interest free loan of approx. Rs 5124 crore each.

Background

 

The Government had in 2011 constituted an Empowered Committee (EC) to identify technology and investors and to recommend incentives to be provided to set up two FAB facilities in the country. The Empowered Committee had issued a Global Expression of Interest inviting technology providers and investors to set up the FAB facilities. This Committee submitted its recommendations to the Government in March 2013. The Cabinet, at its meeting held on 12.9.2013, considered the recommendations of the EC and accorded ‘in-principle’ approval to the two consortia referred to above and to the package of incentives. The Cabinet also decided that all other FAB manufacturers may also be appropriately and fully apprised of the quantum of subsidy/other benefits/support being offered for establishing FAB facilities in India. Such manufacturers may be asked to indicate their interest / send their responses on specified parameters to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) within a period of four weeks.

As decided by the Cabinet, the second Expression of Interest (EoI) was published, which clearly specified the project parameters required as well as the package of incentives being offered by Government of India. 106 potential FAB manufacturers across the world were also directly addressed. No new proposal has been received for setting up of a FAB as per EoI requirements. The steps taken pursuant to the aforesaid Cabinet decision have doubly assured the transparency of the entire process and also ensured a level playing field.

For more on e-MSIP check M-ISPS website.

2. Security Printing &Minting Corporation of India Ltd. (SPMCIL) enhances production of Bank Notes, Coins & Security Paper by 9%-11% and Security Inks by 20%.

Relevance : More notes being printed to minimize the menace of counterfeit Bank Notes as per the recommendations of the Standing Committee of Finance. New notes with better security features will be brought into circulation.

3. India and Poland have agreed to expand co-operation in the restoration and digitization of Film archives.

Initiatives of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting :

  • Setting up of National Film Heritage Mission with digitization of film archives,
  • Setting up of the Centre of Excellence on Animation, Gaming and Visual effects and
  • Participation in various film festivals by the Ministry to promote India as a filming destination.

4. Impact of efforts to address the educational backwardness and development deficits of Muslim community in India in the wake of Sachar Committee Recommendations made in November 2006

The Ministry of Minority Affairs adopted a multi pronged approach to tackle the problem. The Ministry has tried to identify and create infrastructure and schemes for minorities by incurring expenditure of Rs.11544.01 crore  in last seven years.

Five Year Plan Funds Allocation

  • 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12):  Funds allocated: Rs. 7990 Crore; Expenditure: Rs. 6817.37 Crore
  • During 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017):  Gross Budgetary Support for Plan Period: Rs. 17323 Crore (About two and half time increase in the outlay)
  • During 2012-13: Funds allocated: Rs. 3135 Crore (Budget Estimates); Rs. 2200 Crore (Revised Estimates); Expenditure: Rs. 2158.01 Crore
  • During 2013-14:  Funds allocated: Rs. 3511 Crore (Budget Estimates); Expenditure: Rs. 2568.63 Crore (upto 31.01.2014);
  • Till 31.01.2014, the expenditure has reached to 73.16% of the Budget Estimate.

Main three fronts identified and addressed by the Ministry in respect of Sachar Committee Recommendations included

  1. Educational empowerment through Scholarship Schemes,
  2. Multi-sectoral Development Programme and Protection and Development of Waqf Properties.
  3. Other Important Initiatives like economic empowerment, scheme for skill development of minorities, women empowerment, support Parsi Community, Constitution of Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), Khidmat Toll free number, etc.

 

1. Scholarship Schemes

  • – 1.22 crore Pre-matric Scholarships were awarded and Rs. 1326.87 crores released during 11th Five Year Plan.  During 12th Plan so far (2012-13 and 2013-14),1.38 Crore Pre-matric Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 1705.42 crores released.
  • – 17.87 lakh Post-matric Scholarships were awarded and Rs. 820.96 crores released during 11th Five Year Plan. During 12thPlan so far (2012-13 and 2013-14), 14.39 lakh Post-matric Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 730.40 crores released.
  • – 1.63 lakh Merit-cum-Means based Scholarships were awarded and Rs.427.61 crores released during 11th Five Year Plan. During 12th Plan so far (2012-13 and 2013-14), 1.51lakh Merit-cum-Means based Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 401.23 crores released.
  • – Altogether, in case of Pre-Matric, Post –Matric and Merit-cum Means Scholarship schemes, since 11th Plan so far, 2.96 Crore Scholarships have been awarded and Rs. 5412.49 Crore have been released.
  • – Under Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme (introduced 2008-09), the coverage has increased 13 times while under Post-matric Scholarship (introduced 2007-08), this increase is more than 33 times.  The coverage of beneficiaries under Merit-cum-Means based Scholarship has increased 4 times since its introduction in 2007-08.

Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP)

  • As a follow up of Sachar Committee recommendations, MsDP was launched in 2008-09 to address the development deficits by creating socio-economic infrastructure and providing basic amenities.             Under MsDP, the unit of planning is Minority Concentration Blocks (MCBs). 710 MCBs and 66 Minority Concentration Towns (MCTs) have been identified for implementation of MsDP during 12th Plan.
  • During the 11th Five Year Plan projects worth Rs. 3733.90 Crore were approved and Rs. 2935.93 Crore were released. Under the ongoing 12th Five Year Plan so far (as on 31.01.2014) projects worth Rs. 2286.25 Crore have been approved and Rs. 1385.52 Crore released.

 

Protection and Development of Waqf Properties

  • To improve the management of Wakf properties and streamline the functioning of State Waqf Boards, the Waqf (Amendment) Act 2013 has been recently enacted.

Among other provisions, the Amendment Act strengthens Central Waqf Council, ensures survey and recording of Waqf records, checks encroachments on Waqf properties and enhances lease period from the present 3 years to 30 years for commercial activities, education and health purposes.

  • Ministry has set up a new National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO) in January, 2014. This is an ambitious initiative to finance the development of Waqf properties for public purposes throughout the country.
  • Ministry also implements the scheme for “Computerization of records of State Waqf Boards” since 2009, and introduced a web-enabled portal software called Waqf Management System of India (WAMSI) to develop centralized database of Waqf Properties.
  • Union Cabinet has approved a new stand-alone legislation namely “Waqf Properties (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Bill, 2013”.  Ministry is taking action to introduce the Bill in Parliament. The Bill aims to prevent alienations and encroachments on Wakf properties.

Other Important Initiatives

  • For economic empowerment, National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC) has disbursed concessional loans to 6.44 lakh deprived minority beneficiaries to the tune of Rs. 1667.41 Crore during 11th Plan Period and 12th Plan Period so far.

Ministry has launched a new scheme “Seekho aur Kamao (Learn & Earn)” for skill development of minorities. The scheme will guarantee minimum 75% employment of trained minority youths and out of them 50% will be in organized sector. During 12th Five Year Plan, Ministry targets to upgrade the skills of about 3.5 lakh minority youths with Rs. 750.00 Crore.

  • For women empowerment, Ministry started a Leadership Development Programme for Minority Women during 2012-13 and supported training of 36950 women in 12 States with an amount of Rs.10.45 Crore.  During 2013-14, Ministry aims to train 40,000 women with an amount of Rs. 15.00 Crore.
  • Ministry has launched a unique scheme with the name “JiyoParsi” during 2013-14 for containing population decline of Parsis in India.
  • Constitution of Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) has been cleared by the Ministry of Law and Justice and has been submitted for consideration of Cabinet.
  • Ministry has launched a dedicated Toll Free Helpline “Khidmat” , to assist the members of minority communities and provide information on schemes/programmes of the Ministry.

To improve public interface, generate awareness and develop dialogue with target communities, Ministry has launched a quarterly tri-lingual (Hindi, English and Urdu) magazine “Minority Today” on 29th January, 2014

5. Pension Sanction and Payment Tracking System Launched on Pilot Basis

The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has launched a web based Pension Sanction and Payment Tracking System “ BHAVISHYA” which provides for on-line tracking of sanction and payment processes by the individual as well as the administrative authorities. The new proposed system will capture information relating to the pensioner’s personal and service data including contact details like mobile number and e-mail etc. It will also have electronic Forms required to be submitted to pension sanctioning authority. The system will keep retiring employees informed of the progress of pension sanction process through SMS/E-mail in future. The application will help in monitoring the delays which take place in sanction of pension and retirement benefits to a retiring Government Servant. 

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