Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

Plantation sector may get a boost

The government may be looking at unveiling a special package for the plantation sector — predominantly tea, coffee, cardamom and rubber — in the upcoming budget to address some of the concerns of the industry that faced one its worst crises last year.

Govt to allot 11 mines to CIL, says Goyal

The government today said it has decided to allot 11 mines to Coal India Ltd (CIL) which will add about 225 million tonnes (MT) to the state-owned firm's annual production capacity by 2022.

CIL has a target to produce 1 billion tonne coal by March 2020, up from around 600 MT projected in the current fiscal.

"The government has decided to allot 11 coal mines to Coal India," Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters here.

Of the 11 mines, five are deallocated blocks and six are fresh mines, he said.

55 blocks put up for auction for oil & gas exploration

The government on Thursday decided to put on auction a record exploration acreage for prospecting of oil and gas, from 55 blocks, in the first bid round in eight years. Each block on offer has been carved out by prospective bidders under the open acreage licencing (OAL) of the new hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy; oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said laun­ching the round.

India test-fires missile with 5,000 km range

India on Thursday successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Agni-5 ballistic missile, having a strike range of over 5000 km, from a test range off the Odisha coast.

The most-advanced missile of the Agni series was fired a canister launcher, mounted on a mobile platform, at about 9.53 am from number four launch pad of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Abdul Kalam Island, defence sources said.

Describing the full-range trial as “fully successful”, sources said the sophisticated missile travelled for 19 minutes and covered a distance of 4,900 km.

Zinc Fortification in Indian Soils, to Supplement Zinc Deficiency in Human Body

Zinc is an essential micronutrient for human body. It helps in building healthy cells, regulating hormones, absorbing nutrients, wound healing and boosting immunity. But the sad news is that in spite of proven benefits of Zinc nutrition, approximately 2 billion people still remain at the risk of Zinc deficiency in the world.

SC allows Padmaavat to be screened across India

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the orders and notifications issued by Rajasthan and Gujarat governments prohibiting the screening of the controversial movie Padmaavat, clearing the decks for its nationwide release on January 25.

FinMin banks on airwave sale for revenue in FY19

Faced with low receipts from major sources in FY18, the finance ministry is banking on the telecom ministry where it has included spectrum auction in the 2018-19 budget as a non-tax revenue stream, but is likely to have opted for a conservative estimate of Rs 2 lakh crore.

Health budget to be raised 11% to $8.2b

India is poi­sed to raise its public health spending by 11 per cent in the annual budget, after rejecting health minister JP Nadda’s demand for a much bigger increase to ramp up disease control, according to government sources and documents.

Nadda sought a “bare minimum” budget of nearly $10 billion for 2018-19 – 33 per cent higher than last year – in a letter to the finance minister on November 26, which Reuters has reviewed.

A Raja questions Manmohan’s ‘palpable silence’ on 2G policy

He, who laughs last, laughs best. Andimuthu Raja, by all reckoning, is doing just that.

In a tell-all book, which has the potential to be a best seller, published a month after his acquittal in the 2G spectrum scam case, the ex-telecom minister has questioned former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s “palpable silence” in defending the telecom policy that he himself had approved.

GST on 29 items, 54 services cut; filing returns to be made simpler

Taking the sheen off of the Union budget, the all-powerful GST Council has lowered tax rates on 29 items and 54 categories of services with effect from January 25.

The populist move has come months after rates for over 200 items were slashed by shifting almost all daily-use items such as chocolates, beauty products and leather clothing to lower tax brackets from the peak rate of 28 per cent.