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NITI Aayog collaborates with IDFC for Enterprise Survey of Manufacturing Firms: The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog on 17 January 2016, announced to have collaborated with the IDFC Bank Ltd to conduct an enterprise survey of manufacturing firms. The primary objective of this Survey is to assess the business regulatory environment in each State and UTs and identify policy and regulatory hurdles faced by businesses in the States/ UTs.
India saved 1 billion US dollars annually using Aadhaar: World Bank: The ‘World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends,’ released by the World Bank in Washington DC on 14 January 2016, revealed that India saved 1 billion US dollars annually by using Aadhaar. The report further estimated that the DBT has the potential to save over 11 billion US dollars per year in government expenditure if the scheme is expanded to other subsidy programmes.
Government signs loan agreement with World Bank for Neerachal Project: The Union Government, on 14 January 2016, signed a loan agreement with World Bank in New Delhi for the Neerachal National Watershed Project. All 28 states which implement the watershed projects will benefit from this project.
Highlights of Neerachal National Watershed Project
·       The project was approved by the Union Cabinet in October 2015 with a total budget of 2142 crore rupees in which India would bear 1071 crore rupees and the rest 50 percent cost will be borne by the World Bank.
·       It will be implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development over a six-year period (2016-21).
·       It will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.
·       Around 12 percent of the area of wasteland will be targeted through this project to make about 336 lakh hectares of land arable.
NABARD, NRSC sign MoU for monitoring Watershed Projects: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), on 1 January 2016, signed the MoU with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) for web-based monitoring of Indo-German Watershed Development projects. The web-based monitoring of Indo-German Watershed Development projects will happen in three states – Gujarat, Rajasthan and Telangana.
·       Under the MoU, NRSC will create a separate page for NABARD on Bhuvan web-portal.
2nd Liquid Chemical Berth of Mumbai Port Trust is inaugurated: Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, on 13 January 2016, inaugurated Mumbai Port Trust’s second liquid chemical berth at Pir Pau, Mumbai. With commissioning of this berth, the cargo handling capacity of the Port will increase by 2.5 MMT (Million Metric Tonnes) per annum. The berth that will result in substantial reduction of cost for importers with faster turnaround of ships carrying big parcel size has been developed under the Sagarmala initiative.
IRB Infra bags 10,050 crore rupees project to build Zozila Pass tunnel project: IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, a Mumbai-based road developer, on 4 January 2016 bagged the 10050 crore Zozila Pass tunnel road project in Jammu and Kashmir. This tunnel project is the country’s biggest road project by cost. The Zozila Pass tunnel will be the longest in South Asia once completed. Presently, Chennai-Nashri tunnel is the country’s longest road tunnel.
·       The 14.08 km tunnel will provide all-weather connectivity between the Jammu and Kashmir regions with LehLadakh, which remain cut off during winters due to heavy snowfall.
·       The project’s construction period is seven years and the concession period is 22 years.
Sterlite Grid commissions first power project under TBCB incentive regime: Sterlite Grid, on 2 January 2016, set a new benchmark by commissioning the Transmission Project to Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) ahead of schedule under the Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) incentive regime. RAPP is the first power transmission line to be been commissioned ahead of schedule since the implementation of TBCB scheme.
·       The RAPP Transmission Project includes laying a 200-km, 400-kilovot double-circuit transmission line passing through Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
It will connect Kota in Rajasthan to Shujalpur in Madhya Pradesh to provide the path for the evacuation of electricity generated at RAPP-7 and 8

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