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PM Narendra Modi condoles the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on a civilian Russian aircraft
PM Modi appreciates India-Russia strategic partnership in in defence, development and diplomacy
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Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,
Members the Media,

Let me begin by expressing my deepest condolences on the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on a civilian Russian aircraft and in the unfortunate downing of the military jet in Syria. In this moment of grief and challenge, we stand in solidarity with the people of Russia.

Mr. President, thank you for generous and warm hospitality. You are the architect of the India-Russia strategic partnership. And, in a changing world, your leadership has kept our relations on a steady course of progress and growth.

Mr. President, I have always had great respect and appreciation for our strategic partnership. It has been a source of strength and success for India in defence, development and diplomacy. And, there is genuine goodwill and mutual respect between our people.

As I look to the future, I see Russia as a significant partner in India’s economic transformation and in shaping a balanced, stable, inclusive and a multi-polar world.

We have had excellent conversations over the past two days and very productive outcomes.

It has deepened my conviction that this relationship truly meets the test of a special and privileged strategic partnership.

We have laid the foundation of the future character of this strategic partnership.

The Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopter in India is the first project for a major defence platform under the Make in India mission. It is rightly with our most important defence partner.

We have made progress on a number of other defence proposals. These would boost defence manufacturing in India and India's defence readiness with next generation equipment.

The pace of our cooperation in nuclear energy is increasing. We are making progress on our plans for twelve Russian nuclear reactors at two sites. The agreement today will increase Indian manufacturing content in these reactors. It supports my mission of Make in India. I thank President Putin for his support.

With one of the world’s largest reserves of hydrocarbons, Russia can be a critical source of energy security for India, especially because of our strategic partnership. With President Putin's support, we are enlarging Indian investments in Russian hydrocarbon sector.

President Putin and I are moving creatively in expanding our economic relations. Following our last Summit, India has created a special notified zone to facilitate direct trade between the world’s largest uncut diamond exporter, Russia, and India, which processes 90% of the world’s uncut diamond.

Second, we are working on logistics. Our Green Corridor project has taken off. The International North South Transit Corridor through Iran will significantly reduce transportation time and cost.

Third, we are moving forward on the India-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement. This will also benefit us in Central Asia.

Fourth, we are encouraging our private sector to connect with each other more. We have just had an excellent meeting of CEO Forum. The agreements and the announcements today give me confidence that we will see huge increase in investments and trade in both directions.

President Putin and I have a high degree of convergence in our positions on global issues and a strong commitment to deepen our international cooperation.

We have strong collaboration in the United Nations. Our membership of BRICS, East Asia Summit, G20 and now Shanghai Cooperation Organisation gives our partnership a global character. It is particularly important in the arc from Eurasia to Asia Pacific, including in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

We are one in our belief that the world must unite and take concerted action on combating terrorism, without distinction and discrimination between terrorist groups and target countries.

We agree that an early political settlement through dialogue in West Asia is essential for restoring stability and containing extremism in the region.

Indeed, all nations must come together, with sensitivity to each other, to address the challenges of our times.

I am very pleased to have deepened my association with President Putin. Together, we have also given new direction and added more momentum and content to our strategic partnership.

Just as I have had the pleasure of visiting Russia twice this year, I look forward to welcoming President Putin in India next year for the BRICS Summit as well as the Annual Summit.

Thank you.

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Package for Promotion of Digital and Cashless Economy
December 08, 2016
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Govt introduces a package of incentives for promotion of digital and cashless economy
0.75% discount on purchase of petrol/diesel through digital means
Deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000
Discount upto 0.5% for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made digitally
All railway passengers buying online ticket shall be given free accidental insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh

In the aftermath of the cancellation of the legal tender character of old Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 notes, there has been a surge in the digital transactions through use of credit/debit cards and mobile phone applications/e-wallets etc. To further accelerate this process, the Central Government has decided on a package of incentives and measures for promotion of digital and cashless economy in the country. 

These incentives/measures are following: 

  1. The Central Government Petroleum PSUs shall give incentive by offering a discount at the rate of 0.75% of the sale price to consumers on purchase of petrol/diesel if payment is made through digital means.

Nearly 4.5 crore customers buy petrol or diesel at such petrol pumps per day who can take benefit of this incentive scheme.  It is estimated that petrol/diesel worth Rs.1800 crore is sold per day to the customers out of which nearly 20% was being paid through digital means.  In the month of November 2016 it has increased to 40% and the cash transaction of Rs.360 crore per day have got shifted to cashless transaction methods.  The incentive scheme has the potential of shifting at least 30% more customer to digital means which will further reduce the cash requirement of nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore per year at the petrol pumps.

  1. To expand digital payment infrastructure in rural areas, the Central Government through NABARD will extend financial support to eligible banks for deployment of 2 POS devices each in 1 Lakh villages with population of less than 10,000.  These POS machines are intended to be deployed at primary cooperative societies/milk societies/agricultural input dealers to facilitate agri-related transactions through digital means.

This will benefit farmers of one lakh village covering a total population of nearly 75 crore who will have facility to transact cashlessly in their villages for their agri needs. 

  1. The Central Government through NABARD will also support Rural Regional Banks and Cooperative Banks to issue “Rupay Kisan Cards” to 4.32 crore Kisan Credit Card holders to enable them to make digital transactions at POS machines/Micro ATMs/ATMs.
  1. Railway through its sub urban railway network shall provide incentive by way of discount upto 0.5% to customers for monthly or seasonal tickets from January 1, 2017, if payment is made through digital means.

Nearly 80 lakh passengers use seasonal or monthly ticket on suburban railways, largely in cash, spending worth nearly Rs.2,000 crore per year.  As more and more passengers will shift to digital means the cash requirement may get reduced by Rs.1,000 crore per year in near future.

  1. All railway passengers buying online ticket shall be given free accidental insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh.

Nearly 14 lakh railway passengers are buying tickets everyday out of which 58% tickets are bought online through digital means.  It is expected that another 20% passengers may shift to digital payment methods of buying railway tickets.  Hence nearly 11 lakh passengers per day will be covered under the accidental insurance scheme.

  1. For paid services e.g. catering, accommodation, retiring rooms etc. being offered by railways through its affiliated entities/corporations to the passengers, it will provide a discount of 5% for payment of these services through digital means.

All the passengers travelling on railways availing these services may avail the benefit.

  1. Public sector insurance companies will provide incentive, by way of discount or credit, upto 10% of the premium in general insurance policies and 8% in new life policies of Life Insurance Corporation sold through the customer portals, in case payment is made through digital means.
  1. The Central Government Departments and Central Public Sector Undertakings will ensure that transactions fee/MDR charges associated with payment through digital means shall not be passed on to the consumers and all such expenses shall be borne by them.  State Governments are being advised that the State Governments and its organizations should also consider to absorb the transaction fee/MDR charges related to digital payment to them and consumer should not be asked to bear it.
  1. Public sector banks are advised that merchant should not be required to pay more than Rs. 100 per month as monthly rental for PoS terminals/Micro ATMs/mobile POS from the merchants to bring small merchant on board the digital payment eco system.

Nearly 6.5 lakh machines by Public Sector Banks have been issued to merchants who will be benefitted by the lower rentals and promote digital transactions.  With lower rentals, more merchants will install such machines and promote digital transactions. 

  1. No service tax will be charged on digital transaction charges/MDR for transactions upto Rs.2000 per transaction.
  1. For the payment of toll at Toll Plazas on National Highways using RFID card/Fast Tags, a discount of 10% will be available to users in the year 2016-17.