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PM Modi inaugurates and lays foundation stone of various development projects in Varanasi
Today Kashi is becoming a hub of health facilities for the entire Purvanchal: PM Modi
PM Modi requests people to promote 'Local for Diwali' in addition to 'vocal for local', says buying local products will strengthen local economy

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of various development projects in Varanasi today through video conference. The Prime Minister today launched 16 schemes worth Rs 220 crore and informed that the work has already begun on 14 schemes worth Rs 400 crore in Varanasi.
The projects inaugurated today include Sarnath Light and Sound show, upgradation of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital Ramnagar, sewerage related works, infrastructure facilities for protection and conservation of cows, multipurpose seed storehouse, agriculture produce warehouse of 100 MT, IPDS phase 2, a housing complex for players in Sampurnanand Stadium, Varanasi city smart lighting work, along with 105 Anganwadi Kendras and 102 Gau Ashray Kendras.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said tourism is also a part of the development plan of the city and countryside in Varanasi. He said this development in itself is an example of how Varanasi has gained the pace of development in every field like cleanliness of River Ganges, health services, road, infrastructure, tourism, electricity, youth, sports, farmer, etc. He announced that today, renovation of sewage treatment plant project under Ganga Action Plan has been completed. He listed the infrastructure works carried out in Varanasi like Ghats being decorated, introduction of CNG to reduce pollution, Tourist Plaza at Dashashwamedh Ghat.

The Prime Minister said these efforts towards River Ganga are also the resolve for Kashi and the path of new opportunities for Kashi. Gradually, the situation of the ghats here is improving. He said along with the cleanliness and beautification of Ganga Ghats, Sarnath is also getting a new look. He added that the light and sound programme launched today will increase the grandeur of Sarnath.

The Prime Minister announced that today, a large part of ​​Kashi is also being freed from the problem of hanging electric wires. Another phase of laying the wires underground is completed today. He said in addition, Smart LED lights will lighten and beautify the streets.

The Prime Minister stressed that the connectivity of Varanasi has always been a top priority of the Government. He said new infrastructure is being constructed so that the people of Kashi and the tourists don't waste their time in traffic jams. He remarked the road connecting Babatpur to the city has also become a new identity of Varanasi. He termed the launch of two Passenger Boarding Bridges in Varanasi airport as necessary, since six years ago, Varanasi airport used to handle 12 flights daily which has now become 48 flights a day. He said modern infrastructure is being made in Varansi to make life easier for both the people who live here and who visit here. He listed the road infrastructure works carried out in the city of Varanasi.

The Prime Minister said for the last 6 years, unprecedented work has also been done on health infrastructure in Varanasi. Today not only UP, but in a way, it is becoming a hub of health facilities for the entire Purvanchal. He listed the health infrastructure done in the Varanasi area like modernization of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in Ramnagar, etc.

The Prime Minister remarked that all-round development is happening in Varanasi today, and is benefiting the entire eastern India including Purvanchal. He said now the people of Purvanchal do not have to go to Delhi and Mumbai even for small needs.

The Prime Minister said for the farmers of Varanasi and Purvanchal, many facilities ranging from storage to transport have been created here like the center of the International Rice Institute, Milk Processing Plant, Construction of Perishable Cargo Center, etc. He said farmers are benefiting a lot from such facilities. He expressed happiness that for the first time this year, fruits, vegetables and paddy from the Varanasi region, have been exported abroad. He said a godown with storage capacity of 100 MT launched today will expand the storage facilities for farmers in Kashi. He said the multi-purpose Seed warehouse and dissemination Center has been launched in Jansa.

The Prime Minister said the village poor and the farmers are the biggest pillars of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat campaign and the biggest beneficiaries too. He said the recent agricultural reforms are going to directly benefit the farmers. He said today, under the Pradhan Mantri Swanidhi Yojana, the street vendors are getting easy loans, so that they can resume their work after the pandemic.

The Prime Minister said to provide legal rights to the people living in the village on their lands and houses, ‘Swamitva Yojana’ has been launched. He said after the issuance of property cards under this scheme, their scope for property disputes will not remain in the villages. He added now it will be easy to get a loan from the bank on the village house or land.

The Prime Minister wished the people on Diwali, Govardhan Puja and Bhaiya Dooj and urged them to promote Local for Diwali a lot and also to proudly propogate great local goods and said this will strengthen the local identity.

 

Click here to read full text speech

‘মন কী বাত’ৰ বাবে আপোনাৰ ধাৰণা আৰু পৰামৰ্শ এতিয়াই শ্বেয়াৰ কৰক!
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Cabinet approves major Reforms in Telecom Sector
September 15, 2021
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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, today approved a number of structural and process reforms in the Telecom sector. These are expected to protect and generate employment opportunities, promote healthy competition, protect interests of consumers, infuse liquidity, encourage investment and reduce regulatory burden on Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).

In the backdrop of the outstanding performance of the Telecom Sector in meeting COVID-19 challenges, with huge surge in data consumption, online education, work from home, interpersonal connect through social media, virtual meetings etc., the Reform measures will further boost the proliferation and penetration of broadband and telecom connectivity. The Cabinet decision reinforces the Prime Minister’s vision of a robust Telecom Sector. With competition and customer choice, antyodaya for inclusive development and bringing the marginalized areas into the mainstream and universal broadband access to connect the unconnected. The package is also expected to boost 4G proliferation, infuse liquidity and create an enabling environment for investment in 5G networks.

Nine structural reforms and Five procedural reforms plus relief measures for the Telecom Service Providers are as below:

Structural Reforms

  1. Rationalization of Adjusted Gross Revenue:  Non-telecom revenue will be excluded on prospective basis from the definition of AGR.
  2. Bank Guarantees (BGs) rationalized: Huge reduction in BG requirements (80%) against License Fee (LF) and other similar Levies. No requirements for multiple BGs in different Licenced Service Areas (LSAs) regions in the country. Instead, One BG will be enough.
  3. Interest rates rationalized/ Penalties removed: From 1st October, 2021, Delayed payments of License Fee (LF)/Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) will attract interest rate of SBI’s MCLR plus 2% instead of MCLR plus 4%; interest compounded annually instead of monthly; penalty and interest on penalty removed.
  4. For Auctions held henceforth, no BGs will be required to secure instalment payments. Industry has matured and the past practice of BG is no longer required. 
  5. Spectrum Tenure: In future Auctions, tenure of spectrum increased from 20 to 30 years.
  6. Surrender of spectrum will be permitted after 10 years for spectrum acquired in the future auctions.
  7. No Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for spectrum acquired in future spectrum auctions.
  8. Spectrum sharing encouraged- additional SUC of 0.5% for spectrum sharing removed.
  9. To encourage investment, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic route permitted in Telecom Sector. All safeguards will apply.

Procedural Reforms

  1. Auction calendar fixed - Spectrum auctions to be normally held in the last quarter of every financial year.
  2. Ease of doing business promoted - cumbersome requirement of licenses under 1953 Customs Notification for wireless equipment removed. Replaced with self-declaration.
  3. Know Your Customers (KYC) reforms: Self-KYC (App based) permitted. E-KYC rate revised to only One Rupee. Shifting from Prepaid to Post-paid and vice-versa will not require fresh KYC.
  4. Paper Customer Acquisition Forms (CAF) will be replaced by digital storage of data. Nearly 300-400 crore paper CAFs lying in various warehouses of TSPs will not be required. Warehouse audit of CAF will not be required.
  5. SACFA clearance for telecom towers eased. DOT will accept data on a portal based on self-declaration basis. Portals of other Agencies (such as Civil Aviation) will be linked with DOT Portal.

Addressing Liquidity requirements of Telecom Service Providers

The Cabinet approved the following for all the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs):

  1. Moratorium/Deferment of upto four years in annual payments of dues arising out of the AGR judgement, with however,  by protecting the Net Present Value (NPV) of the due amounts being protected.
  2. Moratorium/Deferment on due payments of spectrum purchased in past auctions (excluding the auction of 2021) for upto four years with NPV protected at the interest rate stipulated in the respective auctions.
  3. Option to the TSPs to pay the interest amount arising due to the said deferment of payment by way of equity.
  4. At the option of the Government, to convert the due amount pertaining to the said deferred payment by way of equity at the end of the Moratorium/Deferment period, guidelines for which will be finalized by the Ministry of Finance.

The above will be applicable for all TSPs and will provide relief by easing liquidity and cash flow. This will also help various banks having substantial exposure to the Telecom sector.