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Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2020-21, in Parliament today, said that infrastructure was crucial to the theme of “Economic development” and hence the Budget which is dedicated to provide “Ease of Living” to all citizen.

Emphasising need for efficiency of India Sea Ports and use of technology to improve their performance, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, said “The government would consider corporatizing at least one major port and subsequently its listing on the stock exchanges.”

Speaking about Inland Waterways, the Finance Minister also announced that the “Jal Vikas Marg” on National Waterway-1 will be completed and further the 890 Km Dhubri-Sadiya connectivity will be done by 2022”.

Smt Sitharaman further said that Plans are afoot on “Arth Ganga”- PM’s vision to energise economic activity along the river banks. In order to boost the transport Infrastructure in the country the Union Budget has provided for about Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore.

Impetus to Civil Aviation Sector

The Finance Minister also announced that 100 more airports would be developed by 2024 to support Udaan scheme. She also remarked in her Budget presentation that India’s Air traffic has grown rapidly as compared to global average and the Air fleet number was expected to go up from the present 600 to 1200 during this time.

In the direction of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, among other measures, the Finance Minister also announced launch of “Krishi Udaan” by the Ministry of Civil aviation on International & National routes. This is aimed to help improve value realisation especially in North-East and Tribal districts. 

Power and Renewable Energy

The Union Finance Minister, also proposed an allocation of Rs. 22000 crore for Power and Renewable Energy sector in 2020-21. Finance minister urged all States and Union Territories to replace conventional meters by prepaid “Smart Meters” in the next 3 years and measures to reform DISCOMs.

Further, the Finance Minister proposed in the Budget that national gas grid would be expanded from the present 16200 km to 27000 km with further reforms to be undertaken to facilitate transparent price discovery and ease of transactions.

The Finance Minister also proposed to extend corporate tax rate of 15% to new domestic companies engaged in the generation of electricity.

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PM chairs high level meeting to review preparedness to deal with Cyclone Jawad
December 02, 2021
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PM directs officials to take all necessary measures to ensure safe evacuation of people
Ensure maintenance of all essential services and their quick restoration in case of disruption: PM
All concerned Ministries and Agencies working in synergy to proactively counter the impact of the cyclone
NDRF has pre-positioned 29 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc; 33 teams on standby
Indian Coast Guard and Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations
Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army on standby for deployment
Disaster Relief teams and Medical Teams on standby along the eastern coast

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired a high level meeting today to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries & concerned agencies to deal with the situation arising out of the likely formation of Cyclone Jawad.

Prime Minister directed officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated and to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as Power, Telecommunications, health, drinking water etc. and that they are restored immediately in the event of any disruption. He further directed them to ensure adequate storage of essential medicines & supplies and to plan for unhindered movement. He also directed for 24*7 functioning of control rooms.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that low pressure region in the Bay of Bengal is expected to intensify into Cyclone Jawad and is expected to reach coast of North Andhra Pradesh – Odisha around morning of Saturday 4th December 2021, with the wind speed ranging upto 100 kmph. It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha & W.Bengal. IMD has been issuing regular bulletins with the latest forecast to all the concerned States.

Cabinet Secretary has reviewed the situation and preparedness with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and Central Ministries/ Agencies concerned.

Ministry of Home Affairs is reviewing the situation 24*7 and is in touch with the State Governments/ UTs and the Central Agencies concerned. MHA has already released the first instalment of SDRF in advance to all States. NDRF has pre-positioned 29 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc. in the States and has kept 33 teams on standby.

Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations. Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out serial surveillance along the coast. Disaster Relief teams and Medical Teams are standby at locations along the eastern coast.

Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipments etc. for immediate restoration of electricity. Ministry of Communications is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore telecom network. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued an advisory to the States/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response to COVID in affected areas.

Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels. The states have also been asked to alert the industrial establishments such as Chemical & Petrochemical units near the coast.

NDRF is assisting the State agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations and is also continuously holding community awareness campaigns on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.

The meeting was attended by Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, DG NDRF and DG IMD.