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GS Paper II- Governance, International Relations.
Gujarat Sets Up 1555-Hectare ‘Japanese Industrial Park’ Ahead Of Shinzo Abe Visit.

Background

  • Ahead of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s scheduled visit to India in September, 2017 Gujarat government is setting up a brand new “Japanese Industrial Park” on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) passing through Ahmedabad, that is spread on 1555 hectare and is 15 times bigger in size compared to an existing one.
  • This is the second such park that is being set up for the Japanese in the state. The state government is expected to spend over Rs 400 crore in building the basic infrastructure in this park.

Highlights Of The Development-

  • The Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) had acquired over 1000 hectares of land in a record 60 days in 2013, where Rs 1700 crore was paid out as compensation to over 400 farmers for the land acquired about six kilometers near Sanand.
  • The existing park located about 90 kilometers away from Khoraj in the same district is built over 100 hectares and operates on a unique plug-and-play model. It currently has about 10-12 Japanese MSME units.
  • The current Japanese investment in Gujarat is close of USD one billion and is expected to reach USD three billion by 2020. There are over 80 Japanese companies in the state including the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Nippon, Hitachi, Panasonic and others.
  • The push for a second exclusive Japanese Industrial Park at Khoraj in Ahmedabad district comes after a delegation from the Gujarat government visited four cities in Japan scouting for investments in July 2017. During this visit, Gujarat government had not only hard-sold the new industrial park that it is planning to build exclusively for Japanese companies, but had also inked deals with at least four Japanese companies who will set up their business in Gujarat in the near future.
  • The new Japanese Industrial Park is being built in close coordination with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) which is also being set up an office in Ahmedabad which will be as big as the one in Delhi.
  • The state-government arm, Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), has already floated tenders to appoint a master consultant for detailed project planning, and preparation of a Detailed Project Report. It has also initiated work on building basic infrastructure including roads, water pipelines and street lights.
  • This industrial park will 969 hectares reserved for industrial development, 227 hectares for roads and transportation, 136 hectares of green spaces and 141 hectares of residential zone.

Sources- The Indian Express.

 

GS Paper III- Economic Development.

Second Volume Of Economic Survey Says Growth May Not Be In 6.75-7.5% Range.

Background

  • The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday, 11th August, 2017 tabled in the Lok Sabha the second volume of the Economic Survey for 2016-17.
  • The second volume, among other things, contains updated macroeconomic data.
  • The Survey has come out with a pessimistic view on growth forecast with downward risk to the earlier estimated growth range of 6.75-7.5 per cent GDP growth for 2017-18.
  • The second volume expects CPI inflation to be below 4 per cent by March this fiscal.
  • The second volume of the Economic Survey has also noted that the Reserve Bank of India had overestimated the consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation by above 100 basis points in six of 14 quarters. Also, the current repo rates are 25-75 basis points above neutral rates, indicating that there is room for further reduction in repo rates.

Challenges-

  • Its list of challenges included appreciation of the rupee, farm loan waivers, rising stress on balance sheets in power as well as telecom and transition issues arising from implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • The Survey warned of fiscal slippages as a series of deflationary impulses are weighing on an economy yet to gather its full momentum.
  • The Survey said farm loan waiver could cut economy demand by up to 0.7 per cent of GDP.
  • It saw farm loan waivers by states touching Rs. 2.7 lakh crore.

Scope for easing in monetary policy-

  • The mid-year survey (2017) of the economy said there was “considerable” scope for further easing in monetary policy as the repo rate was 25-75 basis above the neutral rate.
  • The RBI had last week cut its main policy rate by 25 basis points to 6 per cent, the lowest since November 2010.
  • The Survey stressed that farm revenues, decline in non-cereal food prices, farm loan waivers, fiscal tightening and declining profitability in the power and telecom sectors are weighing on the economy.
  • It further said a number of indicators — GDP, IIP, credit offtake, investment and capacity utilisation — point to a deceleration in real activity since first quarter of 2016-17 and a further deceleration since the third quarter.
  • Since February 2017, the rupee has appreciated by about 1.5 per cent.
  • According to the Survey, the structural reform agenda of the government includes implementing GST, Air India privatisation, rationalisation of energy subsidies and addressing twin balance sheet challenge facing banks.
  • There are early signs of tax base expanding post the implementation of GST, it said. Also, nominal GDP growth has accelerated post demonetisation.

Sources- Business Line.

GS Paper IV- Ethics.

Nitish Kumar Launches Mobile Therapy Van For Elderly People.

Background

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday, 10th August, 2017 flagged off mobile therapy vans which would provide basic medical assistance to elderly people, widows and other section who requires social security.
  • The CM flagged off mobile therapy vans to launch “Buniyadi Sanjivani Sewa” at a function in presence of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and minister for Social Welfare department Manju Varma.

Key Points Of The Development-

  • A total of 11 vans were send on the occasion to as many districts including Nalanda, Patna, Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Buxar, Muzaffarpur, Nawada, Purnea, Rohtas, Darbhanga and Samastipur.
  • The vans equipped with basic medical apparatus and accompanied by technical team would provide basic medical care to elderly people, widows and disabled in the districts.
  • The van is an outcome of a joint project of the World Bank and the Bihar government which is run by Social Welfare department, an official statement said in Patna.
  • In time to come a total of 101 “Buniyadi Sewa Kendra” (basic service centres) would be opened in all sub-divisions for the purpose.
  • Work is in progress on setting up 87 such centres.

Sources- The Indian Express.