In order to ensure adequate availability of pulses, edible oils and other essential food items at reasonable prices, the Center has urged the States to remove all local taxes on essential food items. In a letter written to Chief Secretaries of the States, Shri Hem Pande, Secretary Union Department of Consumer Affairs has asked the states to take up the market intervention on a real time basis and to review APMC Acts on priority to delist pulses and other essential food items so that farmers can sell their produce at any place of their choice, minimizing stages of supply chain from farm gate to ultimate consumers. It will ensure reasonable prices for consumers and also fetch better prices for farmers. The Consumer Affairs Secretary has invited States’s attention towards the action plan adopted for this purpose in the States Food Ministers meeting held in May this year. 

States have also been requested to consider a pricing policy for pulses and such other essential food items under Section 3(2) (c) of the EC Act and to make it enforceable for all the stake holders to cap the prices of essential commodities. 

The Secretary has also asked the States to implement the Price Stabilization Fund Scheme for market intervention to enhance availability and check prices of essential. For successful functioning of the Scheme, adequate and timely lifting of pulses from buffer stock is a pre-requisite besides strengthening storage facilities for pulses, vegetables edible oils seeds, Onions, he has said 

States have also been requested to keep a close watch on hoarding and black marketing of essential commodities in view of coming festival season. Besides regular raids, strict action should be taken against the habitual violators and speculators under the EC Act and PBMMSEC Act which provides for preventive detention up to 6 months. States may also consider creation of a dedicated Force under the EC Act, on the lines of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Crime Investigation Department, for effective operations against hoarders, blackmarketeers, profiteers and unscrupulous traders/speculators of essential commodities. 

States have been asked to create a robust Information Management System of prices, production, availability, unscrupulous trading, hoarding, black marketing and to strengthen the Price Monitoring Cells to have the ground zero information available on daily basis and sharing it with all the enforcement agencies of Union and state Governments. A monthly report on enforcement actions under the EC Act & Prevention of Black Marketing & Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act is mandatory to ensure regular review of the same at highest level and to make public the Action Taken Report of States regularly on the website of Department of Consumer affairs. 


Hon’ble Raksha Mantri reviews search operations for missing Air Force aircraft AN-32

1. The Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Shri Manohar Parrikar, accompanied by Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Chief of the Air Staff, and Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, undertook a sortie today from Naval Air Station Rajali at Arakkonam onboard an Indian Naval P-8I Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft for reviewing the Search and Rescue (SAR) operations for the missing AN-32 aircraft of the IAF. During the sortie that lasted nearly two haurs, he witnessed coordinated efforts involving ships and aircraft, including helicopter operations from the Navy’s LPD INS Jalashwa. He directed that maximum resources be pressed into service so as to undertake effective SAR. He was briefed about the challenges of undertaking SAR under monsoon conditions with heavy rain, cloud cover, rough sea condition and most importantly depths of over 3500 metres in the area. He was also briefed about future plans involving additional ships and a submarine that were heading for the area to join in the SAR operations. 

2. Apart from aspects related to the optimum deployment of resources for SAR operations, the Hon’ble RM enquired about the families of missing Service and civilian personnel. He was assured that constant liaison was being maintained with all families, and that all possible help was being rendered to them. 

(July 23, 2016)

PM Shri Narendra Modi urges Gems and Jewellery Industry to work towards establishing a global presence

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today (July 23, 2016) urged the Gems and Jewellery sector in India to look beyond the domestic market and establish a global presence. 

Speaking at a felicitation function organized for the Prime Minister, by the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, Shri Narendra Modi called for innovation and skill development to achieve this objective. He noted that there is an increasing global demand for handmade jewellery. 

Recalling recent issues related to excise duty, the Prime Minister said these issues gave an opportunity for the Gems and Jewellery industry to better understand the working of the Government, and it also gave the Government an opportunity to better understand the intricacies of the sector. He said both have won over each other. 

The Prime Minister called upon all those with undisclosed income, to declare it before the September 30th deadline. 


Live Facebook Q&A session to mark fourth year of President Mukherjee in office

Press Secretary to the President of India, Shri Venu Rajamony will participate in a live Facebook Question and Answer session on July 24, 2016 (Sunday) between 7.30 to 8.30 p.m. on the topic ‘Racing Past Milestones – The Fourth Year of Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s Presidency’. 

People can post questions on the Facebook page ( of the President of India. 

(July 23, 2016)

Start-up India States’ Conference

Government will facilitate& do whatever it takes to ensure that world's

best startup ecosystem is in India:Smt Nirmala Sitharaman
Speech by the Hon’ble Commerce and Industry Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman

Good morning everyone!

It gives me immense pleasure to be amongst this esteemed gathering of entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and change catalysts. We are here today to find avenues to establish and foster relationships between all stakeholders of the Startup ecosystem.

Startup India initiative is designed to foster innovation, create jobs and facilitate investment. Government is committed to make this initiative a scalable reality and to provide an environment for our Startups to thrive in.

India is buzzing with entrepreneurial activity like never before and is at the forefront of an entrepreneurial revolution. India has been pegged at 3rd place behind USA and UK in terms of the number of Startups. Close to 4,400 technology startups exist in India and the number is expected to reach 12,000+ by 2020, driven by a young and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem. India is the world’s youngest startup nation with 72% founders less than 35 years and remarkably innovative ventures are making a mark in India. These numbers are indicative of the positive entrepreneurial temperament of India. This is not only today’s reality but is indeed, a fantastic opportunity.

Startups are the next big economic force in India. Through the Start-up India initiative, we want to ensure that the momentum is accelerated. We are determined to make it a startup revolution and to ensure that every aspiring entrepreneur is able to achieve his/her potential. I would like to take this opportunity to compliment our government, partners and all stakeholders for making appreciable progress in implementation of the Action Plan for Startup India and also encourage them to stay determined to the goal of making India a Startup destination.

We have recognised the need to handhold and guide startups particularly in their early growth stage. To meet this, we have operationalised the Startup India Hub on 1st April 2016 to resolve queries and to provide handholding support to Startups. The hub has been able to resolve more than 13,500 queries received from Startups through telephone, email and Twitter.

We have also recognized the need of incentivizing innovative startups because we are aware that they are the engines of growth. The Finance Act, 2016 has made provision for Startups to get income tax exemption for 3 years in a block of 5 years, if they are incorporated between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2019. Tax exemption on investments above Fair Market Value have also been introduced for investments made in Startups. To avail these benefits one must get a Certificate of Eligibility from the Inter-Ministerial Board of DIPP. The Inter Ministerial Board examines the eligibility of recognized Startups, which are incorporated after April 1, 2016, for tax benefits. Startups that have not been able to obtain recognition are being guided and handheld through the process by the Startup hub.

Funding is perhaps the most important input because from day one any entrepreneur will need funds to develop his ideas and give it a concrete shape. A 'fund of funds' of Rs.10,000 crores for Startups has been established which is managed by SIDBI. The fund will invest in SEBI registered Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) which, in turn, will invest in Startups. Thus, this fund acts as an enabler to attract private capital in the form of equity, quasi-equity, soft loans and other risk capital for Startups.

Startups need to concentrate on the idea they are working on and not worry about compliances under various Acts. Startups working in areas covered under the list of 36 “white” category industries have been exempted from all the applicable compliances under 3 Environment Laws viz. the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; the Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Cess (Amendment) Act, 2003 and the Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

Startups also need to be assisted during that stage when they are scaling up and trying to venture into new markets. To that end, we have made provision for relaxed norms on prior experience and turnover for public procurement for micro and small enterprises in the Procurement Policy of Ministry of MSME.

More than 250 incubators have been recognized by Government of India to provide recommendation to startups. In order to augment the existing list of incubators, a module to recognize incubators has been launched. This shall enable incubators to obtain recognition from Government of India, allowing them to issue recommendation letters to Startups. 7 proposals for Research Parks, 16 proposals for TBIs and 13 proposals for Startup centers have been recommended by the National Expert Advisory Committee (NEAC) formed by MHRD. These proposals shall be implemented in the current financial year.

The guidelines for harnessing private sector expertise to set up incubators, annual grand challenge for innovative solutions to problems posed by industry and Government departments, annual grand challenge for incubators and establishment of tinkering labs have been formulated and published on Startup India website. DIPP has written to top 50 companies requesting them to support the initiative under their CSR activities by setting up new incubators or scale up existing incubators in collaboration with educational institutes.

Letter of recommendation by incubators to ascertain the innovativeness of a product, service or process is an important requirement for startups to obtain recognition. In response to the feedback on the difficulties faced by startups in obtaining such recommendation a cap has been put on the maximum fee that can be charged by the incubators for providing Letter of Recommendation to Startups.

Innovation is the core of a Startup and protection of Intellectual property is imperative. A panel of facilitators has been constituted for providing assistance and support in filing applications for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), wherein, DIPP would bear the facilitation cost. In order to avail IPR-related benefits, rebate in fee upto 80% and free of cost facilitation in filing IPR applications, a Startup would now be required to obtain only a Certificate of Recognition from DIPP and would not be required to be examined by the Inter-Ministerial Board, as was being done earlier.

DIPP has requested State Governments and administration of Union Territories to set up a Startup Hub as well as incubators to help Startups during various stages of their development. I would like to congratulate Telangana and Gujarat who have set up T-Hub and iCreate.

These new reforms, I believe, will lead to a paradigm shift in the way investors – nationally and globally will look at India’s business environment. I foresee a bright future for the country where our economic growth is driven by technological innovation, entrepreneurship and economic diversification.

We wish to see entrepreneurs from the remotest part of India to come forth and showcase the potential of their ideas, women populace to take stage and drive change, India to become a nation of job creators and not job seekers. And all of you hold the potential to make this dream a truth.

This is a government that believes in constantly taking the feedback from people. Towards that end, I will be meeting:

1. Meeting with Startups Founders – Fixed for 28th of July, 2016

2. Meeting with incubators and accelerators

3.Meeting with educational institutions having incubators or entrepreneurship cells

4. Meeting with angel investors and angel networks

5.Meeting with VCs and Private Equity firms

6. Meeting with the heads of all industry associations dealing with Startup India

7. Meeting with journalists who have been dedicatedly covering the evolution of Startup movement in India

Taking feedback from all these key stakeholders of the startup ecosystem, Government will facilitate& do whatever it takes to ensure that world's best startup ecosystem is in India. I invite all of you to join this movement and let your suggestions keep pouring in. 


Text of PM’s address on the launch of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports, via video conferencing

आप सब को मेरी बहुत शुभकामनाएं हैं। खेल अपने आपमें सामान्य व्यक्ति के जीवन का हिस्सा होना चाहिए और अगर खेल को हम जिंदगी का हिस्सा नहीं बनाते हैं तो जीवन एक प्रकार से विकसित नहीं होता है। कुछ लोगों के दिमाग में ऐसा भरा पड़ा है कि physical health के लिए खेल जरूरी है। ये बहुत ही सीमित सोच है। व्यक्तित्व के संपूर्ण विकास के लिए, overall development के लिए खेल जीवन का हिस्सा होना बहुत अनिवार्य है। खेल से समाज-जीवन भी विकसित होता है, राष्ट्र-जीवन भी विकसित होता है। 

भारत जैसे देश जहां पर करीब-करीब 100 भाषाएं हों, 1700 dialects हो, भांति-भांति के पहनावे हो, भांति-भांति के खान-पान हो। हमारे देश में तो एक छोर से दूसरे छोर तक district level की टीमें अगर खेलती रहें, 12 महीनें खेलती रहें तो खेल ही नहीं National Integration का ये सबसे बड़ा एक आधार बन सकता है। और इसलिए भारत में खेल तो व्यक्तित्व के विकास के साथ, समाज के अंदर एक lubrication के लिए, क्योंकि जो sports हो तो sportsman spirit आता है और जब sportsman spirit होता है तो एक प्रकार से पारिवारिक जीवन में, सामाजिक जीवन में, राष्ट्र जीवन में ये lubrication का काम करता है, खुलापन लाता है, दूसरों को स्वीकारने का सामर्थ्य देता है। 

खेल में जीतने का जितना आनंद होता है, उससे ज्यादा पराजय को पचाने की एक बहुत बड़ी ताकत खेल से आती है। जो व्यक्ति जिंदगी में खेलता रहता है। कभी लुढ़क जाता है फिर कभी उठकर खड़ा हो जाता है, वो कभी जिंदगी के और अवसरों पर हार नहीं मानता है। खेल एक जीवन के अंदर ऐसे गुणों को विकास करता है, जीवन भर जूझने का सामर्थ्य देता है, खिलाड़ी कभी हार नहीं मानता है। जो खिलाड़ी सिर्फ शारीरिक खेल खेलता है, उसकी मैं बात नहीं करता हूं। जो शरीर और मन से खेल से जुड़ा हुआ होता है, वो इसको पा सकता है और इसलिए sports का अपने जीवन में, राष्ट्र के जीवन में महत्व होना चाहिए। 

आप सब आज फुटबाल खेलने की शुरुआत कर रहे हैं, match कर रहे हैं और मैं Reliance sports foundation को बधाई देता हूं कि उन्होंने देश की युवा पीढ़ी के साथ जुड़कर के खेल को महत्व देना का प्रयास किया है। Talent को खोजना, ये सबसे बड़ा काम होता है और जब तक व्यापक स्तर पर हमारे बाल मित्रों को खेलने का मौका नहीं मिलता है, Talent का पता ही नहीं चलता है और आज sports के साथ, glamour भी आई है और उसके कारण कभी-कभी परिवार के लोग भी बच्चों को खिलाड़ी तो बनाना चाहते हैं लेकिन सुबह 4 बजे मेहनत करने की बात आए तो थोड़े पीछे रह जाते हैं तो पहले इसमें glamour आए, भले ही उसमें celebrity का status बन जाए लेकिन खेल कठोर परिश्रम के बिना आगे नहीं बढ़ सकता है। 

मुझे विश्वास है कि Reliance foundation के द्वारा लगातार sports को बढ़ावा देने के लिए grass route पर अनेक विभिन्न स्पर्धाएं चलती रहेंगी और स्पर्धाओं में से talent निकलेंगी और जितनी स्पर्धा से talent निकलेंगी, उतना ज्यादा लाभ होगा। मेरी Reliance foundation को, नीता बहन को बहुत-बहुत शुभकामनाएं हैं और आप सभी विद्यार्थियों को, आप बाल मित्रों को, sports के जीवन में पराजय को हमेशा अवसर मानना, पराजय से कभी परेशान मत होना। पराजय सिखाता है, बहुत कुछ सिखाता है और जो खेलता नहीं है वो न जीतता है और न ही पराजित होता है। जीतता भी वही है, पराजित भी वो ही होता है जो खेलता है और खिलता भी वही है जो खेलता है। 

जो खेले, वो खिले अगर आप खेलते ही नहीं है तो खिल भी नहीं सकते हैं। और इसलिए व्यक्तित्व का विकास करना है, खुद को खिलते हुए देखना है। जैसे कमल का फूल खिलता है, जैसे एक पौधा खिलता है, वैसे ही जीवन भी खिलता है और खेल खिलने के लिए एक सबसे बड़ी औषध है, सबसे बड़ा अवसर है, सबसे बड़ी challenge भी है। और इसलिए मैं आज आप सब बाल मित्रों के माध्यम से खेल जगत से जुड़े हुए सबको शुभकामनाएं देता हूं। Sports शब्द, उस एक शब्द से हम खेल जगत की दिशा क्या हो, खेल जगत की दृष्टि क्या हो इसको भलीभातिं व्याखित कर सकते हैं। जब हम sports कहते हैं: S stands for Skill, P stand for Perseverance, O stands for Optimism, R stands for Resilience, T stands for Tenacity, S stands for Stamina, इन सब चीजों को लेकर हम पूरी अपनी रचना करेंगे तो हमको बहुत सफलता मिलेगी और आज इस अवसर पर मैं आप सबको बहुत-बहुत शुभकामनाएं देता हूं, I wish you all the best. 


Developing, Developed World Reiterate Commitment to move away from High Global Warming Potential HFCs to Limit Increase in Global Warming

India Highlights Importance of Having Verifiable Data on HFCs

Parties across the developing and developed world have reiterated their commitment to moving away from high Global Warming Potential (GWP) HFCs for limiting increase in global warming. The key issue that the parties have started discussing at the 38th meeting of the Open Ended Working Group of Parties to the Montreal Protocol, which is underway in Vienna, is the baseline for non-Article 5 and Article 5 parties. Parties have highlighted that absence of verifiable historical data is a challenge in establishing a baseline for Article 5 and Non-Article- 5 countries.
The Indian delegation highlighted the importance of having verifiable data on HFCs to calculate the baseline and deciding upon baseline years. As such having baseline in the past without objective verifiable data is not logical, in the absence of which, it will be difficult to deal with future and work with uncertainties.
In addition, India has also submitted a Conference Room Paper (CRP) aimed at improving the transparency and flexibility of the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol (MLF). MLF has been the key in supporting the earlier transition away from Ozone Depleting Substances, and is widely recognised for its success as the only global scale financial transfer mechanism for mitigating environmental impacts. However, based on earlier experience of developing countries, there have been concerns around the flexibility and transparency of this extremely important mechanism. The Indian submission emphasises: (i) developing guidelines for incorporating the principle of flexibility, (ii) improving understanding of methodologies for calculating incremental cost, (iii) developing cost guidance for enhancing energy efficiency, (iv) increasing institutional strengthening  for supporting any new commitments, and (v) prioritising technical assistance for building capacity to address safety issues.
Actual data on production and consumption of HFCs is necessary for understanding the historical evolution and establishing a baseline. The baseline is instrumental in determining future consumption and emissions. Many non-Article 5 parties like Canada, Norway, Japan, the EU, etc. have submitted that they have got reliable data for historical HFC consumption. Such data is not in public domain, besides data for most Article 5 parties (developing countries) is not available at all. Some of the Article 5 parties raised strong concerns that many countries in this grouping do not have an accounting system and inventory of HFCs in place.