Economy News-Daily Digest: 7 Key Updates
1. Guidelines for chief information security officers
With an aim to spread awareness about the growing cyber threats to the Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) posted in every department of the government, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued best practices guidelines to ensure a safe and secure cyber environment when it comes to data stored by the government.
In its guidelines the IT ministry has eight key best practices for the CISOs to follow. These are: to know the IT environment by undertaking an inventory check of the computers and networked devices and knowing types of data managed by the department; educating and training the employees on types of cyber attacks and safe cyber practices such as strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, secure internet browsing, social media safety, use of USB devices, etc; to review and improve information security policy for the department; to procure genuine software and hardware and keep operating systems updated on a regular basis; to implement and enforce a formal cybersecurity policy framework that includes governance, risk management, compliance, data back-up, enforcement and usage policy statements; to drive strong device protection with encryption and prevent data leakage apart from maintaining logs; to conduct regular and comprehensive cybersecurity reviews; and to use tools for monitoring and detecting anomalies in systems processes coupled with a cyber-response strategy involving.
2. G2-level exploration made mandatory for 288 mines expiring in 2020
The merchant mining sector is staring at a major disruption as mining leases (MLs) of approximately 288 non-coal mines — assigned for non-captive purposes — are going to expire at one go on March 31, 2020. To ensure that enough mineral data is there in time to encourage bidders for these mines, whenever they come up for auction, the Centre on March 27 made it mandatory for such ML owners to carry out G2-level exploration before April 1, 2019.
The exploration for any mineral deposit involves four stages: reconnaissance survey (G4), preliminary exploration (G3), general exploration (G2) and detailed exploration (G1). G2-level exploration’s objective is to establish the main geological features of a deposit and provide an initial estimate of size, shape, structure and grade of the mineral in the mine.
The Central government expects that if G2-level exploration is done on these 288 mines, the bidders will be more interested during auction as they will have solid data on which they can make their bidding decision.
3. Govt comes out with fresh info memorandum for Pawan Hans divestment
The government has come out with a fresh information memorandum for strategic sale of helicopter services provider Pawan Hans wherein bidders need to have a minimum net worth of Rs 500 crore.
The latest memorandum has been issued days after the government withdrew the previous note apparently due to a tepid response from investors.
The last date for submission of EOIs is June 11, 2018, and intimation to the shortlisted bidders is July 02, 2018.
Pawan Hans is a joint venture between the government and state-owned ONGC. Under the disinvestment proposal, the government plans to offload its entire 51 per cent stake in the company.
4. Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train tickets could cost between Rs 250 and Rs 3,000
Passengers of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train will have to shell out anything between Rs 250 to Rs 3,000 for tickets depending on their destination.
The fares have been based on present projections and calculations. There would be one business class and the fares for this is likely to be higher than Rs 3,000. The journey will be much more affordable and less time consuming than in a flight, if the trip to the airport, getting boarding passes and security checks are taken into consideration.
A train set comprises 10 ‘standard’ coaches, one of which will be business class. Food will be complimentary in business class and will be available in other coaches as well.
Construction work under the project could start as early as December this year, by which time land acquisition is expected to be over.
360 people from India will be sent to Japan for training, of which 80 will be given on job training there. Around 80 Japanese nationals are already working along with Indian officials.
The bullet train will make 70 trips per day between Mumbai-Ahmedabad and each rake will have 10 state-of-the-art coaches. The proposed bullet train will run approximately 500 km, between the two cities at a top speed of 320 kmph, and is expected to be up and running by 2022.
National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHRC) is the implementing agency for the project. It will also be responsible for operating trains on high-speed corridors.
The government has started getting funds from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the land acquisition has started in Mumbai.
JICA is providing a soft loan of ₹88,000 crore for the project for a period of 50 years at an annual interest rate of 0.1%.
5. Government extends phase 1 of FAME-India by another 6 months
The government announced extension of phase 1 of the FAME-India scheme entailing incentives for mass adoption of electric and strong hybrid vehicles by six months till September-end or till its second phase is approved, whichever is earlier.
The phase 1 of the scheme was initially proposed for two years till March 31, 2017 but was extended twice for six months up to March 31, 2018.
The government is likely to extend financial support of Rs 8,730 crore for the second phase of the FAME India spanning five years but the incentives will be restricted to new energy vehicles used for public transport, commercial purposes and high-speed two-wheelers.
The government has decided to adopt a ‘technology agnostic’ approach and only advanced chemistry batteries will be promoted in the Phase II of the scheme.
The FAME-India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (hybrid &) Electric vehicles in India) scheme is intended to support the hybrid/electric vehicles market development and its manufacturing ecosystem to achieve self-sustenance.
6. M&M to Roll Out Electric Hypercar Designed by Italian Firm Pininfarina
The late Italian designer Battista Pininfarina’s dream to make a luxury car with his badge will come true under its new Indian owner – Mahindra & Mahindra.
M&M announced an electric hypercar in 2020, with a lofty aim to rival the Bugatti Chiron and Lamborghinis in the electric segment, the car under development will be sold “just under 2-million euros” in limited numbers.
Pininfarina is a subsidiary of the Mahindra Group. The $19-billion Indian business house holds a majority stake jointly with its tech subsidiary Tech Mahindra in the Italian design house. The new company Automobili Pininfarina will, however, be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra.
Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of Pininfarina, announced the venture with M&M chairman Anand Mahindra and managing director Pawan Goenka.
7. RBI tightens monitoring of outward remittances
The Reserve Bank of India tightened reporting norms for the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) under which an individual can transfer up to USD 2,50,000 abroad in a year.
The LRS transactions are currently permitted by banks based on the declaration made by the remitter.
The monitoring of adherence to the limit is confined to obtaining such a declaration without independent verification, in the absence of a reliable source of information.
Under the LRS, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.
Individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the purposes within the limit of USD 2,50,000 only.
The scheme was introduced on February 4, 2004, with a limit of USD 25,000. The LRS limit has been revised in stages consistent with prevailing macro and micro economic conditions.