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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Nepal planned to lease Himalayan peaks to Private companies to boost tourism

Nepal planned to lease Himalayan peaks to Private companies to boost tourism




Nepal announced on 11 March 2014 a plan to lease Himalayan peaks to private companies to ease traffic on Mount Everest and to boost tourism.

Recently, Nepal had introduced a raft of measures to boost tourism and raised the concerns of overcrowding on Mount Everest. 

It is one of several new measures announced by Nepal Government which included lower mountaineering fees, designed to attract more climbers to the impoverished country. Tourism sector is one of the prime sectors in generating revenue for Nepal Government.
Nepal Government proposed to lease unclimbed peaks to the private sector, to promote these mountains as new tourism products. The proposal would hire out some of the 326 Himalayan peaks. The proposal would soon be tabled in Nepal cabinet.

As per the analysts, Private sector professionals have good networks worldwide and can bring more climbers and tourists to Nepal.

Besides, Nepal Government had also slashed mountaineering fees for a range of other peaks in order to boost tourism.  As per the new rule in a bid to clean up the roof of the world each climber who scaled Everest required to bring back eight kilograms (17.6 pounds) of garbage.

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Airbus launched subsidiary Airbus India

Airbus launched subsidiary Airbus India

The French company Airbus launched its wholly owned subsidiary in India called Airbus India on 11 March 2014. The move is aimed at restructuring the Airbus operations in India and consolidate it to tap the growing Indian aviation market.

Recognising India as a strategic hub Airbus appointed Srinivasan Dwarakanath as Airbus India CEO and Charles Champion as Chairman. Charles Champion is member of the Airbus Executive Committee.
Airbus India will manage all the Airbus activities in India spread across several Indian cities. With this view it will also set up customer centres in Delhi and Mumbai.
 
The Indian entity of Airbus will include strategy, customer services and procurement teams under one organisation. Airbus also planned to set up a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) capability. 

Airbus India is the fifth country subsidiary outside Europe for the Airbus. The Indian subsidiary will build upon the success of the Airbus Engineering Centre India (AECI) in Bangalore.

Currently Indian carriers operate a fleet of over 170 Airbus aircrafts. Airbus current market share of sales in India represents over 60 percent of the country's total aircraft backlog. In addition, since 2005, Airbus has enjoyed over 60 percent market share of all new orders.
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India and United States Energy Dialogue held in New Delhi

India and United States Energy Dialogue held in New Delhi

India and United States Energy dialogue was held in New Delhi from 5 March 2014 to 11 March 2014. The Dialogue was co-chaired by Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, and Dr. Ernest Moniz, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy.
At the India-US Energy Dialogue India and United States agreed to promote scientific cooperation, research & development for greater technological innovation and for deployment of environmentally friendly technologies and products.
During the Dialogue, U S-India Joint Clean Energy Research and development Centre had also brought up issues relating to progress on solar energy, advanced bio-fuels and energy efficiency of buildings under PACE-R.
The dialogue will lead to business-to-business collaboration of both the countries. The expected expanding trade and sound regulatory frameworks will emerge to deliver energy solutions for sustainable growth of economies of both the countries for benefit of their people.
The Energy Dialogue is part of the broader Indio-U.S. Strategic Dialogue. The Energy Dialogue was launched in May 2005 with the last meeting held in September 2012 in Washington DC. The next Dialogue will be held in the United States.
About PACE
In 2009, the India and US agreed to significantly increase collaboration on energy security and clean energy and launched the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) for the purpose.
Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research & Development (PACE-R) has been working on research and development projects on solar energy, Building Energy Efficiency and Second generation bio-fuels.
India and USA have also signed two separate MOUs for partnership in clean energy access (PEACE) and demand for air-conditioning sector.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) was launched in September 2013. It was launched to promote increased energy access and to develop several priority activities.
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Union Finance Ministry and SEBI finalized the norms for setting up CPSE-ETF

Union Finance Ministry and SEBI finalized the norms for setting up CPSE-ETF


Union Finance Ministry and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 11 March 2014 jointly finalized the norms of investment for setting up Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) - Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).  The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had approved floating the CPSE ETF.
    Individual investors can invest for CPSE-ETF in between 5 thousand rupees to 10 lakh rupees.

•    CPSE ETF is an open-ended fund and the units would have a face value of Rs.10 per unit. 

•    The CPSE – ETF comprised shares of 10 blue-chip companies. 

•    Companies listed in the ETF basket are ONGC, IOC, Coal India, GAIL, REC, Oil India, Container Corporation, Power Finance, Engineers India and Bharat Electronics Ltd. 

•    The ETF is expected to fetch 3000 crore rupees to the exchequer. The CPSE-ETF is an additional way to meet the target of Disinvestment of Government of India.

•    Goldman Sachs is acting as the asset management company for the ETF. 

•    This first-of-its-kind ETF is also likely to have certain unique features like loyalty incentive and upfront discount to attract retail investors.

CPSE-ETF is made up of a basket of shares of different CPSEs that tracks an index fund. ETF will trade like a stock on the exchange. Gold ETFs dominate the market in India.

ETFs were introduced in India in 2001. At present, there are about 33 ETFs with assets under management of close to 11500 crore rupees held by 6.2 lakh investors.

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Election Commission set up multi agency grid to curb Black Money

Election Commission set up multi agency grid to curb Black Money

The Election Commission on 11 March 2014 created a multi-agency grid of revenue and security intelligence agencies. The aim is to curb the use of black money in Lok Sabha and assembly polls. The intelligence agency will regularly update Election Commission about suspected financial movements. 
Election Commission in the first of its kind initiative had created a board of senior officials drawn from ten financial and security intelligence departments.

The intelligence agencies include the officials from income tax intelligence and investigations, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Central Economic Intelligence Bureau, Narcotics Control Bureau and the security forces of SSB, BSF, CISF and the Railway Protection Force. 

The board will meet twice a week at Nirvachan Sadan to generate common leads and flag suspect money instances. 

About Election Commission

The Constitution of India has vested in the Election Commission of India the superintendence, direction and control of the entire process for conduct of elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India.

Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body. The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950. The Commission celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2001.

Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. It currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
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