The Hindu Review Daily Gk Update : 9th March 2019
♠The Hindu Review♠
♦ Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg is now Finance Secretary
- Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg was on Friday designated as the Finance Secretary, an order by the Personnel Ministry read. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved designating Garg as the Finance Secretary, the order added.
- Former Finance Secretary Ajay Narayan Jha superannuated on February 28. Jha has taken over as Member, 15th Finance Commission.
- A 1983 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, 58-year-old Garg has been working as the Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs since June 2017.
- Earlier in the day, Garg had exuded confidence that the fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent for 2018-19 would be met as a shortfall in indirect tax collection would be compensated by lower expenditure. “I am very confident (of meeting fiscal deficit target of 3.4 per cent for 2018-19),” Garg had said while addressing the IVCA conference in the national capital.
♦ India and ADB sign $26 Million Loan Agreement for Additional Financing to Assam Urban Project
- The Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed here today in New Delhi a $26 Million Loan Agreement to provide additional financing for improving drainage infrastructure in Dibrugarh town of Assam under the ongoing Assam Urban Infrastructure Investment Program.
- The ongoing Loan of $51 Million under the Program is helping to improve water supply infrastructure in Guwahati, and solid waste management and drainage infrastructure in Guwahati and Dibrugarh cities of Assam. The additional financing will further support in improving drainage system in Dibrugarh,and also support project management activities.
- Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that the additional financing for the Project is expected to help Dibrugarh town in evacuating flood waters from the city through desilting, widening and lining of the drains and it will help in controlling flooding in the city who signed the Agreement for the Government of India.
♦ UNDP appoints Padma Lakshmi as Goodwill Ambassador
- Indian-American television personality and food expert Padma Lakshmi has been appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as its newest Goodwill Ambassador, supporting the agency’s fight against inequality and discrimination around the world.
- UNDP announced Lakshmi’s appointment here Thursday, on the eve of International Women’s Day.
- In her new role, the Emmy-nominated television personality and award-winning author will mobilise support for the Sustainable Development Goals with a focus on fighting inequality, discrimination and empowering the disenfranchised.
♦ The Government of India, the World Bank and the representatives of Five States sign the Loan Agreement for Additional Financing of $137 Million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)
- The World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of 5 States of Government of India and Implementing Agencies signed here in New Delhi today the Loan Agreement for Additional Financing of $137 Million for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) that will help rehabilitate and modernize over 220 selected large dams in the States of Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
- In 2010, the Bank’s Board approved $350 million to finance the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project to improve the safety and sustainable performance of over 220 selected dams in India. This Ongoing Project has so far benefitted 25 Million Primary Beneficiaries from urban and rural communities providing them water and livelihood opportunities.
- Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that Fostering rapid and sustained agricultural growth is a key priority for the Government of India. Due to erratic rainfall patterns, dams play a key role in storing water for irrigation and other uses. He further said that this Project will help improve safety and operational performance of large and small dams in India leading to sustained rural development.
♦ President of India presents Nari Shakti Puraskar, 2018 on International Women’s Day
- President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind presented the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018, the highest civilian honour for women in India, at a special ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, on International Women’s Day today. To acknowledge women’s achievements, the Ministry of Women and Child Development confers Nari Shakti Puraskar on women and institutions in recognition of their relentless service towards the cause of women empowerment and social welfare. This year, 44 awardees have been selected for these Puraskar, out of around a thousand nominations received by the Ministry.
- While making the selection from the nominations their contribution in empowering vulnerable and marginalized women was taken into account. Further, efforts were also made to include women who have contributed to spheres and issues which have gained utmost importance and focused attention in the last few years. This year, among the awardees are scientists, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, social workers, farmers, artists, masons, woman marine pilot, woman commando trainer, journalists and film-makers and many others, who have faced their own unique challenges, but have not been deterred from achieving their dreams. The awardees have contributed in their unique ways to the society, impacting lives of people and are role models and an inspirations to many others.
♦ Emission scandal: Volkswagen asked to deposit ₹500 crore with pollution control board
- The National Green Tribunal on Thursday directed Volkswagen India to deposit a sum of ₹500 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within two months.
- A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel enhanced the compensation amount of ₹171 crore, which was recommended by a NGT- appointed committee, as a means of “creating deterrence.”
- The National Green Tribunal on The company however, contended that prescribed norms under the BS-IV were not violated and that the test results were based on, “on road testings” for which there were no prescribed norms.
- However, the bench said, “Sustainable development is the main guiding factor…we are unable to accept the manufacturer’s objections to the report.”
♦ Arcelor Mittal Finally Bags Essar Steel as Rs 42,000 Crore Takeover Bid Gets NCLT Nod
- After a protracted legal battle and multiple litigations, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Ahmedabad approved ₹42,000 Resolution Plan of global steel magnate ArcellorMittal to take over the debt-ridden Essar Steel.
- The tribunal’s approval for the mega deal has come almost 583 days after it began the insolvency proceedings, instead of the mandated 270 days.
- It may be noted that the Essar Steel runs a 10-million-tonne steel mill at Hazira in Gujarat and owes over ₹49,000 crore to over two dozen banks led by the State-run State Bank of India, and has been under the bankruptcy proceedings since June 2017.
- It was one of the 12 large accounts identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to take under bankruptcy proceedings to recover dues of banks and financial institutions.
- With the NCLT’s verdict, original promoters of the Essar Steel, Shashi and Ravi Ruia have lost control of their once-blue chip steel-making factory in Gujarat.
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