Various steps taken by Government since 2014 helped keep economy and people afloat in difficult times

Various steps taken by Government since 2014 helped keep economy and people afloat in difficult times: Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman


Government’s targeted approach during Pandemic helped to deliver assistance to citizens: FM

FM inaugurates Department of Economic Affairs Iconic Day celebrations today; launches ‘NETRA Portal and Mobile Application:

Finance Minister launches DEA’s three short films on Externally Aided Projects, financial literacy and lines of credit to other countries by the Government

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Iconic Day celebrations of the Department of Economic Affairs with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) under the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) here today. Along with the Union Finance Minister, Shri Ajay Seth, Secretary, D/o Economic Affairs; Dr. Anantha V. Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance and Shri S.K. Mohanty, Whole Time Member, SEBI also participated.  The occasion also saw participation from key dignitariesand prominent leaders from the world of finance.

In her address, the Finance Minister said that India’s fundamentals are once again sound because of the many steps taken by the Government since 2014. Major steps taken by the Government, before the COVID-9 pandemic hit us, which include reducing the corporate tax, ensuring that the economy is greatly digitised, bringing in the GST and IBC – all of this heavylifting prepared us for the unprecedented situation of the Pandemic, she said.

Smt. Sitharaman emphasised that when Government looks at targeted approach of providing assistance and takes the input from the ground and does so quickly, in time and in an open fashion, the impact is for all to see. In this context she cited a study on Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) which brought out that the probability of people cutting down consumption utilities has come down by 75% across the country. The study has also shown that the PMGKY reduced the probability of borrowing money by 67% of all respondents.

Citing another study on the Emergency Credit Liquidity Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), the Finance Minister stated that as of March 2022 loans sanctioned under this scheme have crossed Rs 3.19 lakh crore and the scope of ECLGS has now been extended till 2023. The study says that this handholding has kept many people afloat during the Pandemic.

The third study highlighted by the Finance Minister was on the Ayushman Bharat scheme wherein the implementation of this scheme has been associated with a 21% decline in out of pocket health expenditure and 8% reduction in the tendency to borrow for emergency health purposes.

The Finance Minister underlined that the Department of Economic Affairs has channelised external aid towards every region of the country, with the support of multiple multilateral institutions. India very smartly raised funds and distributed them not only for infrastructure building but also for livelihood prospects in each region. Smt. Sitharaman also appreciated the DEA’s efforts through the IDEAS project that spans across so many countries and making a difference to livelihood environment, especially for most of Africa and also for the Island countries.

In his address during the AKAM celebrations, Chief Economic Advisor Dr Anantha V. Nageswaran said that the structural reforms of this Government, such as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) will manifest their advantages and potential in the coming decade, once the current clouds of global political developments and macro monetary policy challenges dissipate. The CEA underlined that for these reasons India is forecasted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cross $5 trillion by 2026-27 and if GDP of the country doubles every 7 years, we will be $20 trillion GDP by 2040 with the per capita income close to $15,000.

Dr Nageswaran stated that India is better-positioned than many other countries in facing the current challenges. He indicated that we face challenges of managing a sustainably high growth rate, moderate inflation, keeping the fiscal under balance and also ensuring that the external value of the rupee remains stable. The CEA stated that the Government is prepared to meet the challenges of balancing these core important considerations.

Smt. Sitharaman launched ‘NETRA (New e-Tracking and Remote Administration)’ Portal and Mobile Application for Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS).

NSDL’s outreach initiative ‘Market Ka Eklavya – Express’, a programme specially designed to introduce students to the basics of investing and financial markets was screened during the event.

Market Ka Eklavya – Express’:

Market Ka Eklavya – Express’ lays the foundation of the twin pillars of Financial Independence, namely, Financial Awareness and Financial Discipline in a simple language using relatable examples from everyday life to explain complex concepts. As a part of the AKAM celebrations, NSDL has recently launched the programme in 8 languages to reach 75 cities to commemorate 75 years of independence.

The Finance Minister also released a short film ‘Sahyog se Samriddhi’ on Externally Aided Projects during the Iconic Week celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. The film showcased the role of Externally Aided Projects in India’s development trajectory since 1947, with a special emphasis on India’s engagement with multilateral and bilateral agencies in last 8 years.

‘Sahyog se Samriddhi’:

Smt. Sitharaman also inaugurated a film on the lines of credit called “IDEAS – India Partnering in Global Growth”. This film showcased India’s recognition as a trusted development partner for the developing economies. The Indian Development and Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) has played a key role in the socio-economic development in the partner countries. The film features key marquee projects financed by Exim Bank of India under the GoI Lines of Credit  in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and the CIS region.

“IDEAS – India Partnering in Global Growth”:

During the morning session, engaging discussions on ‘Emergence of women investors in securities market’ and ‘Growth of Indian retail investors’ during the symposium on ‘Jaagruk Niveshak: Samridha Bharat ki Neev’ organised by SEBI in collaboration with Department of Economic Affairs took place. The idea of an enlightened investor empowered to make informed financial choices was central to the discussions. The symposium also explore the exciting possibilities presented by the encouraging trend of increasing participation of women in financial markets.

Watch live streaming:

Ministry of Finance Press Release Id :-1832085, 08th March 2022

New Initiatives by GeM to promote sustainable public procurement of products and services

Government eMarketplace [GeM] is promoting sustainable public procurement [SPP] of products and services in association with the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP]. Since the launch of Green Room Air Conditioners [RAC] in June 2021, GeM has taken a series of path-breaking steps to roll out new features and functionalities on the portal to promote the adoption of environmentally sustainable products and services.  

Speaking on World Environment Day, Shri PK Singh, CEO GeM said that GeM is prioritizing the listing and availability of environmentally sustainable products and services by targeting the largest selling products and services on the portal, and products and services based on their potential for impact on the environment. Further, GeM has proactively created and listed new product and service categories, and implemented new functionalities, namely; forward auction for safe disposal of obsolete machinery, and buyback option for disposal of obsolete assets and procurement of new products.

Shri Atul Bagai, UNEP Country Head, highlighted that public procurement represents a sizable proportion of Government’s spending. By promoting SPP practices, governments have the opportunity to create high-volume and long-term demand of sustainable products and services. Shri Bagai reinforced UNEP’s support and commitment for achieving this objective.

SPP of Products on GeM

On 05th June 2021, Green RACs were launched on GeM. The purchase of Green RACs is  on a voluntary basis. and the faster adoption of such products by government buyers will pave the way for realizing India’s Nationally Determined Contributions [NDC] and its commitment towards Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] # 12 “Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns” with special emphasis on target 12.7 – aims to “Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.” In 2021-22, government buyers procured 176 green RACs worth INR 3.65 Crore.

Writing and printing paper [Maplitho], an uncoated paper used to make textbooks, notebooks, from hardwood pulp) is a popular product category on GeM. Approx. 90% of the total procurement of writing and printing paper is for Eco-mark paper which is a standard applicable for manufacturer producing paper from agro-based and recycled fibre-based raw material.

GeM has created marketplace filters to help government buyers identify solar-powered renewable products such as inverters, streetlights, torch lights, study lamps, water heating systems, and battery-powered e-rickshaws for passengers.

Daily use products for pollution tracking, monitoring and rehabilitation, refuse disposal and treatment of hazardous and non-hazardous waste including sewage treatment are already listed and available for procurement on the portal.

GeM has introduced “The Green Gold Collection”, a dedicated online market store to showcase a range of bamboo accessories for potential use in the construction sector and exquisitely handcrafted bamboo handicrafts, daily-utility products/ disposals for government buyers. Bamboo producers will be able to list their products under different product categories.

SPP of Services on GeM

Presently, 250+service categories are live on GeM.. Notable services with a sustainable procurement component include:

  • Lease hiring of electric vehicles [short and long-term] for senior officers including operations and maintenance,
  • Event and monthly-based hiring of air conditioners and desert coolers including supply, installation and maintenance for required number of days or contract period,
  • Energy efficiency services namely, energy conservation and energy audit services and hiring of consultant for energy efficiency services/ projects,
  • Waste Management services, namely; biomedical waste management services, collection and disposal of waste management services, e-waste management, garbage collection and disposal, and municipal sewage waste,
  • Water Conservation, including rejuvenation of water bodies, and testing of water quality,
  • Annual maintenance contracts [AMC] for solar plant, wind, hydro and bio plants, and
  • Water audit and afforestation services, namely; plantation and tree translocation services, to name a few.
  • Housekeeping service with eco-friendly chemical cleanliness and conservancy of office premises, hospitals and guest houses etc.
  • Operation and Management of Electric Buses is available on GeM where buyers can hire electric buses with its operation and maintenance.
  • GeM is working towards the launch of a new service “Green Transition Service” on the GeM portal for buyers who seek a structured framework to achieve carbon neutrality and aim for being net zero Carbon emissions in their operations. Service components will include; estimation and preparation of GHG emissions inventory, developing methodology for accounting of GHG emissions, preparation of detailed project reports on calculation of carbon footprint, milestones, implementation and monitoring plan for the assessment year, leading to a comprehensive roadmap for achieving net-zero emissions.

New Functionalities to promote SPP

New features/ functionalities like “forward auction” provides opportunities for government buyers/ auctioneers to auction on the GeM portal and potential bidders can participate in these bids to purchase the fully-depreciated and or obsolete assets using the auction mode. The forward auction facility is available for a wide range of product categories including e-waste of electronic and electrical equipment, land and buildings (industrial, commercial and residential), machinery (electric, industrial and non-electrical), scrap/ disposal of lube/ waste oil, metallic, non-metallic, usable and scrap vehicles and other items of monetary value for reuse.

The “buyback option” presently available in 37+ product categories permits sellers to quote the price of new goods along with the price offered for old goods as buy back. Government buyers can now exercise this option at the time of creating bids on GeM to dispose their obsolete assets and procure new products. 

Several PSUs, government ministries, state departments and municipal corporations have started considering environmental and energy efficiency criteria in their procurement decisions. Procurement of environmentally friendly products and services has a cascading effect through reduction in waste-generation, lower water consumption, efficient energy consumption and reduced carbon emissions, thereby ensuring fair and sustainable economic growth and delivery of social benefits. GeM will collaborate with UNEP and fellow partners in supporting, promoting and synergizing the Sustainable Public Procurement [SPP] initiative of the Government of India.

(Sources: Press Release dated 04 June 2022, Release Id :-1831192)

E-Concurrence Module Launched on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for Ministry of Defence

As a significant step towards the Digital India vision of the Government, Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has developed an IT module for Ministry of Defence, for integration of competent financial authorities and Internal Financial Advisers (IFA) for online e-concurrence and approval of procurement proposals on GeM portal. The integration module was launched by Shri. Rajnish Kumar, Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA), in the presence of Shri Prashant Kumar Singh, Chief Executive Officer of Government e-Marketplace (GeM) at Defence Accounts Department Headquarters in New Delhi on June 01, 2022.

The module has been developed by GeM over the course of last one year, utilising Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)-based procedural inputs provided by the Ministry of Defence, Defence Accounts Department Headquarters and the Headquarters of the various defence services and other MoD organisations.

Procurement by Ministry of Defence (MoD) through Government e-Market (GeM) portal had reached an all-time high of Rs 15,047.98 crore for the Financial Year 2021-22, which is more than 250 percent over the last financial year.

Press Release dated 01/06/2022

Cabinet approves Expanding the mandate of Government e Marketplace – Special Purpose Vehicle (GeM – SPV) to allow procurement by Cooperatives as Buyers. Move will help cooperatives in getting competitive prices

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for expanding the mandate of GeM to allow procurement by Cooperatives as buyers on GeM.

The Government e Marketplace (GeM) was launched on August 9, 2016 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India to create an open and transparent procurement platform for Government buyers. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the name of Government e- Marketplace (GeM SPV) was set up as the National Public Procurement Portal on 17th May, 2017 in pursuance of the approval, of the Union Cabinet accorded on 12th April, 2017. At present, the platform is open for procurement by all government buyers: central and state ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions, local bodies, etc. As per existing mandate, GeM is not available for use by private sector buyers. Suppliers (sellers) can be from across all segments: government or private.

No. of beneficiaries:

More than 8.54 lakh registered cooperatives and their 27 Crore members would be benefitted with this initiative. GeM portal is open for all the buyers and sellers across the country.

Details:

1. GeM is already adequately developed as a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods and Services. It is transparent, efficient, has economy of scale and is speedy in procurement. Cooperative Societies will now be allowed to procure goods and services from GeM.

2. Allowing Cooperative Societies to register on GeM as Buyers would help Cooperatives in getting competitive prices through an. open and, transparent process,

3. The validated list of cooperatives to be onboarded on GeM – for pilot as well as subsequent scale up – will be decided by Ministry of Cooperation in consultation with GeM SPV. This will ensure that technical capacity and logistics requirement of the GeM system are taken into account while deciding the pace of on boarding of Cooperative as buyers on GeM.

4. GeM will provide a dedicated onboarding process for cooperatives, provide the technical infrastructure to support additional users on existing portal, as well as provide assistance to cooperatives for onboarding and transaction journeys, via available contact centers, in-field training and other support services.

5. Ministry of Cooperation would issue necessary advisories to encourage the Cooperative Societies to make use of the GeM platform for procurement of goods and services in order to benefit from increased transparency, efficiency and competitive prices.

6. To protect interests of the broader seller community on GeM and ensure timely payments, the modalities of payment systems shall be decided by GeM in consultation with the Ministry of Cooperation.

Implementation strategy and targets:

GeM will initiate suitable actions, which would inter alia include creation of necessary features and functionalities on GeM portal, upgradation of infrastructure, strengthening of the helpdesk and training ecosystem, and onboarding of cooperatives. The overall pace and mechanism of roll-out would be decided by Ministry of Cooperation. The milestones and target dates will be aligned mutually between Ministry of Cooperation and GeM (Ministry of Commerce and Industry).

Impact including employment generation potential:

The Ministry of Cooperation wanted the Cooperative Societies to be allowed to procure goods and services from GeM as it is already adequately developed as a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods and Services. It is transparent, efficient, has economy of scale and is speedy in procurement. In the above context, allowing Cooperative Societies to register on GeM as Buyers of Goods & Services required by them would help Cooperatives in getting competitive prices through an open and transparent process. Moreover, since the societies have more than 27 Crore members, procurement through GeM would not only economically benefit the common man, but it would also enhance the credibility of the cooperatives.

GeM has also developed a rich understanding of running an advanced procurement portal including the functional needs, managing the technical infrastructure, and dealing with multiple stakeholders involved. It is felt that the rich experience gained in creating the procurement ecosystem in the country can be significantly utilized to produce efficiencies and transparency in procurement processes for cooperatives also. This is also expected to enhance overall “Ease of Doing Business” for cooperatives, while providing a larger Buyer base to the GeM registered sellers also.

Expenditure involved:

While the GeM SPV will continue to leverage the existing platform and organization for supporting the proposed expanded mandate, it may need some investments in additional technology infrastructure, and additional training and support resources. To cover for these incremental costs, GeM may charge an appropriate transaction fee from cooperatives, to be decided in mutual consultation with the Ministry of Cooperation. Such charges shall not be more than the charges which GeM would charge to other Government buyers. This will be planned to ensure self-sustainability of operations for GeM, and hence no major financial implication is expected for government.

Background:

The GeM SPV has made significant strides since its inception. The Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) has grown with CAGR of over 84.5% from FY 2018-19 to FY 2021-22. The portal has delivered 178% growth in GMV in the FY 2021-22 and has crossed INR 1 lakh Crore in FY 2021-22 alone, which is higher than the cumulative GMV till FY 2020-21.

Each of the three pillars of GeM viz inclusion, transparency and efficiency have seen significant progress. The contribution by MSMEs to the cumulative transaction value is about 58%. Different independent studies, including those by the World Bank and National Economic Survey 2021, indicated substantial savings due to GeM’s ability to pool in more participation and provide cost effective options.

The cooperative movement in India has grown significantly, playing an important role in addressing the developmental needs of underprivileged classes in India, especially in agricultural, banking and housing sectors. There are currently 8.54 lakh registered cooperatives. These cooperatives collectively procure and sell in large quantities. Presently, the registration of cooperatives as “buyers” was not covered within the existing mandate of GeM.

Press Release dated 01st June 2022

Centre to develop framework to check fake reviews on E-Commerce websites

The Centre will develop a framework to keep check over fake reviews on E-Commerce websites. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) after studying the present mechanism being followed by the E-Commerce entities in India and best practices available globally, will develop these frameworks.

DoCA in association with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) along with various stakeholders like E-Commerce entities, Consumer Forums, Law Universities, Lawyers, FICCI, CII, Consumer Rights Activists and others in a meeting discussed the magnitude and roadmap ahead for fake reviews on websites.

Since e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically view or examine the product, consumers heavily rely on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experience of users who have already purchased the good or service.

“Traceability by ensuring the authenticity of the reviewer and the associated liability of the platform are the two key issues here. Also e-com players must disclose as to how they choose the “most relevant reviews” for display in a fair and transparent manner,” said Secretary DoCA, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh said.

All stakeholders agreed that the issue deserves to be monitored closely and appropriate framework governing the fake reviews may be developed to address the issue for protection of consumer interest.

Stakeholders from e-commerce companies claimed that they have frameworks in place by which they monitor fake reviews and would be pleased to take part in developing a legal framework on the issue.

Along with Secretary DoCA, Ms Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary and Mr. Anupam Mishra, Joint Secretary attended the meeting. Ms. Manisha Kapoor, CEO, ASCI highlighted the categories of fake and misleading reviews and their impact on consumer interest. Paid reviews, unverifiable reviews and absence of disclosure in case of incentivised reviews which make it challenging for consumers to recognize genuine reviews were among the issues discussed.

Press Release 28 May 2022

Delhi Customs launches Project ‘NIGAH’ at ICD Garhi Harsaru, Gurugram.Project aims at container tracking and monitor timely clearances to ensure Ease of Doing Business

Chief Commissioner, Delhi Customs Zone, Shri Surjit Bhujabal inaugurated project ‘NIGAH’ at ICD Garhi Harsaru, Gurugram, here today.

Project NIGAH is an initiative to track container by using ICTM (ICD Container Tracking Module) which will help in better visibility of the container movement inside the ICD. It will help Customs to expedite long standing containers and monitor timely clearances, thereby enhancing Ease of Doing Business along with ensuring lead preventive checks. ICTM has been developed in collaboration with the Custodian M/s. GRFL. A live demo of the project was given to all the participants.

On this occasion, the Chief Commissioner thanked the Custodian M/s. GRFL for this innovative development at local level to provide granular level visibility supporting ease of monitoring and to synergise the technological platforms introduced by the government with other stakeholders’ platforms, which will lead India to high standards of EXIM trade. He encouraged other Custodians to replicate the project at ICDs for the benefit of trade.

The function was attended by Commissioner of Customs, ICD Patparganj & Other ICDs Sh. Manish Saxena; Additional Commissioner of Customs Sh. Jayant Sahay; Deputy Commissioner of port Sh Sunil Shrivastava and Smt Jaya Kumari, Vice-President of M/s. GRFL Sh Rajguru with his team; Custodians of ICD Sonepat and ICD Patli and Sh. Puneet Jain, President of Delhi Customs Brokers Association along with other office-bearers. The function was virtually attended by Officers and Custodians of Other ICDs of the Patparganj Commissionerate.

MoF Press Release dated 26 May 2022

Fake reviews on E-Commerce platforms under Centre’s radar

Fake reviews on E-Commerce platforms under Centre’s radar


Department of Consumer Affairs to hold meeting with E-Commerce entities and stakeholders to discuss magnitude of fake reviews and prepare a roadmap ahead

To gauge the magnitude of fake reviews on E-Commerce platforms which mislead consumers into buying online services or products and to prepare a roadmap ahead, the Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) in association with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) will be holding a virtual meeting on Friday, 27th May, 2022 along with various stakeholders.

The discussions will be broadly based on the impact of fake and misleading reviews on consumers and possible measures to prevent such anomaly. In this regard, Secretary DoCA, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh has written to all stakeholders: E-Commerce entities like Flipkart, Amazon, Tata Sons, Reliance Retail and others besides, Consumer Forums, Law Universities, Lawyers, FICCI, CII, Consumer Rights Activists etc. to participate in the meeting.

Along with the letter, Shri Singh has also shared a Press Release of European Commission dated January 20th, 2022 highlighting results of an EU-wide screening on online consumer reviews across 223 major websites. The screening results underlines that at least 55% of the websites violate the unfair commercial Practices Directive of the E.U. which requires truthful information to be presented to consumers to make an informed choice. Further, in 144 out of the 223 websites checked, the authorities could not confirm that traders were doing enough to ensure that reviews were authentic, i.e., if they were posted by consumers who had actually used the product or service that was reviewed.

The letter states that ‘It is relevant to mention that with growing internet and smartphone use, consumers are increasingly shopping online to purchase goods and services.  Given that e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically view or examine the product, consumers heavily rely on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experience of user who have already purchased the goods or service. As a result, due to fake and misleading reviews, the right to be informed, which is a consumer right under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 is violated.’

‘Since the issue impacts people shopping online on a daily basis and has a significant impact on their rights as a consumer, it is important that it is examined with greater scrutiny and detail,’ the letter states.

Press Release 26 May 2022

Awareness Building and Guidance on using the PPP Toolkits

The Toolkits available on www.pppinindia.gov.in  are for use by PPP practitioners across India in both the public and private sectors.

A public-private partnership (PPP) is a funding model for public infrastructure projects and initiatives such as a new telecommunications system, public transportation system, airport or power plant. Government agencies represent the public partner at a local, state and/or national level.

A two day -workshop on Awareness Building and Guidance on using the PPP Toolkits was organized by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK with an objective to sensitize and train government officials in using PPP toolkits for decision making in PPP projects. The Training programme was inaugurated by Joint Secretary, DEA, Shri. Baldeo Purushartha. Special addressees included Mr. Shantanu Mitra, Head- Infrastructure and Urban Development, FCDO, Ms. Sangeeta Mehta, Senior Programme officer (FCDO), Mr. Shoubhik Ganguly, Senior Infrastructure Advisor (FCDO). A vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Molishree, Deputy Secretary, DEA.

For reaching out to maximum stakeholders involved in decision making process, the workshop was organized on hybrid mode. The workshop witnessed active participation of 155 participants (35 participants from 16 Central Infrastructure Line Ministries and Departments including NITI Aayog (M/o Housing Affairs, Civil Aviation, Steel, Road Transport and Highways, New and Renewable energy, Power, Railways, Shipping, Food Processing Industries and D/o Telecom, Rural Development, Expenditure, Food and Public Distribution, Water Resources, Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade; and 120 participants from 15 states and 2 UTs (Gujarat, Kerala, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Manipur, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Pondicherry).

The workshop broadly covered introduction and walkthrough of PPP structuring Toolkit, Value-for Money Toolkit, Framework for recognition, valuation and reporting of contingent liabilities Toolkit, Post Award Contract Management (PACM) toolkit. The sessions were delivered by Industry experts including Ms. Mehali Patel, Director CRISIL, Mr. RNK Prasad, Consultant Price Waterhouse Coopers and Mr. Kushal Kumar Singh, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.

PPP structuring Toolkits developed by DEA are a web-based resource that has been designed to help improve decision-making for infrastructure PPPs in India and to improve the quality of the infrastructure PPPs that are implemented in India. The Toolkits available on http://www.pppinindia.gov.in are for use by PPP practitioners across India in both the public and private sectors. The toolkit covers five infrastructure sectors- State highways, Water and sanitation, Ports, Solid waste management, Urban Transport. Other toolkits such as PPP Post-Award Contract Management Toolkit, Value for Money (VfM) toolkit, and Framework for recognition, valuation and reporting of contingent liabilities have also been developed to assist in the PPP decision-making process.

Sources: Press Release 25 May 2022

Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIF) completes 5 years since Union Cabinet decision to abolish FIPB. 853 FDI proposals disposed off in the last 5 years; FDI jumped by 39% since FIF came into being

853 FDI proposals have been disposed off through the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIF) since abolishment of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). The proposal for abolition of FIPB was approved by the Union Cabinet in its meeting on 24th May, 2017. Subsequent to abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), granting of government approval for foreign investment under the extant FDI Policy and FEMA Regulations was entrusted to the concerned Administrative Ministries/Departments and Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, was made the nodal Department.

The FDI proposals were, thereafter, required to be filed only on Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal (FIF Portal) at https://fifp.gov.in, which is managed by DPIIT. The proposals filed on FIF Portal are forwarded to the concerned Administrative Ministry and are also simultaneously marked to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for comments and to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for necessary security clearance, wherever required as per the FDI Policy/ FEM Regulations.

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for processing of FDI proposals, including documents to be filed, through FIF Portal was framed and laid down by DPIIT on 29th June, 2017 with amendment on 09th Jan, 2020.

Since then, not only the FDI has increased so have the number of countries bringing in FDI into India.  In FY 2014-15, FDI inflow in India stood at mere USD 45.15 billion, which increased to USD 60.22 billion in 2016-17 and further to the highest ever annual FDI inflow of USD 83.57 billion reported during the FY 2021-22 despite COVID-19 pandemic and recent Russia-Ukraine conflict. During FY 2021-22 FDI has been reported from 101 countries, whereas, it was reported from 97 countries during previous financial year (2020-21).

Automated alerts through SMS and emails to concerned ministries/ departments are being used to regulate pendency of FDI proposals. Secretary, DPIIT reviews the pendency of FDI proposals across all ministries / departments on monthly basis. This has expedited the disposal of FDI proposals. Regular training sessions are also being conducted to educate ministries/departments regarding judicious and expeditious processing of FDI proposal. 

Regular round table conferences are conducted with investors and law firms alike to keep abreast of the practical issues and problems being faced at the ground level. The FDI proposal form on FIF Portal is regularly reviewed to reduce compliance burden on applicants. FAQs have been updated and placed on DPIIT website and on FIF Portal for ease of access. Hence, continuous effort is made by DPIIT to ensure that India remains an investor friendly destination.

Press Release dated 24 May 2022

ONGC first Indian Exploration & Production company to trade domestic gas on Indian Gas Exchange

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) has become the first Exploration and Production (E&P) company in India to trade domestic gas on Indian Gas Exchange. The first online trade was made on 23 May 2022 by ONGC Director (Onshore) In-charge Marketing Anurag Sharma on India’s first automated national level Gas Exchange, IGX. The gas traded is from ONGC Krishna Godavari 98/2 block.


After the deregulation in gas pricing ecosystem in 2000-21, ONGC has prepared itself to reap the benefits. The quantity sold by ONGC through the Gas Exchange will be enhanced slowly.

Press Release dated 23rd May 2022