Government Initiatives To Boost Infrastructure Across Sectors

  • On 24th June 2020, the Union Cabinet took several landmark decisions, which will go a long way providing a much needed boost to infrastructure across sectors, which are crucial in the time of pandemic.

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund

Background

  • In pursuance of recently announced Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package, government approved setting up of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF).
  • Government had earlier approved the Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) for incentivizing investment by cooperative sector for development of dairy infrastructure.

Need

  • The MSMEs and Private companies need to be promoted and incentivized for their participation in processing and value addition infrastructure in the animal husbandry sector.

Key Points

  • Size of the fund is 15000 crore.
  • The eligible beneficiaries under the Scheme would be Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 Companies, Private Companies and individual entrepreneur with only 10% margin money contribution by them.
  • The balance 90% would be the loan component to be made available to them by scheduled banks.
  • Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries.
  • There will be 2 years moratorium period for repayment of loan with 6 years repayment period thereafter.
  • Government of India would also set up a Credit Guarantee Fund of Rs. 750 crore to be managed by NABARD which would provide credit guarantee to the projects which are covered under the MSME defined ceilings.
  • Guarantee Coverage would be upto 25% of the Credit facility of borrower.

Impact

Increasing Farmer’s Income

  • Since almost 50-60% of the final value of dairy output in India flows back to farmers, the growth in this sector can have significant direct impact on farmer’s income.
  • The investment of Rs. 15,000 crores through AHIDF would not only leverage several times more private investment but would also motivate farmers to invest more on inputs thereby driving higher productivity leading to increase in farmers income.

Livelihood Creation

  • The measures approved today through AHIDF would also help in direct and indirect livelihood creation for about 35 lakh persons.

Benefits

  • Incentivizing Investment: The AHIDF would incentive infrastructure investments in dairy, meat processing and animal feed plants.
  • Ensuring Credit Availability: The AHIDF with the interest subvention scheme for private investors will ensure availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects and also help enhance overall returns/ pay back for investors.
  • Export Promotion: Such investments in processing and value addition infrastructure by eligible beneficiaries would also promote exports.

 

Kushinagar Airport Declared as International Airport

  • Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to declare Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh as an International Airport.

Need

  • On any given day, around 200-300 devotees from Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Burma, etc are coming and offering their prayers at Kushinagar. However, this International tourist destination has no direct connectivity, which has been a long pending demand of the visitors.

Historical Significance of Kushinagar

  • Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Gautama Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana.
  • It is dotted with several other Buddhist sites in the nearby surroundings like Sravasti (238 km), Kapilvastu (190 km) and Lumbini (195 km) that makes it an attraction for both followers and visitors alike.
  • Kushinagar already serves as the presenting site for Buddhist circuit pilgrimage spanning across India and Nepal.

Benefits

Boosting Tourism

  • Declaration of Kushinagar Airport as an 'International Airport' will offer improved connectivity resulting in boosting of domestic/international tourism in the region.

Economic Development

  • Increase flow of tourists would further provide impetus to economic development of the region.

 

Shwe oil & gas project in Myanmar

Government has approved additional investment of US$ 121.27 million by ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) towards further development of Shwe oil & gas project in Myanmar.

Background

  • ONGC Videsh (OVL) has been associated with exploration and development of Shwe gas project in Myanmar since 2002, as part of a consortium of companies from South Korea, India and Myanmar.
  • The Indian PSU, GAIL, is also a co-investor in this project.
  • The first gas from Shwe Project was received in July 2013 and plateau production was reached in December 2014.

Benefits

  • Promoting Act East Policy: The participation of Indian PSUs in oil & gas exploration and development projects in neighbouring countries is aligned with India’s Act East Policy.
  • Strengthening Energy Security: It also part of India’s strategy to develop Energy Bridges with its neighbours in addition to further strengthening India’s energy security needs.

About Shwe Gas Project

  • Shwe gas project comprises the development of three fields, namely Shwe, Shwe Phyu, and Mya, which are located in the Bay of Bengal, offshore Myanmar.
  • The gas project is located in Blocks A-1 and A-3 in the Bay of Bengal, offshore Rakhine, Myanmar.
  • The project is jointly owned by POSCO DAEWOO Corporation (PDC, 51%), Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (15%), ONGC Videsh (India) (17%), GAIL (India) (8.5%), and Korea Gas Corporation (8.5%). It is being developed in three phases with the first phase completed in 2013.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, June, 2020