India Signed Financing Agreement with World Bank
- The Financing Agreement for World Bank (IDA) assistance of $ 104.00 million and $ 308.40 million for Additional Financing under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project-I & II (NCRMP-I & II) was signed between government of India and the World Bank on August 11, 2015.
- The objective of Additional Financing under NCRMP-I is to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclone and other hydro meteorological hazards in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha whereas NCRMP-I1 covers States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, and West Bengal.
- The project is implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and executed by the respective State Disaster Management Authorities at the State level.
India’s Social Security Pact with Canada came into Force
- The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), government of India has notified that Social Security Agreement (SSA) signed with Canada in 2013 has come into force with effect from August F, 2015.
- In this regard, employees posted by Indian establishments in Canada on a predetermined duration of up to 60 months are not required to contribute towards social security schemes in Canada but the Canadian employees posted in India would enjoy the same benefit after producing a certificate of coverage certifying that they are contributing towards social security schemes such as PF and pension in their home country.
- At present, social security agreements are operational with 14 countries. They are Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, South Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Czech Republic, Austria, Finland, Norway and Hungary.
India and 3 Other Nations Decided to Jointly Own TAPI Pipeline
- India, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the signatories to the TAPI pipeline project. They decided to jointly take ownership of the pipeline on August 6, 2015 from Turkmenistan to India goes through Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- In this project, all sides would make investment in the project subject to techno-commercial viability, shareholders agreement and investment agreement.
- TAPI will carry gas from Turkmenistan’s Galkynysh field that holds gas reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet.
- The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmsemd) gas for a 30-year period and will be operational in 2018.
- India and Pakistan would get 38 mmsemd each, while the remaining 14 mmsemd will be supplied to Afghanistan.
See Also – National Current Affairs September 2015 (Part 6).
India and Mozambique Agreed to Work on Defense
- Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique who is on official 5 day visit to India have agreed on August 5, 2015 to reactivate joint working group on defense with India and also to cooperate majorly in agriculture as 50% of the land in Mozambique is ‘excellent arable land’.
- Both the governments also inked an Mou in the field of new and renewable energy. Apart from this, both nations also agreed ways to intensify cooperation in maritime security and ocean economy as both have large coastlines and are linked by Indian Ocean.
- Joint working group on defence was set-up in 2006, but has met only twice in the last nine years.
- Energy is also a major sector for cooperation with Mozambique having discovered large amounts of gas. India could tap the nation for its LNG requirements.
The USA Renewed GSP Benefits for Indian Exporters
- The government of United States extended the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on August 4, 2015 for Indian exporters retrospectively from August, 2013 till December, 2017, enabling duty-free entry of 3500 product lines. It was expired in July, 2013.
- The GSP was introduced by the USA in 1976, where a wide range of industrial and agricultural products originating in certain developing countries are given preferential access to American markets in the form of reduced or zero rates of customs duties.
- This move will benefit Indian exporters to export wide range of products i.e., textiles, engineering, gems and jewellery, and chemical products, among others to their biggest export destination USA. During the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime in India, the then Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had taken up the GSP matter strongly.
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