UPSC 2017 IAS Exam: Important PIB Articles - April 14

DAC&FW in consultation with NITI Aayog, identifies a set of 9 
marketing reforms to be made in Agriculture Produce Marketing 
Committee (APMC) Acts 
  • Department of Agricultural Co-operation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) in consultation with NITI Aayog has given various recommendations in the APMC Act

The set of reforms/recommendations include

  • Amending APMC Act of the states to enable integration to e-NAM
    • Provision for e-trading
    • Unified trading license
    • Single point levy of market fee
  • Setting up markets in the private sector
  • Direct marketing
  • All the above recommendations are aimed at reducing the intermediaries between producer and buyer so as to ensure remunerative prices to the farmer.
  • The States have been advised to relax the felling and transit rules for trees being grown by farmers on their own lands so as to encourage agroforestry which has a huge potential for supplementing the income from agriculture
  • The Department is also in the process of drafting a model Contract Farming Act and the States were requested to send their views on the matter
  • e-NAM which has barely completed a year of implementation is already proving to be very beneficial as evidenced by increasing number of States coming on board, traders and farmer’s registration and volume and value of trade being done online. So far 417 markets from 13 States have joined the online-portal, which targets integration of 585 markets by March 2018


Business Reform Action Plan 2017 (BRAP 2017)
  • The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in partnership with the World Bank Group, has released the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2017 for implementation by States/UTs
  • The BRAP includes 405 recommendations for reforms on regulatory processes, policies, practices and  procedures spread across 12 reform areas, that is, labour regulation enablers; contract enforcement; registering property; inspection reform enablers; single window system; land availability and allotment; construction permit enablers; environmental registration enablers; obtaining utility permits; paying taxes; access to information and transparency enablers and sector specific reforms spanning the lifecycle of a typical business
  • This year there are 103 new set of reforms (out of 405) focusing on central inspection system, online land allotment system,online single window system for granting construction permits etc
  • DIPP will carry out a comprehensive B2G (Business to Government) feedback exercise


Boost to Digital Payments – Cash Back, Referral Bonus and Bhim 
Aadhaar Platform


  • It’s the merchant interface of the BHIM App which will pave the way for making digital payments by using the Aadhaar platform
  • It will enable every Indian citizen to pay digitally using their biometric data like their thumb imprint on a merchants’ biometric enabled device which could be smartphone having a biometric reader
  • Any citizen without access to smartphones, internet, debit or credit cards will be able to transact digitally through the BHIM Aadhaar platform
  • 27 major banks are now on board with 3 lakh merchants so that they can start accepting payments using BHIM Aadhaar

Two new incentive schemes for the BHIM – Cashback and Referral bonus

  • Will have an outlay of ₹495 crore for a period of six months
  • This is to ensure that the culture of digital payments permeates down to the grassroots
  • Under the Referral bonus scheme both the existing user who refers BHIM and the new user who adopts BHIM would get a cash bonus credited directly to their account
  • Under the Cashback scheme the merchants will get a cashback on every transaction using BHIM
  • Both schemes are to be administered by MEITY and implemented by NPCI

Digital Payments boost

  • BHIM App has already created a new world record by registering 1.9 crore downloads in just four months since its launch in December, 2016
  • More importantly, India has also seen an unprecedented increase in number of transactions made using several user-friendly digital payment methods. Until November 2016, the volume of all digital transactions was 2,80,000 which amounted to ₹101 crore in value terms. In just four months, by March this year, volume of payments using various digital payment modes saw an increase of about 23 times amounting with 63,80,000 digital transactions for a value of ₹2425 crore
  • Aadhaar Enabled Payments have increased from 2.5 crore in November 2016 to over 5 crore in March 2017
  • Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions have also increased from 3.6 crore to 6.7 crore during the same period

With a view to achieving the target of 2500 crore digital transactions during the current financial year, 75 townships spread all over India will be identified as ‘less-cash townships’ (is one where the deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure is complete, all the families in the township are covered under training programs)


Gender Parity Index specific to India
  • It is for the formal sector
  • The main aim of developing Gender Parity Index commissioned jointly by FLO (FICCI Ladies Organisation) and FICCI is to evaluate gender diversity and empowerment of women in the formal sector and the progress made over the years
  • The Index will serve as framework for measuring gender parity and produce an overall score of an organisation and reflect it on the index


Cabinet approves listing of 11 CPSEs on stock exchanges 

The 11 CPSEs are

  • Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)
  • IRCON International Limited
  • Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) Ltd
  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd
  • RITES Ltd
  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL)
  • Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd
  • Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL)
  • North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) Ltd
  • MSTC Ltd
  • Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI)

The government will reduce its stake in these firms by up to 25% 


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