Companies & Sectors
Crops in 189 lakh hectare damaged due to unseasonal rains
Responding to an exhaustive debate in the Rajya Sabha on the agrarian crisis, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the data is based on the reports received from the affected states
 
The government on Monday told parliament that crops in 189 lakh hectare have been damaged due to the recent unseasonal rains and hailstorms in the country.
 
Responding to an exhaustive debate in the Rajya Sabha on the agrarian crisis, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said the data is based on the reports received from the affected states.
 
"The centre took immediate cognisance of the situation and decided to relax the compensation norms for crop damage," he said. 
 
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi reduced the eligibility norms for compensation for crop losses from 50% to 33%. 
 
"Central government also allowed states to disburse 20% of amount available with the State Disaster Relief Fund to the affected farmers," he said.
 
The debate was taken up in the upper house last Thursday after a farmer committed suicide at an anti-land acquisition bill rally of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi.
 
However, dissatisfied with the minister's reply, Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress staged a walkout.
 
Congress also staged a walkout with Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad citing absence of food minister and home minister as a non-serious approach by government.
 

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Entry of foreign players in pensions may take time: Experts

The department of industrial policy and promotion under the commerce and industry notified the increase in FDI limits in line with the FDI cap raised recently in the insurance sector from the existing 26%

 

Even as the Indian government on Monday notified the raised limit of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the pension sector to 49%, experts said that there may not be a rush of new players into this sector in the short term.
 
The department of industrial policy and promotion under the commerce and industry notified the increase in FDI limits in line with the FDI cap raised recently in the insurance sector from the existing 26%.
 
As per the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Act, the FDI limit is linked to the limits set for the insurance sector under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013. 
 
"The move is expected to bring in more players. This in turn would grow the overall pension market benefiting all," S. Bandyopadhyay, MD and CEO of LIC Pension Fund Ltd, told IANS over phone on Monday.
 
However industry officials said the impact of the government move will not be immediate as it will take some time for the foreign players to come into this domain.
 
According to an industry official, the Indian pension sector is currently around Rs80,000 crore and bulk of it is managed by three players -- LIC, SBI Pension Funds and UTI.
 
More than 90% of the business is from the government.
 
Including the private parties, there are seven players in the domestic pension sector licensed by PFRDA as the pension fund manager for the corpus under National Pension System (NPS).
 
The extra tax benefit for NPS subscription is expected to bring in additional business for the players, officials say.
 
Similarly allowing the employees to choose between Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the NPS is expected to bring in more business for the pension players.
 
The FDI limit is in the forms of FPI, FII, QFI, FVCI, NRI and DR.
 
No government approval is required till 26%, but the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval would be needed for investment beyond 26% and up to the cap of 49%.
 
All investments in the pension sector, however, will have to abide by the pension sector regulator, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

 

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Government hikes FDI limit in pension sector to 49%

All investments in the pension sector, however, will have to abide by the pension sector regulator the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

 

The Indian government on Monday raised the limit of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the pension sector to 49 percent in line with the FDI cap raised recently in the insurance sector.
 
"In pursuance of the enactment of Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority Act, 2013, government has decided to permit FDI in the pension sector. The decision will take immediate effect," said the press note through which the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) gives effect to new FDI policies or changes in existing ones.
 
The FDI ceiling in the sector has been hiked to 49% which includes foreign investment in the forms of FPI, FII, QFI, FVCI, NRI and DR.
 
No government approval is required till 26%, but the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approval would be needed for investment beyond 26% and up to the cap of 49%, the press note said.
 
All investments in the pension sector, however, will have to abide by the pension sector regulator the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
 
Through an ordinance in December last year, the government had allowed 49% FDI. The ordinance was later converted into law by parliament.

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