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World Bank to fund AP project for urban services

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Source : The Business Line Date : 30.01.2009

World Bank to fund AP project for urban services

Rs 1,544 scheme likely to be approved by March.

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Jan. 29 The World Bank and Andhra Pradesh Government will take up a Rs 1544-crore project to bring about reforms in urban bodies and improve municipal services.

The State Cabinet, which met here on Thursday, ahead of the forthcoming State Legislative Assembly session poised to commence on February 2, approved the project.

The Andhra Pradesh Urban Reforms and Municipal Services Project will have the World Bank contributing about Rs 1,191 crore and the rest, Rs 353 crore, will be from the State Government.

The project, likely to be approved by March 2009, will focus on drinking water projects, sanitation and solid waste management.

Briefing newspersons after the Cabinet meeting, the State Information Minister, Mr Anam Ramnarayan Reddy, said this project would bring about reforms in municipal services and also streamline their functioning.

PENSION SCHEME FOR SHGs

The Cabinet also resolved to introduce co-contributory pension scheme for women self help groups (SHGs) with immediate effect. Referred to as Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) Pension Scheme, this seeks to cover about 1.25 crore women.

Women past 60 years will be eligible for pension of up to Rs 500 to Rs 2,500 per month. While a member of SHGs contributes Rs 30 per month, the State Government would contribute a similar amount and together the contributions would be deposited in a bank.

On the death of a subscriber during the contributory phase, the contributions of the subscriber and accrued earnings on such contributions shall be transferred as a lump sum to the nominee of the subscriber.

The money thus deposited in the bank would be transferred to Life Insurance Corporation of India, which has the mandate to maintain the corpus fund and invest the amount wisely. The Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) would be the nodal implementation agency.

The State Government has committed Rs 365 crore for the next financial year for the IKP Pension Scheme.

In other decisions, the Cabinet approved the Justice K. Jagannath Shetty recommendations on new pay scales for judiciary in the subordinate courts and amendment to the Value Added Tax enactment, aimed at simplifying procedures further.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 11:16
 

‘GIS must be integrated with national e-governance’

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Source : The Business Line Date 16.02.2009

‘GIS must be integrated with national e-governance’

Phalguna Jandhyala

Hyderabad, Feb. 11 The Union Government has been urged to look at integrating geographic information system (GIS) with the national e-governance programme.

“E-governance to me means embedding geospatial information, maps of different types showing resource usage, where the education and health facilities are located and so on. All these are GIS applications,” Ms Preetha Pulusani, Director, Rolta India, told Business Line on the sidelines of the Map World Forum here on Wednesday.

She added that the Government should look at making GIS applications more pervasive.

Ms Pulusani said that budgetary allocation for GIS must be increased like it has been done for the information technology sector.

“GIS has always been taken as a very special and niche area. GIS has hardly been looked at by the Government from a strategic and long-term perspective, rather it was looked at as project based rather than enterprise wise,” she said.

Welcoming the move to set up an independent regulator for the sector, Ms Pulusani said such a body must be inclusive and have representatives from the private sector and the academia and not just with Government focus.

“As the Map Policy frees up digital map information, we will be able to deploy more applications in this area. The industry should look at the developed countries where such applications have been deployed to replicate here,” she said.

Earlier, speaking at a session on Geospatial Technology – Development and Trends, Mr Mark Steele, Chief Operating Officer, Tele Atlas Asia Pacific, said, “Navigational devices are no longer a novelty. Soon navigation devices will be ubiquitous just like the mobile phones.”

He also said that the future of digital maps will have higher levels of accuracy but for this collection is the key.

“The new applications and digital maps of the future will have more personal information and this will be the next wave that we will ride,” Mr Steele added.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 09:28
 

Inflation pronounced in South India

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Source : The Business Line Date : 23.01.2009

Inflation pronounced in South India

A. Srinivas

Bangalore, Jan. 22 Inflation in food articles might have abated after a relentless rise since July 2008, but it has taken its toll on the ordinary citizen, particularly in the southern States. These States have led the price increase between July and November in both rural and urban areas.

Urban centres, large and small, seem to have experienced higher inflation in south India than their counterparts elsewhere.

The price rise was perhaps more pronounced relative to inflation in rural areas in these States. Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai not only emerge as India’s most expensive cities, but also record slightly higher levels of inflation than other regions in their respective States.

In November, consumer price inflation for agricultural labourers (CPI-AW) and industrial workers (CPI-IW) stood at 11.1 per cent and 10.45 per cent. Food products and food articles account for a weight of 67 per cent in the index for agricultural workers and 47 per cent in the index for industrial workers.

If CPI-IW is almost at the same level as CPI-AL, with fuel price inflation (5.5 per cent in the CPI-IW) receding in the latter half of 2008 and housing prices (16.4 per cent in the CPI-IW) remaining flat, it is likely that food article prices rose more sharply in some urban areas.

The other possibility is the higher rise in prices of services in urban India, categorised under ‘miscellaneous’ in CPI-IW and accounting for a weight of 24 per cent.

In double digits

CPI-AL inflation in November was pronounced in Kerala (15.7 per cent), Tamil Nadu (14.9 per cent), Karnataka (14.7 per cent) and Punjab (13.9 per cent).

The other States where the rates were in double digits were Haryana (11.7 per cent), Rajasthan (11.5 per cent), Maharashtra (11 per cent), Manipur (11 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (10.8 per cent).

The States where CPI-AL rise was in single digits were Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Tripura, Meghalaya Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Except for Tripura, which recorded CPI-AL inflation of 5.84 per cent, the rest were over 7 per cent and close to double digits.

If the southern States led the rise in rural prices, Bangalore (16 per cent), Hyderabad (16 per cent) and Chennai (14 per cent) reported major increases in CPI-IW in November.

Pondicherry and Coimbatore clocked an inflation rate of 16.5 per cent 12.5 per cent, respectively, in November. The smaller southern centres such as Alwaye and Mundakayam reported inflation rates of 11.3 per cent and 16.8 per cent.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 June 2009 09:18
 


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