NHB Residex, SGB Scheme and Palur Canal Complete Analysis July 31

Current Affairs and News Digest for 29 July

Housing prices are alive and kicking

A new NHB Residex shows prices across most cities have risen, despite stories of over supply and dull demand.

What is NHB Residex?

  • Launching Date – July 2007 discontinued in 2015 and reintroduced in July 2017.
  • Set of benchmarks that aims to track housing price indicators across Indian cities
  • Base year (2012-13)
  • Developed by National Housing Bank.
  • City coverage rising from initially 26 to 50, raised to be 100
  • The NHB Residex currently offers two sets of quarterly Housing Price Indices (HPIs)

New gold bond scheme may draw more investors

The Government announced a few changes in its Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme. Annual consumption of gold in India is in the range of 700- 800 tonnes

Changes

  • Change in limit 4 kg from 0.5kg for individuals, HUF and 20 kg for Trusts.
  • The increase in the annual investment limit
  • Added incentives are the interest which will be paid on the bonds, and zero capital gains tax on redemption.

About Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) Scheme

  • Launched in  November 2015
  • The sovereign gold bond initially introduced has achieved only limited success.
  • Another factor diminishing the attractiveness of the SGB is its price being pegged to a 10% import duty.

Suggestions

  1. The Government should fix the pricing of SGB at bullion rates exclusive of import duty and IGST In case of physical delivery of bullion against SGB at a later date, import duty and IGST should be levied at the point of delivery.
  2. Government should allow mass channels such as gold loan Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) to also market it

150-year-old Palur canal cleared of encroachments

Encroachments by illegal prawn enclosures which had choked the Palu have been removed as part of a massive exercise being undertaken by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA). The drive is intended to improve the lake’s fish resources.

About Palur Canal

  • Canal linking Chilika lagoon with the Bay of Bengal at the Rushikulya river mouth.
  • The 21-km-long canal is environmentally significant because it is one of three major links that connect Chilika with the sea
  • It is an engineering marvel. During tidal surges, the height of tide was the same both at the mouth as also the tail-end. It was a zero-gravity canal.
  • Excavation by the British During the infamous famine, known as Na-anka Durbhikya in 1866, the Palur canal was dug up by the British.

Rushikulya river

The Rushikulya originates from Daringbadi hills (also called ‘ Kashmir of Odisha ‘) of the Eastern Ghats range. Its tributaries are the Baghua, the Dhanei, the Badanadi etc. It has no delta as such at its mouth.

Technology park turns rural women self-reliant

  1. The first of its kind Women Technology Park (WTP) set up by the S.R. Engineering College with the help of government agencies is proving to be a boon for the rural poor.
  2. The WTP is sponsored by Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development (SEED) Division under Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  3. It is now engaged in demonstration and dissemination of rural technologies related to weaving, metal art ware, banana fibre extraction, construction and habitat services, agro and forest based processing technologies.

Importance

  1. Such type of initiative are very helpful in making women self reliant specially in rural areas.
  2. Alternative source for income for rural women.
  3. Program is helping in women empowerment, Self Reliance, innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

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