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Helping the old with physical aids and living devices

A new scheme is being launched for providing physical aids and assisted living devices for senior citizens living below the poverty line (BPL). India has 105 million senior citizens, of whom 10 million are above the age of 80. Seventy per cent live in rural areas and a large number fall under the BPL category. A sizeable percentage also suffers from age-related disabilities..

Read our full coverage on Union Budget Comprehensive Bankruptcy Code on the anvil

A comprehensive Bankruptcy Code will be put together in 2015-16, that will meet global standards and provide the necessary judicial capacity. Bankruptcy law reform is expected to bring about legal certainty and speed, and has been identified as a key priority for improving the ease of doing business.

Encouragement for minority youth to complete school

An integrated education and livelihood scheme called 'Nai Manzil' will be launched this year, to enable minority youth who do not have a formal school-leaving certificate to obtain one and find better employment.

International Finance Centre to take off soon

The first phase of GIFT in Gujarat, envisaged as an International Finance Centre, structured on the lines of the ones at Singapore or Dubai, will become a reality soon. Regulations are to be issued in March.

A scheme to promote world-class innovation

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), with an initial of Rs 150 crore, will be an innovation promotion platform involving academics, entrepreneurs and researchers, and will draw upon national and international experience to foster a culture of innovation, R&D and scientific research in India. The platform is to also promote world-class innovation hubs in India.

Support for start-ups and the self-employed

The government will establish a mechanism to be known as SETU (Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation) with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore. SETU will be a techno-financial, incubation and facilitation programme to support all aspects of start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas.

Move to corporatise ports, attract investment

The success of minor ports has shown that ports can provide an attractive investment opportunity for the private sector. Ports in the public sector need to attract such investment, as well as leverage the huge land resources unused with them. The government will help them to become companies under the Companies Act

Committee to advise on making it easier to set up business

An expert committee is to be appointed to examine ways in which setting up businesses can be made easier and to recommend suitable legislation where the need for multiple prior permissions to launch a new business can be replaced with a pre-existing regulatory mechanism

A new bank to fund unfunded micro enterprises

A Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank, with a corpus of Rs 20,000 crore and credit guarantee corpus of Rs 3,000 crore is to be created. MUDRA Bank will refinance microfinance institutions through a Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. While lending, priority will be given to SC/ST enterprises.

Proposal to support MSMEs and improve their liquidity

An electronic Trade Receivables Discounting System will be established for the financing of trade receivables of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), from corporate and other buyers, through multiple financiers. This is aimed at improving liquidity in the MSME sector. It is expected to help them meet working capital needs.

New mechanism for quick commercial dispute resolution

For the quick resolution of commercial disputes, the government proposes to set up exclusive commercial divisions in various courts in India, based on the recommendations of the 253rd Report of the Law Commission. The government proposes to introduce a Bill in Parliament after consulting all stakeholders.

Financial grievance redressal agency to be established

A task force will be set up on the need for a financial redressal agency that will address grievances against all financial service providers. Work on task forces on the Financial Data Management Centre, the Financial Sector Appellate Tribunal, and the Public Debt Management Agency are progressing satisfactorily, the finance minister said

Government to show-case culture of Parsi community

To show-case the civilisation and culture of the Parsis, the government will support, in 2015-16, an exhibition titled, 'The Everlasting Flame'.

National Skills Mission to be launched

A National Skills Mission is to be launched through the skill development and entrepreneurship ministry. The mission will consolidate skill initiatives spread across several ministries and allow standardised procedures and outcomes across the country's 31 sector skill councils.

Scheme to enhance the employability of rural youth

A Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana is to be launched with a corpus of Rs 1,500 crore, to help enhance the employability of rural youth. The government will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay. A 100th Birthday Celebration Committee will be announced soon, and adequate resources will be provided.

Student loans for middle-class, poor for higher studies

An information technology-based Student Financial Aid Authority is to be set up to administer and monitor scholarship and educational loan schemes, through the Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram. Its objective will be to enable all poor and middle-class students to pursue higher education without funds constraints.

New centres of higher learning and education

All India Institutes of Medical Sciences are to be set up in J&K, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Bihar. An Indian Institute of Technology will be set up in Karnataka, and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad will be upgraded into a full-fledged IIT. Two new IIMs will be set up in J&K and Andhra Pradesh.

Electric vehicles to get a push through a new scheme

The government proposes to launch a scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Electric Vehicles with an initial outlay of Rs 75 crore. This is meant to support manufacturers of such vehicles.

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First Published: Sun, March 01 2015. 00:01 IST