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February 28, 2001 - February 28, 2001

Prayer meetings for quake victims held Wednesday, February 28, 2001

RAJKOT: Prayer meetings were organised in almost all wards of the city on Monday in memory of the thousands killed in the earthquake of January 26.

A two-minute silence was observed at 8.46 am in Bhuj city. People of all religions organised such meetings to mourn the dead. In some temples in Saurashtra, special aartis were performed.

Meanwhile, the call for school bandh given by the National Students Union of India evoked a good response.

Most schools remained closed in protest against failure of the education department to give mass promotions from standard 1 to 9 and 11. Strict police bandobast was made to prevent any clashes.


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983348662,66744,Budget Thursday, January 1, 1970

gujaratplus

Thursday, January 1, 1970

Agricutlure and Rural development.

The government has already announced the first ever national policy on Agriculture. The provision of adequate credit flow is critical for agricultural production. Total credit flow to agriculture through institutional channels of commercial banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks is estimated to have reached a level of Rs 515 billion this year, an increase of about 15 per cent over last year.

It is expected to increase to Rs 640 billion in 2001-02 representing an increase of 24 per cent. In order to ensure continued healthy growth of the agricultural sector, the finance minister proposed a number of steps:

To help the states, the interest rate charged by NABARD will be reduced from 11.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent. The corpus of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) VII will be increased from Rs 45 billion to Rs 50 billion next year.

The banks will be asked to accelerate Kisan Credit Cards to cover all eligible agricultural farmers within the next three years. The premium burden on this account will be shared by the card issuing institutions.

NABARD and SIDBI were asked to link one lakh Self-Help Groups during the current year. A micro finance development fund has also been set up in NABARD with contribution of Rs 400 million each by NABARD and RBI.

NABARD was permitted to issue capital gains tax exemption bonds last year. This has helped NABARD to mobilise more than Rs 10 billion at lower than normal interest rates thereby reducing its cost of funds. This tax exemption would continue.

The resources from the Watershed Development Fund set up in NABARD would be used to promote people's participation and also enable water users' associations to implement, operate and maintain irrigation schemes.

In 1999, a credit linked subsidy scheme for construction of cold storages for perishable commodities was announced. The finance minister has announced the extension of this scheme to cover rural godowns also. The loans would carry an adequate long-term repayment period and would enable individuals, cooperative societies and others to build godowns.

This scheme will enable small farmers to enhance their holding capacity in order to sell their produce at remunerate p

Tax-free relief bonds for quake-hit Gujarat Wednesday, February 28, 2001

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government will be allowed to raise funds by floating tax-free earthquake relief bonds, finance minister Yashwant Sinha announced on Wednesday.

The bonds would be open to subscription in rupees to individuals and others including non-resident Indians through the Reserve Bank of India, Sinha said while presenting the 2001-02 budget in the Lok Sabha.

He said the Centre had also made arrangements with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for obtaining a line of credit of US $800 million forrehabilitation measures in the quake-hit state.

While the National Housing Bank and HUDCO had set apart adequate funds for housing reconstruction, the finance minister also proposed to allocate a special quota of tax-free bonds of the order of Rs 2000 crore between the two institutions.

He said the national calamity contingency fund, set up with an initial corpus of Rs 500 crore, was being augmented by imposition of a two per cent surcharge on personal income tax and corporate tax.

While Rs 500 crore was made available to Gujarat immediately after the January 26 quake from the fund, further assistance would be provided to the state government under various centrally-sponsored schemes for reconstruction of roads, bridges, power installations, school buildings, public utilities and other public infrastructure, he said.

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Tax-free relief bonds for quake-hit Gujarat Wednesday, February 28, 2001

NEW DELHI: The Gujarat government will be allowed to raise funds by floating tax-free earthquake relief bonds, finance minister Yashwant Sinha announced on Wednesday.

The bonds would be open to subscription in rupees to individuals and others including non-resident Indians through the Reserve Bank of India, Sinha said while presenting the 2001-02 budget in the Lok Sabha.

He said the Centre had also made arrangements with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for obtaining a line of credit of US $800 million forrehabilitation measures in the quake-hit state.

While the National Housing Bank and HUDCO had set apart adequate funds for housing reconstruction, the finance minister also proposed to allocate a special quota of tax-free bonds of the order of Rs 2000 crore between the two institutions.

He said the national calamity contingency fund, set up with an initial corpus of Rs 500 crore, was being augmented by imposition of a two per cent surcharge on personal income tax and corporate tax.

While Rs 500 crore was made available to Gujarat immediately after the January 26 quake from the fund, further assistance would be provided to the state government under various centrally-sponsored schemes for reconstruction of roads, bridges, power installations, school buildings, public utilities and other public infrastructure, he said.

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