The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises gets ISO 9001: 2008 Certificate
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification, demonstrating the Ministry’s mission of promoting the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with dedication and commitment.
Implementation of ISO standards will enable the Ministry to identify areas for improvement and also bring in transparency and accountability in the functioning. The Ministry is one of the first in Government of India to be awarded ISO certification.
During implementation of ISO 9001: 2008 standards, the Ministry was able to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for its functions and activities and compare and benchmark these standard operating procedures with other similar organizations in Government of India, states, private sector or international organizations.
The award of ISO 9001:2008 certification indicates that the Ministry has implemented a quality management system that enables it to consistently provide services that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
About ISO 9001:2008:
ISO 9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization
- needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements, and
- Aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
All requirements of ISO 9001:2008 are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, size and product provided.
Third-party certification bodies provide independent confirmation that organizations meet the requirements of ISO 9001.
Sources: PIB, http://www.iso.org/.
Oil Ministry to seek consultations on premium pricing for deep water blocks
The petroleum ministry is set to invite comment from stakeholders and experts on the pricing methodology for natural gas produced from blocks located in deep-water, ultra deep-water, high-pressure and high-temperature areas.
Deep-water blocks are those located at depths of more than 1,000 metres, unlike shallow-water blocks (100-500 metres). Blocks at depths beyond 1,500 metres are classified ultra deep-water ones.
The Union Cabinet had approved a 33 per cent rise in the price of natural gas — from the current $4.2 per million British thermal units (mBtu) to $5.61 per mBtu. It had also said all discoveries in deep-water, ultra deep-water, high-pressure and high-temperature areas would be given a premium on the new price. These prices will be determined through a transparent process so that apprehension that there will be discretion in pricing is minimised.
Under the new pricing regime, scientific data will be collected and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons will conduct an analysis on a case-to-case basis to assess whether the stakeholder’s claim is genuine.
Nabard sanctions under RIDF
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned projects worth Rs 1,023.73 crore for Odisha under the 20th tranche of Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for 2014-15.
The RIDF was set up by the Government of India in 1995-96 for financing ongoing rural Infrastructure projects. The Fund is maintained by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Domestic commercial banks contribute to the Fund to the extent of their shortfall in stipulated priority sector lending to agriculture. The main objective of the Fund is to provide loans to State Governments and State-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects. The shortfall in disbursements of RIDF funds as compared to sanctions continues to remain a matter of concern in the implementation of RIDF.
The Government has taken a number of steps to address this problem. The scope of RIDF has been widened to include activities such as rural drinking water schemes, soil conservation, rural market yards, rural health centres and primary schools, mini hydel plants, shishu shiksha kendras, anganwadis, and system improvement in the power sector. The ambit was extended to projects undertaken by Panchayat Raj institutions and projects in the social sector covering primary education, health and drinking water.
The activities to be financed under RIDF include minor irrigation projects/micro irrigation, flood protection, watershed development/reclamation of waterlogged areas, drainage, forest development, market yard/godown, apna mandi, rural haats and other marketing infrastructure, cold storage, seed/agriculture/horticulture farms, plantation and horticulture, grading and certifying mechanisms such as testing and certifying laboratories, etc.,community irrigation wells for irrigation purposes for the village as a whole, fishing harbour/jetties, riverine fisheries, animal husbandry and modern abattoir.
FMC liberalises norms on commodities futures
Liberalising commodity futures market, the Forward Markets Commission (FMC) has more than doubled the open position limit in agricultural commodities, to increase the depth in terms of participation for genuine hedgers.
Under the liberalised norms:
- The commodities derivatives market regulator has set a formula-based open market position and capped at 50 per cent of the estimated production and imports in agri commodities. The member position limit shall be 10 times the client-level position limit or 20 per cent of the market-wide open interest, whichever is higher. The exchanges have been asked to synchronise action on expiry of the current month contracts.
- Client-level position limits shall be the numerical position caps as decided from time to time or five per cent of the market-wide open interest, whichever is higher. For the present, the numerical position limits existing shall continue.
- The near-month limits in case of agri commodities and their products shall be restricted to half the overall position limits. This decision will be reviewed after six months, for progressively moving towards 100 per cent of the overall position limits, with the growth of liquidity and volumes.
- In the case of agri commodities and their products, the client-level position limit shall be limited to one per cent of the total production and import. The position shall be netted out at the client level and grossed up at the member level for computing, said FMC. Earlier, traders used to take their position through different names, including friends, relatives and benamis, to get maximum exposure. Now, they will be able to trade under one name with true genuineness, resulting in quality trades on the exchange platforms.
- The data on genuine hedgers should be kept ready and be produced upon requirement. The regulator has been gradually liberalising commodity futures trading, in phases.
- It ordered exchanges to disclose the positions of the top 10 trading clients each on both (buy and sell) sides. The exchange shall disclose the hedge position and delivery intent of hedgers, in addition to pay-in and pay-out of commodities made by the top 10 clients, including hedgers.
- To promote hedging and arbitrage, for hedgers/sellers which have made early pay-in of commodities against sale positions even before the staggered delivery period sets in, the quantity so delivered in early pay-in and marked for delivery shall be excluded in computation of the position limits.
- Also, to encourage the spread trades, which are offsetting positions between different months in the same contract and provide needed liquidity, the positions in the same contract or contracts on the same commodity shall be netted out. The latter shall be permitted even in near-month contracts, with the offsetting position in the far months, said FMC.
The revision in agri commodities is very much in favour of futures trade, as it would widen the depth for genuine participants who remained capped with numerical position limits in the past. The new limit will at least double client-based and member-based positions.
Forward Markets Commission (FMC) headquartered at Mumbai, is a regulatory authority for commodity futures market in India. It is a statutory body set up under Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act 1952.
The functions of the Forward Markets Commission are as follows:
(a) To advise the Central Government in respect of the recognition or the withdrawal of recognition from any association or in respect of any other matter arising out of the administration of the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act 1952.
(b) To keep forward markets under observation and to take such action in relation to them, as it may consider necessary, in exercise of the powers assigned to it by or under the Act.
(c) To collect and whenever the Commission thinks it necessary, to publish information regarding the trading conditions in respect of goods to which any of the provisions of the Act is made applicable, including information regarding supply, demand and prices, and to submit to the Central Government, periodical reports on the working of forward markets relating to such goods;
(d) To make recommendations generally with a view to improving the organization and working of forward markets;
(e) To undertake the inspection of the accounts and other documents of any recognized association or registered association or any member of such association whenever it considers it necessary.
The Commission functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India.
The Act provides that the Commission shall consist of not less than two but not exceeding four members appointed by the Central Government, out of them one being nominated by the Central Government to be the Chairman of the Commission.