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Govt digest: TRAI amends MNP, Agri e-market and more

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TRAI amends MNP to enable porting in different cities

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has amended its Mobile Number Portability regulation, to enable subscribers to port their numbers through different operators even when relocating to different cities, reports Business Insider.

Currently users can port their numbers to different subscribers only within their own circle, as a result of the MNP issues in India in Jan 2011. With this move subscribers can retain their number when they move to any of the 22 telecom circles present in India. The amendment also reduced the time-period before which subscribers can return to their original service provider to 60 days from the previous 90 days.

DAC to set up an agri e-market platform

The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) has approved a Central Sector scheme on ‘Promotion of National Agricultural Market through Agri-Tech Infrastructure Fund (ATIF)’ for Rs.200 crores, to be implemented by 2017. The funds will be used to create an e-market platform which will be deployed in 642 wholesale regulated markets across all States and Union Territories (UTs).

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The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) will also be provided with Rs 24 lakh to Rs 34 lakh to create the infrastructure necessary for grading and assaying, IT infrastructure and other facilities, as indicated by this release. States will be required to integrate state-run warehouses with the platform to enable warehouse based sales and delivery, for which a reform to the State APMC Act, if required, is to be made. According to DAC, this will reduce the role of middlemen and unfair trade practices in the sale of agricultural produce, and help farmers get a better price for their goods. However, the guidelines for this scheme are yet to be formulated.

Defence ministry to set up Technology Development Board

The Ministry of Defence will set up a Technology Development Board in the defence sector. An initial sum of Rs 100 crore will be set up by the Government of India for this fund to provide necessary resources to public and private sector companies, including SMEs, as well as academic and scientific institutions, to support research and development of defence systems.

In June last year, the Defence ministry of India has decided to use e-procurement for all purchases above Rs 10 lakh, which will be lowered to Rs 5 lakh from April 1, 2015. Note that the overall military budget was hiked by close to 11% this year to Rs 2.46 lakh crore for the next fiscal as compared to the revised estimates of Rs 2.22 lakh crore for 2014-15 starting June 6, 2014.

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