Central government Current Affairs - 2019

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RBI sets the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA)

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in consultation with the government of India has set the limits for Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for the first half of the financial year 2019-20 (April 2019 to September 2019) at Rs 75000 crore.

What is Ways and Means Advances (WMA)?

Ways and Means Advances is the temporary loan facility provided by the RBI to the centre and state governments. The WMA scheme was introduced in 1997 to meet any temporary mismatches in the receipts and payments of the government.

The WMA needs to be vacated after 90 days. The interest rate for WMA is currently charged at the repo rate. The limits for WMA are decided by the RBI and in consultation with the Government of India.

Further, the RBI provides an overdraft facility when the WMA limit is breached. The overdraft is not allowed beyond 10 consecutive working days. The interest rate on overdrafts would be 2 per cent more than the repo rate.

WMA Scheme for State Governments

For the State Governments, there are two types of WMA – Special and Normal WMA. Special WMA is provided against the collateral of the government securities held by the State Government. After the exhaustion of the special WMA limit, the State Government are provided with a normal WMA which is based on a three-year average of actual revenue and capital expenditure of the state.

Centre asks states to step-up spending under District Mineral Fund

The Central government has asked the states to step-up the spending under District Mineral Fund as just 24 per cent of the Rs 23,606-crore mopped up under the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) was actually spent. The central government has also issued directions to ensure that there is no fund diversion or leakage.

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY)

Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) is aimed at the welfare of areas and people affected by mining-related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs). The objectives of the PMKKKY are:

  • To implement various developmental and welfare projects/programs in mining-affected areas that complement the existing ongoing schemes/projects of State and Central Government.
  • To minimize/mitigate the adverse impacts, during and after mining, on the environment, health and socio-economics of people in mining districts.
  • To ensure long-term sustainable livelihoods for the affected people in mining areas. Care has been taken to include all aspects of living, to ensure substantial improvement in the quality of life.

Further, the scheme mandates that 60 % share of the funds be spent on high priority areas like drinking water supply, health care, sanitation, education, skill development, women and child care, the welfare of aged and disabled people, skill development and environmental conservation.

Balance funds can be used for creating a supportive and conducive living environment by making roads, bridges, railways, waterways projects, irrigation and alternative energy sources.

The Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 makes it mandatory for the miners to contribute to the District Mineral Funds a percentage of the royalty payable to the government. The funds accumulated in the District Mineral Funds would be used for implementing PMKKKY.