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Deal signed for improvement of two northeastern states

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Agartala: To improve the infrastructure of two northeastern states Tripura and Mizoram, the government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an $80-million loan on Thursday.

“The loan is the third tranche of a $200-million financing facility under the North Eastern Region Capital Cities Development Investment Program and will be used for investments in water supply, solid waste management and sanitation in Agartala and Aizawl,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

“It will also support urban reforms, benefiting nearly a million people in the two cities,” it added.

Not only these two cities, previous programme tranches have provided assistance to three other cities in the northeast Shillong, Kohima, and Gangtok, the capital cities of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim, respectively.

Joint Secretary (multilateral institutions) in the department of economic affairs, Ministry of Finance, Raj Kumar, signed the agreement on Thursday on behalf of the Indian government

On the other side, Teresa Kho, country director in ADB’s India resident mission, signed on behalf of the ADB.

Whereas separate sub-project agreements were signed between central government officials and representatives of the governments of Tripura and Mizoram.

“The loan will support further investments to increase access to sustainable and improved urban services, with Aizwal and Agartala cities, selected for financing under the third tranche of the programme based on their progress on reforms and implementation performance under earlier tranches,” the Ministry statement said.

The third tranche loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 20-year term and it’s the responsibility of the Urban Development Ministry to implement the third tranche’s activities and overall programme, which are both due for completion by June 2019.

Manila-based ADB works to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, including 48 from the region.(IANS)

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Diverse Gathering To be Adressed This World Biofuel Day: PM Modi

The Prime Minister will address the gathering on how biofuels can help reduce import dependency on crude oil and their contribution to a cleaner environment, generate additional income for farmers, and generate employment in rural areas

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Modi will be the chief guest for the inaugural session of the programme on Friday which is being held at Vigyan Bhawan by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Wikimedia Commons
Modi will be the chief guest for the inaugural session of the programme on Friday which is being held at Vigyan Bhawan by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a diverse gathering here consisting of farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs, students, government officials and legislators to mark the World Biofuel Day 2018, a government statement said on Thursday.

Modi will be the chief guest for the inaugural session of the programme on Friday which is being held at Vigyan Bhawan by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

The programme would witness participation of sugarcane farmers, scientists, entrepreneurs in biofuels, students of agriculture, science and engineering streams, members of parliament, ambassadors, officers of Central and State government and companies involved in the bio-energy sector, said the statement.

The Prime Minister will address the gathering on how biofuels can help reduce import dependency on crude oil and their contribution to a cleaner environment, generate additional income for farmers, and generate employment in rural areas, it added.

The World Biofuel Day, which is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the last three years, is observed on August 10. IANS
The World Biofuel Day, which is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the last three years, is observed on August 10. IANS

Biofuels have synergies with various government initiatives, including enhancing farmers’ incomes, and Swachh Bharat, said the statement, adding, as a result of the efforts of the Centre, ethanol blending in petrol had increased to 141 crore litres in financial year 2017-2018, as compared to 38 crore litres recorded in financial year 2013-2014.

“The Government also approved the National Policy on Biofuels in June 2018,” the statement said.

Also Read: Modi Becomes A “Rockstar” After Posting His Fitness Video

The World Biofuel Day, which is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the last three years, is observed on August 10 to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. (IANS)