The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has made a joint Press Statement along with the President of Costa Rica, Mr. Carlos Alvarado Quesada, in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 08, 2019.

Following is the text of Vice President's statement:

"Your Excellency President Carlos Alvarado Quesada

& Distinguished Representatives of the Costa Rican Media

My delegation and I are indeed delighted to visit Costa Rica, which is a beautiful country and a leading economy in Central America.

Costa Rica has highest per sq km biodiversity in the world. Its rich flora and fauna are well known. It has 25% of protected green cover and holds highest ranking in the Happy Planet Index for being the greenest with highest environment-friendly disposition and attitude.

Yesterday I had addressed a business forum meeting.

Earlier today, I was honoured to be given the opportunity to speak at University of Peace.

Coming from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and in the year when we celebrate 150th anniversary of Bapu's birthday, the gesture was particularly moving for me.

India is a peace loving country but has been a target of terrorism from across our border for the last few decades.

We discussed in detail the menace of terrorism and the need to fight in one voice. The dastardly terrorist attack on the Indian security forces on February 14, 2019 in Pulwama by a terrorist organization proscribed by the UN has once again demonstrated the need for decisive action by international community against individuals and terrorist groups engaged in terrorist activities.

President Quesada and I have had fruitful and cordial exchanges covering a range of areas of mutual interest spanning bilateral, regional and multilateral fields.

There are many new areas of collaboration that hold potential to propel our bilateral relations to new heights.

Costa Rican strengths that we desire to take advantage of include eco tourism, clean transport including support to bicycling, higher investment in education, ambition to have a zero carbon emission economy by 2021.

Indian strengths that Costa Rica can benefit from include space and biotechnology, renewable including solar, pharmaceuticals, ICT particularly eGovernance, hydroelectric generators and power plant equipments, farm machinery and skill upgradation, railway construction and rolling stock.

I invited Costa Rican companies to invest in India. I pointed out that as many Costa Rican CEOs and influential businessmen have close connections with angel investors and businessmen in the developed countries, they may look at expanding to India and benefiting from high return on investment offered by the attractive Indian economy.

We can collaborate effectively and to mutual benefit through academic exchange, university to university collaboration including high speed virtual connectivity.

Based on our fruitful exchanges, we are confident that our mutual efforts will open up new and innovative vistas for deepening ongoing engagement between both countries.

With air connectivity using code sharing between our airlines and visitor friendly visas, we would be able to promote closer people to people linkages which are the prerequisite for widening and deepening of bilateral relations.

We applaud proclamation of a Presidential decree in October 2018 whereby all activities and initiatives related to promotion of Yoga and Meditation have been declared to be in public interest thereby facilitating the promotion of Yoga within Costa Rica.

The two rounds of our Foreign Office Consultations till date have proved very useful to comprehensively discuss the various issues that our relationship encompasses. We have asked our teams to hold the next round of the Consultations at an early date.

I express my sincere thanks to President Quesada and the people of Costa Rica for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for our visit."



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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, attended the National Women Livelihood Meet-2019,held at Deendayal Hastkala Sankul in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on International Women’s Day.

The Prime Minister visited the exhibition on products manufactured by Self Help Groups aided by Uttar Pradesh Rural Livelihood Mission. He distributed Electric Chaak, Solar Charkha and Honey Warp to women beneficiaries and appreciation letters to five women Self Help Groups. Various women Self Help Groups supported by Deendayal Anthodia Yojana, NRLM-Uttar Pradesh, handedover a cheque of Rs.21 lakh to the Prime Minister,astheir contribution towards ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ Fund.

Paying his respect to all women on International Women’s Day, Prime Minister said that women have an important role in creating New India. He expressed happiness that over65 lakh women from around 75000 locations are participating in the event through video conference. He added that Varanasi is a shining example of women empowerment.

The Prime Minister said thatgovernment is completely committed towards the empowerment of women. He mentioned about the various schemes initiated by the Union Government for the welfare of women and girl children, especially in the fields of health, nutrition, sanitation, education, skill development, self-employment, new gas connections andensuring safety and security of women. He said that maternity leave of six months introduced by the government is one of the best in the world.

Women are given priority in all Union Government schemes, PM said. He added that eleven crore out of the fifteen crore Mudra Loans given out so far, have been given to women.

Appreciating the exceptional work done by Self Help Groups in India, PM said that their work is not only resulting in the betterment of their family but also leading to the development of nation. He said that the government is giving new energy to the Self Help Groups in terms of better bank loans and support systems. Around fifty lakh Self Help Groups covering around six crore women are now present in the country, PM added. He said that the vision of his government is to connect at least one women member in every family with a Self Help Group.

The Prime Minister urged the Self Help Groups to be innovative and understand theirmarket better. He asked them to utilize the GEM portal to sell their products to the Government. Self Help Groups should spread to new sectors wherever there is scope for their involvement, PM said.

The Prime Minister asked women to fully utilize the recently launched Pradhan MantriShramMaan-dhanYojana, as it provides financial security during old age. He also mentioned about the benefits of PM KisanSammanNidhi and Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

The Prime Minister also interacted with the members of Self Help Groups in Varanasi.




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Cabinet committee of on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has taken several key decisions for strengthening of the power sector today. Approval was given for four projects worth over Rs. 39,000 crore located at Buxar (Bihar), Khurja (UP), Kishtwar (J&K) and Sirwani (Sikkim). In addition to these, Cabinet approved measures to promote development of Hydro Power and to alleviate the stress in thermal power projects. Details of these projects/polices are as given below-


1. Buxar Thermal Power Project: The CCEA has approved the proposal of Investment approval for 2x660 MW Buxar Thermal Power Project (Buxar TPP) in District Buxar of Bihar at an estimated cost of Rs. 10,439.09 Crore. The plant will be set up by SJVN Thermal Private Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of SJVN Ltd., a Mini Ratna CPSU under Ministry of Power, Govt. of India.


The Buxar TPP will be based on Supercritical Technology with two units of 660 MW each, equipped with latest emission control technology to protect the environment and has high efficiency. The Buxar TPP will improve the deficit power scenario in Bihar and Eastern region. Govt. of Bihar has already signed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for supply of not less than 85% of generated power.


The project is expected to generate substantial direct and indirect employment apart from various other socio-economic development in the project area. The Buxar TPP will start generating power from 2023-24.


2. Khurja Super Thermal Power Plant: CCEA have approved the proposal for setting up a 2x660MW Super Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in Khurja, District Bulandshahar of Uttar Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs.11,089.42 crores and has also approved the funds for the development of the allotted coal block – the Amelia Coal Mine in District Singraulli, Madhya Pradesh at an estimated cost of Rs. 1587.16 crores. The project will be set up by THDC India Limited, a Mini Ratna CPSU under the Ministry of Power, Govt. of India.


The Khurja STPP will be based on Supercritical Technology with two units of capacity 660 MW each, equipped with latest emission control technology to protect the environment and has high efficiency and uses less fuel to generate power. Amelia Coal Mine was allotted to THDC India Limited by Ministry of Coal, Govt. of India in January, 2017.The Khurja STPP will improve the deficit power scenario of Northern Region and particularly of Uttar Pradesh, which has already signed Power Purchase Agreement with THDC India Limited for purchase of 60% Power from the Project and the other beneficiary states i.e Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.


The project is expected to generate substantial direct and indirect employment and overall development of District Bulandshahr and nearby districts of Western Uttar Pradesh. The Khurja STPP will start yielding benefits from 2023-24.


3. KIRU HEP : The CCEA has approved the investment sanction for construction of Kiru HE Project (624 MW) by M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (M/s CVPPPL), at an estimated cost of Rs. 4287.59 crore. M/s CVPPPL, is a joint venture company amongst NHPC, JKSPDC and PTC with equity shareholding of 49%, 49% and 2% respectively.

The project is located on River Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir. It envisages construction of a 135 m high concrete gravity Dam, with installed capacity 624 MW (4 x 156 MW). The Project would generate 2272.02 MU in a 90% dependable year.

The project shall provide much needed power to the Northern grid and shall accelerate the process of development of remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir. The Project is scheduled to be completed in a period of 4 ½ years.

4. Teesta VI HEP: Teesta Stage-VI HE Project is  a Run of River (RoR) Scheme in Sirwani Village of Sikkim to utilize the power potential of Teesta River Basin in cascade manner. It  consists of construction of a 26.5 m high Barrage across river Teesta. The project would generate 2400 MUs in a 90% dependable year with Installed Capacity of 500 MW (4x125 MW).

The Project was earlier proposed to be developed by a SPV i.e. M/s LancoTeesta Hydro Power Ltd (LTHPL), promoted by the Lanco Group. However, due to financial crunch in the Company, the Project could not be completed by scheduled completion time.

Accordingly, the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) was initiated by order dated 16.03.2018 of Hon’ble NCLT, Hyderabad Bench. In Bidding Process under NCLT, NHPC has emerged as highest bidder with Bid Amount of Rs. 907.00 crore. Accordingly, the investment proposal for an estimated cost of.Rs 5748.04 crore, being implemented by NHPC Limited, a CPSU of Government of India, has been approved by the CCEA on 07th of  March, 2019. Completion period of the project shall be 60 months.


5. Stressed Thermal Power Projects: The CCEA has approved the recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to examine the specific recommendations of High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) constituted to address the issues of Stressed Thermal Power Projects.


The Government of India constituted a High Level Empowered Committee (HLEC) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary to address the issues of stressed thermal power projects. The committee made its recommendations to resolve the stress in thermal power sector and submitted its report in Nov' 18. The report of HLEC is available on the website of Ministry of Power. The Government thereafter constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to examine the specific recommendations of HLEC and forward its comments for consideration of the Cabinet. Subsequently GoM recommended majority of HLEC recommendations.


The CCEA has approved recommendations of the GoM mainly relating to grant of linkage coal for short-term PPA, allowed existing coal linkage to be used in case of termination of PPAs due to payment default by DISCOMs, procurement of bulk power by a nodal agency against pre-declared linkages, Central/State Gencos may act as an aggregator of power, increase in quantity of coal for special forward e-auction for power sector, coal linkage auctions to be held at regular intervals, non-lapsing of short supplies of coal, ACQ to be determined based on efficiency, payment of Late Payment Surcharge (LPS) made mandatory, non-cancellation of PPA/FSA/LTOA post NCLT scenario and non-cancellation of PPA for non-compliance of COD. With the implementation of these recommendations, many of the issues affecting the Thermal Power Sector are likely to get resolved.

6. Measures to Promote Hydropower Sector: In order to promote Hydropower sector, the Cabinet has approved the Proposal of Ministry of Power to adopt some measures. It has been decided to declare Large Hydropower Projects (LHPs i.e. above 25 MW capacity) as Renewable Energy, separate Hydropower Purchase Obligation (HPO) for LHPs commissioned after notification of the measures. Extend budgetary support for flood moderation and enabling infrastructure, i.e., roads & bridges. Methodology for tariff setting has been revised to ensure that tariff is back loaded.



Read more: CCEA approves power projects worth over Rs....

PM to visit Varanasi, Kanpur and Ghaziabad Tomorrow

Foundation Stone of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor to be laid in Varanasi Lucknow Metro Rail Project to be inaugurated, Panki Power Plant to be unveiled & Foundation Stone of Agra Metro Rail Project to be laid by PM in Kanpur Hindon Airport Civil Terminal to be inaugurated & Foundation stone of Delhi - Ghaziabad - Meerut RRTS to be laid by PM in Ghaziabad

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will visit Varanasi, Kanpur and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh on 8th March 2019. He will unveil multiple development projects for the state.

At Varanasi

The Prime Minister will visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi. He will lay the foundation stone of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple approach Road, Beautification & Strengthening Project. Later PM will inspect the project site. 

PM will attend National Women Livelihood Meet – 2019 at Deendayal Hastkala Sankul in Varanasi. He will distribute appreciation letters to five Women Self Help Groups. Members of the Women Self Help Groups will also share their experiences with Prime Minister.

PM will distribute Electric Chaak, Solar Charkha and Honey Warp and Cheque to beneficiaries.

Women SHGs aided by Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - NRLM, Uttar Pradesh will hand over a cheque to the Prime Minister for contribution in 'Bharat Ke Veer' Fund. 

PM will also address a public gathering 

 At Kanpur

PM will unveil the Panki Power Plant, establishment of new 660 megawatt electricity generation and distribution unit. PM will inaugurate Lucknow Metro Rail Project. He will also Flag-off Metro Rail from Ch. Charan Singh Airport Station, Lucknow through video link. PM will lay foundation stone for Agra Metro Rail Project.

PM will distribute keys to beneficiaries of PMAY.

Later, PM will also address a gathering on this occasion.

 At Ghaziabad

PM will inaugurate Dilshad Garden - Shaheed Sthal (New Bus Adda) Section of Metro. He will flag-off the Metro Rail from Shaheed Sthal Metro Station. This elevated metro corridor section will have 8 stations. It will provide convenient mode of transport for people in Ghaziabad and New Delhi and will ease the traffic congestion. 

PM will inaugurate the Hindon Airport Civil Terminal at Hindon Airport Civil Terminal, Ghaziabad. Passengers from Western Uttar Pradesh and NCR region will be benefit from the operation of domestic flights from this new civil airport terminal at Hindon. 

PM will lay foundation stone of Delhi - Ghaziabad - Meerut RRTS. This is one of the first, high speed and high frequency rail based Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project. It will greatly improve the regional transport facility and create many employment opportunities.

The Prime Minister will also unveil various development Projects for education, housing, drinking water, sanitation and sewerage management in Ghaziabad.

He will distribute certificates to beneficiaries of various schemes.

Later, he will address a public gathering.




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