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PM Modi lays foundation stone for Rs 13,000 crore Talcher fertiliser project in Odisha

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Ajmer

Talcher (Odisha) | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Rs 13,000 crore-project to revive the Talcher fertiliser plant will for the first time see coal being converted into gas for use as a feedstock and for producing neem-coated urea.

The project, which will start its production in 36 months, will help cut import of natural gas and fertiliser and make India self-reliant, he said. “Our aim is to take India to new heights of growth,” he said at a function organised to mark the commencement of the project.

Projects like the fertiliser plant here are central to India’s growth story, he said. “This plant will use the latest technology as well.” The beginning of work on the plant would fulfil the dreams that should have been fulfilled long ago, he said.

The project will produce 1.27 million tonnes of neem-coated urea – a crop nutrient and would use coal-gasification technology to produce feedstock for the plant. “Coal-gasification is being used for the first time in India to covert this ‘black diamond’ coal into gas. This would help reduce import of natural gas fertiliser,” he said adding the project would also generate employment for about 4,500 people.

The project is being executed by a consortium of PSUs, which Modi said, is a shining example of how the country’s ‘crown jewels’ can work together. “I am told production will start in 36 months. I promise to be here in 36 months at the start of production,” he said.

Talcher fertiliser project of the Fertilizer Corporation of India was shut in 2002 by the then BJP-led NDA government as frequent power restrictions, obsolete and mismatch of technology made the plant economically unviable.

The government in August 2011 decided to revive the plant. A new company – Talcher Fertilisers Ltd – was constituted with four state-run companies namely GAIL, Coal India, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers and FCIL as partners.

National

Government likely to make announcement on RBI soon: Finance Secretary

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RBI

New Delhi | The government is likely to make an announcement regarding Urjit Patel’s successor as Reserve Bank of India’s Governor later in the day, Finance Secretary A N Jha said.

RBI has been rendered headless following Patel’s unexpected resignation, with immediate effect, Monday. Patel, who is the first governor since 1990 to step down before his term ends, in a brief statement, cited “personal reasons” for the decision.

The decision to quit comes four days ahead of a crucial meeting of the board of the central bank that could have discussed issues of simmering differences with the government. It is expected that the board meeting may be deferred as there is no regular governor.

Speaking to reporters, Jha said, some communication from the government on RBI is expected.

Patel’s three-year term was to end in September 2019, and he was eligible for a second term like most of his successors, barring a few like his outspoken predecessor Raghuram Rajan.

A Kenyan national who acquired an Indian citizenship prior to being appointed Deputy Governor of RBI in January 2013, Oxford-trained Patel was initially seen as toeing government line after he backed the November 2016 shock decision to overnight junk 86 per cent of the currency in circulation.

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National

Former Kerala Minister C N Balakrishnan dead

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Kochi | Veteran Congress leader and former Kerala minister C N Balakrishnan died at a private hospital here, party sources said Tuesday.

He was 84. Balakrishnan, a former Cooperation minister, undergoing treatment for pneumonia at a private hospital here and the end came late Monday night, the sources said.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala were among those who condoled his death.

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National

Eminent economist Surjit Bhalla resigns from EAC-PM

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New Delhi | Eminent economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla on Tuesday said that he had resigned as part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister(EAC-PM) on December 1.

“I resigned as a part-time member of PMEAC on December 1,” Bhalla said on social networking site Twitter.

The EAC- PM is headed by Niti Aayog member Bibek Debroy. Economists Rathin Roy, Ashima Goyal and Shamika Ravi are other part-time members.

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