The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said Madhya Pradesh has been permitted to raise additional Rs 1,423 crore through market borrowing after the state implemented power sector reforms. In a statement, the ministry said Madhya Pradesh has started Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of electricity subsidy to farmers in one district of the state with effect from December 2020. Thus, it has successfully implemented one of the three stipulated reforms in the power sector.
Successful implementation of the reform has made the state eligible to mobilise additional financial resources equivalent to 0.15 per cent of its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). "Accordingly, the Department of Expenditure has granted permission to the State to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs 1,423 crore through Open Market Borrowings. This has provided the much needed additional financial resources to the State to fight COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.
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The Centre had in May last year enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 per cent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms by the states. The states get permission to raise additional funds equivalent to 0.25 per cent of GSDP on completion of reforms in each sector.
The four citizen-centric areas identified for reforms were (a) Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, (b) Ease of doing business reform, (c) Urban Local body/ utility reforms and (d) Power Sector reforms. Till now, 14 states have carried out at least one of the four stipulated reforms and have been granted reform linked borrowing permissions.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.