The Fifth edition of South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference was held in New Delhi which was hosted by Public Procurement Division (PPD) of Ministry of Finance and All India Management Association (AIMA).
Key Points: South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference
- The Conference was held under auspices of South Asia Region Public Procurement Network (SARPPN), which is sponsored and facilitated by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank.
- The First Conference was held in Kathmandu in 2010, second in Islamabad (2014), third in Dhaka (2015) and fourth in Sri Lanka (2017). All eight SAR countries spend approximately $550 billion equivalent on public procurement of goods, works and services, which eventually convert to public services.
- The theme of the conference was “Public Procurement and Service Delivery” which aims to strive to improve public procurement of member countries to ensure timely and quality delivery of public services.This will help South Asian Governments to consider enhancements and innovations in their public procurement systems.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stressed on the importance of procedural fairness in public procurement and award of contracts and further clarified that the same can be ensured through transparency and fairness.
- Jaitley further added “The government has taken a number of steps” to bring in greater transparency, fairness, and efficiency in public procurement through a series of measures including the launch of the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) for online purchases of common use items”.
The Union Finance Ministry is planning to ban cryptocurrencies from payments system and at the same time appoint regulator to oversee unregulated exchanges that trade in crypto assets.
Key Points: ban cryptocurrencies
- The Dinesh Sharma committee constituted by the Government to look into issues relating to cryptocurrencies will finalise its recommendations by submitting its report in current fiscal year, ending on March 2018.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told parliament while presenting his annual budget that the government does not consider crypto currencies legal tender and will take all measures to eliminate use of crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of payment system.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley further that the government will take steps to make it illegal as a payment system and the trading of “crypto assets” at the unregulated exchanges would be regulated.
- A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a controversial digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions and also to control the creation of additional units, to verify the transfer of assets.
- Crypto Currencies or Virtual Currencies are type of unregulated digital money. Government had issued repeated warnings against digital currency investments, saying these were like “ponzi schemes” that offer unusually high returns to early investors.