Daily Current Affairs : 13-Mar-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. DRAFT ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT ACT

  2. THE INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY CODE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020

  3. THE MINERAL LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020

  4. TEXTILE POLICY 2020


DRAFT ENVIRONMENT IMPACT ASSESSMENT ACT

Why in news?

  • The draft EIA notification proposes to be an update to the EIA of 2006, which specifies a “minimum of 30 days” for people to respond.


Highlights:

  • The current version of the update, which will likely become law in 60 days, gives a “minimum of 20 days” of notice period.

  • It also requires that the public-hearing process be wrapped up in 40 days, as opposed to the existing norm of 45 days.

  • Under the process, an organisation has to submit a detailed plan explaining the nature, need, and remedial measures, if their proposed project could significantly impact a region. A committee constituted by the Union Environment Ministry then decides on whether the project should be cleared.


Source : Hindu

THE INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY CODE (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020

Why in news?

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill 2020 has been passed by the Parliament with Rajya Sabha giving its nod on Thursday.


Highlights:

  • The amendment will ring fence successful bidders of insolvent companies from the risk of criminal proceedings for offences committed by previous promoters.

  • The bill replaces an ordinance.

  • The IBC Act, 2016 has been amended thrice till date.


Source : Hindu


THE MINERAL LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2020

Why in news?

  • The Mineral Laws(amendment) bill 2020, has been passed by the Parliament with Rajya Sabha giving its nod on Thursday.


Highlights :

  • The Bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) and the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 (CMSP Act).


Background :

  • The MMDR Act regulates the overall mining sector in India.

  • The CMSP Act provides for the auction and allocation of mines whose allocation was cancelled by the Supreme Court in 2014.

  • Schedule I of the Act provides a list of all such mines;

  • Schedule II and III are sub-classes of the mines listed in the Schedule I.

  • Schedule II mines are those where production had already started then, and

  • Schedule III mines are ones that had been earmarked for a specified end-use.


  • Restriction on End Use –  Currently, companies acquiring Schedule II and Schedule III coal mines through auctions can use the coal produced only for specified end-uses such as power generation and steel production.  The Bill removes this restriction on the use of coal mined by such companies.  Companies will be allowed to carry on coal mining operation for own consumption, sale or for any other purposes, as may be specified by the central government.


Eligibility for Auction of coal and Lignite Blocks –

  • The Bill clarifies that the companies need not possess any prior coal mining experience in India in order to participate in the auction of coal and lignite blocks.

  • The competitive bidding process for auction of coal and lignite blocks will not apply to mines considered for allotment to:

  • a government company or its joint venture for own consumption, sale or any other specified purpose; and

  • A company that has been awarded a power project on the basis of a competitive bid for tariff.


  • Composite License for prospecting and mining – Currently, separate licenses are provided for prospecting and mining of coal and lignite, called prospecting license, and mining lease, respectively.  Prospecting includes exploring, locating, or finding mineral deposit.  The Bill adds a new type of license, called prospecting license-cum-mining lease.  This will be a composite license providing for both prospecting and mining activities.


Non-exclusive reconnaissance permit holders to get other licenses:

  • The Bill provides that the holders of non-exclusive reconnaissance permits may apply for a prospecting license-cum-mining lease or mining lease.   This will apply to certain licensees as prescribed in the Bill.


  • Transfer of Statutory Clearances – If an entity with mining lease auctions its license to another entity than the new owner will have 2 years to achieve statutory clearances.


  • Reallocation after termination of the Clearances - The CMSP Act provides for the termination of allotment orders of coal mines in certain cases.  The Bill adds that such mines may be reallocated through auction or allotment as may be determined by the central government.  The central government will appoint a designated custodian to manage these mines until they are reallocated.


  • Prior approval from the Central Government - The Bill provides that prior approval of the central government will not be required in granting these licenses for coal and lignite, in certain cases.  These include cases where:

  • The allocation has been done by the central government,

  • The mining block has been reserved to conserve a mineral.


  • Advance action for Auction - Under the MMDR Act, mining leases for specified minerals (minerals other than coal, lignite, and atomic minerals) are auctioned on the expiry of the lease period.  The Bill provides that state governments can take advance action for auction of a mining lease before its expiry.


Source : PRS and Hindu

TEXTILE POLICY 2020

Why in news?

  • Government is formulating a New Textile Policy for overall development of the sector. Inputs from all the state governments, individuals through e-portal and different associations are being solicited under broad topics like cotton, silk, jute, wool, man-made fibre, handloom, handicrafts etc.


Highlights:

  • Textile industry is facing some problems like technological obsolesce, high input cost (power & capital), poor access to credit, fragmented units, absence of fiber neutrality etc.

  • Government has implemented various schemes such as –


  • Knitting and Knitwear Sector scheme: Government has launched a separate scheme for development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector to boost production in knitting and knitwear cluster at Ludhiana, Kolkata and Tirupur.

  • Government is implementing Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS) for technology up-gradation of the textile industry to incentivize production with an outlay of Rs.17,822 crore during 2016-2022.

  • Government has launched a special package of Rs.6000 crore in 2016 to boost investment, employment and exports in the garmenting and made-ups sector with the following components viz.,

  • Full refund is provided under Remission of State Levies (ROSL) to the exporters for the State level taxes;

  • Production linked additional incentive of 10% is provided under the Amended Technology Up-gradation Fund Scheme (ATUFS).

  • National Handloom Development Programme, Comprehensive Handloom Cluster Development Scheme, Handloom Weaver Comprehensive Welfare Scheme and Yarn Supply Schemes.

  • National Handicrafts Development Programme (NHDP) and Comprehensive Handicraft Cluster Development Schemes.

  • Power Tex India: A comprehensive scheme for Powerloom sector.

  • Silk Samagra – An integrated Scheme for development of silk.

  • Jute ICARE for increasing the income of farmers through different interventions.

  • North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) for promoting textiles industry.


Source : PIB

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