13-06-2020 Daily GPSC Gujarat Current Affairs

GUJARAT

Gujarat: Reforms mooted in agriculture, labour, power sectors

 

The committee set up to chart the economic revival of the state submitted its final report. It recommended several measures and reforms to spur the state’s economic growth and development in the post-Covid period.

The final report has suggested a number of reforms in the fields of agriculture, labour, transportation, power, ease of doing business (EoDB), and divestment.

 

Lift restrictions on agriculture land sale Remove all restrictions on sale or longterm lease of agriculture land to a registered company or a co-operative for carrying out farming business. This will not only increase productivity but also ensure market price to farmers and regular employment or preference shares to farmers in the company. This will also provide an opportunity to the state government to collect income tax, if introduced, from agriculture income of such companies apart from stamp duty.

Labour reforms for freedom of operations
According to the Industrial Disputes Act, it is mandatory for an industrial unit with more than 100 workers to obtain permission of the state government to retrench any worker. The committee has recommended that industrial units be allowed to retrench 2% of the workforce in a single year without prior permission of the state. However, to safeguard the interests of workers, the panel has suggested additional retrenchment compensation of 50% over and above the normal compensation.

Remove cross-subsidization in electricity tariff
ring uniform electricity tariff for all categories of power consumers by removing cross-subsidization of pow- er tariffs. The cross-subsidy results in increased electricity cost to industrial and commercial users in Gujarat. Ending cross-subsidy will bring down the cost to industries and commercial users, which will make Gujarat an attractive investment destination. Cross-subsidy should be removed by raising the amount of agricultural subsidy by Rs 8,000 crore. To safeguard farmers’ interest, the panel has proposed to replace cross-subsidy with direct agriculture subsidy.

Self-certification and autorenewal scheme

To reduce compliance burden as well as to save time and cost to businesses, the committee has mooted an introduction of schemes for self-certification and auto-renewals. Similar schemes are in force in some states. It has been suggested that the state may formulate a self-certification policy in terms of inspection norms and risk profiling, especially for MSME units as well as third party inspections. As part of ease of doing business, the state should encourage schemes for auto-renewal of approvals, licences and permissions. At the same time, it should check or penalize any abuse of law.

Private sector participation in public transport

Stating that public transport has not grown in tandem with the rise passenger traffic, the committee has recommended that private sector be allowed to participate in public transport sector. At present, Gujarat has only 14 bu ses for a lakh population, while the figure is 28 and 22 in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It also suggested auctioning of selected routes in premium segments to fetch better prices.

Divestment of PSUs, especially in non-strategic sectors

In line with the Central government policy, the economic revival panel has asked the state government to consider divestment or privatization of most of state PSUs, except those in the strategic sector, over the next two to three years. The divestment proceeds can be used to retire the high-cost debt to aggressively bring down the debt/GSDP ratio to the pre-Covid-19 level.

Encourage tourism

The state must improve contribution of touri s m sector to the state GSDP to at least 8% from current 5% over the next three years. Tourism has huge potential to generate employment.

INTERNATIONAL

 

 World Day Against Child Labour: 12 June

 

Every year on June 12, the World Day Against Child Labour is observed on June 12 in almost 100 countries all around the globe.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are about 152 million children globally who are engaged in child labour, 72 million of whom are in hazardous work.

The ILO launched World Day Against Child Labour in 2002
As per the United Nation’s website, World Day Against Child Labour 2020 focuses on the impact of the crisis on child labour.

 

India’s economy to contract by 3.2 per cent in fiscal year 2020-21: World Bank

 

The World Bank expects India’s economy to contract 3.2% in the current fiscal year, a sharp downgrade from its April projection of 1.5%-2.8% growth.

The Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report released said the lockdown would severely curtail activity despite fiscal and monetary stimulus.

The latest report expects the economy to make a modest recovery to 3.1% growth in the next fiscal year.

A number of firms including Goldman Sachs and Nomura have projected a contraction of as much as 5% for India in FY21.

 

 

NATIONAL

Centre allocates highest ever funds of Rs 1,01,500 crore under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme during 2020-2021

A provision of one lakh one thousand 500 crore rupees has been made under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the current financial year 2020-2021.

It is the highest ever provision of funds under the programme.

A sum of 31 thousand 493 crores has already been released in 2020-2021, which is more than 50 percent of the budget estimate of the current Financial Year.

Average number of persons to whom work offered in May this year has been 2.51 crore per day, which is 73 percent higher than the work offered in May last year.

Indian Air Force designs, develops & manufactures ARPIT

The Indian Air Force has designed, developed and manufactured an Airborne Rescue Pod for Isolated Transportation (ARPIT).

This pod will be utilised for evacuation of critical patients with infectious diseases including COVID-19 from high altitude areas, isolated and remote places.

Requirement of an air evacuation system with facility to prevent spread of infectious aerosol from a COVID-19 patient during air travel was felt by IAF when COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic.

This indigenously designed system has been developed at a cost of Rs. 60,000 only, which is very less as compared to the imported systems costing up to Sixty Lakh.

The system has been developed as a lightweight isolation system made from aviation certified material.

Puducherry plans to provide tap connections to all rural households by 2020-21 year

GoI approved the Annual Action Plan of Puducherry for Financial Year 2020-21. The plan was approved by National Jal Jeevan Mission. Puducherry Union Territory plans to provide household tap connections to remaining households in 2020-21.

To implement the plan, village-level planning has involved the local community despite COVID-19. Gram Sabhas are conducted in villages maintaining social distancing.

As per the plan, the local community will play a pivotal role in the planning, implementation, management, operation, and maintenance of water supply systems in villages to ensure long-term sustainability.

Local communities have been directed to provide due care also on greywater treatment and re-use.

Under Jal Jeevan Mission, water quality testing laboratories at different levels are being established in the UT.

The UT has been advised to focus on 24*7 service delivery in rural areas so that the villages can act as ‘utilities’ with a focus on ‘service delivery’.

It has been also planned to conduct Internet of Things (IoT) based sensor monitoring for water supply in villages.

ISRO signs MoU with ARIES for space situational awareness

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Aryabhatta Research Institute (ARIES) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Astrophysics.

This MoU will make the way for future collaborations between ISRO and ARIES in setting up optical telescope observational facilities for space object tracking, R&D studies in space weather, astrophysics and Near-Earth Object (NEO).

The main objective of the MoU is to shield the Indian Space assets from the space debris’s conjunction threats and R&D of Astrophysics, solar sciences and space environment are the base for future space exploration projects and the key to progress in the Indian Space sector.

 

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