Himachal Pradesh govt alters state mining rules
The Himachal Pradesh government has made major changes in the Mining Rules-2015 to provide relief to PWD contractors by issuing two notifications in this regard simultaneously. These changes have been made in Rule 3A, 17, 19, 23, 31, 33 and 67 of Himachal Pradesh Minor Minerals (Concession) and Prevention of Mineral (Illegal Mining) Their Transport and Storage Rules, 2015.
In these, a provision has been made that now digging of soil up to one and a half meters for a brick kiln will not be considered as mining and for this there will be a royalty of one lakh rupees per annum. Making changes in mechanical mining, the state government has now allowed the use of loaders of 80 HP capacity without scrap. It will not be classified as mechanical mining and for this permission will have to be taken from the Director, Industries. The application fee for mechanical mining will beRs 3 lakh and security will be Rs 5 lakh.
To increase the capacity of stone crushers and mining leases, now all lease holders will have to deposit 60 per cent royalty of the total capacity to the government even if they use or exploit less minerals than this. Actually, many stone crushers hide the production by giving less M form, so that royalty does not have to be paid. Now this will not happen.
Taiwan Patriot Missile Defence System Purchased By US
The United States government recently approved the purchase of 100 million USD worth of kits to take care of and improve the Taiwan Patriot Missile defense system.
- This will upgrade the system. This decision was made during the Trump administration in 2019. The US doesn’t have official relations with Taiwan.
- However, the US is one of the most important backers. In December 2021, China warned the US that the countries will find themselves during a military conflict if the US is encouraging Taiwan’s independence.
- It is a SAM (surface to air missile), manufactured by the US defense private contractor Raytheon.
- The Patriot missiles were replacements for the Nike Hercules system. Its operational range is around 70 kilometers.
RCEP: Philippines Stance
The Philippines Senate has postponed the ratification of RCEP after Farmers, and other civil society groups within the country took a cue from India’s decision to remain out of RCEP.
- The Philippines also expressed strong reservations against the mega trade deal signed by the Duterte government.
- The decision to defer ratification was taken within the backdrop of solid opposition by farmers, civil society organizations, fishers, and the personal sector within the Philippines.
- The Philippines took this decision before the three-day visit of the Indian secretary of state to Manila from February 13, 2022.
- Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) issued an edge paper. It urged the country’s Senate to defer the concurrence of the trade agreement thanks to a scarcity of consultation with farmers and other stakeholders.
LIC: India’s largest Initial Public Offering
The Government of India is planning to sell 5% of its share in LIC. LIC is Life Insurance Corporation. With this, the government is trying to raise Rs 65,000 crores.
10% of the shares are being reserved for eligible policy holders. These shares will carry discounted prices. The plan is to sell 316.25 million shares. This is 5% of the total equity base. The total equity base of LIC is 6.32 billion shares. The pricing of IPO, Initial Public Offering, has not yet been decided. 35% of the shares are to be reserved for retail investors. Discounts are to be provided to LIC employees.
The IPO is to help Government of India in achieving its target. In the fiscal year 2021-22, the Government of India had set a divestment target of Rs 2.1 lakh crores. However, the target counldnt be achieved. For the fiscal year, 2022-23, the divestment target is Rs 78,000 crores.
National Productivity Day 2022
India celebrated National Productivity Day on February 12, 2020 which provides for planning time, skills, energy, intelligence, resources, and opportunities in order to achieve goals.
National Productivity Day is organised by National Productivity Council (NPC), with the objective of stimulating and promoting productivity and quality awareness in all sectors of India.
The National Productivity Day is celebrated to raise awareness on productivity, innovation and efficiency. Raising productivity awareness is significant for maximising production with optimal resource utilisation.
National Productivity Council (NPC)
NPC is an autonomous organisation established in 1958. It works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. National Productivity Day also celebrates formation of NPC. It is national institution dedicated to promote India’s productivity culture. NPC has been registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.
Cut in Tax on crude palm oil imports
Central Government cut tax on imports of crude palm oil (CPO), from 7.5 percent to 5 per cent. It came into effect on February 13, 2022.
India is world’s biggest edible oil importer. It tries to rein in local prices of commodity and help domestic consumers and refiners.
Reduction in the tax
Reduction in the tax is also known as “agriculture infrastructure and development cess (AIDC)”.
It will widen the gap between refined palm oil import duties and CPO.
The tax reduction is effectively making it cheaper for Indian refiners to import CPO.
After the reduction in AIDC, import tax difference between CPO and refined palm oil would increase to 8.25 per cent.