21-August-2018 : TOD
River inter-linking: Karnataka seeks rightful share in water allocation:
- During the 15th meeting of the Special Committee for Inter Linking of Rivers held in New Delhi.
- State had been denied of its rightful share from the transferred water — from surplus basins under the Inter Linking of Rivers Scheme.
- State got lower allocations, including from the Krishna basin, where it got 907 tmcft against the 1,012 tmcft it demanded, Cauvery basin (284.75 tmcft against a demand of 465 tmcft) and Mahadayi basin (13.42 tmcft against a demand of 36.55 tmcft).
- the State was completely left out in the 2010 report on assessment of surplus water for transfer to deficit river basin under Peninsular River Development by National Water Development Agency.
- In the modified link proposal of the Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar river, the State was again not considered for allocation. The allocation made by National Water Development Agency without consulting all basin states of the Cauvery and the Krishna is arbitrary
Customised drones to rescue operations
- To locate stranded survivors in remote areas of Kodagu,Kerala.
- To deliver food packets and medicine and other relief materials(Up to 25Kg).
Kole Roga strikes Dakshina Kannada plantations
- It is a fruit rot disease
- The disease was now severe in between 30% and 60% of the plantations in Dakshina Kannada.
- About 40,000 hectares in the district are under arecanut cultivation
- As the areas in the foothills of the Western Ghats, especially in Sullia and Belthangady taluks, had been receiving rain since mid-April itself, arecanut palms and plantations had moisture content even before the onset of monsoon. As the intensity of rains did not come down, many farmers were not able to spray the usual first round of prophylactic solutions in the last week of May or the first week of June to prevent the disease.
Karnataka Laws mandating officials to send wards to govt.schools
- The issue came to light in November,2017 when G. Raghu Achar, Congress MLC, introduced a private Bill in the State legislature to make it mandatory for government employees and elected representatives to send their children to government schools.
- He had pointed out that the move would help improve the quality of government schools in the State and enrolments in government schools.
- The Kannada Development Authority, which had submitted 21 recommendations to improve the State of government schools, had also recommended this measure.
- The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary to work out the modalities, within six months, to ensure that all government servants send their children to primary schools run by the state basic education board. The list includes members of the judiciary, government officials, semi-government employees, employees of local bodies and representatives of people(2015).
Goa moves tribunal against Karnataka in Mahadayi water sharing dispute.
- The Goa government on Monday filed an application in the Mahadayi Water Dispute Tribunal in New Delhi seeking action against Karnataka for breach and disobedience of the order of injunction dated April 17, 2014 passed by the tribunal.
- The Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal which has been hearing the tussle over sharing of the Mahadayi or Mandovi river between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra, delivered its final verdict.
- Ending a 50-year-old dispute, the tribunal allowed Karnataka access to 13.4 tmc of water for its consumptive use (5.4 tmc) and power generation (8.02 tmc).
- The share of Goa was pegged at 24 tmc with the Tribunal allowing it for the state’s municipal water needs, irrigation water requirements and industrial water demands. Maharashtra got the lowest share of 1.33 tmc for meeting its in-basin needs with respect to five projects.
- The Mahadayi river basin drains an area of 2032 square kilometres of which 375 square km lies in Karnataka, 77 sq km in Maharashtra and the remaining in Goa.
- The tribunal also directed the Centre to set up the Mahadayi Water Management Authority to implement its report and final decision.
- The dispute arose since Goa was opposed to Karnataka’s plans to divert waters from the tributaries of the river, which Karnataka justified was for drinking water purposes. The tribunal was constituted in November 2010.
RBI’s public credit information & legal issues
- The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, may need to be amended to facilitate the setting of a public credit registry (PCR).
- Underscoring the vital need for the registry — the PCR is planned as an extensive database of credit information for all credit products in the country from point of origination of credit to its termination
- Its main benefit would be to provide lenders with a 360 degree view of the borrower’s outstanding credits and past performance. This would allow better screening at the time of providing credit and superior monitoring during the life of the borrowing.
- In October 2017, RBI had set up a high-level task force (HTF) chaired by Y.M. Deosthalee to review the availability of information on credit and assess the gaps.
NPA – Role of Govt & Judiciary
- Apart from banks and borrowers, the government and judiciary too had a role to play in India’s bad loan crisis
- Supreme Court’s judgement in 2014 which cancelled allocation of 214 coal mines awarded between 1993 and 2010.
More Coal usage for More power production
- Consumption of non-coking coal is forecast to climb to 1,076 million tonnes in fiscal 2023, from 826 million tonnes in fiscal 2018
- On coking coal, the report said that imports would remain high as domestic supply of metallurgical coking coal is estimated at 19 million tonnes against a demand of 65 million tonnes in FY23.
- Global coking coal prices are expected to soften but still be dear at about $ 190 to $200 per tonne this year according to the Crisil analysis, noting a worldwide revival in steel demand. Production too is expected to improve led by resumption of coal mines which were closed earlier and resolution of transport bottlenecks in some of the mining countries. However, these easing of supply constraints may lead to prices dropping to about $175 to $185 per tonne next year.
NDRF and National Calamities
- The Union government has declared the Kerala floods a “calamity of severe nature”.
What are the classifications of disasters, and how does this affect funding?
- According to the National Disaster Management Policy, the State governments have to provide disaster relief from their respective State Disaster Response Funds (SDRFs), and only for a “calamity of severe nature”, will additional assistance be provided from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
- There is, however, no provision in the law or rules for the government to designate a disaster as a “national calamity”.
How are the NDRF and the SDRFs funded?
- The NDRF is funded through a National Calamity Contingent Duty levied on pan masala, chewing tobacco and cigarettes, and with budgetary provisions as and when needed. A provision exists to encourage any person or institution to make a contribution to the NDRF. However, this source of funding has not been tapped so far, according to the government.
- The 14th Finance Commission recommended changes to this structure once the cess was discontinued or subsumed within the Goods and Services Tax. However, the government, instead, decided to continue with the National Calamity Contingent Duty even in the GST regime. The SDRF corpus is contributed by the Union government and the respective State governments in a 75:25 ratio for general category States and 90:10 for Special Category States.
- The allocation of the SDRF for each State is done by the Finance Commission, and the Centre contributes its specified share each financial year. The Central share of SDRF is released in two equal instalments, in June and then in December.
What has been the trend in budgetary allocations to the NDRF and SDRFs?
- The Union government has maintained a steady flow of funds to the NDRF each year, ranging from Rs. 5,690 crore in 2015-16 to a budgeted amount of Rs. 2,500 crore for the current financial year. In addition, the Centre has also been contributing to the SDRFs every year, amounting to Rs. 8,374.95 crore in 2016-17 and Rs. 7,281.76 crore in 2017-18.
How have NDRF funds been allocated to States in the recent past?
- In 2017-18, up to December 27, 2017, the Union government released NDRF funds to nine States — Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana — over and above its contributions to their respective SDRFs. The recipient of the highest amount was Karnataka, which got Rs. 913 crore that year.
- Over the four years till December 27, 2017, the Centre has released the most cumulative funds to Maharashtra (Rs. 5,244.69 crore), Karnataka (Rs. 5,122.45 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs. 4,949.04 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs. 3,115.31 crore), and Madhya Pradesh (Rs. 1,958.93 crore). For specific calamities, the Centre released Rs. 1,365.67 crore for the Chennai floods of 2015 and Rs. 218.76 crore after Cyclone Vardah in 2016. Andhra Pradesh received Rs. 400 crore and Rs. 230 crore after Hudud ravaged Visakhapatnam.
BIMSTEC and FTA
- Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
- eaders from BIMSTEC countries in Kathmandu on August 30-31 and hold bilateral talks
- Even for the framework (2004) it took seven years. It is easy to negotiate an FTA between two countries. India and Sri Lanka have it. But when seven countries are involved maybe it is not so easy
- The Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division is entrusted with the responsibility of implementation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS). Under the scheme, each MP has the choice to suggest to the District Collector for works to the tune of Rs.5 Crores per annum to be taken up in his/her constituency.
- The Rajya Sabha Members of Parliament can recommend works in one or more districts in the State from where he/she has been elected.
- The Nominated Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha may select any one or more Districts from any one State in the Country for implementation of their choice of work under the scheme.
- The Ministry has issued the guidelines on MPLADS Scheme including implementation and monitoring of the scheme. The Department has initiated all necessary steps to ensure that the scheme is successfully implemented in the field.