PIB News 7th Oct, 2020


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Cabinet approves Ratification of seven Persistent Organic Pollutants listed under Stockholm Convention and delegate its powers for future ratifications for streamlining the procedure
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Ratification of seven (7) chemicals listed under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The Cabinet further delegated its powers to ratify chemicals under the Stockholm Convention to Union Ministers of External Affairs (MEA) and Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC) in respect of POPs already regulated under the domestic regulations thereby streamlining the procedure.

The Stockholm Convention is a global treaty to protect human health and environment from POPs, which are identified chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in living organisms, adversely affect human health/ environment and have the property of long-range environmental transport (LRET). Exposure to POPs can lead to cancer, damage to central & peripheral nervous systems, diseases of immune system, reproductive disorders and interference with normal infant and child development. POPs are listed in various Annexes to the Stockholm Convention after thorough scientific research, deliberations and negotiations among member countries.

India had ratified the Stockholm Convention on January 13, 2006 as per Article 25(4), which enabled it to keep itself in a default "opt-out" position such that amendments in various Annexes of the convention cannot be enforced on it unless an instrument of ratification/ acceptance/ approval or accession is explicitly deposited with UN depositary.

Considering its commitment towards providing safe environment and addressing human health risks, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) had notified the 'Regulation of Persistent Organic Pollutants Rules, on March 5, 2018 under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The regulation inter alia prohibited the manufacture, trade, use, import and export seven chemicals namely (i) Chlordecone, (ii) Hexabromobiphenyl, (iii) Hexabromodiphenyl ether and Heptabromodiphenylether (Commercial octa-BDE), (iv) Tetrabromodiphenyl ether and Pentabromodiphenyl ether (Commercial penta-BDE), (v) Pentachlorobenzene, (vi) Hexabromocyclododecane, and (vii) Hexachlorobutadiene, which were already listed as POPs under Stockholm Convention.

The Cabinet's approval for ratification of POPs demonstrates India's commitment to meet its international obligations with regard to protection of environment and human health. It also indicates the resolve of the Government to take action on POPs by implementing control measures, develop and implement action plans for unintentionally produced chemicals, develop inventories of the chemicals' stockpiles and review as well as update its National Implementation Plan (NIP). The ratification process would enable India to access Global Environment Facility (GEF) financial resources in updating the NIP.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Cabinet approves ‘Natural Gas Marketing Reforms’
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved ‘Natural Gas Marketing Reforms’, taking another significant step to move towards gas based economy. The objective of the policy is to prescribe standard procedure to discover market price of gas to be sold in the market by gas producers, through a transparent and competitive process, permit Affiliates to participate in bidding process for sale of gas and allow marketing freedom to certain Field Development Plans (FDPs) where Production Sharing Contracts already provide pricing freedom.

The policy aims to provide standard procedure for sale of natural gas in a transparent and competitive manner to discover market price by issuing guidelines for sale by contractor through e-bidding. This will bring uniformity in the bidding process across the various contractual regimes and policies to avoid ambiguity and contribute towards ease of doing business.

The policy has also permitted Affiliate companies to participate in the bidding process in view of the open, transparent and electronic bidding. This will facilitate and promote more competition in marketing of gas. However, rebidding will have to be done in case only affiliates participate, and there are no other bidders.

The policy will also grant marketing freedom to the Field Development Plans (FDPs) of those Blocks in which Production Sharing Contracts already provide pricing freedom.

These reforms will build on a series of transformative reforms rolled out by the Government in last several years. These reforms in gas sector will further deepen and spur the economic activities in the following areas:

  • The whole eco-system of policies relating to production, infrastructure and marketing of natural gas has been made more transparent with a focus on ease of doing business.
  • These reforms will prove very significant for Atmanirbhar Bharat by encouraging investments in the domestic production of natural gas and reducing import dependence.
  • These reforms will prove to be another milestone in moving towards a gas based economy by encouraging investments.
  • The increased gas production consumption will help in improvement of environment.
  • These reforms will also help in creating employment opportunities in the gas consuming sectors including MSMEs.
  • The domestic production will further help in increasing investment in the downstream industries such as City Gas Distribution and related industries.

The Government has taken transformative reforms in the upstream sector with a view to make investment easier focusing on ease of doing business. The Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) which is investor driven acreage auction process, has increased substantial acreages in the country. No blocks were allocated between 2010 and 2017 which has impacted the long term viability of the domestic production. Since 2017 more than 1.6 lakh sq.km area under 105 exploration blocks have been allocated. This will ensure sustainability of the domestic production in long run.

Government brought a series of reforms in Gas sector and as a result investment of more than Rs. 70,000 crore is being made in the East coast. Gas production from East coast will contribute to Atmanirbhar Bharat by meeting increasing energy needs of the country.

In February 2019, Government implemented major reforms in upstream sector and brought paradigm shift by focusing on production maximization. Acreages under OALP rounds are being allocated based on work programme only in Cat II and Cat III basins.

The domestic gas production has complete marketing and pricing freedom. All discoveries and field development plans approved after 28 Feb, 2019 have complete market and pricing freedom.

 

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Hon’ble Prime Minister to Launch Jan Andolan for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a Campaign tomorrow on 8th October, 2020 by way of a Tweet on Jan Andolan for COVID-19 Appropriate Behaviour.

The campaign will be launched in view of the upcoming festivals and winter season as well as the opening up of the economy.

The campaign will be launched with the aim to encourage People’s Participation (Jan Andolan). It endeavours to be a Low Cost High Intensity Campaign with the Key Messages of 'Wear Mask, Follow Physical Distancing, Maintain Hand Hygiene'

A COVID-19 Pledge will be taken by all. A Concerted Action Plan will be implemented by Central Government Ministries/ Departments and State Governments/ Union Territories with the following highlights:

  • Region- specific targeted communication in high case-load districts.
  • Simple and easily understandable messages to reach every citizen
  • Dissemination throughout the country using all media platforms
  • Banners and Posters at public places; involving Frontline workers and Targeting Beneficiaries of Government Schemes
  • Hoardings/ wall paintings/ electronic display boards in government premises
  • Involvement of Local and National influencers to drive home the message
  • Running mobile vans for regular awareness generation
  • Audio messages; pamphlets/ brochures on awareness
  • Seeking support of Local Cable Operators for running COVID messages
  • Coordinated media campaign across platforms for effective outreach and impact.

 










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