Indian Parliamentary Diplomacy- Speaker’s Perspective”

President of India received first copy of book “Indian Parliamentary Diplomacy- Speaker’s Perspective”

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received the first copy of a book “Indian Parliamentary Diplomacy- Speaker’s Perspective” written by Smt. Meira Kumar, former Speaker, Lok Sabha at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan yesterday (March 19, 2015). The President received the book from Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker, Lok Sabha who formally released it.

Speaking on the occasion, the President congratulated Smt. Meira Kumar for bringing out the book “Indian Parliamentary Diplomacy- Speaker’s Perspective”. He said that each one of us can learn a number of lessons from her observations in the book.

The President said to his mind the Office of Speaker is very crucial. The Parliament portrays the will of the people. The basic tenet of Parliamentary system is the representation of people in Parliament. The Speaker is the custodian of the rights, privileges and performance of the representatives of people in the Parliament who represent the spirit and aspirations of the vast multitude of people of the country.

The President said Parliamentary diplomacy has become important and these days a crucial work being undertaken by the Speaker is carrying diplomatic work through attending various international conferences and bilateral visits.

The book is an account of the role of parliamentary diplomacy in furthering foreign policy and strengthening international relations. The volume is a collection of reports and select speeches that Smt. Kumar as Lok Sabha Speaker and leader of Indian Parliamentary Delegations delivered at international conferences and during her visits abroad.


Vice President Greets Citizens On Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Chaitra Sukladi, Cheti Chand and Nauroz

The Vice President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari has conveyed his greetings and good wishes to all our citizens on the joyous occasion of Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Chaitra Sukladi, Cheti Chand and Nauroz. In his message, he has said that may these festivals, symbolizing our nation’s unity in diversity, bring peace, prosperity and happiness for all.

Following is the text of Vice President’s message :

“On the joyous occasion of Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Chaitra Sukladi, Cheti Chand and Nauroz, I convey my greetings and good wishes to all our citizens.

May these festivals, symbolizing our nation’s unity in diversity, bring peace, prosperity and happiness for all.”


Exchange Rate of Foreign Currency Relating to Imported and Export Goods Notified

                In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and in super session of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) No.28/2015-CUSTOMS (N.T.), dated the 5th March, 2015 vide number S.O.566 (E), dated the 5th March, 2015, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such super session, the Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC) hereby determines that the rate of exchange of conversion of each of the foreign currency specified in column (2) of each of Schedule I and Schedule II annexed hereto into Indian currency or vice versa shall, with effect from 20th March, 2015 be the rate mentioned against it in the corresponding entry in column (3) thereof, for the purpose of the said section, relating to imported and export goods.




Nuclear Power installed capacity expected to reach 10,080 MW by 2019

The present nuclear power installed capacity of 5780 MW is expected to reach 10,080 MW by 2019 on progressive completion of the projects under construction/ commissioning.

In respect of projects set up with international technical cooperation, life time fuel supply guarantees are incorporated in the commercial contracts. Accordingly, the life time fuel supply guarantees in respect of the Tarapur Atomic Power Station Unit 1-2 and Kudankulam Atomic Power Project Units 1-4 are a part of the respective agreement/contracts.

This information was given by MoS in the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha today.


Centre asks State Governments to utilise State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in wake of natural calamities

The Centre has said that State Government is empowered to undertake necessary relief measures in the wake of natural calamities like drought, hailstorm, pest attack and cold wave frost from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which is readily available with them. In case SDRF is exhausted, contingency fund of the State can be utilised.

All State Governments and UT Administrations have been asked to take immediate necessary steps to address the notified calamities by utilising the funds available under SDRF. If additional finance assistance, over and above SDRF is required, memorandum may be summited for consideration as per extant procedure/norms for assistance from National Disaster Response Fund.


Central Govt. asks U.P State Govt. to Intensify Monitoring in the wake of Avian Influenza

After having found samples positive in RT-PCR and Real time RT-PCR H5N1 AIV from Amethi District of Uttar Pradesh by National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture have asked State Govt. of UP to intensify surveillance throughout the state to monitor further spread of infection. The State Govt. has been asked to formally notify the disease outbreak for control and containment measures as per action plan on Avian Influenza.

The state also has been requested to send the details of requisite information including provisional poultry population in 1 km and 10 km radii of the epicenter, number and names of the villages in 1 km and 10 km radii of the epicenter, number of Rapid Response Teams (RRT’s), geographical location of the place and the map of the epicenter demarcating 1 km and 10 km radil from the epicenter.

Series of necessary actions needs to be completed immediately by the State Government viz: declaration of infected and surveillance areas, restricting access to the infected premises; destruction of birds; disposal of dead birds and infected materials; clean-up and disinfection followed by sealing of the premises and issue of sanitization certificate; post operations surveillance; imposition of legislative measures etc. along with necessary measures laid down in the Contingency Plan (2005) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

In addition to the culling strategy, surveillance will be carried out over radius up to 10 kilometers s from the epicenter.

A daily report on the control and containment operations has to be furnished to Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries by 10 AM.


Non-Coking Coal Washing Capacity

There are 3 existing non-coking coal washeries of Coal India Limited with a capacity of 13.50 Million Tonnes per Year ( MTY) and 31 non-coking coal private washeries of capacity of 87.20 MTY in the country. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (IC) in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today. The capacity utilization of the existing Non-coking coal washeries of Coal India Limited (CIL) is 77.19 % during the year 2014-15 (till January,2015) as given below:-

i) Gidiwashery (2.5MTY), Central Coalfields Limited (CCL): Commissioned in 1970.It has crossed its rated life. Presently it is running with 13.37% capacity utilisation only.

ii) Piparwarwashery (6.5 MTY), CCL: Commissioned in 1997 and is in operation with 99.63% capacity utilisation.

iii) Binawashery (4.5 MTY), Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL): Commissioned in 1999 and is in operation with 80.24% capacity utilisation.

The performance of outlived GidiWashery has resulted in overall lower percentage utilisation of non-coking coal washeries of CIL.

The Minister further stated that CIL has a plan of setting up 15 more washeries with a total capacity of 93.1 MTY. Of these, 9 are non-coking coal washeries with proposed capacity of 74.5 MTY, and 6 are coking coal washeries with proposed capacity of 18.6 MTY. Out of these fifteen proposed washeries, 3 are already under construction. Action has also been initiated for taking up the balance washeries, the Minister added.


Coal Distribution Policy

Distribution of Coal is guided by New Coal Distribution Policy (NCDP) circulated by Government in October, 2007, for all sectors of consumers, coal is supplied under Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA). This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (IC) in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today. For meeting the requirement of small consumers with annual requirement less than 4200 tonnes per annum in various States, coal is supplied under FSA to State Government nominated agencies. Consumers pertaining to Power Utility (including IPPs), Captive Power, Steel, Sponge Iron and Cement are allocated coal by way of clearance for issuance of Letter of Assurance (LOA) from Coal India Limited(CIL)/Singareni Collieries Company Limited(SCCL) through the Inter-Ministerial forum of Standing Linkage Committee (Long-Term), the Minister added.

The Minister further stated that the consumers not covered under FSA are supplied coal through e auction wherein about 10% of annual production is offered for sale as per NCDP. To facilitate liquidation of coal stock affected by logistics constraints, coal is also supplied under best-effort basis short-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to various consumers including those arranging their own logistics in line with decisions of Government conveyed from time to time. FSAs with the existing consumers including power were executed by the coal companies and supplies of coal are being monitored under the FSA provisions.

LOAs were issued to new consumers recommended by SLC(LT). Such LOA holder after fructifying the LOA milestones within the stipulated period in most cases have signed FSAs barring a few exceptions where FSAs could not be executed either due to non-fulfillment of LOA conditions/milestones or any other reasons preventing the coal company/ LOA holder to sign the FSAs. Standing Linkage Committee(Long -Term) [SLC(LT)], the inter-ministerial body has been monitoring the status of FSA materialization and problems pertaining to signing of FSAs/fructification of LOAs time to time came out with operating decisions/polices to resolve such issues.

The Minister further stated that the Main difficulty in implementation is due to the gap in demand and supply position. The commitments made through FSAs/LOAs were much higher than the projected coal availability from domestic production. Government vide instructions dated 26.07.2013 has approved a revised arrangement for supply of coal to the identified Thermal Power Stations of 78,000 MW capacity commissioned or likely to be commissioned during the period from 01.04.2009 to 31.03.2015. Taking into account the overall domestic availability and the likely actual requirements of these Thermal Power Stations, it has been decided that FSAs will be signed for the domestic coal quantity of 65%, 65%, 67% and 75% of ACQ for 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, respectively, for the power plants having normal coal linkages. Cases of tapering linkage would get coal supplies as per the Tapering Linkage Policy. To meet its balance FSA obligations towards the requirement of the said 78,000 MW TPPs, CIL may import coal and supply the same to the willing power plants on cost plus basis. Power plants may also directly import coal themselves, if they so opt, in which case, the FSA obligations on the part of CIL to the extent of import component would be deemed to have been discharged, the Minister added.

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