The LokSabha today passed the International Financial
Services Centres Authority Bill, 2019.
It seeks to establish a unified Authority to develop and
regulate the financial services market in the International Financial Services
Centres or IFSC’s in India.
Currently, multiple agencies are entrusted with regulating the
specific market including the RBI, SEBI, Insurance Regulatory and Development
Authority, IRDA and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, PFRDA.
Fourteen Central Acts would be amended including seven relating
to the RBI, three each relating to the SEBI and the IRDA and one on the PFRDA.
Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman, in her reply, said, the
proposed authority will be subjected to the scrutiny of the CAG and the CVC. She
said, the Central agencies like the CBI, the ED and the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act-PMLA will have jurisdiction over the proposed authority.
Ms NirmalaSitharaman asserted that the IFSC’s are not
necessarily restricted to the Gujarat International Finance Tech-City, known as
the GIFT city in Gujarat alone.
She added that other states can also seek nod for similar
centres, though she referred to her predecessor late ArunJaitley’s standpoint
that the optimal potential of the existing centre be realized fully before
creating new ones.
Referring to the ILFS, which is a major stakeholder in the GIFT
IFSC, being on the verge of collapse, Ms Sitharaman said, the Gujarat state
government has expressed its willingness to take over the stakes of the ILFS.
PM claims passage of citizenship amendment bill as historic
Prime Minister NarendraModi has termed the Citizenship
(Amendment) Bill as historic, saying it will end religious persecution faced
by the minorities in the neighbouring countries.
He said the legislation will end instability in the lives of the
people who are residing in India but have not been able to avail the citizenship
right and other facilities.
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make
illegal migrants of six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan
eligible for Indian citizenship.
The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and
Christians. Answering the constitutionality, Mr. Shah said, the bill has
reasonable classification to meet the conditions.
Briefing reporters after the BJP Parliamentary party meeting in
New Delhi today, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Pralhad Joshi quoted the Prime
Minister as saying that the legislation will be written in the annals of history
with golden letters.
The Minister expressed confidence that the bill would be passed
in the RajyaSabha today with a comfortable majority.
Govt.considering switching to chain based method for GDP
In a radical change, the government is considering moving to
the chain base method of calculating gross domestic product, from the
current practice of a fixed base year to better reflect changes in the
economy and prevent controversies.
The chain base method will capture structural changes in the
economy faster by allowing new activity and items to be added every year.
Current GDP estimates are based on data for 2011-12 and are due for an update.
While discussions on changes are on, no time-frame has been set
for a shift. The statistics office junked the idea of shifting to 2017-18 as
base year as it was not considered a normal year.
The shift would require much better data collection with quick
addition of new businesses, goods and establishments. This would impose a burden
on the data collection machinery as well as the respondents.
Such an index will make it easier to compare India’s growth with
other countries, said AbheekBarua, chief economist at HDFC Bank. “Consequently,
taking decisions on investments and fund flows, where differentials are
concerned, would become rigorous,” Barua said.
Parliamentary panel recommends separate scheme for LPG
A Parliamentary panel has said that the government should
consider a separate scheme with a higher subsidy so that the LPG cylinders
become affordable to beneficiaries of PradhanMantriUjjwaalaYojana, PMUY.
A Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas
headed by Ramesh Bidhuri today presented its report to Parliament on demand for
grants for 2019-20.
The panel has favoured that the government should introduce
smaller sizes of LPG cylinders like two, three and five kilograms.
It has said, the government should ensure that the pricing of
these packages is in consonance with the 14.2 kilograms cylinder.
The panel noted the national average refill of domestic LPG
cylinders by consumers is 6.25 cylinders per year.
However, it is observed that the average refill of LPG cylinders
by PMUY beneficiaries is 3.08 cylinders during the last one year.
Myanmar’s state counsellor Aung San SuuKyi on Wednesday
defended the Myanmar government against the allegations of the genocide of
Rohingyas at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.
She called the allegations as an incomplete and misleading
factual picture of the situation in Rakhine state. She said that Myanmar’s
security forces responded to the attacks by the insurgent group ArakanRohingya
Salvation Army (ARSA) in October 2016 leading to the death of nine police
officers and hundreds of civilians. This armed conflict led to the exodus of
Muslims from Rakhine into Bangladesh.
In her 25-minute long defence Aung San SuuKyi said that Myanmar
will not tolerate any human rights violation and the government is working to
fix the domestic accountability.
She conceded that in some cases the armed forces may have used
disproportionate force violating international humanitarian law and civilians
suffered in the conflict. However, she said that Myanmar’s own judicial system
was investigating any possible crimes and reach its own conclusion.
The ICJ is hearing the case filed by Gambia on behalf of the OIC
accusing Myanmar of genocide and calling for provisional measures against
Myanmar to protect further persecution of the Rohingyas.
EU leaders to come up with European Green deal
The European Union has said that it will not hesitate to
take measures, including a carbon border adjustment tax, to protect the
competitiveness of its industries.
EU leaders are set to discuss the European Green Deal, a plan
that will commit member states to reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions to
zero by 2050, on Wednesday.
There are concerns that the aggressive policies to reduce
economy-wide emissions by EU member states could put domestic industry at a
disadvantage compared to industries from countries that not undertaking similar
European Commission Vice-President FransTimmermans that most
countries barring “very very few” have subscribed to Paris Agreement and agrees
it is a good thing and now the “necessity is to translate that into concrete
This would require countries to take measures to meet the goals
set out in the 2015 agreement. The European Green Deal is the package of
measures and policy the European Commission is proposing for the EU to achieve
Over the last year, there has been particularly in Europe much
greater social mobilisation and public pressure calling governments to set up
efforts to address climate change.
This public pressure has been buttressed by more robust science
and scientific assessments calling for increased efforts over the decade. A ramp
up of climate and environmental measures is at the core of EU President Ursula
von der Leyen approach.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Study finds volcanic rock movement might lead to ghg emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions directly from the movement of
volcanic rocks can create massive global warming effects -- more than
previously believed -- according to a study which may lead to changes in the
way scientists estimate climate change.
The researchers, including those from the University of
Birmingham in the UK, said one such role in climate change could be played by
Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) -- extremely large accumulations of rocks forming
when magma travelled through the crust towards the surface.
They created a model of changes in carbon emissions during the
Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) - a short interval of maximum
temperature lasting around 100,000 years some 55 million years ago.
As part of the study, the researchers calculated the greenhouse
gas fluxes associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) - one of
Earth's largest LIPs that spans Britain, Ireland, Norway and Greenland.
The simulations by the researchers predicted that the volcanic
rocks part of the NAIP could have initiated PETM climate change.
The link between LIPs and changes in global climate during the
Mesozoic era suggests that greenhouse gases released directly by these rocks
could initiate a domino effect of changes in the Earth's environment which could
persists over 10,000 to 100,000 years.
Sports ministry calls for rigorous campaign against doping
Sports and Youth Affairs Minister KirenRijiju has called for
a rigorous campaign to bring awareness about doping. The Minister said that
a sense of clean sports must be inculcated in the players from the very
beginning. Mr.Rijiju was addressing a gathering after declaring actor Sunil
Shetty as the Brand Ambassador of National Anti Doping Agency, NADA in New
Mr.Rijiju said, clean sports is the agenda of the government and
players must adopt fair practices to achieve success and not resort to foul
means like doping which brings bad name to the country.
He said, it is imperative for sportspersons to stay fit in order
to win and they should achieve fitness through regular exercises, yoga and by
taking nutritious diet.
The Minister said, Fit India Movement was launched to create
awareness about the importance of being fit in daily life through sports, yoga
and walks or any other physical activity.