The parliament had passed Special Economic Zone Amendment Bill, 2019. This Amendment allowed “trusts and any entity” to set up units in the SEZ. It aims to boost investment and generate employment in a wide range of economic activities, including in the infrastructure sector. This Bill opens up the possibility for all types of trusts to operate from the SEZs – public charitable trusts, private trusts run by big and small corporate houses, business trusts like the real estate investment trusts and infrastructure investment trusts and port trusts run by the government. The SEZs are of importance to the Indian economy as they are the catalyst for its growth. However, in India, its full potential is not being utilized like that of China. This new step may boost the SEZs' potentials. However, necessary steps must be taken by the government to ensure that there is equal economic growth of the nation and not just in the SEZs.
On early September this year, the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, headed by the Prime Minister, has approved the hike of the procurement prices of ethanol. This move comes amidst the crisis of sugar surplus and increasing tensions between Iran and the US. This move is of significance as the high prices are being offered …
India’s aviation sector is contributing about 30 billion USD to India’s GDP. India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. Nearly 90% of the aviation traffic is at the domestic level. This means that UDAN scheme or the Regional Air Connectivity Scheme is an asset to the aviation sector. However, this scheme alone cannot address the growing crisis in the aviation sector. The government must launch a viable policy to support the growth of this sector.
A few years back, Beijing and Delhi were competing with each other for being some of the most polluted cities in the world. Between 2000 and 2009, Beijing was far worse than Delhi in terms of air pollution. However, in recent years, the air quality of Beijing began improving while Delhi’s pollution levels continued to increase. In 2017, the concentration of PM 2.5 (particulate matter with a size of 2.5 microns or less) in Beijing was less than half that of Delhi. The number of “very unhealthy” days in Delhi is four times more than that of Beijing. The reason behind Beijing’s successful reduction of atmospheric pollution is due to the series of stringent measures to reduce the carbon emission into the atmosphere. One among them is the focus on the automobile sector. In 2017, the quota for new vehicles was fixed at 150,000 cars of which 60,000 was allotted only to the fuel-efficient cars. In 2018, this quota was reduced to 100,000. Although an average Indian contributes only a microscopic amount of transport-related carbon dioxide emissions to the global climate change, congested streets and polluted air are common aspects seen in the Indian metropolises. It is not only discomforting on a daily basis but is also a long-term health hazard to those who are living in big cities like Delhi.
Whether we realise it or not, the drinking water scarcity problem that we see in different parts of India today is a direct result of climate change. India is very vulnerable to climate change — melting Himalayan glaciers will produce floods in north India; erratic monsoons will create droughts in peninsular India.
Global action against climate change is not enough even if the Paris Agreement is followed in letter and spirit which is already weakening due to nations such as the US and Brazil walking away from it. Therefore India will have to assume the worst of impacts of global warming and tailor its programmes accordingly.
With the threat of floods and droughts looming in various parts of the country, there is no option but to make the 150-year-old idea, that is, Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) happen, and fast. The NDA government has always been in favour of inter-linking of rivers and it is to be hoped that the government sees ILR in the light of climate action, rather than a developmental move.
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched China’s most ambitious project One Belt One Road (OBOR) which involves the building of two projects namely – Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR). OBOR later came to be known as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BRI is arguably the most ambitious global infrastructure project ever envisaged by one country. However, is this merely an economic project? or a geopolitical one of China? Will India get any benefit by joining this project or not? Let us discuss those issues in detail.
The government has set the target of achieving 100% Electric vehicles by 2030. Manufacturing and putting the electric cars on road is the vision to make India pollution free along with saving billions of dollars in fuel cost and creating new job opportunities. However, there are also criticisms that India is not yet ready for electric vehicles which we will discuss in this article with a suitable way forward.
Recently the Prime Minister has launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).Dubbed as ‘One Nation One Card’, the inter-operable transport card would enable the holders to pay for their travel expenses (bus, metro, railways), toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money across the country.This type of system already exists in various developed countries like UK, Singapore, etc. and now it will be used in India too.