Delhi govt.’s responsibilities remain: Centre
The Union Home Ministry has said that the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCTD) Amendment Act, 2021 “in no way alters the constitutional and legal responsibilities of the elected government” to take necessary action in areas of health and education.
The Act passed by Parliament on March 24 gives more teeth to the office of the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi.
The objective of the Amendment Act is:
To make it more relevant to the needs of the capital.
Further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the Lt. Governor (LG).
Create a harmonious relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.
The Act says that “government” in the national capital territory of Delhi means the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi.
It gives discretionary powers to the L-G even in matters where the Legislative Assembly of Delhi is empowered to make laws.
The Act also seeks to ensure that the L-G is “necessarily granted an opportunity” to give an opinion before any decision taken by the Council of Ministers (or the Delhi Cabinet) is implemented.
What’s the concern now?
The Act gives the Lieutenant-Governor more teeth compared to the CM in administering the city.
It has inherent potential to trigger a confrontation between elected representatives rendered powerless in one stroke and an unelected appointee chosen by the Centre.
How is Delhi administered?
Delhi is a Union Territory with a legislature and it came into being in 1991 under Article 239AA of the Constitution inserted by ‘the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991.
As per the parent Act, the legislative assembly of Delhi has power to make laws in all matters except public order, police and land.
Myanmar’s military has launched air strikes on a village and outpost near the Thai border, after ethnic minority Karen insurgents attacked a Myanmar army post in some of the worst clashes since a Feb. 1 coup.
The Karen National Union (KNU), Myanmar’s oldest rebel group, has also said its fighters had taken the army camp on the west bank of the Salween river.
Who are the KNU?
The KNU is the dominant political organisation representing ethnic minority Karen communities in Karen, or Kayin, State, bordering Thailand.
Its aim is self-determination for the Karen people in a region of about 1.6 million people, roughly the size of Belgium, where they are the ethnic majority in the state.
What is the Karen Conflict?
Marginalised in then Burma’s post-independence political process, the KNU started a rebellion in 1949, which it waged for nearly 70 years. One of its key grievances was the majority Bamar community’s dominance of Myanmar’s state and military.
The conflict has been described as one of the world’s “longest running civil wars”.
What’s the demand?
Karen nationalists have been fighting for an independent state known as Kawthoolei since 1949.
Net Zero Producers’ Forum
Qatar, the US, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Norway have come together to form a cooperative forum that will develop pragmatic net zero emission strategies.
These countries are collectively responsible for 40% of global oil and gas production.
Roles and functions of the Net Zero Producers’ Forum:
The Net Zero Producers’ Forum will consider strategies and technologies which include “methane abatement, advancing the circular carbon economy approach, development and deployment of clean-energy and carbon capture and storage technologies, diversification from reliance on hydrocarbon revenues, and other measures in line with each country’s national circumstances.”
What is net-zero?
Net-zero, which is also referred to as carbon-neutrality, does not mean that a country would bring down its emissions to zero. Rather, net-zero is a state in which a country’s emissions are compensated by absorption and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Absorption of the emissions can be increased by creating more carbon sinks such as forests, while removal of gases from the atmosphere requires futuristic technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
Vehicle Scrappage Policy
A Crisil Research analysis shows that the Centre’s scrappage policy is unlikely to have freight transporters queuing up to replace old vehicles with new ones. The scrappage volume of buses, passenger vehicles (PVs) and two-wheelers will be limited as well.
Issues with the new policy:
Limited incentive and poor cost economics for trucks.
Lack of addressable volumes for other segments.
The potential benefit from scrapping a 15-year-old, entry-level small car will be ₹70,000, whereas its resale value is around ₹95,000. That makes scrapping unattractive.
Need of the hour:
With this background, for the scrappage policy to be seamlessly implemented, we should have a comprehensive plan in terms of removing ELV (End of life vehicles) from the road. Freight transporters need stronger financial support. However, that said, it is important to note that unless old fleet vehicles are off the road, the benefits of implementation of BSVI vehicles will not be fully leveraged.
About the Vehicle Scrappage Policy:
Old vehicles will have to pass a fitness test before re-registration and as per the policy government commercial vehicles more than 15 years old and private vehicles which are over 20 years old will be scrapped.
As a disincentive, increased re-registration fees would be applicable for vehicles 15 years or older from the initial date registration.
The state governments may be advised to offer a road-tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles to provide incentive to owners of old vehicles to scrap old and unfit vehicles.