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Insights Daily Current Events, February 19, 2014

February 19, 2014

By- DEEPA M

National-

Street vendor Bill-

  • A Bill that provides for protection of livelihoods rights, social security of street vendors and for regulation of urban street vending in the country–the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2014
  • The Provisions of the Bill are aimed at creating “conducive” atmosphere for street vendors, and designated spaces for them to carry out their business.
  • The Bill provides for constitution of a Town Vending Authority in each Local Authority, which is the fulcrum of the Bill, for implementing the provisions of the Bill, survey of all existing street vendors, and subsequent survey at-least once in every five years, and issue of certificate of vending to all the street vendors identified in the survey, with preference to SC, ST, OBC, women, persons with disabilities and minorities.
  • All existing street vendors, identified in the survey, will be accommodated in the vending zones subject to a norm conforming to 2.5 per cent of the population of the ward or zone or town or city and where the number of street vendors identified are more than the holding capacity of the vending zone, the Town Vending Committee (TVC) is required to carry out a draw of lots for issuing the certificate of vending for that vending zone and the remaining persons will be accommodated in any adjoining vending zone to avoid relocation.
  • The Bill also provides guidelines that will have to be followed for the relocation, eviction and confiscation of goods and establishment of an independent dispute redressal mechanism under the chairmanship of retired judicial officers to maintain impartiality towards grievance redressal of street vendors.
  • To safeguard vendors against excesses by the Police, Section 29 of the Bill provides for protection of street vendors from harassment by police and other authorities and provides for an overriding clause to ensure they carry on their business without the fear of harassment by the authorities under any other law.

 

National Mission for a Green India Scheme-

  • The objectives of the Mission during 12th Plan period includes increased forest/tree cover and improved quality of forest cover in two to eight million hectares, along with improved ecosystem services including biodiversity, hydrological services, increased forest-based livelihood income of households, living in and around the forests, and enhanced annual CO2 sequestration.
  • Mission implementation will be on a decentralized participatory approach with involvement of grass root level organizations in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring.
  • The gram sabha and the committees mandated by the gram sabha, including revamped JFMCs will oversee implementation at the village level.
  • A Governing Council, chaired by the Minister Environment and Forests and a National Executive Council chaired by the Secretary (E&F) and co-chaired by the DGF&SS with the Mission Director as the Member Secretary at the national level will facilitate Mission implementation. A multidisciplinary team, both from Govt. and NGOs will be mandated to facilitate planning and implementation at cluster/landscape unit level.

 

Schemes for Slum Dwellers and Urban Poor-

 

Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) – Major objectives of RAY are as under:

  • Improving and provisioning of housing, basic civic infrastructure and social amenities in intervened slums.
  • Enabling reforms to address some of the causes leading to creation of slums.
  • Facilitating a supportive environment for expanding institutional credit linkages for the urban poor.
  • Institutionalizing mechanisms for prevention of slums including creation of affordable housing stock.
  • Strengthening institutional and human resource capacities at the Municipal, City and State levels through comprehensive capacity building and strengthening of resource networks.
  •  Empowering community by ensuring their participation at every stage of decision making through strengthening and nurturing Slum Dwellers’ Association/Federations.

Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

  • The Government launched the JNNURM on 3rd December, 2005 for assisting State Governments in providing housing and basic services to urban poor/ slum dwellers in 65 select cities under the Sub Mission Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and in other cities and towns, under the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP).

Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY)-

  • RRY, a Central Sector Scheme (CSS), address the housing needs of the EWS/LIG segments in all urban areas, through enhanced credit flow. RRY is applicable to all the urban areas of the Country.
  • RRY provides interest subsidy of 5% (500 basis points) on loans granted to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) categories to construct their houses or to extend the existing ones.
  • The upper loan limit is Rs. 5 lakh for EWS and 8 lakh for LIG; however, interest subsidy would be limited to the first Rs. 5 lakh of the loan amount, in case the loan exceeds this amount.

International-

India, Canada set to enhance ties-

  • India and Canada are pressing ahead with high level engagements to develop closer ties in ensuring food and energy security besides investing in the sub-continent.
  • India and Canada enjoyed a close and cooperative relationship through the early years of India’s independence, despite the fact that Canada was a member of NATO and India was firmly Non-aligned
  • Canada remained an important development partner for India during 1950s and 1960s. It began extending economic assistance to India in 1951 through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and India was at one time the largest recipient of aid from Canada
  • India’s peaceful nuclear explosion of 1974 led to relations being frozen with Canada alleging that India had violated the terms of agreement under which Canada had supplied a nuclear reactor in 1956 under the Colombo Plan. Activities of Canada-based Sikh terrorist groups in planning and carrying out acts of violence in India during the 1980s introduced an additional element of strain
  • Following the economic reform process initiated by India in July 1991, the end of the Cold War, the growing realization that Canada should expand its economic presence in markets other than in the USA and the financial crisis in South East Asian countries in the second half of the 1990s, Canada identified India as the largest market in the region with enormous scope for commercial cooperation
  • Unfortunately Canada again chose to put relations with India “on hold” following the nuclear tests of May 1998. However, despite this political standoff, trade continued to grow between the two countries. The arrival of new Foreign Minister, John Manley, in November 2000 paved the way for a new beginning in bilateral relations with his decision to “re-engage” India. In the last two years there have been a record number of bilateral visits at the political as well as the official levels.
  • India’s major exports to Canada include readymade garments, textiles, cotton yarn, carpets, floor spreads, gem & jewellery & precious stones, organic chemicals, coffee, spices, light engineering goods, iron & steel articles, footwear and leather products, rice, cereals, processed foods and marine products.
    • India’s major items of import from Canada include newsprint, wood pulp, asbestos, potash, peas, iron scrap, copper, minerals and industrial chemicals.
    • On the investment front, recently there has been a rapid increase in FDI in Canada by Indian software companies with the intent to establish software development centres in Canada. Indian companies include Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, Infosys and Satyam. Areas of Indian investment also include pharmaceuticals, metals, petro chemicals, auto ancillaries, financial services, etc. SBI, Canada has four branches in the country and ICICI has recently started operations (December 2003).
    • Canada has a modest presence in India in terms of investment. Their major thrust is in five areas: power & energy, equipment & services; oil and gas; environment products & services; telecommunications & information technology; and the financial sector, including insurance.