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Insights Daily Current Events, 20 March 2015

Insights Daily Current Events, 20 March 2015

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.

State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF):

SDRF has been constituted by each state under the provisions of Disaster Management act 2005. It was constituted based on the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission.

  • The government of India contributes 75% and 90% of the total yearly allocation of SDRF to general states and special category states respectively.
  • The state executive committee headed by the Chief Secretary is authorized to decide on all matters relating to the financing of the relief expenditure from the SDRF.

 

Sources: The Hindu, ndmindia.nic.in.

 

Ratan Tata to Head Railways ‘Kayakulp’ Council

The Government has constituted the ‘Kayakulp’ Council and has appointed Shri Ratan Tata to head this Council.

Kayakalp:

  • It is an innovation council which was proposed in the recent railway budget.
  • It will be set up for the purpose of business re-engineering and introducing a spirit of innovation in Railways.
  • The purpose of the Council is to recommend innovative methods and processes for the improvement, betterment and transformation of the Indian Railways.
  • This Council would be a standing body and would interact with all stakeholders and other interested parties.

Sources: PIB.

 

ED to attach assets in chopper case

The Enforcement Directorate recently issued orders for the provisional attachment of assets worth Rs.1.12 crore acquired by British national Christian Michel, an accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case.

Enforcement Directorate:

Enforcement Directorate, established in the year 1956, is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.

Directorate of Enforcement is a specialized financial investigation agency under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, which enforces the following laws: –

  • Foreign Exchange Management Act,1999 (FEMA) – A civil law having quasi judicial powers, for investigating suspected contraventions of the Exchange Control laws and regulations with powers to impose penalties on those adjudged guilty.
  • Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) – A Criminal Law, with the officers empowered to conduct investigations to trace assets derived out of the proceeds of crime, and to provisionally attach/ confiscate the same, to arrest and prosecute the offenders found to be involved in Money Laundering.

The other functions include:

  • To collect, develop and disseminate intelligence relating to violations of FEMA, 1999, the intelligence inputs are received from various sources such as Central and State Intelligence agencies, complaints etc.
  • To investigate suspected violations of the provisions of the FEMA, 1999 relating to activities such as “hawala” foreign exchange racketeering, non-realization of export proceeds, non-repatriation of foreign exchange and other forms of violations under FEMA, 1999.
  • To adjudicate cases of violations of the erstwhile FERA, 1973 and FEMA, 1999.
  • To realize penalties imposed on conclusion of adjudication proceedings.
  • To handle adjudication, appeals and prosecution cases under the erstwhile FERA, 1973
  • To process and recommend cases for preventive detention under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA)
  • To undertake survey, search, seizure, arrest, prosecution action etc. against offender of PMLA offence.
  • To provide and seek mutual legal assistance to/from contracting states in respect of attachment/confiscation of proceeds of crime as well as in respect of transfer of accused persons under PMLA.

Sources: The Hindu, enforcementdirectorate.gov.in.

 

Centre yet to name two Anglo-Indians for Lok Sabha

Ten months into its term, the new government is yet to nominate two members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha despite at least two reminders from the All India Anglo-Indian Association about the unprecedented delay.

  • 5 lakh-strong Anglo-Indian community has gone unrepresented for four sessions including the Budget Session.
  • If the nomination is not made before March 31, then the community would lose out on the entire year’s allocation of funds under MPLADS.

Anglo Indians:

Who is an Anglo Indian?

According to the Constitution of India, a person from the Anglo-Indian community is defined as, “a person whose father or any of whose other male progenitors in the male line is or was of European descent; but who is domiciled within the territory of India, and is or was born within such territory of parents habitually resident therein and not established there for temporary purposes only.”

Basic facts:

  • The President of India nominates two members from this community as MPs in the Lok Sabha, when it is felt that the community is not represented.
  • The role of the Anglo-Indian MPs therefore, is primarily, to safeguard the community and its vibrant presence within the jurisdiction of India.
  • Like other MPs, the Anglo-Indian MPs vacate their office every five years before fresh elections are held to decide the next tenure of the Lok Sabha. It is permissible for the same MP from the Anglo-Indian community to be re-nominated to the Parliament in successive Parliamentary sessions.

Sources: The Hindu, elections.in.

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