On 5th November 2014, Madhya Pradesh state government approved its ambitious Defence Products Investment Policy. Madhya Pradesh has become the first state to formulate such a policy in the country. The cabinet meeting was chaired by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Key facts of the policy
- This policy will help those investors who are willing to invest Rs 500 crore or more for setting up public and private sector defence manufacturing units near Katni, Itarsi, and Jabalpur.
- 50-acre undeveloped government land will be provided and even land belonging to the closed down and sick units would be purchased for setting up defence equipment manufacturing units.
- Subsidy will be provided for creating infrastructure and dedicated escort officers would be provided for special units, besides offering a special package to those units making a permanent investment of Rs 500 crore.
- Besides, vendor units of defence manufacturing plants will be allotted land on sub-lease. Facilities like mother units will be provided to vendor units of big industries if vendor units sell 75 per cent of their products to mother units.
- Subsidy: Provision for providing subsidy for transporting goods and raw material to and fro the ports.
Under the policy, 50 per cent subsidy will be given on expenditure on power, water and road infrastructure to be created on undeveloped land by defence equipment manufacturing units.
- Units making permanent investment of Rs. 500 crore will be exempted from entry tax and 2 years exemption from power tariff. They will be given benefits under investment promotion assistance scheme.
- Road and power to these units will be developed and made available by government.
- Stamp duty will be reimbursed on purchase of closed, sick or acquired units for setting up defence manufacturing units.
Former Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation, Warren M Anderson died on 29th September 2014 at a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida. He was 92. Anderson was blamed for the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy as he was Chairman and CEO of the Union Carbide Corporation at the time of the disaster.
His death was not announced by his family in public but it was confirmed from public records.
About Warren M Anderson
- Warren M Anderson was an American businessman.
- He had served as Chairman and CEO of the Union Carbide Corporation at the time of the Bhopal disaster in 1984.
- Four days after the accident, he was immediately arrested. But after quickly paying bail, he never ran away and never returned to face trial in India.
- He was officially labeled as a fugitive by Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal on 1st February 1992 Bhopal disaster.
- The judge also called him an absconder for failing to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case.
- Union government had requested the US government to extradite him several times but it was always denied since the first extradition request in 2003 due to lack of evidence.
Bhopal gas tragedy
- The Bhopal gas tragedy was a gas leak incident in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It is considered as the world’s worst industrial disaster.
- It occurred on the night of 2-3 December 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
- Over 500,000 people in Bhopal and surrounding area were exposed to methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other chemicals after gas leak incident.
- The government of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh confirmed 3,787 deaths as a result of gas leakage. Unofficial estimates exceeded 10,000.
- More than a half-million people were injured, with many dying from illnesses including lung cancer, kidney failure and liver disease.
- In 1989, Union Carbide paid $470 million to the Indian government to settle litigation stemming from the disaster.
- In 2010, eight low-level Indian executives of Union Carbide’s Bhopal subsidiary were convicted of negligence in this tragedy.
The Centre is planning to create a SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) to implement the Ken-Betwa River Linking Project. Interlinking the rivers of India has been one of the major initiative of the NDA government at the Centre.
Ken-Betwa River Linking Project
The Ken-Betwa link is one of the 16 river linking proposals under the Peninsular Component of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for water resources development. It envisages diversion of surplus water from the Ken basin to the water-deficit Betwa basin. The project will have a dam on Ken river along with a 221 km link canal. The project was conceived in two phases, with the first phase benefitting both states, and the second phase confined to Madhya Pradesh. There are plans to implement both phases at the same time.
The project is expected to facilitate annual irrigation for 6.35 lakh hectares and supply drinking water to 13.42 lakh people. Also, a 78MW hydropower plant is expected to become operational after the two rivers are linked.
The project will involve the two neighbouring states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, both of which have in principle given their consent for creation of the SPV. Also the Ministry of Environment and Forests has given its approval for conducting the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Study for the project.