Current Affairs March 2015

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RINL launches first of its kind green project to generate 120 MW power

Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) the corporate entity of Vizag Steel Plant (VSP) on 31 March 2015 launched novel green project that can generate 120 MW power.

It is first of its kind green project launched in Indian Steel Industry that can generate pollution free captive power using 100 per cent Blast Furnace Gas and Coke Oven Gas.

The plant consists of state-of-the-art Boiler Turbo Generator (BTG) Power Plant technology in order to efficiently utilise the surplus Blast Furnace Gas (BFG). This Power Plant is designed for firing 100 per cent BFG and Coke Oven Gas for the new captive power plant of 120 MW-capacity.

The plant is built at a cost of Rs 676 crore. It will help VSP to move step towards achieving self-sufficiency in power generation and to reduce dependency on the State Grid in the process of steel making.

Presently, RINL is having three turbo generators each 60 MW (180 MW) capacity and two turbo generators of 67.5 each (135MW) capacity. Thus, having total captive power generation capacity of 315 MW.

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Union Government amends guidelines for financial support to PPP in infrastructure

Union Government on 31 March 2015 approved amendments to the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) guidelines. The approved amendments seek to enhance financial support to projects in infrastructure sector.

Decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Amendments approved

  • Change in the definition of a Private Sector Company in the guidelines for financial support to PPP in Infrastructure under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) Scheme.
  • The definition of a Private Sector Company means a company which is not a Government Company.
  • In this case Government company is defined as any company in which more than 51 per cent of the paid-up share capital is held by the Union Government or State(s) Government or partly by Union Government and partly by State Government (s).
  • It also includes a company which is a subsidiary company of such a Government company.

This decision was taken to remove any ambiguity in interpretation of the term Private Sector Company in order to align it with the definition of Government Company defined under Section 2 (45) of the Companies Act, 2013.

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Gujarat Legislative Assembly passes Anti-Terror Bill

The Gujarat Legislative Assembly on 31 March 2015 passed Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2015.

It is third time this controversial Bill being passed by state assembly. Earlier, passed bill was rejected two times by the then Presidents in 2004 and 2008 for reconsideration.

Key facts

  • GUJCOC Bill, 2015 is a modified version of the original 2003 Gujarat Control of Organized Crime Bill. It still contains the provisions that had led to its rejection by Presidents in the past.
  • The bill aims to empower the law enforcing authorities to intercept and record phone calls as evidence.  It also puts the onus of proving the innocence on an accused.

Clause 14 of the Bill mentions that evidence collected through interception of wire, electronic or oral communication shall be admissible as evidence against the accused in the court.

Background

  • In 2004, the bill was passed for first time and was returned by then President APJ Abdul Kalam after he had objected clause-14. He had asked state government to remove the clause.
  • In 2008, the bill was again passed after clause 14 was deleted as per recommendation of President.
  • However, then President Pratibha Patil again rejected it and had suggested to eliminate the provision related to confession made before a police officer to be admitted in the court as evidence.
  • In 2009, the bill was again passed for third time without making recommended amendments and was sent for President’s assent. It is still pending with the President for assent.

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