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Union Government launches ‘Give It Up’ movement in Karnataka

Union Government on 4 April 2015 formally launched the ‘Give It Up’ movement in Karnataka. It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradan.

The movement appeals to the rich people to voluntarily give up their subsidy amount given on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

The money surrendered under this movement will be utlised for poor to get LPG connection in rural as well as in urban areas who are still using firewood for cooking.

Earlier in this regard, Give it Up campaign was launched Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the annual energy-focussed summit Urja Sangam 2015. During this summit, Prime Minister had asked companies and banks to encourage their employees to give up the subsidy on LPG.

PM also had mentioned that Give it Up campaign should be taken up on the lines of Union Governments initiatives like Swacch Bharat and Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.

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Union Government extends National Food Security Act deadline by 6 months

Union Government again has extended rolling out deadline for National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 by six months.

It was announced by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in order to give more time to states to roll out NFSA. The extension will help remaining states adopt and implement the law within next six months.

It is third time, this deadline has been extended and the second deadline was to end on 4 April 2015.

So far only 11 states and Union Territories (UTs) have implemented NSFA which was passed by Parliament in September 2013. Remaining 25 states/UTs have not implemented it yet.

11 states and UTs that have implemented NSFA fully or partially are- Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi and Chandigarh.

Facts about National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013

  • NSFA aims at providing legal entitlement to 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains to the identified person per month.
  • Grains like wheat, rice and coarse grain will be distributed at the price of 3 Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers and children are entitled to get meals under the prescribed nutrition by MDM and ICDS. The age group would be 6 months to 14 years.
  • NFSA 2013 will provide high nutrition food to the age group of 6 years.
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers will be entitled to get maternity benefit of not less than Rs. 6,000.

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Union Government unveils new Foreign Trade Policy

Union Government has unveiled new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) to make India an exporting powerhouse in the next five years.

The new trade policy will incorporate government ambitious initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India mission, Skill India programme, ease of business in order to boost jobs and take India’s exports to 900 billion dollars by 2020.

The goals of the new policy will be achieved by simplifying complex procedures, addressing infrastructural bottlenecks and eliminating manufacturing hurdles.

Focus areas of the new FTP are

  • Labour intensive sectors to generate more employment.
  • Boosting to environment-friendly products.
  • High tech value addition.
  • Involving skill India programme to promote entrepreneurship.
  • Moving towards branding of products.
  • Incentives for units located in SEZs.
  • Making the life of traders easier.

Key facts

  • FTP also takes into consideration e-commerce. Under the new policy, India’s nascent, e-commerce sector would also be extended sops.
  • The new trade policy will be based on two new schemes- Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Services Exports from India Scheme (SIES). Under these two schemes, government has merged all earlier export promotion schemes.
  • MEIS is for export of specified goods in specified markets with the rate of rewards range from 2 to 5%. SIES is for increasing exports of notified services and the selected services will be rewarded at the rates of 3 to 5%.
  • The new also move towards paperless working. In this regard, a facility has been created to upload documents in exporter/ importer profile in order to avoid need of repeatedly submitting documents.

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