Amendments Current Affairs - 2020

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Motor Vehicles Act: 10% reduction of road accidents in 5 months

On March 16, 2020, the Minister of Transport Nithin Gadkari informed Rajya Sabha that there has been 10% decrease in road accidents since the passage of Motors Vehicles Act.

Highlights

During the Question Hour, the minister replied that India has pledged to reduce 50% of accidents in 5 years. Also, India signed the World Safety Conference held in Sweden recently.

Status of accidents in India

In India, more than 5 lakh accidents occur annually and more than 1.5 lakh people lose their lives.

Effects of the law

After the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) act, 2019 was passed in July 2019, accidents have reduced by 10% in the country. This has saved 10,000 lives. Out of all the states, Tamil Nadu has made significant progress in reducing road accidents. The state alone has helped reduce 24% of accidents in the last 5 months. Gujarat helped reduce 14%, Andhra Pradesh has reduced accidents by 7% and Uttar Pradesh has helped to reduce 13% of accidents in the country.

In Kerala, the accidents have increased by 4.9% and Assam by 8% rise.

Motor Vehicles Act

The Motor Vehicles act is currently under concurrent list. This means that both the centre and the states are empowered to implement the requirements of the act.

Measures of GoI

The World Bank has provided Rs 14,000 crores and Asian Development Bank has provided grant of Rs 7,000 crores to improve road infrastructure of India. The funds are to be used to improve road engineering and also to providing training in driving.

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Corona Virus: GoI brings hand sanitizers and masks under Essential Commodities Act

The Government of India recently brought hand sanitizers and masks under Essential Commodities Act. Till 30th June, 2020, these products are to remain under Essential Commodities Act. The GoI has brought these commodities under the act by amending Schedule of Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

Essential Commodities Act

According to the act, an essential commodity is a commodity that is specified under the Schedule of the act. The act empowers GoI to add or remove new commodities as when needed. So far items such as pulses, cereals, drugs, fertilizers, petroleum, edible oil, certain crops and petroleum products were included under essential commodities schedule. The act also prevents stocking of essential commodities. The State Governments have no rights add commodities to the list. However, they are empowered to conduct raids.

Significance

When the products are listed as essential products, their prices and supply shall be intervened by the government. By doing so, profiteering of the products during their high demand is prevented.

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