Assam Current Affairs - 2019
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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has stated before the Supreme Court that exclusion of names of persons from draft National Registry of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will not affect their voting rights in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls provided their names feature in the electoral rolls.
Petition before the Supreme Court
Petition filed by Gopal Seth and Susanta Sen, residents of Assam feared that people would lose their voting rights due to the ongoing exercise of National Registry of Citizens. The petition highlighted five categories of people:
- Persons whose names were deleted from the voter list which includes names of those appeared in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018.
- People whose names were not included in the complete draft NRC, but they subsequently filed claims for inclusion of their names in it.
- People who have been declared as foreigners by the foreigners’ tribunal as well as the Guwahati High Court. The order which has been stayed by the apex court.
- People who had already been declared foreigners by the foreigners’ tribunal and such declarations were set aside by the apex court.
- People whose names have not been included in the draft NRC, but other members of their families, including parents, have been included in the NRC and they have filed their claims for the inclusion of their names.
Allaying the fears the ECI has assured that exclusion of names of persons from draft NRC in Assam will not affect their voting rights in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and sought the dismissal of the petition.
The Supreme Court asked the ECI to provide data about the addition and deletion of names from voters’ list as revised in January for 2017, 2018 and 2019. The case for posted for further hearing on March 28.
The government has overhauled the rules for the oil and gas exploration permits. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has released the new rules for oil and gas exploration permits:
- New rules make a departure from the from the two-and-a-half decade-old practice of having a uniform contractual regime for all sedimentary basins in the country.
- The new policy provides for different rules for areas that already have producing fields and ones where commercial production of oil and gas is yet to be established.
- New rules provide complete marketing and pricing freedom for oil and gas in future bid rounds irrespective of the basins.
- Future bids for Oil and gas acreage or blocks will be awarded primarily on the basis of exploration work commitment.
- Companies are required to pay a share of revenue from oil and gas produced in Category-I sedimentary basins such as Krishna Godavari, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan or Assam where commercial production has already been established.
- Companies will be charged only prevalent royalty rates on oil and natural gas in the less explored Category-II and III basins.
- Further concessional royalty rates will be applicable if production is commenced within four years for onland and shallow water blocks, and five years for deep water and Ultra-deepwater blocks from the effective date of the contract.
The new rules are being introduced to increase exploration activities, attract domestic and foreign investment in unexplored and unallocated areas of sedimentary basins, and enhance domestic production of oil and gas.
Tags: Assam • Category-I sedimentary basins • Category-II sedimentary basins • Category-III sedimentary basins • Krishna Godavari • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas • Mumbai Offshore • oil and gas exploration • Rajasthan