Chhattisgarh Current Affairs - 2019

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First sale of electoral bonds from March 1, 2018: Finance Ministry

The first sale of electoral bonds will start from March 1, 2018 for period of 10 days at four main branches of State Bank of India in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi. These bonds will have a life of 15 days, and citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in the country can purchase them.

Electoral bonds

The electoral bonds scheme was announced in Union Budget 2017 with an aim for increasing transparency in political funding. It makes India first country in the world to have such unique bonds for electoral funding. These bonds are bearer instrument in nature of promissory note and interest-free banking instrument. It aims at rooting out current system of largely anonymous cash donations made to political parties which lead to generation of black money in the economy.

Key Facts

These electoral bonds can be bought for any value in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore after fulfilling all existing Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and making payments from bank account. It will not carry name of payee.

The bond deposited by any eligible political party to its account shall be credited on the same day. No payment shall be made to any payee political party if bond is deposited after expiry of validity period. SBI has been allowed to issue and encash these bonds initially at its four authorised branches.

Eligible political parties can encash electoral bonds only through their bank accounts. Only registered political parties, that have secured not less than 1% of votes polled in last election of Lok Sabha or legislative assembly of state, will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

Background

The sale of electoral bonds comes ahead of elections in number of states through year. Karnataka is likely to go to polls in April-May followed by elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram later in year.

Cabinet approves setting up Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved setting up of tribunal for adjudication of long-pending dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi river waters.

The tribunal was constituted under Inter-State River Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956 on request of Odisha and is in line with Supreme Court’s order issued in January 2018. Odisha was repeatedly sought formation of tribunal stating that negotiations have failed to resolve the matter.

Key Facts

The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, present utilization of water resources in each state and potential for future development.

As per provisions of ISRWD Act, 1956, the Tribunal will consist of Chairman and two other members nominated by Chief Justice of India (CJI) from amongst Judges of Supreme Court or High Court. Further, services of two assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will advise Tribunal in its proceedings. The Tribunal will have to submit its report and decision within period of 3 years as per ISRWD Act, 1956 which can be extended to further period not exceeding 2 years due to unavoidable reasons.

Background

Since mid-80s, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are locked in dispute over sharing of water of Mahanadi River. Odisha has claimed that Chhattisgarh government has been constructing dams in upper reaches of Mahanadi, depriving its farmers who are heavily dependent on river water. Chhattisgarh has been against the setting up of a tribunal, and argued that water sharing agreement was with erstwhile Madhya Pradesh government, before state bifurcated in 2000.

Mahanadi

Mahanadi is major river in East Central India. It drains an area of around 141,600 square kilometres and has total course of 858 kilometres. It flows through Chhattisgarh and Odisha. It originates from highlands of Chhattisgarh through collection of array of streams and reaches Bay of Bengal. It left bank tributaries are Shivnath, Mand, Ib, Hasdeo and right bank are Ong, parry river, Jonk, Telen.