Corona Virus Current Affairs - 2020

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Major Relief Measures by Power Ministry during Lock Down

On March 28, 2020, the Ministry of Power approved major relief measures to provide power supply 24/7 to all the consumers. In order to achieve this the generation, transmission and distribution operations are to run continuously round the clock

What is the issue?

In India, 70% of power generation is coal based. Therefore, it is important to maintain the continuity of coal supply. Also, due to lock down the consumers have not paid their dues. This has affected the liquidity positions of the distribution companies.

Steps taken

The Ministry of Power has issued directions to the Central Electricity Regulatory commission. According to the guidelines, the commission is to provide moratorium of three months to the Discoms in order to make payments to the generating companies.

What are Discoms?

A Discom is Distribution Company (in India). These are companies that are not generating power by themselves. Rather they buy power from some one else and distribute it to the consumers.

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Lock Down: Agriculture and allied activities exempted

On March 28, 2020, the Union Agriculture Minister announced that agriculture and farming related activities have been exempted from Lock Down. This was introduced in the second addendum introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Highlights

Under the second addendum issued by the Home Ministry towards the lock down, the following categories have been exempted

  • The ‘Mandis’ operated by the APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee)
  • The agencies or enterprises that are involved in procurement of agricultural products. This includes the Minimum Support Price operations as well
  • Packaging and Manufacturing units of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Movement of machineries involved in harvesting and sowing. The movements within the states and between the states have been exempted from the lock down.

Significance

The move has been brought in to facilitate unhindered activities related to farming and agriculture. Also, this will also ensure supply of essential commodities to common people during the lock down.

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