Economy Current Affairs

India’s first mega Coastal Economic Zone to come up at JNPT in Maharashtra

The Union Government has given go-ahead for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Maharashtra.

The first of its kind mega CEZ will stretch along north Konkan region spread across Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik and Raigarh. About 45 companies across auto, telecom and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in zone.

Coastal Economic Zone (CEZ)

CEZs are spatial economic regions comprising group of coastal districts or districts with strong linkage to ports in region to tap into synergies with planned industrial corridor projects. These zones are expected to provide business-friendly ecosystem including ease of doing business, ease of exporting and importing, swift decisions on applications for environmental clearances and speedy water and electricity connections.

Key Facts

CEZ will be developed as part of plan for developing 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs. The plan envisages total investment of Rs 15,000 crore in first phase and creation of more than 1.5 lakh jobs.

The idea is to attract large firms interested in serving export markets as they will bring with them capital, technology, good management practices and links to world markets. This in turn will help create ecosystem around them in which productive small and medium firms will emerge and flourish.

Background

The Union Cabinet in 2016 had approved setting up of 14 mega CEZs under National Perspective Plan of Sagarmala Programme. Its aim was to promote development of industrial clusters around ports, encourage portled development, reduce logistics cost and time for movement of cargo, enhance global competitiveness of country’s manufacturing sector and create hubs of job creation.

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Government to introduce BS-VI auto fuels in Delhi from 2018

The Petroleum Ministry in consultation with Public Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) has decided for preponement of BS-VI grade auto fuels in National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi from 1st April 2018 instead of 1st April 2020.

This decision was taken into account the serious pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas and as part of government’s concerted efforts to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce the carbon footprints and keep a healthy environment.

Bharat Stage Norms

Bharat stage norms are emission standards instituted by Government to regulate output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. The standards and timeline for implementation are set by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change.

The standards are based on European regulations and were first introduced in 2000. Since then, various stages Bharat Stage compatible fuel and ungraded and modified vehicles were introduced throughout the country.

The harmful emissions that are identified for regulations in different Bharat Stages (BS) are carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons (HC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate matter (PM). Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released, Higher the Bharat Stage goes lesser it emits pollutants. BS-I, BS-II and BS-III stages were launched in 2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively

BS VI Norms

The BS-IV compliant fuels have Sulphur concentration of 50 parts per million (ppm). It will come down to 10 ppm in BS-VI compliant fuels and auto engines. It will result in lower level of harmful emissions and reduced incidence of lung diseases. Moreover, switch to BS-VI norms will also reduce concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons, nitrous oxide (NOx) and particulate matter from emissions.

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