Government Policies Current Affairs

Government launches Sand Mining Framework to check illegal extraction

The Union Ministry of Mines has launched Sand Mining Framework to help states deal with the sand mining issues, including demand supply deficit and illegal extraction. It was launched at the third National Conclave on Mines & Minerals held in New Delhi.

Key Facts

The main objective of framework is to assist states in arriving at best possible options before them. It also seeks to addresses issues of state objectives, demand-supply assessment and measures to sand availability, allocation model, transportation and monitoring mechanism. Besides, it also includes suggestions for faster clearances and approvals and using its interventions in complete process chain of sand mining. It also lays emphasis on alternatives of sand i.e. manufactured sand, import of sand etc.

Need for framework

Sand is an important component for housing, infrastructure projects and construction activities. There have been various issues across the country in mining activities related to sand like non availability of sand, environmental degradation, high sand prices, illegalities in sand mining etc. The natural endowment of sand across many states is unable to meet the demand and is coupled with unease of extraction issues, pricing and illegalities in mining. So there was need of uniform framework to help states to frame their policies, taking into consideration their objectives, endowments and state deployment of resources.

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Commerce Ministry to devise strategy on product standards

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has released draft Indian National Strategy for Standardisation for standardisation of products and services to provide level playing field to domestic industry and adopt best global practices. The strategy will play an active role and take leadership positions in apex international forums in related areas besides creating response mechanisms to global developments on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment practices that impact market access of Indian goods and services.

Key objectives of draft strategy

  • Positioning standards as key driver of all economic activities relating to goods and services
  • Create integrated infrastructure, roadmaps and institutions for their effective management
  • Enhance competitiveness of Indian goods and services in domestic and international markets.
  • Develop comprehensive ecosystem for standards development taking into account diversity of interests and expertise available.
  • Provide level playing field to domestic industry and adopt best practices in standardisation, conformity assessment and technical regulations.

Need for strategy

Rapid growth of Indian economy, its size and emerging relevance in global trade has made it essential to establish robust quality infrastructure in country with harmonised, dynamic and mature standards ecosystem for goods. The standardisation will fuel economic growth and enhance ‘Made in India’ label as standards are widely recognised as catalysts for technical development, industrial growth, well-being of society and more recently for convergence of new and emerging technologies. The strategy for standardisation of products considers current state of development across sectors, existing quality infrastructure and policy directions in relation to domestic economic developments and trade in goods and services.

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