Gujarat Current Affairs

Government launches Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched country-wide Pradhan Mantri LPG Panchayat scheme to distribute LPG connections among rural areas where conventional fuel is used for domestic purposes.

The scheme was launched by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Mota Ishanpur village in Gandhinagar district in Gujarat. It is backup scheme to existing Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.

LPG Panchayat scheme

The LPG Panchayat scheme aims at spreading awareness among LPG users about how to properly use clean fuel and its useful benefits. It will provide platform to trigger discussion through sharing of personal experiences on benefits of use of clean fuel compared to traditional fuels like cowdung, charcoal or wood.

It also aims to connect with beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana to resolve issues and wrong traditional beliefs among people through officials of oil PSUs, NGOs, Asha workers and social workers. Under it, one lakh LPG Panchayats will be activated across country to deal with issue of safe use of LPG as well as discuss its various benefits on environment, health and how it empowers women.

LPG Panchayat will serve as an interactive platform between those who received LPG cylinders under PMUY. One panchayat will have around 100 LPG customers of nearby areas. The panchayats discuss issues such as safe practices, quality of service provided by distributors and availability of refill cylinders.

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Government signs $76 Million loan deal with JICA to Upgrade Alang-Sosiya Shipyards

The Union Government signed $76 million loan deal with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for starting upgradation project related to environment management plan at Alang-Sosiya ship recycling shipyards in Gujarat.

The project will be executed by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and is likely to be completed by 2022. The total cost of project is $111 million out of which $76 million will be provided by JICA as soft loan. Out of remaining amount, $25 million will be borne by Gujarat Government as taxes and fees and balance $10 million will be shared by Ministry of Shipping.

Benefits of the project

This project will help Alang-Sosia ship-recycling yards to comply with international safety & environmental regulations. This will attract more business at recycling facilities at Alang, thereby further consolidate India’s share in global ship-recycling industry.

It will also help in safeguarding marine and coastal environment. The use of advanced decontamination technology will rule out possibility of fire accidents in oil and chemical tankers, thereby ensuring workers safety.  The project is expected to increase in direct employment from 50,000 to 92,000 people and in-direct employment from 1.5 lakhs to 3 lakh people.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

The JICA is governmental agency that coordinates official development assistance (ODA) for government of Japan. Its mandate is assisting economic and social growth in developing countries, and promotion of international cooperation.

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