Import-Export Current Affairs - 2020

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Punjab creates land banks to boost industrial production

The Punjab cabinet on December 2, 2019, approved the amendment of Punjab Village Common Land (Regulation) rules, 1964. It aims at creating land banks in rural areas to boost industrial development in the state.

Highlights of the amendment

The amendment has included Rule 12-B that provides special provision to transfer shamlat land or common land to the development of industrial projects. According to GoI, Shamlat land is the land that does not come under cultivation and habitation. It is the consolidated land holdings that are held by the state governments for common use.

Under the amendment, the Gram Panchayat can transfer the shamlat land to the industries with prior approval from the state government. Land Banks are to be set up under Gram Panchayat to implement this amendment.

In order to achieve this, as an initial step, 1,000 acres of Panchayat land have been identified and integrated across five different villages. It will be used to develop a Global Manufacturing and Knowledge Park at Rajpura in Patiala District. The park is a part of the Amristar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor project.

The rule allows the transfer of land to industry department or state-owned Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC).

Significance

The amendment will help in fastening the development of core and infrastructure projects. It will also bring in long-term industrial benefits. Along with land banks, amendments were also made to factories act, industrial disputes act and contract labor act. These amendments aim at promoting ease of doing business.

India to host the Kimberely Process Certification Scheme

The Plenary meeting of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is to be hosted by India between November 18, 2019 and November 22, 2019. The event is hosted by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The meeting is held annually to make sure that the trade of diamonds is conflict free.

Highlights of the meeting

During the meeting three special forums are to be held. It includes adapting to changes in diamond industry, financial inclusion and women empowerment in the diamond industry and origin and identification of diamonds. Also, several meetings of the working groups and committees of Kimbereley Process Certification Scheme.

Why is KPCS important for India?

  • Currently India is exporting 24 billion USD. In the coming years it is expected that the target will reach 1 trillion USD.
  • There are more than 1 million people employed in diamond industry in India.

About KPCS

  • India is one of the founding members of the KPCS
  • The Scheme outlines the rules that govern the trade of diamonds. The purpose of the scheme is to prevent the flow of conflict diamonds. It is not an organization. There are no offices or headquarters for KPCS. It cannot frame agreements. It simply relies on contributions of the participants, industries, governments, civil society observers
  • The KPCS has been agreed by the United Nations and the World Diamond Council.

Working of KPCS

The scheme works on certain terms and conditions. The participating countries should implement national legislation, export and import controls and should exchange statistical data. The countries should also be transparent to the scheme meetings.

What are conflict diamonds?

Conflict diamonds are rough diamonds that are used by the rebel movements to finance wars, especially in the third world countries