India Current Affairs - 2019
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India and Norway signed a letter of Intent for establishing the India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative. The letter of intent was signed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India together with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative
During the visit of the Norwegian Prime Minister’s visit to India in January, India and Norway had agreed to work more closely on oceans by signing a MoU and establishing the India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
Both the governments had agreed to share experiences and competence, and collaborate on efforts to develop clean and healthy oceans, sustainable use of ocean resources and growth in the blue economy.
The India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative is the first Joint initiative and it takes forward the commitments made under the MoU. The Joint initiative aims to combat marine pollution, which is one of the fastest growing environmental concerns.
The India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative will support local governments in implementing sustainable waste management practices, develop systems for collecting and analyzing information about sources and scope of marine pollution and improve private sector investment.
The initiative will also support beach clean-up efforts, awareness-raising campaigns and pilot project using plastic waste as fuel substitution for coal in cement production and developing frameworks for deposit schemes.
The United States is reportedly considering withdrawal of benefits to India under its Generalised System of Preferences amid a widening dispute over its trade and investment policies.
The US Trade Representative (USTR) is in the process of completing the review of India’s status as a GSP beneficiary and an announcement was expected over the next two weeks.
The withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences from India could be the strongest punitive action since President Donald Trump took office in 2017 vowing to reduce the US deficit with large economies. The Trump administration has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs.
Generalised System of Preferences
Generalised System of Preferences instituted in 1976 under the Trade Act of 1974 is a U.S. trade program designed to promote economic growth in the developing world by providing preferential duty-free entry for up to 4,800 products from 129 designated beneficiary countries and territories.
Impact on Trade with India
The withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences from India would result in the elimination of duty-free access for about 2,000 Indian product lines. This will hurt small businesses such as jewellery. This will adversely affect Indian exports to the US. After the withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preferences number of goods qualifying for preferential treatment could be reduced, or the whole programme could be withdrawn.