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India reverses stand on asbestos at Rotterdam Convention meet

Issue Date: May 9, 2013
In a retrograde move, India opposed the listing of chrysotile asbestos under Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention at the sixth meeting of Conference of Parties (COP6) on May 8 in Geneva. Substances listed under Annex III of the Convention—a global treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to import of hazardous chemicals—require exporting countries to advise importing countries about the toxicity of the substances so that importers can give their prior informed consent (PIC) for trade. The Convention does not ban or limit trade in such hazardous substances.

Deadline extended for developers of solar thermal projects

Issue Date: May 8, 2013
Giving a breather to the developers of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) projects in the country, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the project commissioning deadline to ten months from May 9. (CSP plants use curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight, which is then converted into high temperature heat for generating electricity projects.) 

CAG blames Centre for increase in foodgrain procurement cost

Issue Date: May 8, 2013
In its report to Parliament on Tuesday, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has accused the Indian government of  adopting a “skewed” method of deciding the minimum support price for food grains. MSP is the price at which government agencies procure wheat and paddy from farmers.

Three children die of encephalitis in Bihar

Issue Date: May 8, 2013
Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is back to haunt people of Bihar. Three children have succumbed to the AES within 30 days. Last year, 260 children died because of AES and Japanese Encephalitis (JE).

Karnataka polls: Bellary goes to mining barons

Author(s): M Suchitra
Issue Date: May 8, 2013
See also:  Infographics: Losses to the Karnataka Exchequer  

A bill to secure food for the poor

Issue Date: May 8, 2013
The National Food Security Bill (NFSB), the brainchild of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, was a part of the UPA manifesto in the 2009 elections. The Bill was first introduced in Parliament in December 2011. See also:    Food basket is shrinking India's hunger level constant for past 15 years Download pdf Summary of National Food Security Bill, 2013 Amendments to National Food Security Bill, 2011  

South Africa to phase in carbon tax from 2015

Issue Date: May 8, 2013
South Africa has proposed a carbon tax of 120 Rand (about US $13) per tonne of emission of carbon-dioxide equivalent in the second draft of its carbon tax proposal, titled Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and facilitating the transition to a green economy. This follows an earlier announcement made by its finance minister Pravin Gordhan to implement a carbon tax by 2015 during the annual budget speech this year.

High Court gives Centre four weeks to decide forestland allocation to Essar

Issue Date: May 7, 2013
The Gujarat High Court has given the Central government four weeks to decide on the allocation of forestland illegally encroached by Essar Steel Limited (ESL) at Hazira, Gujarat. In a ruling delivered on Friday, state high court justices Bhaskar Bhattacharjee and J B Pardiwala also directed the state government to present express its views on the matter within two weeks.
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