All that was discussed in the House through the day
The size of the inter-state migrant workforce in the country was estimated to be over 100 million (10 crores) in 2016 in absolute terms, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment stated in Lok Sabha.
The government had enacted Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1979, to protect the interest of migrant workers who migrated within India for jobs / better employment opportunities, the minister said.
Slowdown in Rural India
The government was not aware of market researcher reports showing a slow down in consumption across rural India during the last one quarter, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Anurag Singh Thakur, said.
Madhya Pradesh forest cover
Forest cover in Bhopal, Vidisha and Sehore districts of Madhya Pradesh has registered a decrease of 25.33 per cent, 25.54 per cent and 46.1 per cent respectively compared to the previous assessment — Indian State of Forest Report-2017 — Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change told Parliament on March 23, 2020.
The decline was due to developmental activities, approved felling of trees on private lands and encroachment on forest land, according to the Madhya Pradesh government.
Supriyo also said that the ministry had taken several initiatives for increasing forest cover in the country including Madhya Pradesh. These included ongoing centrally sponsored schemes of the ministry such as National Afforestation Programme, National Mission for a Green India and Development of Wildlife Habitats.
Compensatory Afforestation Fund Rules, 2018, also contained provisions for taking up assisted natural regeneration, artificial regeneration and silvicultural operations in forests which contributed to increase in forest cover.
Biofuel Policy 2018
The National Policy on Biofuels 2018 notified by the government on June 4, 2018, laid out indicative targets of achieving 20 per cent blending of ethanol in petrol and five per cent blending of biodiesel in diesel across India by 2030, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas said in Lok Sabha.
He also said the government was promoting biofuels with the broader objectives of reducing import dependency, generating employment, providing better remuneration to farmers, promoting better waste management practices, etc.
According to him, procurement of ethanol under the ethanol blended petrol programme had increased to 188.6 crore litres during ethanol supply year (ESY) 2018-19, from 38 crore litres during ESY 2013-14. The ESY is calculated between December 1 and November 30 every year.
Reduction of vehicular emissions
The government had mandated mass emission standard for BS-VI vehicles throughout the country with effect from April 1, 2020, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways said in Rajya Sabha.
He stated that there would be an expected 50 per cent reduction in particulate matter due to BS-VI as compared to BS-IV fuels. BS-VI fuel had five times less sulphur content (10 ppm) as compared to BS-IV fuel (50 ppm), that would help in reducing emissions from vehicles. Hydrocarbon emissions were expected to be reduced by 72 per cent in BS-VI (0.13 g / kwh) compared to BS-IV (0.46 g / kwh) in diesel-based heavy duty vehicles.
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