Saturday, September 18, 2010

Updates

1)

Those who are below 18 years of age may be banned from political activity in Bangladesh under a draft policy for children announced here by the government. The age and definition of a child are proposed to be revised from the present 14 to 18 years, bringing in nearly 45 percent of the country's estimated 156 million population. The new child policy seeks to target ultra poor children under the protection of its social safety net, The Daily Star said.

2)

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the state-run telecom operator in India will lay optical fiber cable (OFC) through Bangladesh to connect northeast India with the rest of the world. Recently speaking on the sidelines of launching WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) services in Tripura, BSNL General Manager Debkumar Chakraborty said, "BSNL will lay optical fiber from Agartala to Dhaka. Around 12 km optical fiber is needed to connect Agartala and Akhuwra (nearest town in Bangladesh to capital Agartala) telephone exchange. We will also be extending our network from Sabroom to Chittagong (in southeast Bangladesh) sea port and then to Ashugang (in eastern Bangladesh) port. Survey works are in progress and as soon as survey is over, cost implication will be calculated and I hope by the present financial year the work really starts,” he said.

He added that apart from overcoming the geographical isolation of the Northeast the new project will give relief to the present OFC passing through the hills which often gets disconnected. Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar launched the WiMAX service after a cultural programme on Thursday. Tripura is second state after Mizoram in the northeastern region to have the service where the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot first announced it last July. According to BSNL, the WiMAX service will help to serve the people better in E-governance and literacy programmes particularly in the remote inaccessible areas of the state where landline broadband service has not been set up.

3) Tracking the mining mafia-cabal + one of the best kept secret sources of the maoist gajaana: Linky

A group of ministers today approved a draft mining bill that will make miners share 26 per cent of their profits with the local people. “All our suggestions have been by and large approved,” mines minister B.K. Handique told reporters today after the GoM (group of ministers) meeting chaired by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. The draft bill will amend the existing Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act, 1957 and seeks to improve the conditions of tribals, who are affected the most by mining projects.

Large-scale Maoist insurgency in the mineral-rich districts in eastern and central India — there is a heavy concentration of tribals in these regions — has forced the government to rethink its development policies and laws. “People need to be compensated, that is widely accepted. Most mining areas are remote and backward. And sharing profits would empower them to integrate at their own pace,” Handique had told a conference of miners on Wednesday. In the draft of the bill, the mines ministry has proposed a fund — a district mineral foundation — from the miners’ profit to be used for local development. If a mine shuts down or runs into losses, firms should compensate the displaced by an amount equal to the royalty they give to state governments.

Curbs on state PSUs

The draft has provisions to dilute the rules that allow the preferential allotment of mines to state-run firms. Barring some exceptional cases, PSUs will have to bid along with private firms for mineral resources. This has been done as state-run units, in many cases, have later leased out, or entered into joint ventures, with private firms to develop the allotted mines. States are the biggest culprits in taking advantage of the existing MMDR Act’s provisions to sign deals with private firms under “special reasons”. The amended mining bill is likely to be brought before Parliament during the winter session.

Industry concern

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi) had earlier opposed the new amendments and called for spending part of the royalty they paid to states for the development of the local people. Siddharth Rungta, president of Fimi, said during Wednesday's conference that the amendments “could provide an incentive to people to remain unproductive as they would get regular income without doing any work.” Miners in recent years have made huge profits and cut employment as metal prices zoomed globally and new capital intensive practices reduced the need for labour. However, sources alleged that the miners had to share part of their profit with Maoist groups. Besides Mukherjee and Handique, the group of ministers comprises home minister P. Chidambaram, Virbhadra Singh (steel), V. Moily (law), Anand Sharma (commerce), K. Bhuria (tribal affairs), Sriprakash Jaiswal (coal), Jairam Ramesh (environment) and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

WSJ adds: Linky

The proposed law seeks to cut the time taken to allocate mines and simplify a process that currently requires companies to pass through a maze of approvals from federal and state governments. Currently, miners need separate approvals for surveying deposits and prospecting and mining, but under the new law, they are expected to get automatic mining approvals once they have made a discovery after prospecting.

4) Manipur blockade continues strangely even today Linky

The United Naga Council today extended its ongoing economic blockade along national highways for an indefinite period, dashing all hopes of free flow of supply trucks into Manipur. A UNC release stated it was intensifying its agitation on National Highways 39, 53 and 150 with effect from 6am tomorrow, when the current phase of economic blockade ends, as New Delhi had failed to respond to its grievances. All these highways are supply lifelines connecting the city to the rest of the country.

This is the fourth time since April this year that the UNC has either imposed or extended its economic blockade along the national highways, disrupting the supply of essential commodities to Manipur. The All Naga Students Association, Manipur, with full backing from the UNC, had imposed the first economic blockade of the year from April 11 against holding of elections to the six autonomous district councils. The blockade was lifted on June 18. The UNC imposed the second blockade from August 4 for 20 days, reiterating nullification of the ADC election and demanding a separate administrative arrangement for the Nagas in Manipur, among other demands. The UNC then extended the blockade for another 25 days, which will end tomorrow at 6am. This is the first time that the UNC is including NH150 under the purview of the blockade. Earlier, it was mainly confined to NH39 and NH53.


NH 39 is the better-maintained and shorter of the two routes, but the former passes through Nagaland before entering Manipur while NH 53 snakes through a longer stretch. But it is in a pathetic condition – landslide-prone and has several temporary bridges that cannot withstand the weight of goods-laden trucks. Manipur truckers have continued to avoid NH 39 citing extortion by militants and other organisations.

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2 Comments:

At September 19, 2010 at 7:22 AM , Anonymous Al said...

The Japanese escalating things exactly the same time PoK is being pushed as an item, It is to trap India in quadrilateral relationship with the. Japan/aus/India. -- After which the USA will have effective veto over any indi-china hostility in the Indian ocean.


Even if India joins such a group, this group must not be allowed to operate in the Arabian sea. That just gives them a lever to ensure India cannot choke china in the IOR. Look at how USA madarchods stay India,s hand w.r.t. Pakistan. The amercans must not be allowed to become pimps for the Indian ocean. Current Indian policy of working with the gulf states is optimal. Keep the EU and Us cockcuckers out of the IOR.


Inidia must NOT bring the USA into the IOR. They will never leave.

 
At September 20, 2010 at 12:08 AM , Blogger Pax-Indica said...

Boss, the US IS in the IOR. Diego Garcia is just the tip of that iceberg, no?!

 

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