Thursday, May 14, 2015

#Daily #Current #affairs

Punjab becomes first state to issue Soil Health Cards to farmers
Punjab has become the first state in India to issue Soil Health Cards (SHCs), a Union Government initiative to all farmers in the state. In this regard, every district of state has been assigned mobile soil testing lab. These labs will take soil sample from every farm and issue a digitalised soil health details. Presently, state government has 66 such laboratories and has capability to test 3.5 lakh soil samples annually. State government also has made mandatory for these labs to check soil health on quarterly basis.
Importance of SHC in Punjab
The advent of green revolution in Punjab has made soil testing more necessary in view of over exploitation of soil.
It will help farmers in maintaining the balanced health structure of the soil and educate them to use right quantity of fertilisers in order to prevent soil from becoming arid.

Lok Sabha passes Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Lok Sabha on 13 May 2015 passed The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 by a voice vote. The Bills amends the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in order to make cheque-bounce filing of cases more convenient for check payees (person who receives the cheque).
Key facts
The bill adds provision to specify the territorial jurisdiction of the courts in cases related to bouncing of cheques which was not present in the parent Act.
It says that cases in this regard need to be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee lies.
It also adds provision related to more than one case is filed against the same person before different courts for bouncing of cheques. In this matter, the case will be transferred to the court that has appropriate jurisdiction.
The bill also amends the definition of cheque. Now it defines it as cheque in the electronic form which is signed in a secure system with a digital signature or using electronic system and drawn in electronic medium using any computer resource.

Union Cabinet gives nod to Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Union Cabinet has given its approval to Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The Bill seeks to amend the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 by adding additional provisions that provides for stringent measures against violators in order to curb and check the generation of black money in the country. It also adds provisions for attachment and confiscation of benami properties and imposes fine with imprisonment. The Bill also has provision for prosecution and aims to act as a major avenue for blocking benami property, which leads to generation and holding of black money especially in real estate. Earlier in 2011, then ruling UPA-II government had introduced Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Bill, 2011, which had proposed replacing the 1988 parent Act. But, the bill was not able to pass in Parliament and had lapsed with the dissolution of 15th Lok Sabha.

Union Cabinet gives nod to 5% disinvestment in NTPC & 10% in Indian Oil Corporation
Union Cabinet gave its approval to 5 per cent disinvestment in National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) and 10 per cent in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. These approvals are part of Union Government’s budgeted target to raise 41,000 crore rupees through strategic stake sales i.e. disinvestment for the current financial year 2015-16. Disinvestment in both Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) may fetch the government over 13,000 crore rupees at current market price. The proposed share sale of 5 per cent in NTPC will fetch Union government 5,565 crore rupees while that of 10 per cent in IOC will bring in 7,932 crore rupees. Currently, Union government holds 74.96 per cent in NTPC and 68.57 per cent in IOC.