WEBSITE ON ANTI-DUMPING TO HELP INDUSTRY
ANTI-DUMPING INVESTIGATIONS ON THE RISE
A website has been launched by the Directorate General of Anti Dumping and Allied Duties in the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which contains detailed information including anti-dumping guidelines, anti-dumping pro-forma and questionnaires of interest to the trade and industry. The website can be accessed at: http://commin.nic.in/doc
Meanwhile, the number of cases being investigated by the Designated Authority for Anti-Dumping is increasing. As against 15 cases across 5 years from 1993, the Directorate has in the last two years alone completed investigations in 24 cases. This year, there are 33 cases at various stages of investigations. The workload is likely to increase manifold in the wake of the removal of quantitative restrictions (QRs) in a phased manner from April 2000 onwards.
The systems in the Directorate have been fully streamlined to ensure finalisation of preliminary findings in 4-5 months. The normal time allowed by statute for the investigations and submission of final findings is one year from the date of initiation of the investigation. However, the preliminary findings which are finalised in 4-5 months give full relief to the to the aggrieved parties. Even in EU it takes around 7-8 months on an average for completing preliminary investigations and imposing provisional anti-dumping duty. As per the Annual Report 1998 of WTO during the year 1997 India is eighth after Australia, EC, South Africa, USA, Argentina, Korea and Canada, in terms of number of anti-dumping cases initiated.
The Designated Authority has been able to create awareness for proper documentation of cases and facilitate open and transparent examination of issues. The systems introduced ensure expeditious action at various stages of the case. And this in spite of the fact that the Directorate is yet to have the full complement of staff required.
The Designated Authority in the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping & Allied Duties, set up in the Ministry of Commerce in April 1998 initiatives necessary action for investigations and subsequent imposition of anti-dumping duties; when there is sufficient evidence that dumped imports are causing or are threatening to cause material injury to the Indian industry producing like articles or are materially retarding the establishment of industry.
TRADE WITH RUSSIA PICKS UP
CHAIRMAN OF RUSSIAN BANK CALLS ON OMAR ABDULLAH --RUPEE DEBT FUND UTILISATION DISCUSSED FOR STEPPING UP INDIAN EXPORTS
Indo-Russian trade, which suffered a decline during 1998-99, has again picked up during the current financial year (April-October 1999), with exports from India to Russia during this period increasing by over 36% to Rs.2330 crores compared to Rs.1712 crores during the same period last year. Russia imports to India have also gone up by over 31% during this period to reach a level of Rsx.1649 crores compared to Rs.1185 crores during the previous year. This was indicated when Mr. Andrei Kostin, Chairman of Vnesheconombank of the Russian Federation, called on Shri Omar Abdullah, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, here yesterday. Shri Abdullah stressed the need for a transparent and efficient system of utilisation of the rupee debt funds with Mr. Kostin so that delays in allocation/utilisation of rupees to different ministries in the Russian Federation, which adversely affected exports from India, could be avoided The Minister also underlined the need for operationalising the scheme for consignment exports especially with regard to items of active trading interest to India like tea and tobacco. Since Vnesheconmbank plays an important role in allocation of Indian rupees, Shri Abdullah further impressed upon Mr. Kostin the need for looking into the issue of providing credit for 180 days to enhance tobacco exports from India.
During the discussions, the issue of settlement of pending claims of Indian exporters relating to other CIS countries was also taken up.
Export items from India which have done well during April-October 1999 in the Russian market include drugs & pharmaceuticals, cotton yarn, wool, tobacco, readymade garments, spices, leather goods, machinery items etc.
'24'SPECIAL POSTAGE STAMP ON BALWANTRAI MEHTA, DR. HAREKRUSHNA MAHTAB AND ARUN KUMAR CHANDA
The Department of Posts (DoP) has issued a set of three commemorative postage stamps, paying homage to outstanding contributions in the socio-political arena by the three great political leaders, Balwantrai Mehta, Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab and Arun Kumar Chanda coinciding with their birth centenary celebrations. The stamps are in the denomination of Rs.3/- each.
Balwantrai Mehta, former Chief Minister of Gujarat was a valiant freedom fighter, social worker and a pioneer of the concept of Panchayati Raj. He participated in the Satyagraha Movement. He was a 'soldier' in the famous satyagraha of Bardoli. Shri Mehta's greatest contribution was in the sphere of States' Peoples' fight for self-rule. His name is conspicuously linked with democratic decentralisation. The revolutionary programme of what is popularly known as Panchayati Raj, being implemented in the country, is based on the recommendations of Balwantrai Mehta Committee.
Dr. Harekrushna Mahtab, former Chief Minister of Orissa, took active part in the struggle for freedom and courted imprisonment on a number of occasions including the Quit India Movement. A practical statesman, Mahtab carved out for himself a name which will live in Orissa's history. More than ten years ago he conceived a future for Orissa which he had the good fortune to realise in his own lifetime. His journalistic and writing skills were also well-known, having been associated with publications like Prajatantra, Jhankar and the Eastern times and having 23 books in English and Oriya to his credit.
Arun Kumar Chanda played a major role in the National Movement attracting the masses into the struggle for freedom. He made profound contribution in the area of social reform and education. He worked for enhancing the social status of the weaker sections of the society and was involved in trade union activities. He was an accomplished writer, formulating public opinion through the Bengali Weekly Saptak.
The First Day Cover alongwith the information sheet is available on sale at all Philatelic Bureaux/Counters and at selected Post Offices.
INCREASING NUMBER OF JUDGES
The number of judges per million (10 lakh) population has gone up from 10.5 judges per million population in 1960s to 12.8 judges per million population in India as in October 1999. This is recorded in the first National Judicial Pay commission, which submitted its report to the Government of India in November 1999.
The 11th Law Commission of India in its 120th report had recommended that the strength of 10.5 judges per million population be increased to 50 judges per million population.
Meanwhile, the matter relating to increase judges strength has now become subjudice in view of a Writ Petition No. 399/98 alongwith I.A. No.1 filed in the Supreme Court of India.
The Government of India is prima-facie of the view that the number of judges does require to be increased almost at all levels right from the Subordinate Judiciary to the District Judiciary and High Courts and Supreme Court level.
Judges strength of the Subordinate Judiciary is determined by the State Governments in consultation with their respective High Courts. The Law Commissions report had been, accordingly, forwarded to all the State Governments for implementation.
NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON FINALIZATION OF MANUAL ON MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
A two-day national workshop to finalise "Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management" began here today. In his address Secretary, M/o Urban Development Shri Ashok Pahwa said that the collection and disposal of Municipal Solid Waste is one of the pressing problems of city life and has assumed great importance. He said that with growing urbanisation, problems are becoming acute and call for immediate action. He pointed out that the proper disposal of urban waste is not only absolutely necessary for the improvement of public health but it also has an immense potential for resource recovery. He expressed the hope that the Manual after its finalisation during these two days deliberations will be quite useful particularly to the Urban Local Bodies in managing their solid wastes in a cost effective and environment friendly manner.
The workshop which has been organised by the M/o of Urban Development is being attended by delegates from State Governments/UTs, urban local bodies and senior officials from central ministries/departments and international organisations.
With a view to assist and guide the Urban Local Bodies for managing the solid waste in an efficient manner, the Ministry of Urban Development, constituted an Expert Committee in February, 1998 by drawing experts from various field departments, academic and research institutions and Central Ministries/Departments. The Committee after a series of deliberations decided to include various aspects in the Manual such as Composition and Quantity of Solid Waste, Storage of waste at Source, Primary Collection of Waste, transportation of Waste, composting, Energy Recovery from Municipal Solid Waste, Emerging Technologies, Sanitary Land Filling, Bio-Medical Waste, Economic and Financial Consideration, Environmental & Health Impact Assessment, Institutional Aspects and Capacity Building, Prospects of Private Sector Participation, Community Participation and Legal Aspects.
Preparation of the Manual on Municipal Solid Waste Management is mainly to assist the personnel involved in managing the urban solid waste in the country. It can also be used by the persons involved in collection, transportation, disposal and recover potential of solid waste in cities and towns in the country. The purpose of the Manual is to create:
THREE OFFICIALS OF FCI, GURUHARSAHAI SUSPENDEDThree officials of the Food Corporation of India, Guruharsahai depot in Ferozpur district in Punjab were suspended on charges of lack of supervision on despatch of foodgrains for distribution under Public Distribution System. The District Manager and the Dy. Manager (Quality Control) of the depot were chargesheeted also on the same ground.
The action against these officials were taken following an inspection of a FCI godown at Kuttipuram in Kerala by Shri Shanta Kumar, Minister of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, which received substandard stock of par bolied rice from Guruharsahai depot. The stock of 13,352 bags of sub-standard par bolied rice Grade 'A' present in the Kuttipuram depot belonged to the crop year 1998-99 which did not conform to the relaxed specifications. It even exceeded the limit of PFA norms in respect of damaged grains.
Shri Shanta Kumar on finding the stock unfit for human consumption by Central Grain Analysis Laboratory (CGAL) , New Delhi, had ordered an inquiry into the matter which led to the suspension of these officials.
EQUITABLE WORLD ORDER ESSENTIAL FOR HUMAN SECURITY ANANTH KUMAR
The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Shri Ananth Kumar has said that equitable global order is essential for human security not only in South Asia but the entire world. He said Human security is a global need and all nations must work towards dignity and security of the whole Human Race. Shri Ananth Kumar was inaugurating here today, an International Conference on Human Security in South Asia, organised by the Vishwa Yuvak Kendra in association with Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The Conference being attended by delegations from SAARC countries among others, is focussing its attention on human security in South Asia encompassing both human development and human rights.
Shri Ananth Kumar told the conference that as long as a few countries having very little percentage of world population continue to enjoy majority of global resources, it will be difficult to achieve world peace and human security. Hence, he said we have to change this imbalance and any correction at the peripherals will only have a cosmetic effect. He pointed out that the days of human security in village, towns, states and nations have gone and we should now think of human security world-wide instead of South Asia alone. The world is inter-linked in such a way without water-tight compartments that we have to work towards the happiness of the entire humanity, which does not suffer from poverty, hunger, inequality and conflicts. He urged the conference to deliberate and work towards translating into reality the popular saying, "World is one family".
The Resident Representative of the Konrad Foundation Dr. Gert Kueek said, living together in peace and in human conditions is not any more just a matter of political, military or economic dimensions of security. It requires new patterns and structures of security also in the social field. That is true for the international, regional and national level.
As far as India is concerned, we believe that in spite of the manifold and sometimes pressing problems it has, the international community can fortunately expect that in this great country, democracy and development will have further and exciting prospects. That will substantially contribute in building up new security structures in the world, he added.
A TEN-DAY NORTH-EAST TRIBAL CRAFTS MELA BEGINS TOMORROW AT NEW DELHIA Ten-day North-East Tribal Crafts Mela will be held at 9, Mahadev Road, New Delhi from 18.2.2000 to 27.2.2000 under the auspices of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED), an organisation under Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Craftspersons from North-Eastern States would display their art and craft skills in woodcrafts, pottery, jewellery, dry-flowers and handicrafts, which is a part of their culture and sell products made by them in the ten-day Mela.
This Exhibition and craft demonstration Mela has been sponsored by Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, as part of their efforts to promote handicrafts from different States. The main objective of the exhibition is to provide a glimpse of colourful and rich arts and crafts from North-Eastern States to the people of Delhi and promote the sale of tribal handicrafts.
Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri FAGGAN SINGH KULASTE, will inaugurate this Mela at 9, Mahadev Road, New Delhi-1, at 11.00 A.M. on 18.2.2000(Friday).
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS EXPRESS CONCERN ON RAILWAYS FINANCE
The Members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Railways were unanimous that the Railways, which is currently in a financial crunch, needs a greater budgetary support from the Government in view of ensuring safety and security of the passengers, railways social obligations and the urgent need to replace old equipment and rolling stock etc. The Committee met here on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Minister for Railways Ms.Mamata Banerjee. Shri Bangaru Laxman and Shri Digvijay Singh Ministers of State, Shri V.K.Agarwal Chairman , Railway Board and other Members were present.
Welcoming the members, Ms. Mamata Banerjee said that the Meeting has been called with a view to get the valuable suggestions of the Members of the Committee so that these could be incorporated in the on-going exercise for the Railway Budget which will be presented in the Parliament on 25th of this Month. She said that the Railways , which form the life line of the country, is undergoing severe financial strains due to various factors which include increased wage and diesel costs , decreasing percentage of railways freight share for lack of an integrated transport policy and the urgent need to replace railways outgrown equipment and rolling stock and also the need for taking up various new projects and meeting safety requirements. She said that on its part, the railways are making efforts to generate additional resources through various innovative measures including commercial use of railway land.
The Members expressed concern that the budgetary support to the Railways which used to be up to 75 per cent during the Fifth Plan came down to a meagre 17 per cent in 1993-94 and has only marginally improved to a level of 26 per cent in the current financial year. They felt that the Railways, which deal with a passenger traffic of 13.6 million per day and have a host of social obligations need to get a better deal from the Government in terms of increased budgetary support to meet the present resource crunch. In this context they appreciated the Ministers efforts to augment the resources through various non-conventional measures and suggested that , to start with, some plans should be drawn up for commercial use of railway land particularly, in important commercial places like Calcutta, Kanpur, Mumbai and other similar cities. They suggested that such areas should be properly identified and projects be drawn up carefully keeping in view the long term financial and management problems.
The Members also expressed that effective steps should be taken by the Ministry to curb corruption that prevails at various levels in the Railways. The members also suggested that there should be a reorganisation of the jurisdiction areas etc. at the Divisional levels so as to ensure better and economical functioning of the various divisions resulting in savings in the operational costs.
The Members felt that the safety and security of passengers was a very critical area and needed urgent attention. Efforts should be initiated to reorganise railway security to make it more coherent and less dependent on the states.
The Members projected various demands of the people for new trains/rail lines including augmentation of the existing ones as well as for new projects in their respective areas. They underlined that priority should be given to provide greater linkages to tribal areas, mining areas and the upcoming industrial areas. They noted that at present process of survey project in formulation and implementation of new projects was quite prolonged and time consuming. They suggested that this should be reduced by making efforts that no time is wasted at any stage. They also suggested that some time limit should be provided for each stage so that there is no unwanted escalation of cost and projects are completed in time.
Among the Members of Parliament who attended the meeting were S/shri Sudip .Bandyopadhyay, Laxman Giluwa, Girdhari Lal.Bhargava Raghuvir Singh Koushal, A.Narendra, D.C.Srikantappa, Chandra Pratap Singh, Joachim Baxla, Amar Roy Pradhan, Ajay Chakraborty, Anil Basu, Suresh Pasi, Ch.Suresh Reddy, Shriprakash Jaiswal, Onkar Singh Lakhawat, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Basudeb Acharia Dr. Prasanna Kr..Patasani, Ms. Sheela Gautam, Ms.Jyayaben..B.Thakkar, Ms.Jaskaur Meena and Ms.Mabel Rebello.
HUDCO'S SUPPORT OF RS. 1000 CRORES FOR ANANDGARH-TO BE DEVELOPED AS THE CITY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Union Minister for Urban Employment and Poverty Alleviation, Shri S.S. Dhindsa, has announced that a major initiative is being taken to promote a new city namely Anandgarh in Punjab for a population of 10 lakhs, which, when completed, will become a city of the New Millennium. He said here today that HUDCO's financial assistance of Rs. 1000 crores will be made available for the integrated development of the proposed million population city in a phased manner for land acquisition, area and infrastructure development and housing.
While detailing out the proposals, Shri Dhindsa indicated that located on the West and North-West of Chandigarh, this city of the new millennium would have all the creative inputs of environment friendly, ecologically appropriate and energy saving systems in place. The new city would be developed as a centre of information and knowledge with higher order institutions in the field of information technology, knowledge based industries scientific and research institutions in the fields of medical, engineering, bio-technology etc. and emerge as an entity of technological excellence. The development proposals also include emphasis on promoting the city as an eco-city, with plans for greening the slopes of Shivalik Hills with the objective of ensuring ecological management and environmental sustainability of this new city. The city would have appropriate activities, which would ensure it as an economically vibrant entity. The city development is proposed to be taken with substantial public private partnership.
The new township would be developed over a period of 10 years, on an area of 4,500 hectares, to accommodate 10 lakhs population. This decision was taken in a joint meeting of the officers of the government of Punjab and HUDCO. HUDCO would also be extending its consultancy assistance in the comprehensive planning and design inputs for the township.
ISRO COMMENCES CRYOGENIC ENGINE TESTS
An important milestone in the development of indigenous Cryogenic Upper State for India's Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) was achieved yesterday (February 16, 2000), when the first Cryogenic Engine, employing liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, was ignited at Liquid Propulsion systems Centre test complex at Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu. However, the test had to be aborted at 15 seconds instead of the planned duration of 30 seconds. The voluminous data obtained from the test by the elaborate instrumentation during the test will be analysed to pinpoint the anomaly during the test and take suitable corrective action.
The test of the first Cryogenic Engine yesterday has several accomplishments: fabrication, assembly and integration of the complete cryogenic engine; validation and commissioning of the test stand; chill down trials of the engine and associated system; production of cryogenic propellants to required specifications and; validation of appropriate safety procedures besides collection of valuable data during the 15 second test.
Since the engine was moved to the test stand on December 23, 1999, elaborate trials with cryogenic propellants were carried out as part of final preparation and checks prior to the conduct of test.
Yesterday's test also marks the beginning of a series of ground qualification trials of the engine that will be carried out during the next several months.
IMPORTED SUGAR BROUGHT UNDER LEVY OBLIGATION
Imported sugar has been brought under levy obligation on the same proportion as applicable to domestic producers of sugar. As such, every importer of sugar would be required to sell 30 per cent of the sugar imported to the central Government or as directed by the Central Government. This measure would not only remove the present differentiation between the domestic producers of sugar and the sugar importers but also enhance the availability of levy sugar for public distribution system.
An importer of sugar would be paid for the levy sugar requisitioned at Rs. 1050.99 per quintal, which is the weighted average of levy sugar price payable at present to domestic producers of sugar for the sugar season 1999-2000.
The Government has already brought the imported sugar under the monthly release mechanism to give a level playing field to the domestic sugar industry.
INDIAS TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL PROGRAMME GRAND SUCCESS- WORLDS TOP T.B.EXPERTS FINDING
REVISED NATIONAL TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL PROGRAMME TO COVER HALF THE COUNTRY BY 2002
Union Health Secretary, Shri J.A.Chowdhury has announced that Government has decided to extend the services of RNTCP to half the population of the country by the end of 2002.
Addressing the media persons here today, Shri Chowdhury has said that the joint review of the TB Control Programme in India has been undertaken by a team of 25- international and national experts during the last fortnight (4-16 February, 2000). The 25-member team divided into five groups visited 100 centres in 18 districts of the six States namely; West Bengal, Assam, Maharasthra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and had interaction with more than 10,000 TB patients and found that the Revised TB Control Programme is an astounding success.
Out of the total outlay of Rs. 749 crore for the five year TB control programme, World Banks share comes to 142 million US $. DANIDA (Danish International Agency for Development ) and Department for International Development of United Kingdom are the other funding agencies. Government of Indias contribution is about Rs.141 crore. As against the targeted population coverage of 271 millions, 140 million people have so far been covered. Rs.234 crore have been spent till date in 8 States and 3 Union Territories. As the unit cost has come down by 60 per cent, spare money is available from the total outlay. Hence, the Government has decided to extend this programme with the present outlay for the coverage of 400 million population upto 2002. This extension will incur the additional expenditure to the Government to the tune of Rs.48 crore per year.
Dr.S.P.Agarwal, DGHS, Shri J.V.R. Prasada Rao, Additional Secretary (Health), Dr. Arata Kochi, Director, STOP TB INITIATIVE, and Mr. Tom Frieden of WHO are among others who have addressed the media persons on the findings of technical evaluation of 25-member experts team.
NATIONAL POPULATION POLICY 2000 ENVISAGES TO ACHIEVE A STABLE POPULATION BY 2045 AND TOTAL FERTILITY RATE TO REPLACEMENTMENT LEVEL BY 2010Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri N.T.Shanmugam has informed the media persons here today that the National Population Policy 2000 envisages to achieve a stable population by 2045 and total fertility rate to replacement level by 2010. It suggests a humane approach by investment in social infrastructure, reproductive and child health services and involvement of government, industries, panchayats and the NGOs.
The National Commission on Population chaired by the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers of States and Union Territories as members will oversee and review this policy. The Union cabinet has decided to freeze the number of Lok Sabha seats to the current level till 2026 so that State governments can fearlessly pursue the agenda for population stablisation. The policy provides for promotional and motivational measures for adoption of small family norms.
Secretary to Family Welfare of the Ministry, Shri A.R.Nanda has said that Technology Mission will be set up as part of the population policy to cater to the demographic needs of 7 backward States namely; Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Orissa and Gujarat. The Population Policy will involve the private sector in providing health care. Private Health Service providers including allopathic and ISM&H practitioners will be involved through various schemes such as Health Insurance. Infrastructure facilities will be given to best panchayats whose infant and maternal mortality rate is less. During the next five years 30 per cent of contraceptive needs will be met.
The Minister, Shri N.T.Shanmugam has said that the Annual Budgetary outlay for family welfare will be doubled to Rs.6000 crore next financial year of 2000-2001. Multilateral funding from the UN agencies such as WHO and World Bank will be stepped up for the family welfare programme in the coming years.