PIB – 04th Feb 2021

Preliminary survey shows deposits of Lithium in Mandya district of Karnataka

  • The Government said that preliminary surveys on surface and limited subsurface by Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), a constituent unit of Department of Atomic Energy have shown presence of Lithium resources of 1,600 tonnes (inferred category) in the pegmatites of Marlagalla – Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka. 
  • Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.  
  • The well-known uses of Lithium are in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additives to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as a converter to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion.  
  • The thermonuclear application makes Lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which permits AMD for exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country.  Due to the continuously increasing demand of Lithium ion batteries, the requirement of Lithium has increased over the last few years. 
  • The significance and quantity of lithium resources in Marlagalla-Allapatna area, Mandya district, Karnataka may be established only after the completion of exploration in the entire area.  Subsequently, plans for commercial exploitation of the lithium deposits can commence after the technical, social and economic feasibility studies in the area.

Increase in Exports

  • The value of India’s overall exports (merchandise and services) during the first eight months of the current financial year, April-November 2020, was US$ 304.53 billion as compared to US$ 351.83 billion during same period of the previous year, showing a negative growth of 13.45%. 
  • During this period, India’s overall exports were US$ 44.87 billion in September 2020 as compared to US$ 43.56 billion in September 2019, showing a positive growth of 3%. 
  • Merchandise exports were US$ 27.1 billion in December 2020, showing a positive growth of 0.14 % as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
  • Policy making is an ongoing exercise and steps are taken based on the prevailing economic scenario. The following are some of the key steps taken by Government to increase exports:
  1. Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) extended by one year i.e. upto 31-3-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
  2. Interest Equalization Scheme on pre and post shipment rupee export credit has also been extended by one year i.e. upto 31-3-2021.
  3. A new Scheme, Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP), has been launched with effect from 01.01.2021.
  4. Common Digital Platform for Certificate of Origin has been launched to facilitate trade and increase FTA utilization by exporters.
  5. A comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” to provide an impetus to agricultural exports related to agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries and food processing sectors is under implementation.
  6. Promoting and diversifying services exports by pursuing specific action plans for the 12 Champion Services Sectors.
  7. Promoting districts as export hubs by identifying products with export potential in each district, addressing bottlenecks for exporting these products and supporting local exporters/manufacturers to generate employment in the district.
  8. Active role of Indian missions abroad towards promoting India’s trade, tourism, technology and investment goals has been enhanced.
  9. Package announced in light of the covid pandemic to support domestic industry through various banking and financial sector relief measures, especially for MSMEs, which constitute a major share in exports.

One District One Product Scheme

  • One District One Product (ODOP) is an initiative which is seen as a transformational step forward towards realizing the true potential of a district, fuel economic growth and generate employment and rural entrepreneurship, taking us to the goal of AtmaNirbhar Bharat. 
  • One District One Product (ODOP) initiative is operationally merged with ‘Districts as Export Hub’ initiative being implemented by DGFT, Department of Commerce, with Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) as a major stakeholder.                                        
  • The Department of Commerce through DGFT is engaging with State and Central government agencies to promote the initiative of One District One Product. 
  • The objective is to convert each District of the country into an Export Hub by identifying products with export potential in the District, addressing bottlenecks for exporting these products, supporting local exporters/manufacturers to scale up manufacturing, and find potential buyers outside India with the aim of promoting exports, promoting manufacturing & services industry in the District and generate employment in the District.
  • To increase exports and take export promotion to the District level, Department of Commerce through the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is engaging with State / UT Governments to implement the said initiative in all districts of the country in a phased manner, with the objective of mobilizing the potential of each district of the country to achieve its potential as an export hub. 
  • Under the initial phase of the ODOP programme, 106 Products have been identified from 103 districts across 27 States.
  • As far as Rajasthan is concerned, two products namely Blue Pottery (Jaipur) and MarkhanaMarbels (Nagaur) are among the identified 106 Products. All the Districts of Rajasthan are already covered under the ‘Districts as Export Hub’ initiative. State Export Promotion Committee (SPEC) and District Export Promotion Committee (DEPC) have been constituted in Rajasthan.
  • DEPC is constituted in all Districts of India, except districts of the state of West Bengal. 

MCA revises threshold for paid up capital and turnover for Small Companies

  • In line with the vision of the Government of India, the definition under the Companies Act, 2013 for Small Companies has now been revised by increasing their thresholds for Paid up capital from “not exceeding Rs 50 lakh” to “not exceeding Rs 2 crore” & Turnover from “not exceeding Rs 2 crore” to “not exceeding Rs 20 crore”. This is expected to benefit more than two lakh companies in terms of lesser compliances, lesser filing fees and lesser penalties (in the event of any defaults).
  • Some of the benefits of reduction in compliance burden for over 2 lakh companies as a direct consequence of the revised definition are as under:
  1. No need to prepare a Cash flow statement as part of a financial statement.
  2. Where other companies require providing details of remuneration to directors and key managerial personnel, small companies are required to provide details of the only aggregate amount of remuneration drawn by directors in its Annual Return.
  3. Mandatory rotation of the auditor not required.
  4. An Auditor of small companies is not required to report on the adequacy of the internal financial controls and its operating effectiveness in the auditor’s report.
  5. Hold only two board meetings in a year.
  6. Annual Return of the company can be signed by the Company Secretary, or where there is no company secretary, by a single director of the company.
  7. Lesser penalties for Small Companies.
  8. Lesser filing fees for Small Companies.

Waste Management in Trains

  • The various measures taken by Railways to ensure clean and effective management of waste in trains are as follows:
  1. Waste generated during train journeys is collected at the nominated stations. Waste collected at stations is disposed off to the nominated places/ authorised agencies of the Municipal/ local bodies.
  2. Provision of Dustbins has also been extended to non-AC coaches in addition to AC coaches.
  3. En-route cleaning of waste generated including emptying of dustbins is done under On Board Housekeeping Services scheme (OBHS) in important long distance Mail/ Express trains.