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GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND SCHEMES - June 2019

Jun 2019

Jun 30, 2019

One Nation, One Ration Card

  •  The 'One Nation One Ration Card' scheme, which would allow portability of food security benefits, would be available across the country from July 1, 2020.
  • This means poor migrant workers will be able to buy subsidised rice and wheat from any ration shop in the country, so long as their ration cards are linked to Aadhaar.
  • All the States have been given one more year to use point of sale (PoS) machines in the ration shops and implement the scheme.
  • Already, 77% % of the ration shops across the country have PoS machines and more than 85% of people covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) have their cards linked to Aadhaar.
  • According to senior Food Ministry officials, while Aadhaar linkage is not necessary to access NFSA benefits in a beneficiary's local registered ration shop, located closest to her home address, it will be necessary to access the portability scheme. 
  • Ten States -- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura – already offer this portability. Delhi had also begun implementing portability, though it was later stopped for technical reasons.
  • Other States, including Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, could easily implement the scheme, as they had PoS machines in all the ration shops.

Jun 28, 2019

Bill to Amend Special Economic Zones Law

  •  The Rajya Sabha cleared the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that seeks to allow trusts to set up units in special economic zones, a day after the Lok Sabha passed the measure.
  • The Bill would replace the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019, promulgated in March.
  • The Opposition parties had criticised the government for issuing the ordinance, which allowed trusts to open units in the SEZs, just days before the general election was announced.

Lok Sabha Passes Bill on Homoeopathy Council

  •  The Lok Sabha  passed the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which enables the government to extend the tenure of the Board of Governors for a further period of one year with effect from May 17, 2019.
  • This is the second Bill passed by the newly constituted Lok Sabha and would replace an ordinance issued by the previous NDA government.
  • Urging the government to re-examine the proposed legislation, the Congress party's leader of the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury sought to move a statutory resolution that was defeated by a voice vote.
  • Another Opposition MP, N.K. Premachandaran of the RSP, also unsuccessfully proposed amendments to the Bill.

Jun 27, 2019

Bill Barring Candidates with over 2 Children

  •  The Uttarakhand assembly passed a bill barring people with more than two children from contesting Panchayat, or village council, elections in the state.
  • The bill also stipulates minimum educational qualifications for Panchayat poll contestants.
  • General category men would now need to have passed the class 10 examination to contest the village council elections.
  • People from the scheduled castes and tribes and women can contest the polls if they have cleared their class 8 exam. The bill also prohibits a person from holding two posts in a local body.
  • The Uttarakhand Panchayati Raj Act 2016 (Amendment) Bill was passed with a voice vote on the last day of the state assembly session.
  • The bill would now be sent to governor Baby Rani Maurya for her approval.

Jun 24, 2019

Amma Vodi Covers Private Schools Also

  •  After a couple of State Ministers moved back and forth on the yardstick applicable to the beneficiaries of the Amma Vodi scheme, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy clarified that the cash incentive of Rs. 15,000 would be given to all women who are from economically poor sections and send their children to school.
  • It could be a government or a private school.
  • Jagan had reiterated on several occasions his commitment to ensure quality education to children of all sections in society.
  • The government was keen on revamping the education system to improve the standards and extend the facility to all.
  • The objective of the scheme is to encourage women from the poorest families to send their children to school and educate them.
  • People need not harbour any apprehensions about the government's intention to implement this scheme.

Jun 22, 2019

Standalone Own-damage Policy

  •  The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) allowed insurers, with effect from September 1, to issue standalone annual own-damage (OD) cover for cars and two-wheelers, both new and old.
  • As per the regulator, the issuance of bundled policies for cars and two-wheelers will not be compulsory, in a partial modification of a circular it had issued in August, 2018 in the backdrop of a Supreme Court order.
  • Policyholders have the option to renew the OD component of a bundled cover falling due on or after September 1, 2019, with the same insurer or different insurer, on an annual basis.
  • Insurers will, however, continue to have the option to offer package policies, in addition to stand-alone OD and TP (third party) policies. 

Government Launches Grievance Cell

  •  With an objective to make life easy for the Pensioners, the government inaugurated an integrated Grievance Cell and Call Center for Pensioners set up by the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare.
  • According to Union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh, in addition to resolving grievances of the pensioners, it would help in value addition to the whole process, as the pensioners will gradually provide inputs and suggestions in the form of feedback that would help the Department in the long run.
  • This centre would also act as pressure on the departments to resolve the problems of the elderly pensioners.
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