Why in news?
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has overshot its disinvestment target for the second consecutive year, according to the Ministry of Finance.
About the news
- The divestment receipts have touched ₹85,000 crore as against a target of ₹80,000 crore for the current year.
- DIPAM is the nodal agency of Union Finance Ministry mandated to advise the Union Government in the matters of financial restructuring of PSUs and also for attracting investment through capital markets.
- The Department of Disinvestment has been renamed as Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) from 2016.
- DIPAM work under the Union Finance Ministry.
Mandate of DIPAM
- All matters relating to management of Central Government investments in equity including disinvestment of equity in Central Public Sector Undertakings.
- All matters relating to sale of Central Government equity in the erstwhile Central Public Sector Undertakings.
- Decisions on the recommendations of Administrative Ministries, NITI Aayog, etc. for disinvestment including strategic disinvestment.
- Advise the Government in matters of financial restructuring of the Central Public Sector Enterprises and for attracting investment in the said Enterprises through capital market.
- It has also mandated to perform functions as per the Unit Trust of India Act, 1963 also.
- However, Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry will be in charge of post disinvestment matters.
- It includes “financial policy in regard to the utilisation of the proceeds of disinvestment channelised into the National Investment Fund.”
- National Investment Fund in 2005 in which the proceeds from the disinvestment of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) were to be channelised.
Indian Forest Act, 2019
Why in news?
The draft law has been sent to key forest officers in the States for soliciting comments and objections until June 7, says an accompanying note by the Union Environment Ministry.
About the draft
- The Indian Forest Act, 2019 is envisaged as an amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
- The aim is to strengthen the forest bureaucracy in terms of deciding on how to decide on title claims over forest land, what parts to declare off-limits for conservation, checking encroachments, etc.
- It accords significant powers to India’s forest officers including the power issue search warrants, enter and investigate lands within their jurisdictions, and to provide indemnity to forest officers using arms to prevent forest-related offences.
- Amendment proposed to provide indemnity to Forest-officer using arms etc, to prevent the forest offence.
- Forest-officer not below the rank of a Ranger shall have power to hold an inquiry into forest offences and shall have the powers to search or issue a search warrant under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- Any Forest-officer not below the rank of a Forester may, at any time enter and inspect any land within his area of jurisdiction.
- “Village forests”, may be forestland or wasteland, which is the property of the government and would be jointly managed by the community through the Joint Forest Management Committee or Gram Sabha.
- The legislation also proposes a forest development cess of up to 10% of the assessed value of mining products removed from forests, and water used for irrigation or in industries.
- This amount would be deposited in a special fund and used “exclusively for reforestation; forest protection and other ancillary purposes connected with tree planting, forest development and conservation.
- The government proposes to create a new class of forests called ‘production forests’ as well as declare any forests as “conservation area for the purpose of enhanced carbon sequestration
- The proposed amendments will directly clash with the decentralised governance mechanism enacted in the 2006 Forest Rights Act (FRA).
Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA) 2019
Why in news?
Indian Air Force to participate in Langkawi International Maritime Aero Expo (LIMA) 2019.
About the expo
- Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) is a maritime and aerospace exhibition.
- It takes place once every two years in Langkawi, Malaysia.
- Indian Air Force is participating in the Maritime Aero Expo for the first time.
- It will showcase its indigenously developed LCA fighter aircraft.
- Participation of IAF in LIMA-2019 will provide an opportunity to air-warriors to interact with their Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) counterparts and foster close relationship between the two services.
- It will also provide an opportunity to RMAF to assess the capabilities of LCA.
Why in news?
The Reserve Bank again deferred the implementation of the Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) by banks as the requisite legislative amendments are still under consideration.
- IndAS is the set of Indian Accounting Standards fully converged with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
- The application of IndAS will improve the quality of financial reporting.
- Improved quality of financial reporting improves corporate governance because it helps investors, analysts and other stakeholders to better understand the financial position and performance of the company.
- Corporate entities already started complying with IndAS with effect from 1 April 2016.
- However, Banks and non-banking financial companies are due to switch to Indian Accounting Standards (IndAS) from 1 April 2018.
- But, the RBI had postponed the launch by one year, pending necessary legislative amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
- They currently follow Indian generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
- The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA), which had earlier decided to implement IndAS from 2018-19, has decided to defer it by two years.
Why the delay?
- The implementation of IndAS for public sector banks requires an amendment to the Banking Regulation (BR) Act.
- The schedule in BR Act relating to financial statement disclosures needs to be changed to the IndAS format.
- Due to a delay in amending the BR Act, RBI is yet to issue operational guidelines for the implementation of the new accounting standards.
- The loan-loss provision under the IndAS is recognised based on the expected credit loss (ECL) model.
- Here, a bank has to make provisions based on its historical loan-loss experiences.
- Besides, considering the volume of changes due to IndAS implementation and onerous disclosure requirements, banks will need to reassess and upgrade their policies, processes and IT systems.
Current Affair Capsules
Indian Statistical Institute
- Indian Statistical Institute presented its report on the sample size of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail, VVPAT slip counting to the Chief Election Commissioner.
- Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) is an academic institute of national importance as recognised by a 1959 act of the Indian parliament and is headquartered in Kolkatta.
Map Aided Programme
Why in news?
Scientists tag sharks in Galapagos Islands to monitor their migration.
About the islands
- The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere.
- It is part of the Republic of Ecuador.
- The Galapagos Islands are a UN natural heritage site.
- The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
Previous Year Questions Revision Series (Pqrs)-(2012)
- What is/are the recent policy initiative(s) of Government of India to promote the growth of manufacturing sector?
- Setting up of National Investment and Manufacturing zones
- Providing the benefit of ‘single window clearance’
- Establishing the Technology Acquisition and Development Fund
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
(a) 1 only (b) 2 and 3 only (c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3