A national action plan to ensure sustainable and responsible business on the anvil

Policy matters this week
An industrial area in Chhattisgarh (Source: IWP Flickr photos) An industrial area in Chhattisgarh (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Centre to finalise National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs is in the process of finalising the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP), which has been public for over a year and is now under the final stages of extensive consultations with stakeholders. The objective of the zero draft is to ensure that businesses in the country are sustainable and responsible towards the rights of communities that are being impacted by them.

The experts have welcomed the move, however, they have identified that the zero draft fails to address rights of forest dwellers being impacted by businesses, development of areas affected by extractive industries, responsibility of investors in addition to corporations towards environmental protection and combating climate change. 

(Mongabay India)

India to seek funds for the Eastern Waterways Connectivity Transport Grid

The Shipping Ministry will be seeking a technical assistance grant of $70 million from the World Bank to build the Eastern Waterways Connectivity Transport Grid (EWaCTG). The project aims to provide seamless connectivity between National Waterway-1 (NW-1) and NW-2 through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) routes, and develop an economic corridor of 4,200 km of waterways and coastal shipping for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the North-Eastern States. The seeking of grant has been appraised and recommended for approval by the screening committee of the Department of Economic Affairs. (The Hindu)

Himachal signs MoU with World Bank to improve water management practices

Centre, Himachal Pradesh government and the World Bank have signed a loan agreement, worth $80 million to improve water management practices and increase agricultural productivity in selected gram panchayats of the state. The Integrated Project for Source Sustainability and Climate Resilient Rain-Fed Agriculture in Himachal Pradesh will be implemented in 428 gram panchayats across 10 districts, benefiting over 400,000 small-holder farmers, including women and pastoral communities. The project aims to play a big role in doubling farmers' incomes, a goal set by the government. (Outlook India)

CIL with Assam government to take up development works for Majuli island

Coal India Limited (CIL) has signed a MoU with the Assam government for the rehabilitation and livelihood development of flood affected people of Majuli island. The former will help develop high lands and flood-proofing channels, livelihood development through facilities for integrated farming of cattle, pigs, poultry, fishery and development of citrus and arecanut plantations on the island. Along with this, it will also provide two water ambulances for the residents of the island, to cater to their emergency health needs. (PSU Connect)

SYL canal issue: Centre informs that both Punjab and Haryana are not reaching a consensus

The Centre has informed Rajya Sabha that both Punjab and Haryana are not ready to find a middle path to resolve the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal issue and the decision has been conveyed to the Supreme Court. The latter had earlier ordered both the states to resolve the SYL issue as it has been pending for many decades now. SYL canal aims to link the waters of Satluj river with Yamuna for transfer of water to Haryana. However, Punjab is not willing to share any of its water with the neighbouring state. (The Tribune)

This is a roundup of important policy matters from March 12 - 21, 2020. Also, read news this week.

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