- Increasing expenditure cause of concern: Sarma
- Increasing trend in the State’s committed expenditure towards salary and pension, including pension liabilities of the Assam State Electricity Board, coupled with the greater establishment expenditure due to the expanding size of the government, like for setting up of new colleges and medical institutions, will continue to fuel the increase in revenue expenditure and that is a cause of concern.
- Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said expanding growth momentum in the expenditure pattern, coupled with strain in own source of revenue collection, may force the State to borrow more to meet the expenditure commitments.
- As per the Outcome Budget, total utilisation of the budget allocation stood at 65 per cent. The expenditure utilisation stood at Rs 70,658 crore as against the budget amount of Rs 108,490 crore in 2018-19. The utilisation rate of revenue expenditure stood at 69 per cent as against only 54 per cent for capital expenditure.
- The minister said that a ‘prudent debt management strategy’ was adopted during 2018-19 to raise market borrowings at the lowest possible cost. He also added that all oil royalty arrears, amounting to Rs 7,746.69 crore, have been received by the State government from the Centre in tranches.
- NASA announced a new mission to explore Saturn’s largest moon
- NASAannounced a new mission to explore this fascinating world with a helicopter drone. The mission, called Dragonfly is the latest in NASA’s New frontier program. NASA has earlier launched explorations of Pluto, Jupiter, the asteroid Bennu, and now, Titan.
- Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, has a lot in common with Earth. It has a thick, nitrogen-dense atmosphere and features like rivers, lakes, mountains, and, potentially volcanoes. The atmosphere of Titan is four times as dense as the Earth’s and there’s less gravity which makes it a prime location in the solar system to deploy a drone.
- G20 Summit
- TheGroup of 20 (G20) nations summit concluded in Osaka, Japan. The summit was held on 28-29 June 2019. The primary aim of the summit is to promote international financial stability. The ongoing trade war between China and the United States topped the agenda.
- The G20 is an international leaders’ forum comprising19 countries and the European Union. The grouping represents more than 80% of the world’s economic output and two-thirds of its people.
The G20 countries are Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Turkey, USA, Republic of South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UK and European Union.
US and Trade Highlights:
♦ The United States reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because it disadvantages American workers and taxpayers.
♦ US withdrew the imposed sanctions on Turkey for buying Russian-made S-400 missiles.
♦ US withdrew its ban on US companies selling high-tech components to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. China will also be buying more US farm goods. US won’t raise tariffs on Chinese goods for now. China and the US have agreed to restart trade talks and will have discussions on specific issues.
- India’s fertilizer sector among most energy efficient in world: Report
- A first of its kind of environmental rating of Indian fertilizer industry done by the Delhi-based think tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), has found that the country’s fertilizer sector is among the best in the world in energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- The report – ‘Grain by Grain’ – is the complete assessment of the environmental performance of fertilizer industry in India. This is the seventh rating project undertaken by GRP.
- India’s wild tiger population up by 33%
- India recorded a 33% increase in tiger numbers in the span of four years between 2014 and 2018, the All India Tiger Estimation Results released.
- Madhya Pradesh has the highest number with 526 tigers, followed by 524 in Karnataka and 442 in Uttarakhand. Madhya Pradesh has overtaken Karnataka, which had recorded the highest numbers in 2014 with 406 tigers.
- Tiger occupancy—forests occupied by tigers—has reduced significantly in the northeast from 9,901 sqkm to 3,312 sqkm. Occupancy has also reduced in the Shivalik range.
- Nepal which released its tiger numbers also recently has managed to double its numbers from 121 in 2009 to 235 in 2018; Bangladesh has about 114 tigers, new numbers for China, Malaysia and Russia are not available. Wild tigers are almost extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
- BYPL, a power distribution company, launched energy saving app ‘Susthome’
- Power discom BYPL partnered with several private bodies to launch a number of initiatives including a ‘behavioral energy saving app’
- The main aim is to cut down on electricity consumption.
- The behavioral app — Susthome
- It is developed by BYPL and TERI
- It will track consumers energy consumption patterns, analyze and compare it with that of similar homes in the vicinity and show energy saving potential,
It holds the enlisted consumers in reducing their energy consumption, carbon footprint and electricity bills.
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