1. CAG Exposes Landscam in Andhra Pradesh: Government largesse to private enterprises and individuals cost exchequer Rs 1,784 crore. Link: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/cag-exposes-land-scam-andhra
2. Green tribunal cancels POSCO’s clearance: The South Korean giant will now have to apply for a fresh environmental clearance. Link: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/green-tribunal-cancels-posco-s-clearance
Link 1. Alumina refinery: Anrak toeing Vedanta line. “They seem to be following the Vedanta way as for its Lanjigarh project. Vedanta has no permission to mine in Niyamgiri hills. Moreover, even if Anrak launches refining, we can’t rule out its closure going by Birla Periclase’s seawater magnesia project, which was shutdown when it could not source its raw material from Agency areas of the district following Samata judgment,” says Samata’s executive director Rebbapragda Ravi.
Link 2. CAG finds grave irregularities in land allotments by YSR govt. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India released a special report prepared on land allotments made in favour of companies and individuals by the Andhra Pradesh government during the 2006-2011 period.
Linik 3. Central Information Commission writes to PM to not to dilute RTI act
Link 4. SmartCity waits for SEZ Board clearance. KOCHI: The concept master plan of the SmartCity project was approved by the directors’ board the other day in Thiruvananthapuram. The project is now awaiting clearance from the Special Economic Zone Board of Approval for starting construction of buildings.
Link: 1. Home ministry team raids trust run by Udayakumar
Tirunelveli: A three member union home ministry team on Thursday raided a trust office at Nagercoil run by S P Udayakumar, who is leading the anti-Kudankulam nuclear plant stir on charges of receiving foreign funding.
Link; 2. Primary coolant pumps of first reactor to undergo another trial
Primary coolant pumps of the first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) will be subjected to another trial run shortly, for checking their functioning, according to the head of the Russian Specialists Group, Yevgeniy N. Dudkin.
Link: 3. Manmohan, Medvedev pledge to scale up civil nuclear ties
New Delhi, March 29 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday held talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on a host of bilateral issues that included scaling up civil nuclear cooperation and enhancing trade ties.
Link: 4. KKNPP will generate power in 2 months: Jaya
hief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday said her government expected power generation to begin in Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project within two months. Presenting an overview of electricity generation projects in Tamil Nadu in a suo moto statement in the State Assembly, she said, “It is expected that KKNPP will start generating electricity in two months.” She also replied to the charge of some members that no new power projects were announced in the Budget for 2012- 13 to end the power shortage. She stated that Tamil Nadu had surplus electricity during her previous regime (2001-06) when 2,518 MW of additional installed capacity was created.
Fishermen to form human chain along coastal belt
KOCHI: Demanding safety for life and employment, fishermen across the state will form a human chain on April 28 along the coastal belt of the state. The agitation is being organised by the organisations in the fisheries sector, voluntary organisations, NGOs and boat owners. The Latin Catholic Church has also offered its support for the agitation. The demands of the fishing community include safety for life and employment, Centere’s intervention for curbing navigation of merchant vessels in the territorial waters of India and strict surveillance of the Navy and Coast Guard along Kerala coast.
“The fishing community is scared after the two recent accidents at sea in which seven hapless fishermen lost lives. In both incidents fishermen were not responsible for the mishap,” said All Kerala Boat Operators’ Assn general secretary Joseph Xavier Kalappurakkal. “Whenever there is an accident in which fishermen are injured or killed, they do not get any relief from the govt. In the recent incidents too, we fear that the victims and their kin will be ignored by the ship owners and the government by the time the legal battle is over,” Joseph said.
He said that the govt should take the initiative to put pressure on the Italian govt or the shipping company to provide compensation for the fishermen shot dead by the marines on board Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie in February.
Over the past week, there has been a small revolution in a part of the universe of the elite, and the collective actions of citizen groups deserve some credit for it. Robin Broad and John Cavanagh wrote in YES! Magazine.
The candidates for next month’s selection could finally change the game of serving markets over people—and we all might have a role to play. by Robin Broad
, John Cavanagh
The (very unpopular) Nigerian finance minister who wants to be President of the World Bank
Yesterday the African Union added their backing to Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s run at becoming World Bank President. She announced her candidacy on Friday, just hours before Obama told everyone he’d picked South Korean-born rapper Jim Kim (now backed by Paul Kagame). But how do Nigerians look at this? Some are puzzled by the government’s silence, and local media reports that Ali Mazrui wrote to President Jonathan urging him to offer louder and stronger support to Okonjo-Iweala’s campaign.
There are also those who would be pleased to see her get the job simply so that Nigeria could be rid of her. Dubbed “Okonjo-Wahala” (wahala means “trouble”) and accused by opponents of acting as an agent for global financial instutions, she was widely seen as the instigator of the removal of the fuel subsidy in January that led to the eruption of the Occupy Nigeria movement (when she became very grumpy indeed, took to twitter and got a bit of a kicking). The poet Odia Ofeimun says she wouldn’t have had to return to Nigeria if she’d been able to finish the job of ruining the economy first-time around when she worked for Obasanjo.
It’s great that a Nigerian woman is in the running for such a prominent job, and I’d pick her over Jeff “Yawn” Sachs and crooked Larry Summers any day. But it’s pretty hard to get enthusiastic about an anti-corruption politician who hates anti-corruption campaigns so much and seem to distrust poor people so much.
What has also gone undiscussed is the fact that Okonjo-Iweala was put forward by a bloc of African “superpowers” comprising Nigeria, South Africa and Angola, which isn’t really such an obvious grouping when you think about it. Sure, they’re all considered “emerging African economies” but they’re also fierce competitors. Has this triumvirate made international diplomatic moves like this before or is this a new thing? What other issues might bring these three together in future? Do the three countries’ interests actually line up behind Okonjo-Iweala’s candidacy or is this part of a longer-term powerplay to tip southwards some of the power vested in global financial institutions?
So what’s the verdict, people? See you in the comments.