- Micro-breweries allowed in state
- Fresh beer will be available to locals and tourists in Himachal this year as provisions for encouraging micro-breweries have been made in the Excise Policy for 2018-19 and measures taken to encourage the wine industry.
- Three brewpubs (A brewpub can be a pub or restaurant that brews beer on the premises) will be opened in major tourist destinations in Shimla, Manali and Dharamsala while more units will come up.
- Giving a fresh lease of life to the local wine industry, the Excise and Taxation Department has reduced the licence fee from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10,000 and allowed wine producers to sell it directly to hotels and restaurants, besides wholesalers and duty on wine imported from outside has been increased to promote the local wine. At present, there are 9-10 wine manufacturers in the state.
- The revenue collections during 2017-18 (up to December 2017) were Rs 4,613 crore and the department is expecting an additional revenue of Rs 1,400 crore during the last quarter.
- The target for 2018-19 has been increased to Rs 8,248 crore which included GST (Rs 4,065 crore), Excise (Rs 1,552 crore), VAT (Rs 1,319 crore), motor vehicle tax (Rs 300 crore), other tax and duties (Rs 351 crore), electricity duty (Rs 350 crore) and stamp duty and registration (Rs 270 crore).
- India ranks 10th on new Commonwealth innovation index
- India has ranked 10th on a new Commonwealth Innovation Index, topped by the UK, Singapore and Canada.
- The index was launched as part of a new Commonwealth Innovation Hub on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London.
- It has been created in partnership with the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and its annual Global Innovation Index (GII).
- First regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources
- The first regional conference of eastern states on Water Resources was held in Kolkata on April 16 to address the outstanding water issues of these states.
- The conference deliberated on finding a solution to mitigate intra and intra-basin issues relating to water resources in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.
- The issue of interlinking of rivers also come-up for discussion at the conference.
- East Godavari, first district with complete LED street lighting
- East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh is all set to become the country’s first ‘LED street light district’.
- The rural LED street lighting programme in the district entailing the installation of around 3.1 lakh LED street lights has been completed.
- The exercise is expected to save around 34 Million Units (MU) annually.
- AP is already ranked the best State in implementation of energy efficiency and conservation programmes by the World Bank.
- Union Government Revises Target To Complete PMGSY From Year 2022 To 2019
- The Union Government has stated that the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojanaor PMGSY is well on its way to achieving the target by March 2019.
- The scheme, since its inception in 2000, has been able to provide connectivity to more than One lakh 50 thousand habitations.
- Sensing the importance and urgency of rural roads for national development, the target date for completion of PMGSY-I has been preponed from 2022 to 2019.
· Electric vehicles charging stations need no licence, clarifies Power Ministry
- The Power Ministry has categorised charging batteries of electric vehicles as a service, a move which will help such stations operate without licence and encourage the use of e-vehicles.
- Transmission, distribution and trading of electricity need licences under the Electricity Act. Therefore, all utilities have to seek licences for sale of power to consumers.
- The Ministry said in a clarification that during the charing of e-vehicles, a station does not perform any activity related to the transmission, distribution or trading of electricity.
- Hence charging of batteries of electric vehicles through charging station does not any require licence under the provision of the Electricity Act 2003.
- In the present scenario, the EVs make economic sense as their per km running cost is less than a rupee, whereas the same cost for petrol and diesel works out to an average of ₹6.50.
- The government’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan launched in 2013 aims at ensuring 6-7 million electric and hybrid vehicles in India by 2020.
The vision enunciated two years ago is for India to have 100% EVs by 2030.
- Pulitzer Prizes 2018 announced
- The Pulitzer Prizes for 2018has been announced. Following are the winners of the Pulitzer Prize 2018.
Fiction- Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less” has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Greer’s novel tells the comic story of a middle-aged novelist.
2. Drama- Cost of Living, by Martyna Majok.
3. History- The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (Liveright/W.W. Norton).
4. Biography- Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books).
5. Poetry- Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).
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