Citizens' Issues
Delhi just tip of India's air pollution iceberg: Greenpeace
As many as 15 Indian cities possess air quality index far over than the prescribed standards and Delhi is just the "tip of the air pollution iceberg", said a Greenpeace study released on Tuesday.
 
A ranking of the 17 cities covered by the National Air Quality Index (NAQI) was released by the NGO, which revealed Delhi is just a "tip of the air pollution iceberg in the country."
 
"As many as 15 of the 17 Indian cities with NAQI stations showed levels of air pollution that far exceed Indian standards. As the political capital - and indeed, the most polluted of all cities - the bad air in Delhi gets the most attention," Greenpeace said.
 
The PM 2.5 (particulate matter with diameter below 2.5 microns) levels, which are a measure of pollution, in cities like Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Muzzafarpur and Faridabad are also on levels of a 'red alert', the analysis said.
 
"Even the government's own, largely inadequate NAQI data reveals that 23 of the 32 stations across India are showing more than 70 percent exceedance of the national standards," said Greenpeace India campaigner Sunil Dahiya.
 
The pollution levels in a few Indian cities have the "embarrassing distinction" of having exceeded the toxic levels of Beijing and other Chinese cities, demonstrating levels at least ten times higher than the WHO standards, making air pollution truly a "national emergency", he added.
 
There is an immediate need to diversify and upgrade the manual stations to ambient air quality monitoring stations feeding data to the online NAQI portal, the NGO said.
 
Greenpeace also called for a "systematic clean air action plan", with focused targets, clear timelines and demonstrable accountability towards public health.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Swachh Bharat cess to realize Rs.10,000 crore annually
The government is poised to raise Rs.10,000 crore revenue annually from levy of the 0.5 percent Swachh Bharat cess (SBC), parliament was told on Tuesday.
 
Though the government did not fix any target for SBC in the current or upcoming fiscal years, revenue is expected to touch Rs.10,000 crore in a full financial year, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
 
Introduced on November 15, the SBC is applied on all services falling under purview of service tax, and will be used for Swachh Bharat initiatives.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Jain named new Central Board of Direct Taxes chief
Senior revenue service official A.K. Jain was on Tuesday appointed chairman of the apex tax body, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), an official statement said.
 
The Appointments Committee of the cabinet has approved the appointment of Jain as the CBDT chairman, said a department of personnel and training order. 
 
Earlier appointed acting chairman following the retirement of chairperson Anita Kapur on November 30, Jain, a 1978 batch Indian Revenue Services (IRS) officer, will have a tenure of only two months till January 2016, official sources said.
 
Kapur has been appointed adviser on tax reforms in the finance ministry for six months.
 
She will be contributing inputs towards creating better taxpayer services, bringing in an improved direct taxes regime and also help in preparing the union budget for next year, the officials added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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