Companies & Sectors
Land acquisition protests gain momentum in Jharkhand
Protests against land acquisition for industries are gaining momentum in Jharkhand and a police firing in Ramgarh has fuelled it further.
 
Former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi on Tuesday started a two-day mass fast at Hazaribagh district against land acquisition by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
 
On Monday, police had opened fire on villagers demanding compensation for land acquired by Innland Power Limited (IPL). Two people were killed and more than 20 belonging to either sides were injured. 
 
The displaced people were earlier called for talks at IPL factory which the management did not attend.
 
This angered the villagers who started protesting that resulted in police firing later on. 
 
According to opposition parties the land rate compensation given to villagers this time are much less than the 2013 land acquisition provisions.
 
Jharkhand is facing these protest at various places. In Hazaribagh the villagers are protesting against the NTPC, while in Barkagao for coal mines. 
 
NTPC was awarded coal blocks for thermal power plant at Barkagao in 2010 but mining could not start due to protest.
 
The opposition had put the state government on mat during the budget session in February for low compensation of land in Santhal Pargana region. They had alleged that the price was reduced to ensure land to Adani power plant at low rate.
 
Following which a committee was formed to look into the land rates of Santhal Pargana. 
 
The fresh row over land acquisition began when Jharkhand tried to make changes in two land acts -- Chotanagpur Tenancy Act (CTA)and Santhal Pargana Act (SPT). 
 
Even alliance partner of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party joined the opposition as the changes could lead to land acquisition for non agricultural purposes like power plants, roads, malls and other things. 
 
Former central Minister and Congress leader Subodhkanat Sahay told IANS: "Jharkhand is suffering from land acquisition problem." 
 
Echoing his view former Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Executive President Hemant Soren told IANS: " The killing of people indicates the ruthless and insensitive approach of the Raghubar Das government." 
 
The opposition has also alleged that the state has proposed to form land banks which would lead to vacating of people living on government land.
 
The protest against NTPC had gained momentum in July when opposition leaders went to Barkagao to extend support. NTPC lodged FIR against them for entering the mining area. On August 4, the opposition even courted arrest.
 
Chief Minister Raghubar Das had assured the villagers earlier this month that agriculture land would not be acquired forcefully.
 
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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Two years' bonus for central government employees: Jaitley
Some 33 lakh employees of the central government had reason to cheer on Tuesday with the government announcing their annual bonus that has been pending for two years.
 
"The bonus entitlement for 2014-15 and 2015-16 will be released on the revised norms for central government employees. This was pending for two years. After this, the bonus will be covered under the 7th Pay Commission," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters.
 
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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Cabinet mulling law on misleading endorsement by celebrities
Even as the average consumer opts for products endorsed by celebrities, the central government is all set to come up with a new law that would make such personalities "accountable for misleading ads".
 
The Law and Consumer Affairs Ministry has accepted the recommendation of a parliamentary Standing Committee and decided to impose "stringent provisions including jail term and hefty penalty" of up to Rs50,00,000 for "repeated offence", official sources said here on Tuesday.
 
The Cabinet on Wednesday is likely to give its nod to the "change in the draft law" as being brought into the Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 -- already pending before Parliament. 
 
In its report on the Consumer Protection Bill tabled in Parliament in April this year, the standing committee headed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lawmaker J.C. Divakar Reddy had mooted giving "adequate legal teeth to advertising watchdog to curb misleading ads".
 
The panel also recommended severe penalties like cancellation of licence of those involved in food adulteration, an official source said.
 
The government has now decided to bring in some "necessary changes" in the Consumer Protection Bill in tune with the spirit of the recommendation of the standing committee.
 
"The committee strongly feels that misrepresentation of a product, especially of a food product, should be taken very seriously considering the influence of celebrities and individuals and companies. The existing laws are not deterrent enough to discourage manufacturers or publishers from using such personalities for misleading ads," the parliamentary panel on Consumer Affairs had said.
 
Among other issues, sources said, the government also accepted in principle the recommendation of the panel that the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) should be given more functional autonomy. The committee also favoured suitable provision in the new law to empower chief commissioner and commissioners and officials of the CCPA for initiating actions against defaulters.
 
In fact, industry sources and consumer activists say the issue of celebrities endorsing brands and products, and their punishment if claims made in the advertisements turn out to be misleading and false had first figured in 2012 when a federation of state-level consumer protection bodies had suggested to the erstwhile UPA regime for enacting such a law.
 
"In September 2012, we had submitted a number of recommendations to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to protect the interests of the consumers. Most important of them is making celebrities accountable for the claims made in the advertisements endorsed by them," Amrit Shah, a former chairman of the Consumer Coordination Council, a federation of state-level consumer bodies, told IANS.
 
Consumer activists had said that a number of complaints have been lodged with the consumers alleging that they were fleeced by brands endorsed by the celebrities.
 
Activists also say a large number of complaints are against claims of weight loss or protecting hair loss endorsed by the celebrities.
 
"Celebrities should check for themselves if the claims being made are genuine or not," says an official in the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
 
Sources also said that the new changes as proposed in the Bill seeks to make any "false or misleading" endorsement -- which would be detrimental to the interest of consumers -- a penal offence, punishable with a jail term of up to two years and a fine of Rs10 lakh for the first such offence.
 
The new law would also bring in provisions to impose imprisonment of five years along with a fine of Rs50 lakh for the second and subsequent offences by any defaulter.
 
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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COMMENTS

Vishnumurthy Prabhu

3 months ago

Good step indeed. But I have a problem with the existing bill. Endorser is liable not just to the actions under his or her control but also something beyond. With this yardstick, what about the stake holders of the company who will also benefit from selling faulty product. What about the media platform who will also make money by giving space to display such ads? where is the sense of proportionality.
I understand that today people are supporting this law just for their hate against the celebrities more than the purpose for which this is supposed to be enacted. But I am sure that when this goes to court, it can't keep quiet and apply the provisions disproportionately against branding companies or brand ambassadors alone. It will also extend to the whole chain of beneficiaries.

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