Economy | Govt rules out blanket ban on plastic bags

Economy | Govt rules out blanket ban on plastic bags

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday ruled out a blanket ban on plastic bags and said waste management at the local level should be improved to ensure that the waste did not become an environmental hazard.

Replying to a question on plastic waste, environment minister Jairam Ramesh said in the Lok Sabha that “a blanket ban (on plastic bags) is not advisable".

He said plastic is inherently not a public health hazard, but the inability to collect plastic waste leads to health hazards.



USDA forecasts India’s sugar output at 23 mt

New Delhi: India’s sugar production is likely to rise by 28% to 22.7 million tonnes (mt) in the 2010-11 season starting October on account of expected higher cane supplies, the US department of agriculture (USDA) has said in a report.

For the 2009-10 season, production is estimated at 17.7 mt. Higher sugar production in the next season will help the government in keeping prices under control.



Rajasthan’s Sanganeri textiles get GI status

New Delhi: Sanganeri hand block printed textile products from Rajasthan will now be protected as a geographical indication (GI), which prohibits its duplication.

The unique textile products are characterized by delicate floral motifs in multiple colours.

The GI status allows the producers of the Sanganer region to take legal action against the infringement of the name of their product.

“There are many screen printing textiles in Rajasthan which are sold in the name of Sanganeri. This will be illegal now. Demand for authentic Sanganeri will increase now, thus helping the producers," said Abhijit Das, deputy project coordinator, UNCTAD India, which worked with the artisan community in Sanganer for seeking the GI certificate.

Das said there are around 300 units involved in producing the Sanganeri textile products.

— Asit Ranjan Mishra


India, Pakistan PMs to hold talks today

Thimpu (Bhutan): The leaders of India and Pakistan will hold direct talks Thursday at a regional summit in Bhutan, as the rival nations inch their way towards resuming a dialogue frozen since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

The meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani will take place on the sidelines of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) gathering, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said Wednesday. He gave no indication as to how long the talks would last or what would be on the agenda.



Kerala Congress (J) to merge with Mani faction

Kochi: The Kerala Congress (Joseph), which has been with the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) in Kerala for 21 years, is set to merge with the Kerala Congress (Mani) of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).

This is a significant political move as the elections to the local civic bodies are just four months away and the state will go to assembly polls after a year.

P.J. Joseph, chairman of the party and state public works minister, said the merger would be announced after the party’s state committee meeting on Friday. State chief minister V.S. Achuthanandan said “LDF was not forcing anyone to stay with it".

K.M. Mani, chairman of the Kerala Congress (Mani) said the merger proposal to have a “stronger" Kerala Congress has been on the cards though no formal decision has been taken so far.

— Ajayan