[Prelims Spotlight] Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB), Competitive federalism, The Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2016

Here are 2 Back2Basics collections from today’s news items

B2B #1: From news- India to launch gas trading hub

Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB)

  1. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2005 establishes the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to regulate downstream activities in the petroleum and natural gas sector
  2. The PNGRB shall regulate the laying and expanding of (a) transmission pipelines for gas and petroleum and (b) city/ local gas distribution networks
  3. Entities will have to register with the PNGRB to market petroleum products and natural gas, operate LNG terminals and establish storage facilities beyond specified capacity
  4. PNGRB will monitor PNG prices and can take corrective measures to prevent restrictive trade practice by the entities
  5. The PNGRB will have the same powers as a civil court to settle disputes. The Appellate Tribunal under the Electricity Act will serve as the Appellate Tribunal for this Act

B2B #2: From news: [op-ed snap] Reimagining governance

Competitive federalism

  1. Competitive federalism is a concept where centre competes with states and vice-versa, and states compete with each other in their joint efforts to develop India
  2. The states would compete with each other over a broad range issues to provide citizens various services in a hassle-free manner
  3. The policy of one-size-fit-all is replaced with different policies of various states based on the own priorities with in the state
  4. Competitive federalism follows the concept of bottom-up approach as it will bring the change from the states

As a part of revision for Prelims 2018, Here’s a Factoid to brush up your concepts

Name: The Major Ports Authorities Bill, 2016
Act/ Ammendment?
: New Act
Year: 2016
Objectives/need for amendment: The bill aims to empower 12 major ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of full autonomy in decision-making.

Key features of the bill:
1.The Bill is more compact in comparison to Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. It has reduced number of sections to 65 from 134 by eliminating obsolete and overlapping Sections of previous Act. 2.Board of Port Authority: It has been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff. However, these powers have exception in case of national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default. Empowers the Board to make its own Master Plan in respect of area within port limits and construct within port limits Pipelines, Communication towers, Telephones, electricity supply or transmission equipment. 3.It is empowered to lease land for Port related use for upto 40 years and for any purpose other than purposes specified in section 22. The approval above 20 years leasing will also require approval of the Central Government. 4.Size of the Board of Port Authority: It has been reduced from 17-19 to 11 members. The compact board with professional independent members will strengthen decision-making and strategic planning. 5.Role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP): It has been redefined. It has been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects. PPP operators will be free to fix tariff based on market conditions.

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