DOTTED LANDS

  • The Andhra Pradesh government has started removing “dotted lands” in the state from the prohibited list.
  • The Andhra government has started to remove the “dotted lands” in the state from the prohibited list.
  • This will lead to restoration of full rights of selling or pledging these lands to the farmers who own them.
  • Over 2 lakh acres of these British-era dotted lands have been identified for permanent denotification.
  • According to officials there could be more than 10 lakh acres of dotted lands in the state.

How did these ownership disputes arise?

  • If landowners did not leave clear wills passing on land to their heirs or children, and if a dispute arose because more than one heir lay claim over the land.
  • The land could also be deemed by the government to belong to the state, but it may be under occupation by private parties.
  • Some of the land records in question are more than 100 years old, and had been locked up in the prohibited list in and registers.

How the decision will benefit landowners/farmers?

  • The dots, and entries in land registers, will be removed and these farmers will be given clear land ownership documents.
  • At least 97,000 farmers will get land ownership documents for the 2,06,171 acres of renotified dotted lands.
  • Although these farmers were using the land, they could not procure loans from banks and financial institutions by putting up the land as collateral.
  • Besides becoming eligible for loans, farmers can now apply for financial assistance for crop support, purchase seeds and fertilisers, and procure farm equipment.

Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (UPSI)

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed changes in the current definition of unpublished price sensitive information (UPSI)
  • SEBI’S proposal to change the current definition of UPSI is a bid to bring regulatory certainty and uniformity in compliance by listed entities.
  • It has been noted that on multiple instances, an information or event which should have been categorized as UPSI was not done so by the listed entity.
  • According to SEBI, the judgement exercised by the listed entities in terms of the categorizing announcement as UPSI and consequent compliance with the spirit of the law are not found to be adequate.
  • Therefore, the current definition of UPSI should be amended and the disclosures as required under Regulation 30 of LODR (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) should be brought under it.
  • Under Regulation 30 of LODR, Listed entities are required to disclose to the stock exchanges all events or information “which are material” as soon as possible.
  • These events included acquisition, agreement, fraud or default by promoters as well as key managerial personnel, any alteration in securities, revision in ratings etc.
  • Further, listed entities need to disclose the outcome of the board meeting pertaining to dividends, financial results and voluntary delisting within 30 minutes of the closure of the meeting.

Green Deposits and the Regulatory Framework

  • Recently RBI came up with a regulatory framework for banks to accept green deposits from customers.
  • The RBI’s framework for the acceptance of green deposits lays down certain conditions that banks must fulfill to accept green deposits from customers.
  • The banks will have to come up with a set of rules or policies approved by their respective Boards that need to be followed while investing green deposits from customers.
  • These rules need to be made public on the banks’ websites and banks will have to disclose regular information about:
  • A third-party will have to verify the claims made by banks regarding their invest in green deposits as well as the sustainability credentials of these projects.
  • The RBI has come up with a list of sectors that can be classified as sustainable and thus are eligible to receive green deposits.
  • These sectors include renewable energy, waste management, clean transportation, energy efficiency, and afforestation.
  • Banks will be barred from investing green deposits in business projects involving fossil fuels, nuclear power, tobacco, etc.
  • The new rules are aimed at preventing greenwashing, which refers to making misleading claims about the positive environmental impact of an activity.

How green deposits help depositors/investors and the environment?

  • Depositors who are concerned for the environment may get some satisfaction from investing their money in environmentally sustainable investment products.
  • However, the limited range of projects in which green funds can be invested by the bank is a challenge.
  • Green investing enthusiasts believe that putting money into green projects may be one of the best ways to help the environment.
  • Critics, however, label the green investment products as ‘feel good scam’ and they don’t really do much good to the environment.
  • Nevertheless, in a complex world it can be extremely hard to know if a project is really environmentally sustainable.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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