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Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 passes in Rajya Sabha.

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The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday through a voice vote passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020. The bill amends the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010, which regulates the use and acceptance of foreign contribution by individuals and organizations. The Act prohibits foreign contribution for any activities that pose a danger to national interest.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday and will now be sent to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent.

Minister of state (MoS), home affairs, Nityanand Rai moved the bill for passage in the Upper House.

During the discussion on the bill, Rai said that the FCRA is a law for national and internal security, aimed to ensure that foreign funds do not dominate the political and social discourse in India.

The minister also said that it has been proposed to make Aadhaar for Indian citizens and passports or OCI for foreigners mandatory to verify identity. The home ministry consulted UIDAI and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) before proposing the move, he added.

“Experience says that many organisations attempted to hide their identity and were successful in doing that. The reason behind this is that they had no fear because their identity was not established completely. So Aadhaar card has been brought in to establish their identity,” Rai said.

The minister pointed out that the bill provides for reduction in administrative expenses of any NGO receiving foreign funding, from 50 per cent to 20 per cent of annual funds.

The bill also proposes to enable the Center to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate.

 

Automobile

Electric vehicle versus Fuel vehicle: Which is more affordable and cheap

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The electric vehicle industry is booming, but the biggest drawback for the consumer is that they are priced much higher than the traditional fuel vehicles. However, at a time when filling-up a full tank of petrol scooters and motorcycles is fast becoming a dream for many, the alternative to it — electric two-wheelers — seems to offer better running price realisation in the long term.

According to investment bank and financial services firm Morgan Stanley, battery-powered two-wheelers are cheaper to own and run than petrol and diesel equivalents. The running cost of electric vehicles is nearly 5% lower annually compared to a gasoline petrol vehicle, the report showed.

The maths of cheaper electric vehicles

The petrol and diesel prices across the country continued their northward march taking its retail rates to unprecedented levels and burning bigger holes in the consumer’s pockets. The electric vehicle as an option weighs heavy.

Although the fact that EVs are priced significantly higher than the vehicles running on fuel have kept people away from them. But once the infrastructure is in place, the cost really comes down to the electricity unit price, which is much lower than the fuel rates. No matter what the price of crude oil is around the world, in India, the average fuel rates have always remained at ₹70 and ₹80 per litre for diesel and petrol, respectively.

Under the bare minimum conditions, the math becomes even clearer — unit price of electricity multiplied by battery size is equivalent to the cost of running an EV. This also eradicates high fuel costs and provides cheaper maintenance and tax. Electric vehicles also hold their value for longer compared to fuel vehicles, according to a Europe based firm study.

 

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