Climate change could cause 216 mn to migrate: World Bank
World Bank has recently published Groundswell report.
- The report examined how the impacts of slow-onset climate change, such as water scarcity, decreasing crop productivity and rising sea levels, could result in millions of “climate migrants” by 2050
Key findings of the report
- Climate change could push more than 200 million people to leave their homes in the next three decades and create migration hotspots unless urgent action is taken to reduce global emissions and bridge the development gap.
- The report forecasts up to 216 million people moving within their own countries across the six regions analysed.
- Those regions are Latin America; North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; Eastern Europe and Central Asia; South Asia; and East Asia and the Pacific.
- In the most climate-friendly scenario, with a low level of emissions and inclusive, sustainable development, the world could still see 44 million people being forced to leave their homes.
- In South Asia, Bangladesh is particularly affected by flooding and crop failures, accounting for almost half of the predicted climate migrants.
- Findings regarding African region:
- Sub-Saharan Africa — the most vulnerable region due to desertification, fragile coastlines and the population’s dependence on agriculture — would see the most migrants, with up to 86 million people moving within national borders.
- North Africa is predicted to have the largest proportion of climate migrants, with 19 million people moving.
- The northeastern Tunisia, northwestern Algeria, western and southern Morocco, and the central Atlas foothills will face increased water scarcity.
NCLT can’t allow tweaks in a successful resolution plan: SC
Reference News- The Supreme Court on Monday held that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) cannot permit withdrawals or modifications of a successful resolution plan, once it has been submitted to it after due compliance with the procedural requirements and timelines.
- Such an open-ended process for further negotiations, would have a negative impact on the corporate debtor, its creditors, and the economy at large as the liquidation value depletes with the passage of time.
- The judgment relates to the NCLT’s decision to allow Ebix Singapore Private Limited to withdraw its resolution plan submitted for Educomp Solutions.
- The NCLAT had, however, reversed the NCLT order, saying the latter did not have jurisdiction to permit such withdrawal.
- The correctness of the NCLAT decision had come up on appeal before the Supreme Court.
What is NCLAT?
- National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) was constituted under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013.
- NCLAT is the Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by –
- National Company Law Tribunal(s) (NCLT) under Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC)
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) under Section 202 and Section 211 of IBC.
- Competition Commission of India (CCI) – as per the amendment brought to Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013.
What is NCLT?
- National Company Law Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates issues relating to companies in India.
- Established on 1st June, 2016 (Companies Act, 2013).
- Formed based on the recommendations of the Justice Eradi Committee.
- It deals with matters mainly related to companies law and the insolvency law.
- Term of members: Appointments will be for five years from the date of assumption of charge or till attaining the age of 65 or until further orders.
Insolvency & Bankruptcy: Issues & Way forward
About Insolvency & Bankruptcy
- Insolvency is the situation where the debtor is not in a position to pay back the creditor.
- For a corporate firm, the signs of this could be a slow-down in sales, missing of payment deadlines etc.
- Bankruptcy is the legal declaration of Insolvency.
Salient features of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code:
- IBC was enacted in 2016 for reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner for maximization of the value of assets of such persons
- IBC Code 2016 covers all individuals, companies, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and partnership firms.
- The adjudicating authority is National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for companies and LLPs and Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) for individuals and partnership firms.
- Insolvency Professionals: A specialised cadre of licensed professionals is proposed to be created. These professionals will administer the resolution process, manage the assets of the debtor, and provide information for creditors to assist them in decision making.
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board: The Board will regulate insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities set up under the Code. The Board will consist of representatives of Reserve Bank of India, and the Ministries of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Law.
Has IBC worked well?
- Reduced Time for resolution: Today, on average, one can see maybe about three years [for recoveries and resolutions] as compared to an earlier timeline of five years, six years or more
- Promotes fiscal discipline & Reduces wilful default: The fear of losing the company under Section 49A will push the promoters to find a resolution.
- Infrastructure issues: There is shortage of NCLT member, lot of vacancies & delays in appointments all of which has a bearing on IBC working efficiency
- Legacy Issues: A lot of IBC cases are very old cases related to the stock of NPAs [Non-Performing Assets]. So, once this round is over, in future, perhaps, there will be fewer cases and IBC will be able to perform better than before.
- Procedural Delays: There are delays in implementation, whether it’s in terms of approvals, having an application admitted itself.
- Lack of Buyers: In India there are not many strategic investors. An asset will have interest or value only if there are more people who are ready to buy. Better asset value realization will lead to faster resolution of stressed companies (happy creditors)
- Increasing the predictability of IBC process so as to attract more & diverse range of strategic buyers who are willing to bid for assets, and submit resolution plans under the code
- Flexibility for Promoters: MSMEs have flexibility in terms of promoters being able to submit resolution plans for such companies. Similar type of relaxation can be extended to large companies with necessary safeguards built into it.
- Establishing National ARC(“Bad Bank”) will give the time to the banks to resolve these cases over a period of time. Government should make sure that it is adequately staffed & well-functioning.
- Capacity building in terms of NCLT: IBC cases are not the only mandate of the NCLT. They also consider various cases under the Companies Act (Ex: mergers or oppression). To improve IBC efficiency, NCLT strength has to be enhanced.
- Alternate Resolution: IBC is not the only solution for resolving stress. Other mechanisms pre-IBC mechanisms, one-time settlements, restructuring packages needs to be promoted as well.
Battle of Saragarhi
September 12 marks the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi that has inspired a host of armies, books and films, both at home and abroad.
What is the Battle of Saragarhi?
The Battle of Saragarhi was fought on 12 September 1897. It is considered one of the finest last stands in the military history of the world.
- Twenty-one soldiers from British Army were pitted against over 8,000 Afridi and Orakzai tribals but they managed to hold the fort for seven hours.
- Though heavily outnumbered, the soldiers of 36th Sikhs platoon led by Havildar Ishar Singh, fought till their last breath, killing 200 tribals and injuring 600.
Importance of Saragarhi:
Saragarhi was the communication tower between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan.
- The two forts in the rugged North West Frontier Province (NWFP), now in Pakistan, were built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh but renamed by the British.
- Saragarhi helped to link up the two important forts which housed a large number of British troops in the rugged terrain of NWFP.
Making a departure from the tradition of not giving gallantry medals posthumously, Queen Victoria awarded the 21 dead soldiers — leaving out the non-combatant — of the 36th Sikh the Indian Order of Merit (comparable with the Victoria Cross) along with two ‘marabas’ (50 acres) and Rs 500 each.
- The British, who regained control over the fort after a few days, used burnt bricks of Saragarhi to build an obelisk for the martyrs.
- They also commissioned gurdwaras at Amritsar and Ferozepur in their honour.
National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA)
As it seeks to enhance engagement with stakeholders, the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) will set up a single stakeholders’ advisory group as well as a research cell to support the group.
A large majority of the respondents have expressed the urgent need for a settlement mechanism rather than a prolonged stand-alone law making process.
National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) was constituted on 1st October, 2018 under section 132 (1) of the Companies Act, 2013.
Why was it needed?
In the wake of accounting scams, a need was felt to establish an independent regulator for enforcement of auditing standards and ensuring the quality of audits so as to enhance investor and public confidence in financial disclosures of companies.
The Companies Act requires the NFRA to have a chairperson who will be appointed by the Central Government and a maximum of 15 members.
Functions and Duties:
- Recommend accounting and auditing policies and standards to be adopted by companies for approval by the Central Government;
- Monitor and enforce compliance with accounting standards and auditing standards;
- Oversee the quality of service of the professions associated with ensuring compliance with such standards and suggest measures for improvement in the quality of service;
- Perform such other functions and duties as may be necessary or incidental to the aforesaid functions and duties.
- It can probe listed companies and those unlisted public companies having paid-up capital of no less than Rs 500 crore or annual turnover of no less than Rs 1,000 crore.
- It can investigate professional misconduct committed by members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for prescribed class of body corporate or persons.