Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda: Regulation

Showing posts with label Regulation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Regulation. Show all posts

Customs Duty Exemption on Lithium & other rare minerals to Boost EV Sector Growth in India


The proposed exemption in customs duty on import of lithium, cobalt and other rare minerals in the Union Budget 2024-25 is likely to lower the battery production cost and help in making electric vehicles more affordable for the buyers.

 Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget for 2024-25 proposed to fully exempt customs duties on 25 critical minerals and reduce Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on two of them.

This will provide a major fillip to the processing and refining of such minerals and help secure their availability for these strategic and important sectors, she noted. Minerals such as Lithium, copper, cobalt and rare earth elements are critical for sectors like nuclear energy, renewable energy, space, defense, telecommunications, and high-tech electronics, Sitharaman stated.

Exemption of customs duty on import of lithium, cobalt and other rare minerals and extension of concessional customs duty on Li-Ion cells till March 2026 and withdrawal of equalization levy of 2 per cent on e-transactions is expected to propel the growth of the Indian auto industry. .

The move is likely to encourage few players to indigenise battery production in India.The industry was not expecting a lot but was definitely looking for some announcements with respect to FAME III subsidies, and other direct benefits for BEV/ NEV (New Electric Vehicle). One  have to wait to see if there are any further relaxations in the future by the FM or by the GST Council.

The strategic move will significantly impact India's EV market by lowering production costs and enhancing competitiveness.

Indian cabinet allows Lithium's commercial mining to charge up it's EV ambitions

Indian Cabinet approved amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, on July 12, allowing for mining of lithium and other minerals, ET reported citing sources.

It was widely reported earlier  that the government was planning to amend the  act to encourage exploration of deep-seated minerals   such  as tellurium, selenium, lead, zinc, cadmium, indium, gold, silver, diamond, rock phosphate, apatite, potash, and elements of the rare earth group.

Critical and strategic minerals such as lithium, cobalt, molybdenum, rhenium, tungsten, graphite, vanadium, nickel, tin, platinum  etc.   Group of elements like  columbite, tantalite, lepidolite, scheelite and cassiterite are also part of the list.

The amendment proposed to insert the provision of an exploration licence in the law which will be granted through auction for undertaking reconnaissance and prospecting operations, according to an official.

Companies will be allowed to suggest areas they want to explore, and eventually mine in India, as per the changes. This is a deviation from the usual practice where blocks or mines are defined by the government to be taken up for auction.

The licence will also be granted only for deep-seated and critical minerals that will be specified in a new schedule to the Act, said the official.

The changes are likely to incentivise private sector participation in all spheres of mineral exploration, with a focus on precious and critical ones. They will allow junior mining companies to get exploration rights on the basis of available baseline survey data. These companies explore the area from the reconnaissance stage and bring it up to the level required for starting mining operations.

Companies will also be allowed to transfer the mineral concession in full or part during the exploration period or at the conclusion of exploration, as per the changes.


Source : ET India (Reproduced with edited version)


FDA allows emergency use of drug remdesivir for COVID 19

The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized Remdesivir (a nucleoside ribonucleic acid (RNA) polymerase inhibitor) an experimental antiviral drug, for emergency use to treat Covid-19.

The authorization allows the intravenous drug to be distributed to doctors to administer to patients with severe disease.

Many health experts have had high hopes for the drug, which was initially developed by Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola. In past,it was also  used in experiments to treat the coronaviruses SARS and MERS. That early testing gave remdesivir a head start in the race for a treatment to Covid-19.

The NIH trial, called the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, included 1,063 patients. The results showed that the median time to recover for patients who randomly received the placebo was 15 days while patients who received remdesivir had a median recovery time of 11 days. Remdesivir also lowered the mortality rate compared to the placebo group, from 11.6 percent to 8 percent.

These results, however, are preliminary. There are at least 19 studies on remdesivir around the world underway or in planning stages, some recruiting thousands of patients. It will be several months before they yield definitive answers, but they will, hopefully, bring the world closer to a working treatment.

Earlier  a randomized trial of the drug in China recently published in the Lancet  found that there was no statistical benefit to taking the drug. The study  was based on a true randomized controlled trial from Wuhan, China, with 237 patients. The study was also peer-reviewed by other scientists. Initially, the authors wanted to include up to 450 patients, but the lockdown imposed in the city meant that patients stopped arriving.

The FDA on 28th March, 2020  had approved  emergency use authorization to a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, after President Donald Trump repeatedly promoted it as a possible treatment for COVID-19. 

Here is the link to the announcement.