The World Economic Forum (WEF) has criticised the Indian government for its inability to stick to fiscal targets and start infrastructure development in the country. The managing director of WEF anticipated that the fiscal deficit in the current financial year (2000-2001) would touch 5.4 per cent of the gross domestic product as against the target of 5.1 per cent.

In an effort to tackle the mounting problem of air pollution in the country, Parliament has recently approved a bill that allows the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in automobiles. This was announced by Ram Naik, the Union petroleum minister. Rules and regulations for the use of LPG are being drafted and are expected to be finalised by December, 2000.

The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation may become the first transport corporation company in the country to start using compressed natural gas (CNG). The corporation is now awaiting completion of the feasibilty study report and trial runs of the CNG buses in Surat.

The Union government has imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on imports from the European Union of aniline, an organic chemical used in several industries. Provisional anti-dumping duties have been imposed on import of ferro silicon, a deoxidiser, from Russia and China.

The Central Water Commission has given technical clearance to eight important irrigation projects in Orissa, Union water resource minister Arjun Charan Sethi said.

Oil drilling activities, petrochemicals and oil refineries; fertiliser paper, and cement industries; and coal mines have led to alarming pollution levels in Assam, according to chairperson of the Assam Pollution Control Board.

An unknown disease is killing vultures in India. A recent survey indicates that at least 90 per cent of the bird population has been killed in 17 key areas across the country.

The Delhi government has asked the Union government to make inspection and maintenance of all in-use private cars and two-wheelers mandatory to check air poolution in the city.

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