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SC bans sale, registration of BS-IV non-compliant vehicles
New Delhi, March 29: In a major decision, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said no vehicles which are BS-IV emission non-compliant will be sold in the country after April 1, 2017.Restraining the automobile manufacturers from selling BS-IV non-compliant vehicles from April 1, the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta said all the vehicle-registering authorities are prohibited from registering BS-IV non-compliant vehicles from April 1.Banning the sale, the court said the health of the people was "far far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers".However, the court said that if proof is furnished that the vehicle was purchased before April 1, then it will be allowed to be registered. (IANS)




Rajya Sabha adjourned four times over vacancies in statutory commissions
New Delhi, March 28: The Rajya Sabha was on Tuesday adjourned four times amid protests from the opposition over delay in filling up of vacancies in the statutory commission for minorities, SCs, STs and OBCs.Soon after the House assembled for the day, the proceedings were adjourned first for 10 minutes till 11.25 a.m.When the House reconvened, Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the process for filling vacancies was on. However, opposition members continued their protest so the House was adjourned for the second time till 12 noon.Later, the Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the third time till 12.30 p.m, and again for the fourth time till 2 p.m. (IANS)




UP govt. should give slaughterhouses time for regularisation: Owaisi
New Delhi, March 27: AIMIM President and Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said the Uttar Pradesh government should give time to illegal abattoirs for regularisation instead of just recklessly sealing them."It is the fault of the previous Samajwadi Party government that did not regularise the slaughterhouses. Now, the government should give them time for regularisation instead of sealing them," Owaisi said outside Parliament.According to him, not just the illegal abattoirs which were being sealed, but the legal ones also."If the government can give time to black money hoarders to declare their money and regularise it, why can't it give time to slaughterhouses for regularisation? It means they are targeting a particular community."Owaisi said India's buffalo meat exports are valued at Rs 26,000 crore and around half of the exporting units are based in Uttar Pradesh."Such reckless step by the government will result in economic disruption....




MCD Polls: Kejriwal promises to abolish residential house tax, BJP criticises
New Delhi, March 25: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday promised to abolish residential house tax if his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) wins the civic polls in the national capital, drawing criticism from Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari."We will abolish residential house tax and waive off all arrears of such taxes of all citizens of Delhi if AAP comes to power in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections," Kejriwal told reporters.He added that industrial and commercial house tax will remain as earlier.Elections to the 272 wards in three municipal corporations are scheduled for April 23. The results will be out on April 26.According to Kejriwal, the AAP has made all calculations related to the residential house tax and said if his party comes to power it would "save peoples' money from corruption" and would use that to cover the shortfall after abolishing the house tax.Kejriwal said his party has delivered on most of the promises, including reducing the el...




Left blasts Modi government for easing political funding
New Delhi, March 23: Left parties on Thursday condemned the Centre's proposal to relax conditions for contributions made by corporate entities to political parties.The parties accused the Narendra Modi government of creating "new avenues for large-scale money laundering" while claiming to be fighting corruption in public life."The Modi government has indulged in the height of duplicity to hoodwink the people of this country with its loud pronouncements to cleanse corruption, particularly in the electoral process," the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.It said this was clear from the amendment slipped into the provisions of the Finance Bill, 2017, where the "limit of 7.5 per cent of net profit of the last three financial years" and "the requirements of a company to disclose the name of the political parties to which a contribution has been made" has been deleted.The Companies Act as amended now allows corporates to pay political parties an unl...




Govt. move to allow uncapped, hidden corporate donations to parties opposed
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, March 23: The Narendra Modi government is facing harsh criticism for an amendment in the Companies Act allowing companies to make unlimited political donations while hiding names of beneficiary political parties.   "Cap on donations by Corps to parties removed. Their obligations to disclose parties to whom donations made removed. (It is like) Legalising corrupt funding," said eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan who has been fighting against corruption for decades.   Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely earlier this week moved Finance Bill, 2017 that includes among other things the amendment to the Companies Act. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha.   CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said: "Hypocrisy & duplicity of Modi & his govt exposed. In the name of fighting corruption, promoting obnoxious levels of political corruption."   Amendment to Companies Act shall kill fair elections: Ex-Bureaucrat ...




During elections, politicians say farmers are backbone of India, but now they are treating us as untouchable: Tamil farmers
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, March 21: "During elections, politicians say farmers are backbone of India, but now they are treating us untouchable and downtrodden. They don't want to see us, they haven't come here to meet us. We will be here till our death," said Tamil Nadu farmers observing fast unto death near the Parliament House in New Delhi.   They are protesting here for the past one week over the problems being faced by farmers in Tamil Nadu.   "If the central government does not fulfil our demands, we will die here. For the past 10 years, there is heavy drought in Tamil Nadu, this is worst in the last 140 years in the state. More than 400 farmers have died due to the drought," said a farmer.   "Our demands are: profitable price to the farmers, interlinking of rivers and drought relief to Tamil Nadu farmers," he said.   An elderly farmer said: "There is hunger, poverty and unemployment in farmers in Tamil Nadu. We w...




SBI to shut down 47% of associate banks' offices post-merger
The five associate banks that will merge with SBI are: SBBJ (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur), SBM (State Bank of Mysore), SBT (State Bank of Travancore), SBP (State Bank of Patiala) and SBH (State Bank of Hyderabad). Meghna Mittal,New Delhi, March 21: State Bank of India (SBI), which will see five associate banks merge into it on April 1, has decided to shut down almost half the offices of these banks, including the head offices of three of them. This process will start from April 24."Out of the five head offices of the associate banks, we will retain only two. Three head offices of the associate banks will be unbound along with 27 zonal offices, 81 regional offices and 11 network offices of the associate banks," SBI Managing Director Dinesh Kumar Khara told IANS in an interview."We will keep their structure in place till April 24 and, post that, we will start dismantling the associate banks' controlling offices, which includes head offices, regional offices, z...




6 challenges for the new UP government
IndiaSpend Team, With 200 million people, equivalent to the population of Brazil, but with an economy the size of Qatars -- which has 2.4 million people, the same as the town of Bijnore -- the new government of Indias most-populous state Uttar Pradesh faces myriad problems.The GDP of Uttar Pradesh is comparable to Kenya's, and its infant mortality rate rivals Mauritania, a poverty-ridden, west-African nation.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an unprecedented victory in the state in the 2017 assembly election, with 312 out of 403 seats, but with some of India's worst development indicators, there is much to do.We analysed six major challenges and the corresponding promises made by the BJP to fix them in its election manifesto, called the""Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra-201"".1. Second-highest maternal mortality, half the child population stuntedDespite having the largest population, Uttar Pradesh spends Rs 452 per capita on health, 70 per cent less than the average spen...




Rs 8,040 cr loan given to Mallya in 2004, declared NPA in 2009
New Delhi, March 17: Loans totalling over Rs 8,000 crore were given to absconding industrialist Vijay Mallya during the tenure of the previous UPA government at the Centre, Parliament was informed on Friday.In response to a supplementary on the matter, Minister of State for Finance Santosh Gangwar, without naming Mallya, told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour that the loan of Rs 8,040 crore to the industrialist was declared a non-performing asset (NPA) in 2009 and was restructured in 2010.The loan, granted in September 2004, was reviewed in February 2008, the Minister said."Our government has taken action against him (Mallya). He is currently living in the UK. Various agencies have issued summons to him. Following our requests, the Ministry of External Affairs has revoked his passport and we are taking action so that he faces justice," he said.He also said that of the 9,150 wilful defaulters of state-run banks till December 31, 2016, suits have been filed against 8,364 defau...




Leading food and beverages brands fail India's double nutrition challenge
Swagata Yadavar, No more than 12 per cent of beverages and 16 per cent of foods sold by nine leading Indian food and beverage companies were of "high nutritional quality", according to the Access to Nutrition Index India Spotlight, 2016, the first survey of its kind. The index, created by Access to Nutrition Foundation, a Dutch non-profit, and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , evaluated the manufacturers' policies, practices, nutritional disclosures in India and globally. The nine companies assessed said they were committed to combat under-nutrition, but most did not produce or produced very few forti?ed packaged food products.Fortification is the process of addition of micronutrients -- vitamins and minerals -- to foods to tackle nutritional deficiency. It is known to be an affordable and efficient way to improve micronutrient status in a population.India is facing two opposing nutritional challenges: Malnutrition and increasing obesity, especially among...




Why Aadhaar card mandatory for rations, asks HC in notice
New Delhi, March 8: The Delhi High Court, taking up a petition, on Wednesday, in a notice asked the Centre and others why was Aadhaar card mandatory for getting subsidised food grain through the Public Distribution System.A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal sought the response from the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and the Delhi government before April 24, the next date of hearing.The public interest litigation filed by NGO Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan sought quashing of the Centre's February 8 notification that made it mandatory for beneficiaries to possess Aadhaar cards for purchasing subsidised food grain under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).The Centre's notification is applicable in all states and Union Territories, except Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.The plea said due to the notification's implementation, people are being deprived of their rightful entitlement under the NFSA and it vi...




NFIW raps Modi government on Women's Reservation Bill
New Delhi, March 8: The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) on Tuesday attacked the central government over its "silence" on the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, which proposes to reserve 33 per cent of all seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies.The NFIW, in a release issued here on the eve of International Women's Day, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must break his 'Maun Vrath' (silence) and let the country know why the NDA government was not doing anything to get the bill passed."Twenty years have passed since the Bill introduced in Parliament," the NFIW said, adding that it would like to remind Modi and other senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party including Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, who before the last Lok Sabha elections repeatedly said that if the party comes to power, "the bill will be passed without wasting time"."Three years have passed since the NDA assumed office. During this period Modi has given numerous ...




Why weavers of Varanasi hold Modi govt. responsible for their miseries
Saiyed Danish for IndiaTomorrow.net, Varanasi, March 07: The moment you enter Sarayya Bazaar locality in North Varanasi assembly, heaps of dust, poorly constructed roads and poverty welcome you. It is a stronghold of Muslim weavers community and one of many such areas reeling under indifference and neglect from the government.   "Weavers are out of work here, sometimes for months at end. Many youths I know who used to be happily employed earlier are forced to pull rickshaws, repair bicycle and work at others' shops. The self-sufficiency of 'bunkar' community is fast eroding," says Sirajuddin, a youth who used to work as a handloom employee.   "Come and see our machine now, you will find cobwebs and dirt on it. We can't run them now. Everything has become expensive for us from threads to graph plates," adds Mohammad Iqbal.   Haji Waqqas Ansari, leader of weavers community spoke to IndiaTomorrow.net on the plight of weavers. "The problem li...




Delhi labourers to get 37% hike in minimum wages
New Delhi, March 3: Labourers in Delhi would get a 37 per cent hike in minimum wages as Lt Governor Anil Baijal has approved the AAP government's proposal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Friday.The minimum wages would go up from Rs 9,724 to Rs 13,350 a month for unskilled labourers, from Rs 10,764 to Rs 14,698 for semi-skilled labourers, and from Rs 11,830 to Rs 16,182 for skilled labourers, said Kejriwal, who was accompanied by Labour Minister Gopal Rai.Kejriwal on February 25 gave his nod to the file which was then sent to the Lt Governor's Office.Thanking the Lt Governor for giving his nod in a short time, Kejriwal said the notification would be issued on Monday, after which the hike would come into effect."It is a historic increase in the minimum wages and biggest among all governments since Independence," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said.It was the second attempt by the AAP government to revise minimum wages after then Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung turned do...




GDP data minus note ban impact on informal sector lacks credibility
Biswajit Choudhury and Meghna Mittal,The latest official data showing Indian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 7 per cent for the third quarter was only marginally impacted by the November 8 demonetisation measure has served to re-ignite the controversy about the methodology employed to calculate the country's national income. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Tuesday estimated that India's GDP for the third quarter ended December, at Rs 30.28 lakh crore, recorded a growth of 7 per cent, compared with 7.3 per cent in the previous quarter. The country had registered a GDP of Rs 28.31 lakh crore in the corresponding quarter of 2015-16.The estimates of GDP growth for the full fiscal 2016-17, at 7.1 per cent, marked a sharper fall from the 7.9 per cent recorded for the fiscal 2015-16.This appeared to fly in the face of previous private surveys documenting the disruption caused by the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 rupee notes constituting 86 percent of currency in Nov...




Thousands of Jats protest at Jantar Mantar
New Delhi, March 2: Taking their quota stir to the national capital, several thousand Jat community members protested at the Jantar Mantar here on Thursday, pressing for reservation in jobs and educational institutions.Agitators from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Punjab assembled here with their demands, which also includes jobs to the next of kin of those killed in the 2016 violent agitation, withdrawal of cases against the Jats and action against officers who were involved.Violence during the February 2016 agitation by Jats across several districts in Haryana left 30 people dead and over 200 injured. Government and private properties worth hundreds of crore were also damaged."We have come here to protest against the insensitivity which the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana has shown to our demands. We will march to Parliament with our demands," said Yashpal Malik, president of the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS).He said the communi...




Note ban pulls down Q3 GDP growth to 7%
New Delhi, Feb 28: Reflecting a marginal impact of the November demonetisation measure, India's GDP for the third quarter ended December, estimated at Rs 30.28 lakh crore, recorded a growth of 7 per cent, compared with 7.3 per cent in the second quarter, official data showed on Tuesday. (IANS)




Kejriwal approves 37% hike in minimum wage, calls it 'Holi gift'
New Delhi, Feb 26: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday approved around 37 per cent hike in the minimum wages and termed it a "Holi gift" for the city's labour class. It now needs to be cleared by Lt. Governor Anil Baijal.Revision in the minimum wages are done on the recommendation of a committee formed after former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung returned the file of a proposal to hike minimum wages by about 50 per cent last September.A special tripartite committee -- comprising five members each from the government, labour unions and industry associations -- was formed with approval from the LG to remove the discrepancies.This committee held several meetings in this regard. The final committee meeting was held on February 16.The Delhi Cabinet approved the recommendation of the new committee to revise minimum wages in the national capital on Saturday."This is a very big and historic decision. With this, we are directly putting money into the pocket of poor people,&q...




SBI ATM dispenses fake notes, 'Children Bank of India' printed on them in place of Reserve Bank of India
New Delhi, Feb 22: An SBI ATM here dispensed fake 2,000 rupee notes, and police said on Wednesday that they had identified the culprits. The incident was reported in south Delhi where a State Bank of India ATM dispensed the fake notes on February 6, with "Children Bank of India" printed in place of Reserve Bank of India, according to the FIR accessed by IANS.The notes also had numerous glaring discrepancies including the words "Churan lable", a "PK" logo and "000000" serial number.It also read "Guaranteed by the Children's Government" printed in place of "Guaranteed by the Central Government".Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajiv Ranjan Singh told IANS that the vendor who supplied the cash to the ATM and the persons who inserted the fake notes had been identified.The officer put the number of fake notes dispensed by the ATM at three.Asked why no arrest had been made so far, Singh said: "The case is still a m...




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