Archive | August, 2015

Hope RBI takes note of low inflation, oil prices: FM

Posted on 31 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 1st September 2015

New Delhi, Aug 31 (PTI) Pushing for interest rate cut, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said inflation is under control while oil and commodity prices are also low and expressed hope that RBI will consider all these factors in its monetary policy review.

“Inflation in India is broadly under control and you have low oil prices, you have low commodity prices.

“Though August and September are not going to be very exciting from the point of view of monsoon, at least July was a very good month for monsoon. So production in agriculture is going to be significantly better than the last year and therefore I don’t think food prices will rise very much either,” he said.

In a scenario where inflation is under control, the quantum of interest rate cut is “the prerogative of the RBI”, he said.

“And therefore I do see RBI as a very professional institution which will certainly take note of all these factors when it decides its next stand,” he told ET NOW.

Asked if RBI has shown “little stubbornness” on monetary policy stance so far, Jaitley said, “People can have different views. But when an institution like Reserve Bank with all its professionalism and capacities is empowered, we must learn to trust them a bit.”

The Finance Minister said oil and commodity prices have seen global slump and India is a net importer of these.

“Therefore we are buying products at cheaper price… We are the beneficiaries of slowdown in the oil prices and the commodity prices. We are not part of China’s production chain.

We have a huge domestic demand,” he said.

India, he said, offered an attractive investment avenue for investors pulling out their money from other destinations.

Stating that the reform process has to continue, Jaitley said, “Supposing we have the GST through, either by the Centre or by the state we can get our land law little liberalised, we take the necessary monetary policy steps, our private sector investment picks up, of course our ability to move into still higher range of economic growth is there. And that is where the real opportunity lies for India,” he said.

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PM releases digital version of Ramcharitmanas

Posted on 31 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 1st September 2015

New Delhi, Aug 31 (PTI) Describing ‘Ramcharitmanas’ as a great work which imbibes the “essence of India”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released the digital version of a musical production on the epic recorded by All India Radio.

Praising efforts of the artistes, the Prime Minister said they had performed not just ’sangeet sadhna, but also sanskriti sadhna and sanskaar sadhna’ (devotion not just to music, but also to culture and tradition).

The Prime Minister described Goswami Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas as a great epic which contained the “essence of India.”

He mentioned how the Indians who had travelled to various parts of the world, such as Mauritius, kept alive their link with India over successive generations through the Ramcharitmanas, an official statement said here.

Modi, while unveiling the set of digital CDs, said the recordings have been done over a period of 20-22 years and the effort was no small achievement.

He also appreciated the role played by All India Radio ? Akashvani ? in uniting the people and spreading awareness and information in India.

He said that he has been informed that AIR has approximately nine lakh hours of audio recordings of various artistes from across the country. He said this was a priceless collection, which should be documented in detail for posterity.

According to officials, AIR recordings of Goswami Tulsidas’ work which were released today have been sung by many leading singers of Bhopal ‘gharana’ over several years from 1980 onwards.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and Chairman Prasar Bharati Board A Suryaprakash were present on the occasion, the statement added.

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Sanjeev Khanna, Indrani’’s driver taken to Raigad forest

Posted on 31 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 31st August 2015

Mumbai, Aug 30 (PTI) Indrani Mukerjea’s former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyam Rai were today taken to Raigad district to ‘recreate’ the crime scene in the Sheena Bora murder case by Mumbai Police as investigators sought to gather evidence.

Accused Sanjeev Khanna was brought to Khar police station and later taken to the forest in Pen tehsil, along with the driver, police said.

During sustained interrogation here yesterday, Indrani and Sanjeev blamed each other for the crime.

Indrani’s son and Sheena’s brother Mikhail Bora was also questioned at a hotel in Bandra yesterday.

Police are also probing Mikhail’s claim that just hours before Indrani and Sanjeev met Sheena on April 24, 2012 and took her for what would be the last drive of her life, Indrani had also allegedly drugged him. By the time they came back, the suspicious, groggy Mikhail had fled.

Meanwhile, a village official in Raigad district, who helped Mumbai Police team locate the spot where Sheena Bora was allegedly buried, today said when he first spotted the body in 2012 it was just a skeleton with no flesh.

“It was all skeleton. There was no flesh. The local government doctor took it for post mortem, after which it was buried,” Police Patil Ganesh Dhene of Hetevne village said.

Asked how he came across the skeletal remains, Dhene said, “I had gone to collect mangoes. The body was not in a suitcase. The surrounding area was burnt.”

Indrani, her driver Shyam Rai and Khanna were interrogated at Khar police station yesterday. During the course of the grilling, they blamed each other for the crime, a police official said.

Police said Khanna and Indrani were giving evasive replies during interrogation.

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Land ordinance to lapse; govt to include suggestions in Bill

Posted on 31 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 31st August 2015

New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI) Faced with stiff resistance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that the government will not re-promulgate the controversial Ordinance on Land Acquisition which expires tomorrow and declared readiness to incorporate any suggestion in the bill on it which is pending in Rajya Sabha to benefit the farmers.

Apparently referring to the political opponents, he said lot of doubts have been created over the land bill and fear instilled among farmers even though states had suggested amendments to the Act of 2013 for the benefit of villages and villagers.

“We had promulgated an Ordinance on Land Acquisition Bill which will expire tomorrow. I have decided that it should be allowed to expire. It means restoration of the situation that prevailed before my government took over,” the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

The government had issued the Ordinance thrice so far, as the Land bill could not be passed in Parliament due to stiff resistance by most of the opposition parties as well as some ruling NDA allies.

The bill, which seeks to amend the Act of 2013, is currently being scrutinised by a Joint Committee of Parliament, to which it was referred by Rajya Sabha during Budget Session in the wake of strong opposition by several parties.

The Prime Minister’s announcement makes it clear that the government will try to use the legislative route to enact the law, instead of the executive mechanism.

Highly-placed sources later explained that the decision of not re-promulgating the Ordinance was taken against the backdrop of the recommendation of NITI Aayog that enacting law on land acquisition should be left to states, since the subject is on the Concurrent List of the Constitution.

The sources pointed out to PTI that the bill on land acquisition was still alive in Rajya Sabha and the government is awaiting the report of the Joint Committee of Parliament on it.

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Wait for 48 hours for decision on land ordinance: Jaitley

Posted on 31 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 30th August 2015

New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today kept up suspense on whether controversial land acquisition ordinance will be repromulgated, saying a decision will be taken in the next 48 hours.

“Wait for next 48 hours (for a decision on land ordinance),” he said, when asked whether the government has take a decision with regard to repromulgate the ordinance which lapses on August 31.

The land acquisition ordinance, which sought to make land acquisition for industrial projects easier, generated lot of political controversy and was promulgated for three times. It will expire on August 31.

The government yesterday issued a statutory order on Land Bill in lieu of re-promulgation of land ordinance. The order will ensure compensation for land acquired under 13 Acts and will safeguard the rehabilitation of land owners.

Replying to a host of questions at a function here, Jaitley made a case for lowering interest rates saying it was essential to raise the growth rate to 8-10 per cent.

“If we have to jump to 8 per cent plus or 8-10 per cent growth bracket than all the stalled projects (have to be revived) and cost of capital have to go down,” Jaitley said.

Although Reserve Bank reduced the benchmark interest rate by 0.75 per cent in three tranches since January, it maintained the status quo at its policy action earlier this month despite pressure from industry and Finance Ministry. The next monetary policy is due on September 29.

The government, he said, was working on the process of ease of doing business, bringing in bankruptcy law, rationalising taxation and introducing proper public procurement policy.

These are couple of areas on which work is in advanced stage, Jaitley said. .

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Land bill: NDA may favour withdrawal of contentious amendments

Posted on 31 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 30th August 2015

New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI) Apparently keen to shed the “anti-farmer” tag ahead of assembly polls in Bihar, the NDA government is likely to favour withdrawal of all major contentious amendments in the land acquisition act of 2013 that it had brought through an ordinance last December.

Its decision to allow the executive measure to lapse is part of the larger plan as it is not keen to push for the changes in the UPA law, sources said.

However, Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh, does not treat it as “defeat” for the government.

“It was never a matter of ego for us. We still believe that both the interests of farmers as well as the development should go hand in hand. The bill is still before the Parliamentary Committee. We will wait for its final report,” Singh told PTI.

He said that the government has already agreed to accept whatever unanimous recommendations the committee gives.

“The committee unanimously recommended that they are not in favour of removing consent clause and SIA (social impact assessment). Moreover, our purpose that farmers whose land are acquired under the other 13 laws continue to get the benefits of compensation, relief and rehabilitation is served by this government order,” the Union minister said.

He was asked why the government did not promulgate the ordinance for the fourth time to maintain “continuity” as it did on previous two occasions after bringing the 13 other central acts under the purview of land bill through an ordinance in December 2013.

“The prime consideration behind our bringing ordinance was to ensure the compensation and relief and rehabilitation provisions of the 2013 land Act are also applicable to farmers, whose land is acquired under the 13 other central Acts and that their interest must be protected.

“From January 1 till now, our efforts have been in that direction. The previous government did not do it. Hence we had to do it,” Singh said when asked why the government brought the ordinance at the first place if it had to finally dump the changes like removal of consent clause and SIA that were brought through the ordinance last December.

Giving up the ordinance route, the government yesterday issued an ‘order’ to include 13 central Acts like National Highway and Railways Acts to extend benefits to those whose land is acquired under land law. .

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Water tanker scam: FIR recommended against Sheila Dikshit,

Posted on 28 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 29th August 2015

New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) Delhi Law Minister Kapil Mishra today urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to order an FIR against former chief minister Sheila Dikshit and others in connection with an alleged scam in hiring water tankers which caused a loss of Rs 400 crore to the state exchequer.

Mishra, who also holds the charge of Chairman of Delhi Jal Board, had on June 19 formed a ‘Fact-Finding Committee’ to look into the hiring of around 385 stainless steel water tankers from private companies during the Sheila Dikshit government in 2012.

The move comes after the committee submitted its report to DJB. In the report, the committee allegedly found irregularities in the tendering process, leading to a loss of Rs 400 crore for the government.

“This report is self explanatory and exposes how the then DJB chairman and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and other board members have consistently bypassed laws and rules to cause a loss of almost Rs 400 crore to Delhi Jal Board,” Mishra said in his letter to Kejriwal.

He requested that an FIR should be lodged by Delhi government based on the Fact-Finding Committee’s report against all those involved in this scam.

Mishra also expressed fears that attempts would be made to destablise the AAP government and remove him from his post.

“This is a big expose and I am afraid that immediately after this, there will be attempts to destablise our government in Delhi and also to remove me from this chair,” he said.

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Pak shells civilian areas along border, 3 killed

Posted on 28 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 29th August 2015

Jammu, Aug 28 (PTI) Three persons were killed and 17 others injured when Pakistani Rangers violated the ceasefire twice and heavily shelled civilian areas and border posts along the International Border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district today, drawing retaliation from the BSF.

Condemning the Pakistani shelling, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the international community should declare Pakistan as a “terrorist state” for engineering terror attacks on India and killing civilians in firing and shelling.

Giving details of the shelling, a BSF spokesman said that “Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing.Initially small arms were used but later on mortars bombs were shelled on BSF posts and civilian areas in R S Pura and Arnia sectors”.

The firing and mortar shelling started around 0145 hours along the IB in Kishanpur, Jora Form, Jugnu Chak, Nawapind, Gharna, Sia, Abdullian and Chandu Chak areas in R S Pura sector and others areas in Arnia sector from 0430 hours, a police officer said.

The Pakistani troops fired mortar bombs and used automatic weapons in the firing. The shelling was so heavy that the shells landed deep inside villages much away from IB, he said.

In the shelling and firing, three civilians were killed, 17 others injured, four of them critically, the officer said adding the injured have been hospitalised.

While two persons died in R S Pura sector, one died in Arnia sector.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal told PTI that three persons were killed in the firing.

Scores of animals have been injured and some buildings suffered damages in the firing, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Samreendeep Singh said

BSF troops guarding the border retaliated, resulting in heavy exchanges which were going on when the reports last came in from the area, they said.

“BSF troops deployed in these forward areas gave a befitting reply and fired on the forward areas of Pakistan along the Line of Control, causing damage to them”, the officer said.

“No damage and casualty to BSF troops has been reported till last reports came in”, he added.

There have been 55 violations of the border ceasefire agreement by Pakistan in August and over 245 ceasefire violations during the year so far.

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Pakistan contacts UN over cancellation of NSA-level talks

Posted on 27 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 28th August 2015

Islamabad, Aug 27 (PTI) Pakistan has informed the UN about the last-minute cancellation of the NSA-level talks with India to take the international community into confidence over the Kashmir issue and the situation at the LoC, a media report said today.

Immediately after cancellation of the meeting between the National Security Advisors of the two countries, Pakistan’s permanent representative at the UN Maleeha Lodhi was instructed to contact the UN leadership to discuss the rejection of dialogue by India, Dawn reported.

“UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson was briefed in detail on Monday by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi about India’s setting of preconditions for the talks between the National Security Advisers of the two countries which led to the cancellation of the meeting,” the paper quoted officials saying.

The UN was contacted as part of a decision to take the international community into confidence over Kashmir and the situation at the Line of Control (LoC), it said.

Eliasson was informed that it was India that had reneged on the agreement reached by the Pakistani and Indian Prime Ministers in the Russian city of Ufa on discussing all issues outstanding between the two countries.

The Deputy Secretary General was also told that Pakistan decided against sending its NSA Sartaj Aziz to Delhi to meet his counterpart Ajit Doval because it found the Indian condition of not inviting Kashmiri separatists for consultations unacceptable.

“Consultations with Kashmiris, who are an integral part of the Kashmir issue, are essential to evolving a peaceful solution,” the UN official was told.

The talks were called off because of differences over the agenda proposed by Islamabad and a planned meeting with the Hurriyat leadership with Aziz.

The meeting between Lodhi and Eliasson was followed by a statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday regretting the cancellation of the talks.

“The Secretary-General reiterates his call to both countries to continue to address their differences through dialogue,” the UN said in a statement said.

Earlier, Pakistan had decided that appropriate steps will be taken to highlight the issue of Kashmir and alleged violations by India of the 2003 ceasefire agreement.

Lodhi also raised the issue of ceasefire violations along the LoC.

Pakistan claims that since June, Indian troops have violated the ceasefire more than 130 times on the LoC and Working Boundary, as a result of which 16 Pakistanis have been killed and over 60 others injured.

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Pak terrorist captured after encounter in Kashmir

Posted on 27 August 2015 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 28th August 2015

Srinagar, Aug 27 (PTI) A Pakistani terrorist was today captured alive while his four associates were killed in an overnight encounter with army in Kashmir, weeks after Naved from the Pakistan was nabbed in Udhampur.

The arrested terrorist was identified as 22-year-old Sajjad Ahmed from Muzaffargarh in south west Pakistan, army said.

Sajjad was nabbed after an overnight encounter near the Line of Control (LoC) in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district.

One terrorist was killed in the encounter yesterday while three were killed today. One soldier was also injured yesterday.

The security forces had yesterday launched a massive operation in north Kashmir, ranging from Uri sector near the Line of Control to Panzalla in Rafiabad area, following information about presence of a group of militants in the area.

“Three militants have been killed while one has been arrested alive during the operation in Rafiabad,” an army official said today.

A police official said the arrested terrorist is being shifted to Srinagar for questioning.

The capture of Pakistani terrorist comes about three weeks after Naved, a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist from Pakistan, was nabbed by some civilians after he and his associate attacked a BSF convoy in Chenani area of Udhampur district on August 5.

His associate was killed in the encounter with BSF personnel.

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