Archive | April, 2017

Action will be taken on Dhingra commission’s findings: Khattar

Posted on 28 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 29th April 2017

Chandigarh, Apr 28 (PTI) Action will be taken on the findings of Justice S N Dhingra commission that probed alleged irregularities in grant of land licences to a firm owned by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Khattar said today.

He denied the Congress’ allegation that the Commission’s report was leaked and said the court should take cognisance of the matter.

His reponse came after a media report claimed that Vadra had been indicted by the Commission for making unlawful profits in a land deal in 2008.

Khattar noted that the court has not given permission to make public the report of the Commission, formed by his government after coming to power in October 2014.

The Commission was asked to probe alleged irregularities in grant of licences by the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government for development of colonies, housing societies and commercial complexes in four Guragon villages.

Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality is among the firms under scanner.

“Once the report is made public and something comes out, it will be a matter of investigation,” the chief minister said.

“Details” of the Commission’s findings were published by a daily today which cited people familiar with the report.

According to them, “there was collusion aimed at benefiting Vadra’s company”.

The commission has sought an inquiry into properties bought by Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, and his businesses, it claimed.

Reacting to it, Khattar said that if at all such a thing comes up, it will be a matter of probe.

Priyanka had yesterday released a statement saying her finances had nothing to do with those of her husband or his company Skylight Hospitality, which had made controversial land deals with realty major DLF.

The statement from Priyanka’s office came after a query was made to Vadra asking whether a portion of the money he had received from the DLF was used by his wife to buy properties in Faridabad in Haryana.

The statement mentioned about Priyanka Gandhi having bought five acres of agricultural land in village Amipur in Faridabad district for Rs 15 lakh on April 28, 2006, six years prior to the purported land deal involving Skylight Hospitality.

The Commission had submitted its 182-page report to Khattar on August 31, 2016.

The contents of the report are yet to be made public by the state government which had given an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana High Court not to release the report until directed by the court.

Former chief minister Hooda had petitioned the high court challenging the constitutional validity of the panel and had accused the government of resorting to political vendetta.

It was during hearing of Hooda’s petition that the state government had told the court that it will not make public the report.

Recently, the Haryana government submitted the commission’s inquiry report to the apex court in a sealed cover following a diection to this effect.

The apex court had asked to furnish the report while adjudicating a batch of appeals relating to acquisition of land and its allocation to various private parties for residential and commercial establishments.

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Jaitley promises no surprises in GST rate fixation

Posted on 28 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 29th April 2017

New Delhi, Apr 28 (PTI) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday promised not to spring any surprises in fixing tax rates under the new GST regime, saying they will not be “significantly different” from current levels.

He, however, said companies should pass on to consumers the benefit of reduction in taxes under GST which will eliminate the current compounding effect of different central and state levies.

The GST Council, headed by Jaitley and comprising representatives of all the states, is scheduled to meet in Srinagar on May 18-19 to finalise tax rates on different goods and services after unifying at least 10 indirect taxes into the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Speaking at CII’s Annual Meeting, he said rules and regulations governing GST have all been framed.

“We are now in final stages of fixing tariffs for different commodities.

“The formula under which it is being done has also been explained and therefore nobody is going to be taken by surprise, it’s not going to be very significantly different (from present),” he said.

The GST Council has finalised four rate categories of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent after unifying levies like central excise, service tax and VAT.

Fitment will be done by adding the total incidence of current taxation (central plus state levies) and then putting the good or service in the tax bracket closest to it.

Jaitley said the GST Council has so far had 13 meetings and has never had to resort to voting to decide on any issue.

“And therefore all states representing different political complexions, have all agreed (on GST structure),” he said.

The Finance Minister said the Council is of the opinion that any benefit accruing from lower tax rates under GST should be passed on to consumers.

“Profit is not a bad word…

but unfair enrichment is.

And therefore the benefit of reduction in taxation is a benefit that consumers are entitled to. And that’s not a principle that can be seriously contested,” he said.

The GST laws approved by Parliament have incorporated an anti-profiteering provision to ensure that the reduction of tax incidence is passed on to the consumers.

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Veteran actor-politician Vinod Khanna no more

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 28th April 2017

Mumbai, Apr 27 (PTI) Veteran actor and Member of Parliament Vinod Khanna ? the Bollywood heartthrob best known for his roles in films such as “Amar Akbar Anthony,” “Qurbaani” and “Insaaf” — died of cancer at a hospital here this morning

He was 70.

“He passed away at 11.20 AM. It’s a sad moment for us..

We request you all (media) for privacy,” the actor’s brother Pramod Khanna told PTI

Khanna was admitted to the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital on March 31 with complications arising out of severe dehydration

An official statement from the hospital said Khanna was suffering from bladder cancer.

The actor is survived by his wife, Kavita Khanna, and four children – Rahul, Akshaye, Sakshi, and Shraddha.

Rahul and Akshaye, both actors, were from his first wife, Geetanjali.

Feted as one of the most handsome actors of the Hindi film industry, Khanna made his acting debut in 1968 with “Man Ka Meet”. In many of the earlier films, Khanna played a negative or a supporting role.

His potential was first noticed in Gulzar’s “Mere Apne” in 1971.

A much sought after actor in the 1970s and 1980s, he acted in several blockbusters, including “Mera Gaon Mera Desh”, “Reshma Aur Shera”, “Elan”, “Insaaf” and “Dayavan”

He and Amitabh Bachchan were a popular pair, and acted in several films such as “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Here Pheri” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikandar”

At the height of his popularity, Khanna surprised his fans when he took a break from acting for five years to join Osho Rajneesh at his ashram in Pune in 1982

But he returned to cinema in the late eighties, and courted success again with films such as “Insaaf” and “Satyameva Jayate”

He was was last seen in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Dilwale” in 2015.

Khanna was also an active politician, and a Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur, Punjab.

The sitting MP had won the seat four times

Khanna’s contemporary Shatrughan Sinha described his death as a personal loss

“Vinod Khanna was a greatly admired personality. It’s a personal and emotional loss for me as we have been very close and journeyed together in films as well as in politics,” Sinha who worked with Khanna in hits like “Mere Apne”, “Bombay 405″ and “Do Yaar”, told PTI.

Celebrities, young and old, remembered him as one of the most charismatic personalities of the Hindi film world.

Veteran singer Asha Bhosle remembered him as “a decent man and a star till the very end.”

Rishi Kapoor, who played Khanna’s younger brother in “Amar Akbar Anthony” and worked with him in another memorable hit “Chandni”, tweeted, “Will miss you Amar. RIP. Remembering the good times with you, Vinod. Thank you for being my friend.”

Superstar Rajinikanth said, “My dear friend Vinod Khanna… Will miss you, RIP. My heartfelt condolences to the family.”

Filmmaker Karan Johar said, “His screen presence is unparallelled even today… his super star swag is what we grew up on….RIP VinodKhanna …thoughts and prayers.”

Actor Akshay Kumar said Khanna’s passing was the end of an era.

“Sad to learn about the passing away of Vinod Khanna Sir, one of the most charismatic actors…truly end of an era.

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Trump agrees to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico, Canada

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 28th April 2017

Washington, Apr 27 (PTI) US President Donald Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out from the NAFTA treaty for now but will swiftly begin renegotiating the trilateral deal with them, a White House statement said.

Trump spoke with both President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada over phone and decided to not terminate North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the White House said.

NAFTA is an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico and the US to create a trilateral trade bloc in North America.

“It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation. It is an honour to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better,” Trump said according to a readout of the call issued by the White House.

“Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” the White House said.

The announcement comes amid reports that the US is planning to withdraw itself from the trilateral trade bloc.

A draft executive order was in the final stages of review and could be unveiled within a week or two, two White House officials were quoted by Politico news website.

The New York Times recently quoted an unnamed senior administration official saying that Trump is likely to sign an executive action that would begin the process of withdrawing the US from NAFTA.

“The White House wants Congress to approve those negotiations under legislation that would allow expedited approval of the reworked agreement, but talks between administration officials and congressional Republicans have moved slowly. The order would give Trump a credible alternative,” the daily reported.

During his entire presidential campaign, Trump has been very critical of NAFTA, which came into force in 1994.

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Common man should be able to afford to fly: PM

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 27th April 2017

Jubbarhatti (Shimla), Apr 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday stressed on the need for improving air connectivity as an engine of growth, saying that it would enable the common man to fly.

“Our aim is that Hawaii chappal wale log bhi hawaijahaz ke sair kar saken, (people in rubber slippers should also fly),” he said, while launching the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), also called Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), from the Jubbarhatti airport to boost regional connectivity.

The prime minister flagged off the maiden Shimla-Delhi flight under the scheme.

The flight is being operated by Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India. The airline has deployed its 42- seater ATR plane on this sector.

He also inaugurated flights on the Kadapa-Hyderabad and the Nanded-Hyderabad sectors through a video conference.

The prime minister also announced that the next flight to take off under the scheme would operate on the Mumbai-Nanded sector.

Later, he laid the foundation of the Hydro Engineering College at Bilaspur online.

Modi said earlier it was believed that air travel was meant only for the “Raja-Maharaja and elite class”. Even the mascot of Air India was a maharaja, he said.

The prime minister recalled that he had raised this issue with Rajiv Pratap Rudy, civil aviation minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, and said cartoonist R K Laxman’s Common Man should be the mascot of the airline.

Modi said better connectivity would help the country’s youth who, given the opportunity, could change the “fate and picture” of India.

He said in the absence of any aviation policy in the last 70 years, a large number of air-strips constructed during the second world war were lying idle.

These airports would be put to use under a policy formulated by the government and 30 such airports would start commercial operations, Modi said.

He said that the air fare had been capped under the UDAN scheme and would cost less than taxi fare. Travel time would be cut down from hours to minutes, Modi said.

“The Delhi-Shimla flight is cheaper than a taxi ride. A taxi will take at least nine hours and is available for a fare of Rs 10 per km. A flight will now cost you Rs 6-7 per km on the same route and will also save you time,” he said.

Advising airlines to start a circular route connecting Nanded Sahib, Amritsar Sahib and Patna Sahib, the prime minister said it would attract Sikhs from all over the world.

Regional connectivity will bring development to tier-2 and tier-3 cities which are becoming “growth engines”, said the prime minister.

This will also enhance connectivity to the north-eastern region, he added.

“The scheme will also contribute to national integration.

Different cultures and traditions will be able to intermingle,” Modi said, voicing the slogan “Sab ude, sab jude (let everyone fly and unite).”

Jayant Sinha tweeted, “UDAN all set to unify India as its soaring wings of regional air connectivity span across 70 airports.”

At the inauguration of the Hydro Engineering College, the prime minister said the institute at Bilaspur would help in providing specially trained manpower for the hydro power sector which has the potential of generating over 1.5 lakh MW of power.

It is a unique fusion of air power and water power today, he said.

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Union Health Minister J P Nadda and Leader of the opposition in the HP Assembly P K Dhumal received the prime minister, who was accompanied by Union ministers Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Jayant Sinha at the Jubberhatti airport.

The prime minister arrived here in an IAF chopper from Chandigarh.

Later, he flew to the Annandale helipad by the chopper and drove straight to Shimla’s Ridge, the venue of a rally.

With the UDAN scheme, the government aims at connecting 45 unserved and under-served airports and make flying affordable by capping fares at Rs 2500 per seat/hour.

Five airlines were awarded 128 routes under the scheme last month after a bidding process.

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Non-payment of Rs 1,500 cr will land Subrata Roy in jail: SC

Posted on 27 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 27th April 2017

New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) The Supreme Court today extended till June 19 the parole of Sahara chief Subrata Roy with a warning that failure to meet the deadline of June 15 for the payment of Rs 1,500 crore would land him in prison once again.

Roy, who in compliance with the last order appeared before the court, was told by the apex court that he has to frequently make the payment as per the roadmap approved by the court or face further imprisonment.

The Sahara chief gave an undertaking to a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that he would deposit Rs 1,500 crore by June 15 and another payment of Rs 552.22 crore by July 15 in the SEBI-Sahara account and filed an affidavit.

The apex court warned Roy that he may be sent to jail again if amount is not paid.

The bench, which also comprised Justices Ranjan Gogoi and A K Sikri, also ordered the arrest of Chennai-based Prakash Swamy, who failed to deposit Rs 10 crore as per the last order. He will serve one month-jail for contempt of court.

Swamy had filed an affidavit on behalf a foreign firm expressing his intent to buy Sahara’s New York-based hotel.

He had failed to comply with the apex court’s direction to show his bonafide by depositing the amount in court to establish his intention to buy the property.

The bench allowed the Sahara group to make electronic payment through RTGS in the Sebi-Sahara account on or before June 15.

The apex court also asked Roy to remain personally present on June 19, the next date of hearing.

It asked the Official Liquidator of Bombay High Court to prepare terms and conditions for auctioning the Aamby Valley property for its approval on June 19.

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Government will review anti-Naxal strategy: Rajnath Singh

Posted on 25 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 26th April 2017

Raipur, Apr 25 (PTI) The government will review its anti-Naxalite strategy, Home minister Rajnath Singh said today after paying homage to 25 CRPF men killed in a deadly ambush by Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Singh, who arrived here at around 10.30 AM and headed to the headquarters of the 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the Mana camp area where a wreath-laying ceremony was held, later convened a meeting with Chief Minister Raman Singh and senior officers.

“Naxalites are using tribals as fodder,” he told reporters after the meeting.

“They are being used as human shields,” he added.

Singh said that the Maoists were seeking to destabilise development in the state.

The attack — the worst this year — took place yesterday when CRPF personnel were providing security for road construction work in the Kalapathar area of south Bastar region.

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Naxal ambush: New strategy and operation on the anvil

Posted on 25 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 26th April 2017

Raipur, Apr 25 (PTI) The government promised today to review its strategy on battling Naxalites, as the Chhattisgarh chief minister warned that an operation will be launched “with more firmness” and “vigour” against the guerrillas in the coming days.

Shaken by the audacious Naxalite attack yesterday that left 25 CRPF personnel dead in Chattisgarh’s Sukma district, the center and the state government are making it clear that they will strike back in equal measure.

Most telling were the comments by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who rushed to Chattisgarh capital Raipur this morning.

“The sacrifice of our brave jawans will not go in vain,” he told a press conference. He said a meeting of all Naxal-hit states will be held on May 8 to look at ways of rooting out Left Wing extremism.

“We will review the strategy (of dealing with Naxailtes) and if necessary we will revisit it,” he said after paying homage to the CRPF personnel killed in the ambush.

The government has a two-pronged anti-Naxal strategy — with armed operations followed by development activities, such as constructing roads, health centres and schools, in the affected areas. The security operations are carried out by paramilitary forces with support from state police.

Singh said the guerrillas are seeking to destabilise development in the state and using tribals as fodder. “They are being used as human shields,” he said.

“We are working to root out the problem of Left Wing extremism,” the minister stressed, describing the attack as a cold blooded murder.

“It was an act of cowardice and desperation,” he said.

“We have accepted it as a challenge.”

The attack targeted a 100-strong CRPF patrol that was providing security for road construction work in the Kalapathar area of south Bastar, a region where Left-Wing extremism is rampant.

The fierce gunfire from Maoist guerrillas occupying vantage positions – the deadliest attack on security forces in the state this year — lasted about three hours and left at least 25 CRPF personnel dead and seven wounded.

Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who also address the press conference along with the home minister, said anti-Naxal operations would be conducted with “more vigour” in the coming days.

“An operation with more firmness will be conducted in the coming days,” he said.

“I believe that the fight against Naxals in Sukma is the biggest battle being fought against LWE in the country. We have decided to enhance our activities and construction work in the region,” he said.

The home minister and the chief minister also visited hospitals where the injured CRPF personnel are being treated.

Expressing condolence to the bereaved families, the home minister said, “the Naxals are frustrated with the development of roads in Bastar region. But they will not succeed in their evil designs.”

He asserted that the Centre and the state would work together to take the Naxals on.

The Home minister earlier visited the headquarters of the 4th battalion of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force in the Mana camp where a wreath-laying ceremony was held.

Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon, the chief minister, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir and senior state and paramilitary officials were present on the occasion.

Asked by a reporter at the press conference if the attack indicated an “Intelligence failure”, Home Minister Singh said, “This is not the time for a blame game.”

To a query on why a full-time director general of the CRPF had not been appointed, he said, “We don’t have a dearth of leadership…whenever needed we will appoint a senior officer here.

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Govt not imposing Hindi but promoting it: Rijiju

Posted on 24 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 25th April 2017

New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) The Centre today said it is not imposing Hindi on anyone but promoting it like other regional languages.

“We are not imposing Hindi but promoting Hindi like any other language,” Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters here.

Rijiju is the minister incharge of the Department of Official Language.

His comments came in the backdrop allegations levelled by certain quarters that the Modi government is trying to impose Hindi on non-Hindi speaking states.

DMK leader M K Stalin has accused the Centre of trying to relegate people who don’t speak Hindi, to second-class citizens and of pushing the country into becoming “Hindia”.

The controversy was generated after President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the recommendation of the Committee of Parliament on Official Language that all dignitaries including the president and ministers, especially those who can read and speak Hindi, may be requested to give their speech/statement in Hindi only.

The president has accepted several other recommendations, including making announcements on board aircraft in Hindi followed by English.

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SC transfers to NGT plea over Yamuna river pollution

Posted on 24 April 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 25th April 2017

New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) The Supreme Court today transferred to the National Green Tribunal a 23-year-old PIL on pollution in River Yamuna.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said there cannot be two parallel jurisdictions to deal with the same issue.

It transferred the PIL, which was instituted after taking suo motu note of a news article published in an English daily on the state of pollution in Yamuna in NCR region.

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