amit-shah.1jpgBJP president Amit Shah on Monday constituted a three-member committee to reach out to other political parties for a consensus on the National Democratic Alliance's candidate for the coming presidential poll. Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M. Venkaiah Naidu are its members.

The last date for nomination for the election is June 28 and voting is scheduled for July 17.

Mr. Shah had postponed a trip to Arunachal Pradesh, scheduled for June 12 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked him to stay in Delhi for consultations. What is significant is that the committee's remit is to talk to all political parties, not just the NDA.Sources in the BJP said the committee would talk to Opposition leaders as "the name of the candidate fielded by us could be acceptable to people in that camp as well".

Among the NDA constituents, the Shiv Sena has been giving the BJP some jitters as their relationship has been strained, especially in Maharashtra. The BJP has claimed support from the YSR Congress, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and both factions of the AIADMK, which it hopes will make up for any shortfall if the Shiv Sena defects.

Opposition parties have decided to field a common candidate and are waiting for the ruling party to announce its candidate.

News Source: The Hindu News

Published in Politics

moneyThe wait for an update on allowances is likely to be over soon as the Union Cabinet is expected to decide on the elusive matter the next time it meets on Wednesday. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will table the proposals for the changes in allowance structure as per the 7th Pay Commission. The issue was not included in the agenda for the Cabinet meeting last week.

The Empowered Committee of Secretaries (E-CoS) has already submitted its report on allowance reforms to Jaitley. This committee of secretaries was formed to screen the recommendations by the Committee on Allowances led by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa.

E-CoS has taken a hard look at modifications in important allowances like House Rent Allowance (HRA), and payment of arrears against revised allowances. The Cabinet may consider higher HRA rates on basic pay demanded by the central government employees.

Central government employees want the rates to be retained at 30 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent for Class X, Y and Z cities, even if they are not hiked. The Committee has capped HRA between 2 per cent and 27 per cent. Several reports suggest that the new allowances will be implemented from July.

Around 49 lakh central government employees have been expecting a hike in their paychecks for almost a year now. The government may compensate for this delay with higher HRA rates. Analysts, however, believe that an increase in allowances will fuel inflation owing to private expenditure.

Moreover, according to a Financial Express report, because of the delays in revised allowances distribution, the government has been able to save Rs 2,200 crore per month or Rs 40,000 crore cumulatively since January 1 last year.

The pay commission had recommended the abolition of or subsuming of allowances like acting, assisting cashier, cycle, condiment, flying squad, haircutting, rajbhasha, rajdhani, robe, shoe, shorthand, soap, spectacle, uniform, vigilance, and washing.

The Lavasa Committee was constituted in June last year after the government implemented the recommendations of the Pay Commission.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended abolishing 53 of the 196 allowances and subsuming 36 other allowances. It also recommended slashing the House Rent Allowance (HRA) -- for metros, the commission recommended bringing down the HRA from 30 per cent to 24 per cent.

The Seventh Pay Commission had recommended the rate of House Rent Allowance (HRA) be kept at 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively.

Government employees protested the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission, following which the Narendra Modi-government formed a committee under the Finance Secretary to review the suggestions.

The Committee on Allowances was constituted in July and after an extended deadline was asked to submit its report to the government by February 22, 2017.

If the government implements pay commission recommendations on allowances, then as per estimates, the cost to the exchequer will be Rs 29,300 crores.

New source: businesstoday

Published in Economics

gold2 In what could be a huge relief for jewellery and diamond processing industry before India's biggest tax reform kicks in from July 1, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council reduced the applicable rate on making charges from 18 per cent to just 5 per cent.

"The GST Council has received 133 representations. An officers' committee made recommendations after studying these representations. The GST Council has reduced the tax levels in 66 out these 133 cases. The diamond processing and others would attract a levy of five per cent now," Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while addressing a press conference after 16th GST meeting.

Earlier, All India Gem and Jewellery Federation, the India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), and other trade representatives had pressed for lower taxes on jewellery making charges.

Currently, a tax is exempted on jewellery making charges. Early this month, the GST Council meeting had fixed GST on precious metals and diamonds, including jewellery, at 3 per cent. However, tax on making charges of jewellery was kept at 18 per cent.

Tax on making charges would have in turn raised tax for consumers to over 4 per cent, almost double of what was being currently charged in the form of 1 per cent each on VAT and excise on jewellery.

Among the items on which the GST rates have been reduced by the GST Council include cashew nut, sauces, pickles, insulin, children's coloring and drawing books, cutlery.

GST rates were also revised for computer printers, tractor components. Cinema tickets under Rs 100 would be taxed at 18 percent, while above Rs 100 would be charged at Rs 28 percent.

New source: businesstoday news

Published in Economics

telangana1Telangana's GSDP  grew at 10.1 per cent (at constant prices) during the last financial year to Rs 5.11 lakh crore as against 9.5 per cent in FY16, state Industries and Commerce Minister K. T. Rama Rao said today.

"Telangana has achieved a 10.1 per cent y-o-y growth in Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP), compared to a national average of 7.1 per cent y-o-y growth in 2016-17 and the share of Telangana 's economy in national

GDP  has increased seven basis points in 2016-17," KTR said after releasing the annual report of the industries and commerce department.  

"TS-iPass (Telangana state industrial policy), launched in June 2015, under the guidance of our chief minister, has generated Rs 73,000 crore in investments, and created 2.46 lakh jobs in the process," he said.  

The share of Telangana's contribution to the national GDP was at 4.28 per cent against 4.21 per cent during 2015-16.  

The minister also launched the logo and website for Telangana Industrial Health Clinic Ltd (TIHCL), an industries' initiative for revival and growth of sick manufacturing MSMEs.

The initiative will be supported by the state government, high net-worth individuals, financial institutions and industry stakeholders.    

According to KTR, the proposed pharma city's phase - 1 is being developed across 8,200 acres even as 6,300 acres land is already under the possession of Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (TSIIC) and acquisition of the remaining land is expected to be completed shortly.  

The state government is planning to create Life Sciences Infrastructure Fund with an initial corpus of Rs 1,000 crore which will be used to set up sophisticated modular plug-and-play specialized infrastructure for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical devices industry. 

New source: economic times

Published in Economics

rita-teaotia-iansCommerce Secretary Rita Teaotia on Monday asked exporters of agricultural products to improve value addition and traceability to remain competitive.

"We have so far focussed on low or no value addition. Now we need to do more value addition," Teaotia said at an event organised by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) here.

India is the seventh largest exporter of farm products. It exported $33.8 billion worth agri products in 2016-17, which is 12 per cent of the country's total merchandise exports of $276.28 billion. 

Vietnam, UAE, Saudi Arabia, the US, Iran, Iraq and Nepal are the major destinations for export of food products from India.  

Noting that smaller and nimbler countries have taken away some share from India, Teaotia also asked exporters to look at organic certification.  

Moreover, she emphasised on promoting traceability keeping in mind market expectations.  

"Every market expects us to maintain complete traceability. We will need to work on traceability. Our value chains are fragmented...it's a complex process," she said.  

APEDA has Tracenet system  that helps in maintaining authentic information and related data of all the organic stakeholders.  

The Tracenet system covers certification of all horticulture and agriculture crops including peanut, grapes, anar, mango and okra.  

The system also helps trace meat by keeping a tab on overall exports on the basis of approved capacities of the meat plants.  

The system ensure that meat is sourced from APEDA registered meat plant. 

New source: economic times news

Published in Economics

emmanuel-macronFrench President Emmanuel Macron's party is on course for an overwhelming parliamentary majority, after Sunday's first round of voting for the National Assembly left traditional parties in disarray.

Projections showed Macron widening his centrist revolution, with his Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) party and its ally MoDem tipped to win between 400 and 445 seats in the 577 member National Assembly in next Sunday's second round.

Such a share would give Macron one of the biggest parliamentary majorities for 60 years.

"France is back," Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared triumphantly.

"For the past month, the president has shown confidence, willingness and daring in France and on the international stage," Philippe said, calling the result a vindication of Macron's "winning strategy".

But the vote was marked by record low turnout of 49 percent, possibly reflecting fatalism among Macron's opponents in the face of his seemingly unstoppable advance, experts said.

The right wing Republicans who had hoped to rebound from their humiliation in the presidential vote were shown trailing in second with a predicted 70 - 130 seats while Marine Le Pen's far - right National Front (FN) was forecast to garner between one and 10 seats.

The FN's result showed the party is struggling to rebound from Le Pen's bruising defeat by Macron in the presidential runoff.

The FN's deputy leader Florian Philippot admitted to "disappointment" and called on voters to "mobilize massively" for the second round.

The worst losses, however, were for the Socialists of Macron's predecessor Francois Hollande, who are predicted to lose a staggering 200 seats.

The party's chief Jean - Christophe Cambadelis and its failed presidential candidate Benoit Hamon both lost their seats.

Conceding that the party was facing "unprecedented" losses, Cambadelis appealed to voters to rally behind Macron's rivals to avoid the president monopolizing power.

Parliament risked having "no real oversight powers and no democratic debate worth speaking of," he warned.

Former Republicans party leader Jean - Francois Cope said the results were "a disaster". "It's the continuation of the real disaster that the presidential election was. we need to rebuild everything," he told BFMTV.

New source: ndtv news

Published in Politics

Congress2Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit on Sunday offered an apology after his description of Army chief General Bipin Rawat as a "sadak ka goonda" (street thug) caused outrage.

Dikshit came under attack from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which also asked the Congress to take action against the former MP.

"I have reservations on a comment of the Army chief but I should have chosen appropriate words. I apologize," Dikshit, son of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, tweeted .

New source: economictimes news

Published in Politics

yogendra-yadavMadhya Pradesh police today arrested and subsequently released 30 activists, including Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav and Swami Agnivesh, in Ratlam, while they were on their way to Mandsaur to meet families of farmers killed in police firing.

The activists were stopped by the police at the Dhodhar toll plaza in Ratlam district's Jaora town and detained in the circuit house there for about 30 minutes. "They dispersed after they were released, "City SP Deepak Kumar Shukla said.

The police told the activists, among them JNU students' union president Mohit Kumar Pandey and representatives from farmer outfits, that their visit could disturb peace in Mandsaur, where prohibitory orders under CrPc Section 144 are in place, though curfew was lifted yesterday.

"Our arrest is against the law as no written order was shown to us," Yadav, of the political outfit Swaraj India, told reporters after the arrest.

He stressed the group had wanted to meet the families in Mandsaur "peacefully" and wanted to present them with a "letter of tribute" and soil brought from different parts of the country.

"But we were not allowed to go to Mandsaur," he said.

On being stopped from entering neighboring Mandsaur, the activists sat on a protest on the Mhow - Neemuch Highway, disrupting traffic, the police said.

The activists raised slogans against the government and in support of farmers for about an hour. The police said the activists were arrested when they insisted on being allowed to enter Mandsaur.

They were arrested under CrPC section 151 arrest to prevent the commission of cognisable offences, Jaora SDM R P Verma said.

Yadav also demanded that the government waive farmers' loans and give them higher prices for agriculture produce.

He called for a probe into the death of six people who had been killed in the stir. Five died in police firing, and one was allegedly beaten to death.

Patkar said she could not understand how their presence in Mandsaur could disturb the situation.

"We are not going there for any protest or demonstration, we just wanted to meet the deceased farmers' families," she said.

The heavy police force and water cannons were deployed and barricades placed, hours before the activists reached the Dhodhar toll plaza.

The Mandsaur - Neemuch region, about 300 km from state capital Bhopal, became the nerve center of the storm of farmer distress, as protests over low prices for crops and heavy farm debts started on June 1 and snowballed into a widespread agitation.

In Mandsaur, curfew was imposed after the five farmers were killed in two incidents of police firing during the protest on June 6.

New source: outlookindia.com

Published in Politics

4119

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of the goalkeeper Ederson from Benfica. The 23-year-old Brazilian has cost €40m and becomes Pep Guardiola’s second signing of the summer after the midfielder Bernado Silva.

Ederson’s fee is a British record for a goalkeeper but is eclipsed by the €53m Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001. He will formally join City on 1 July, when the transfer window opens.
“I like everything about Manchester City,” Ederson told the club’s website. “This is a great club, the league they have here in England and they have amazing fans and they play splendid football. I have always had the dream to play in English football and now I’m going to make it true.

“With Pep Guardiola, City are growing more and more. He is putting in place a young team for the future. Those were important factors in making my decision. Manchester City has an amazing squad. I think they managed to have a good season. Next season, we will have to be focused to achieve the goal of winning trophies".

The signing of Ederson takes City’s contingent of Brazilians to four, joining Fernando, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus. The goalkeeper has played for Brazil at age-group level but not for the senior team. He was named in the provisional squad for the Copa América last year but injury forced him out of the final reckoning.

Ederson, born in São Paulo state in Brazil, went to Benfica as a teenager but left to play for two smaller Portuguese clubs – Ribeirão and Rio Ave – before rejoining in 2015.

Guardiola signed the goalkeeper Claudio Bravo from Barcelona last August but the Chile international failed to impress and Willy Caballero was preferred at times. Caballero is among the players who have left City this summer.
“I have always watched it on TV. My impression is that it is a very intense game, box-to-box. The grounds are always full and the stadiums are nice. This is a very captivating football. The competition here would motivate any player. I’m ready, I’m always ready.

“I’m going to try to adapt to this league as quick as possible. Everyone knows here the competition is ferocious. It’s a bit different than the Portuguese league.

“At Benfica I played a little bit more advanced and I was involved a lot in the game. I think that revolution in the way goalkeepers get involved in the game was very important.

“I already had that skill to play outside the box. When I played for a team lower down I didn’t have the chance to play far from the goal, I had to stay close to it. But when I went to Benfica, I was able to improve what I knew and play further out getting more involved in the games, being more active. I have been developing that since".

News Source: The guardian News

Published in Sports
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