Gilgit Baltistan, POK

  • Russia takes over the Middle Eastern arms market

    Dmitry Bokarev 18 January 2020 For many years, the Middle East has been a turbulent region, where military clashes and terrorist attacks occur regularly. The Middle Eastern governments pay therefore special attention to security issues and the development of military technologies. It is especially valuable for them to cooperate with Russia in these areas, as Moscow is an established authority in the defense industry. In addition, Russia has recently tested and demonstrated the effectiveness of its military equipment in real combat operations in Syria to the whole world. According to the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation of the Russian Federation (FSVTS), currentl...Read More

  • China’s dystopian cyber surveillance encouraging human rights violations

    Allabaksh Coming on the heels of its intensified crackdown the residents of Xinjiang province, recent reporting from The New York Times has revealed a much expanded surveillance by the authorities on Uighur Muslims. As per the NYT, the Chinese government has poured considerable resources expanding the scope of surveillance to include Uighur diaspora in other countries. This diaspora mostly residing in the Western countries has been a source of concern for Beijing particularly because of its vocal opposition to the Chinese policies in Xinjiang and their ability to mobilise attention in major capitals around the world. In fact, in the past, authorities in Xinjiang have sent many Uighurs t...Read More

  • Four injured in Chaman mosque blast

    Published: November 21, 2018 QUETTA: Four people sustained minor injures in an explosion inside a mosque in Chaman, Balochistan on Wednesday. According to sources, the blast took place when a battery attached with the Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) system exploded at the mosque. Prayer leader Matiullah was among four people who sustained minor injuries in the incident. The injured were shifted to district headquarters (DHQ) hospital Chaman for medical treatment. Security forces cordoned off the area and launched an investigation into the incident. According to sources, the blast took place when prayers were underway at the mosque. The incident takes place as Muslims are busy ce...Read More

  • Security heightened in Balochistan for Eid Miladun Nabi

    Published: November 21, 2018 Eid Miladun Nabi will be observed today (Wednesday) with great religious fervour in Balochistan. In all 13 processions of Eid Miladun Nabi will be taken out in the provincial capital. The main procession would commence at 8:30am from Saryab Road. It will culminate at 2pm on Pir Abdul Khair Road. Moreover, the provincial government has imposed Section 144 in Quetta for the day. Over 3,000 personnel of police and Frontier Corps (FC) will be deployed for the security of the 13 processions in the provincial capital. Meanwhile, six walkthrough gates will be installed at the entrance of every procession’s route. In addition, as per the directives of the federal...Read More

  • Pakistan wants to solve water issues with India under IWT: Vawda

    Published: November 14, 2018 LAHORE: Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda says Pakistan wants to resolve all the water-related issues with India in accordance with the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). “I am ready to sit with India to resolve these issues amicably. But I will never compromise on our country’s water rights, sovereignty and dignity. I will neither do any wrong with India nor will allow India to do the same with my country,” the minister said while responding to various questions raised by journalists during a media talk at Wapda House on Tuesday. The question was raised in the context of India’s delay in getting its hydropower projects at Chenab...Read More

  • China tight-lipped on funding Pak's dam as part of CPEC in PoK

    BEIJING: China on Thursday evaded responding to reports of Beijing's offer to help Islamabad build a mega dam project in Gilgit-Baltistan, part of disputed Kashmir, and bring it under the umbrella of the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). "For this specific project and including the construction of dam you mentioned, I am not aware of the details," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said. The installed capacity of the proposed project over the Indus river will be over 4,000 Mw. India has been dead against any construction in the Indus Basin in the disputed region through which the CPEC passes. On Monday, Pakistan's Water and Power Development Authority Ch...Read More

  • India-Pak tensions could escalate due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, warns UN

    BEIJING:Tensions between India and Pakistan could further escalate because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which traverses through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), a United Nations (UN) report has warned. The report, released by the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), has stated that the $50 billion dollar project between China and Pakistan could lead to "geo-political tension" in the region. The report also adds that the project could fuel separatist movement in Pakistan's Balochistan province. "The dispute over Kashmir is also of concern, since the crossing of the CPEC in the region might create geo-political tension with India and ignite...Read More

  • India astutely keeps distance from OBOR: Here's why CPEC carries major risks for Pakistan

    BEIJING:The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a cardinal subset of China’s larger One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative. It is in fact an aggregation for various infrastructure projects surrounding the establishment of rail and road communication links between Gwadar on Pakistan’s Makran coast to Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province. As expounded by the Government of Pakistan's CPEC website: 'It is a framework of regional connectivity. CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan, but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic, and the region'. The expectations elucidated are the enhancement of geographical linkages having improved road, rail and ...Read More

  • CPEC and American interests

    Dr Shabir Choudhry Americans have this ability to smell danger to their national interests in advance; and take appropriate measures to ensure that the danger is kept far away from their borders. They also know how to protect their defence, strategic and economic interests around the world. This is why some people claim, ‘America is a neighbour of every country’. Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean have great significance for America. If they want to save their interests, and interests of the European countries in this region, then they have to formulate appropriate strategies to protect their rights. It is believed that the balance of power may change in the region if all...Read More

  • CPEC, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani economy.

    LONDON: CPEC is, no doubt, a big project with many dimensions and many targets. It is hailed as a ‘game changer’. However, debate still goes on in Pakistan and around the globe, in whose favour the game will change, as a weak partner in any game, trade or pact does not dictate terms or win the game. Many critics argue this mega project will start from an occupied territory (East Turkistan, in view of many local people is occupied by China), and will enter another occupied territory, Gilgit Baltistan occupied by Pakistan; and will end in Balochistan, which, in view of many local people is also an occupied territory. This ground reality, ignored by powerful people in China and Pakistan could...Read More

  • Six-month ban on land allotment in G-B

    GILGIT: Noting that establishing industries was key for burgeoning economic activity in the region, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman on Wednesday announced special incentives for investors. A six-month ban on allotment of land in the region was also announced. Rehman said this while chairing a meeting of the G-B Board of Investment (BoI) in Gilgit on Wednesday. With one eye on the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC), Rehman explained that the BoI had been established to project opportunities to investors in the region. The G-B chief minister, who also heads the investment body, said that once industries are set up in the region it would bring ...Read More

  • Supreme Court seeks Chhattisgarh, CRPF's response on encounter killings

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Chhattisgarh Government and CRPF to respond to a petition seeking transfer of a plea pending in the High Court for a court-monitored probe into alleged extra-judicial killings in the state. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta issued notices to the state government and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) after it was told that the apex court is already seized of a similar matter dealing with identical questions of law which has been raised. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, told the bench that the apex court was dealing with the matter filed by Nandini Sundar and the issues raised in the plea bef...Read More

  • Triple talaq: Yogi Adityanath fumes over practice, AIMPLB hits back

    LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi’s pitch against ‘triple talaq’ has added fuel to the contentious debate on the Muslim divorce practice, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today saying those silent on the issue were as “guilty” as the ones practising it. The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) asked the Uttar Pradesh government to draft a strict law against triple talaq, similar to the one which banned the practice of sati, to prevent Muslim women from getting victimised. The Hindu far right also reacted angrily to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) assertion that Muslims have a constitutional right to follow their personal laws of which ‘triple talaq...Read More

  • IRS officer moves Madras High Court for probe into Jayalalithaa's death

    CHENNAI: An IRS officer today moved the Madras High Court seeking formation of a panel headed by IAS officer U Sagayam to probe into the circumstances leading to the death of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. The petition filed by Assistant Commissioner (Customs) Balamurugan of the Central Excise and Service Tax Tribunal (CESTAT) came up for before the bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar. The bench tagged the officer's plea with similar other petitions and posted the matter for further hearing on July 4. The petitioner submitted that Tamil Nadu Governor C H Vidyasagar Rao had visited Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital here only 10 days after her admission, that too ...Read More

  • Telangana Legislature passes bill to increase quotas for STs, Muslims

    HYDERABAD: Both the houses of Telangana Legislature on Sunday passed a bill which increases the reservations for Scheduled Tribes and backward sections among the Muslim community in government jobs and educational institutions. Except BJP, all parties, backed the Telangana Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions and of Appointments or Posts in the Services under the State) Bill, 2017. It will now be sent for the President's assent, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao told the Assembly. Under the bill, quota for STs will be increased to 10 per cent from the existing 6 per cent, while that for BC-E category (the backward section...Read More

  • Kumar Vishwas raps Arvind Kejriwal, AAP government on graft

    NEW DELHI: Senior AAP functionary Kumar Vishwas has created a stir by uploading a video on Twitter which directly criticizes the AAP government and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal without naming them. In the course of a 13-minute address to countrymen, in which he spoke on a range of issues - from Kashmir to Pakistan - he has virtually indicted the government for trying to protect its own when they come under the corruption scanner. "If in Delhi you form a government on the anti-corruption plank with the promise of freedom from corruption and fall silent and try to protect your own people when they come under the scanner, you will be questioned by people," he says. The fact that this is p...Read More

  • Govt to set up 31 new earth observatories including two in J&K by year end

    NEW DELHI: As many as 31 new seismological observatories will come up in the country by the year end to boost information gathering capability on earthquakes. The observatories generate ground motion data recorded by the digital seismography used for estimation of data and other earthquake parameters. The National Centre of Seismology (NCS), a unit of the Ministry of Earth Science, will install five observatories in Uttar Pradesh, four each in Bihar and Haryana, three each in Himachal Pradesh and Delhi, two each in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and one each in Uttarkhand, Jharkhand, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Lakshadweep. The NSC maintains a National Seismol...Read More

  • AIMPLB rejects SC suggestion for out-of-court settlement of Ayodhya issue

    LUCKNOW: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today rejected the Supreme Court’s suggestion for an out-of-court settlement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute and said that only a verdict by the apex court will be acceptable to it. “No out-of-court settlement is acceptable to us,” AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani told reporters after a two-day meeting of the board executive. A resolution passed by the board executive also said that “on the Babri Masjid issue, the board would only accept a decision by the Supreme Court”, making it clear that the AIMPLB is not willing to accept the Supreme Court’s suggestion. On March 21, the apex court had suggested an out...Read More

  • Law on triple talaq only after consensus: Naqvi

    MUMBAI: A law on the practice of ‘triple talaq’ among Muslims would be formulated only after there is a consensus among the stakeholders, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here today. “Triple talaq is a serious issue. Non-serious players should not destroy the positive, constructive debate over it. Reforms should start from within the community, not from outside,” Naqvi, who was in the city to attend a programme at the Haj House, told reporters. He said suggestions on ‘triple talaq’ were pouring in from different sections of the society and discussions were underway with all the stakeholders. “Some people are supporting while some are opposing. It is a...Read More

  • Imposing only fine on woman convict in serious case unfair: SC

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that imposing only a fine in serious offences, which entail award of jail terms and fine both, on women convicts would lead to “unfair” and “unjust” consequences. Observing this, the apex court set aside the Himachal Pradesh High Court verdict imposing only a fine on a woman, who was convicted of drugging and taking part in robbing a man, and said leniency cannot be shown beyond what has been allowed in the statutory scheme. A bench, comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, who wrote separate but concurring verdicts, said the convict was already shown leniency by the trial court on the ground that she has three minor kids. The trial court awar...Read More

  • Policeman declines SC’s offer for reinstatement if he shaves

    NEW DELHI: A policeman from Maharashtra, who was suspended for not adhering to no-beard policy of the State reserve force, has not agreed to the offer of the Supreme Court that it would revoke his suspension if he shaves. Zahiroddin Shamsoddin Bedade had approached the top court in 2013 after the Bombay High Court did not find fault with the suspension order. A bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, while refusing an urgent hearing in the matter, said it felt sorry for him and will allow him to join back if he agrees to keep the beard only during religious periods. “It’s your choice,” the bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, said but the counsel for ...Read More

  • ISRO to launch South Asia Satellite on May 5; Pak not on board

    HYDERABAD: India plans to launch on May 5 the ‘South Asia Satellite’ that will benefit all the countries in the region, except Pakistan which is not a part of the project. “It’s going up in the first week of May,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A S Kiran Kumar said in a telephonic interview. According to ISRO sources, the launch of this communication satellite (GSAT-9) is scheduled for May 5 on board the space agency’s rocket GSLV-09 from Sriharikota spaceport. Kiran Kumar said the satellite, with a lift-off mass of 2,195 kg, would carry 12 ku-band transponders. “Pakistan is not included in that. They did not want (to be part of the project),” he said. Sources said ...Read More

  • Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath government to hold mass wedding of poor Muslim girls

    LUCKNOW: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is planning to organise mass weddings for poor girls belonging to religious minorities, in an apparent attempt by the Chief Minister to shed his Hindu hardliner image. "Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has given his consent to mass weddings of poor girls belonging to minority communities and we have included it in the 100 days' programme of the state government," Minister of State for Minorities Affairs Mohsin Raza told PTI here today. Muslims account for nearly 20 per cent of the state's population and a lion's share of the benefits under the scheme will go to brides from that community. A proposal is being prepared, the minister sai...Read More

  • Opposition allegation on EVMs absurd: M Venkaiah Naidu

    Thiruvananthapuram: Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday termed as ‘absurd’ the allegation by the Congress and other opposition parties about tampering of EVMs and said the charge would ‘boomerang’ on them. The Congress was inventing issues to cover up their failures and to prevent the BJP from celebrating its victory, Naidu told reporters Thiruvananthapuram. “Devoid of issues, they (opposition parties) try to invent issues and their excuse for their defeat is the charge against EVM,” Naidu said. Referring to the memorandum submitted to the President yesterday by opposition parties, Naidu said the charges levelled by them would apply to the Congress and the previous UPA regime hea...Read More

  • SC notice to Centre, Raj on docs plea on PG courses

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today sought a response of the Rajasthan government and the Medical Council of India on a plea seeking quashing of a High Court order allowing incentive marks to MBBS doctors who have served in remote areas in NEET this year for PG admission. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and M M Shantanagoudar issued notice to them on the 10 per cent incentive marks seeking their response, while refusing to stay the ongoing counseling process. The bench, however, made it clear that the admissions to the PG courses for the current session will be subject to the outcome of the petition. "The counselling process will go on. However, the admission will be subject to the outcom...Read More

  • Athawale seeks UN intervention in Jadhav’s case

    NEW DELHI: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale today said Pakistan should revoke the death sentence awarded to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav and sought the intervention of the UN and the US in the case. Strongly condemning Pakistan for its “inhumane” move, Athawale said the country was indulging in high-handedness and spreading terrorism in the world and thus “should be declared a terror state”. “The UN and countries like the US should intervene in this case which is a blatant example of inhumanity. Just because he had an Indian passport, Pakistan cannot suspect him of espionage and should revoke the death sentence it has awarded him,” he said....Read More

  • Centre moves SC against verdict negating protection to armed forces

    NEW DELHI: The Centre today told the Supreme Court that its verdict in the alleged extra-judicial killings case in Manipur has “negated” the protection available to the armed forces under the AFSPA during anti-militancy operations. In a curative petition seeking recall of the verdict of July 8 last year as well as the order dismissing the review plea, the Government said that the action taken by the army during such operations “cannot be put to judicial scrutiny”. Officers and men in the armed forces, engaged in counter- insurgency operations, are required to be given requisite measures of protection, it said. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, mentioned the issue ...Read More

  • Four sent to 10-day CBI custody in Rs 2,240 cr cheating case

    NEW DELHI: Four directors of Surya Vinayak Industries Limited were today sent to 10 days CBI custody by a Delhi court for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks to the tune of Rs 2,240 crore. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass sent Sanjay Jain, Rajiv Jain, Rohit Chaudhary and Sanjeev Agarwal, arrested by the probe agency on the complaint of Punjab National Bank (PNB), to custody till April 22. The accused were arrested by CBI earlier in the day for allegedly using more than 100 shell companies for routing and diversion of bank funds. Later, the CBI produced them before the court and alleged that they cheated 17 nationalised and four private banks and sought their 14 days custody....Read More

  • Rs 5400 cr of undisclosed income detected post-demonetisation

    NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department carried out over 1100 searches and surveys immediately after demonetisation and detected undisclosed income of over Rs 5,400 crore, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha today. He added that more follow-up action was taken and 18 lakh people were identified whose tax profiles were not in line with the cash deposits made by them in the demonetisation period and onlines responses were sought. Jaitley gave these details during the Question Hour, where he claimed that no other government had taken so much action against black money as the present regime. He said the Reserve Bank was verifying the exact amount that was deposited during the dem...Read More

  • If relief granted on exchanging scrapped notes, it will be for all: SC

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said if it decides to grant relief for extension of the window for exchanging scrapped notes, it will be not in individual cases but for the general public. “If there has to be a window (extension for depositing demonetised notes) then all of you (petitioners and others) have to be considered,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said. It was hearing a batch of pleas including the one filed by Sudha Mishra challenging the Centre’s decision not to allow the public at large to deposit demonetised currency notes till March 31 as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others as the window ended on Decem...Read More

  • Egyptian police kill seven suspected Islamic State militants in shootout

    Egyptian police kill seven suspected Islamic State militants in shootout Published: April 11, 2017 Egyptian security forces killed seven suspected Islamic State militants in a shootout on Monday as they were meeting to plan attacks on minority Christians, the Interior Ministry said. The incident in the southern city of Assiut occurred a day after Egypt’s cabinet approved a three-month state of emergency in the wake of Islamic State attacks on two Christian Coptic churches that killed at least 44 people. The seven militants were killed after they opened fire on security forces who approached them as they were meeting to plot further attacks on Christians, the ministry said in a statement...Read More

  • Water bus stuck at customs for lack of clarity on duty: Gadkari

    NEW DELHI: Should an amphibian vehicle that can ply on both land and water be considered a bus or a ship for taxation purposes? That is the question for which this ‘water bus’ is stuck at the customs due to the lack of clarity on the issue, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Lok Sabha today. While the transport ministry insists that it is a bus and should be taxed at 45 per cent, the customs department wants to levy a duty a higher duty of 225 per cent, arguing that it is a ship. “We are going to go for a big change in the transport sector. We are getting a bus which can run both over road and water. We (Centre) have ordered a water bus. But it is lying with the Customs,” Gadkari ...Read More

  • India won’t release Pak prisoners in wake of Jadhav’s sentencing

    NEW DELHI: India today decided not to release about a dozen Pakistani prisoners, who were to be repatriated on Wednesday, hours after Pakistani army chief approved the execution of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav for alleged “espionage and sabotage” activities. The Government feels that it is not the right time for the release of Pakistani prisoners, official sources said here. The prisoners were to be released as part of the practice by India and Pakistan to repatriate nationals lodged in each other’s jail after they complete their sentence. The death sentence to Jadhav, 46, was confirmed by Pakistan army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found h...Read More

  • 16 Opposition parties urge EC to revert to paper ballots

    NEW DELHI: Sixteen Opposition parties today urged the Election Commission to revert to the paper ballot system, claiming the faith of the people in the EVMs has “eroded”. Representatives of parties including Congress, BSP, DMK, Trinamool Congress and the Left met top EC officials to demand reintroduction of the ballot paper system. The poll watchdog, which has vouched for the reliability of EVMs, said it would soon convene an all-party meet to discuss the issue, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal and DMK leader T Siva told reporters after the meeting....Read More

  • CTD kills suspect behind Chaudhry Aslam, Amjab Sabri murder

    CTD kills suspect behind Chaudhry Aslam, Amjab Sabri murder Published: April 10, 2017 SUKKUR: The Sindh counter-terrorism department (CTD) claimed to have killed on Monday a suspect allegedly behind the killing of SP Chaudhry Aslam and Qawwal Amjad Sabri in an encounter at the Sukkar-Shikarpur road. SP CTD Irfan Samon said the suspect, Kamran Bhatti, was the ameer of Naeem Bokhari group of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhanvi. Reports suggested Bhatti and two of his accomplices were riding on a motorcycle when law enforcers signalled them to pull over. Instead, they opened fire at the CTD officials. Explosives and detonators were also recovered during the operation. Bhatti was wanted in at lea...Read More

  • Digital payments: Central Bank of India customer wins Rs 1 cr

    NEW DELHI: A transaction of Rs 1,590 has bagged a Central Bank of India customer lucky bounty of Rs 1 crore under the Government’s promotional scheme to popularise digital payments. President Pranab Mukherjee picked up the lucky winners from the 100th draw of lots under digital payments promotion schemes at Rashtrapati Bhavan here. He congratulated the six winners — three consumers and three merchants — of Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana. In the consumer section, the first mega prize of Rs 1 crore went to a customer of Central Bank of India, while the second prize of Rs 50 lakh went to a Bank of Baroda customer. A customer of Punjab National Bank is the winner of third pr...Read More

  • PM has no respect for institutions like Lokayukta: Digvijaya

    VIJAYAWADA (AP): The AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “no respect” for institutions like Lokayukta and Lokpal. “Those who agitated for Lokpal (when UPA was in power), have not even started the process for establishing the anti-corruption ombudsman. Moreover, they told the Supreme Court that it is not possible to set up Lokpal,” Digvijaya told reporters here. “Narendra Modi has no respect for Lokayukta or Lokpal. During his 12 years as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he did not even establish the Lokayukta,” the Congress leader said. Taking a swipe at the BJP’s ally TDP, he said even Andhra Pradesh did not have a Lokayukta though there was “hug...Read More

  • Guvs role under discussion at ISC Standing Committee meet

    NEW DELHI: A key panel of the Inter-State Council today discussed the use of discretionary powers by Governors during Government formation, a development that came against the backdrop of the BJP forming its Governments in Goa and Manipur despite not having a majority. The meeting of the Standing Committee of the ISC, held after a gap of 12 years, also discussed the tenure of Governors, guidelines to them on use of discretionary powers in appointment of Chief Ministers, besides a host of other issues. “We discussed threadbare the role of Governors. Many states felt that a Governor should be qualified, non-partisan and above politics,” said Finance Minister of Andhra Pradesh Y Ramakrishnud...Read More

  • IT conducts surveys on businesses related to Mayawati’s brother

    NEW DELHI: The Income Tax department today launched multiple survey operations at nearly a dozen premises of businesses and firms linked to Anand Kumar, brother of BSP supremo Mayawati. Officials said the operations are being conducted in Delhi and the national capital region. “The department is also conducting survey and verification action on certain builders and business entities which had close business relations with the companies of Kumar and his associates and are believed to have made substantial investments in form of subscribing share capital, share premium among others in these entities,” a senior officer said. The genuineness of these transactions are being probed into, they ...Read More

  • Shell firms case: CBI books 12 people, searches 16 places in Ahmedabad

    NEW DELHI: The CBI today carried out searches at 16 locations in Ahmedabad after registering an FIR against 12 people for allegedly depositing old notes amounting to Rs 100 crore in shell companies’ accounts in Axis Bank post demonetisation. The case has been registered against 12 people, including the officials of Axis Bank in Ahmedabad, CBI sources said. Axis Bank officials abused their position by allowing unauthorised transactions of huge amounts in accounts of shell companies in between November and December last year, the sources at the probe agency said. The bank officials allegedly violated the guidelines related to Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering and also did ...Read More

  • Doctor on Call: Centre mulls 24-hour national health helpline

    NEW DELHI: The Government plans to set up a 24-hour national health helpline to address medical queries of the people, the Lok Sabha was informed today. Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel said in a written reply that the facility- called ‘Doctor on Call’– will reduce the need to pay personal visit to healthcare centres and thus decrease the load on Government hospitals. “Government proposes to start ‘Doctor on Call (DoC) 24X7 national health helpline for addressing the medical queries of citizens telephonically,” she said. The facility will also help in speedier consultations, increase Government-to-citizen interaction and vice veras, and build trust in Government services and d...Read More

  • Deadline for account holders to give PAN extended to June 30

    NEW DELHI: The tax department has given banks three more months till June 30 to obtain permanent account number (PAN) or Form-60 from all account holders as it looks to tighten the noose around evaders. Though the deadline for getting the PAN or Form 60 (if PAN is not available) by banks ended on February 28, the tax department on April 5 notified the extension of the time till June 30. In the notification, the Income Tax Department said that in Income-Tax Rules 114B, in the fourth proviso, “for the figures, letters and words ’28th day of February’ the figures, letters and words ’30th day of June’ shall be substituted.” Rule 114B lists various transactions for which quoting PAN is mandat...Read More

  • No proposal to end Sahayak system in Army: Govt

    NEW DELHI: No proposal for doing away with the Sahayak system in the Army is under consideration, the Government today said, notwithstanding several jawans strongly coming out of the colonial-era provision. Replying to a question on the issue, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said a new complaint redressal mechanism has been put in place under which soldiers can communicate their grievances to the Chief of Army Staff through WhatsApp message after exhausting all other laid down procedures. To a separate system, Bhamre said a total of 32,550 complaints were received through the online Centralised Public Grievance Redress System (CPGRAMS) from Armed Forces personnel in the last ...Read More

  • SC reserves order on plea against BJP leaders in Babri case

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today favoured a time-bound completion of trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case and reserved its order on the CBI plea for revival of conspiracy charges against BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and Uma Bharti. A bench of Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman said there cannot be two trials -- one at Rae Bareili against Advani and others and another at Lucknow against karsevaks -- in connection with the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. The court said it will be in the interest of parties that the cases, which are pending since 1992, are disposed of within a time frame while favouring shifting of the trial in the case agains...Read More

  • Will auction Aamby Valley if money not deposited: SC to Sahara

    NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today said if the Sahara Group fails to deposit Rs 5092.6 crore in SEBI-Sahara refund account by April 17 in pursuance of its order, it will be “compelled” to auction its property valued at Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra told the group that no extension of time would be granted for depositing the amount as it had assured the court that it would pay the money by April 17. “No extension of time shall be granted. Sahara Group must deposit the money on time otherwise Aamby Valley will be auctioned,” the bench told the counsel, who was representing the group. The observation came when the lawyer mentioned an interim ...Read More

  • Only those eligible for Aadhaar need to quote it in ITR

    NEW DELHI: The income tax department today clarified that quoting of Aadhaar in filing of returns for assessment year 2017-18 has been made mandatory for only those who are eligible to obtain the unique ID number. The Government, as per the Finance Act 2017, has made it mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns (ITR). Also, Aadhaar has been made mandatory for applying for permanent account number with effect from July 1, 2017. “It is clarified that such mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrolment ID shall apply only to a person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number… Accordingly, the requirement to quote Aadhaar ...Read More

  • No change in word limit, fee in proposed RTI rules: Naidu

    NEW DELHI: There is no change “even in a comma or a full stop” in the proposed amendment to the RTI rules relating to word limit and fee from the ones proposed by the Congress in 2012, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said. “The proposals on the word limit and fee to be paid made in the proposed rules, to be notified and placed in public domain, are exactly the same as proposed by the UPA Government,” Naidu told reporters here. The Information and Broadcasting Minister alleged that the opposition party was spreading a “disinformation” campaign against it and demanded an apology from it for suggesting that the Centre was “subverting” the RTI act. The verbal dual between the two parties...Read More

  • Cash transaction above Rs 2 lakh to attract same amount of penalty

    NEW DELHI: Government today again clarified that no person shall receive an amount of Rs two lakh or more in an aggregate from a person in a day, in respect of a single transaction or in respect of transactions relating to one event or occasion from a person. If he or she does so, they have to pay a penalty of a sum equal to the amount of such receipt. According to a statement issued by the Finance Ministry, the Government has taken these steps through the Finance Act, 2017 to curb black money by discouraging cash transaction and by promoting digital economy. It includes placing restriction on cash transaction by introduction of New Sections 269ST & 271DA to the Income-tax Act....Read More

  • No move to dilute provisions of RTI: Govt

    NEW DELHI: The Centre today said there is no move to dilute the provisions of the RTI and proposed amendments to the rules will be finalised keeping in view the public feedback. In a statement, the Government said the proposed amendments to the RTI rules are in public domain for comments by April 15, 2017 and will be finalised keeping in view the public feedback received in the matter. The comments can be sent both online and in hard copy to the Department. “The allegation that there is a move to dilute the provisions of RTI is unfounded,” the statement said. The Government’s reaction came after Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had accused the Modi Government of attempting to subvert...Read More

  • Self-help groups to provide local cuisine on trains

    NEW DELHI: Railways has roped in self-help groups (SHGs) for providing local cuisines in running trains through station-based e-catering service. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), the catering arm of railways, has empanelled nine SHGs to provide authentic regional food cooked in hygienic conditions at 10 stations including Adra, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Mysore, Ernakulam and Vishakhapatnam. Passengers of all trains originating/stopping at these stations can avail of the facility of SHG cooked food through e-catering. Currently, 11 lakh meals are served in a day at running trains across the country out of which private caterers provide majority of meals. R...Read More

  • ED attaches Rs 5 cr assets in multi-crore Surat hawala case

    NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 5 crore of the prime accused in the Rs 5,395 crore Surat hawala money laundering case. The agency said it has attached fixed deposits of Madanlal Jain in connection with the case that also involves his alleged associate Afroz Fatta. The ED had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) acting on the FIR of the crime branch of the Surat Police in 2014. “Investigation revealed that amounts totalling Rs 5395.75 crore were remitted to companies in UAE and Hong Kong on the basis of forged bills of entry through the accounts of 9 companies in ICICI bank in Surat. “In this case involving shell c...Read More

  • Hit by liquor ban, Daman, others seek NH denotification

    NEW DELHI: Concerned about a likely hit to their revenues following a Supreme Court ruling that banned liquor sale within 500 metres of national and state highways, a few states and Union Territories have approached the Centre to denotify their NHs. The request comes at a time when the Centre plans to take the length of NHs to 2 lakh km from the existing about 1 lakh km. "The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has received several requests from states to denotify some of their national highway stretches so that they could convert them as district roads," an official said. The official said the ministry has received a request in writing from the UT of Daman to denotify some of its NH st...Read More

  • ‘Youth need education, jobs not gaurakshaks, vigilantes’

    NEW DELHI: The country’s youth do not need cow protection committees or anti-Romeo squads, but education and jobs, the CPI(M) said in a veiled attack on BJP-led governments at the Centre and in UP. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury insisted the Centre should marshal the country’s resources by recovering bad loans allegedly taken by big corporates, to create infrastructure and provide the youth with jobs. “They (youth) need education, good health and jobs…Not cow protection committees, anti-Romeo squads or issues on which they can be emotionally distracted from the main purpose of building a better India,” Yechury said. He made the remarks in a video posted on his Twitter account. ...Read More

  • Madras HC orders waiver of farm loans to all, stops officials from penal action

    CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Tuesday asked the Tamil Nadu government to waive farm loans obtained by all farmers, instead of limiting the benefit only to those owning less than five acres of land. The court also restrained officials from initiating any penal or recovery proceedings against farmers who had defaulted on repayment of crop loans. The ruling will mean an additional financial burden of Rs 1,980 crore to the Tamil Nadu government, and it will benefit 3.01 lakh farmers who fall in the 'other' category. The June 28, 2016 order granting the loan waiver scheme cost the government Rs 5,780 crore and benefited 16.94 lakh marginal and small farmers who owned up to 2.5 acres and u...Read More

  • China, ASEAN make progress on framework deal on disputed sea, Philippines says

    China, ASEAN make progress on framework deal on disputed sea, Philippines says Published: April 4, 2017 MANILA: China and Southeast Asian countries have made progress in talks on a code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea, the Philippine acting foreign minister said on Tuesday. China claims almost the entire waterway, through which about $5 trillion in sea-borne goods pass every year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. “We have made good progress on coming up with a framework for a code on conduct with China,” Philippine Acting Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo said, adding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China were mor...Read More

  • “Misconceptions” due to my saffron-clad look: Adityanath

    NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said “misconceptions” have been created about him due to his saffron-clad look and promised to win hearts of “all sections” by spreading a new idiom of happiness and prosperity. He also said those who have been “insulting” India’s traditions in the name of secularism are feeing threatened after he assumed office. “Many misconceptions are created about me. Many people say I am saffron-clad, so there are many in the country who are averse to saffron,” Adityanath said in an interview to RSS affiliated weekly ‘Organiser’. He said, those who were insulting India’s tradition and culture in the name of secularism and appeasement are fe...Read More

  • Need to ramp up economic cooperation with Russia: India

    NEW DELHI: Calling Russia as a “time-tested partner”, India today said it has strong political and military ties with it but there was a need to lend greater balance to the relationship by boosting economic cooperation. In his address to the first-ever India-Russia Media Rountable hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs here, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar also said a more ambitious target has been set to take bilateral trade to USD 30 billion by 2025. “We enjoy a special and privileged strategic partnership. These are words which have not been chosen lightly but bring about something really very distinctive about our relationship. “And, we have worked really very hard, especially in ...Read More

  • More funds, autonomy to institutions with better ranking: HRD

    NEW DELHI: The institutions which fared well in the annual national rankings announced by the HRD Ministry will be provided with more funding, enhanced autonomy and other benefits, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said today. “The educational institutions performing well in the annual ranking will be awarded with more funding or grants, enhanced autonomy and freedom of functioning and various other benefits,” he said at the release of the second domestic rankings under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). “Policy regarding the same will be announced soon to encourage the spirit of competition and ultimately enhance the quality of education being imparted by the institution...Read More

  • Raj ambulance scam: ED attaches assets of Cong leader’s son

    NEW DELHI: The ED has attached assets worth Rs 11.57 crore of two directors, including the son of senior Congress leader Vyalar Ravi, of a health care firm in connection with its money laundering probe into the Rajasthan ambulance scam case. The agency said it has issued a provisional order against Directors of Ms Ziqitza Healthcare Limited (ZHL) – Sweta Mangal, and Ravi Krishna, son of senior Congress leader Ravi, under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Ziqitza was awarded the tender for 108 ambulance scheme in 2010 by the then Rajasthan government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), in a statement, said the company “commi...Read More

  • Four Delhi University students arrested for 'stalking' Smriti Irani's car freed on bail

    NEW DELHI: The four Delhi University students who were arrested for chasing and overtaking Union Minster Smriti Irani's car here on Saturday evening were released on bail here on Sunday, the police said. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police R.P. Meena told IANS that the four students -- identified as Anand Sharma, Avinash, Shitanshu and Kunal -- were released from police custody in the morning. "The students were kept in custody at Chanakyapuri police station after being arrested. They were thoroughly interrogated there and were released after furnishing bail bonds," the officer said. The police said that three of the students are residents of Uttar Pradesh's Pratapgarh, Kannauj an...Read More