Morning briefing: All-party meeting today to discuss parliament session

GN Bureau | November 25, 2015



With the Winter Session of Parliament beginning from Thursday, the Centre has convened an all-party meeting on Wednesday morning to reach out to the opposition parties to ensure smooth business in both Houses.Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will also hold a separate meeting with leaders of all political parties in the evening to seek their cooperation in proper functioning of the House.The meetings will be significant amidst anticipation that the session could be stormy as the opposition is planning to corner the government on various issues.BJP's Parliamentary Party Executive and NDA constituents will also meet at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence to firm up strategy for the upcoming Winter Session this evening.

Central team to visit Tamil Nadu to assess flood damage tomorrow
A team of central government officials will visit Tamil Nadu to make first-hand assessment of the damage caused by floods on Thursday. Similarly, the government will send a team to Andhra Pradesh as soon as its memorandum is received."The Government of India is deputing a team of the Central Government officials to Tamil Nadu on November 26, 2015 to make a first-hand assessment of the damage. A Central team will also be sent to State of Andhra Pradesh as soon as its memorandum is received," the statement said.Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had earlier sent a letter enclosing detailed memorandum on the damages from the recent floods.In case of Tamil Nadu, the government has so far released Rs 939 crore, while Rs 700 crore was released yesterday to Andhra Pradesh, in addition to Rs 330 crore given earlier.

Some are misleading, some are misled: Venkaiah Naidu on Aamir's remark
In the backdrop of a raging controversy over actor Aamir Khan's remarks on "intolerance" issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said "some people are misleading and some people are misled". "Who comes in which category, I do not want to say. Some are propagating wrong things some are coming under wrong propaganda. My suggestion is that the situation in India is better than any other country. There is more tolerance in India. People of India are tolerant."Recently since our government came, communal clashes have come down. The killing of innocent people by Naxalites have come down. Incidents of atrocities have also come down," he said in an oblique reference to the Bollywood superstar's statement.Aamir Khan was at the centre of a raging debate a day after he expressed "alarm and despondency" over the rise in incidents of intolerance in the last six to eight months.

Major terror hideout busted, IEDs and ammunition recovered in Poonch
The army launched a massive operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tangdhar sector in search of suspected militants after gunfire ringed out of the area in the early hours of Wednesday.Reports said terrorists attacked an army post near the Line of Control. There was no official confirmation. The incident came a week after a colonel died and two soldiers sustained serious injuries in an encounter with terrorists in Kupwara district -- of which Tangdhar sector is a part.The recent spike in violence in the state came against the backdrop of a sharp downturn in relations between India and Pakistan following the cancellation of talks between the national security advisers in August.Meanwhile, busting a major terror hideout, the Indian Army recovered several improvised explosive devices (IED) and ammunition from Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.The arms and ammunition recovered from the hideout include three IED Cylinder (3 Kg Each), bottle shaped IED 500gms, two AK magazine, 112 rounds of AK, one Chinese grenade, 41 PIKA ammunition, two IED triggers and two meter wires.

Modi, Obama meeting on Monday for seventh time since 2014
US President Barack Obama will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Paris summit next week, their seventh meeting since 2014. The White House  announced that Obama would meet Modi on November 30, the opening day of the Paris climate change conference. The US president will also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the start of the two-week climate summit.Modi and Obama have had talks in this regard during the US President's trip to India, the bilateral meeting in New York at the UN General Assembly and on the margins of the recent summits they attended.

Panel for cutting down service litigation cases through internal mechanisms
With more than 10,000 cases related to service matters of the Armed Forces personnel stuck in tribunals, High Courts and the Supreme Court of India, an experts committee has recommended minimising litigation and grievances through strengthening institutional mechanisms so that the focus of the ministry of defence could remain on the core issues of governance and administration. The five-members committee set up by the defence minister Manohar Parrikar in July submitted a 509 -page report on Tuesday and made 75 recommendations on issues encompassing areas concerning service and pension matters, discipline and vigilance issues, matters concerning promotions and confidential reports, military justice, issues related to civilian employees and other potential areas of disputes.

SC refuses to release terror accused French national
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to release French national Marie-Emmanue Vehroeven  saying she was accused of a terror act. Vehroeven  is accused in the murder of Chilean senator Jamia Guzmann in 1991. The Chilean government has sought Vehroeven's extradition."She is accused of terrorist activities. She is accused of murder. She is a part of the subversive group. Once we release her, there would be no control over her," said an apex court bench comprising justices TS Thakur and Kurian Joseph while declining the plea for Vehroeven's release."Terrorists (the world over) are striking at will. It also involves bilateral relations between two countries and cordial relations and cooperation between two States," Justice Thakur observed as senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, appearing for Vehroeven, urged the court to release her pending case hearing since it would take some time for the arguments to conclude and judgment to be pronounced. The court fixed December 8 for further hearing in the case.

Law ministry issues reminder on move to decrease number of tribunals
With many tribunals in the country performing "identical functions", government has given a fresh push to its pans to cut down their number from the present 37 to 15 amid opposition by some ministries.The Law Ministry has issued a fresh reminder to all central ministries and departments to give details of the number of tribunals working under them. It has also sought a response on how many of them can be merged to bring down their number. On November 19, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda held a meeting with top officials of his ministry to discus the progress in bringing down the number of tribunals. The move is in tune with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy of doing away with laws and procedures which create confusion and obstruct smooth governance. There are nearly 37 tribunals functioning in the country dealing with subjects such as income tax, electricity, consumer protection, company laws and railway accidents.Meanwhile, the Department of Revenue has expressed its inability to merge tribunals under it. Appellate Tribunal for Forfeited Property, Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, Authority for Advance Rulings for Income Tax and Authority for Advance Rulings for Customs and Central Excise are some of the bodies under the Department of Revenue.

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