Evening digest: General budget on Feb 29, session to begin on Feb 23

GN Bureau | February 4, 2016



The budget session of parliament will commence from February 23 and the government will present the general budget on February 29. The dates were decided at a meeting of the cabinet committee on parliamentary affairs, chaired by home minister Rajnath Singh. The first part of budget session will end on March 16 and the second part will be convened from April 25 to May 13. “The rail budget will be presented on February 25, the pre-budget economic survey on February 26 and the general budget on February 29,” parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters. He said there were suggestions for curtailing the recess period due to Assembly elections in five states but the government as well as political parties wanted a full session of Parliament. “In 2011, the then government had decided not to refer bills to standing committees in the budget session when states were going to polls and there were demands to curtail the session. But the government today decided that bills will be referred to standing committees for examination during recess period,” Naidu said.

UN panel rules in Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s favour
A United Nations panel today ruled that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been “arbitrarily detained”.UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has been considering a request by Assange for a ruling. Assange, 44, is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape in 2010, which he denies. He took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid extradition.

Patent for Zika vaccine filed by Hyderabad company
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has filed for global patent of two vaccine candidates - a recombinant vaccine and an inactivated vaccine - for Zika virus. The company announced that it could make available the inactivated vaccine in two years if the Indian Government fast-tracked the regulatory approvals once the pre-clinical trials proved to be successful. While the recombinant vaccine might take time, the pre-clinical testing of the inactivated vaccine in animals would be completed in five months.

Tanzanian student was not stripped
The Karnataka government today denied that the Tanzanian student was stripped and said it was "definitely not a race attack". Five people have been arrested for the attack on the 21-year-old Tanzanian college student in Bengaluru, described as "shameful" by foreign minister Sushma Swaraj. "This is a serious case. We will not take it casually. There are more than 12,000 foreign students here and it is our duty to protect them," said Karnataka home minister G Parmeshwar.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi file plea in SC
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi today moved the supreme court challenging the December 7, 2015 Delhi high court order refusing to quash summons issued to them in the National Herald case. The high court had on December 7, 2015 not only refused to quash the summons issued to the Congress leaders, but had also made scathing observations on their "questionable conduct" regarding how they took control of the publication.

Subsequently, the Gandhis and others had appeared before a Patiala House court on December 19 last year when they were also granted bail, with the magistrate observing that they had deep political roots and there was no apprehension that they would flee. Along with the Gandhis, five other accused--Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd -- had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.

TeamLease IPO overscribed
Staffing services firm TeamLease Services Ltd on Thursday saw investors rush to subscribe to its initial public offering (IPO), leading to the issue being subscribed almost 11 times, according to data available on stock exchanges. The offer opened on February 2. As of 1.32pm, the share sale was subscribed 11.2 times, data from stock exchanges show. The allocation for institutional investors witnessed subscription of 4.42 times, while retail investors and high net-worth individual investor categories were subscribed 6.7 and 28.4 times, respectively. The firm has priced the offer in a band of Rs.785-850 per equity share. At the upper end of the band, the firm will end up raising Rs.423 crore. TeamLease is the second IPO this calendar year. TeamLease will be followed by IT security product maker Quick Heal Technologies Ltd, which is launching its IPO next week. Last year, 21 firms raised almost Rs.13,600 crore through the IPO route.

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