Evening digest: Parliament's winter session threatened with a washout, says Jaitley

GN Bureau | December 14, 2015



Finance minister Arun Jaitley today apprehended a "wash out" of the current Winter session and invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament."The last session of the Parliament did not function.The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour."The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we being fair to ourselves and this country?" Jaitley said in a Facebook post.

Car dealers move NGT on registration of diesel vehicles
The National Green Tribunal today agreed to hear a plea seeking modification of its order which said that diesel-run vehicles will not be registered in Delhi in the wake of alarming pollution levels in the city."Let it come tomorrow," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, which took the matter on mentioning, said.Senior advocate Pinaki Mishra, appearing for Delhi-based car dealers, sought modification of the order on the ground that diesel cars which were manufactured in 2015 should be allowed be sold as the existing stock would become obsolete by next year.

"Existing stock will become obsolete. Nobody will buy a car of last year's make," Mishra said.As an interim measure, the Tribunal had ordered that diesel-run vehicles will not be registered in Delhi and there will be no renewal of registration of such vehicles which are more than 10-year-old.The bench had in November last year banned all vehicles which were more than 15 years old and held that they would not be permitted to ply on the city roads.

Andhra Pradesh achieved 11.77% growth rate in H1
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said the state has achieved 11.77 per cent growth rate in the first half of this fiscal against the target of 10.62 per cent."Andhra Pradesh has surpassed by 4 per cent the national growth rate of 7.2 per cent by achieving a growth rate of 11.77 per cent in the first half (H1 - April to September) of this fiscal," Naidu said after inaugurating the two-day long District Collectors conference here.He said particularly the agricultural allied sector - fisheries and animal husbandry has achieved growth rate of 47.10 per cent followed by service sector 8.05 per cent and industry 6.25 per cent.

Coast Guard DIG Loshali sacked
Coast Guard DIG B K Loshali has been sacked following a Board of Inquiry over his comments that contradicted the government's stand on the sinking of a Pakistan fishing boat last year."He was dismissed from services after the Board of Inquiry found him guilty of all the charges on Saturday. The inquiry was conducted by a panel of senior DIG (Deputy Inspector General) rank officers for over three months," said a senior Coast Guard official.

On eve the of New Year last year, a Pakistani fishing boat said to be carrying explosives was intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard off the coast of Gujarat, but the vessel exploded and caught fire before sinking along with four occupants.Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had said the "circumstantial evidence" indicated that the Pakistani boat had suspected terror links.Dismissing claims that the occupants of boat were smugglers, the minister had said he would classify them as "suspected or possible terrorists" since they had committed suicide after being intercepted and added that they were in touch with Pakistani maritime officials, "army and international contacts".While the government has claimed that the Pakistani boat had been set on fire by its crew, Loshali told an audience of Coast Guard and Larsen & Toubro officials on February 15 that he had ordered to blow off the boat, which was a major embarrassment for the government as well as the Coast Guard.On "31st December night. I was there at Gandhinagar, and I told at night, blow the boat off. We don't want to serve them biryani," Loshali had said.

We asked Pak to expedite trials of Mumbai 26/11 attack accused: Sushma
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that the 26/11 Mumbai attack issue was raised during talks with Pakistan."We raised the 26/11 Mumbai attack issue and asked Pakistan to expedite the trial process of accused in the case," added Swaraj."The underlying sentiment, on which I am confident that this House concurs fully, was that the continued estrangement of two neighbours was a hurdle to the realisation of our shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous region," she said.At the same time, there was also a "sharp awareness" that principal obstacles to the growth of ties, especially terrorism, would have to be clearly and directly addressed.She read out her statement as members of several opposition parties were in the Well vociferously raising slogans on several issues.Swaraj said following her visit to Islamabad a 'Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue' with Pakistan will begin with the objective of "removing hurdles in the path of a constructive engagement by addressing issues of concern."

'Modi-RSS 'stopped' me from entering Assam temple
Opening a new front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Monday, alleged that the RSS and the BJP prevented him from entering a temple in Assam. “I wanted to go to Barpeta Satra in Assam but RSS people stopped me from entering the temple. Who are they to stop me from entering the temple,” Rahul said. The Congress leader was in Barpeta to participate in a Padyatra.“They put women in front of me so I couldn't enter temple, this is how the BJP operates,” he said, adding that the incident shows the mentality of prime minister Modi.Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had yesterday alleged that the BJP and RSS had conspired to not allow Rahul enter the Barpeta Satra.

Japan to relax visa limits for Indians from January
Japan today said it will ease requirements for issuing multiple-entry visas to short-term Indian travellers from January 11, days after India announced 'visa on arrival' to all Japanese citizens from March 1.Under the new visa system, the maximum period of stay will be extended to 30 days from the current 15, with visas valid for five years, up from three years, the Japanese Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying by The Japan Times.The foreign ministry also disclosed a plan to extend at an early stage the validity of multiple-entry visas for Indians visiting Japan for commercial purposes to 10 years instead of the current five.Modi had last week announced that India will extend 'visa on arrival' to all Japanese citizens from March 1, 2016.

Uber to launch private car pooling service in Delhi from December 16
Cab hailing app Uber today said it will now allow private car owners in the city to offer rides to passengers, a move that will help the US-based firm meet the heavy demand expected once the state government implements its odd-even formula.Introduction of the new feature from December 16 will also allow Uber to tap into a pool of over 27 lakh private cars in the city and make travel 10-30 per cent cheaper for passengers opting to share rides.

Fares for shared riders will be 10-30 per cent cheaper, he added.The Delhi government will implement its much debated odd-even car scheme from January 1, 2016, allowing vehicles with license plates ending with odd and even numbers to ply on alternate days.

Indian banks will get more resilient despite bad debt: Moody's
Growth in Indian banking system, which has been under pressure in recent years, will be more resilient, Moody's Investors Service today said."Slower GDP growth is most pronounced for small and open economies such as Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. In contrast, growth in India and Vietnam banking systems that have been under pressure will be more resilient," the rating agency said in a report on Asia-Pacific banks, titled '2016 Outlook Stable, But Risks Will Rise'.Out of 16 banking systems in the Asia-Pacific for which Moody's has an outlook in place, 13 have stable and three -- China, Hong Kong and Mongolia -- have negative.According to Moody's, the operating environment is becoming more challenging in most Asia-Pacific banking systems as the banks feel the impact of subdued global growth, which in turn is exacerbated by weaker demand in China. 

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