GN Staff | November 7, 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Jammu and Kashmir today, his first visit after the PDP-BJP coalition came to power in the state. He will address a public meeting at the Sher-i-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar, where he is expected to announce a major economic package for the state, anything between 75,000 crore to 1,00,000 crore. The rally will also be addressed by chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. Modi will also inaugurate the second phase of the Baglihar hydel project and lay the foundation stone for the four-laning of the Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal section of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
Meanwhile, unprecedented security arrangements are in place and restrictions have been imposed in most parts of the city. The Sher-i-Kashmir stadium has been turned into a fortress. Some separatist groups have called for a rally at the Tourist Reception Centre ground, a stone's throw from the stadium, to counter the PM's rally. To foil their plans, all entry and exit routes have been sealed in Srinagar. Curfew likes restrictions have been imposed since Friday.
Green tax results in traffic jam in Gurgaon, vehicles stuck on road for 7 hours
A midnight traffic jam was reported on national highway 8 in Gurgaon which lasted till early Saturday morning due to Delhi civic body's toll collection drive. The seven-hour-long traffic jam began at around 12:30am on Saturday when some drivers protested the environment tax collection drive of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi while some didn't have enough money to pay the same. As a result, they started parking on the Delhi-Jaipur highway leading to chaos on the road. Traffic movement between Sirhaul toll Plaza and Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon was reported to be bumper-to-bumper.
Gurgaon police tweeted this morning that ''traffic to remain slow during the day today going from Gurgaon towards Delhi in view of the new "Environment tax" collection by MCD.
Swachh cess of 0.5% on service tax to hit consumers
From mobile bills to eating out to dry cleaning charges are set to become expensive with the government deciding to levy a 0.5% Swachh Bharat cess on all services that attract service tax. The levy, which was announced in the budget, would be imposed from November 15, the finance ministry said in a statement on Friday. The government said Swachh Bharat cess would be used for meeting specific goals around Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious sanitation and cleanliness programme, which includes building toilets across the country. The government already levies a slew of cesses and surcharges — ranging from the ones for education and health to those on petrol and diesel and petrol for highway construction. The cesses and surcharges are over and above the taxes that individuals and companies pay in the form of income tax, corporation tax, customs duty on imported goods, central excise, service tax and state levies such as VAT.
CBI to seek longer jail term for Raju and nine others in Satyam scam case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is planning to seek an enhanced prison term for Satyam's disgraced chairman B Ramalinga Raju in view of the magnitude of the crime and the serious consequences it had on the industry. The 21st additional chief metropolitan magistrate of Hyderabad, who conducted the trial, convicted all the 10 accused to seven years of rigorous imprisonment on April 9, 2015.CBI officials will now seek 14 years of jail term for the accused in view of the magnitude of the scam, reports the Times of India.
Bihar polls cost goes up by one and half times at Rs 300 crore
Bihar assembly election 2015 has cost about Rs 300 crore to the state exchequer, perhaps the most expensive electoral exercise in Bihar till date. Of the Rs 300 crore spent on holding the five-phase 2015 assembly polls, almost half, that is Rs 152 crore, has been spent on payment for vehicles, fuel, setting up booths, tents, barricading and printing poll documents etc. It is one-and-a-half times more than the 2010 assembly election, when Rs 93 crore was spent on vehicle payment and other 'materials'. The expenditure incurred on security for polls was Rs 78 crore. The bill on honorarium given to over 3.27 lakh polling personnel this election came to about Rs 63 crore compared to Rs 45 crore in the 2010 assembly polls.
Govt hikes excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.6 per litre, diesel by 40 paisa
The government tonight hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.60 per litre and the same on diesel by 40 paisa a litre to mop up additional revenue to meet budgetary targets. The basic excise duty on unbranded or normal petrol was increased from Rs 5.46 per litre to Rs 7.06 a litre. After including additional and special excise duty, the total levy on petrol will be Rs 19.06 per litre as against present levy of Rs 17.46. Similarly on unbranded or normal diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 4.26 per litre to Rs 4.66 a litre. After including special excise duty, total incidence of excise duty on diesel will be Rs 10.66 per litre as against present Rs 10.26. The excise duty on branded petrol has been hiked from Rs 6.64 to Rs 8.24 per lire. Special and additional excise duty of Rs 12 per litre will continue as before. On branded diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 6.62 to Rs 7.02 per litre. Additional excise duty of Rs 6 per litre will continue as before.
Anupam Kher holds a march against intolerance debate
Actor Anupam Kher lead a march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi today to protest against the voices being raised over "intolerance" in the country. The actor claims that the intolerance debate is an attempt to malign the image of the country and is intended to target the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. Urging people to join him during the march, Mr Kher tweeted this morning, "Patriotism gives us a feeling of self worth. Join us on this historical day at National Museum, Janpath at 10am".
FDA approves new drug for HIV with fewer side effects
A new treatment for HIV infection has been approved by US federal regulators which does not have the side effects associated with other drugs used to fight the virus that causes AIDS. The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has approved Genvoya — a fixed-dose combination tablet containing elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide — as a complete regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and paediatric patients aged 12 and above.
RSS, BJP leaders hold meet; discuss Bihar polls, Nepal
The Bihar assembly elections and the emerging situation in Nepal were the issues discussed between top BJP and RSS leaders at a meeting here on Friday that was held at the residence of party chief Amit Shah. According to sources, BJP general secretary (Organisation) Ramlal was among those who attended the meeting besides RSS joint general secretary Krishna Gopal, who is also a pointsman for BJP. In the meeting which continued till late in the evening, top leaders discussed the Bihar polls and how BJP has fared. Later, in another meeting, the top BJP and RSS leaders discussed the Nepal situation during which the latter expressed concerns over reports that the neighbouring country was moving closer to China. "Discussions were held to overcome the current scenario," the sources said.
The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World By Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan HarperCollins / 284 pages / Rs 599 Professor Noam Chomsky, linguist and public intellectual, has often spoken of &ls
The brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has left a significant death toll in its wake. Health experts advise that the imminent third wave can be delayed by following simple measures like wearing a mask and engaging in social distancing. However, near the end of the second wave, we witnesse
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has emphasised deciding driving hours for truck drivers of commercial vehicles, similar to pilots, to reduce fatigue-induced road accidents. In a Na
In a step towards Telecom Reforms which aim to provide internet and tele connectivity for the marginalised section, the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communica
Raising concerns over rising seawater levels and climate change, Mumbai First, a 25-year-old public-private partnership policy think tank, has written letters to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, minister for environment and climate change, tourism and protocol, Aditya Thackeray and Mumbai munic
After the recent announcement of the government guarantee for Security Receipts (SRs) to be issued by a public sector-owned National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), there is a surge of interest around this desi version of a super bad bank. The entity will acquire around ₹2 trillion bad debts fr