Sunday, April 8, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Clinton meets Vajpayee
New Delhi, April 7
Former US President Bill Clinton, who visited quake-hit areas in Gujarat, tonight met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and apprised him of the initiative taken by the Indian Americans to raise at least $ 50 million in the near future for reconstruction projects in the affected areas of the state. During the 90-minute meeting at the Seven Race Course Road residence of the Prime Minister, Mr Clinton who arrived here from Kolkata, briefed Mr Vajpayee on his visit to quake-hit Ahmedabad and Bhuj and his meetings with the local government officials, NGOs and the affected people, official sources said. Mr Clinton said the Indian Americans, who have over the years achieved tremendous prosperity, are looking for an opportunity to give back something to their country of origin. These people had participated with enthusiasm and energy in building and sustaining the America-India Foundation which has spearheaded the initiative to raise funds for the quake victims, he said. Mr Vajpayee expressed appreciation for the work being done by the Foundation as well as personal efforts of Mr Clinton, the sources said. Mr Clinton spoke about the expertise available with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency for handling such disasters which could be shared with India. PTI

Selection of petro dealers stayed
New Delhi, April 7
The government today stayed the selection of dealers and distributors for petrol stations, lPG agencies and kerosene dealers in four states and a union terrority going to the Assembly polls. Selection of dealers for petrol stations, kerosene dealers and lpg distributorships in Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Pondicherry where the model code of conduct has come into force after the announcement of the Assembly elections, has been stayed until the election process gets over. PTI

Verma’s remand extended
New Delhi, April 7
The CBI custody of suspended Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs B.P. Verma was extended for five days today by a city court as the investigators could not question him in view of his illness. Special judge R.L. Chugh also extended the custodial remand of his son Siddharth, alleged conduit Bhawna Pandey and Rajeev Kumar Sharma, manager of the firms owned by Verma’s son, for another three days till April 9 after CBI wanted more time to interrogate them. PTI

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