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Govt launches campaign to sell FDI in multi-brand retail 

New Delhi: Under attack from the Opposition and UPA ally Trinamool Congress on allowing global retail chains in the Indian market, the government today launched a campaign to sell advantages of FDI in multi-brand retail.

In a full page advertisement in newspapers, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail will help farmers, create more jobs and benefit consumers.

It said there are several myths on the issue. These include that kirana and retail stores will lose and retail sector will be controlled by foreign stores.

On the other hand, the reality is that domestic retailers will benefit from sourcing their requirements from wholesale cash and carry store at a discount, it said.

The government said in countries like China, Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil and Singapore, where there are no caps on FDI, small retail stores have flourished.

The government advertisement said that there is another myth that FDI in multi-brand may result in job losses.

"Contrary to this mistaken belief, FDI in multi-brand retail will generate 10 million new jobs." It said that it is also a fiction that farmers would be exploited and lose their fields and crops to foreign investors. On the other hand, "farmers will receive better remuneration for their produce".

In a bold decision, the Cabinet on November 24 decided to allow 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail and removed the 51 per cent FDI cap on single brand retail.  PTI 



'Elephant' giving nightmares to Congressmen: Mayawati

Lucknow: Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi, UP Chief Minister Mayawati today said that he was indulging in "theatrics" during rallies instead of attending Parliament as Congressmen were getting nightmares of 'elephant', her party's poll symbol, driving them away from the state.

"Congress is afraid of mass base of the BSP due to which its 'Yuvraj' has skipped Parliament session to visit UP to do theatrics. It seems BSP's symbol elephant is haunting and chasing Congressmen in their dreams due to which they are making baseless statements using its name," Mayawati said addressing a 'Dalits-OBC' rally here.

Gandhi, who has been attacking Mayawati government on the issue of corruption in the run up to the assembly polls due next year, had while addressing a public meeting in Siddharthnagar on Friday said that an 'elephant' in Lucknow was eating away all the money sent by the Centre for the poor in Uttar Pradesh.

Terming Rahul's "beggar" remarks as as insult to the people of the state, the BSP supremo said they have migrated to other states in search of livelihood as successive Congress governments failed to ensure development of UP.

Taking a dig at Gandhi's promise of making UP "number one" state in five years, Mayawati said it was mere a "political gimmick" as Congress had ruled the state for 40 years but could not ensure development.

"How will he make UP number one in five years when his party failed to do so in 40 years of its rule," she said.

"The proof of this is that people of 'sarvjan samaj' had to migrate to other states for earning their livelihood. In Congress-ruled states, Dalits and OBCs are being exploited," Mayawati said. — PTIBack



Police files FIR against Kiran Bedi

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) The Delhi police on Sunday registered a case against former top cop and Team Anna member Kiran Bedi for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in collusion with foreign companies and foundations.

“We have registered a case against her (Kiran Bedi) under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Ashok Chand told IANS.

A Delhi court had yesterday directed police to file a case against Bedi on a complaint filed by petitioner Devinder Chauhan.

Chauhan alleged that Bedi cheated various paramilitary forces and state police organisations on the pretext of providing free computer training to troopers' families under the banner of her NGO India Vision Foundation.

Bedi said she was not surprised by the development and it only strengthened her resolve to do more.

"I am informed an FIR is registered against me. For me now nothing is a surprise!" Bedi said on micro-blogging site Twitter. "It only strengthens my resolve to do more," she added.

Bedi was caught in a controversy last month when it was revealed that she allegedly gave inflated travel bills to various social organisations and educational institutions that invited her for lectures.

She admitted she charged various NGOs business class airfare while buying the lower class airline tickets, but said the excess money went to her own NGO. — IANSBack



NATO air strike: Khar conveys Pak's
'deep sense of rage' to

Islamabad: Pakistan today conveyed to the US the "deep sense of rage" felt by its people over the killing of at least 24 soldiers in a cross-border air strike by NATO aircraft from Afghanistan, saying the incident had forced it to revisit the terms of its engagement with Washington.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar conveyed Pakistan's stand on the latest issue to bedevil Pakistan-US relations during an early morning phone conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said a statement from the Foreign Office.

"The Foreign Minister conveyed to the Secretary of State the deep sense of rage felt across Pakistan at the senseless loss of 24 soldiers due to the NATO/ISAF attack on the Pakistani post in Mohmand Agency," the statement said.

The incident "negates the progress made by the two countries on improving relations and forces Pakistan to revisit the terms of engagement," Khar said.

NATO helicopters and combat aircraft attacked two Pakistani military border posts in the restive Mohmand tribal region at 2 am yesterday.

The Pakistan army put the death toll at 24 though officials were quoted by the media as saying that 28 soldiers, including two officers, were killed in the air strike.

Pakistan-US relations, already strained by the May 2 American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, plunged to a new low after the incident.

An emergency meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani last night decided to cut off all NATO supply routes in Afghanistan and asked the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, which is reportedly used by CIA-operated drones. — PTIBack


US vows full probe

Washington: Seeking to salvage its ties with Pakistan which plunged into crisis after a NATO strike killed 28 Pakistani soldiers, the Obama administration has said it fully backs a probe into the incident that led Islamabad to close NATO supply routes and ask US to vacate a key airbase.

A joint statement issued by the US Departments of State and Defence said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta "have been closely monitoring reports of the cross-border incident in Pakistan." "Both offer their deepest condolences for the loss of life and support fully NATO's intention to investigate (yesterday's incident) immediately," the statement said.

Following the cross-border strike on two Pakistani border posts by NATO helicopters and combat jets, Islamabad shut down the crucial NATO supply lines and asked the US to vacate its secret Shamsi air based inside Pakistan, which is reportedly used by the CIA for drone strikes, within 15 days.

Clinton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey and Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan Gen John Allen also called their Pakistani counterparts following the incident.

"Secretary Clinton, Gen Dempsey and Gen Allen each called their Pakistani counterparts as well. (US) Ambassador (to Islamabad Cameron) Munter also met with Pakistani government officials in Islamabad.

"In their contacts, these US diplomatic and military leaders each stressed -- in addition to their sympathies and a commitment to review the circumstances of the incident -- the importance of the US-Pakistani partnership, which serves the mutual interests of our people," the joint statement said.

All these leaders "pledged to remain in close contact with their Pakistani counterparts going forward as we work through this challenging time," it said. 




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