L A T E S T      N E W S

Govt to submit black money holders list to SC tomorrow

New Delhi: The Government will tomorrow give the entire list of black money account holders to the Supreme Court, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said emphasising that no one will be protected.

The list will be given to the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope, he said, but did not say if the government was open to making the list public.

"The government shall place the list before the Court because the government has already given (the list) to the court constituted Special Investigating Team (on June 27). The government is keen that by whatever procedure in accordance with law we must get to the root of the matter.

"...the government has no difficulty in placing the entire list and the same will be placed before the court tomorrow," Jaitley told reporters here.

The Supreme Court today pulled up the government for seeking a modification of its order on disclosure of names of blackmoney holders abroad. It directed the Centre to place before it names of all such account holders by tomorrow.

Jaitley said the government was keen to punish all illicit foreign account holders and would do everything to bring back the black money.

"The truth about these names and also these accounts must come out so that penal action can be taken against the people and the money lying there can be brought back to India.

"The government has no difficulty whatsoever with any agency investigating this matter because there is nobody the government wants to protect in this case so that those whose names have come must really be investigated and punished according to law," he said.

He, however did not reply to a question on whether the government would make the list public.

Jaitley said the government is also keen that the procedure followed must be such that the reciprocating countries continue to cooperate with India. -PTI






















After petrol, now Himachal hikes VAT on diesel

Shimla: After petrol, debt-ridden Himachal Pradesh Tuesday decided to hike value added tax (VAT) on diesel by one percent, which take up its price by 48 paise a litre.

Consensus was reached to increase the VAT on diesel by one percent which would be lower by 0.12 percent as compared to VAT rate applicable in neighboring Punjab, an official statement said.

Official sources said a decision in this regard was taken by cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

The hike in VAT would add to annual revenue earnings to the tune of Rs.26 crore, said the statement.

Earlier this month, the government increased VAT on petrol from 25 to 27 percent, which increased the price by around Rs.1.10 per litre.

Strongly opposing the government's decision to raise the VAT rate on petrol and diesel, the Himachal Pradesh Petrol Pump Dealers Association said the increase in taxes would hit business volume as buying will shift to neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. -IANS














India to step up strategic ties with Vietnam 

NEW DELHI: India is committed to strengthening strategic relations with Vietnam, with defence, space and energy sectors topping the list, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

India and Vietnam will also cooperate in the field of peaceful civil nuclear energy, he said after the two countries signed seven agreements following talks between Prime Ministers Modi and Nguyen Tan Dung.

"In the defence sector, cooperation with Vietnam is important for us," the Indian leader said, speaking in the presence of his Vietnamese counterpart.
"India is committed to the modernization of the armed forces of Vietnam," he added, expanding training processes, joint exercises and cooperation in military equipment.
Modi said the two countries discussed how to strengthen their relations. "There were several similarities in our thoughts," he said in comments that could be directed at China.

"Soon we will operationalise a Line of Credit worth $100 million through which Vietnam will get new Indian naval vessels," he said.

Stressing that India's partnership with Vietnam was "very important", Modi said: "Both countries are on the same page on maritime security. There should be no obstruction in sea transport and any conflict should be solved according to the international laws." He said India and Vietnam would cooperate in counter-terrorism and security. 

"We have also agreed to increase cooperation in space research. This includes space applications and launching Vietnamese satellites by India." The prime minister said India would increase cooperation with Vietnam in the fields of energy, infrastructure, textiles, chemical, machinery, agro-processing and IT. 

"Our economic relations which are very limited at present will be strengthened. This is an important part of our strategic relationship." Modi said Vietnam ranked high in India's relations with the Asia-Pacific region.

He said his government had, after taking office in May, "quickly increased our engagement in the Asia-Pacific region as this area is very important to India". 
Saying this was the Vietnamese leader's third visit to India, Modi described it as the former's desire for strong relations with New Delhi.

"India and Vietnam have ancient spiritual relations," Modi added. –IANS Back














BJP likely to form govt in Delhi, AAP cries hoarse 

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party may be asked to form a government in Delhi with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung reportedly getting the nod from President Pranab Mukherjee to invite the single largest party BJP for government formation, media reports say.

The Congress and Aam Admi Party, however, have condemned the move.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to question why the BJP does not want to go for elections.

“How will BJP form govt? They don't have nos. Why don't they just call elections? BJP playing dirty tricks wid the people of Delhi. Tried 4 times earlier to "buy" MLAs n form govt. Failed. Now 5th time?” Kejriwal tweeted.

He also accused the BJP of playing “dirty tricks with the people of Delhi”.

“BJP playing dirty tricks wid the people of Delhi. Tried 4 times earlier to "buy" MLAs n form govt. Failed. Now 5th time?” Kejriwal added.

The Aam Aadmi Party had earlier said the announcement of by-polls in Delhi clearly indicated that the BJP was 'scared' to dissolve the assembly and conduct fresh elections.

The Election Commission had on Saturday announced by-poll in three assembly seats in Delhi. The by-polls to three assembly seats in Delhi, which fell vacant after their MLAs resigned following their victories in the Lok Sabha elections, will be held on November 25. 

Congress Party leader JP Aggarwal also alleged that LG Najeeb Jung was acting under pressure.

“He (LG) is definitely under pressure, how can he invite them to form Government when they don't even have numbers to prove majority?' asked Aggarwal.

“The work that should have been done by LG was not done properly, he gave BJP time for horse-trading,” he added.

Delhi has been under President's rule since Kejriwal resigned as the Chief Minister on February 14 after being in office for 49 days.

The BJP won 31 seats in the 70-member house while the AAP emerged victorious in 28 seats in the Delhi Assembly polls held last year. –Agencies Back
















SC frowns upon delay in Delhi government formation 

NEW DELHI: Even as the Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the President has given consent to invite the BJP to form the government in Delhi, the court expressed its displeasure and frowned upon the delaying tactics being adopted by the government.

Just before every date of the hearing, some statement is made about the attempt being made for the formation of government but why things are not being done well before the date of the hearing, asked the apex court's Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu, admonishing the handling of the issue by the central government.

The court said this as it was handed over a letter which said the President has consented to the Lt. Governor's suggestion to explore the option of forming the government in Delhi.

Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung has recommended inviting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government.

"Suppose Lt. Governor is going to invite the largest party (BJP). Are they in a position to form the government?" the court enquired, apparently making a reference to the number of legislators the BJP has in the Delhi assembly.

The central government sought to wriggle out of the situation, saying that after putting the Delhi assembly under suspended animation, it had a year's time to explore the possibilities and the court could not issue any direction restricting the time available to the President in taking the decision.

The court said that "our understanding was to give time to the Lt. Governor to decide. If you had told us that we cannot take decision, we may have heard the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) petition and decided the matter either way".

"With greatest respect at our command we feel the government should have taken the decision earlier. All of us know that the matter is pending before the court and time has been given to decide." Having said this, the court started hearing on AAP petition seeking the dissolution of the state assembly.Back

















NDRF pre-positioning teams in Guj to deal with cyclone Nilofar

NEW DELHI: The National Disaster Response Force has deployed its teams in vulnerable areas of Gujarat to deal with cyclonic storm Nilofar that will hit the state's coast on Friday.

NDRF has pre-positioned seven rescue and relief teams at Gandhidam, Dwarka, Porbandar, Veeraval and Rajkot in Gujarat.

Two rescue teams have also been pre-positioned at Bhuj, an official spokesperson said.

Boats with other flood rescue equipment are being sent to meet any challenges which may arise due to cyclonic storm Nilofar.

NDRF teams are being deployed in vulnerable areas as proactive measures to mitigate the situation during cyclonic storm.

The NDRF is fully geared up for rescue operations in the wake of the cyclone in Arabian Sea along Gujarat coast, the spokesperson said.

Besides, nine NDRF teams are on standby and awaiting deployment instructions.
The NDRF also alerted its three battalions situated at Vadodara (Gujarat), Pune (Maharashtra)  and and Bathinda (Punjab). PTIBack













BJP to elect new Maharashtra chief minister Tuesday 

MUMBAI: The stage is set for the election of the new chief minister of Maharashtra by the BJP here Tuesday.

A meeting of the newly-elected 121 legislators of the Bharatiya Janata party has been scheduled Tuesday afternoon to elect their new leader who would be the next chief minister.

Govind M. Rathod, a newly elected BJP legislator from Mudkhed in Nanded district, died Monday following a heart attack on a train en route to Mumbai.

This has reduced the BJP strength from 122 to 121, plus one pre-poll ally. But it emerged as the single-largest party in the Oct 15 assembly elections.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, senior party leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy, OP Mathur and JP Nadda will oversee the election of the new BJP Legislature Party leader.

The front-runners are state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis, 44, and union Minister for Transport Nitin Gadkari, 57.

The new chief minister of the BJP's first independent government of the state is likely to be sworn in by the month-end, most likely October 31, in a mega-public ceremony at the Wankhede Stadium, according to current indications.

Over 30,000 people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, union ministers, several chief ministers, central party leaders and others VIPs and guests, are expected to witness the oath-taking ceremony. –IANS  Back
















U'khand govt to come out with new MSME policy

DEHRADUN: A new policy for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is being worked out in Uttarakhand to help around one thousand unemployed youth to become efficient entrepreneurs and provide them all facilities and incentives to start their ventures, the state government has said.

This announcement was made by Chief Minister Harish Rawat at a programme held yesterday to honour entrepreneurs who have done outstanding work in the MSME sector.

Stating that the peaceful environment of Uttarakhand offers tremendous scope for investment, he said the policy for the MSME is being redrafted to make it more attractive for local entrepreneurs so that they get more opportunities.

Besides, the Hill Industries Policy made in 2008 is also being amended to make it more luring to big industrial houses and give further push to investments in the state, Rawat said.

Claiming that the state is all set to make a big leap in terms of investments in coming years, he said apart from the target of preparing 1000 youth as skilled entrepreneurs, a climate conducive to investments in eco tourism, agriculture, floriculture and food processing sectors is also being prepared.

Asking investors to come forward to invest in Uttarakhand without any hesitation, Rawat said they will be given all facilities and incentives to make the process smooth. -PTI Back














J-K polls: EC issues notification for first phase 

JAMMU: The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notification for the first of the five phases of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls.

In the first phase due on November 25, polls will be held in 15 Assembly segments spread across seven districts of Bandipora, Ganderbal in Kashmir Valley, Kargil, Leh of Ladakh region, Kishtwar, Doda and Ramban of Jammu region.

"As recommended by ECI in pursuance of Sub-section (2) of Section 27 of the said Act, the Governor of the State of J&K is hereby pleased to call upon the 15 Assembly constituencies in the State, to elect members to the Legislative Assembly in accordance with the provision of Act," J&K Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Umang Narula said in the notification.

The last date for candidates to file their nominations is November 5. The scrutiny of nomination papers would be held on November 7 while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is on November 10, J&K Deputy CEO, Rakesh Kumar Srangal said.

He further stated that the date of counting of votes has been fixed for 23 December this year.

"ECI has fixed 0800 hours to 1600 hours as hours during which the poll shall, be taken in each constituency on the specified date," Srangal said.

The EC on Saturday decided to go ahead with holding Assembly polls in the state devastated by last month's floods and announced a five-phased election schedule to be held on November 25, December 2, 9, 14 and 20.

The state government has sought 565 companies of security personnel to ensure smooth elections.

In the first phase, the Assembly constituencies of Gurez, Bandipora, Sonawari, Kangan, Ganderbal, Nobra, Leh, Kargil, Zanskar, Kishtwar, Inderwal, Doda, Bhaderwah, Ramban and Banihal.

Congress and NC had bagged seven seats each while PDP took one seat in 2008 Assembly polls.

Nine each assembly seats in Kashmir and Jammu regions will be going to polls in the second phase on December two. Of these, maximum of six are in Udhampur, five in Baramulla, four in Anantnag and three in Jammu.

The notification for the second phase will be issued on November seven with date of polling December two.

The third phase, for which polling will be held on December 9, will cover remaining seven seats of Baramulla Parliamentary constituency, five seats in Budgam of central Kashmir and four from Anantnag.

The current six-year term of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly ends on January 19. Political parties too have started gearing up for the elections. –PTI Back














2.93 lakh drug-addicts treated in OPDs in Punjab 

CHANDIGARH: As many as 2.93 lakh drug-addicts have been treated in OPDs and 9,427 have been detoxicated as indoor patients in 24 drug de-addiction centers across Punjab so far.

This was informed during the second board meeting of Punjab State Drug de-addiction and Rehabilitation Board chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today, an official release said.

Similarly, under the de-addiction programme in central jails, 22,669 persons have undergone complete detoxification and currently 461 persons were admitted in detoxification wards besides 718 were in rehabilitation wards so that they could lead a normal life with self respect and dignity.

While reviewing the progress of the de-addiction operations, Badal directed the Principal Secretary Health to hasten up the process of developing a software for the computerisation of data related to patients to resolve the issue of multiple visits of different drug de-addiction centers. -PTI Back













J-K poll: Most political parties to go it alone 

JAMMU: Most political parties including BJP, ruling NC, PDP and JKNPP are all set to go it alone in the five phased electoral battle for 87 constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

Even as the Election Commission today issued notification for the first phase of elections in the state, the political parties are yet to come up with their manifestos and list of candidates.

While national parties such as BJP, BSP, NCP have indicated that they would contest on all 87 seats, National Conference (NC) ally Congress is tight-lipped about any pre-poll alliance.

On the other hand, regional parties such as NC, People's Democratic Party (PDP) and JKNPP have also decided to go it alone in the five-phase elections beginning November 25.

Ruling out any pre-poll alliance in the state, BJP yesterday said it will contest in all the 87 constituencies and exuded confidence that it would win more than 44 seats.

"We won't be entering into any pre-poll alliance with any political party as we are considering to field our candidates on all the 87 assembly constituencies in the state," BJP MP and party in charge for Jammu & Kashmir Avinash Rai Khanna had said.

"We will go beyond 44 seats and form the next government in Jammu and Kashmir," he added.

BSP also announced to go it alone in the upcoming elections. "We will have no pre-poll alliance with political parties. We will go it alone to contest elections," BSP's J&K chief Tulsi Dass Langeh told PTI.

"We have planned to contest on all 87 seats in the state.

Names of the 60 candidates have been finalized and rest are in process," he said.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), ally of Congress in previous UPA government at the Centre, has also chosen to fight the electoral battle on its own.

"We will contest elections in the state alone. There will be no pre-poll alliance with any party," NCP's state chief Thakur Randhir Singh told PTI.

He said that NCP has already finalised the candidates for 15 Assembly seats and the process is on to select others.

Ostensibly, Congress has been close-mouthed about its pre-poll alliance although its ally NC and PDP has decided to go it alone.

When asked about any pre-poll alliance yesterday, Congress' state chief Prof Saif uddin Soz did not reply on the issue.

"The candidates would be announced within a couple of days. We are working on it," Soz had said.

Asked whether NC will go it alone in the polls, party's provincial president for Jammu region, Devinder Singh Rana replied, "Yes, it is evident". Opposition PDP has also maintained that it will contest the elections on its own. "PDP will go along in these elections. There will no pre-poll alliance," PDP spokesman and MLC, Nayeem Akhtar had said.

"Most of the candidates have already been announced.
Others are being finalized," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP), which was coalition partner of PDP and Congress in 2002-2007, will also contest its candidates on all seats. "We will contest election on our own. We will contest on all the seat in J&K," JKNPP president Balwant Mankotia said.

Last week, EC had announced to hold elections in the state, which is still reeling under the devastation caused by last month's floods, in five phases between November 23 and December 20.

While the first phase of polls will be held on November 25 in 15 Assembly constituencies, the subsequent phases are likely to be held on December 2, 9, 14 and 20 respectively. –PTIBack





















Modi's call for cleanliness remains unheard at Rohtang 

MANALI: The higher reaches of the Himalayas are virtually turning into an open air garbage dump. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for cleanliness seems yet to reach these lofty heights.

"It's surprising to see garbage littered here and there in this fragile ecosystem," Aditya Gosh, a tourist from Kolkata, remarked.

"It seems the tourists here leave everything except footprints," Ghosh told IANS, while pointing towards non-biodegradable waste dumped carelessly along the banks of the glacial-fed Beas river near Marhi, en route to the Rohtang Pass from Manali, located at an altitude of 13,050 feet and 52 km from here, His wife Pragya was horrified to see the amount of garbage like polythene and paper bags, empty beer and liquor bottles, food sachets and clothes dumped carelessly in the mountains.

"I think this highly sensitive ecosystem has failed to catch the attention of Modi's clean-up campaigns," she said.

The picturesque Rohtang Pass, located in the Pir Panjal range, is a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists.

According to the tourism department, more than 100,000 tourists visit the Rohtang Pass every year and tourism, including skiing, trekking and paragliding, is a key source of income for the local people.

For more than five months from December, the pass remains cut off from the rest of the country due to heavy snowfall.

No volunteer of 'Swachh Bharat Mission' has ever visited this area, said Ravi Thakur, who sells eatables at the Rohtang Pass.

He said the local administration has installed waste disposal and drop off points between Marhi and Rohtang Pass but visitors ignore them. 

Studies by the G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in Kullu town near here said the eco-system of the Rohtang Pass is being damaged by the increasing tourist inflow and exhaust fumes of vehicles.

They say more than 2,000 vehicles go over the pass every day during peak tourist season. A major component of the traffic is also defence vehicles, with the forces reaching supplies to strategic points through the pass.

The deteriorating ecology of Rohtang, meaning "piles of dead bodies" in Persian, has also caught the attention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

It has directed the government to check unregulated plying of vehicles and imposition of fee on every individual and vehicle crossing the Rohtang Pass, besides construction of an eco-friendly toilet and installation of garbage collection bins en route. -IANSBack











Organisational polls should reinvigorate, rejuvenate 
the party: Rahul

NEW DELHI: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today said the organisational elections should be utilised to "reinvigorate and rejuvenate" the party following the debacle in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls.

In his first formal interaction with top party leaders here after the defeat of Congress in Assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana, Gandhi wanted the organisational elections to be "free, fair and transparent" to make the party fighting fit.

He said full powers have been given to the party's Central Election Authority, headed by Mullapalli Ramchandran, so as to make the exercise truly effective and foolproof.
Rahul's remarks came as Congress continued to face a trail of defeat and there is a buzz about the possibility of sweeping changes in the party organisation in the near future.

Organisational weakness has been cited one of the major reasons for the debacle of Congress starting from 2010 Assembly elections in Bihar, also in Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2012.

It was one of the factors in the defeat of Congress in this year's Lok Sabha polls, apart from price rise and perception of corruption, which were attributed as the main factors of party's poor show.

General secretaries in-charge of states and a number of PCC chiefs besides members of the election authority participated in today's meeting.

The process for organisational elections in the party has already begun, which would culminate with the election of a new party President next year.
Rahul has been pressing for larger say to grass root workers in the election of party office bearers for long.

Ramchandran, a former Union minister and Chairman of the party's Central Election Authority, had claimed that Congress will have “100 per cent transparent” organisational elections this time.

The talk about bringing in "fresh leadership" at all levels has already been doing rounds in the party.

Last week, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had done a stock-taking exercise following the party's debacle in Assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra even as a clamour for "course correction" grows within its ranks in the wake of the dip in electoral fortunes.
This will be the first organisational elections after Congress amended its constitution to have the party polls after five years instead of three years earlier.
Organisational elections in the past have often been dogged by charges of bogus membership by rival factions to have control over the party.

The membership drive of the party was currently underway and would conclude on December 31. The new year will see beginning of the process of organisational polls.
The election of Congress President is scheduled between July 5 and July 25, by which time the organisational polls at the lower level would be over.

Sonia Gandhi has been at the helm of the party since March 1998 and holds the distinction of having the longest tenure as the head of the party which was founded way back in 1885.

Rahul Gandhi was made the Congress Vice President in January 2013 at the party's Jaipur Chintan Shivir.

There is likelihood that a number of Congressmen, who had earlier left the party for one or more reason, may be re-inducted as the party faces the challenge of Narendra Modi's juggernaut even in state polls.

"All loyal Congressmen are welcome," Ramachandran had said when asked whether those who have left the party or parted ways with it due to various reasons would be brought back. -PTI Back

















Real to fight federation over Zidane punishment 

MADRID: Former France playing legend Zinedine Zidane and his club European champions Real Madrid were embroiled in an embarrassing dispute with the Spanish Football Federation who according to influential Madrid-based sports paper Marca handed him a three month coaching ban.

The 42-year-old -- who inspired France to the 1998 World Cup trophy and was also a member of the Euro 2000 title winning side -- has been coaching Real's reserve side Castilla but the federation claims he does not possess the required coaching qualifications.

Real have said they will appeal against the punishment by 'all legal avenues open to them'.

The reserve team's assistant coach Santiago Sanchez was also punished.

Real issued a statement yesterday declaring their "total disagreement" with the decision taken against one of their former iconic players, who scored a wonder goal for the 'meringues' when they beat Bayer Leverkusen to win the 2002 Champions League trophy.

They pointed out that Zidane "has been authorised by the French Football Federation to work as a head coach in the category Real Madrid Castilla currently find themselves in".

Zidane -- who was linked with the head coach post at another of his former clubs Bordeaux in the close season -- was elevated to reserve team coach at the beginning of this season following a single campaign as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant which saw Real win a 10th European Cup in May.

Spanish coaching school, the Cenafe, has submitted a complaint to the Spanish Federation against Real, claiming they are using assistant Sanchez's name on the teamsheet to bypass the regulations.

The case has sparked controversy in Spain with national team coach Vicente del Bosque telling Cope radio station that "everyone should have a coaching badge".
Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez used tougher language, describing Real's actions as "shameful".

However, both Ancelotti and Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff have spoken out in support of Zidane. -Agencies











































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