THE HEADLINES :-
- Centre approves over five thousand crore rupees assistance to ten states
affected by flood, drought and other natural disasters.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rules out farm loan waivers by the Centre
but says states can utilise their own resources in this regard.
- Government rejects opposition's
allegations of rigging of EVMs in the UP assembly polls; Says such charges are
an insult to public mandate.
- Supreme Court adjourns till April 6th
hearing on Ayodhya disputed structure demolition case involving BJP leader LK
Advani and others.
- Resident doctors
in Maharashtra refuse to resume duties despite Bombay High Court's order and Chief
- London Police detain 7 people in
connection with yesterday's Parliament
terror attack ; Islamic State group claims responsibility of the attack.
- Nation pays tribute to freedom fighters
- Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on their 86th martyrdom day.
Centre today approved assistance of about five thousand 21 crore rupees
to ten states affected by flood, drought and other natural disasters. These
states are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur,
Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. This was decided at a High
Level Committee meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. An
official release said, four thousand 979 crore rupees are approved from
National Disaster Response Fund and over 40 crore rupees from the National
Rural Drinking Water Programme.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi
and senior representatives from NITI Aayog and Finance Ministry also attended
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has ruled out farm loan waivers by the
Centre but said states can utilise their own resources in this regard. He
clarified that the Centre will not adopt a selective approach by helping one
state. Replying to a query in the Rajya
Sabha today during a
discussion on General Budget, the Minister said, Centre has its policies for agriculture sector under which it provides interest subvention and other
The Congress had demanded that the government announce a loan waiver for
farmers across the country as was done by the UPA in 2006 and not just for UP
where the BJP has returned to power with a thumping majority.
Speaking on the demonetization of high value
currency, the Finance Minister said, the move gave a shock to the
country’s informal economy leading to expansion of the formal economy. He said,
18 lakh bank accounts have come under the scanner of Income Tax Department as
there are several mismatches between the income and tax profile.
Giving details of the benefits to the
economy following demonetization, Mr Jaitley said, the tax collection has gone
up during November and December 2016 barring few states. He said the people
have supported the demonetization. The Finance Minister said, adequate funds
have been allocated for several sectors including Infrastructure, Agriculture,
Mr Jaitley said, after implementation of
GST, food items and other essential items will be taxed at Zero rate. He hoped
that under GST regime, tax evasion will be difficult because of technological
The government has done away with the
one per cent tax on cash payments of over
2 lakh rupees for purchase of any
goods or service after it banned cash dealings above that limit from 1st of
April. The government in the previous
Budget had provided for the seller to collect tax at the rate of 1 per
cent from the purchaser on sale in cash of any goods or offering any services
exceeding 2 lakh rupees.However, in the Budget 2017-18, presented last month,
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley brought in a new provision banning cash
transaction above 3 lakh rupees but
through an amendment the limit was lowered to two lakh rupees. To reconcile the
two provisions, the tax at source on goods and services, including jewellery,
has now been removed through an amendment to the Finance Bill, 2017.
Government today outrightly rejected
opposition allegations of rigging of EVMs in the recent UP assembly polls
saying such charges are an insult to public mandate. Defending the use of EVMs,
it said the system has brought transparency and accountability by stopping
booth capturing and manipulations of the election process. Replying to a short duration discussion in
the Rajya Sabha on the electoral reforms, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad,
wondered if Central government had that much influence to rig the polls, BJP
would not have lost polls in Bihar and Delhi. He questioned why opposition
parties including Congress, BSP and SP did not raise fingers on EVMs when they
won several elections in the past.
Lauding the role of Election Commission
for conducting free and fair polls in the country, Mr. Prasad cited several
rulings of High Courts and Supreme Court dismissing apprehension about
manipulation of EVMs.
The Lok Sabha today passed the
Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders Amendment),Bill,2017. The bill seeks to
amend the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 to modify the list of
Scheduled Castes in the State of Odisha. It also seeks to amend the
Constitution (Pondicherry) Scheduled Castes Order, 1964 to change name of the
Union Territory from Pondicherry to Puducherry in the Order. Replying to a
debate on the bill, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand
Gehlot said, the NDA government has taken various steps in the last three years
for the welfare and upliftment of the people belonging to Scheduled Castes and
Mr Gehlot also said, the BJP led
government is in support of current system of reservation and it will continue.
Earlier, initiating the discussion,
Mallikarjun Kharge of Congress stressed on the need for inclusion of only those
communities who are deprived and disadvantaged.
Government today said that more than 23 thousand Crore rupees have been
released to states and union territories under Integrated Child Development
Services (ICDS) Scheme for adolescent girls and Maternity Benefit Programme in
last three years. This was informed by Minister of State for Women and Child
Development, Krishna Raj in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. She said, her
Ministry is implementing ICDS Scheme, Scheme for Adolescent Girls and Maternity
Benefit Programme as direct targeted interventions to address the problem of
malnutrition in the country. Under the ICDS scheme, there is a provision of
supplementary nutritious food to the beneficiaries. The Minister said,
malnutrition is not a direct cause of death but contributes to mortality and
morbidity by reducing resistance to infections.
The Supreme Court today asked BJP leaders L K Advani, M M Joshi and
other accused in the Ayodhya
disputed structure demolition case to give
their written submissions and adjourned the matter for two weeks. A bench
comprising Justices P C Ghose and R F Nariman asked all the parties in the case
to file their written arguments by April 6 and posted the matter for further
hearing on April 7. The court was hearing the CBI's plea against the Allahabad
High Court order dropping criminal conspiracy charges against them in the case.
in Maharashtra have refused to resume duties despite Bombay High Court's order
and Chief Minister's assurance. Over 4000
resident doctors affiliated to Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors
continue to remain on mass casual leave defying the High Court’s order asking
them to resume work immediately. The Court had asked doctors to resolve their
issues amicably with the government.
Backing resident doctors, the Medical
Teachers' Association has also given an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government
to fulfil their demands. The association has threatened mass resignation if
their demands are not fulfilled within two days.
Earlier today, Chief Minister Devendra
Fadnavis had assured doctors that security across government hospitals will be
enhanced at the earliest. He said, the government will proactively work towards
resolving their issues. Mr. Fadnavis had even suggested setting up of apex
council with government representatives and doctors who will meet every 3
months to resolve the issues in a timely manner.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked
BJP MPs from Uttar Pradesh to extend co-operation to
Adityanath Yogi government to rid the
state of backwardness. In a meeting with Parliamentarians at his residence in
New Delhi today, Mr. Modi urged them to support the new government to fulfill
the peoples' expectations and in establishing a corruption free government. He
said, the new government has started its developmental work with full strength.
During the meeting the Prime Minister
Narendra Modi is reported to have
instructed MPs to refrain from seeking
favours from Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi in transfers and postings.
BJP President Amit Shah, senior party
leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and others were also
present on the occasion.
In Uttar Pradesh, 43 persons have been
arrested in different districts for their alleged involvement in cattle
smuggling. Police has initiated a drive across the state against the culprits
involved in cattle smuggling. Maximum 26 persons have been arrested from Agra
New Delhi today said Pakistan High
Commissioner Abdul Basit's remarks on Jammu and Kashmir are not in keeping with
diplomatic niceties and are tantamount to interference in India's internal
affairs. In reply to a media query this evening, External Affairs Ministry
spokesperson Gopal Baglay said Pakistan should effectively address the
challenge of terrorism emanating it, which has adversely affected peace and
stability in the entire neighbourhood as well as Pakistan's relations with
Police in London have raided 6 places
and detained 7 people in connection with yesterday's Parliament attack in
Britain's capital. The police made the announcement today, a day after a man
rammed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and stabbed a police
officer outside the Houses of Parliament. British Prime Minister Theresa May
said, the attacker was British-born and known to the police and intelligence
services. In a statement to the Commons today, Ms May said, he had been
investigated some years ago over violent extremism but had been a peripheral
figure. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Four
people were killed and several others injured in the attack.
Meanwhile, a man has been arrested in
the north Belgian city of Antwerp on suspicion of driving at a crowd. The
vehicle, bearing French number plates, was driven at high speed towards
Antwerp's main shopping street. There are no reports of injuries.
Nation paid tributes to freedom fighters
- Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev - on their 86th martyrdom day today. Prime
Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the freedom fighters. On March 23,
1931, the three freedom fighters were hanged by British rulers in Lahore jail
for their involvement in the killing of John Saunders.
correspondent reports that a number of programmes have been organised across
the country, especially in Punjab to mark the day.
functions were organised in Punjab and Haryana to mark the martyrdom day. At
some places blood donation camps were organised yesterday and today to remember
the martyrs, in which hundreds of units of blood were collected for the welfare
of mankind. In Ambala a wrestling competition is being held in the memory of
martyrs. Youth clubs organised sports festivals at many places in which
youth articipated and took a pledge not
to indulge in any such activity which is harmful to society. Jaswinder Singh
AIR news Chandigarh.
The domestic stock markets ended three
days of losses, today, but the rupee weakened against the dollar. A report:
The Sensex at
the Bombay Stock Exchange gained 164 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at
29,332. The Sensex had lost over 480 points in the previous three sessions. The
Nifty at the National Stock Exchange rose 56 points, to 9,086. At the forex
market, the rupee depreciated 8 paise, to
65.52 against the dollar.Gold plunged 350 rupees, to 29,000 rupees per
ten grams in Delhi. And Brent crude oil futures climbed 0.7 percent, to 50.99
dollars a barrel. Pradeep Kumar, AIR
West Bengal have entered the final of 71st Santosh Trophy football
tourament. At Bambolim, Goa, today, they prevailed 6-5 over Mizoram via sudden