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India

One lakh LED streetlights bid to cut down in Kolkata, Bidhannagar

In a bid to cut down on carbon emissions, the West Bengal government has decided to retrofit about one lakh smart LED streetlights in municipal corporation areas covering Kolkata and neighbouring Bidhannagar, a senior minister announced here on Thursday.

Minister of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Firhad Hakim was speaking at a programme where he dedicated 56,000 LED streetlights, as part of the Green City Mission of the state government, to the people of Durgapur Municipal Corporation area in West Burdwan district and four municipal areas in Bankura, Murshidabad (Beldanga), North 24 Parganas (Kharda) and South 24 Parganas (Budge Budge) districts.

The LED streetlights are being installed by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Union Power Ministry.

“These 56,000 LED lights will reduce carbon emissions by 8,500 metric tonnes and save electricity of 12.2 million units, annually,” Hakim said.

Hakim urged EESL to ensure speedy replacement of the defective streetlights so as not to inconvenience the people.

“We have decided that approximately one lakh smart LED streetlights will be retrofitted in the areas under Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, ” he said.

EESL is enhancing the benefits of affordable energy-efficient infrastructure with future-readiness, by connecting the lights to a web-based monitoring system that enables remote operations and additional operational savings, said the company”s Director (Projects & Business Development) Venkatesh Dwivedi.

The streetlights will help in reducing energy bills by 30-50 per cent for the urban local bodies and substantially reduce carbon emissions.

Centralised Control and Monitoring System (CCMS) with GIS mapping for remote control and monitoring of streetlights are also being installed. In Beldanga the work is already complete, said Dwivedi.

Out of approximately 7.5 lakh streetlights in the state, 3.5 lakh have already been converted to LEDs.

(IANS)

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India

More than Rs 1 lakh crore in Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana accounts

Bhopal, Aug 17 More than Rs 1 lakh crore have been deposited in over 36 crore bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), reveals an RTI.

Chandrashekhar Gaur, a social worker from Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh, filed the RTI seeking the details of the PMJDY from the Ministry of Finance.

The reply to his RTI application revealed that till July 17, 2019, around 36.25 crore accounts were opened under the scheme in which Rs 1,00,831 crore have been deposited.

The RTI also revealed that five years after the launch of the scheme, there were 4.99 crore or 14 per cent accounts which still have zero balance in them.

PMJDY is financial inclusion programme of the Central Government, which is applicable to 20 to 65 years age group, that aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions.

The scheme is primarily aimed at the poorer sections who are unable to have access to the banking system. Under the programme, the accounts are opened at zero balance and they do not become dormant even if deposits are not made into it.

The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, 2014. It has also entered the Guinness World Records for most bank accounts.

(IANS)

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India

India’s housing mess: 1.74 lakh homes stalled across major cities

Supreme Court’s recent landmark verdict on the Amrapali case has brought the limelight back to the the Indian realty sector and lakhs of home buyers as numbers of incomplete and stalled housing projects continue to be on the rise creating “ghost cities” by the day.

The magnitude of the country’s real estate sector’s dark reality can be gauged from the fact that around 1.74 lakh homes in 220 projects across the top seven cities in the country are completely stalled, as per the data from Anarock Property Consultants.

“Launched either in 2013 or before, these projects have absolutely no construction activity going on. The overall value of all stalled units is estimated to be more than Rs 1,774 billion (Rs 1.77 lakh crore). Most of these projects have been grounded due to either liquidity issues or litigations,” the Anarock report said.

Around 1.15 lakh homes, which accounts for nearly 66 per cent of the total stalled units have already been sold to buyers who have been left in the lurch, at the mercy of either the concerned developers or the law of the land. The net estimated value of these sold units is around Rs 1.11 lakh crore.

As per the data, the National Capital Region (NCR) has the largest pile-up of stalled units with 1.18 lakh homes spread over 67 projects with an overall value of Rs 82.2 thousand crore. Of this, nearly 69 per cent or 83,470 units are already sold out.

Further, around 98 per cent of the stuck projects in NCR are located in Noida and Greater Noida alone, while other cities like Gurugram, Ghaziabad have minimal inventory.

The other major market of Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) ranked second in terms of stalled projects with 38,060 units stalled across the city. The stalled units are spread across 89 projects, compared to 67 in NCR, the data showed.

Pune comes next with nearly 28 stalled projects comprising 9,650 units, followed by Hyderabad with nearly 4,150 units. Bengaluru has 26 projects comprising 3,870 stuck units.

The housing distress, although spread across the country, is mostly felt and witnessed in the NCR, with Noida and Greater Noida in the lead. The cases such as Jaypee Infratech, Amrapali Group and Unitech have been under the glare, with all them being dragged to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has cancelled Amrapali’s RERA licence, and ordered investigation on its key officials, and has asked the state-run construction major NBCC to take over its projects. NBCC has also submitted its proposal to work as consultant for the completion of Unitech’s projects.

Jaypee Infratech, on the other hand, is going through the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) and has surpassed the 270 day deadline of achieving a resolution. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) this week extended its resolution process by another 90 days.

These legal issues have also hit the already-distressed homebuyers. Sanjeev Sahani, who bought a 2-BHK flat at one of Jaypee’s projects in Noida in 2011 still for the completion of his home and says that the total legal cost born by home buyers to get their rightful home has reached around Rs 2 crore by now.

Sahani, who is also a member of a home buyer’s association told IANS: “The tower in which I bought the flat is not even 50 per cent built. Even if a third party takes it up, it would take another three years to complete.”

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India

Over 3.5 lakh lawyers across Uttar Pradesh go on strike

Lawyers across Uttar Pradesh will remain on strike on Monday. Over 3.5 lakh lawyers will not attend court but will hold meetings to press for their demands for better work condition and security.

They will highlight the killing of UP Bar Council president Darvesh Yadav in Agra last month.

According to the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council chief Hari Shankar Singh, lawyers from the tehsil level to the high court level will participate in the strike.

“We are demanding better working conditions and security for all lawyers. In cases where lawyers have been murdered, their families should be given adequate compensation by the government,” he said.

(IANS)

 

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India

Delhi PWD asked to procure 1.5 lakh more CCTV cameras

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to procure 1.5 lakh more CCTV cameras and asked it to submit a daily progress report on the ongoing installation.

At a meeting with PWD officials, he also reviewed Mohalla Clinics construction work and asked for their completion at the earliest, according to a government statement.

On the installation of CCTV cameras, the Chief Minister asked the PWD to expedite the process and seek necessary approvals for installation of nearly 300,000 CCTV cameras in residential areas.

“CCTV cameras’ installation is an important step, speed it up,” the Chief Minister said.

The Delhi government has been installing CCTV cameras since last month as per the poll promise by Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.

On Mohalla clinics, he said construction work, hiring of doctors, para-medics and procurement of medicines be done simultaneously to make the new clinics functional at the earliest.

(IANS)

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India

Over lakh in Bihar await reimbursement for building toilets

As many as 1.87 lakh families in rural Patna are still awaiting to get the reimbursement promised under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin scheme for constructing toilets in their houses.

Poverty-stricken Dinanath Rai and Surajdeo Mahto constructed toilets in their house last year at their own cost but are yet to get back the money they spent. They have been running from pillar to post for over a year to get their money but nothing helped.

“Some time officials point out that my Aadhaar card is not linked, some time they say my paper work is half done and ask me to visit again. It has become a common practice. I borrowed money from my relatives and constructed a toilet in my house last year at the assurance of an officer that I will be given back the amount soon after verification of the toilent,” said Dinanath Rai, a resident of a village in Danapur block in Patna district.

“It appears that I did a blunder by believing them,” he said.

Surajdeo Mahto, a resident of a village in Bihta block in Patna, said he had taken RS 12,000 on credit for construction of a toilet as he was sure to get reimbursement from the government agency. “It is now a long wait, I am yet to recieve the moeny. It is a sad reality.”

Sanjay Kumar, District Nodal Officer of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, said 1.87 lakh people are yet to be paid the amount for construction of toilets. “We have decided to pay the amount and for that we are launching a campaign,” he said.

In Patna, construction of toilets started in 2011 and by 2015-16, over one lakh families had constructed toilets and all of them were paid amount for it.

But later, the process of verification by officials of block offices was delayed that resulted in non payment of amount to the beneficiaries, who had constructed toilets, a district rural development department official said.

“Lack of staff for physical verification in villages are delaying payment of amount for construction of toilets. One staff has been assigned more than two or three panchayats for verification work to ensure that amount should go to those who constructed toilets,” thee official said.

According to the official data of the state government, there are 5.80 lakh families in rural Patna and of them 2.74 lakh families were selected to be paid for construction of toilets. Remaining families already had toilets in their houses.

People in other districts like Aurangabad, Areal and Jehanabad are also yet to get their money reimbursed for contructing toilets.

Till date, five of the 38 districts of Bihar were declared open defecation free (ODF) but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has repeatedly announced to achieve the state ODF status by October 2, 2019.

As per the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin, Bhagalpur, Kaimur, Begusarai, Khagaria and Kishanganj districts are ODF.

(IANS)

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India

Over 1 lakh pilgrims perform Amarnath Yatra in 8 days

Over one lakh pilgrims have performed the Amarnath Yatra during the last eight days as another batch of 5,964 yatris on Tuesday left Jammu for the Kashmir Valley, officials said.

To date, 1,11,699 pilgrims have performed the ongoing Yatra, officials said.

This year’s 45-day long Hindu pilgrimage to the Amarnath Cave shrine started on July 1 and will end on August 15, coinciding with the Shravan Purnima festival.

After remaining suspended on Monday due to law and order reasons, the movement of yatris was allowed on Tuesday.

“The pilgrims on Tuesday left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in two escorted convoys. Of these, 1,967 pilgrims are going to the Baltal base camp while 3,997 are going to Pahalgam base camp,” a police officer said.

Yatris approach the cave shrine either from the Baltal base camp using the shorter 14-km long uphill trek or from the traditional Pahalgam base camp using the 42-km long uphill trek.

Helicopter services are available for the pilgrims at both the base camps.

Situated at 3,888 metres above the sea-level, the cave shrine houses an ice stalagmite structure that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon.

Devotees believe the ice stalagmite structure symbolises mythical powers of Lord Shiva.

After public demands, the curbs on the movement of civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway have been brought down to two hours daily.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik has said these curbs are important for the safety of the pilgrims.

Local Muslims have always lent a helping hand to their Hindu brethren so that they perform the Yatra with ease and convenience.

In fact, till early 1980s, the Amarnath Yatra has mostly remained confined to Kashmiri Pandits and Sadhus.

The cave shrine was discovered by a Muslim shepherd — Buta Malik — in 1850.

His descendants benefited immensely from the discovery as they received a portion of the offerings at the Cave shrine for over 150 years.

(IANS)

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India

New Delhi, Former CJI RM Lodha cheated of Rs 1 lakh online

Former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha was cheated of Rs 1 lakh in an online scam after the email account of his friend, a retired judge, was hacked, a police officer said on Sunday.

The incident came to light on Saturday when Chief Justice (retd) Lodha, a resident of south Delhi’s Panchsheel Park, visited the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police EOW and Cyber Cell in Malviya Nagar police station to file a complaint.

In his complaint, he said that he used to regularly correspond through email with his friend and colleague, Justice (retd) B.P. Singh.

“I, on April 19, received a mail from the email ID of B.P. Singh that he required immediate help of Rs 1 lakh for the treatment of his cousin brother as he (Singh) is unavailable over phone. I immediately deposited Rs 1 lakh online in two transactions at the given account number,” he said.

A senior police officer told IANS that when Justice Singh regained control of his email on May 30, he sent a mail regarding the hacking of his account on April 18-19 to his contact list.

“When Lodha read the email sent by BP Singh regarding his hacked email, he immediately disclosed that he was cheated and duped of Rs 1 lakh by the unknown hacker.

“On the suggestion of Singh, Lodha approached the Delhi Police and filed a complaint. We have registered a case under various sections of the IPC including cheating and the IT Act. A probe is on to identify the accused hacker,” the officer said.

 (IANS)

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India

Centre took loans worth Rs 30 lakh crore says Congress

The Congress on Tuesday blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for wrecking the economy and cited Finance Ministry data to allege that the Modi government took additional loans worth Rs 30 lakh crore since 2014.

“Finance Ministry’s shocking data show that in the last four years and nine months, the Modi government borrowed additional loans worth Rs 30,28,945 crore,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

This, he claimed, was unprecedented as in the past 70 years, the total debt of the country up to March 2014 was Rs 53,11,081 crore. “Only in the Modi government’s term, there was a hike in public debt by 57 per cent,” Surjewala said.

The Congress leader claimed that the government had hidden data from December 2018 to March 2019 but information available in the public show that additional debts worth Rs 7,16,700 crore was taken by the Centre in just the last three months, taking India’s total debt to Rs 90,56,000 crore.

“This is gross economic mismanagement,” said Surjewala.

“The high loan amount is a burden on 130 crore Indians, which is estimated at Rs 23,300 per person since 2014,” he added.

IANS

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India

Unemployed Kanhaiya earned Rs 8.5 lakh in 2 years

Former JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar, contesting as a CPI candidate from the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat in Bihar, has a doctorate but is unemployed. He has neither agricultural land nor a vehicle in his name and has earned Rs. 8.5 lakhs in two years through his writings, he has said in the affidavit filed along with his nomination papers.

Kanhaiya, who spoke against the ruling BJP-led NDA and its ideological agenda, has declared Rs. 8.5 lakh as his income for two years through freelance writing, appearing as a guest lecturer in different universities and the sale of his book “Bihar to Tihar”.

Unlike his two main rivals in Begusarai, Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Giriraj Singh and the RJD candidate Tanweer Hasan, Kanhaiya is much poorer as far as his movable and immovable assets are concerned.

According to the affidavit, he has Rs. 24,000 cash in hand and investments and savings amounting to Rs. 357,848.

He has mentioned one immovable asset – his ancestral property, a house in his native village of Bihat which stands on 1.5 decimal land and is valued at Rs. 2 lakh. His father is a farmer and mother, an anganwadi worker.

However, in a first of its kind experiment in Bihar, Kanhaiya Kumar says has raised Rs 70 lakh by crowd funding that he launched last month to raise money to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Kanhaiya, 32, in his affidavit has admitted that there are five cases, including one relating to sedition, against him. Kanhaiya Kumar hit the national headlines when he was arrested in February 2016 and accused of sedition for allegedly doing nothing to prevent the raising of anti-India slogans on the JNU campus in Delhi.

Kanhaiya is the joint Left candidate and supported by several organisations, Left-liberal activists and Bollywood actors and theatre personalities.

Bollywood actors Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar and Sawara Bhaskar are likely to campaign for him in Begusarai. Besides, Gujarat Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani has already campaigned in Begusarai. Hardik Patel will also campaign for him. Dozens of activists have already joined Kanhaiya in his campaign.

The CPI had targeted the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), a key player in the opposition Grand Alliance, directly blaming it for not backing Kanhaiya.

Begusarai will vote on April 29 in the fourth of the seven-phased poll.

IANS

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India

Rahul targets Modi for failing on Rs 15 lakh promise

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that while the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP government has failed to deposit the promised Rs. 15 lakh into everyone’s ban account, he has given Rs. 30,000 crore to an industrialist friend.

“Modiji came here in 2014 and announced that everyone will be given Rs. 15 lakh in their bank accounts. However, not a single penny got deposited in last five years. That was a lie. I am assuring that 20 percent of the countrya’s extremely poor people will be given Rs. 72,000 each every year. The amount will be deposited in the account of the women of the family. This is truth, we don’t lie,” he said while addressing a public rally in Assam’s Bokakhat area on Wednesday.

He also appealed to the people to ensure victory of the Congress candidate so that the attack of the RSS on the language, culture and history of Assam could be stopped.

Randhi was campaigning for Congress’ sitting Lok Sabha MP Gaurav Gogoi, who is contesting from the Kaliabar Lok Sabha seat for a second consecutive term.

“Narendra Modi has started asking questions as to from where the money will come. I am going to tell you from where the money will come. Modiji has given Rs. 30,000 crore from the Indian Air Force to Anil Ambani, we are going to get that money and distribute among the 20 percent extremely poor people of the country,” he said.

Terming the BJP government’s effort to implement the Citizenship Amendment Bill in northeast as an attack, Gandhi said that the Congress has kept its promise of opposing the Citizenship Bill. “The CAB is an attack on the culture, thought and Independence of the people here. We stood by the people of the northeast during the CAB protests and ensured that it is not passed in Rajya Sabha,” said Gandhi.

Attacking the BJP further, Gandhi said while Modiji had assured to create 2 crore employment opportunities, the country is at present witnessing highest unemployment rate in 45 last years. “He promised Achche din ayenge but acheche din chale gaye. He (Modi) terms himself as chowkidar, but we say chowkidar chor hain,” said Gandhi.

“Modiji imposed Gabbar Singh Tax, which is affecting the small and medium size businessmen across the country. The moment our government comes we will abolisg the Gabbar Singh Tax and implement easy and minimum GST.

Referring to Nirav Modi and Anil Ambani, Gandhi said that they had not created any job for the youth of the country but taken out poor peoples’ money. “The Nasik and RSS is attacking the history, culture and language of the people of the region. It must be stopped by defeating the BJP and voting for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls,” he appealed.

IANS

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India

Telangana announces Rs 25 lakh to kin of Pulwama attack victims

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday announced Rs 25 lakh financial assistance each to kin of the 40 CRPF troopers killed in the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.

He made the announcement while moving a resolution in the state Assembly to condemn the terror attack claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror outfit.

The resolution was unanimously passed with members cutting across party lines condemning the carnage. The House also observed a two-minute silence.

As soon as the House met for the Budget session, the Chief Minister moved the resolution and termed the attack as “inhuman” and “barbaric”.

“This was an attack on the nation,” he said and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.”

Leader of Opposition Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka said the entire nation was united behind the families of the victims.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Ahmed Balala and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Raja Singh also backed the resolution and condemned the attack.

IANS

 

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India

Bengal bags over Rs 2.84 lakh crore of investment proposals; Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the state has secured over Rs 2.84 lakh crore of investment proposals in the Bengal Global Business Summit this year, compared to about Rs 2.20 lakh crore of investment offers received last year.

“Till now, whatever we have counted… the investment proposals received during this summit were Rs 2,84,288 crore,” she said while addressing a session of the fifth edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit on the second day.

With these investment proposals, 8-10 lakh more jobs will be created in the state.

Last year, the state had netted over Rs 2,19,925 crore of investments.

During the two-day summit, 86 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed and 45 business to consumer (B2C) and 1,200 business to business (B2B) meetings were held.

“This itself proves the credibility, accountability and sincerity of participants,” she said.

Over 5,000 delegates coming from 36 countries participated in the flagship business event being organised at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.

Banerjee said over 50 per cent of over Rs 10 lakh crore of investment proposals, received by the state in earlier four editions of the summit, was under implementation.

The state government had added another 100 acres to the Silicon Valley Hub in the city after getting an overwhelming response from four IT companies acquiring about 74 acres of the existing 100 acres, initially earmarked for the project.

“In the second phase of the project, Cognizant, Tech Mahindra, Capgemini, the Indian Statistical Institute, the Society for Applied Microwave Research have applied for (land),” she said.

Banerjee said, in the first phase, Reliance Jio wanted 40 acres to set up a state-of-the-art centre for IT enabled telecom, big data analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) while TCS sought 20 acres in the hub which will add 15,000 more IT professionals to their current workforce plan of 58,000 in Kolkata.

Recently, she had also said Capgemini of USA asked for 10 acres to start cutting-edge IT business in the city while RP Sanjiv Goenka Group’s First Source would start its operations with four acres of land.

IANS

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India

Over 20 lakh UP government employees strike work

Over 20 lakh Uttar Pradesh government employees went on a strike on Wednesday to demand restoration of the old pension scheme.

The employees are protesting against the state’s new pension scheme under which the share of the government has been raised from 10 per cent to 14 per cent.

This also means a four per cent increase in the employee contribution, which they are opposed to.

The government, after failure of talks with various employees unions, invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) banning all protests but the strike has begin, a union leader said.

Many government offices in the state capital wore a deserted look or remained locked as union leaders gathered outside to strategise and protest.

More than 150 government employee unions are participating in the statewide strike.

The Convener of the umbrella group of unions, Hari Kishore Tiwari, told reporters that the strike will go on till February 12 if their demands are not met. He, however, said that in the initial days of their protest, the health and power sectors would not be involved.

“This is being done on compassionate grounds so that people are not affected, but at a later stage we will include health and power services,” he added.

Late on Tuesday, Chief Secretary Anoop Chandra Pandey directed all the district magistrates through video-conference to slap ESMA on the striking employees.

Bracing up for the situation, the government has asked officials to ensure maximum attendance in offices.

Shiv Baran Singh Yadav, Chairman of the striking employees union, said they will not be cowed down by threats of disciplinary and penal action.

“We gave the government enough time to think over our demands but things have come to this stage only due to their lethargy,” he said, adding that the government cannot rob the employees of their democratic right to strike against wrong policies.

The Karmachari Shikshak Sanyukt Morcha, a teachers’ union, has decided to stay away from the strike.

Morcha President V.P. Mishra said: “We welcome the new pension scheme as it is in the interests of the employees.”

IANS

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India

Jagan urges EC to delete 60 lakh ‘defective voters’ in Andhra

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) on Monday urged the Election Commission to delete the names of nearly 60 lakh “defective voters” from the rolls in Andhra Pradesh.

YSR Congress Party President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy called on Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora to seek his intervention to ensure free and fair elections in the state.

He alleged that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government was trying to subvert democracy and steal the election.

Talking to reporters, the Leader of the Opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly said he briefed Arora on the various ways in which the government was undermining the electoral process.

Jagan, as he is widely known, alleged that the “unfair and unethical means” used by the TDP government included manipulation of electoral rolls, misuse of government machinery and partisan use of police officers to intimidate the opposition and keep a tab on them.

He said his party identified 52.67 lakh defective and duplicate voters in September 2018 and brought the matter to the attention of the CEC several times.

He claimed that the number of defective voters increased by 59.18 lakh at the behest of the TDP government. Out of 3.69 crore voters, if nearly 60 lakh are “invalid or defective”, it reflects very badly on the election process, Jagan said.

He said the Election Commission should consider conducting elections in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on the same day as there were many voters who have votes in both the states.

Jagan also alleged that the TDP was misusing government machinery by conducting various surveys and gathering data to identify voters sympathetic to YSRCP and delete them from the voters’ list.

He claimed that the TDP had parked Rs 4,000-5,000 crore in all the 175 Assembly constituencies for distribution among the voters.

Jagan alleged that the TDP government was giving out of turn promotions to police officers, especially to those belonging to Naidu’s community.

He demanded that Director General of Police R.P. Thakur, Additional DGP A.B. Venkateswara Rao and DIG G. Srinivas be removed from election duty.

IANS

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Business

Anti-black money moves brought Rs 1.3 lakh cr income to tax; Goyal

Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said the measures taken against black money by the Centre since 2014 have brought income of Rs 1,30,000 crore to tax.

Asserting the Modi government’s commitment to eliminate black money from the economy, he said measures like Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015, Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 and demonetisation were taken that have started showing results.

“The measures taken by the government in the last four and a half years have also led to seizure and attachment of assets worth about Rs 50,000 crore.

“During this period, benami assets worth Rs 6,900 crore and foreign assets worth Rs 1,600 crore have also been attached,” Goyal said.

“As many as 3,38,000 shell companies have been detected and deregistered and their directors have been disqualified,” he added.

Further, Goyal said the direct tax collections went up by 18 per cent in 2017-18 and the tax base expanded by 1.06 crore with more than one crore filing tax returns in the financial year 2017-18.

Anti-black money moves brought Rs 1.3 lakh cr income to tax: Goyal

IANS

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Business

No tax for individual annual incomes up to Rs 5 lakh

In a bonanza for the country’s middle class in an election year, the government on Friday proposed tax exemption for individual annual incomes of Rs 5 lakh.

Presenting the Interim Budget 2019-20, acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed doubling the standard deduction threshold for individual annual incomes from the current Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.

IANS