LIVE: LS passes Bill to suspend MPLAD funds, 30% salary cut for MPs

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addresses the Parliament over the ongoing stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. The Opposition, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, has been targeting the government over the issue and demanding a debate on it.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet was scheduled to be held at 1:30 pm today at Parliament House Annexe. The meeting comes a day after the start of the monsoon session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually inaugurated and laid the foundation of seven urban infrastructure projects worth Rs 541 crore in Bihar.

Apple is holding an online event tonight. The company is expected to unveil the Apple Watch Series 6 and new additions to the iPad family of tablets. Apple will stream the event on its website.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

 

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Japan’s Parliament Set to Vote Suga in as New Prime Minister

Japanese ruling party leader Yoshihide Suga is set to be formally elected prime minister in a parliamentary vote Wednesday, becoming the country’s first new premier since 2012.
 
Suga’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party is expected to use its majority in the powerful lower house of parliament to elect him to the post in a session that should start from about 1 p.m. Following the vote, Suga names his cabinet and the new ministers are likely to speak to the media before the end of the day.
 
Suga’s appointment, two days after he was selected as LDP leader, brings the curtain down on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s record run of almost eight consecutive years in the country’s top job. The 71-year-old Suga, who previously served as Abe’s right-hand man, has pledged to keep in place his former boss’s flexible fiscal stance and ultra-easy monetary policy known as “Abenomics.”
 
While Suga has pledged to pick reformers for his cabinet, Kyodo News and other media reports say he has already decided to retain key players Finance Minister Taro Aso and Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai, a veteran political broker, will also stay in place under the new administration, the party announced Tuesday.
 
Speculation about an early general election has simmered following a surge in support for the cabinet. Suga has repeatedly said it would be difficult to hold a vote while the coronavirus outbreak is still spreading. The power to dissolve parliament for a general election lies with the prime minister, and none need be held for another year.

Yoshihide Suga

Opendoor to go public in Social Capital merger in $4.8 bln deal

Opendoor Labs Inc, the home-selling platform backed by SoftBank Group, said on Tuesday it has agreed to go public through a merger with a blank-check company led by venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya in a deal that will value the company at $4.8 billion.
 
Opendoor buys properties from sellers and makes repairs, at a service charge, then lists them for sale. As part of the deal with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp II, Opendoor will get $1 billion cash, including $600 million from Palihapitiya and other investors such as BlackRock and Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
 
OpenDoor was hit hard by the pandemic this year, and laid off 35% of its workforce in April. As the home resale business started to recover, it looked for capital to fuel expansion and opted to go public through merging with Social Capital over a traditional initial public offering.
 
The San Francisco-based firm wanted to access the public market faster and with more certainty, worried the U.S.
 
presidential election and the second wave of coronavirus could cast shadow on its growth, according to a person familiar with the discussions. In a SPAC deal, the funds raised by the company are committed upfront.
 
The merger is expected to close to by year end. Social Capital II shares jumped almost 35% on Tuesday.
 

EPF interest rate, 10-year govt bonds spread at 16-year high of 2.5%

As interest rates in India trend lower, the spread between the interest rate on employee provident fund (EPF) and 10-year government bonds has reached a 16-year high of 2.5 per cent or 250 basis points (bps). One basis point is one-hundredth of a per cent. Read more

Govt presents first batch of supplementary demand for grants: An explainer

The Centre has presented to Parliament its first batch of supplementary demand for financial grants to be made to various depart­ments. The demand is to spend an additional Rs 2.36 trillion in FY21.
 
The Centre presents its annual spending plan two months ahead of the beginning of a new fiscal year. But as the year progresses, the government takes stock of the spending done, the amount that remains to be spent, and considers the new requirements that demand a bigger sum than originally planned. While doing this, it also includes those departments who no longer need the money they had been assigned, or as the case may be, if the Centre is unable to earn the revenue so required. Read more

Retail prices of tomatoes, onions, potatoes rise due to supply disruptions

Kolkatans had to fork out Rs 100 for a kg of tomatoes on Monday, while they paid 40 per cent less at Rs 60 just a month ago.
 
Similarly, consumers in Delhi had to shell out Rs 41 to buy a kg of onions on Monday against just Rs 20 on August 14. Moreover, wholesale prices were just Rs 19 a kg in the national capital on Monday.
 
Wholesale prices of potatoes, too, were Rs 25 per kg in Mumbai on Monday but end consumers bought it at Rs 43 a kg. They paid a bit less at Rs 40 a month ago. Read more

Open to discussing import of scotch whiskey from UK in larger measure: Goyal

Proposing a bilateral free trade agreement, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said India is open to discussing import of scotch whiskey from the UK a in larger measure.
 
Goyal said he has proposed to the UK that both the countries should start engagement for a free trade agreement (FTA) as "it is the need of the hour".
 
India is committed to an FTA with the UK and it will also be good for Commonwealth countries, he added.
 
"I was hoping that that would have ... excited the British team. I had said that I am open to discussing import of scotch whiskey into India also in larger measure.
"...not that I drink scotch whiskey in any way, but my intention was, we hear that lot of spurious liquor that comes in the name of scotch to India, I was hoping that would put an end to spurious liquor, get genuine material for those who can afford and want it," he said while addressing CII's India-UK Economic Partnership Summit.
 
"But in the bargain, create lot of opportunities for our MSMEs, for our farmers, for our dairy, fishermen, handicrafts, textile, gems and jewelery. We have so many industries which have huge potential to work with the UK businesses," the minister added.
 
Goyal said both the sides can increase cooperation in sectors where the UK is a net importer and India has a net competitive and comparative advantage.

LS members support salary cut but many want local area development fund restored

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a bill to reduce for one year the salaries of MPs by 30 per cent to meet the "exigencies arising out of Covid-19 pandemic", even as members of several parties demanded the restoration of the suspended MPLAD Scheme Fund.
 
While supporting the cut in salaries, most Opposition members, who participated in the debate on 'The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020', urged the government to review its decision to suspend the MPLAD scheme saying it was necessary to carry out development work in their respective constituencies.
 
The Cabinet had approved the temporary suspension of the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) Fund for 2020-21 and 2021-22 citing the coronavirus crisis. Under the scheme, members of both Houses can recommend development programmes involving spending of Rs 5 crore every year.
 
Several Lok Sabha members on Tuesday said while they were willing for a further cut in their salaries, they would want the MPLAD Fund to be restored.
Lok Sabha has 543 members and Rajya Sabha has a strength of 245.
 
A member of Parliament draws a salary of Rs one lakh per month and a constituency allowance of Rs 70,000 per month, besides other allowances.
 
The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the lower house on Monday to replace an ordinance promulgated on April 7.
 
Replying to the debate on the bill, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that funds are needed to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
When some members said the cut in salary was only a token contribution as the amount saved was very little, Joshi said "charity should begin from home".

India, US sign statement of intent to strengthen dialogue on defence tech cooperation

India and the United States on Tuesday signed a statement of intent to strengthen the bilateral dialogue on defence technology co-operation.
 
The statement was signed by Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, and Ellen Lord, US Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, during the 10th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting that was held virtually on Tuesday.
 
Kumar and Lord co-chaired the meeting, during which the groups reported to the co-chairs on ongoing activities and collaborative opportunities, including a number of near-term projects targeted for completion on priority.
 
As evidence of their commitment to demonstrating the success of DTTI, the co-chairs signed a statement of intent (SOI) that declared “to strengthen our dialogue on defence technology cooperation by pursuing detailed planning and making measurable progress” on several specific DTTI projects, the Pentagon said in a release.
 
The aim of the DTTI Group is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defence trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defense equipment. Four joint working groups focused on land, naval, air and aircraft carrier technologies have been established under DTTI to promote mutually-agreed projects within their domains.
 
During the meeting, the co-chairs noted that since the last DTTI Group meeting in October 2019, a DTTI Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the identification and development of cooperative projects under DTTI has been completed.
 
The SOP will serve as the framework for DTTI and allow both sides to reach and document a mutual understanding on how to define and achieve success.
A publicly releasable extract of key elements of the SOP was also published in July as the DTTI Initial Guidance for Industry, and distributed through Indian and US industry associations, it said.
 

India received $20 billion in FDI during Covid-19 pandemic: Shringla

India has received over $20 billion in FDI amid the coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Tuesday, showcasing the country as one of the most attractive destinations for investment globally.
 
In a virtual address at a CII event in the UK, the foreign secretary highlighted various structural reforms undertaken by India in even previously restricted sectors such as space, defence and atomic energy for greater private participation.
 
On ties between India and the UK, he said a comprehensive roadmap is being formulated to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries in the next decade.

India's rank slips to 54th in terms of rise in housing prices: Report

India's rank slipped 11 places to 54th in terms of appreciation in residential prices, as housing rates declined nearly 2 per cent during June quarter compared with the year-ago period, according to property consultant Knight Frank.
India is at 54th spot amongst the 56 countries and territories tracked in terms of appreciation in residential real estate prices, the consultant said.
 
As per the ''Global House Price Index Q2 2020'', housing prices in India declined 1.9 per cent year-on-year (YoY).
 
"As compared to Q1 2020, India moves down 11 spots in the global index, from 43rd rank to 54th rank in Q2 2020," Knight Frank said.

Lok Sabha clears bill to amend Essential Commodities Act

Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which seeks to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onion, a move aimed at transforming the farm sector and raising farmers' income.
 
Participating in the debate, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, an ally of the ruling BJP, spoke about "misgivings" and "doubts" among farmers on the bill and two other proposed legislations related to the farm sector.
 
The Centre should withhold these legislations and work to address the concerns of farmers, he said.
 
Farmers in many states, including Punjab and Haryana, have been protesting against these bills.

Economy will contract in current fiscal due to Covid-19: Experts

Experts on Tuesday said that owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the economy will contract during the current fiscal and positive growth is expected in the next financial year. Speaking at a CII webinar, Rajat Bahl, the chief ratings officer of Brickwork Ratings, said that there will be contraction of the economy this fiscal and bank credit growth will also be muted.
 
"The services sector will see a negative growth, agriculture sector will see a delay in revival while both retail and industry will shrink," Bahl said.
 
Bank investments will see a muted growth along with their profitability and asset quality will deteriorate further, he said.

LS passes Bill to suspend MPLAD funds for 2 years, 30% salary cut for MPs

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed a Bill which has provisions to suspend the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds for two years and for a 30 per cent deduction of salaries of all lawmakers and the money thus saved can go to the Consolidated Fund of India to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed on the second day of the Monsoon Session despite objections by opposition MPs.

After 18 years, farming activity resumes along IB in J&K's Kathua

Farming activity on the zero line along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district resumed after a gap of 18 years with the joint efforts of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the civil administration.
 
Over 8,000 acres of land across the fencing, spread across 22 border villages from Paharpur to Londi in Hiranagar sector, is lying unattended by border residents due to the frequent ceasefire violations by Pakistan. The natural growth of wild grass and bushes helped Pakistan to push infiltrators and dig underground tunnels, posing a major security challenge.

Railways to start 20 pairs of clone trains from Sept 21

The Railways Tuesday said it will run 20 pairs of clone trains from September 21. While the tickets for 19 pairs of these trains will be charged at the Humsafar Express rates, it will be at par with the Janshatabdi Express rates for the clone train between Lucknow and Delhi. The advance reservation period for these trains will be 10 days.

Free ration distributed to 2.67 cr migrants per month in May, June: Govt

Free ration was distributed to 2.67 crore migrant workers per month in May and June against the target of 8 crore under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package announced following the Covid-19 outbreak, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
 
Under the scheme, 5 kg foodgrains per person and 1 kg pulses per household was to be distributed for free to 8 crore migrants who neither have a central or state ration card. Initially, the scheme was for two months (May to June). Later, it was extended till August.

Animal husbandry procedures done humanely, AAP govt tells HC

Animal husbandry procedures such as castration, euthanasia and dehorning are carried out humanly using scientific methods, the AAP government has told the Delhi High Court.
 
The submission has been made in an affidavit filed in the court in response to a PIL by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, for prohibition of allegedly "inhumane animal husbandry procedures" undertaken in the country.
 
"No question of cruel method of castration, euthanasia etc. arises because treatment of animals brought to government hospitals is being done under the supervision of government veterinary officers..," the Delhi government has said in its affidavit.

BSF foils major infiltration bid along IB in J&K's Samba

 
The Border Security Force (BSF) on Tuesday foiled a major infiltration bid by five heavily-armed terrorists along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district, a spokesperson said on Friday.
 
The terrorists fled back to the Pakistani side after being confronted by the border guarding force, the spokesman said. He said a strong protest note is being lodged with the Pakistan Rangers for helping the infiltrating terrorists.
 
The spokesperson said alert troops observed movement of terrorists on the Pakistani side in Samba sector during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.

Watch: Each jawan deputed along LAC has state-of-art winter clothing & tentage

Odisha govt proposes amendment in OGST Act 2017

The Odisha Cabinet on Tuesday cleared a proposal for amendment of Odisha Goods and Service Tax (OGST) Act 2017 following which a bill will be introduced in the upcoming Monsoon Session of the Assembly.The provisions included in the proposed amendment will address fraudulent input tax credit, extension of punishment, making the offence cognisable and non-bailable.OGST Act shall provide certain facilities to the tax-payers and tax authorities.

Centre keen to develop food processing infra in Bengal

The Centre is keen on developing more food processing infrastructure in West Bengal including mini food parks and cold chain facilities, Union Minister Rameswar Teli said on Tuesday.
 
These would be in addition to the existing food testing facilities and the mgea food park in West Bengal, Teli, the union minister of state for food processing industries said at an e-conference organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
 
The scheme will generate a total investment of Rs 35,000 crore and create 900,000 skilled and semi-skilled employment and benefit eight lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure and formalisation, Teli said.

SBI Card working on giving customers facility to see credit scores in login accounts: MD

SBI Card is working on providing customers the facility to see their credit bureau scores when they log in to their credit card accounts, its MD and CEO Ashwini Kumar Tewari said.
 
Tewari, who took charge last month, used to handle State Bank of India's New York office operations, covering three branches -- New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
 
"In terms of what I would do (here), what experience I have from the US, there are two three things which I can bring from the US. But we (SBI) did not have credit card as a product there. So therefore from a credit card perspective, which is only as a user in the US that I can try and bring some of the things.

Naidu allows one minister to lay all papers together due to Covid-19 restrictions

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday allowed the Parliamentary Affairs Minister to lay all the listed official papers and reports on behalf of other ministers to save time.
 
As per the usual practice, ministers lay official papers and statements listed against their names when the Chair calls them one after the other.
 
In view of just four working hours each day during the current monsoon session that is being held under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, Naidu allowed just one minister to lay all the papers.

Amritsar: Farmers continue to hold protest against recent agriculture ordinances

Exports fall 12.66% in Aug; trade deficit narrows to $6.77 bn

Contracting for the sixth straight month, India's exports slipped 12.66 per cent to $22.7 billion in August, on account of decline in the shipments of petroleum, leather, engineering goods and gems and jewellery items, according to the government data released on Tuesday.
 
The country's imports too declined 26 per cent to $29.47 billion in August, leaving a trade deficit of $6.77 billion, compared to a shortfall of $13.86 billion in the same month last year, as per the data.
 
Oil imports declined by 41.62 per cent to $6.42 billion in the month under review.

J&K, Ladakh fully integrated into the country after Art 370 scrapped: govt

The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh have been fully integrated into the mainstream of the nation after the abrogation of Article 370, the government told Lok Sabha Tuesday.
 
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy also said the benefits of all central laws that were being enjoyed by other citizens of the country are now available to the people of Jammu and Kashmir too.
 
After the constitutional changes and reorganisation of the erstwhile state of J&K, the two union territories have been fully integrated into the mainstream of the nation, he said in a written reply to a question.

4,132 paramilitary die on duty in 3 years: MHA

A total of 4,132 paramilitary personnel died during duty between 2017 and 2019, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
 
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said the deaths include gazetted officers, subordinate officers and other ranks.
 
The highest number of personnel who died during their service period belonged to the CRPF (1,597), followed by 725 of the BSF, 671 of the CISF, 429 of the ITBP, 329 of the SSB and 381 of the Assam Rifles, he said replying to a written question.

Central Vista project must be cancelled, govt not reducing expenditure: Supriya Sule

138 terrorists killed in J&K in last 6 months: Govt

As many as 138 terrorists were killed by security forces between March and August this year, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said Jammu and Kashmir has been affected by terrorism, which is sponsored and supported from across the border, for more than the last three decades.

Reddy said that the government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and the security forces are taking effective and continuous action in countering terrorism.

SC stays broadcast of TV show, says intent is to vilify Muslim community

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the broadcast of the subsequent five episodes of "UPSC Jihad" by Sudarshan TV, stating that the intent and purpose of the programme is to vilify the Muslim community. A top court bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and K.M. Joseph said: "Edifice of a stable democratic society is based on coexistence of communities."
 
The top court emphasised that any attempt to vilify a community must be viewed with disfavour, adding that India is a melting pot of civilisations, cultures and values.
 
The bench noted that the said programme contained factually incorrect statements with regard to the upper age and the number of attempts Muslim candidates get in UPSC exams.

Govt sets up Development Council for Footwear and Leather Industry for 2 yrs

The government has set up a 25-member Development Council for Footwear and Leather Industry for a period of two years, according to a notification of the Department for the Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
 
Raj Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Action Shoes is the chairman of the council.
 
The members of the Council include Chairman, Council for Leather Exports; Managing Director, Footwear Design and Development Institute, Noida; Director, Central Leather Research Institute, Chennai; and President, Agra Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Chamber.

Dish TV to shift 50% of its set-top box production to India by Q1 of 2021

DTH service provider Dish TV on Tuesday said it has started shifting production of its set-top boxes (STBs) to India, with plans to produce 50 per cent in the country by the first quarter of 2021.
 
The company, which operates Dish TV, D2H, and Zing brands in DTH segment and OTT service brand Watcho, has been importing STBs from Vietnam and South Korea.
 
"Being the pioneer and technology leader in the DTH segment, Dish TV India plans to shift almost 50 per cent of its production to India by the Q1 of 2021 while simultaneously benefitting its business and customers," the company said in a statement.

 

Iraqi Foreign Minister to meet with NATO chief on Sept 16

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet on Wednesday in Brussels, the military bloc said in a statement on Tuesday.
 
"The NATO Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, Fuad Mohammad Hussein, on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 at NATO Headquarters," the statement read.

223 people under detention in JK, no one under house arrest now: Govt in LS

The government on Tuesday said 223 people are currently under detention in Jammu and Kashmir and no one is under house arrest.
 
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the government of Jammu and Kashmir has reported that after the abrogation of Article 370 in August last year various measures were taken to maintain public order which included preventive detention of certain persons.
 
"As on September 11, 2020, 223 persons are under detention. No person is under house arrest in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir," he said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Rural tourism projects underway in Bihar, Kerala: Prahlad Patel

The ministry of tourism has sanctioned two projects in Bihar and Kerala at a cost of Rs 125 crore under the Rural Circuit as part of its endeavour to take tourism to the villages of the country.
 
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said the ministry has launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for Integrated Development of theme-based Tourist Circuits for development of tourism infrastructure including last mile connectivity.

Won't allow Mekedatu dam construction, CM assures TN Assembly

Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday assured the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the state government would not allow construction of a reservoir across river Cauvery at Mekedatu in Karnataka.
 
When DMK deputy leader Duraimurugan raised reported efforts by Karnataka to persuade the Centre for early approval to build a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu, Palaniswami said the Supreme Court's judgment on the Cauvery issue is clear. As per the verdict, the "water due for Tamil Nadu should be fully released. Not only that, the water shall not be blocked or diverted," the Chief Minister said.
 
Karnataka's repeated bid to bring up the Mekedatu proposal for discussion in the Cauvery WaterManagement Authority was halted in view of staunchopposition from Tamil Nadu, he said.

Facebook India grants Rs 32 cr to help 3,000 small businesses

Facebook India on Tuesday announced a grant of $4.3 million (Rs 32 crore) for more than 3,000 small businesses in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
 
The grant, that includes both cash and ad credits with cash constituting a larger share, is part of a $100 million global grant for small businesses Facebook announced in March this year as Covid-19 pandemic began to spread globally.
 
"The grant programme is open to small businesses from all industries and verticals, and businesses do not need to have a Facebook family of apps presence in order to apply. They are also free to do what they wish to do with this grant," Ajit Mohan, MD and VP, Facebook India, said in a statement.

China illegal occupying approximately 38,000 sq km in Ladakh: Singh

India, China pledged to de-escalate tensions along LAC in foreign ministers met: Rajnath

The two countries pledged to de-escalate tensions along the LAC after their foreign ministers met Thursday for the first time since May when the stand-off began. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, agreed that “the current situation in the border area is not in the interests of both sides,” according to a joint statement after a meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Moscow.
 

China mobilised Army battalions along LAC, Indian Army made counter deployments in such areas: Singh

We are ready to deal with any situation: Rajanth Singh

Watch: Rajnath Singh addressing Parliament on LAC

ADB forecasts developing Asian economies in recession in 2020

Developing economies in Asia will contract in 2020, the first such downturn in nearly 60 years, the Asian Development Bank said Tuesday in an update to its forecasts.
 
The update of the ADB's outlook estimates the regional economy will contract 0.7% this year, recovering to 6.8% growth in 2021. Nonetheless, the downturn is the worst since the early 1960s, the report said.
 
Conditions could deteriorate further, however, if the coronavirus pandemic worsens significantly, the regional lender said. The update downgrades growth estimates for many countries in the region, where outbreaks of coronavirus have surged in some countries, such as the Philippines and Indonesia.
 

AP urges Centre to clear Rs 9,164 crore dues immediately

The cash-starved Andhra Pradesh government has requested the Centre to immediately release Rs 9,164 crore under various heads, due to the state for several years. Despite borrowing heavily from different sources, the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government is finding it very difficult to foot the bill for numerous freebie schemes and has faced trouble even in disbursing salaries in time this month.
 
The state has now sent a plea to the Centre, through the ruling YSR Congress MPs, that all old dues amounting to Rs 9,164.08 crore be released forthwith.
 
The dues are Rs 3,232.41 crore towards reimbursement of Polavaram irrigation project expenditure, GST compensation of Rs 3,622.07 crore, rice subsidy of Rs 1,728 crore and 14th Finance Commission grants to urban local bodies (ULBs) of Rs 581.60 crore.

Watch: 70 gates of Prakasam barrage on Krishna rive lifted

Some states against borrowing options to meet GST shortfall: MoS Finance

Some states have objected to the proposed borrowing plan of the Centre to fund the GST revenue shortfall and they are being requested to exercise either of the two options, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said on Tuesday.
 
The Centre late last month gave two options to states to borrow either Rs 97,000 crore from a special window facilitated by the RBI or Rs 2.35 trillion from market and also proposed extending the compensation cess levied on luxury, demerit and sin goods beyond 2022 to repay the borrowing.
 
"Some states have objected to the proposed two options. They are being requested toexercise one of the two options," Thakur said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. In reply to a separate question, Thakur said the provisional Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation due to the 31 states and UTs stands at Rs 1,51,365 crore in the April-July period.

Bills to be taken up in Lok Sabha today

  • The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020
  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020
 

Big Billion Days to create 70,000 seasonal jobs this festive season: Flipkart

Walmart-owned Flipkart said it will help generate over 70,000 direct and lakhs of indirect seasonal jobs in the country ahead of the festive season and its Big Billion Days (BBD) sale.
 
The Bengaluru-based company said while direct job opportunities will be created across Flipkart's supply chain, including roles like delivery executives, pickers, packers and sorters, there will also be additional indirect jobs created at Flipkart's seller partner locations and kiranas.
 
This will be further supplemented by job creation in ancillary industries including vendor locations, and freight partners, as the entire ecosystem scales up for the festive season, a statement said.
 
"The expansion and strengthening of the supply chain will help create a robust system enabling millions of new e-commerce users to shop online seamlessly as lakhs of ecosystem players gear up for the festive season," it added.

37% hike in onion retail price in one month following move to ban export

The government's move to ban the export of onions followed 37 per cent increase in all-India retail price over the last one month, government sources said on Tuesday. At the same time, there was an increase in all-India wholesale price by 43 per cent over the last one month, they said.
 
In Maharashtra, the prices of mandi arrivals of onion witnessed a 200 per cent price rise in September as compared to 154 per cent in August. On the other hand, onion exports jumped to 12 million tonnes from April to August this year as compared to 8 million tonnes in the same period of last year.
 
Accordingly, the government had imposed export restriction on September 29.

4 crore scholarships given to minority EWS, 54% to girls

The Union Ministry of Minority affairs has told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that since 2014-15 till date, over four crore scholarships have been distributed to the students belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) of the minority communities. Of this, 54 per cent scholarship has been given to the girl students.
 
The information was given by Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in the Upper House on Monday.
 
The Ministry implements various welfare schemes for the socioeconomic and educational empowerment of six Centrally notified minority communities, namely the Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Muslims, Parsis and Sikhs.

Lankan fishermen protest Indian trawlers allegedly trespassing sea boundary

Fishermen in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula are protesting against Indian trawlers allegedly trespassing their sea boundary and taking up illegal fishing expeditions.
 

The fishermen handed a communique to the Indian Consul General in Jaffna S Balachandran on Monday and requested immediate intervention. Later, they staged a protest walk outside their camps in Vadamarachchi in Jaffna town.

Urbanisation is the reality of present times, BR Ambedkar was a big supporter of urbanisation: PM



DMK President MK Stalin demands a white paper by Tamil Nadu CM over pandemic



PM Modi inaugurates seven projects on urban infra in Bihar



Congress MP gives Adjournement motion notice, demands discussion on Chinese firms monitoring Indians



Rajya Sabha passes the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2020



PM Modi to inaugurate and lay foundation stone of 7 projects in Bihar



'Unaffected by deaths': Rahul attacks govt on 'no data on migrant labourers' deaths'

Turning to verse to attack the Centre for its statement that it does not have data on the number of migrants who died during the lockdown, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the world saw the deaths but only the Modi government was unaware.
 

Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar told the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government does not have data on the number of migrants who died or were injured while returning to their native places due to the lockdown.

A lot is being made out about six airports which account for only 9%: Aviation minister Puri



Punjab Police busts pro-Khalistan terrorist module; weapons, ammunitions seized



Pakistan Air Force aircraft crashed near Pindigheb, Attock; pilot ejects safely



Need huge increase in number of airports, aircrafts; airlines need support: NCP MP



Let Chennai airport be developed to international standards: DMK MP P Wilson



ADB says India's economy to contract by 9% in FY21

India's economic growth will contract by 9 per cent in the current fiscal as the coronavirus pandemic weighs heavily on economic activity and consumer sentiment in the country.
 

In its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 update, ADB projected a strong recovery for the Indian economy in 2021-22, with gross domestic product (GDP) growing by 8 per cent as mobility and business activities resume more widely.

NIA arrested a key accused Giteli Imran for espionage activities for Pakistan's ISI



Drug peddlers Chris Costa and Suryadeep arrested by NCB Mumbai



US bans import of 5 Chinese goods produced using "forced labour"

The US has banned the import of five goods from China, including computer-parts, cotton and hair products, alleging that they are produced in forced labour camps in the restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.
 

The US-China relations have deteriorated after the COVID-19 outbreak, with President Donald Trump squarely blaming Beijing for allowing the disease to spread across the world.

Trump to host signing ceremony for Israel's historic deal with UAE, Bahrain

The White House will host a signing ceremony on Tuesday for Israel to establish diplomatic relationships with two important Islamic countries in the Middle East - the UAE and Bahrain, marking a notable diplomatic achievement for US President Donald Trump in an election year.
 

Representatives from the UAE and Bahrain will sign the historic agreement with Israel in the presence of President Trump at the White House.

IPL 2020: Zampa looking to explore opportunity to bowl during death overs

Australian spinner Adam Zampa has said that he is looking to explore opportunities for bowling during the death overs for his franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
 
Zampa's entry has now strengthed RCB's spin attack which already comprises of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar.
 
Along with the opportunity to bowl during the death overs, Zampa is also looking to bowl alongside Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Japan begins trial of Nissan, ex-executive over Carlos Ghosn's pay

The financial misconduct trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly opened Tuesday.
 
The charges being heard at Tokyo District Court center around Kelly's alleged role in failing to report to Japanese authorities the future compensation of Ghosn, who led Nissan Motor Co. for two decades.
 
Ghosn was also arrested and charged two years ago but jumped bail while awaiting trial and fled to Lebanon late last year.

Just as 2016, US presidential election might be closer than polls suggest

With less than two months until the US presidential election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads incumbent Donald Trump in the bulk of opinion polls.
 
But poll-based election forecasts have proved problematic before. The polls were widely maligned after the 2016 election because Trump won the election when the majority of the polling said he would not.
 
What went wrong with the polls in 2016? And is polling to be believed this time around, or like in 2016, are the polls substantially underestimating Trump’s support? Read here

Rupee opens stronger at 73.38/$ vs Monday's close of 73.48 against the US dollar



Fertility, phones, reforms: A trader checklist for Japan's new PM, Suga

With Yoshihide Suga now a certainty to be formally declared the next prime minster of Japan on Wednesday, market watchers are eyeing what the election of the unassuming son of a strawberry farmer means for the country’s equity markets.
 
While Suga had long been seen as one of the top contenders to replace Shinzo Abe when he stepped down, the speed at which ruling Liberal Democratic Party elders moved to throw their weight behind him was nonetheless surprising -- although so far his policies haven’t turned heads.
 

Markets News | Adani Green becomes first Adani group company to cross Rs 1-trillion m-cap

Shares of Adani Green Energy (AGEL) were locked in 5 per cent upper circuit at their fresh record high of Rs 670.65 on the BSE, thereby entering the elite club of firms with Rs 1 trillion market-capitalisation. The firm joins the ranks of Titan Company, UltraTech Cement, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), and Avenue Supermarts.
 
The company also became the first Gautam Adani-led Adani Group company to cross Rs 1-trillion in m-cap. 

SC to organise workshop to create awareness during Covid-19 pandemic

The Supreme Court is organising an interactive workshop on Tuesday to ensure overall wellness and to create awareness amongst its officers, Registry officials, advocates and litigants to enable them to deal with the strain, fear and anxieties induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
 

Opec sees weaker outlook as demand falters, shale recovers

Opec downgraded its outlook for the global oil market a few days before ministers meet, amid faltering demand and signs of a recovery in supply from US shale drillers.
 
The figures raise questions about the group’s decision to ease production cuts last month. The Opec added 760,000 barrels a day to global markets in August, just as its analysts were revising down demand for its crude by more than 1 million barrels a day.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad to arrive in Delhi today (ANI)

He will hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla: Sources

Rahul Gandhi launches fresh attack on Centre over migrant workers' death, job losses

Rahul Gandhi launched an attack on the Centre following a written reply by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Monday, in which it had said that the government has "no such data available" on the number of migrant deaths or the job losses.

Toyota Motors halts expansion plans in India, blames high tax regime

Toyota Motor Corp. won’t expand further in India due to the country’s high tax regime, a blow for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who’s trying to lure global companies to offset the deep economic malaise brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The government keeps taxes on cars and motorbikes so high that companies find it hard to build scale, said Shekar Viswanathan, vice chairman of Toyota’s local unit, Toyota Kirloskar Motor. Read more here

Nagaland CM meets Rajnath Singh, seeks support for Ceithu Airport at Kohima

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and sought his support for Ceithu Airport at Kohima in view of its strategic importance.

#WATCH | Members of Parliament of the Left parties protest over their demand for withdrawal of 'anti-farmer ordinances' (ANI)

India beats China, becomes member of UN's ECOSOC body

India has been elected as a member of the United Nation's Commission on Status of Women, a body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), said TS Tirumurti, permanent representative of India to the United Nations, on Monday (local time).
 
This year is the 25th anniversary of the famous Beijing World Conference on Women (1995).
 
India will be a member of United Nation's Commission on Status of Women for four years, 2021 to '25.

Rs 5,462 lakhs released to help artists during Covid: Culture Ministry

A total of Rs 5,462.69 lakhs in funds had been released under several Central government schemes to help the artist community during the COVID-19 pandemic phase, according to the Union Ministry of Culture.
 
According to the written reply given by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the zonal cultural centres (ZCCs) also provided financial assistance of Rs. 927.83 lakhs to the artists during this phase.

MPs demand withdrawal of 'anti-farmers policies'

Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Left parties protest in front of Gandhi statue at the Parliament, over their demand for withdrawal of 'anti-farmers policies.'

82% youth don't want to buy brands endorsed by drug-tainted celebs: Survey

With the Bollywood industry coming under the scanner amid mounting allegations of drug abuse during the investigation into Sushant Singh Rajput's death, a recent study revealed that viewers considered drug abuse as a big negative for the celebrities' image and brand endorsements.

The survey was regarding drug abuse by Indian celebrities and asked the respondents if they would buy products endorsed by celebrities found guilty.
The IIHB survey comes against the backdrop of Rhea Chakraborty's sensational disclosures on drug abuse in Bollywood. Read more

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to make a statement on India-China border issue in Lok Sabha later today


Job losses in white and blue collar workers amid Covid-19 pandemic

In today's Business Standard Opinion piece, Mahesh Vyas writes that "the biggest loss of jobs among salaried employees was of “white-collar professional employees and other employees”. Among these are engineers including software engineers, physicians, teachers, accountants, analysts and so on, who are professionally qualified and are employed in some private or government organisation. This does not include similarly qualified persons who run their own practice as these are classified as “qualified self-employed professional entrepreneurs”. 

On US election home stretch, one dominant theme: How Trump can win again

On US election night that's exactly 50 days away, there's a very good chance Americans won't know who won and Donald Trump, although down in the polls now in mid-September, is eyeing a path to an upset victory riding on steady support among Latino and Black voters in addition to his rock-solid white voter base.
 
Anxiety is rising that the Biden-Harris sway over Latinos and Blacks isn't yet strong enough to stave off Trump's reelection bid. Read more here

Punjab CM urges PM Modi not to go ahead with 'anti-farmer legislation'

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to go ahead with the legislation of "anti-farmer ordinances presented in parliament today (Monday)" and announced he would lead an 11-member Congress delegation to submit a memorandum to Governor against the ordinances on Wednesday.

Asian shares set to dip as investors await key data, central bank meetings

Asian shares looked set to open lower on Tuesday as investors shifted focus to upcoming data and central bank meetings although positive developments around potential COVID-19 vaccines and increased deal activity are likely to stem losses.

Nepal to resume domestic flight operations from Sept 21

Nepal will be resuming both domestic flights and inter-district vehicular movement from September 21, said Yogesh Bhattarai, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation.

US Elections 2020: Donald Trump, Joe Biden address climate change issue differently

US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden presented a different pathway to address the issue of climate change, amidst the devastating wildfires that have engulfed parts of California.
 
Travelling to the region, Trump asserted on Monday he does not think that science knows actually. Biden accused the president in a policy address in Delaware of being a climate arsonist.

Banks going to be catalysts for economic revival, says FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said banks are going to be the catalysts for economic revival.
 
"At this stage, the catalysts for economic revival, the catalysts who have the pulse of every one of their customers, are banks," the finance minister said.
 
She was speaking after launching PSB Alliance-Doorstep Banking Services.

Deepak Kochhar tests positive for Covid-19, admitted to AIIMS Delhi

Deepak Kochhar, the husband of former ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar, has tested positive for Covid-19. According to media reports, he is asymptomatic and has been admitted to AIIMS Delhi.
 
Kochhar was arrested last week by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with ICICI Bank-Videocon money laundering case. After his arrest a special PMLA court remanded him to ED custody for 11 days. However, he was allowed to meet his lawyer at ED's Delhi office.

Market Ahead, Sep 15: Top factors that could guide markets today

The Indian markets may open flat to positive in today's session, amid mixed global trends. At 7:30 AM, the SGX Nifty was trading around 11,460 levels as compared to Nifty Futures' previous close of 11,451.

Tune in to Business Standard podcast to know how the markets may perform today.

MARKET LIVE: SGX Nifty trends suggest a flat opening for benchmark indices


China laying cables to bolster communications at border flashpoint: India

Two Indian officials said Chinese troops were laying a network of optical fibre cables at a western Himalayan flashpoint with India, suggesting they were digging in for the long haul despite high-level talks aimed at resolving a standoff there.
 
Such cables, which would provide forward troops with secure lines of communication to bases in the rear, have recently been spotted to the south of Pangong Tso lake in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, a senior government official said.

Assam floods | Above normal flood alert; Brahmaputra expected to rise by 2 cm by tonight


Pakistan's economy shows momentum as coronavirus cases taper off

Pakistan is showing signs of business activity picking up at a faster clip, as worries about new coronavirus infections fade in an economy that contracted for the first time in seven decades.
 
Evidence of momentum returning can be seen from growing cement-to-fuel sales and demand for home appliances to cars. 
 
Click here to have a look at sectors where activity is ticking and why.

Fresh floods in four districts of Assam hit 34,000 people, one killed

After over a month, fresh floods in four Assam districts have affected 34,000 people besides killing one person, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) officials said on Monday.
 
A man drowned in Jia Bharali river in Biswanath district.
 
The floods, caused by incessant rain in the past few days, also inundated 4,200 hectares of crop land besides submerging the low lying areas.

Gold rate today | Gold price today at Rs 54,540 per 10 gm, silver trending at Rs 68,300 a kg

In New Delhi, the price of 22-carat gold remained at Rs 50,000 per 10 gm, and in Chennai, it jumped to Rs 49,070. In Mumbai, the rate was Rs 49,900, according to the Good Returns website. The price of 24-carat gold in Chennai was Rs 53,530 per 10 gm

J&K: Encounter underway at Marwal area of Pulwama. Police and security forces are carrying out the operation. (ANI)


Lok Sabha passes 2 bills, 8 introduced on first day of monsoon session

Parliament on Monday passed The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2020 and The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2020 with the Lok Sabha passing the two bills that were passed by the Rajya Sabha in March this year.
 
Eight bills were introduced in the lower house on the first day of the monsoon session. Read here

Top headlines: 3 MPC members to get extension; LIC IPO unlikely this fiscal

From Infosys hinting at acquisitions to Centre seeking Parliament nod for additional Rs 1.67 trillion expenditure, read today's top headlines here

High food prices keep India's retail inflation above 6% in August

The retail inflation has now remained above the upper band set by the Reserve Bank of India of 6 per cent for nine consecutive months, though not successively for three financial quarters yet. Core inflation, too, has been inching up in the pandemic era, approaching 6 per cent now, from 4 per cent earlier this year.

70,000 saplings to be planted in Surat to mark PM Narendra Modi's 70th birthday on Sept 17

Nirav Shah, Deputy Mayor, Surat City says, "We started this initiative before 15 days, I think we will be able to plant 70,000 saplings by September 16." 

India-China border row: Rajnath to make statement in Parliament today

Rajnath Singh's statement would assume significance in the backdrop of demands made by the Opposition for a debate on the issue.
 
Singh had met his Chinese counterpart Gen Wei Fenghe in Moscow recently. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had also met in Moscow a few days ago.

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