Latest News LIVE: WCD, AYUSH ministries sign MoU to eradicate malnutrition

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two agriculture sector Bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. These Bills are -- Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. Both of them were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.

Hailing the passage of the bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described this proposed legislation as historic and said that they will rid farmers and the farm sector of middlemen and other bottlenecks. The Prime Minister further stated that these agrarian reforms will open new doors for farmers to sell their produce, which will fetch them more profit for their produce.

Farmers in Haryana began their three-hour protest against the agriculture-related farm bills on Sunday. The farmers have started to gather at various places in the state amid elaborate security arrangements which have been made to ensure that the event passes off smoothly. The Bharatiya Kisan Union's Haryana unit, supported by some other farmer outfits, is holding a statewide protest against the Centre's farm bills during which they will block roads for three hours from 12 pm to 3 pm.

The farmers are also joined by the 'arhitiyas' or commission agents during their protest.
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


4:01 AM IST “The Indian farmer needs Marks and Spencer more than Marx and Engels,” the late farmer leader from Maharashtra, Sharad Joshi, used to say, in support of liberalising agricultural marketing in India. Nearly forty years after his clarion call for removing shackles from the hands of farmers, the Union government passed three laws that create a legal framework for deregulating the farm market to some extent.   While chaos ruled in the Upper house of the Parliament when the bills were passed on Sunday, the opposition of Punjab and Haryana’s protesting farmers has now been seconded by farmer groups in Maharashtra and elsewhere. Read more

3:55 AM IST The market rally since March 2020 lows has been led mostly by foreign institutional investors. MANISHI RAYCHAUDHURI, head of Asia Pacific equity research, BNP Paribas, tells Puneet Wadhwa the reason for India being such an FII favourite is the breadth of stocks and sectors that the market offers. Edited excerpts... Read more

3:52 AM IST As opening examinations go, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) couldn’t have expected anything sterner. David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain, has expressed a willingness to come flying out of the blocks, and RCB, given their abject recent record, might not be such a bad place to start. The Virat Kohli-led team finished bottom last season — although only one point separated fourth and eighth — while SRH made the playoffs, losing to Delhi Capitals in the eliminator.   However, the two sides look evenly matched heading into the new season. Batting is the stronger suit for both, and you can expect Warner and Kohli to bank heavily on their spinners in conditions that are likely to favour them. Though it’s worth mentioning that SRH have slightly the better bowling unit, with bowlers that can offer more variety, one of the cornerstones for success in the T20 format. Read more

12:48 AM IST Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations will not support reimposing sanctions on Iran as the United States is demanding until he gets a green light from the Security Council.   The UN chief said in a letter to the council president obtained Sunday by The Associated Press that there would appear to be uncertainty on whether or not US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo triggered the snapback mechanism in the Security Council resolution that enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers.

9:04 PM IST Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO rose to 8.45 lakh in July from 482,000 in June 2020, according to its latest payroll data, providing a perspective on employment in the formal sector amid the Covid-19 crisis. Provisional payroll data released by the EPFO last month had shown that net new enrolments stood at 6.55 lakh in June this year. The figure has now been revised down to 4,82,352. The net enrolments with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had dropped to 5.72 lakh in March 2020 from 102.1 million in February, according to the payroll data released in May.

8:57 PM IST The government on Sunday dismissed as "factually not correct" a United Nations report which suggested presence of "significant numbers" of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy's reply came in Lok Sabha on whether the government is aware of the United Nations report, titled 'The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, Al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities', stating that there are "significant numbers" of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. The minister said the government was aware of the report.

8:44 PM IST The Central Police Canteens (CPC), now renamed as Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar (KPKB), have been selling only ''swadeshi'' products in order to promote domestic industries, the Lok Sabha was informed on Sunday. Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told the Lower House that 119 ''master bhandar'' and 1,871 ''subsidiary bhandar'' are functioning for the benefit of serving and retired personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). Besides, he said, 10 ''mini bhandar'' have been sanctioned for Ex-Central Armed Police Force Personnel Association, out of which, seven are functioning under the supervision of ''master bhandar''.

8:31 PM IST Farmers on Sunday blocked roads in Haryana and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in neighbouring Punjab, protesting against the farm bills passed in Parliament. Two MLAs from the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which is part of the BJP-led ruling coalition in Haryana, also participated in the protests, reflecting a rift on the issue among their ranks on the issue. Farmers occupied portions of roads and highways at several places in the state between 12 and 3 pm, following a call given by the Haryana unit of the Bhartiya Kisan Union against the agri-marketing bills, two of which were passed by Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

8:19 PM IST Infrastructure projects, including key road underpasses , multi-level parking lots and an indoor stadium, costing over Rs 3,090 crore in Noida are expected to be completed by end of 2021, officials said on Sunday. Work is underway on 11 projects worth Rs 545 crore and their completion is expected by December 2020, while 14 other projects worth Rs 2,546 crore are scheduled by end of the next year, a senior Noida Authority official said.   The completion of four projects is expected by the end of this month. These include two multi-level parking lots, one each in sector 3 (Rs 62 crore) and sector 16A Filmcity (Rs 110 crore), besides Shaheed Bhagat Singh park (Rs 23 crore) and Biodiversity Park (Rs 35 crore), Noida Authority General Manager Rajeev Tyagi said.

8:06 PM IST I am also a farmer and I want to assure farmers of the country that MSP (minimum support price) & APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) systems are not going to end: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on #AgricultureBills pic.twitter.com/SmsggB6IfX — ANI (@ANI) September 20, 2020

LIVE UPDATES

Reformist farm laws that dent status quo have strong basis in data

“The Indian farmer needs Marks and Spencer more than Marx and Engels,” the late farmer leader from Maharashtra, Sharad Joshi, used to say, in support of liberalising agricultural marketing in India. Nearly forty years after his clarion call for removing shackles from the hands of farmers, the Union government passed three laws that create a legal framework for deregulating the farm market to some extent.
 
While chaos ruled in the Upper house of the Parliament when the bills were passed on Sunday, the opposition of Punjab and Haryana’s protesting farmers has now been seconded by farmer groups in Maharashtra and elsewhere. Read more

Most global investors cautious of equities after sharp rally: Raychaudhuri

The market rally since March 2020 lows has been led mostly by foreign institutional investors. MANISHI RAYCHAUDHURI, head of Asia Pacific equity research, BNP Paribas, tells Puneet Wadhwa the reason for India being such an FII favourite is the breadth of stocks and sectors that the market offers. Edited excerpts... Read more

IPL 2020: RCB look to fix old problems against Sunrisers Hyderabad

As opening examinations go, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) couldn’t have expected anything sterner. David Warner, the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain, has expressed a willingness to come flying out of the blocks, and RCB, given their abject recent record, might not be such a bad place to start. The Virat Kohli-led team finished bottom last season — although only one point separated fourth and eighth — while SRH made the playoffs, losing to Delhi Capitals in the eliminator.
 
However, the two sides look evenly matched heading into the new season. Batting is the stronger suit for both, and you can expect Warner and Kohli to bank heavily on their spinners in conditions that are likely to favour them. Though it’s worth mentioning that SRH have slightly the better bowling unit, with bowlers that can offer more variety, one of the cornerstones for success in the T20 format. Read more

UN chief: No support for reimposing Iran sanctions now

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations will not support reimposing sanctions on Iran as the United States is demanding until he gets a green light from the Security Council.
 
The UN chief said in a letter to the council president obtained Sunday by The Associated Press that there would appear to be uncertainty on whether or not US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo triggered the snapback mechanism in the Security Council resolution that enshrined the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers.

EPFO records over 845,000 new enrolments in July

Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO rose to 8.45 lakh in July from 482,000 in June 2020, according to its latest payroll data, providing a perspective on employment in the formal sector amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Provisional payroll data released by the EPFO last month had shown that net new enrolments stood at 6.55 lakh in June this year. The figure has now been revised down to 4,82,352.

The net enrolments with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had dropped to 5.72 lakh in March 2020 from 102.1 million in February, according to the payroll data released in May.

UN report on presence of ISIS terrorists in Kerala, Karnataka incorrect: Govt in LS

The government on Sunday dismissed as "factually not correct" a United Nations report which suggested presence of "significant numbers" of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy's reply came in Lok Sabha on whether the government is aware of the United Nations report, titled 'The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, Al-Qaeda and associated individuals and entities', stating that there are "significant numbers" of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka.

The minister said the government was aware of the report.

Only 'swadeshi' products available in central police canteens: Govt

The Central Police Canteens (CPC), now renamed as Kendriya Police Kalyan Bhandar (KPKB), have been selling only ''swadeshi'' products in order to promote domestic industries, the Lok Sabha was informed on Sunday.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told the Lower House that 119 ''master bhandar'' and 1,871 ''subsidiary bhandar'' are functioning for the benefit of serving and retired personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
Besides, he said, 10 ''mini bhandar'' have been sanctioned for Ex-Central Armed Police Force Personnel Association, out of which, seven are functioning under the supervision of ''master bhandar''.

Farmers block roads in Haryana, burn effigies in Punjab

Farmers on Sunday blocked roads in Haryana and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in neighbouring Punjab, protesting against the farm bills passed in Parliament.

Two MLAs from the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), which is part of the BJP-led ruling coalition in Haryana, also participated in the protests, reflecting a rift on the issue among their ranks on the issue.

Farmers occupied portions of roads and highways at several places in the state between 12 and 3 pm, following a call given by the Haryana unit of the Bhartiya Kisan Union against the agri-marketing bills, two of which were passed by Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

Noida: Rs 3,090-cr infra projects to be ready before Dec 2021

Infrastructure projects, including key road underpasses , multi-level parking lots and an indoor stadium, costing over Rs 3,090 crore in Noida are expected to be completed by end of 2021, officials said on Sunday. Work is underway on 11 projects worth Rs 545 crore and their completion is expected by December 2020, while 14 other projects worth Rs 2,546 crore are scheduled by end of the next year, a senior Noida Authority official said.
 
The completion of four projects is expected by the end of this month. These include two multi-level parking lots, one each in sector 3 (Rs 62 crore) and sector 16A Filmcity (Rs 110 crore), besides Shaheed Bhagat Singh park (Rs 23 crore) and Biodiversity Park (Rs 35 crore), Noida Authority General Manager Rajeev Tyagi said.

I am also a farmer, MSP, APMC not going to end: Rajnath

21 states accept Rs 97,000 cr borrowing proposal to meet GST shortfall

The Centre has received support of 21 states and Union Territories for its offer of Rs 97,000 crore RBI window to give them compensation under the goods and services tax (GST) regime. This would help clear this proposal in the GST Council in case of voting.
 
The 21 states and UTs are Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Puducherry, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, finance ministry sources said.

Haryana farmers block roads, copies of farm bills burnt in Punjab

Farmers on Sunday blocked roads in Haryana and burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in neighbouring Punjab, protesting against the farm bills passed in Parliament.

Farmers occupied portions of roads and highways at several places in Haryana between 12 and 3 pm, following a call given by the state unit of the Bhartiya Kisan Union against the agri-marketing bills, two of which were passed in Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

After 3 pm, reports said the road blockades were lifted, ending the day's protests in which BKU was also supported by several other farmer organisations.

No mention of ending MSP in farm bills: Dushyant Chautala

Ministries of WCD, AYUSH sign MoU for eradication of malnutrition

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) on Sunday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of AYUSH to join efforts to eradicate malnutrition in the country.

Speaking at the event, Minister of State for AYUSH, Shripad Naik said that integration of the AYUSH Ministry and the Ministry of WCD would go a long way in eliminating malnutrition, which was one of the main reasons for infant mortality below the age of five.

Rs 4.29 trillion cost overrun reported in 432 infra projects

As many as 432 infrastructure projects, each worth at least Rs 150 crore, have reported total cost overruns of over Rs 4.29 trillion, according to data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
 
According to the data, as of August 1, 2020, out of the 1,670 central sector infrastructure projects costing Rs 150 crore and above, 8 projects are ahead of schedule, 212 are on schedule, 505 are delayed, 432 have reported cost overrun and 202 projects reported both time and cost overrun with respect to their original project implementation schedules.
 
"Total original cost of implementation of the 1,670 projects was Rs 20.58 trillion crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 24.87 trillion crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,29,168.28 crore (20.85 per cent of original cost)," the report said.

Appliances, consumer electronics industry hopeful of robust sales this festive season

The appliances and consumer electronics industry is expecting double-digit growth in sales in the upcoming festive season, which will be further supported by absence of domestic helps and people working from home, according to industry body CEAMA.

The consumer electronics and appliances sector, which has already started on a positive note with Onam in August, saw sales growth in last couple of months owing to pent-up demand, but there is another element playing a role of a key driver, i.e. consumers are looking for a substitute for domestic help amid health safety concerns due to Covid-19.

J&K villages along LoC finally connected with national electricity grid after 7 decades

Shouts of ''Bijli'' from thrilled villagers lit up the face of Kupwara Deputy Commissioner Anshul Garg after efforts for over a year finally connected habitats in Keran and Machil in far north Kashmir to the national power grid, ending an over seven-decade-long wait for people living in these areas along the Line of Control.
 
"When I took over as deputy commissioner (DC) of this northernmost district of the country, I began interacting with local people living in far-flung areas, especially those in villages located near the LoC (Line of Control)," 31-year-old Garg, an IIT-Delhi graduate, said.

Coronavirus, LAC tensions cast shadow on Ladakh tourism industry

The hotels are unoccupied, the taxies unhired and the markets bereft of their usual hustle bustle. Ladakh is missing its guests. As people step out of the Leh airport, Cherring Namgyal (32) waits for tourists he can ferry in his taxi to different exotic locations in Ladakh. But that's a futile wait.

A few who are coming are either locals or people on official work.

The coronavirus has hit us hard and there are barely any tourists this season. The tourist season is coming to an end. To add to it, people are apprehensive about the ongoing tensions on the border, Cherring Namgyal said.

Yamaha expects India sales to be 10-year low in 2020

Two-wheeler major Yamaha Motor on Sunday said it estimates sales in the Indian market to be the lowest in a decade in 2020 because of drastic fall in consumer's buying sentiment due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The Japanese company's wholly-owned subsidiary Yamaha Motor India Sales, which has witnessed a fall of over 36 per cent in its domestic sales in January-August this year, opines that the pandemic is likely to change the practice of shared transportation as people will prioritise social distancing and personal hygiene.

"Yamaha expects demand to gradually grow, although the total sales volume for the year 2020 will remain the lowest in a decade," Yamaha Motor India Sales (YMIS) Senior Vice President Ravinder Singh told PTI in an interview.

Watch: Maldives' FM speaks in Hindi to thank India

Covid-19 provides opportunity to India, Japan to further strengthen ties: Report

The Covid-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to both India and Japan to further strengthen economic ties by enhancing cooperation in areas like software development, modern technology, infrastructure and manufacturing, according to a report.

The report, prepared by Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and FICCI, also said that Japan has always treated India as a preferred partner in terms of economics, trade and commerce.

"Covid-19 pandemic has provided great opportunities for the two nations and its businesses to join hands and forge a new alliance in terms of harvesting the fruits of demographic dividend that India provides, and push India towards becoming a major global manufacturing hub amidst the changing economic atmosphere," it said.

PSBs report frauds worth over Rs 19,964 cr in Apr-Jun, says RBI

Public sector banks (PSBs) reported frauds worth over Rs 19,964 crore in total 2,867 cases during the April-June quarter of the ongoing fiscal year, according to a reply to an RTI query. The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) saw the highest number of fraud cases; however, Bank of India was the worst hit in terms of value, as per a reply from the Reserve Bank on frauds reported by these lenders to RTI activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur.

Of the 12 PSBs, SBI reported the maximum 2,050 fraud cases involving Rs 2,325.88 crore during April-June 2020.

Bank of India took the biggest hit in terms of valuation at Rs 5,124.87 crore in 47 cases, followed by Canara Bank Rs 3,885.26 crore in 33 cases, Bank of Baroda Rs 2,842.94 crore in 60 cases, Indian Bank Rs 1,469.79 crore in 45 cases, Indian Overseas Bank Rs 1,207.65 crore in 37 cases and Bank of Maharashtra Rs 1,140.37 crore in 9 cases.

It is a landmark day: Rajnath Singh on passage of farm bills in Rajya Sabha

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed the passage of two big ticket farm bills by Rajya Sabha on Sunday, calling it a "landmark day" for India's agriculture sector and farmers.
 
While major opposition parties are against the bills, the government has been maintaining that the proposed legislations will help small and marginal farmers secure competitive prices for their produce.
 
"With the passing of two landmark agriculture Bills in Rajya Sabha today, India has cemented the strong foundation for Atmanirbhar Agriculture'," the defence minister tweeted.

Trump backs TikTok deal involving Oracle and Walmart

US President Donald Trump has announced a proposed deal on TikTok involving two American companies - Oracle and Walmart that would allow the US operations of the Chinese video sharing application, which was placed on a ban list due to security concerns.

The deal mandates the creation of a new American company -- incorporated in Texas -- and the prospect of 25,000 new jobs. Further, TikTok will give USD 5 billion to fund the education of American youths.

A watershed moment in history: PM Modi on farm bills

Ashiana Housing to invest nearly Rs 400 cr on new housing projects

Realty firm Ashiana Housing will invest around Rs 400 crore over the next four years on new housing projects that it plans to launch during this fiscal year, and is also looking for partnerships with landowners for expansion of its business, a top company official said.
 
In an interview with PTI, Delhi-based Ashiana Housing's MD Vishal Gupta said housing sales are recovering gradually post lockdown. "We will launch over 14 lakh sq ft area during this financial year. This will be new phases in existing projects as well as entirely new projects," Gupta said.

Opposition members sit in protest inside RS after House adjourned

The Congress and other opposition party member sat in protest inside Rajya Sabha even after the House was adjourned for the day after the passage of two farm bills.
Members of the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Left parties and some others sat in protest inside the Rajya Sabha chamber even after it was adjourned.
The House sitting ends at 1 PM and Rajya Sabha chamber has to be sanitised by 3 PM when Lok Sabha sits for a session. Both the chambers of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are being used for each House to allow members to follow physical distancing norms.
Congress chief whip in Rajya Sabha told PTI that the opposition members will continue to sit in Rajya Sabha chamber till 3 PM to lodge their protest against the government's attitude.

MHA calls meet to discuss 3 key issues of Assam; Shah, Sonowal to attend

Union Home Ministry has convened a high-level meeting here on Sunday to discuss three key issues of Assam -- the NRC, demand for granting ST status to six communities and report of a committee set up for implementation of a vital clause of the Assam Accord, officials said.
 
A team of top functionaries of the Assam government, led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has arrived in Delhi for the meeting. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and top officials of the home ministry will attend it.

Karnataka's new industrial policy to push mobile production in state to Rs 30K cr: ICEA

The new industrial policy of Karnataka is expected to push mobile production in value terms in the state to Rs 30,000 crore and create 120,000 jobs by 2023, mobile handset and electronics body ICEA said on Sunday.

In August, Karnataka announced New Industrial Policy (NIP) 2020-25 which has a provision to incentivise mobile manufacturing.

The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), whose members include Apple, Winstron, Lava, among others, said specific policy incentives such as production linked incentive of 1 per cent of annual turnover during the policy period for five years is a welcome and bold step by the state government.

Karnataka: NDRF carries out rescue operation in Udupi

Chaos in Rajya Sabha as it pushes for passage of two farm bills

Rajya Sabha on Sunday witnessed uproarious scenes when some opposition members led by the TMC climbed on to the chairman's podium as the government pushed for the passage of two contentious farm bills.
Slogan-shouting opposition members, including those from the TMC, Congress and Left, created ruckus after Deputy Chairman Harivansh did not consider their demand for a division of votes on a resolution to send the two bills to a select committee.
Amid the ruckus, the House was adjourned briefly.
Earlier, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded that reply to the debate on the two bills be postponed for tomorrow as the scheduled time for sitting on Sunday was over.
 

Chaos in Rajya Sabha as it pushes for passage of two farm bills

Rajya Sabha on Sunday witnessed uproarious scenes when some opposition members led by the TMC climbed on to the chairman's podium as the government pushed for the passage of two contentious farm bills.
Slogan-shouting opposition members, including those from the TMC, Congress and Left, created ruckus after Deputy Chairman Harivansh did not consider their demand for a division of votes on a resolution to send the two bills to a select committee.
Amid the ruckus, the House was adjourned briefly.
Earlier, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad demanded that reply to the debate on the two bills be postponed for tomorrow as the scheduled time for sitting on Sunday was over.
 

MHA calls meet to discuss key issues of Assam; Shah, Sonowal to attend

The Union Home Ministry has convened a high-level meeting here on Sunday to discuss three key issues of Assam -- the NRC, demand for granting ST status to six communities and report of a committee set up for implementation of a vital clause of the Assam Accord, officials said.

A team of top functionaries of the Assam government, led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, has arrived in Delhi for the meeting. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and top officials of the home ministry will attend it.

Issues related to Assam-specific NRC, which was rejected by the state government alleging anomalies after its final list was published last year, granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six ethnic communities -- Koch-Rajbongshi, Tai-Ahom, Matak, Moran, Chutia and Tea Tribes -- and recommendations of the Clause 6 Committee of the Assam Accord will be discussed at the meeting to be held Sunday evening, a home ministry official said.

TMC MP Derek O'Brien showed the House rule book to Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman

Latest News LIVE: Farmers protest against farm bills in Haryana

Farmers in Haryana began their three-hour protest against the agriculture-related farm bills on Sunday. The farmers started to gather at various places in the state amid elaborate security arrangements which have been made to ensure that the event passes off smoothly. The Bharatiya Kisan Union's Haryana unit, supported by some other farmer outfits, is holding a statewide protest against the Centre's farm bills during which they will block roads for three hours from 12 pm to 3 pm.
 
The farmers are also joined by the 'arhitiyas' or commission agents during their protest. The Punjab Youth Congress, meanwhile, is also taking out a 'tractor rally' from Punjab to Delhi against the Centre's farm-related measures. The rally started from Mohali district in the morning and was moving on the national highway towards Ambala, according to a PTI report.
 
However, the Haryana Police in Ambala had heavily barricaded the national highway and there was heavy police deployment on the Haryana-Punjab border, police department sources said.

YSRCP MP calls "Congress a party of middlemen 'dalals'" for opposing agriculture sector reform bills

YSRCP MP VV Reddy termed Congress as "a party of middlemen dalals" and said that there is no reason for Congress to oppose agricultural-related Bills. While supporting the bills, Reddy said, "I want to bring the hypocrisy of Congress party. In their manifesto of Lok Sabha elections. They have said the same things which are in the bills and now they are not supporting the bills now? Those supporting it (Bills) are pro-farmers, those opposing it are pro-dalal."
 
After the statement by YSRCP MP, Congress leaders created an uproar in the House and MP Anand Sharma objected to the remark and demanded an apology from him. "I want MP Reddy to retract his statement and apologize," he said. Dr L Hanumanthaiah who was on the chair during the uproar said, "nothing will go on record". This came after Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two agriculture Bills in the Upper House.
 
These Bills are -- Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. Both of them were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.

Delhi Police on high alert at Haryana border after farmers' protests

The Delhi Police is on alert with respect to the farmers' protests that are taking place in the neighboring states of the national capital over Bills on agriculture sector reforms, the Delhi Police informed on Sunday.
 
Forces have been deployed near the Ashok Nagar-Ghazipur area, as well as the Delhi-Haryana border.
 
On Saturday, Farmers and Arhtiyas (commission agents) in Rohtak staged a protest and raised slogans against the Centre's reforms. They said that their outcry would continue till the three bills were taken back.

Delhi Police deploys its personnel at border areas as precautionary measure

The Delhi Police on Sunday said it has deployed its personnel at border areas as a precautionary measure in the wake of a protest call by farmers in neighbouring states. Two companies of forces have been deployed by the Delhi Police near Ashok Nagar -- Ghazipur side, the police said, adding that there are no protesters at the border as of now. The force has also been put on alert at the Delhi-Haryana border.
 
"We have deployed border pickets as a cautionary measure on Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border," Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said.
 
The development comes after the Bharatiya Kisan Union's Haryana unit announced that it will hold a statewide protest against the Centre's farm bills on Sunday during which its members will block roads for three hours, even as Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar appealed for deferring the stir and invited them for talks.

Farmers' income won't double before 2028: Derek O'Brien tells Rajya Sabha

Taking a dig at the Centre's claim to double the income of farmers by 2020, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien on Sunday said that it cannot be doubled before 2028. Discussing the contentious farm Bills introduced in the Rajya Sabha, the TMC member said: "The Prime Minister said that the opposition is trying to mislead the farmers. You promised to double the farmers' income by 2020. At the current rate, it won't happen before 2028."
 
He was referring to the Prime Minister's remarks on Saturday that some persons were trying to mislead and even lie to the farmers, news agency IANS reported. Referring to the land acquisition Bill and TMC's stance, O'Brien said: "How qualified is the TMC to speak on the Bills? Seven years ago... during the land acquisition bill... we spoke in favour of the farmers. Later, the Supreme Court said that the rights of the farmers cannot be overlooked."
 
The TMC leader also claimed that West Bengal farmers' income has doubled.

Maratha Community protests in Lalbaug area against Supreme Court's stay order on Maratha reservation

A special session should be called to discuss farm bills: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in Rajya Sabha

Opposition misleading farmers for political gain: Anil Vij on agriculture reform Bills

Haryana Minister Anil Vij on Sunday said that the Opposition parties have misled farmers for their political gain with respect to the Bills on agriculture sector reforms.
 
"Opposition parties have misled farmers for their own political gains. These Bills are in favour of farmers. The Prime Minister has assured farmers of MSP. Farmers will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere," Vij told ANI. When asked about farmers' protests and blocking of roads, the Haryana Minister said, "During this pandemic, blocking roads in protest is not correct, it is like creating a hindrance."
 
"Any protest march from Punjab will not be allowed to enter the Haryana border. As far as our State's farmers are concerned we have appealed to them that protests should take place keeping in view the time. As a pandemic has spread in the country people can protest, give speeches but should not block roads," he added.

Police deployed in Haryana's Ambala in view of farmers' protest

Massive security deployment has been made at Sadopur border in Haryana's Ambala on Sunday due to the protest called by 16 farmer's associations as the Parliament discusses Agriculture bills. Y Puran Kumar, IG, Ambala Range, Haryana said that law and order will be maintained at all costs.
 
"16-17 farmers' associations in Haryana have given a protest call. Law and order situation will be maintained at all costs," he said while speaking to media.
 
Ambala SP Abhiskeh Jorwal said, "Barricading is in place here as Bharatiya Kisan Union has given a call for protest. We have sufficient forces present." Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar has moved agriculture sector Bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday.

Flood situation in Karnataka's Udupi following heavy rainfall in the area

Opposition moves amendment to send two agricultural sector reform Bills to Select Committee of Rajya Sabha

Three Opposition leaders--CPI(M)'s KK Ragesh, TMC's Derek O'Brien and DMK's T Siva-- moved an amendment to send the two agricultural Bills to the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. This came after Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two agriculture Bills in the Rajya Sabha.
 
These Bills are -- Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. Both of them were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.
 
Moving the Bills, the Minister said, "The two Bills are historic and will bring a change in the lives of the farmers. They will be able to freely trade their produce anywhere in the country. I want to assure the farmers that these Bills are not related to Minimum Support Price."

Will not sign on death warrant of farmers: Congress on agriculture sector reform Bills

Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday termed agricultural Bills as "ill-conceived" and "ill-timed", and said that his party will not sign on "death warrant" of farmers.
 
"The Congress party opposes these ill-conceived and ill-timed Bills. Congress rejects these bills. We will not sign on this death warrant of farmers. Farmers in Punjab are protesting. They consider the Bills as an attack on them. Agriculture and markets are State subjects and these Bills are against the spirit of federal cooperative. We do not want APMC and MSP to be tinkered," Bajwa said in Rajya Sabha while opposing two agriculture bills.
 
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji did not come in Parliament to say that government will reduce the burden on farmers' expenditure and when their oldest ally SAD's Harsimrat Kaur resigned from the Union Cabinet, he made the statement. Sukhbir Badal in Lok Sabha said that he was not consulted for the Bill," he added.

Delhi Police on alert in view of farmers' protest against Agriculture Bills in neighbouring states

Latest News LIVE: 432 infrastructure projects show cost overruns of Rs 4.29 trillion

As many as 432 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of over Rs 4.29 lakh crore owing to delays and other reasons, according to a report. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth Rs 150 crore and above. Of the 1,670 such projects, 432 reported cost overruns and 505 time escalation.
 
"Total original cost of implementation of the 1,670 projects was Rs 20,58,193.26 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be Rs 24,87,361.54 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of Rs 4,29,168.28 crore (20.85 per cent of original cost)," the ministry's latest report for July 2020 said.
 
The expenditure incurred on these projects till July 2020 is Rs 11,51,222.81 crore, which is 46.28 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects, according to a PTI report.

Agri bills introduced in Rajya Sabha; Narendra Singh Tomar said MSP will continue

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday said minimum price or MSP based procurement of agriculture crops from farmers will continue and is not related to the farm bills that seek to give cultivators freedom to market their produce. Days after their passage in the Lok Sabha, Tomar introduced the Farmer's Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 in the Rajya Sabha.
 
The bills are facing staunch opposition from farmer bodies as well as from within the ruling coalition. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the food processing minister from the Shiromani Akali Dal party, resigned from the government last week. K K Ragesh (CPI), Derek O'Brien (TMC), Trichi Siva (DMK) and K C Venugopal (Congress) moved resolutions for sending the two bills to a select committee of the House for consideration before they are taken up for passage.
 
Speaking at the introduction, Tomar said the two bills are "historic and will bring a revolutionary change in farmer's lives".

Opposition parties mislead led farmers for their own political gains: Haryana Minister on agriculture Bills

ByteDance says not aware of $5 billion education fund in TikTok deal

TikTok owner Bytedance said in a social media post on Sunday that it was the first time it had heard in the news it was setting up a $5 billion education fund in the United States.
 
US President Donald Trump said he had approved a deal, which included a $5 billion education fund, to allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States.
 
"The company has been committed to investing in the education field, and plans to work with partners and global shareholders to launch online classroom projects based on AI and video technology for students around the world," ByteDance said on its official account on Toutiao.
 

Punjab Youth Congress workers and farmers protesting at Delhi-Chandigarh national highway in Zirakpur against Agriculture Bills

Large quantity of narcotics seized as BSF foiled infiltration bid along IB in Jammu

The Border Security Force (BSF) has recovered 58 packets of narcotics and two pistols after foiling an infiltration attempt from Pakistan along the International Border (IB), according to a PTI report on Sunday.
 
The infiltration bid by suspected smugglers was scuttled in Arnia area of R S Pura sector during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, an official of the border guarding force said.
 
He said troops of border outpost Budhwar and Bullechak observed suspicious movement of some Pakistani's near IB who were trying to sneak into this side under the cover of darkness. The BSF opened fire and foiled their attempt, the official said. During thorough search of the area this morning, 58 packets of narcotics, two pistols, four magazines and some ammunition were seized,he said.

Won't sign on this death warrant of farmers: Partap Singh Bajwa, Congress MP on agriculture Bills

Coronavirus LIVE: 92,605 new Covid-19 cases in India; tally crosses 5.4 million-mark


Latest News LIVE: Agriculture Minister moves farm bills in Rajya Sabha

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar moved two agriculture sector Bills in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. These Bills are -- Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. Both of them were passed by the Lower House with a voice vote a couple of days back.
 
The Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 permits the electronic trading of farmers' produce and allows the setting up transaction platforms for facilitating direct online buying and selling of farm products. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 provides for a farming agreement prior to the production or rearing of any farm produce. A guaranteed price to be paid for the purchase of farming produce will be mentioned in such agreements.
 
Hailing the passage of the bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had described this proposed legislation as historic and said that they will rid farmers and the farm sector of middlemen and other bottlenecks. The Prime Minister further stated that these agrarian reforms will open new doors for farmers to sell their produce, which will fetch them more profit for their produce.

Agriculture Minister moves Farmers' and Produce Trade and Commerce Bill, 2020 in Rajya Sabha

4.6 magnitude earthquake hits Mizoram's Champhai

An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 on the Richter scale has been registered near Mizoram's Champhai on Sunday morning, the National Center for Seismology (NCS) informed. NCS informed that the tremors were felt close to Champhai at 0729 hours today.
 
"Earthquake of magnitude 4.6 on the Richter scale occurred near Champhai (Mizoram) at 0729 hours," said National Centre for Seismology.
 

Congress to hold nationwide agitation against agricultural bills; party leaders to meet tomorrow

Amid the farm bills row, the Congress is planning to hold a nationwide agitation against the Centre accusing it of supporting corporates. A meeting in this regard has been called by the party on September 21. Among those who have been asked to attend the meeting include members of the committee, general secretaries and state in-charges, according to an ANI report.
 
According to sources, party interim president Sonia Gandhi, who has gone abroad for treatment and is accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi, has issued instructions regarding the meeting. The Congress had earlier decided to oppose the new agriculture bills in the Parliament.
 
Not only the Congress, but the Akali Dal, which is BJP's ally at the Centre, has also opposed the farm bills. Even, the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh associated with the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS) has also criticised the bills.

 

Police deployment at Sadopur border in Ambala in view of farmers' protest against Agriculture Bills

Bihar man who carved out 3 km-long canal receives tractor as gift

Laungi Bhuiyan, who carved out a three kilometres long canal to take rainwater coming down from nearby hills to fields of his village in Bihar's Gaya district received a Mahindra tractor free of cost on Saturday. Siddhinath Vishwakarma, Mahindra dealer in the area told ANI, "Anand Mahindra saw a tweet of Laungi Bhuiyan and said I will be fortunate to give him a tractor. Following this, the area office received a mail to gift Laungi a tractor."
 
"I am fortunate to be a part of the moment. I feel proud to be a native of Gaya as people like Laungi live here," said Vishwakarma.
 
On receiving the tractor, Laungi said that he never dreamt of getting one. "I am very happy today." Laungi had carved out a canal to take rainwater coming down from nearby hills to the fields of his village in Gaya's Lahthua area.

Simanchala Dash appointed as new advisor to IMF Executive Director

The government has approved the proposal to appoint Simanchala Dash as an advisor to Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. He has been appointed for a period of three years.
 
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said in an order, "The Appointments Committee of Cabinet approves proposal for appointment of Simanchala Dash as an advisor to Executive Director, IMF, Washington DC for a period of three years.

CBI files chargesheet against 15 accused over VVIP helicopter contract case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a supplementary chargesheet against 15 accused including persons, private companies in a case related to the award of a contract to a UK-based company for the supply of 12 VVIP helicopters.
 
"A charge sheet has been filed against 15 accused under 120B read with 201, 420, 467, 468, 471 IPC and Sections 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13(2) read with section 13(1)(d) of PC Act, 1988," the probe agency said.

These accused private companies are based at Mohali/Chandigarh, New Delhi, Kolkata and Mauritius. According to the CBI, it was alleged during the further investigation, the two accused through their New Delhi-based company had acquired a firm based at Kolkata in 2009 to launder illicit kickbacks/ill-gotten money and received it through banking channels in collusion with other accused who created shell companies. Later, they opened fake accounts in different banks for returning such kickbacks. READ MORE...

College students in Coimbatore claim to have made a low-cost electric bike

Donald Trump gives blessing to deal to allow to continue to operate in US

US President Donald Trump said he supports a deal that will allow TikTok to continue to operate in the United States, after threatening to ban the Chinese-owned app in August. He told reporters at the White House he backs the deal with TikTok owner ByteDance, Oracle and Walmart to create a new company that will assume TikTok's US operations called TikTok Global.
 
The US Treasury said in a statement "Oracle will be responsible for key technology and security responsibilities to protect all US user data. Approval of the transaction is subject to a closing with Oracle and Walmart and necessary documentation and conditions to be approved by" the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Latest News LIVE: Apple to launch its online store in India on Sept 23

Tech company Apple has announced the launch of its online store in India on September 23. The move will provide Indian customers with a way to buy Apple products directly from the company for the first time.
 
According to The Verge, Apple's senior vice president of retail and people Deirdre O'Brien said in a statement, "We are proud to be expanding in India and want to do all we can to support our customers and their communities."
 
He added, "We know our users are relying on technology to stay connected, engage in learning, and tap into their creativity, and by bringing the Apple Store online to India, we are offering our customers the very best of Apple at this important time."

India must continue long-term investment in health infra: WEF president

India must continue long-term investment in health infrastructure and ensure regular health services despite the coronavirus crisis hitting the economic prospects, World Economic Forum President Borge Brende said on Saturday. He also said that India needs to cautiously adjust spending and attract industrial investment amid the COVID-19 crisis.
 
He was speaking at the 36th Anniversary Global Awards by the Priyadarshini Academy.
 
"While this historic crisis comes with a dire economic and social outlook, there are also lessons and opportunities. In the longer term, India must continue investment in health infrastructure and ensure continuity of regular health services, it will also have to cautiously adjust spending and attract industrial investment," the WEF president said.

Package addressed to Donald Trump containing poison intercepted

Law enforcement officials intercepted a suspicious package containing deadly poison ricin addressed to US President Donald Trump earlier this week. Two tests were conducted to confirm the presence of ricin, CNN reported on Saturday citing two law enforcement officials. All letters for the White House are sorted and checked at an offsite facility before reaching the White House.
 
A US law enforcement official told the American cable network that investigators are looking into the possibility that the package addressed to Trump came from Canada.
 
Ricin is a highly toxic substance extracted from castor beans that have been used in terror attacks. It can be used in the form of powder, mist, pellet or acid. If one ingests the poison, it causes vomiting and internal bleeding of the stomach and intestines, failure of the liver, spleen and kidneys and subsequent death by collapse of the circulatory system, news agency ANI reported.

TMC's Abhishek Banerjee sends legal notice to Babul Supriyo, seeks apology

All India Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday sent a legal notice to Babul Supriyo, asking him to withdraw the 'false and incorrect' tweet targetting him and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He also demanded Supriyo's apology over the statements made against him and the state government, according to an ANI report.
 
"The minister had tweeted certain false and incorrect statements against my client which also concerns Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state government at large. The narration contained in your tweet is false to your knowledge, fake and distorted with the intent to instigate the supporters of my client and that of the Chief Minister," according to Abhishek Mukherjee's legal notice issued through his lawyer.
 
The notice read, "You have deliberately used the phrase 'amanobik mukhyomontri (inhuman chief minister) in your tweet. The tweet posted by you is false, defamatory, malicious and politically motivated. Your attempt to engage in wrongful dissemination of information to the public is evident from the very fact that you have cherry-picked certain words and presented it in an incorrect manner, so as to give a wrongful meaning and a false representation thereof."

Agri-related Bills give farmers freedom to fetch better prices: Nadda

BJP national president J P Nadda on Saturday hit out at the opposition for calling the three agriculture-related Bills passed by Parliament anti-farmer and said the legislations empower them to sell their crop in any market of the country to fetch better prices.
 

He also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, The country is in the hands of an able leader; the country is safe and moving forward strongly.

Tamil Nadu govt ties up with Coursera to skill 50,000 youth

Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation (TNSDC) has partnered with the online learning platform Coursera to train 50,000 unemployed youth.
 

The partnership is part of Coursera's global roll-out of the workforce recovery initiative, where any state and country can provide unemployed workers with free access to online learning, Coursera said in a statement on Saturday.

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee sents legal notice to Babul Supriyo, asks to apologise against WB CM



Did you took loan from Chinese banks even after border row?: Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to FM Sitharaman



Cabinet note on vehicle scrappage policy ready

The much-awaited vehicle scrappage policy may soon be a reality as a Cabinet note on the issue is ready and sent for further consultations with the stakeholders on PMO directions.
 

"The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has formulated a note for the Cabinet on creation of an ecosystem for voluntary and environment-friendly phasing out of unfit and old polluting vehicles," Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways VK Singh said in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

Farmers took out a rally in support of the Agriculture Bills in Rohtak



Govt to decide on subsidised cooking gas by BPCL before financial bid stage

The issue of continuation of cooking gas subsidy will be considered before inviting financial bids for BPCL privatisation, Parliament was informed on Saturday.
 

However, the interest of LPG customers of BPCL would be taken into consideration while deciding on the subsidy issue, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

PM-Cares Fund is absolutely transparent. It has been set up under the law: Anurag Thakur



Mamata Banerjee made Bengal a safe-haven for 'nefarious activities': Babul Supriyo

After the National Investigation Agency busted Pakistan-sponsored Al-Qaeda modules in Murshidabad, West Bengal, Union Minister Babul Supriyo on Saturday said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has made Bengal a safe-haven for "nefarious activities."
 

Supriyo said that Mamata "continues to play with fire with appeasement politics," after the NIA busted Pakistan-sponsored Al-Qaeda modules in Murshidabad, West Bengal and Ernakulam, Kerala and arrested nine terrorists on Saturday.

Congress man alleges custodial torture, Gujarat HC seeks cops' reports

The Gujarat High Court has sought a report from the Rajkot police commissioner on the status of complaints filed by a Congress leader alleging custodial torture after being arrested on the way to the collector's office there to hand over agriculture produce as a contribution to the the PM Cares Fund.
 

The division bench of Justices Sonia Gokani and NV Anjaria was hearing a contempt of court plea moved by Gujarat Congress Kisan Morcha president Palbhai Ambalia against two police officers.

Army deploys additional brigade on LoC to plug infiltration from Pakistan



PM Modi to lay foundation stone of 9 highway projects in Bihar on Sep 21



Congress calls a meeting to assist Sonia Gandhi to chalk out farm Bills strategy



42 MoUs inked during lockdown; 3 new policies unveiled: Tamil Nadu CM

Tamil Nadu has signed 42 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) during the enforced lockdown while three policies in the information technology sector were launched on Saturday.
 

The policies are on cyber security, block-chain and artificial intelligence, which were unveiled by Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
 

"During the COVID-19 lockdown period, we signed 42 MoUs, involving an investment of Rs 31,464 crore with a potential to create 69,712 jobs," he said.

Will ask for a curtailed session. Can't risk lives: Representatives of a political party



Govt introduces three labour bills in Lok Sabha

The government on Saturday introduced three bills related to labour laws, including on industrial relations, in the Lok Sabha amid opposition from the Congress and few other parties.
 

Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar introduced the Occupational Safety, Health And Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020, and the Code On Social Security, 2020.

BCCI, Emirates board sign MoU to boost cricketing ties

The BCCI and Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and hosting agreement to boost cricketing ties between the two countries.
 

BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted about the same.
 

"I along with Vice Chairman of Emirates Cricket Board, Khalid Al Zarooni signed an MoU & Hosting agreement between @BCCI and @EmiratesCricket to boost the cricketing ties between our countries," Shah wrote on his twitter handle.

No decision on selling only 'Made in India' products in military canteens:Govt

The defence ministry has not taken any decision on selling only "Made in India" products in military canteens run by it across the country, the government said on Saturday.
 

"No decision has been taken in this regard," Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said in Rajya Sabha.

VHP wants Indian manufacturers to replace Chinese imports

Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary Milind Parande said on Saturday that it was asking domestic industrialists to produce the goods which are otherwise imported from China.
 

Buying Chinese goods was akin to "empowering the enemy", he said, a day after a two-day meeting of the organization's central committee ended here.

No progress in J&K, people there do not have access to 4G: Farooq Abdullah



No record of MSMEs shut down amid pandemic: Govt

After claiming that the government has no data on the deaths of migrant labourers amid the nationwide lockdown as well as doctors who lost their lives due to Covid-19, the Centre on Saturday said that it has no record of MSMEs that have faced closure in the wake of the pandemic.
 

Interestingly, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Pratap Chandra Sarangi also said that there is no data on the number of MSMEs closed down from FY 2014-15 to FY 2019-20.

Border Guarding Forces of India & Bangladesh hold Directors General Level talks



LS floor leaders likely yo may meet later in the day to discuss curtailment of session

The government is contemplating curtailing the ongoing Monsoon Session in view of the rising COVID-19 cases amongst MPs, but nothing has been finalised so far, sources said on Saturday.
 

The Lok Sabha floor leaders of different parties are likely to meet later in the day to deliberate on the issue, the sources said.

Chopper scam: CBI files supplementary charge sheet against 15 accused

The CBI has filed a supplementary charge sheet against British National Christian Michel James and businessman Rajeev Saxena in the AgustaWestland chopper scam. 

In its final report filed before Special Judge Arvind Kumar, the CBI has named both alleged middlemen Michel and Saxena, and 13 others.

ECI to set up national database to track status of ex-gratia payments

The Election commission of India (ECI) is planning to set up a national-level database to track the status of ex-gratia payments to those who got injured or lost their lives while polling or poll-related duty.
 

Along with the national-level database, the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of all states have also been asked by the ECI to track all such claims, in an attempt to ensure they are not delayed.

Opposition attacks govt on several issues in RS: Covid-19, ordinances, migrants

Opposition parties Saturday attacked the government in the Rajya Sabha, accusing it of crossing constitutional bars, interfering in the affairs of states, failing to control private hospitals during the coronavirus crisis, and being unable to protect the migrant labourers and the poor.
 

Participating in a debate on The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020, they also charged the government with entering into the league of three democracies in the world that promote what they called 'ordinance raj'.

50% discount on electricity & water charges for industrial & commercial consumers



BJP should give account of 15 years of rule in MP: Nath

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath on Saturday said the BJP should give account of its 15-year-long rule in the state before asking about the performance of the previous Congress-led government that was in power for 15 months.
 

Nath also accused the BJP of coming to power in the state through "notes" (money).

Adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha over public procurement process amid Agri Reform Bills

Congress MP Manish Tewari on Saturday gave an Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over the apprehension on public procurement process carried out by the Food Corporation of India in the wake of Agriculture Reform Bills.
 

This comes after three ordinances were promulgated to usher in agricultural reforms for raising the income of the farmers and giving them more freedom to sell their produce. Besides Punjab, farmer protests have been witnessed in Telangana and Haryana.

Bengal has become home to illegal bomb-making: Dhankhar on NIA arrests

West Bengal has become "home to illegal bomb-making" and the state administration cannot escape its accountability for the "alarming decline" in law and order, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said on Saturday.
 

The governor's comments came after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested nine terrorists associated with a Pakistan-sponsored module of the al-Qaeda from several locations in West Bengal's Murshidabad and Kerala's Ernakulam early on Saturday.

Pakistan is trying to disturb peace in J&K by using drones to drop weapons: J&K DGP



Incidents of violence against health workers declined dramatically after ordinance: Health Min

A "dramatic" decline in the number of incidents of violence against health workers has been witnessed in the country after an ordinance was brought, making such activities a non-bailable offence, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan informed the Rajya Sabha on Saturday.
 

The government brought an ordinance on April 22 to amend the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 to make incidents of violence on health workers treating COVID-19 patients a non-bailable offence with provisions of penalty and a jail term of up to seven years.

India's fuel demand to contract 11.5% in 2020: Fitch Solutions

Fitch Solutions has revised downward its forecast for fuel demand contraction in India to 11.5 per cent in 2020 in line with further deterioration in the country's economic outlook.
 

Its economists forecast India's real GDP to contract by 8.6 per cent in the fiscal year 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021), down from -4.5 per cent previously.

Sena questions Modi govt's policies, praises Vajpayee-era NDA

The Shiv Sena on Saturday questioned the Modi government's policies on economy, trade and agriculture, and alleged that it was moving towards privatisation of airports, Air India and railways and giving the control of farmers' lives to traders and private players.
 

The party also alleged that the Centre introduced Bills on agriculture "without consulting" its allies,farmers' organisationsor opposition parties, and said the resignation of Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has brought the issue to the fore.

97 people died while travelling on Shramik Special trains: Piyush Goyal

The government has informed the Rajya Sabha that 97 people died on board the Shramik Specials, admitting for the first time that migrant labourers lost their lives in the trains which were run to ferry them during the COVID-19 lockdown.
 
In a written answer to a question posed by TMC MP Derek O'Brien on Friday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal provided the statistics to the upper house of parliament.
 
 
"Based on the data provided by State Police, 97 persons have been reported dead till 09.09.2020 while travelling on board Shramik Special Trains during current Covid-19 situation/crisis," the minister said.

Most RS Oppn members back amendments in IBC, some flag possible misuse

A majority of Rajya Sabha Opposition members Saturday supported a Bill granting interim relief to businesses from insolvency proceedings, even as some expressed fears over its possible misuse, and urged the government to also help the poor during the crisis.

The Upper House passed by a voice vote the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020', whereby fresh insolvency proceedings will not be initiated for at least six months, starting from March 25, against companies in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Most Opposition members supported the bill, expressing hope that it would help achieve an early revival of the economy.

Praful Patel (NCP) said there is nothing in the Bill to object to, but called for relief in the form of interest subvention for tourism, transport and airline sectors as they were reeling under financial stress.

"We need to go in for major amendments in the Bill, he said. There is going to be a serious problem even in the post-moratorium period. We may have to think 'out of the box' to help businesses, the way things are.

Harsh Vardhan moves Epidemic Diseases, Amendment Bill, 2020 for consideration in RS

The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was taken up in the Rajya Sabha on Saturday.

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan moved the bill to be taken up for consideration in the Upper House.

"In the year 2020, there has been an extraordinary situation around the world and also in the country. Many healthcare workers including doctors, paramedics were insulted in some form or the other, due to stigma attached to COVID-19. Centre government acted on this situation and found that there was a need for a law, a prohibitory mechanism against such incidents," Dr Harsh Vardhan said in the Rajya Sabha.

Gig firms to contribute 1-2% of turnover for social security of workers

Gig companies will soon have to allot one-two per cent of their annual turnover for social security funds of their workers, according to a new labour law scheduled to be tabled in the Parliament on Saturday.
 
This is the first time that “aggregators”—ride-sharing services, food and grocery delivery, logistic services, e-market places among them”—will be asked to contribute for the social security of gig economy workers. Read More
 

LG Manoj Sinha announces Rs 1,350 cr economic package for Jammu and Kashmir

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday announced a relief package of Rs 1350 crore for Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to boost the business and the other ailing sectors that have suffered huge losses for several years in the newly formed Union Territory (UT).
 
While addressing a press conference at Raj Bhawan, LG Sinha said: "This was just a beginning and much more was in the offing".He also lauded the Committee for submitting the report in a given time frame.
 
"I am glad to announce a Rs 1,350 crores economic package for the people in the business community facing economic difficulties. This is additional to the benefits of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and other measures taken by us to comfort the business community," he said.
 
"We have decided to give 5 per cent interest subvention to every borrower from the business community, without any conditions for six months in the current financial year. This will be a huge relief and help in generating employment here," he added.
 
"I also want to highlight that this is for the first time here in so many years that the Committee has submitted the report in the given time frame which was 12 days," Sinha further stated.
50% discount to be given for a year in electricity&water bills. Stamp duty exempted up to March 2021 in case of all borrowers

Magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes off shore of Greece's Crete

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake has been registered off the shore of the Greek island of Crete, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) said.

The tremor was recorded at 16:28 GMT, with the epicentre of the earthquake located 55 kilometres (34 miles) of the city of Heraklion at a depth of 60 kilometres.

No tsunami alert has been declared. There are no reports about any damages or victims caused by the earthquake.

Greece lies in a seismologically active region as the Mediterranean Sea is a border between the African and Eurasian plates. The movement of the African plate to the north - where the Eurasian plate lies - sometimes causes earthquakes and has already resulted in the formation of several mountain ranges in Europe, including the Alps.

RITES announces share buyback at Rs 265 per share

The board of directors at government-owned RITES Ltd has approved buy-back of 96.98 lakh equity shares with a face value of Rs 10 each at Rs 265 per share, translating into the total buyback amount not exceeding Rs 257 crore.

The company was listed in July 2018. At present 72.02 per cent of its shares are held by the government and the balance are with public and financial institutions.

Chairman and Managing Director Rajeev Mehrotra said the company has strong financial fundamentals with a debt-free balance sheet.

"This share repurchase programme reflects management's confidence in the company and growth prospects in sectors and geographies where we operate," he said in a statement.

TikTok drags US govt to court over President Trump's threat of ban

TikTok asked a judge to block the Trump administration from enacting a ban on the Chinese social-media network, as the company brought a geopolitical fight over technology and trade into a U.S. courtroom.
 
TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance Ltd., filed a complaint in Washington federal court late Friday night challenging President Donald Trump’s executive order that would block U.S. companies from doing business with them.
 
 
Trump exceeded his authority when he moved to ban the app, and did so for political reasons rather than to stop an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the U.S., as the law requires, according to the complaint. TikTok also said the ban violates the company’s First Amendment free speech rights.

Nirmala Sitharaman moves bill in Rajya Sabha to amend Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday moved the bill for the amendment of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 in the Rajya Sabha on Saturday.

Earlier, BJP MPs Sonal Mansingh and Neeraj Shekhar gave Zero Hour notices in the Upper House.

While Mansingh gave the notice over the demand to provide support to artists facing a hard time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shekhar gave it demanding the inclusion of Bhojpuri in Schedule 8 of the Constitution.

The Monsoon Session of the Parliament commenced on Monday and is slated to end on October 1.

'Resolutely opposed' to US decision of banning WeChat, TikTok: China

China's Commerce Ministry said on Saturday it was "resolutely opposed" to the U.S. decision to ban WeChat and video-sharing app TikTok from U.S. app stores starting Sunday night.
 
If the United States does not correct its mistakes, then China will take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate interests of Chinese companies, the ministry added without giving details.

Thai protesters hold ambitious rally for democratic reforms

Protesters were gathering Saturday in Bangkok for the most ambitious rally so far in a pro-democracy campaign that has shaken up the government and Thailand's conservative establishment.

Organisers are predicting as many as 50,000 will show up and march over two days in an area of the capital historically associated with political protests.

An estimated 10,000 people turned out for the last major rally on August 16, and this time, opposition political parties are expected to join and mobilize supporters from other provinces.

Demonstrators ignored a Thursday night plea from Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to cancel the event, which he said risked spreading the coronavirius and derailing recovery of the battered economy.

The core demands declared by the protesters in July were the dissolution of parliament with fresh elections, a new constitution and an end to intimidation of political activists.

They believe Prayuth, who as then-army commander led a 2014 coup toppling an elected government, was returned to power unfairly in last year's general election because the laws had been changed to favor a pro-military party.

A constitution promulgated under military rule is likewise undemocratic, they charge.

The mostly student activists raised the stakes dramatically during the August 10 rally by issuing a 10-point manifesto calling for reforming the monarchy.

Their demands seek to limit the king's powers, establish tighter controls on palace finances and allow open discussion of the monarchy.

Their boldness was virtually unprecedented, as the monarchy is considered sacrosanct in Thailand, and any criticism is normally kept private.

NIA arrests 9 Al Qaeda terrorists planning attacks in Delhi-NCR

Following raids in West Bengal and Kerala, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday arrested nine militants linked with the Al Qaeda terror group, who were planning attacks at several key installations in Delhi-NCR, a spokesperson said.

The NIA spokesperson said that the anti-terror probe agency carried out the simultaneous raids at several locations in Kerala's Ernakulam and West Bengal's Murshidabad after learning about an inter-state module of Al Qaeda operatives at various locations in India.

"The group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India with an aim to kill innocent people and strike terror in their minds," the spokesperson said, adding that it has registered a case on September 11.

The official said that NIA has arrested six terrorists from West-Bengal and three from Kerala in the early morning raids.

During the raids, large quantity of incriminating materials including digital devices, documents, jihadi literature, sharp weapons, country-made firearms, a locally fabricated body armour, articles and literature used for making home-made explosive devices have been seized from their possession.

"As per preliminary investigation, these individuals were radicalised by the Pakistan-based Al Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including the National Capital Region," the official said.

Local train coach derails near Mumbai, no passenger hurt; details awaited

One coach of a local train derailed near Atgaon station, about 95 kms from Mumbai, on Saturday morning, but there was no report of injury toany passenger, an official said.
 
Atgaon station is located in neighbouring Thane district on the Central Railway (CR) route.
 
According to the official, the train was going to Kasara station.
 
"One trolley of a middle coach of the suburban train derailed near Atgaon station around 7.28 am. No casualty or injury was reported in the incident," Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of the CR said.

PM Modi to attend two debates in this year's 'historic' UNGA session

India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti on Friday (local time) said the highlight of the "historic" UN General Assembly session this year will be the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in two debates in the high-level segments beginning from September 21.

"This time, the UN General Assembly will be historic and in more than one way. As far as India is concerned, the highlight will be the participation of PM Modi in two debates in the high-level segments starting on Monday," Tirumuti told ANI in an exclusive interview.

He said the first event is a general debate where the Prime Minister will represent India at the UN and deliver the national statement while the other is the high-level plenary meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN. "His address will certainly be the highlight of our participation in UNGA," Tirumurti remarked.

The diplomat informed that a biodiversity summit will be organised virtually on September 30 with the theme -- 'Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development'. "This will be the first summit on biodiversity in the UN. Our Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will be participating in this summit," he said.

Onions lying on ports to be exported to countries including Bangladesh

India has allowed the export of onions lying on ports in transit to all countries including Bangladesh, government sources said on Friday.

In the Kolkata zone, there are 20,089 metric tonnes of onion lying on the port while in Mumbai-II zone, 4,576 metric tonnes of the commodity are kept, sources said.

In other places like Trichy and Nagpur, 933 and around 258 metric tonnes of onion are lying on these ports respectively, they added.

The development comes after Bangladesh had expressed "deep concern" over India's decision to ban onion exports, according to media reports.

The central government on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions except those cut, sliced or broken in powder form, with immediate effect, in an apparent move aimed at increasing domestic supply and reducing the prices.

CM Chouhan demands Kamal Nath's apology for calling MP 'bikaau pradesh'

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday slammed his predecessor Kamal Nath for saying that Madhya Pradesh has become a 'bikaau pradesh' (sold state) and demanded his apology over the remarks.

"I am very shocked and pained that a person who had been the Chief Minister of the state for over a year, the man who is a Member of Parliament from the state since 1980 and became a Union Minister, has called Madhya Pradesh a sold state. This is an insult to the eight crore people of the state. Kamal Nath should apologise," Chouhan told ANI.

Earlier on Friday, Nath had accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of tarnishing the image of the state.

The Congress leader asserted that he felt ashamed of going to Delhi as people there say that everyone is ready to be "sold" in Madhya Pradesh, according to media reports.

Sikkim coroanvirus update: Three more Covid-19 fatalities, 29 new cases

A female health worker was among three more COVID-19 fatalities in Sikkim, where the death toll mounted to 25, an official said on Friday.

The 49-year-old health worker, posted as an Assistant Nursing Superintendent (ANS) in STNM Hospital, died due to the contagion, he said.

She had comorbid conditions, the official added.

Sikkim reported 29 fresh infections since Thursday, taking the tally to 2,304, including 422 active cases, he said.

A total of 1,857 people have been cured of the disease.

The state has thus far tested 46,292 samples, the official said.

Pak rejects India's demand for Queen's counsel to represent Jadhav

Pakistan on Friday rejected India's demand that an Indian lawyer or a Queen's counsel should be appointed for death-row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav to ensure a free and fair trial in this country.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, replying to a question during a media briefing, said India has been consistently making the "unrealistic demand" of allowing a lawyer from outside Pakistan to represent Jadhav, sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court for alleged spying.

We have informed India that only those lawyers are allowed to appear in Pakistani courts who have a license to practice law in Pakistan. This is in line with international legal practice. There can be no change in this position, he said.
 

Bengaluru violence: Fact-finding committee recommends socio-economic survey to assess loss of livelihoods

A fact-finding committee released a report on the violence in DJ Halli and KG Halli areas of Bengaluru last month and recommended an immediate socio-economic survey in the areas to assess the loss of livelihoods, nutrition, health, and shelter.

Violence broke out in parts of Bengaluru on August 11 over an alleged "derogatory" social media post. At least three people lost their lives and nearly 60 police personnel were injured during the incident. The police have arrested around 415 accused in connection with the violence.

GST Council to take call on funding compensation shortfall: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the GST Council will arrive at a common ground on ways to compensate states for loss of revenue, amid opposition charge that the Centre is reneging on its promise of paying compensation.

Replying to a debate on supplementary demands for grants in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said she will honour the commitments made by her predecessor Arun Jaitley with regard to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) compensation payout.

"Even if we are in an act of God situation, but we will discuss in the Council how to give compensation to the states... The Council will take a call on how to borrow to meet the (revenue) gap," she said.

The minister, however, ruled out funding the revenue shortfall from the consolidated fund of India, saying the amount has to be paid from the compensation cess kitty.


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