LIVE: Traders declare Bharat Bandh as success, claim loss of Rs 1 trillion

CAIT claimed that 'Bharay Vyapar Bandh' has caused a loss of about Rs 1 trillion | Photo: ANI
Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in a virtual meeting today with CEO, NITI Aayog and Secretaries of 22 Infrastructure Ministries/Departments discussed post-budget action points for infrastructure roadmap ahead including NIP implementation. 

Meanwhile, the day-long 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) evoked a lukewarm response with most shops and commercial establishments open through the day. The traders' body, however, claimed that shopkeepers supported its nationwide business shutdown call to protest against issues related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and "unethical business practices of foreign e-commerce companies".

CAIT claimed that 'Bharay Vyapar Bandh' has caused a loss of about Rs 1 trillion.

 
After contracting for two quarters in a row, the Indian economy grew by 0.4 per cent in the October-December quarter amid coronavirus pandemic, official data showed on Friday. The gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 3.3 per cent in the corresponding period of 2019-20, according to the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO). 

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

LIVE UPDATES

Six dead in fire accident in Sivakasi, TN CM announces Rs 3 lakh for kin of each deceased

Six people have died in a fire accident at a firecracker factory near Sivakasi, confirms Joint Director of Health Services, Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has announced Rs 3 lakhs each for the families of the six persons who died in a fire at a firecracker factory near Sivakasi on February 25. Rs 1 lakh to be provided to the injured person. (ANI)

Markets remain open as 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' fails to impact Delhi

All markets remained open in east Delhi's Madhu Vihar and other areas despite the Confederation of All India Traders' (CAIT) call for a 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' on Friday.
 
Speaking to IANS, Rajesh Mishra, owner of RR Paints (located in east Delhi) and the Secretary of Madhu Vihar Traders Association, said, "If the businesses are closed then it affects both the government as well as the shopowners."
 
The Madhu Vihar Traders Association had decided that the markets won't be closed and talks with the Central government would open, he added. Speaking to IANS, Gautam Sabhrawal who owns a grocery shop 'Sai Home Needs' in south Delhi's Sharma Colony area said, "We have opened our shop and customers are coming as usual", adding that we only got to know about the 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' on Friday morning.

S Jaishankar, UAE foreign minister hold talks, review bilateral ties

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan held talks on Friday and reviewed the growing bilateral cooperation.
 
"Reaffirming an extraordinary friendship. Always nice to welcome FM HH @ABZayed to India. Reviewed our growing cooperation. Discussions underscored our shared purpose and common interest," Jaishankar tweeted after the talks.
 
The UAE foreign minister's visit comes just over two months after Jaishankar visited the United Arab Emirates in November last year. Jaishankar had paid a two-day visit to the UAE on November 25-26.

'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' evokes lukewarm response

The day-long 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) evoked a lukewarm response with most shops and commercial establishments open through the day. The traders' body, however, claimed that shopkeepers supported its nationwide business shutdown call to protest against issues related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and "unethical business practices of foreign e-commerce companies".
 
Various markets in the national capital were open on Friday during the Bandh with many saying that despite supporting the cause, they did not want to suffer another day of losses.
 
However, CAIT in a statement said the shutdown was a "grand success" as more than 8 crore small businesses belonging to about 40,000 trade associations across the country kept their shutters down and no trading activity took place in any commercial market.

GDP numbers: Positive surprise for third quarter but negative for FY21?

The CSO keeps the suspense alive on growth forecasts by coming with a second advance estimate in February after the first was released in January. The January forecast is based on extrapolations of data known till November or December for most variables while the second estimate is based on more of the realized data.

Given that corporate performance has been good for the third quarter and that these numbers enter the calculations for several sectors, these estimates capture the picture in a better manner. Simultaneously there are the Q3 numbers which are provided which are more significant this time as several indicators showed that the economy had turned the corner. READ ON...

Businesses unaffected in Punjab, Haryana in 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh'

Businesses remained unaffected in Punjab and Haryana on Friday during the "Bharat Vyapar Bandh" called by trader unions, with many saying though they supported the cause, they could not afford to down shutters, according to a PTI report.
 
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Thursday had said all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26 in view of its 'Bharat Bandh' call demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
 
The CAIT had said dharnas (protests) would be held nationwide at 1,500 places to urge the Centre, state governments and the GST Council to keep in abeyance the "draconian" provisions of GST.

Rupee logs worst day in nearly 19 moths, dives 104 paise against dollar

The Indian rupee on Friday posted its biggest single-day fall in nearly 19 months, tumbling 104 paise to close at 73.47 against the US dollar as a rout in global bond markets weighed on investor sentiments.
 
Besides, rising geopolitical tensions between the US and Syria also led to weaker appetite among investors in domestic forex markets, analysts said.
 
At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 72.43 against the greenback, then lost further ground to touch an intra-day low of 73.51. READ ON...

Disengagement at all friction points necessary to consider de-escalation of troops: S Jaishankar

India has told China that disengagement at all friction points is necessary to contemplate de-escalation of troops in eastern Ladakh even as the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed to establish a hotline for "timely" communication and exchange of views.
 
In the first high level contact after the two countries agreed early this month to disengage from the Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during a telephonic conversation on Thursday that peace and tranquillity on the border is essential for development of bilateral relations. The armies of the two sides last week concluded withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of the Pangong lake.

SC agrees to hear plea for caste-wise 2021 census for backward classes

The Supreme Court Friday agreed to hear a plea seeking direction to the Centre for conducting a caste-wise 2021 census for backward classes for efficient allocation of budgetary resources and excluding the 'creamy layer' and 'non backward class' citizens from a particular caste.
 
A bench of Chief Justice Bobe and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice to the Centre and National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) and tagged the matter along with other pending matters.

Indian economy to contract by 8% in 2020-21: Govt estimates

Indian economy to contract by 8 per cent in 2020-21: Govt estimates

India's Q3 GDP grows at 0.4%

India's gross domestic product expanded 0.4% in the three months ended December, after contracting for two consecutive quarters, according to government data released on Friday. This will help Asia’s third-largest economy exit an unprecedented recession. The country's economic growth shrank 7.5% a quarter ago and grew 4.1% in the year-ago period.
 
India is now one of the few major economies to post growth in the last quarter of calendar year 2020, with any improvement in the economy’s performance inversely tied to a drop in Covid-19 infections. But the country has seen an uptick in cases over the last few weeks raising the risk of a new round of localised lockdowns. READ ON...

Indian cricketer Yusuf Pathan announces retirement from all forms of the game

Boeing 777 makes emergency landing in Moscow: Reports

Russian media report that a Boeing 777 plane made an emergency landing in Moscow in the early hours of Friday after the pilot reported a problem with the engine.
 
The Interfax news agency cited an anonymous source saying that the pilot on the flight from Hong Kong to Madrid reported a failure of one of the left engine control channels and requested an emergency landing at the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.
 
The plane carrying both cargo and passengers landed safely and no one was injured, the report said. Earlier this month, a Boeing 777 operated by United Airlines had to make an emergency landing in Denver after one of its engines blew apart, spewing huge chunks of wreckage that landed in neighborhoods and sports fields. READ ON...

Puducherry Lt Governor announces 2% reduction in VAT on petrol and diesel

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor announces a 2 per cent reduction in VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel in the union territory.

Rupee tanks 104 paise to close at 73.47 (provisional) against US dollar


Many market associations support 'Bharat Vyapar bandh' but keep shops open

Various markets in the national capital remained open on Friday during the 'Bharat Vyapar Bandh' called by traders' union with many saying that despite supporting the cause, they did not want to suffer another day of losses.
 
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Thursday had said all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26 in view of its 'Bharat Bandh' call demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.
 
The CAIT said dharnas (protests) will be held nationwide at 1,500 places to urge the Centre, state governments and the GST Council to keep in abeyance the "draconian" provisions of GST.

Muted response to Bharat Bandh in Telangana

Protests at few places by the Left parties and trade unions affiliated to them in Telangana marked the 'Bharat Bandh' to protest against the fuel price hike. The shutdown call given by All India Traders' Association evoked poor response in the state. Few shops and business establishments downed shutters in parts of Hyderabad and some other towns.
 
The bandh had no major impact on normal life. Good transport activity, however, came to a halt as the truck owners' association joined the shutdown.
 
As the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) backed the shutdown, the truckers in the state joined too the protest demanding some relief from the Centre.

Bharat Vyapar Bandh: Shops closed, commercial vehicles off roads in Odisha

Traders across Odisha downed shutters and commercial vehicles remained off the roads in the state in solidarity with the nationwide 12-hour bandh called by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday. The 6 am-6 pm strike is being observed for demanding simplification of the Goods and Services Tax procedure and the e-way bill mechanism, among other issues.
 
Essential services like medicine and milk, however, were kept out of the purview of the bandh, Odisha Byabasayi Mahasangha leader Sudhakar panda said.
 
Special Secretary of Home Department Santosh Bala, in a letter to district collectors and magistrates, also asked officials to ensure that essential services are not affected due to the strike.

'Bharat Bandh' demonstrations across India against rising fuel prices

Protesting farmers stop wheat-laden train in Punjab's Moga

A group of farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm laws on Friday stopped a wheat-laden train in Punjab's Moga district. The train was stopped at the Dagru railway station after it came out of a privately-owned grain silo in Dagru village, the police said.
 
The protesting farmers sat down on the tracks, saying they would not allow the train to go out of the state, they added. The move was part of the protesting farmers' agitation against big corporates, said Baldev Singh Zeera, state general secretary, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Krantikari).

We were resolute, strong about protecting our interests: S Jaishankar on border issue

India was strong and resolute when it came to handling the border issue and dealt with it in an effective manner, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Friday in an apparent reference to the standoff between India and China.
 
Similarly, India also dealt effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact by fashioning its own response after listening to everyone, he said at the inaugural session of the 'Asia Economic Dialogue' organised by the Pune International Centre.
 
"Last year, we had three big developments which all impacted us nationally. They impacted the world as well -- one was COVID-19, the second was its economic impact and the third was the challenges that we found on our border which obviously had implications," the External Affairs Minister said.

Negligible response to Bharat Bandh call in Uttar Pradesh

The Bharat Bandh call given by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday against rising fuel prices, the new e-way bill and Goods and Services Tax (GST) has evoked negligible response in Uttar Pradesh.
 
The All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA) -- the apex body of the organised road transportation companies -- had announced support to the Bandh but in Uttar Pradesh, transporters were apparently divided and in several cities, trucks were seen operating even after the 'chakka jam' began at 6 a.m.
 
"We cannot stall trucks without prior notice. We have commitments to fulfil to our clients and deliver goods on time," said Daljeet Singh, a truck operator from Haryana who was seen with his truck in Lucknow on Friday.
 
Commercial establishments in almost all major cities, including Lucknow, Meerut and Agra, were open on Friday.

Bharat Bandh call fails to get support in Rajasthan

The Bandh call on Friday given by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) against GST and rising fuel prices failed to get any support from the Rajasthan traders, as the markets were functioning smoothly. All markets remained open in Jaipur and traders were seen doing regular business.
 
Seema Sethi, National senior vice-president, CAIT told IANS: "We have given a call to traders for their benefit, but it seems they did not realise its significance and hence have not shown unity.
 
"There are many groups amongst traders and lot of politics is being done. When they will realise the significance of this Bandh, they shall join hands with us," she added.

Indian health eco-system is being seen with new eyes, new respect and new credibility: PM Modi

Indian health eco-system is being seen with new eyes, new respect and new credibility. However, this also means that world will have greater expectations from you which is responsibility on your young & strong shoulders: PM Modi at convocation of Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University.

West Bengal election 2021: Smriti Irani holds roadshow in South 24 Parganas district

West Bengal: Union Minister and BJP leader Smriti Irani holds a roadshow in Panchpota area of South 24 Parganas district.

CAIT has said that all commercial markets across India will remain closed today in view of its 'Bharat Bandh'

Traders' body CAIT has said that all commercial markets across the country will remain closed on February 26 in view of its 'Bharat Bandh' call demanding a review of the provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

Bharat Bandh LIVE updates: Latest visuals from West Bengal


Bharat Bandh LIVE updates: AITWA to hold ‘Chakka Jam’ today

Responding to CAIT’s call for the bandh, nearly 40,000 trade associations, representing eight crore traders of the country, have extended their support. Additionally, the apex body of the organized road transportation companies, the All India Transport Welfare Association (AITWA), has also extended their support to the cause and announced they will hold a ‘Chakka Jam’ (road blockade) on the same day.

GST has resulted in the misery of traders, says CAIT

In a statement, the confederation said that repeated statements from CAIT were ‘never responded to by the GST Council’. Their ignorance thus generated a feeling in the country that the council has ‘its own agenda’ and doesn’t seem to be interested in seeking the cooperation of traders. 

Samyukta Kisan Morcha appeals to farmers to peacefully participate in 'Bharat Bandh'

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) who are leading anti-farm laws protests along the Delhi borders on Thursday appealed to the farmers to peacefully participate in a 'Bharat Bandh' called by transport and trade unions on February 26.

CAIT has called for a nationwide strike today in protest against rise in fuel prices, new e-way bill and GST

Confederation of All India Traders has called for a nationwide strike today in protest against rise in fuel prices and new e-way bill and GST.

Bharat Bandh: AITWA demands abolishing of the E-Way bill

The All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), one of the foremost apex bodies of India's Road Transport Sector, has extended support to Bharat Bandh call by The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) against Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its Eway Bill rules.

Farmers stand in solidarity with the traders' unions and transporters who have called for 'Bharat Bandh' today


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