Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 CRORE TRADERS CLOSED TODAY IN BHARAT BANDH

More than 5 crore business establishments across the Country observed Bharat Bandh today in response to a call given by political parties. As per an estimate Retail business worth 6000 crores of rupees effected resulting into a loss of about Rs. 800 crores from indirect taxes as revenue to the Government – said the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia and Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal strongly questioned the so called “loss theory” of the Oil Companies which has prompted them to raise the petrol prices. They argued that if such Oil Companies are in losses than how come they are paying dividend to their shareholders and heavy bonus to their employees.
While demanding a Public Audit of the accounts of Oil Companies, both Mr. Bhartia and Mr. Khandelwal said that Oil Companies are showing huge profits in their annual accounts, so where is the question of incurring losses. 

When crude is processed there are number of items produced from crude. The Government should make people aware as to what all the items those processed from crude oil and what is the processed and sale prices of such items in the market. The govt should spell out the difference between the actual crude price, conversion value, tax component on Petrol and Diesel. Let there be transparency in the whole system-added the leaders.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Army Chief rejects perception of delays in arms procurement


A day prior to his retirement Army Chief General VK Singh has said that there are no difference between him and the Defence Ministry.

He said that Defence Minister A K Antony is “very clear headed” in supporting the armed forces.
"There is no misunderstanding between the Ministry of Defence and us. Army is part of the government. We are one. Whatever we say is listened to. The procedures are there. Sometimes you probably think that things are getting delayed because nobody is listening. That is not true and that is not the case," he said
The Army Chief on Monday reviewed the passing out parade of the National Defence Academy in Pune. He said that he has the right to raise voices against corruption in the Army.
The Army Chief asserted that perception of delay in arms procurement is wrong. He said that Army’s modernization is on course and it can face any challenge.
"This is not my Army or anybody else's Army. And as a nation, I think, we should be proud of our Army."

On the issue of corruption, he said that every citizen of the country should fight against corruption.

Suu Kyi ask Myanmar workers in Thailand to be back home

Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi  met  migrant laborers in Thailand asked them to return home and help build the country as it moves towards democratization.Aung San Suu Kyi arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday on her first trip outside Myanmar in twenty four years. She will join leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at the World Economic Forum on East Asia, due to open on Thursday.
On Wednesday, she visited an area in the outskirts of Bangkok where many migrant workers from Myanmar are working at seafood factories and other facilities.More than 2 million people from Myanmar are said to be working in Thailand.Aung San Suu Kyi said she wanted to see the actual conditions of migrant workers outside Myanmar.She told enthusiastic supporters that she hopes to help the migrants to return home as soon as possible.Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver a speech at the World Economic Forum meeting on Friday.

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks to be extradited to Sweden

 
Britain’s Supreme court  approves the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld lower court rulings, calling Swedish authorities’ extradition request lawful.Julian Assange of  WikiLeaks  is accused of sexual misconduct against two women in Sweden. He was arrested in Britain in December 2010.

Julian Assange  had always denied the accusations during lower court hearings. He said his arrest was made for political reasons because his whistle-blowing website disclosed thousands of sensitive US diplomatic documents. Hence Assange was released on conditional bail and is staying at a friend’s house in Britain, wearing an electronic monitor so authorities can track his whereabouts.

Romney clinch Republican presidential nomination

Mitt Romney has clinched the US Republican presidential nomination. He will face President Barack Obama in the November election.ABC Television on Tuesday declared the former Massachusetts governor the projected winner in the Texas primary. With this win puts him over the top, having secured more than the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination.
 
Romney had been the presumptive nominee for weeks, since his closest rival, Rick Santorum, withdrew from the race.Romney will be officially nominated at the Republican National Convention in August.

Romney said on Tuesday that he is humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican nominee.
He said he is confident that Americans will unite as a country on November 6th. He said they will then begin the hard work of fulfilling the American promise of restoring the country to greatness.

China Leads Growth in Global Wind Power Capacity


nksagar_1@yahoo.com
Worldwatch Institute
PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Contact: Supriya Kumar, skumar@worldwatch.org, (+1) 202-452-1992, ext. 510
  China Leads Growth in Global Wind Power Capacity     

New Worldwatch Institute report discusses worldwide developments in wind power
Washington, D.C.----Global installed wind power capacity continued to grow in 2011, albeit at a slightly lower rate than in 2009 and 2010, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute (www.worldwatch.org) for its Vital Signs Online service. The world now has approximately four times the installed wind capacity that it did in 2005, reflecting the combined effects of falling prices, improved technology, global investment, and various incentive programs. China led the way with a 43 percent share of global capacity additions in 2011, followed by the United States at 17 percent, India with almost 7 percent, and Germany at 5 percent, writes report author and Worldwatch's Climate and Energy Program Manager Mark Konold.

"China continues to lead the world in wind capacity additions, having increased its capacity a remarkable 40 percent since 2010," said Konold. "But a gap remains between this installed capacity and the amount of wind power that is actually available for use in the country. Because of grid connection challenges and other issues, China is struggling to use all of the electricity generated by its turbines."

Despite large increases in installed wind power capacity, several Chinese provinces, including Inner Mongolia and Gansu, have actually lost a significant portion of their generation capacity because of technical problems. Over the next five years, China plans to invest more than US$400 billion to make improvements to its electrical grid that will enable it to fully integrate its total installed wind capacity by 2015.

In 2011, the United States accounted for approximately 17 percent of global wind power capacity additions. Although the country generated 27 percent more electricity from wind in 2011 than in 2010, wind power still accounts for less than 3 percent of total U.S. power generation, according to the report. Konold credits much of the growth in U.S. wind power capacity to the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), which helped to finance approximately 4,000 megawatts of new capacity by reducing corporate income tax by 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour produced. But if the PTC is not extended beyond its scheduled expiration date at the end of this year, he cautions, the industry could be negatively affected.

The report also discusses wind power developments in the European Union, where Germany regained its position as regional leader for installed capacity. Currently, wind accounts for almost 8 percent of the country's electricity consumption. Although Spain added only a third of total EU capacity since 2008, wind power accounts for almost 16 percent of the country's electricity consumption. Economic instability has had some negative impacts on European wind power, however, pushing future growth projections down and potentially hampering investment.

Worldwide, wind power prices fell to $1.2 million per megawatt in the first half of 2011, mainly because of improvements in supply chain efficiency and economies of scale. Competition from Chinese manufacturers and their excess capacity to build machines and flood the market also played a role. In addition, the capacity factor of wind turbines (the ratio of actual output to nameplate capacity) continues to rise as better technologies enter the market, further driving down turbine costs. Combined, these factors are expected to bring down the cost of wind energy 12 percent by 2016, making onshore wind cost competitive with coal, gas, and nuclear power.

"Global wind power growth looks very strong and is on a continued rise, largely because of China's incredible level of investment," said Konold. "Withhold that, and the picture looks more muddled. Developed economies are not reaching their fullest potential due to financial and policy uncertainty, and many developing economies are running into technical problems, despite slightly stronger growth in wind power capacity. Although continued growth in wind power won't be as strong as it could be, as the supply increases and prices fall, wind energy is quite likely to continue its upward trend."

Further highlights from the report:
  • Global installed wind power capacity grew 21 percent in 2011, lower than the 2010 rate of 24 percent and markedly lower than the 2009 rate of 31 percent.
     
  • Nearly $75 billion was invested in global wind energy installations in 2011, a 22 percent decrease from 2010.
  • Although the United States lags behind Europe and China in offshore wind power capacity, the U.S. Department of Energy plans to make available $180 million over the next six years to support up to four innovative wind farms off the coasts or in the Great Lakes. 
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May 30 Vol 01, Issue 939
TODAY'S TOP HEADLINES
BCCI, PCB look to short cricket series in Dec-Jan
Possibility reportedly opens of BCCI, PCB squeezing in either three One Day Internationals, or two ODIs and a Twenty20 match between 23 December and 10 January.
Good Time For Srinivasan And BCCI To End 'Conflict Of Interest' In IPL
SPORTZPOWER VIEW - The biggest problem with the IPL remains the conflict of interest part where N Srinivasan, BCCI president, is also the owner of a franchise, the Chennai Super Kings.
Refurbushed Ntl Motorcycle Racing C'ship kickstarts 1 June
This year’s national championship sees introduction of 165CC Group C class for Open category riders & also start of manufacturer's championship for all classes.
ManU world’s most popular club: Survey
The largest global football follower survey ever conducted has named Manchester United the world’s most popular club, with 659 million followers worldwide.
Barclays not to renew title sponsorship of Singapore Open golf
Barclays' support since 2006 pivotal in turning the $6 million Singapore Open into a global event that attracted some of golf's biggest names.
AFC, Makita sign new 4-year deal
AFC announces that Japanese power tool company Makita has extended its commercial engagement with Asian football for a further four years.
Feature – Illicit Chanting and Strict Liability
Chanting by fans, often referred to as the ‘12th man’, has been recognised as an integral part of sport and is often seen as entrenched in sports culture. Clubs and teams encourage fans to create an atmosphere that encourages the team they support, but also intimidates the opposition and affects player performances

FROM THE HOME PAGE
 
INTERVIEW

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
Zuckerberg Drops Off Billionaires Index as Facebook Falls (Bloomberg)
Moily says Reebok not cooperating in probe, case referred to SFIO(Business Standard)
CRICKET
A short India-Pakistan cricket series likely in December-January(DNA)
IPL5
Another multimillion betting racket busted after bookie held in Chennai(SportzPower)
IPL ends in style, but loses sheen(Hindustan Times)
IPL: The Dirty Picture(India Today)
IPL auction is bad economics(Hindu Businesss Line)
Brand, baaja, baaraat: IPL-V is a superhitTimes of India)
FOOTBALL
Racism and Euro 2012: Football’s Ongoing Struggle(TIME)
OLYMPICS 2012
Indian arrow-dynamics: Top archers left high and dry ahead of qualifiers(Hindustan Times)
Tokyo sees best chance for Olympics in 2020(AFP)
MOTORSPORT
Parth for Formula Pilota(The Hindu)
F1 looks for a pattern in the unpredictable(Reuters)
McLaren F1 Developer Designs New Auto Driving 100 MPH on 96 MPG(Bloomberg)
F1 looks for a pattern in the unpredictable(Reuters)
HOCKEY
Pak fed fines 8 players for playing in World Series Hockey(SportzPower)
TENNIS
Mirza welcomes boom in Asian women's tennis(AFP)
POKER
World Series of Poker opens in Las Vegas(KFVS)

CM Modi releases the Resurvey Manual


Shri. Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister releases the Resurvey Manual prepared y the Revenue Department
          Land is becoming a scarce commodity. Preservation of this valuable asset and effective management strategies assume greater importance. Our foresighted predecessors have gifted us a system for maintenance of revenue records. In the era of fast urbanization and industrialization, society at large is having high expectations from the Revenue Department on the land management related issues. It is also necessary to meet the demand for government land along with far-sighted planning of its future requirements. Hence, it is inevitable to administer matters of land management with high degree of meticulousness and ensure accuracy in maintenance of records as well. A pre-requisite of modernization of land records is to capture in-situ real time land related data with the field survey of land in possession and  cultivated by farmers.
          The original survey for the areas under present State of Gujarat had been carried out from 1880-1915. The technology used for the survey was chain and cross staff. The measurements for each field were written on a paper which is known as the Tippan for that particular parcel of land. The area based on the measurements taken for the land parcel was calculated manually by using a ready reckoner. The survey number, its area, the occupant of this parcel and various other characteristics of this land parcel  were tabulated in a land record known as Akar Bandh. The sum total of the area of all survey number in a village not only gave the total area of the village, but also land area under various categories such as the cultivated land, the cultivable land, the uncultivable waste land, land under roads and other public purposes. What was lacking was the accuracy with regard to the measurements and  the survey of  land  which was done with the help of technology available at that time which had its own limitations.
          As per the provisions of the Gujarat Land Revenue Code, it is required to carry out resurvey at an interval of 30 years to recalculate assessment on agriculture land. Since the original survey, the State Government had not revised the revenue to be levied on agriculture land. Looking to the negligible amount of land revenue and to the benefit  of land holders Gujarat Government has suspended the collection of land revenue since the year 1997.
          Under National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP), the State is playing leading role in carrying out resurvey of land and it is planned to complete resurvey in entire State by year 2015 using sophisticated and latest land survey technologies like DGPS and ETS and G.I.S. based spatial data processing software (IGIS software). Digitized records will be generated by 100% survey of all agriculture land. This work is under progress and is being carried out by national level expert survey agencies under the direct supervision and guidance of the Revenue Department.
          In preparation of this manual, the experience of the field level functionaries and officers involved in the resurvey has been considered as a vital component since the programme is complex and technology driven.
The ground survey has been completed in 2742 villages out of 5297 villages of 7 districts and newly finalized revenue records of 126 villages have been promulgated by the concerned Prant Offices. GIS-ready digitized village maps, taluka maps and District maps are created integrating  new RoR data.
          Record of Rights is considered as presumptive record. There is growing awareness among the various Government  Departments about the utility of the GIS ready maps for the development planning. These maps will serve the purpose. New land  record will be prepared after surveying land as per actual possession of the holder. The State Government has taken a historic decision to alter the century old iconic format of Record of Right i.e. Village Form No. 7/12, in two separate formats. After resurvey, the new Village Form No. 7 will be provided to holder with Land Parcel Map (LPM) showing details of measurement and dimensions with allied details. With these three important components of the Revenue Department i.e. Survey, Record of Rights and Registration can be integrated and immediate consequent correction in spatial data will be possible in case of mutation. The Department has initiated e-Jamin project under which this process will be easily accommodated and maintained.
           The experiences of field level functionaries and officers of the Department involved in resurvey and reconstruction of the Revenue Records have been used to make the process simple in this high-tech programme. Through this publication, the department aims  to provide the  basic orientation to all the major stake-holders about various process and procedures related to land and its management and other important issues dealt by the Revenue and Survey Officers.  
            At this occasion Smt. Anandiben Patel, Hon'ble Revenue Minister, Shri. C.L.Meena, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, Shri. M.V.Joshi, Settlement Commissioner & Director of Land Records, Shri. Hemendra Shah, Additional Secretary and  Shri. Himanshu Dalwadi of the Settlement Commissionerate were present. The Manual has been prepared in English and Gujarati language.

WHO raises alarm over tobacco industry’s tactics

30 May 2012, New Delhi: On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May, WHO is urging governments to beware of the tobacco industry’s interference in tobacco control programme. As countries move to meet their obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the tobacco industry is becoming more aggressive in its attempts to undermine the treaty by acting against the policies contained in it.
 The industry is targeting the youth through increased advertising budgets in several countries of the WHO South-East Asia Region. One in ten school students are offered free samples of tobacco products. The tobacco industry has sued central and local governments over the pictorial warnings on cigarette packets claiming that they infringe on the industry’s rights to use their legally-registered brands and freedom of speech. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey shows that health warnings are effective and a large number of tobacco users noticed the warnings and thought of quitting. Similarly, lawsuits have been filed against smoke-free laws against the Ministries of Health. The apex courts later rejected these contentions and upheld the regulations.
 “Governments must protect people’s health from tobacco use and be vigilant about the tobacco industry’s interference in tobacco control measures” said Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. ”WHO will enhance its support to government initiatives to fight the tobacco industry” he added.
India and Indonesia are among the top ten tobacco leaf producers in the world. In addition the Region is one of the largest producers of smokeless tobacco products. Ninety percent of global smokeless tobacco users live in the Region. Sale of smokeless tobacco products in India  increased by over 25% between 2005 and 2010.
 Ten out of 11 Member States in WHO’s South-East Asia Region are party to WHO FCTC and nine counties have adopted comprehensive tobacco control legislations. Many countries have established smoke-free public places and banned cigarette advertisements. Sale of tobacco to minors is prohibited in most Member States. Global Tobacco Surveillance has been implemented in ten Member States and nationwide Global Adult Tobacco Surveys have been conducted in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Thailand.
Nepal recently prohibited smoking and chewing tobacco in public places, mandated graphic health warnings and provisions for health funds from tobacco taxation.  Thailand has declared all public places 100% smoke-free and banned display of cigarette packs at sale counters. Eight cities were declared smoke-free in Indonesia in spite of the strong influence of the tobacco industry.
Though tobacco and tobacco products are in the sensitive list in South-Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA), the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) aims to eliminate tariff barriers within the Region including tobacco. Tobacco companies in the Region are taking advantage of these liberal cross-border trade areas to the best of their advantage.
 WHO is urging governments to protect public health from the tobacco industry’s interference. Nongovernmental groups and academia must monitor and denounce this interference and the community must remain vigilant.

AP HC verdict against Muslim reservation

AP HC verdict against Muslim reservation - a slap on the face of UPA says VHP:Govts & Polititians needs to introspect & come out of apeasement politics Chandrababu should not become modern Nizam of Hyderabad

New Delhi May 29, 2012. Welcomming APHC verdict against muslim reservation VHP Delhi today passed a resolution terming it a slap on the face of UPA for its divisible politics and advise all governments and the political parties to keep away from apeasement policies based on communal grouds. After its meeting VHP state Gen Secretary shri Satyendra Mohan asked UPA for immediate withdrawal of its order and apologise to the nation in this regard.

Briefing media after the meeting in the VHP state HQtrs in Jhandewalan its Media chief Vinod Bansal said that we have already organised Hindu Sarv Jati Mahapanchayat in Talkatora stadium of the national capital last week where thousands of delegates from different sacts, casts & creeds of Hindu community determind to scrape it. Our campaign will further be intensified if union government do not roll it back forthwith. Govt should now learn a lesson as it is not new but this is forth time when high court has rejected this communal order, said Bansal. It is unfortunate that Mr Chandrababu Naidu today demands constitutional ammendment against this verdict. We advise him not to become modern Nizam of Hyderabad and should honour the constitution and the nation, VHP added.

Regards

Vinod Bansal
Media Chief

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

North and east of Italy rocked by earthquake

Italy at least eight people have been killed today when a strong earthquake rocked northeastern part of the country.According to the Geographical Institute of Modena the 5.8 magnitude quake struck about 60 kilometres east of the city of Parma, and sent panicked residents rushing into the streets.
The Police told the ANSA news agency that three were killed in San Felice del Panaro when a factory collapsed, two others died in the town of Mirandola, one each in Concordia , Finale and Rovereto di Novi town .

Today's quake was felt throughout northern and eastern part of Italy, causing the the collapse of several structures already weakened by the quake earlier this month.

Suu Kyi meets PM invitation to visit India


In the highest-level contact between India and Aung San Suu Kyi, PM Manmohan Singh held talks with Myanmar's democracy icon and handed over to her an invitation from UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to visit India which has a long-standing association with her.

Singh, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Myanmar in quarter of a century, and Suu Kyi held discussions for 45 minutes in Yangon on Tuesday.

During their meeting which took place on the last day of the Prime Minister's historic visit, Singh handed over to the Nobel laureate an invitation from Sonia Gandhi to visit India to deliver the next Jawaharlal Nehru memorial lecture.

Accepting in principle the invite, Suu Kyi said "I hope I will be able to take up the invitation not before too long".

Emerging from the meeting at the Sedonia Hotel, where the 66-year-old opposition leader of Myanmar called on the Prime Minister by sticking to protocol, Suu Kyi recalled the close association she and her parents had with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and his family.

"India and Burma have been friends not only because of geographical proximity but also because of shared values, heritage and fight for independence," she said.

Speaking first, the Prime Minister paid rich compliments to Suu Kyi, saying her "struggle and her determination has inspired millions of people all over the world".

"We in India are very proud of the very long-standing association with her (Suu Kyi) and the members of her family," Singh said.

Dressed in violet "longyi" (sarong) and a flip-fop, Suu Kyi, who has strong personal ties with New Delhi where she studied in Convent of Jesus and Mary School and Lady Sriram College in early 1960s, said "I particularly remember Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru".

"The struggle for India's independence took place at the same time as the struggle for Burma's independence. My parents were great admirers of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and other Indian leaders but we were particularly close to Panditji as I was taught to call him from a very young age," she said.

Suu Kyi said it has been "a great pleasure and privilege to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and I very much appreciate the fact that he has made time to see me here in Rangoon (Yangon) in spite of his very heavy programme."

Singh said "I have invited her (Suu Kyi) to visit India." "I sincerely hope that she will find it possible to visit India soon," he said.

"In his context, I have handed over to her the invitation letter to deliver the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture which is a very prestigious lecture. Mrs Sonia Gandhi has written an invitation letter to Madam (Suu Kyi) to do us the honour to deliver this lecture in India."

Suu Kyi was chosen by India in 1993 for the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Peace and International Understanding but has not received it so far as she was kept under house arrest by the military regime in Myanmar for much of the time since her return to the country in 1988 until she was freed last year.

Singh said "it has been a great honour, a great privilege" to interact with Suu Kyi.

The Prime Minister said India hopes that Suu Kyi will play a defining role in the national reconciliation and political reforms launched by Myanmar President Thein Sein.

Suu Kyi, on her part, said "we are pursuing our democratic goals on the basis of peace and stability".

She said the two countries have "learnt much from each other" and the "real friendship between them is the friendship between their people".

After the joint media interaction with Suu Kyi, Singh told a select group of journalists that "I enjoyed talking to her. I learnt a great deal about what empowerment is all about".

When pointed out that she had faced a lot of threats to her life last year, Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy, said "I don't think one should ever be scared".

The meeting between the Prime Minister and Myanmar's leader of the opposition came a day after Singh met President Thein Sein in the country's capital Nay Pyi Taw.

Singh is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Myanmar since Rajiv Gandhi's trip to this country in December, 1987.

None of the top Indian leaders, including former President A P J Abdul Kalam and Vice President Hamid Ansari, had in the past been able to meet Suu Kyi during their visits to Myanmar.

Observers of India-Myanmar relations also attached considerable significance to Suu Kyi calling on the Indian Prime Minister, in a break from the recent practice of several foreign dignitaries, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN chief Ban Ki-moon and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak going to the democracy icon's lake side residence in Yangon.

In order to meet the Prime Minister, Suu Kyi pushed back her proposed departure for Bangkok to attend a World Economic Forum meeting in her first visit abroad in 24 years.

Suu Kyi's ties with India go back to the days when her mother was this country's Ambassador to New Delhi in early 1960s.

India had shunned Myanmar's military Generals by openly supporting Suu Kyi and choosing her for the Nehru Award for Peace and International Understanding in 1993.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chaos on First day in UP assembly

UP Governor BL Joshi when started his customary address to the Assembly of the first day of the Budget Session, BSP MLAs started shouting and ran to the Well of the House and put hurdle to proceeding of the house.BSP MLAs  seen protesting against miserable law and order situation in the state.  BSP legislators tried to throw papers on Governor Joshi scuffled with the ruling Samajwadi Party MLAs and marshals.

Many legislators were found standing on chairs and tables. The House was adjourned till 12.30 pm by the Speaker amid chaos.Former CM and BSP chief Mayawati did  accused the SP government of vendetta politics, at her media briefing in Delhi.

Akhilesh holds all-party meet ahead of Assembly session


A day before the commencement of Uttar Pradesh Assembly session, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday held an all-party meet during which he sought their cooperation for holding maximum sittings of the House.

At the meeting at his official residence in Lucknow, which was attended by all major parties except BSP, Yadav said his government would ensure that House sittings were more than 90 days.
Seeking cooperation of opposition parties in issues related to public interest, the chief minister said that their problems would be heard and taken care of.
"The opposition has assured the CM of constructive and positive support to the SP in the House on issues of the common man," SP spokesman and MLC Rajendra Chowdhury said.
Among those present at the meet were Leader of House in Vidhan Sabha Ahmad Hasan and senior SP leader and minister Ambika Chowdhry. CLP leader Pramod Tiwari, BJP Leaders Hukum Singh and O P Prakash Sharma, Peace Party and Apna Dal leaders Dr Ayub and Anupriya Patel respectively and RLD leader Thakur Dalveer Singh also participated in the discussions.
On the absence of BSP, Chowdhury claimed that while the party should have attended the meet, "It seems that they did not believe in democratic courtesy."
"The party should shun petty politics on such issues," he said.
Later, Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey also held an all-party meeting which decided to hold discussion on Governor's address for four days instead of three days.
"Earlier, the discussion on Governor's address was kept for three days which has been increased to four days from May 29-June 1.”
"In view of local bodies polls in which MLAs have to give time in their areas, we have also asked to reschedule the session accordingly," CLP Leader Pramod Tiwari said.
BSP leaders, who were not present at the CM's residence, attended the meet held by the Speaker.
Leader of Opposition in Vidhan Sabha Swami Prasad Maurya said that his party would raise issues including the alleged 'goondaraj' prevailing in the present regime.
The new SP government will present its first budget in this session.

Army Chief ratifies order to dismiss Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash


Just before his retirement, Army Chief Gen V K Singh has ratified a court martial decision to dismiss former military secretary Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash from service after he was found guilty by an Army court in the Sukna land scam case.

The dismissal means that he will not get any benefits like pension and will not be entitled to use Army rank or any privilege attached with military service.
Prakash is the senior-most officer to have been awarded this punishment by the Army. The Army Chief confirmed the sentence awarded to the former Military Secretary by a General Court Martial (GCM) in December last year.
The decision was taken by Gen V K Singh on May 21, ten days before his retirement from service, sources told a news agency in New Delhi.
Commenting on the development, Prakash said, "I am considering various options available under the service rules and legal remedies to protest against the decision taken by the Army Chief."
In recent interviews, the Army Chief has also blamed the former Military Secretary for raking up the age issue by filing RTIs.
Prakash was held guilty of misusing his position under Section 45 (conduct unbecoming of his position as an officer) and Section 52 (intent to defraud) of the Army Act by the General Court Martial at 51 sub-area of the Army station at Narengi in Guwahati.
The court martial was conducted after Prakash was indicted by an Army court of inquiry in 2010 for his role in the illegal transfer of 71 acres of land adjacent to the Sukna military station near Siliguri in West Bengal to a private realtor for constructing an educational institution in 2008.
He is the third Lt Gen rank officer to have been punished in a corruption-related case. Lt Gen S K Sahni was cashiered from service for his role in the ration scam and Lt Gen P K Rath was given a punishment in the Sukna case earlier.
While Prakash and Sahni were punished after their retirement, Rath was serving when he was indicted. The officer has now retired.
The Sukna land scam dates back to 2008 when the alleged move to transfer the land in Siliguri to a private educational trust came out in the open, leading to the Army initiating disciplinary proceedings against senior Army officials, including Prakash and Rath.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

No immediate rollback S Jaipal reddy



The government has their reasons not to roll back oil price hike which is too exorbitant but their failure to bring in alternate fuel management adopted in Brazil and to find alternate source of investment  and revenue for the oil companies have put the nation in state of limbo. Ruling out any immediate rollback in the steep Rs 7.54 a litre hike in petrol prices, the govt on Friday said it will watch international oil prices and rupee-dollar rate for a few days before taking any decision on cutting rates.

Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy on Friday came out to defend the third price increase in a year and the first in almost seven months, saying the oil companies had exhausted all options.

Breaking his silence over the hike announced by oil companies on Wednesday, Reddy said: "All political parties including my own party (Congress) are populist... (but) we cannot run the country on populist sentiments".

State-owned oil companies had lost over Rs 7,100 crore in last two years on selling petrol despite having freedom to adjust rates in line with cost and in April and May this year they lost Rs 2,330 crore.
Sri Lanka,Pakistan and Bangladesh the oil companies of neighboring  countries working with market price less than prevalent in India.

"We are duly conscious of the sense of disturbance among consumers (caused due to the price rise)," he said adding the hike was necessitated due to double disaster of devaluation of rupee against the US dollar and increase in international oil prices.

There is a downward trend in international oil prices but it would be hasty to arrive at a conclusion that retail pump prices can be reduced on the basis of this trend of few days.

"We are not able to take a definitive view because there is lot of volatility in value of rupee vis a vis dollar and volatility in prices of crude oil," he said.

"We have decided to watch (the situation) for just a few days... and when I say few days it is days not week... we want to know (if this) is a stable trend (and) we will come back to you (about a reduction in rates)," he added.

Asked about the opposition to the price hike from within his own party, Reddy said, "The Congress party is also a political party and like all other political parties (it) doesn't want to advocate unpopular causes even if they are unequivocal causes".

"This is politics, not physics," he remarked.

"The government cannot remain indifferent to the people's feelings," he said as the clamour for a rollback from within the Congress party and its allies grew louder.

Oil companies revise petrol prices on 1st and 16th of every month on the basis of average international oil price and the foreign exchange rate in the previous fortnight.

Gasoline price, against which petrol price has been benchmarked, has come down from USD 124 per barrel (that was the basis of Wednesday's steep hike) to USD 117 a barrel.

Rupee has come back from its sub-56 levels to close at 55.37 to a dollar on Friday but is still lower than Rs 53.17 to a dollar that was taken into account for the price hike. If it appreciates further, there will be a scope for price cut.

"I will take a view what trend is likely to be. I want to have a feel (of lower oil prices first)," Reddy said. "Rupee has depreciated steeply. We dont know when it will stop. Therefore I would like to watch (for sometime)."

Asked about the timing of the price revision which the oil companies avoided on the eve of assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh and announced it only after the government got Budget passed in Parliament, he said, "Is there a good time for increase in price? There is no good time".

Reddy said while the decision to increase the price was harsh and unpleasant, the hike was warranted due to the poor financial state blue chip oil companies had landed into.

Reddy said his ministry has been seeking a meeting of the high-powered ministerial panel to decide on price of diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene but no dates have been fixed yet.

The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has not met in nearly a year. State-owned oil companies currently lose Rs 512 crore per day on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene.

Diesel is currently sold at a loss of Rs 15.35 a litre, kerosene at Rs 32.98 per litre loss and oil firms lose Rs 479 on sale of every 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

The three firms had together lost Rs 138,541 crore in revenue in 2011-12. This year they are projected to lose a record Rs 193,880 crore.

"They (PSU oil companies) are among world's Fortune companies. They are our bluechip companies at the global level. We cannot allow their image to be adversely affected at any cost," Reddy said.

"Therefore oil marketing companies feel desperate (when they bleed from selling fuel below cost). So do we," he said.

"This decision is unpleasant and harsh (but) was taken by oil marketing companies".

But the government at this point cannot take a view on forcing a price cut due to uncertainty about where international oil prices and rupee-dollar rate will settle, he said.

Reddy said the both Centre and the state government should cut taxes to reduce burden on the common man.

While the Centre earns Rs 14.78 from sale of every litre of petrol, the state governments pocket between Rs 12.20 to Rs 19.83 per litre.

Roughly 40 percent of the petrol price is made up of central and state taxes. He proposed joint consultations between the states and centre to reduce taxes on not just petrol but also diesel.

Syria rebels want air strikes on regime forces

The rebel Free Syrian Army called on Saturday for the Friends of Syria to carry out air strikes on the forces of President Bashar al-Assad after more than 90 people, including 25 children, were reportedly "massacred" in the town of Houla. Turkey-based General Mustafa Ahmed al-Sheikh, head of the FSA's military council, called on the international community to take "an appropriate stance after the heinous crime committed by Assad's assassin regime in the Houla region." "We are calling urgently on the Friends of Syria to create a military alliance, outside of the UN Security Council, to carry out targeted strikes against Assad's gangs and the symbols of his This is not the first time the opposition has called on the Friends of Syria to intervene the 14-month-old conflict. On April 19, General Sheikh urged "the formation of a military alliance of countries friendly to the Syrian people, without UN Security Council approval, to carry out surgical strikes on key installations of the regime." The United States, France, Britain, Germany, and Arab nations Saudi Arabia and Qatar are leading members of the Friends, which has held several meetings calling for tougher action against the Assad regime. Describing Assad's regime as "one of the main causes of instability in the region and the world," Sheikh he also called on rebel fighters in Syria to carry out "targeted military strikes" against the forces of the regime.>And he called on Syrians, especially in Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, to "demonstrate continuously."Yesterday, government forces shelled Houla, in central Homs province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 90 civilians were killed, while the opposition Syrian National Council put the figure at more than 110. The SNC called on the FSA yesterday night to "prevent the regime and its armed militias from reaching residential areas by cutting off roads by any means necessary." More than 12,600 people have been killed in Syria since a revolt against Assad's rule broke out in March 2011, including nearly 1,500 since a UN-backed truce took effect on April 12, according to the Observatory.

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