New Delhi

House bids farewell to President Mukherjee

Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday expressed concern over the declining amount of time spent in lawmaking, saying Parliament should adequately scrutinise and debate laws before they are enacted. “It is unfortunate that the parliamentary time devoted to legislation has been declining,” he said at a farewell function in Parliament attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, besides others.

Rs 200 note to be in circulation by end of year, RBI ‘puts orders’ for it

Introduction of Rs 200 note will fill in the “missing middle” even as the new cu­r­rency in circulation (CIC) has already reached 84 per cent of the pre-demonetisation level, says a report. Cash with banks, a CIC component, has, however, witness­ed a decline over November 2016 level, said the SBI Eco­wrap report.

The data for June 23, 2017 shows cash in hand with banks declining to 5.4 per cent of the currency in circulation from a high of 23.19 per cent for the fortnight ended November 25 2016, it said.

50 experts to be inducted in govt via lateral entry

In a major move aimed at bringing domain expertise to policy making, the government has decided to open its doors for private sector spec­i­alists in select departments, a senior personnel ministry official said. A proposal is being worked out to induct 50 such specialists from the private sector in government departments at the level of director and joint secretary, he said. Civil service officials man many of these posts.

7-day ‘silent period’ for MPC members

In an attempt to streamline the working of the Reserve Bank of India governor headed six-member monetary policy committee and resolve issues concerning conflict between members’ personal and public interest, the central bank has notified new regulations for functioning of the committee.

The government appointees on MPC will be paid Rs 1.5 lakh per meeting along with air travel and other reimbursements, but will need to observe a “silent period” seven days before and after the rate decision for “utmost confidentiality”.

I-T to sell 9.8% Cairn Energy stake in Indian subsidiary

The income tax (I-T) department has firmed up its plan to attach and sell the 9.8 per cent stake the Scottish oil explorer still holds in Cairn India even after selling the erstwhile subsidiary to Vedanta. The move comes even as Cairn Energy has pinned its hope on a favourable order from arbitration panel early next year over its tax dispute in India.

Centre and sugar mills agree to cap cane price

The Centre has extracted a promise from sugar mills to ensure retail price at the current level until the next crushing of cane starts in November.

The assurance is in lieu of implementing the Rangarajan committee’s recommendation of price sharing.

Babus beat PM when it comes to official gifts

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s diplomatic over-drive makes him rub shoulders with world leaders, but when it comes to receiving gifts from foreign dignitaries, his officials and cabinet colleagues beat him hands down. 

Bottles of whiskey, a Tissot watch, champagne glasses and a baby doll were the gifts received by Indian ministers and officials from foreign guests in the first three months of this year.

Most of these items were deposited in toshakhana, the official gift keeper of the government, or returned to the recipient. 

Data protection integral to Right to Life: Centre to SC

Asserting that data involved fundamental rights of individuals, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme that the government will come out with a regulatory regime for data protection.

This submission was made before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra, which was examining the contentious issue of the 2016 privacy policy of messaging platform WhatsApp.

During the arguments, Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha contended that data of users was “integral” to the Right of Life and Personal Liberty guaranteed under the Constitution.

In power surplus India, some signs of worry

Electricity consumers may be enjoying good times due to surplus power in the country but not the generators who have to run their plants at less than optimum capacity, which has in turn adversely affected viability of operations.

Things are especially bad for private thermal power producers. The overall plant load factor (PLF) level for private coal-fired plants during May worked out to 56.37 per cent, far lower than the optimum level of 85-90 per cent.