Sounding the poll bugle from Mandsaur, the epicentre of last year’s farmer agitation in which five people were killed in police firing, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked prime minister Narendra Modi for his “poor” show on job creation and farm distress. Rahul promised to waive all loans of farmers in case his party comes to power in Madhya Pradesh, which goes to poll in November. He also assured farmers that payment for their crops in mandis would be made in cash, suggesting that note ban and the following shift to digital mode of payment had hurt them.
Plan and Policy
Plan & Policy
When India’s top three banks in terms of lending, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank, increased their marginal cost of lending rates (MCLR) by 10 basis points, with effect from June 1, 2018, ahead of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policy meeting, those prescient enough to read the tea leaves knew that a rate hike was imminent.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Army will continue to respect the ongoing Ramzan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir but asserted that no unprovoked attack from across the border will go unanswered as the forces have been given the right to hit back. Sitharaman, addressing a press conference on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the NDA government, said the Army was given the right to adequately respond to any cross border attacks or unprovoked firing.
Reaching out to NDA allies ahead of the 2019 general elections, BJP chief Amit Shah will meet Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Wednesday and Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh the following day.
The government hopes to touch renewable power capacity of 225 gigawatts (GW) by March 2022, the power minister said on Tuesday, likely breaching the 175 GW target set in 2015. “We will cross the target of renewable energy before 2022,” RK Singh said, adding bids for the entire 175 GW will be out by March 2020.
India, which is a signatory to the Paris accord for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, has an installed capacity of over 70 GW, up from 34 GW in December 2014.
The Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), a Pune-based non-profit group, has warned the government about rising use of plastics in agriculture. It has suggested alternative natural materials obtained from plants, animals, and new generation biopolymers, which are plastics made from biomass sources.
While lauding the government’s efforts banning single use plastics and enforcing penalties for non-compliance, WOTR has urged action that goes beyond bans and prevent contamination of soil, water, food and air.
Despite a $26 billion (Rs 2,600 crore) package sanctioned by the government, industry expects leather and leather products exports to grow only marginally by three to four per cent in the current financial year. Double-digit growth is not expected to return even next year.
Leather exports have registered a flat growth in FY18.
Prime minister Narendra Modi is set to extend a welfare programme to India’s 50 crore workers as he bids for re-election in 2019, but he has limited time and resources to implement the ambitious plan.
Modi aims to initially provide three programmes -- old age pension, life insurance and maternity benefits, while leaving out unemployment, child support and other benefits -- to most working citizens, said government officials, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private.
The Union cabinet is slated to take up the MSP policy for approval on Wednesday where MSPs of 24 crops will be fixed at 50 per cent more than their cost of production. This would weigh heavily on the fiscal position even if the expenditure is to be partly borne by the states.
The CBI has questioned industrialist and former Congress Parliamentarian Naveen Jindal in connection with its probe into a 2014 case registered by the agency against Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL), among others, for alleged cheating and corruption.