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03 February 2014

NEWS


THE HEADLINES:
  • CNG price to come down by about Rs 15 per kg; PNG cheaper by about Rs 5 per cubic meter.
  • Aam Aadmi Party, MLA Madan Lal claims he was offered 20 to 30 crore rupees by a Modi aid to topple Kejriwal Government.
  • Prime Minister announces another 4500 crore rupees national mission on high performance computing.
  • Srinagar Muzaffarabad bus service resumes, after two weeks suspension.
  • Third round of Spectrum auction begins; Government expects to fetch 11,300 crores rupees.
  • Sensex drops 200 points in afternoon trade; Rupee was trading seven paise up to 62.61 against US Dollar.
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Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has decided to raise the share of domestic gas to 100 percent of the requirement of CNG for transport and PNG for domestic consumers. The decision will lead to reduction in prices of CNG and PNG across the country. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi today, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily said Indraprastha Gas Limited, IGL, and gas supplying companies in other cities will get the entire requirement of gas from domestic fields as against 80 per cent at present. He said prices of CNG will come down by fifteen rupees and PNG by five rupees in Delhi. Mr Moily said the share of domestic gas will be raised to 100 percent by cutting in supplies to sectors other than the priority sector. Mr Moily also said that the decision is not only guided by additional economic benefits but also by health benefits on account of significantly lower levels of air pollution. The minister said this will also facilitate rapid growth of the clean fuel across the country.
"The all Common man will be benefited to the extent of 30 percent , 20 percent ; is a huge benefit and to that extent you know. This should also become one of the anti inflationary method. so if the people are benefited. If you think help ful for the people so far our target is Common people."
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Aam Aadmi Party MLA Madan Lal today claimed that he was offered 20 to 30 crore rupees as bribe by a close confidant of Gujarat Chief Minister to topple the AAP government in Delhi. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, he revealed that he was offered the post of Chief Minister in Delhi and the bribe, if he succeeded in securing the support of nine legislators. He said the offer was made by an unidentified person through an international call a month ago. Lal claimed the person introduced himself to be close to the Gujarat government.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party, today accused both Congress and BJP of trying to topple the Delhi government. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, party spokesperson Sanjay Singh said both the parties are scared of the AAP as it is taking decisions in people's favour one after another. Singh alleged that the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi along with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley is conspiring against the AAP government.
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Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today announced another National Mission on High Performance Computing with an outlay of 4500 crore rupees. Inaugurating the 101st Indian Science Congress at Jammu University in Jammu today, Dr Singh said our ability to contribute to the world of science depends crucially on the quality and the strength of the country’s educational system and science education requires much more attention. More from our correspondent
"Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said UPA govt is also considering establishment of a National Geographical Information System with an outlay of about rupees 3000 crores. He said that the government has worked hard to promote the use of Science and Technology as a key driver of development. Prime Minister stressed on instilling a scientific attitude and temper among people which, he said, is essential for developing a progressive, rational and humane society. Dr Manmohan Singh said that we must increase annual expenditure on science and technology to atleast 2 percent of GDP which should come from both govt and the industry. The Prime Minister also presented awards and mementos to the eminent scientists from all over the country for their contributions in the field of science and technology. TARIQ RATHER with YOGESH SHARMA AIR News Jammu."
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The government today asked political parties to rise above political considerations and help passing anti corruption bills pending before Parliament. Briefing reporters after an all party meeting in New Delhi, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said that political parties should cooperate in passing the six bills to strengthen anti corruption framework to make the 15th Lok Sabha historic. Mr Nath said, Lokpal, Land Acquisition and Food Security bills were passed by Parliament. However, opposition parties cutting across party lines were in favour of focussing on transacting financial business and leaving other bills for the new government to be formed after upcoming general elections.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj told reporters that her party is apprehensive of disruption by Andhra MPs over Telangana bill therefore government should concentrate on passing the vote on account. The Parliament session will resume on Wednesday.
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The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to resolve within a week all disputes arising out of the issue of invoking anti-piracy law against two Italian marines. They are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012.
A bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan directed the Centre to end the logjam in the issue in which Ministries of Law, Home Affairs and External Affairs are involved and make its stand clear during the hearing next Monday. Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati told the bench that the Centre has almost resolved the issue and will respond on the next date of hearing.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Italian government challenging invoking of anti-terrorism law.
During the last hearing on January 20, the apex court had adjourned the case after Atorney General Vahanvati had submitted that the Centre was trying to resolve all disputes with Italian government on the issue.
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The third round of spectrum auction began today with eight telecom companies in the fray. The government expects to get about 11,300 crore rupees from the auction. The Department of Telecom has put on block around 385 MHz of radiowaves in the 1800 MHz band, and 46 MHz in the 900 MHz band.
As per the rules of the auction, every company has been given quota of 240 minutes to extend bid round. This means throughout the auction, each company can extend auction round by total of 4 hours. Normally 6-7 rounds take place in a day with each round of 60 minutes. There is a 20-minute break between the rounds.
The government is conducting the auction following a Supreme Court order in 2G case. The Apex court had directed that all the radiowaves freed from the cancellation of 122 licences in February 2012 should be auctioned. Besides, 900 Mhz has to be auctioned as some of the radiowaves in this band are held under old telecom licences which will start expiring from November 2014.
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The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service resumed today after remaining suspended for two weeks following a deadlock over the arrest of a driver from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on drug trafficking charges.
The bus from the Indian side, carrying 28 passengers reached Kaman Post -- the zero point on Line of Control in Uri sector of Baramulla district. Officials said, the passengers included 10 PoK residents, and 18 Indian citizens.
PoK authorities suspended both travel and trade on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road after 110 packets of brown sugar worth 100 crore rupees were recovered from a truck coming from across the LoC on January 17. The driver of the vehicle was arrested.
The PoK authorities in retaliation detained 27 Indian drivers and their trucks demanding release of the arrested driver. They also refused to take back 48 other PoK drivers till their demand was met.
The officials from two sides held several meetings to break the deadlock and during the latest round of talks on January 30 decided to resume the bus service.
They also decided to continue the talks to work out a solution to the impasse in a the trade.
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The Delhi High Court today took a suo motu cognisance of the killing of an Arunachal Pradesh student who was allegedly beaten by some shopkeepers in the city. The court asked the Centre, Delhi Government and police to file a report on the incident. The court also asked them to submit the details of the steps taken to ensure the safety of people from North East staying in the capital.
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Andhra Pradesh Legislature has returned the State Reorganization Bill to the centre. The views of the State Legislature have been reportedly sent to the Union Home Ministry through State Chief Secretary P K Mohanthy. Both the Assembly and the Council have discussed and rejected the bill on 30th of last month after a prolonged discussion as it was referred by the president under article three of the Constitution. The members of the Assembly suggested 9,072 amendments while the upper House proposed over one thousand amendments to the Bills. The returning of the bill gains significance in the backdrop of the Group of Ministers holding a meeting tomorrow in Delhi over the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill.
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Congress today said Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the people for fixing poverty line as low as ten rupees and 80 paise in the State. Addressing media in New Delhi, party spokesperson Ajay Maken said Modi has mocked the poor by the decision.
Our correspondent reports, Civil Supplies Department of Gujarat government issued a circular on the 16th of December last year fixing 10 rupees and 80 paise as poverty line.
Maken clarified that with Food Security Act coming into effect, the poverty line is no longer valid as criteria for entitlement to benefits.
"When the Chief Minister himself has critized and mocked the Central Government, mocked the Planning Commission for urban areas cut off at 32 rupees and rural at 26 rupees. Then also he has no right to again bring out circular of 10 rupees 80 paise for Gujarat to identify poor BPL people because, once this right to food act is functional, after that , there is no question of identification of BPL."
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Rajasthan Government begins today a month long operation to check illegal mining. This joint operation will be conducted by police, forest, environment, mining and transport departments. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje directed the officials to run the operation with full force and and to ascertain effective and solid action. The Chief Minister also instructed mining officials for quick disposal of investment proposals in this sector as it has vast opportunities of employment.
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In Pakistan's city of Peshawar, at least five people were killed and nearly 40 others injured when two blasts ripped through a cinema hall last night. Some of the injured are in critical condition. According to initial reports, around 70 people were in the theatre when the blasts occurred. A Pashto film Ziddi Pakhtun was being screened at the hall located opposite a police station. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
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United Nations has urged all the sides to help in ensuring a long term access to humanitarian aid for the civilians trapped in the besieged cities in Syria. At a press conference on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said humanitarian access to civilians trapped by the fighting is a major concern. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, has highlighted the dangers of malnutrition and lack of medical services at Yarmouk refugee camp and called for continuous, uninterrupted and substantial humanitarian access to the trapped civilians on a long-term basis, More from our West Asia Correspondent:
"Nearly three year long strife in Syria has resulted in killing of more than one lakh thirty thousand people and rendered over nine million homeless. More than 3 million people are trapped in areas where heavy fighting continues or that are besieged by Government or opposition forces. Their condition has gone from bad to worse with acute shortage of food, shelter and medical supplies. Syrian Government and the opposition agreed in Geneva on access to aid for the besieged families in the Old City of Homes; but there has been no progress. At the Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus ,the UN Relief and Works Agency has reported deaths due to malnutrition and women dying in childbirth due to lack of medical services. Yarmouk camp has over 18,000 Palestinian refugees and is in control of rebels and under siege by the Syrian troops. The UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunnes said now the two sides have agreed for access to aid which shows that it is also possible in other areas under siege. Atul K Tiwaryt,AIR News,Dubai."
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After a weak opening, the Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange lost further ground in afternoon trade, to stand 200 points, or 1 per cent in negative territory, at 20,314 a short while ago. The rupee was trading seven paise up to 62.61 rupees against the American currency in late morning trade today on mild selling of dollars by banks.
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