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Modi in Pakistan: Congress rejects claims that PM Modi’s Pakistan visit was spontaneous

Prime Minister Modi landed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport today on a surprise visit, where he was received by his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister has visited Pakistan in more than a decade.

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Chennai floods: Arun Jaitley, Kalraj Mishra to visit city this weekend

Naidu suggested the ministers to study the situation and take early steps for survey and settlement of insurance claims for the damages suffered by the industry

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu has apprised the Prime Minister over the floods and relief work in Chennai and his colleagues Arun Jaitley and Kalraj Mishra have said they would visit the city this weekend to take steps to revive affected industrial units. Naidu had visited the flood affected areas of Chennai on December 12 and 13 and held discussions with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa over the floods, losses and relief work. “After his return from Chennai, Naidu met the Prime Minister and appraised him about the relief and rehabilitation measures carried out to mitigate the suffering of people. “He brought to the notice of the PM about the heavy damages suffered by the industrial sector most notably the MSME and Small Scale Industries,” a statement from the minister’s office said today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu also met Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley and Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Kalraj Mishra and briefed them about the losses suffered by industrial sector notably the MSME and Small Scale Industries due to unprecedented heavy rains and floods in Chennai as well as other neighbouring areas. “Both the Ministers have promised to visit Chennai over the coming weekend and take necessary steps for early revival of MSME and SSI industries,” it said. The Ambattur industrial cluster, the largest MSME and SSI cluster in Tamil Nadu, has also suffered huge damage. There has been extensive damage to machineries, raw materials, finished products, installations and also building exteriors.Naidu suggested the ministers to study the situation and take early steps for survey and settlement of insurance claims for the damages suffered by the industry.”Other relief measures such as restructuring of loans, extending soft loans with low interest rates etc should also be considered in order to come out of the situation,” it said.In view of representations during his visit that a cause for flooding was due to encroachments in riverbeds like Adyar, he told Modi that long-term measures like removal of encroachments, alternate housing for poor had to be taken up. “Naidu informed the Prime Minister that he had assured the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister of maximum support under the Housing for All programme after receiving a proposal,” the statement added.

Mumbai: Fabrication artist behind double murder?

Two bodies found in Kandivli on Saturday identified as those of celebrated artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer.

Hema Upadhyay

PTI
The two bodies that were found in Kandivli (W) on Saturday have been identified as those of artist Hema Upadhyay (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambani (65). Hema was involved in an acrimonious divorce battle with Chintan Upadhyay, a celebrated name in the art world, in the Bombay High Court. The bodies were found in two gunny bags inside two cardboard boxes in a drain near Dhanukarwadi around 7:30 pm on Saturday. On Sunday, the Mumbai police detained three people and questioned Chintan for over six hours. Sources in the Mumbai police told dna that a fourth suspect, a metal fabrication artist called Rajbhar, could turn out to be the key suspect. The police are on the look-out for him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> According to sources, Rajbhar is believed to have called Hema, claiming that he has clinching evidences against Chintan, which would help her in the divorce case. “We learn that Rajbhar wanted to meet Hema to hand over some proof against Chintan. Hema then asked Bhambani to accompany her. It seems that they were murdered after they reached the place where Rajbhar was waiting,” said a source.”It looks like that the idea was to kill Hema, but as Bhambani was accompanying her, he became a collateral damage,” he said. The bodies were first spotted by some local sweepers. When they found something amiss, they informed the police. When the boxes were opened, the police found two bodies – one of a male and the other of a female – wrapped in plastic sheets. “Initially, the identity of the bodies could not be ascertained as the murderers did not leave any personal possessions of the victims. Their cellphones, wallets and jewellery were missing,” said an officer from the Kandivli police station. “Bhambani’s hands were tied and his mouth was gagged with a cloth and had a cello tape on it. Hema’s body was just wrapped in a plastic sheet,” he said. The identities of the bodies were ascertained on Sunday. “Both of them were strangulated to death and there are no external injury marks on the bodies,” said an officer. “We have sent the bodies for autopsy,” he said. An officer privy to the investigation said that before leaving his residence in King’s Circle around 6:30 pm on Friday, Bhambani had told his family that he has a meeting with a client in Andheri. Hema left her residence in Juhu on Friday morning and headed straight to her studio in Laxmi Industries off Veer Desai Road in Andheri (West). Around 6:30 pm, Hema made a call to her help, Hemant Mandal, asking him not to expect her for dinner. “The CCTV footage collected from the area of Laxmi Industries Estate establish that both Hema and Bhambani left the studio around 8:30 pm in the lawyer’s Honda City,” said an officer. “Their last cellphone tower location was in the Kandivli area. We have not yet recovered the missing car”. When Hema did not turn up home on Friday night, Mandal made several calls to her. When she did not answer, he approached the Santa Cruz police station and registered a missing complaint on the wee hours of Sunday. Even Bhambani’s family registered a missing complaint with the Matunga police station. As the Kandivli police launched an investigation into the double murder, the Mumbai crime branch also started a parallel investigation. Hema had filed for divorce in 2010, citing domestic violence. The family court had passed a decree in favour of Chintan. But Hema challenged it in the Bombay High Court and Bhambani was representing her. The celebrated artist-couple were in the news in 2013, when Hema filed a criminal case against Chintan for sketching obscene paintings on the wall of their bedroom. “Prima facie, personal enmity seems to be the reason behind the murder but investigations are still on and we are checking for further leads,” the police said.

Maharashtra government puts up all 529 tribal schools for corporate adoption

Representational pic

The Maharashtra government plans to rope in the private sector for running all the 529 tribal residential schools (ashram shalas). The move follows the government’s realisation that it won’t be able to run them well – even after spending Rs 1,200 crore annually. Nearly 2 lakh scheduled tribe children study in these schools – mostly in Thane, Palghar, Gondia, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.The situation in these schools is so bad that the tribal development department itself has been sending a large number of tribal kids to private schools, citing “better integration”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state has already sounded out over 60 corporate houses, including Reliance Industries, Aditya Birla Group, Tata, Coal India and Piramal Group, at a meeting presided over by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on December 3.At the meeting, the department requested corporate houses to adopt these schools under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The move is aimed at improving the conditions of these ailing schools and making them RTE (Right to Education)-compliant.A presentation on the schools’ deficiencies was made at the meeting by tribal secretary Rajagopal Devara. Confirming the development, Devara told dna: “We received an overwhelming response from most corporate houses. The department would soon finalise the allotment of schools.”A recent government survey of tribal residential schools had revealed their pathetic condition. The outcome of the survey has embarrassed the tribal department so much that it is yet to make the findings public.The government has made it clear to the business houses that it is not financial help that it is looking for. “We are seeking their managerial skills to run the schools in a better way by identifying the requirements and the right approach in addressing the gaps and making them RTE-compliant,” said Devara.The corporate houses are expected to help set up hostels, toilets, bathrooms, sports facilities, computer rooms, labs, libraries and kitchens. Teaching-learning material, life skill trainings, career counselling and vocational training are other areas.The business houses were told that they can adopt as many schools as they want. The 491 hostels for ST students are also equally sick. “Even aided ashram schools, which cater to 2.5 lakh kids, are in a bad shape and the government must close them down”, said a teacher from a Thane tribal school.10.1% population in Maharashtra falls under the ST category – the second-largest in the country. MP has 14.7%.Figure this out (2015-16)Tribal residential schools: 529Boy students: 97,476Girl students: 94,085Total: 1.91 lakh

CNN and TV18 extend and deepen 10-year collaboration, CNN-IBN to be ‘refreshed’

TV18, one of India’s largest news networks and CNN, the world’s best news brand, today announced the extension of their ten-year collaboration on CNN-IBN. This reverses their decision, announced earlier this year, to part ways.

“Both parties embark on this new chapter with a determination to refresh CNN-IBN and provide a credible, non-partisan service that will deliver the latest news about local affairs and an Indian perspective to international developments,” said a joint press release by CNN and TV18.

“In this second term of our collaboration, we aim to present a brand new CNN-IBN that will bring news with even greater speed, accuracy, clarity and credibility and keep the viewers tuned in to the latest news and developments much ahead of others. We also intend to cut through the noise and clutter that is currently present in the Indian television news space and offer best practices of journalism that will lead to better understanding of issues,” said Adil Zanulbhai, Chairman, Network18.

CNN-IBN logo

CNN-IBN logo

Rani Raad, Chief Commercial Officer at CNN International reiterated that “CNN-IBN will remain in our family of CNN-branded channels around the world including CNN Turk, CNN Chile, CNN Philippines, CNN Indonesia and CNN Greece”.

Ellana Lee, Senior Vice President and Managing Editor for Asia Pacific will lead the relationship from CNN and Rahul Joshi, CEO, News and Group Editor-in-Chief, from TV18.

Senior management at TV18, which operates a clutch of news channels including CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz, CNBC-TV18 Prime HD, CNN-IBN and IBN7, described the partnership as signalling “new found commitment” in investing and building the brand.

The media release did not offer details of the collaboration such as tenure and fee. People familiar with the specifics of the pact said the alliance will involve greater interaction between the technology platforms of each network, their editors, producers, studios and anchor-persons.

A top TV18 source said: “As for tenure, let me tell you, it’s not a short-term arrangement.  As per scope, it remains the same two-fold, brand licensing and content sharing contract as earlier. In this second innings, CNN and TV18 will work more closely ensure CNN-IBN’s globally-savvy viewers stay ahead of the news curve.”

Apart from sharing newsroom resources, the alliance will result in TV18 having increased access to “more resources on ground and quicker response time to breaking stories”.

The two companies had announced in June this year that they would be going their separate ways in order to “chart their own growth trajectory independently“according to a joint statement released at the time. Asked what prompted the rethink, a source said that CNN and the new management at TV18 have renewed interest and a new found commitment to invest together and further in the brand they jointly built. “We firmly believe that CNN-IBN’s position is a strength to build upon, and are planning new initiatives to ensure the channels continued success across platforms. Today’s announcement marries that quest for continuity, as well as pressing the “refresh” button in a significant way.

Disclosure: Firstpost and TV18 are part of the Network18 Group owned by Reliance Industries Limited

Shiv Sena dismisses Raj Thackeray’s allegations on Bal Thackeray’s memorial

Lashing out at Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, a former Sena MP, Desai said the Congress leader has no right to speak on Bal Thackeray

Raj Thackeray

Senior Shiv Sena leader and Maharashtra Minister Subhash Desai on Thursday dismissed allegations levelled by MNS chief Raj Thackeray on his party contending that nobody pays attention to “such people.” Desai, Minister for Industries, told reporters on sidelines of a function here, that if the Mayor’s bungalow is being used for construction of a memorial for late Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray, then it should be welcomed.”Unfortunately some people are trying to cross our path, but attention will not be paid to such people,” he said. In a sarcastic jibe at Raj, Desai further said those who have a penchant to stoke a controversy are not able to do anything for people and thus use such tactics to gain people’s attention. “The Sena believes in ignoring such people and carry out our work,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam, a former Sena MP, Desai said the Congress leader has no right to speak on Bal Thackeray. “What right does he (Nirupam) have to speak on Balasaheb Thackeray? We do not pay attention to such people,” he said.After Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the decision to build Bal Thackeray’s memorial at the iconic heritage Mayor’s bungalow at Shivaji Park in Dadar area, Raj had raised a objection to the governments decision. He had accused the Sena of trying to pocket the bungalow. Congress had also opposed the state government’s decision.

Bihar polls rejected dictatorial attitude of BJP govt: Congress

Himachal Pradesh Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said the victory of grand alliance in Bihar was the victory of truth, unity and honesty which had shown a new direction to the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
File Photo
AFP photo
Bihar polls have have exposed and rejected the “dictatorial attitude and arrogance” of Narendra Modi-led NDA government and the defeat of BJP would have wide impact on the country, Himachal Pradesh Industries Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said on Tuesday.”The results of Bihar assembly elections have clearly indicated that the people of the country are fed up with Modi government and they know pretty well, how to show the mirror to the communal forces,” Agnihotri said. He said that the countdown of BJP had already begun from Delhi assembly elections and now the massive defeat in Bihar was a clear mandate against the BJP as people were feeling cheated by Modi, who had made tall claims before the general elections in 2014.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Minister said the victory of grand alliance in Bihar was the victory of truth, unity and honesty which had shown a new direction to the country.”The BJP tried its best to lure the voters and played the communal cards but the people of the State were well aware of their nefarious designs and gave a strong and befitting reply to the politics of hatred and communalism,” he said, adding that the arrogant and dictatorial Modi government had been involved in a campaign to destabilise Congress governments in the country and it had also squeezed funding under various centrally sponsored schemes.”The Modi government should learn the message from humiliating defeat in Bihar and should refrain from hatching conspiracies to destabilise the Himachal Pradesh government otherwise the people of the State would also give a befitting reply to the BJP,” he said.Bihar polls had also given a strong message that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had been successful in uniting the opposition parties and engineered defeat the BJP, he added.

Villagers living along border areas asked to remain vigilant after Pakistan shelling

Jammu: With Pakistani troops repeatedly shelling border areas, authorities have advised villagers living along the Indo-Pak border in Samba district to remain vigilant and stay indoors.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“People (of border hamlets along International Border) should remain vigilant. Villagers are advised to stay indoors and at safer places during cross border shelling”, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Chander Prakash Ganga said.

Ganga visited villages of Samba district which were hit by cross border firing and assessed damages due to mortar shelling in Mawa and Bainglarg villages in Samba district on Saturday.

While interacting with the affected families, the Minister assured them of all necessary help from the Government and directed civil administration and police to be vigilant in the areas and respond at times of border shelling.

He also directed officers to remain present in their respective jurisdictions to deal with any emergency situation.

SSP Samba Joginder Singh informed the minister that bullet proof vehicles have been deployed which could be used in case of any emergency.

During his visit to the villages, the Minister handed over relief from Red Cross Society to villager Kalu Ram who lost his cattle in the firing.

Later, he also visited village Bainglarh, and gave away relief from Red Cross Society to Kishore Sharma who also lost his cattle in the firing.

Villagers also informed the Minister about various local issues including construction of permanent bunkers, hike in compensation given to persons killed in cross border firing and creation of a separate township for people living in border areas.

PTI

Refining records boost Reliance profits, 4G plan on track | Reuters

MUMBAI Indian oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, boosted by record refining margins, and confirmed plans to launch a keenly awaited 4G telecommunication service by “around December”.

Reliance, controlled by India’s richest man and the country’s second-largest company by value, said on Friday consolidated net profit rose 12.5 percent, even though plunging crude prices dragged revenue down by more than a third.

Higher profits came largely from gross refining margins, which rose to $10.60 per barrel, the highest in seven years and up from $8.30 in the same quarter a year earlier.

“We use a lot of crudes… You are able to use a market which is massively oversupplied and drive the bargain down. Once you do that, it improves your profitability,” co-chief financial officer V. Srikanth told reporters.

“We remain pretty constructive on refining.”

Reliance shook off an impairment of 26.6 billion rupees ($410.9 million) in shale gas assets, offsetting it with the sale of its investment in a U.S. shale gas joint venture.

The company, which generates the bulk of its revenue from refining and petrochemicals, has been expanding into consumer businesses such as retail and telecoms to aid growth. It has spent more than $14 billion to date on telecoms alone, and is spreading into fashion, grocery and online banking.

Reliance’s telecoms business is building India’s biggest fourth-generation (4G) broadband network and plans a December launch for its Jio brand.

It said on Friday it had the network in place and had thousands of professionals testing the system, covering a million kilometres a day.

“We now have close to 10,000 testers in the field, and this is getting enhanced,” said Anshuman Thakur, a former investment banker who joined Reliance to advise on telecoms strategy.

The company’s retail division will also sell its own brand of 4G LTE smartphones under the brand name LYF, pronounced “life”.

Reliance said it was in talks with five manufacturers to manufacture the phones, which would be priced “from premium to affordable”, at as little as 4,000 rupees, and will eventually be made in India.

Cash-rich Reliance’s entry into the crowded telecoms sector poses a potential threat for established players such as Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone’s local unit.

For India’s thriving e-commerce players, however, the arrival of 4G is expected to galvanise business. This includes a new generation of niche banks, including Reliance’s own venture.

“All of the services we are offering, there are synergies, so we try and roll them out close together,” said Thakur, referring to retail, banking and other services.

($1 = 64.8550 Indian rupees)

(Additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Jane Merriman and Jason Neely)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Kerala: Businessman offers Rs 5 lakh reward to stray dogs killer

On October 2, the ‘Theruvu Naaya Unmoolana Sangham’ has said it would kill over 100 stray dogs.

Representative Image

The president of the Stray Dog Free Movement, businessman Kochouseph Chittilappilly, has offered a reward of Rs 5 lakh to OM Joy, president, ‘Theruvu Naaya Unmoolana Sangham’, which killed many stray dogs recently, The New Indian Express reports. Chittilappilly is the Managing Director of V-Guard Industries Ltd and amusement parks chain ‘Wonderla’. According to the report, Chittilappilli said in a statement, “Efforts by humanitarians like Joy should be encouraged, when administrators who are bound to protect the people from the stray dog menace fail to do so.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On October 2, the ‘Theruvu Naaya Unmoolana Sangham’ said it would kill over 100 stray dogs. Meanwhile, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) filed a petition with the Ernakulam (Rural) District Police Chief. They asked for preventive arrest of the members of the Theruvu Naaya Unmoolana Sangham including Joy. They were arrested and released later, said the report.This is not the first time that the businessman has offered a reward to someone. Chittilappilly had offered a housewife a reward for taking on LDF leaders for blocking a road in 2013.

Tension grips Kashmir after two truckers set ablaze

The attack comes a day after Udhampur and adjacent areas observed a shutdown after the carcasses of the cows were found in the district. However district administration ruled out any foul play and concluded that the bovines had died a natural death.

Tension gripped Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday when some miscreants attacked truckers with petrol bombs causing serious burn injuries to two Kashmiri truckers near Shiv Nagar in the Udhampur district on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The attack comes a day after Udhampur and adjacent areas observed a shutdown after the carcasses of the cows were found in the district. However district administration ruled out any foul play and concluded that the bovines had died a natural death.Minister of horticulture Abdul Rehman Veeri told the Legislative Assembly that on Friday night a group of miscreants assembled near hotel Dolphin in Shiv Nagar area of the district and hurled a bottle containing some combustible material on a truck which was on way from Jammu to Srinagar.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Police parties, which were patrolling in the area, immediately swung into action and rescued the persons Showkat Ahmed and Zahid Ahmad. Both persons got burn injuries in the attack and the driver Rameez Ahmad Bhat escaped unhurt besides saving the truck from any damage,” he said.Police have registered a case under different sections of law including of attempt to murder under section 307 RPC and 3/5 of explosives substances act against the miscreants who set ablaze the truckers. Five miscreants have been arrested and hunt is on to nab three others who are on the run.District development commissioner Udhampur, Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said entire incident was captured on the CCTV and one of attackers was arrested immediately by the policemen deployed on patrolling duty.”After getting leads four more persons involved in the incident were arrested. The arrested have been identified as Harish, Bal Bahadur, Sandoor Singh and Suneet Singh, all residents of Udhampur. Hunt has been launched for five other accused”, said ChaudharyRameez Ahmad Bhat, the eyewitness who managed to escape unhurt told reporters that miscreants first lobbed patrol bombs and then sprinkled petrol on Showkat and Zahid who were trying to flee. “Both suffered severe burn injuries. It and were immediately rushed to Udhampur hospital but were later taken to GMC Jammu”, he said.The attack has snowballed into a major issue with opposition and Kashmir Inc coming down heavily on the government for not doing enough to tackle the elements who are bent upon to create communal tension in the state.While main opposition National Conference members staged a walk out from the Legislative Assembly, four Kashmiri trade bodies –Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry ( (KCCI), Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), Federation of Chambers of Industries (FCIK) and Kashmir Traders & Manufacturer Federation (KTMF) – held an joint meetingand asked the state administration to curb such incidents with iron hand.”We urge economic, social and political representatives of Jammu region to come forward and honestly combat such disruptive elements or else there can be worse ramifications for everybody. We also appeal to general public of the state to fight the likelihood of economic blockade which such disruptive elements are planning to resort to,” he said.

Reliance Foundation wins Porter Prize for social contribution

Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Reliance Industries Limited, has bagged the prestigious Porter Prize 2015 for its ‘outstanding contribution to society’.

Reliance Foundation logo

Reliance Foundation logo

The prize, named after Michael E Porter, Professor at Harvard Business School, aims to encourage companies on the basis of value creation, innovation and strategy.

The citation said the award went to Reliance Foundation for its “outstanding contribution to the society to meet the basic human needs, establishing blocks that allow communities to sustain quality of life and creating conditions for individuals to reach their potential”.

Established in 2010 with Nita Ambani as its founding chairperson, Reliance Foundation aims at sustainable growth through initiatives in five key areas: health, education, urban renewal, rural transformation and art, culture & heritage. It enables transformative changes in society through a segment-centric diversified approach to existing problems. For example, the Bharat-India Jodo (BIJ) programme aims to approach the problems faced by marginal farmers by bridging the gap between the two Indias through innovative use of technology, while in the health sector, it provides succour to the blind through its Drishti programme. Drishti is one of the largest private sector initiatives that enables corneal transplants to give the gift of sight to the visually disabled. It has also launched India’s first registered national Braille newspaper in Hindi. This newspaper has become so popular that it is now distributed not just in India but about 18 other countries.

Reliance Industries, the parent organization, is incidentally the biggest spender on corporate social responsibility. With a spend of Rs 712 crore (FY 2014) on this head, it far exceeded the minimum 2% mandated by the government.

The winners of the prize in other categories – 30 were shortlisted for selection – included JSW Steel, Mahindra Rural Housing and Finance, Abbott India, and DHL among others. The event was attended by top industry leaders, thinkers, and senior executives from the corporate sector, government and the media.

Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel reviews progress of MoUs inked at Vibrant Gujarat Summit

Of the total 22,000 MoUs signed during last Vibrant Summit, 85 per cent MoUs were proposed to be set up in 13 different districts, including Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Valsad and Kutch among others.
File Photo
PTI photo
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday held a high level review meeting to take stock of progress made in the implementation of MoUs signed during Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January this year.During the meeting, Patel suggested that all the district collectors should hold review meetings at their level every two months to see smooth implementation of proposed projects of MSME sector which are in the final stages for going on stream in various districts, an official release said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Chief Minister asked the collectors to make sure that upcoming MSME projects don’t face problems in acquiring various permissions, industrial plots and other infrastructure facilities. She also directed officials of state Industries Department to start consultation with various nationalised banks to facilitate finance for MSME units having less than Rs 10 lakhs of proposed investment under MUDRA project.Patel asked officials of all the districts to stay prepared to provide all the necessary help to upcoming industrial units in their regions. She directed the Collectors to take proactive approach to extend every possible help to the industry in their areas, it added.Of the total 22,000 MoUs signed during last Vibrant Summit, 85 per cent MoUs were proposed to be set up in 13 different districts, including Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Valsad and Kutch among others.Collectors of these 13 districts gave details about the progress in their respective regions through video conference.

Gujarat: Worker’s death sparks violence near RIL’s Jamnagar complex

“When a team of Reliance officials visited the colony to enquire about the incident, some labourers attacked them. Ten vehicles were burnt in the violence,” he added.

Death of a construction worker near Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar refinery complex triggered violenceon Thursday as the irate labourers torched around 10 vehicles of the company forcing the police to lob teargas shells and fire in the air.”A worker at the J-3 construction site at Kanaluas village near Jamnagar refinery complex died in the labourers’ colony today which triggered the violence,” Jamnagar police superintendent Pradip Sejul told PTI.”When a team of Reliance officials visited the colony to enquire about the incident, some labourers attacked them. Ten vehicles were burnt in the violence,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The company said in a statement that the labourer died of a heart attack.”One of our labourers died due to heart attack in the residential area near Kanalus village. On account of Ganesh Chaturthi and Vishwakarma Pooja, the construction work at the Jamnagar site was shut today,” a statement from Reliance group president for corporate affairs Parimal Nathwani said.”There were rumours that he (the worker) died in a road accident. Due to the misunderstanding labourers gathered in a large number and started damaging vehicles.”As the situation turned violent, the police were called in, who fired teargas shells and fired in the air to disperse the crowd,” the statement added.SP Sejul said local police and State Reserve Police Force were deployed in the area to control the situation.Jamnagar Range inspector general of police D R Patel said the police fired in the air after the mob became violent.

dna Must Read at 11 pm: Top five stories of the hour

Here are 5 top stories on dnaindia.com at 11 pm.

dna Must Reads

The following quick read will take you through stories that are making news right now. ​1) Earthquake of 6.4 magnitude strikes in east Indonesia, no Tsunami alert: USGSAn earthquake of 6.4 magnitude struck on Wednesday near Indonesia’s Moluccas islands, the United States Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the islands in the east of the archipelago. Read the full report here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2) PM Modi receives birthday gift from Badminton star Saina NehwalBadminton World number one Saina Nehwal gifted her badminton racquet to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who turns 65th on Thursday, as an early birthday present. Read more here.3) Sussanne Khan’s mother finally opens up on her daughter’s wedding reports Hrithik Roshan and Sussanne Khan had a mutual separation a year back. But reports of a third angle in their relationship have always grabbed headlines.Recently, news broke out that Sussanne is all set to marry Hrithik’s close friend. Mom Zarine Khan did not take such rumours kindly and broke her silence in an interview. Read more about the shocking news here.4) ONGC says expert report to decide its dispute with Reliance IndustriesWith Delhi High Court disposing its petition alleging natural gas from its KG block seeping into neighbouring fields of Reliance Industries, state-owned ONGC has said an independent expert report next month will determine if its apprehensions were right or wrong. To read more, click here.5) Ganesh Chaturthi Special: Famous Ganpati temples across IndiaThe festival of Ganesh Chaturthi or also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi that honours Lord Ganpati is being celebrated on September 17 this year. As the ten day festival is celebrated with much fervour and lots of dry fruits and ‘modaks’, we list 10 famous Ganpati temples around the country that you could visit. Take a look here.

HSBC drags Hindusthan National Glass and Industries to court

They have brought the country’s largest glass bottle maker to court over loan repayment delay although all other banks have agreed to the Corporate Debt Restructuring proposal.

HSBC Logo

HSBC has dragged Hindusthan National Glass and Industries, country’s largest glass bottle maker, to court over loan repayment delay although all other banks have agreed to the Corporate Debt Restructuring proposal. HSBC has also asked CARE for a downgrade of the company. However, the rating agency has not done that in their September review. Battered by continued slowdown in alcoholic, soft drinks as well as other beverage consumption, HNG, like many other companies in core sector, had gone for debt restructuring and got its proposal for Corrective Action Plan approved by Joint Lenders Forum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The restructuring scheme got approved in March and includes moratorium for repayment of principal for two years, and thereafter, the loans to be repaid over the period of 5 to 8 years. But now it appears that one of the lenders, HSBC, didn’t agree to the restructuring scheme, and has approached Calcutta High Court for recovery of its dues, after which, the court directed the other lenders to hold a meeting to consider the grievance of HSBC of “unfair and inequitable treatment” while formulating the corrective action plan. The total amount due to HSBC is about Rs 172.86 crore, including Rs 76.20 crore in short-term borrowings. A debt restructuring proposal can go through even if one or more of the lenders refuse to accept, analysts said. As per the Reserve Bank of India guidelines for Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets, which laid out in the guidelines on formation of Joint Lenders Forum and CAP, if 75% of lenders by value and 60% by number are agreeable to CAP, then it shall become binding on all the lenders. HSBC then wrote a letter to HNG’s rating agency CARE, following which the glass maker approached the court expressing apprehension that it might get de-rated if the development is considered while doing a review of the rating. Any downgrade from its existing BBB- rating would have put the country’s largest glass bottle maker into the default risk category. In response, the rating agency produced an e-mail dated August 25 showing that its rating committee decided that it would not take any rating action merely on the basis of the letter of HSBC. However, CARE would be at liberty to take any rating action if there are any other events, its counsel told the court. Following this, CARE said on September 3 that it has reaffirmed its rating of BBB- for HNG earlier assigned to its bank facilities. “While reaffirming such ratings, CARE has also noted improvement in the operating performance of the company in first quarter of FY16 and also taken cognizance of the implementation of debt management exercise by majority of the members of the lender’s consortium,” it said.

Maharashtra likely to monitor industrial water discharge in MIDC

The minister, meanwhile, said that the department is also working on ways to ensure survival of small-scale industrial units in the state.

The state government is mulling a plan to monitor industrial water discharge in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas with a view to keeping pollution in check.Minister of State for Industries, Pravin Pote, said the initiative is modelled along the lines of air quality indicators set up in Mumbai.”The government is considering a proposal to monitor industrial water discharge in MIDC areas,” he said, adding that there are about 1,200 to 1,500 electroplating factories in and around Mumbai which cause various kinds of pollution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister, meanwhile, said that the department is also working on ways to ensure survival of small-scale industrial units in the state.”It has come to our notice that many such units take government subsidies after five years of operation and then shut down,” Pote said.”There were reports that since 1996, 72,000 units have shut down. However, 1.5 to 2 lakh new units have also been set up in this period,” the minister said.”We want to set up a cluster of about 2,000 factories within a radius of 25-km away from the city. There is employment of over one lakh people in such industries and that cannot be overlooked,” he added.

Alibaba, Sidbi to take SMEs global

Chinese e-commerce player in advanced talks with the government-backed lender to help Indian small enterprises get a foothold in the global market place

Alibaba, the world’s most valued e-commerce platform, is in advanced talks with Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) get a global market place. Alibaba, which listed on the US stock exchange last year and is expanding aggressively outside China, will ensure that digital plays a transformative role in India much as it has done in other parts of the world.K Shivaji, chairman and managing director, Sidbi, told dna, “Discussions are on with Alibaba and there are a couple of options before us. We are deliberating so that MSMEs can have a global market place. Even last week we had discussions with them.” Finding avenues to sell their products in a fiercely competitive global marketplace has been one of the toughest tasks for SMEs in India. E-commerce will help them compete with their bigger peers through a more efficient distribution system, experts said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sidbi, the principal financial institution for promotion, financing and development of the MSME sector, already has a tie-up with Snapdeal, one of the country’s largest online marketplaces. The memorandum of understanding with Snapdeal will help Sidbi join the e-commerce company’s Capital Assist initiative, which was launched last year. This offers Snapdeal sellers customised financing options based on their business category and requirements. Banks have been lending to MSMEs while calibrating the corporate credit growth. As of June 30, 2015, the total outstanding credit to the sector was Rs 3.74 lakh crore, about 4.8% higher than the year before. Total bank credit during this period was Rs 61.75 lakh crore, according to the Reserve Bank of India data.Sidbi also has a scheme called Mudra credit, where loans up to Rs 10 lakh are given to entrepreneurs without a collateral. But finding a market place is something that the sector has been struggling, and the tie-up and promotions with e-commerce partners like Alibaba are expected to open up new revenue stream for the MSMEs.”Bankers and financial institutions have called for a refinance package for MSMEs, which contribute 17% to the GDP and form 50% of the employment. Out of the four crore MSMEs in India, about 10% close down every year for want of bank loans, unwillingness of the promoters to invest in latest technology and inability to respond to the needs of the market. E-commerce platform is sometimes the only answer for SMEs, which find it difficult to get the right price for their produce,” a senior banker said.

Kerala Ministers, including CM Oommen Chandy, made 205 foreign tours since May 2011

This was stated by Chandy in the state assembly in response to a question by V Chenthamarakshan of CPI-M.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
A total of 205 foreign tours were undertaken by Kerala Ministers, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, of the Congress-led UDF government since it assumed office in May, 2011.This was stated by Chandy in the state assembly in response to a question by V Chenthamarakshan of CPI-M.Chandy himself made six foreign tours while Minister for Co-operation and Khadi and Village Industries C N Balakrishnan is the lone minister in his cabinet who has not made a single overseas visit during the period.Minister for Social Justice and Panchayats M K Muneer topped the list with 27 visits abroad followed by Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty and Labour Minister Shibu Baby John with 21 tours each. Among other ministers, K C Joseph went abroad 18 times, AP Anilkumar 14, E T Ebrahim Kunj 11, Adoor Prakesh 11 and Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishan made foreign visits 10 times. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

After Maggi, Yippee noodles and Bambino Macaroni banned in Gujarat

According to Koshia, of the 23 samples of Sunfeast Yippee, one sample failed the safety test as it showed higher lead content while some samples showed presence of MSG.

Gujarat government announced a ban on another two instant food products after test results indicated presence of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in some of the samples tested by the state Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA).’Yippee’ noodles of Sunfeast by ITC and ‘Bambino Macaroni’ by Bambino Agro Industries were banned on Thursday, FDCA commissioner H G Koshia said.The government had extended the ban on Nestle’s Maggi noodles for one month last Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to Koshia, of the 23 samples of Sunfeast Yippee, one sample failed the safety test as it showed higher lead content while some samples showed presence of MSG.”In one of the samples of Yippee, lead content was found to be 3.44 PPM (particle per million) instead of prescribed limit of 2.5 PPM. Such an excess of lead is harmful if consumed. We also found MSG in some other samples, while some samples were found safe,” said Koshia.”We had collected only one sample of Bambino Macaroni and found that lead content was 4.1 PPM,” he added.Gujarat government had banned the sale of Maggi for one month in June and later extended the ban for another month. Similarly, the one-month ban on Hakka noodles manufactured by S K Foods was also extended this month.According to Koshia, FDCA has widened its net now.”Till now, we have collected 133 samples of 22 companies selling instant noodles and pastas. Of these, 33 samples have failed the test till now, including Maggi. Results of some of the brands are awaited,” said Koshia.”Apart from noodles, we have also collected around 60 samples of other food products, such as soft drinks, wafers and ice cream. We will test them in coming days,” he added.

Gujarat bans Yippee noodles, Bambino Macaroni after tests reveal MSG, lead content

Ahmedabad: Gujarat government on Wednesday announced a ban on another two instant food products after test results indicated presence of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in some of the samples tested by the state Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA).

‘Yippee’ noodles of Sunfeast by ITC and ‘Bambino Macaroni’ by Bambino Agro Industries were banned on Thursday, FDCA commissioner H G Koshia said.

Representational image. Agencies

Representational image. Agencies

The government had extended the ban on Nestle’s Maggi noodles for one month last Saturday.

According to Koshia, of the 23 samples of Sunfeast Yippee, one sample failed the safety test as it showed higher lead content while some samples showed presence of MSG.

“In one of the samples of Yippee, lead content was found to be 3.44 PPM (particle per million) instead of prescribed limit of 2.5 PPM. Such an excess of lead is harmful if consumed. We also found MSG in some other samples, while some samples were found safe,” said Koshia.

“We had collected only one sample of Bambino Macaroni and found that lead content was 4.1 PPM,” he added.

Gujarat government had banned the sale of Maggi for one month in June and later extended the ban for another month. Similarly, the one-month ban on Hakka noodles manufactured by S K Foods was also extended this month.

According to Koshia, FDCA has widened its net now.

“Till now, we have collected 133 samples of 22 companies selling instant noodles and pastas. Of these, 33 samples have failed the test till now, including Maggi. Results of some of the brands are awaited,” said Koshia.

“Apart from noodles, we have also collected around 60 samples of other food products, such as soft drinks, wafers and ice cream. We will test them in coming days,” he added.

PTI

Andhra Pradesh: Over 100 fishermen still not back, search operation on

Kakinada (AP): Efforts are on to bring back nearly 120 fishermen in sixteen boats who had ventured into the Bay of Bengal on 17 June, East Godavari District Collector Arun Kumar said on Monday.

PTIPTI

PTI

“Of the total 31 boats, 15 boats have returned so far. Search is on to trace another 16 boats. The Coast Guard is conducting search operation in 200 nautical miles area. We expect them to be back by tomorrow evening,” Kumar told PTI.

According to him, so far 90 fishermen have returned and search is on to trace another 120 fishermen in the 16 boats which have not returned.

On Sunday, twelve fishermen had reportedly gone missing and government authorities had launched a search operation to trace them.

Heavy rains have been lashing the district for last three days, he added.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu enquired about the missing boats and requested the Reliance Industries, ONGC, Craine energy India Limited and the Coast Guard to deploy their helicopters for search operations.

According to a press release issued by the AP government, it has deployed three helicopters and two Coast Guard ships to undertake search operations to find the fishermen.

On Sunday, Naidu had reviewed the situation in the state, in the backdrop of the incessant rains.

Meanwhile, district officials were asked to be alert in the wake of heavy water flow to Godavari due to rains in Chhattisgarh and Telangana.

PTI

After Nestle, India to widen checks to other noodle makers

Tamil Nadu became the first state to ban other noodle brands as well on Thursday.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has ordered state governments to check all noodle products made in the country after high lead levels were found in Nestle India’s noodles.Several states have already halted the sale of Nestle’s Maggi noodles after tests showed the hugely popular snack was unfit for consumption.Tamil Nadu became the first state to ban other noodle brands as well on Thursday.”I have told states to not confine only to Maggi, but extend to other manufacturers of noodles,” Yudhvir Singh Malik, chief executive of FSSAI, told Reuters on Thursday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Why should we isolate Nestle? It’s not a question of targeting.”Several companies including ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, as well as numerous smaller firms sell noodle products in India.The national checks were triggered after routine tests in northern Uttar Pradesh state showed lead content of 17.2 parts per million in Nestle’s instant noodles – seven times the legal limit. Nestle has challenged the findings.Tamil Nadu said it would extend its ban to other noodle brands after tests found excess lead in products sold by Nestle, Reliance and domestic firm CG Foods.”Manufacturing, stocking and sales … will be banned for three months as an initial move,” the state government said in a statement, adding that companies will immediately need to withdraw all stock in the market.Uttarakhand has banned Maggi noodles for 90 days, while Delhi on Wednesday slapped a 15-day ban. The states of Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir have also banned sales of Maggi.Some other states have, meanwhile, given Nestle’s products a clean bill of health, creating confusion among consumers about whether it is safe to eat a brand that accounts for a fifth of its local revenues.FSSAI’s Malik, however, said there was no immediate plan to impose a nationwide ban as test reports are still awaited from several states. More results are expected by Monday.In an advisory on May 25, the FSSAI asked all states to run checks on samples of Maggi noodles and submit results by June 1.But only a few states have so far responded. Three state reports were sent back because they did not properly quantify the test findings, Malik said. In one case, a state did not know about the permissible level of lead in noodle products.Malik urged states to form a 12-month plan and improve their surveillance mechanisms: “We do feel concerned (for states) and we have been organising trainings,” he said. “There is a need to strengthen the food testing infrastructure.”

Not enough being done to bring black money back: Subramanian Swamy

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said he had written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting ways to bring the black money back, and the present measures were not enough.

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday said he had written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting ways to bring the black money back, and the present measures were not enough.”I have written a letter to the Prime Minister on how we can bring it back. But our Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) is a lawyer who says this is not right or that is not right,” Swamy said, speaking at an event organised by the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Whatever should have been done by now has not been done. But it will be done soon, because Prime Minister Modi’s patience has some limits, and today he spoke on the issue. I have trust,” he said.”Whatever is happening at present, it will not serve the purpose. The latest bill on black money is only a tax evasion punishment bill…. This bill is necessary but there is no reason to think that only this bill will do everything.Whatever is being done in Parliament will not get the black money back,” he said.He said there were four ways of getting the black money back. The first was to get a letter rogatory from local court to a court in foreign country, which can then ask the bank there to investigate the account.But if the foreign bank does not cooperate, Swamy suggested that we must adopt “German and French” way, using the intelligence agency to “trap” top officials of the bank and bribe him to reveal details of shady accounts.India can also use “American way”, by coercing the local representatives of foreign banks into revealing the details by booking them under espionage laws, he said.”Narendrabhai can do that. Hold them, push them in the jail, they will give the names,” Swamy said. The fourth way, he said, was to “pass a law that the 70 banks, where the black money of any Indian citizens is kept, has to be declared nationalised and we can demand the black money from it and as per a UN resolution they will have to give us back,” he said.

Maharashtra looks at huge renewable power capacity by 2020

These projects will be undertaken for industries to meet their power needs and as a substitute for costlier power which they have to draw from the state grid.

In a huge push for renewable power, Maharashtra will have an installed capacity of around 22,000 MW in the non-conventional energy sector by 2020. This includes 14,400 MW proposed in the new renewable energy policy to be placed before the state cabinet next week for approval, and the existing 6,155 MW capacity in the sector.However, to reduce the tariff impact on consumers due to the higher costs of this green energy compared to conventional coal-based thermal power plants, the state government is looking at encouraging industries to develop around 8,500 MW of captive solar and wind energy projects for their own use.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>These projects will be undertaken for industries to meet their power needs and as a substitute for costlier power which they have to draw from the state grid.”We are looking at promoting hybrid (a mix of two or more technologies like wind and solar) renewable energy projects,” state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bavankule told dna.Bavankule said they had decided to scrap the state power generation utility’s — Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (MahaGenco) — proposed coal-based projects which were not viable due to higher costs of transporting coal, which would hike power rates. Instead, this land at Dondaicha, Paras and Bhusawal would be used to establish solar energy projects.Of the 14,400 MW grid-connected target in the new renewable energy policy, the bulk 7,500 MW is expected to come in from the solar sector, and wind energy and baggase-based cogeneration will contribute 5,000 MW and 1,000 MW respectively. Small hydro power projects, with a capacity of 5 MW and less, will make up for 400 MW and 300 MW is proposed to be generated from industrial waste and 200 MW from biomass.The wind and solar targets include 5,000 MW captive generation in solar and 3,500 MW in wind. These projects are expected to be completed in five years and this will be a manifold increase from the 2,500 MW renewable energy target in the previous policy, which was approved in 2008.Bavankule added that though renewable energy was cleaner and had fewer variable costs, the tariffs (around Rs5.71 per unit) were higher compared to coal-based plants (Rs3.25 per unit in the open market to Rs4.25 per unit generated by MahaGenco).”To prevent the cost impact on consumers, we are promoting captive solar and wind energy projects by industries to meet their needs… and are trying to bring down costs to Rs4.50 from Rs5.71 per unit. Since we have our own land, the costs will fall,” said Bavankule, adding that as technologies evolved, costs of green energy would be at par with coal-based plants.These captive plants will help industries get power at cheaper rates and can be developed by them anywhere in Maharashtra with the power being evacuated using open access. Industries will be able to take fallow and non-cultivated land from farmers on lease to set up these plants, instead of buying it outright, which will also reduce costs.The lower costs of this power as against that purchased from distribution utilities will make industry competitive and help the state’s ‘Make in Maharashtra’ ambitions to promote the manufacturing sector, noted Bavankule.The Centre plans to develop 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, of which 100 GW will be solar energy. One GW is equal to 1,000 MW.The Maharashtra government has been announcing policies from 1996 onwards to promote generation of power through clean and non-conventional energy sources. The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) promotes the development of non-conventional energy resources.The power generated under this proposed policy can be sold by developers through competitive bidding but they will have to first sell this to any distribution companies in the state to meet their renewable purchase obligation (RPO), which is a target in terms of a certain percentage of power to be sourced from green sources.

Tamil Nadu government cancels Coca-Cola land allotment amid opposition from locals

Chennai: Amid stiff opposition from the locals and some political parties against Coca Cola’s proposed project in Erode, Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it has cancelled allotment of 71.34 acres of land for the company’s unit.

SIPCOT (State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited) said it had a few days ago sent a notice to the company for non-compliance of terms and conditions for commencing the project.

Coca-Cola. Reuters

“The government has cancelled the allotment of 71.34 acres of land to Coca Cola. Non-compliance of terms and conditions by the company has been cited as the reason for cancellation of land allotment in the order,” a top government official told PTI.

On the reason given by the company for not starting production, the official said,”they say that they had not done feasibility study before and now they claim that the project is not feasible.”

Meanwhile, Coca Cola said it had already written to the state government that “due to unforseen pressures and delays, it will not be able to invest in SIPCOT in Perundurai.”

However, the company release said: “Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd (HCCBPL) is committed to invest in the state of Tamil Nadu and looks forward to invest in the state.”

The June 21, 2013 allotment order had earmarked 71.34 acres in SIPCOT’s premises in Perundurai in Erode District, about 400 km from here.

Asked what were the terms and conditions the company had not complied with, the SIPCOT official said “they are supposed to commence construction (for the plant) within six months from the date of allotment. However, they did not do so.”

“For starting commercial production they have time till three years, that is not an issue,” he added.

The State government’s move comes following stiff opposition to the project from several quarters, including political parties and the local people.

Locals had first expressed apprehension that the unit could cause rapid groundwater depletion and pollution of River Bhavani if the plant was allowed to come up.

Soon, environment NGOs and traders in Perundurai and Chennaimalai regions of Erode District took up the matter.

CPI(M) State Secretary G Ramakrishnan demanded that the state withdraw its nod to the firm to start its unit.

Opposing the plant, TNCC President EVKS Elangovan said local people and farmers would be affected by the project.

The MNC had, however, in the wake of protests, said it would not use groundwater and not let waste water come out of the plant premises.

Earlier this month, the Tamil Nadu assembly was informed that no environmental clearance had been accorded for the proposed project and that only land had been given for it.

“Despite best efforts to address concerns, we could not commence construction and the project cannot be executed. We have requested the state government to refund the entire money paid so far,” Coca Cola said.

PTI

Hailstorm-affected farmers to get govt help for daughters’ marriage

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that the government will provide financial help to hailstorm-hit farmers for the marriage of their daughters.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The state government will provide Rs 25,000 to hailstorm-hit farmers for their daughters’ marriage, Chouhan said yesterday.

The facility will continue till the next crop yielded, he said addressing the affected farmers during his visit to Gurawar village in Shivpuri district. He said the state government had always stood by the farmers whenever any calamity struck them.

CM assured that the government was with them in their hour of crisis. Crop insurance benefits worth Rs 2,127 crore were made available to farmers earlier, he said adding that the loan recovery has been suspended from those whose over 50 per cent crops have been affected. Till next crop yielded, they would be provided wheat and rice at the rate of Rs one per kg, he said.

If a farmer has any objection to the survey, then an assessment of his crop damage will be done again, he added. Soon after reaching the village, Chouhan visited the some of the affected farmers’ fields and assured that full compensation will be provided against the damaged crops.

State Revenue Minister Rampal Singh and Commerce and Industries Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia accompanied Chouhan on the occasion.

PTI

Udaan gets huge response in militancy prone Handwara

Jammu and Kashmir may be rocking politically with Masarat Alam impact, but the valley youth seems to be inclined for smooth sailing and build its future.

Jammu and Kashmir may be rocking politically with Masarat Alam impact, but the valley youth seems to be inclined for smooth sailing and build its future. This was evident at Handwara town of militancy-prone Kupwara district in north Kashmir where youth showed an overwhelming response to the centrally sponsored Udaan scheme by coming in droves at the recruitment centre in the last week of February. As many as 1,350 youth appeared at the Handwara recruitment centre of which 1,118 were found with eligible documents. Of these 475 youth – both boys and girls – were selected by 9 top corporate companies like Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), Reliance Industries, Manpower Ltd., Accenture, Mount Talent, Fidelis, Rooman Technology, Sahaj e-Village Ltd. and Prolific Systems & Technologies. Training of 350 selected candidates has already been started at various locations in India. On completion of their training these apprentice candidates will be absorbed by the companies as regular employees, an NSDC official said. This was the first time the corporate have made foray into the tough locales of militant hotbed. Earlier they were organising recruitment camps in the secured locations of Srinagar and Jammu. “We consider this as an overwhelming response and it has given us the confidence to outreach to other difficult areas. The talent pool in the valley is at par with the best in India,” said a recruitment officer of HR department of a leading company. Buoyed by the success, the national skill development corporation (NSDC) and the union home ministry, in conjunction with an ever growing pool of leading corporate companies, have made an elaborate plan to visit eight more towns in J&K for recruitment in the month of March alone. These include Ganderbal, Budgam, Baramulla, Anantnag from the valley and Doda, Kishtwar, Reasi and Kathua from Jammu region. Udaan, a special industrial initiative scheme, was conceived in 2010-11 on the recommendations of Rangarajan Committee for setting up a progressive programme for training of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir by the Corporate located in different states and make them employable. Though, a non-starter in the first year, Udaan picked up speed in 2013 with several hundred J&K youth coming forward to get enrolled in camps set up by the corporate. In the last two years, Udaan has helped train more than 6,000 J&K youth of which 2,574 have got jobs in top rated corporate houses. Centre has fixed a target to get 40,000 youth employed in 5 years (2013-2015). The commitment of 63 odd corporate exceeds it by double as they have agreed to train and absorb 80,000 J&K youth in 5 years.

India’s Richest: How Dilip Shanghvi surpassed Mukesh Ambani

The “two-man” operation that now employs over 14,000 — Sun Pharma is also India’s biggest pharmaceutical company by market value.

Dilip Shanghvi
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
First generation entrepreneur Dilip Shanghvi, promoter of Sun Pharma — world’s second largest generic drugmaker has become India’s richest surpassing Mukesh Ambani of the oil behemoth Reliance Industries. The list, compiled by Bloomberg, pegs Shanghvi at $21.6 billion at the end of day on Thursday. Mukesh Ambani has been the poster-boy of “richest lists” for a long time now. Recently, he made to the top of Forbes richest Indians list for the eighth consecutive time. The operation that now employs over 14,000 — Sun Pharma is also India’s biggest pharmaceutical company by market value.The company itself had only one product — Lithosun — when it began operations and today has business in 40 countries with over 200 pharmaceutical products. But how did Shanghvi reached the podium of India’s richest? He created Sun Pharma in 1982 and 11 years later opened India’s first pharma research and development centre. Post liberalisation, Shanghvi cashed on the India-story and took his company public in 1994. The IPO was oversubscribed 55 times! His eyes were set on being the leader in pharmaceutical market and entered the US market by purchasing Caraco Pharma in 1997. This not only gave him an unfettered access to the world’s toughest drug-market, it also was the first in 13 pharma companies that Shanghvi’s Sun Pharma went on to buy — the latest being beleagured Ranbaxy for $3.2 billion last year. The media took note of Shanghvi when he tried to buy Taro Pharma. The corporate takeover battle raged for six years which he lost in the end. In 2007, he offered nearly $500 million for Taro but failed. He, then, began a slow and tedious journey to buy 61% of Taro’s stock. In 2011, he offered to buy remaining shares but the offer was rejected an year later. It was then, Sun Pharma circled around Ranbaxy and agreed to spend over $3 billion to buy it from its Japanese owners. Recently Shanghvi came to the rescue of heavily-leveraged Suzlon Energy — owned by Tulsi Tanti to buy 23% stake for $290 million. Suzlon has been suffering from high debt and interest payment obligations after its strategy to expand inorganically failed miserably as the world economy slowed down after 2008 and orders for his company dried up. Suzlon recently sold its German company Senvion for $1.16 billion to pare some of its debt. Apart from this, Shanghvi also has stakes in Natco Pharma, Bio Light Israeli Life Science.Pharma stocks have had a good run on the Indian stock markets and Sun Pharma has shown remarkable 46% gains over the past year. Moreover, over the past five days Sun Pharma has climbed from Rs 883 per share to Rs 1037 on the Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex at Thursday’s close.Shanghvi’s flirtations with the top-spot may be shortlived as he surpassed Ambani largely due to the jump in Sun Pharma’s stock price where he owns 61% stake. Moreover, he is only nearly $100 million ahead of Ambani.

Day 2 of auction: Trimula bags coal mine in Jharkhand

The firms vying for Tara mine in Chhattisgarh are Adani Power Ltd, Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd, Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd, Athena Chhattisgarh Power Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, JSW Energy Ltd, KSK Mahanadi Power Co Ltd, Lanco Amarkantak Power Ltd, RattanIndia Nasik Power Ltd.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
On the second day of the second lot of coal block auctions, Trimula Industries Ltd bagged Meral mine for non-power sector in Jharkhand, taking the total number of mines won by the companies to five.”Meral coal block closes at (Rs) 727 (per tonne),” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted.Trimula bagged the mine by outbidding two companies — Easternrange Coal Mining Pvt Ltd and Usha Martin Ltd.Meral mine, earlier alloted to Abhijeet Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, is in Palamau district of Jharkhand and has extractable reserves of 12.67 million tonnes.However, auction of Mandakini mine in Odisha for power sector is still underway.Also Read: Coal Auction: What’s on offer today?
The companies in race for Mandakini mine are Adani Power Ltd, Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd, GMR Mining and Energy Pvt Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, Mandakini Exploration and Mining Ltd and Wigeon Commotrade Pvt Ltd.On account of Holi on Friday, there would be no auction of the mines. However, on March 7, three blocks — Tara (for power sector) and Nerad Malegaon?and Dumri?mines (for non- power sector) would be on offer.The firms vying for Tara mine in Chhattisgarh are Adani Power Ltd, Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd, Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd, Athena Chhattisgarh Power Ltd, Jindal Power Ltd, JSW Energy Ltd, KSK Mahanadi Power Co Ltd, Lanco Amarkantak Power Ltd, RattanIndia Nasik Power Ltd.Tara mine was earlier alloted to Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corp Ltd.For Nerad Malegaon?mine, companies in race are Godawari Power and Ispat Ltd, Grace Industries Ltd,Indrajit Power Pvt Ltd, OCL Iron and Steel Ltd and Sunflag Iron and Steel Co Ltd.Nerad Malegaon mine in Maharastra was earlier alloted to Gupta Metallics & Power Ltd and Gupta Coalfields and Washeries Ltd.Companies in race for Dumri?mine are Balco, Easternrange Coal Mining Pvt Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd, Lakeview Dealtrade Pvt Ltd, Rungta Mines Ltd, S S Natural Resources Pvt Ltd, Sesa Sterlite Ltd and Usha Martin Ltd.Dumri mine in Jharkhand was earlier alloted to Nilachal Iron & Power Ltd and Bajrang Ispat Ltd.Adani Power, Usha Martin and JSW Steel bagged mines in the second leg of coal block auction that began yesterday.Government has put on auction at least 15 ready-to- produce mines in the second leg of auction.The auction proceeds from first lot of 19 mines is over Rs 1 trillion.The coal block auctions are taking place following the Supreme Court’s decision last year to cancel the allocation of 204 coal mines.

Devendra Fadnavis’s takeaway from Davos: 20,000 jobs, India’s first escalator plant

Information technology giant Cognizant assured creation of 20,000 jobs on its new campus after the Maharashtra government announced allotment of 20 acres of land near Pune to the global firm during this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos. In another welcome development, leading elevator manufacturer Schindler would be setting up India’s first escalator manufacturing plant in the state.

CM Devendra Fadnavis pays his respects to Lala Lajpatrai on the freedom fighter’s 150th birth anniversary, at a city college on Wednesday.
Abhinav Kocharekar

Information technology giant Cognizant assured creation of 20,000 jobs on its new campus after the Maharashtra government announced allotment of 20 acres of land near Pune to the global firm during this year’s World Economic Forum at Davos. In another welcome development, leading elevator manufacturer Schindler would be setting up India’s first escalator manufacturing plant in the state. “Davos is a forum for networking and generally no memorandum of understanding is signed during the meet. Since the atmosphere of investment in India has improved, investors were eager to come to India, especially Maharashtra. The talks were so fruitful that we issued the letter of allotment to Cognizant on the discussion table. The company has assured to create 20,000 jobs on its new campus,” said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Apurva Chandra, secretary of the Department of Industries confirmed allotment of land at Hinjewadi to the IT firm. India’s dependence on imported escalators will come down with Schindler planning to set up a zero-discharge plant in Maharashtra, said Fadnavis. He said many Japanese firms would be visiting the state to explore the possibility of setting up a textile cluster in Amaravati with the aim of providing end-to-end solution to cotton growers. The CM said that he had offered the Japanese companies to develop a Japanese park. Cafeteria approachThe CM said that JP Morgan has showed keen interest in doing a roadshow in the US to attract financial sector giants to Maharashtra. Several Japanese firms too have shown keenness in having similar drives in their home country. He said that the state government would have a cafeteria approach and offer space for investors in whichever area they want in terms of diverse opportunities and faster clearances on par with China.

Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar assures action ‘as per law’ in Robert Vadra case

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said his government would take action against Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as per the law in connection with his deals with the real estate major DLF.”The state Government has formed a special investigation team to investigate the Vadra-DLF land deals. Data is being collected in all cases of irregularities and action would be taken as per the law,” Khattar said, speaking to reporters. Khattar visited the Haryana pavilion during the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas event in Gandhinagar on Friday.Haryana government had provided 10% reservations in industrial plots to non-resident Indians and it could be increased on demand, he informed. At an event organised by the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries here, Khattar said his government was keen to work with the Gujarat government to increase the milk production in his state. He said he met the Gujarat animal husbandry minister Babu Bhai Bokharia on Friday who assured him to supply the semen of Gir breed of cows from the state for raising the milk production.

Punjab to set up two skill training centres for women

Parkash Singh Badal

Punjab government will soon set up two ‘Apparel Skill Training Centres’ in the state to impart training to women, who would train the womenfolk in their respective villages and surrounding areas and enable them to earn their lively hood with honour and dignity. The state-of-the-art centres would come up at Mohali and at Bathinda, where free-of cost training would be imparted to the women. A decision to this effect was taken by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his meeting with senior government officers and representatives of different government technical training institutes here, said an official release. Badal asked Principal Secretary Industries to work out a comprehensive plan for establishing these two special institutes for providing skill training to the female trainers, who would further train the womenfolk in their respective villages and surrounding areas thereby enabling them to earn their lively hood with honour and dignity. The Chief Minister also gave his nod to constitute a committee under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce for finalising this project. It was also proposed by Badal that under this project six month certificate course and one year diploma course would be initiated. He further asked the department to chalk out academic as well as other modalities pertaining to providing free hostel facilities to the trainees. Also Read: Centre-state effort required to check drug menace in Punjab, says Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal