Tag Archives: Government

New Delhi:The deadline for the Aadhaar-linking of bank accounts, mobile phones and all government schemes will be extended to March 31, the Supreme Court today ruled, accepting the centre's suggestion.

The order is an interim or temporary one, which will be in effect till the court decides whether making Aadhaar-linking mandatory for welfare schemes and financial transactions, like getting a loan or filing taxes, violates the constitutional right to privacy. The top court will start hearings on that issue on January 17.

The government said on Wednesday that the December 31 deadline for linking every bank account to Aadhaar can be pushed to the end of March.


The court said new bank account-holders who don't have Aadhaar cards, have to apply for these.

The top court is hearing a number of petitions that have challenged the validity of the 12-digit Unique Identification Number and the government's move to make it mandatory.




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New Delhi : Congress President-elect Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised the families of fishermen who went missing during cyclone Ockhi that the Congress will raise their issues in Parliament and put pressure on the Central and Tamil Nadu governments to ensure relief for them.

Gandhi, who met the families in Chinnathurai in this southern-most district of Tamil Nadu, said their problems could be better addressed if there was a separate Ministry for Fisheries at the Centre whom the distressed people can look up to.


"I would have been normally happy coming here but not so in the present circumstances. Whatever help we can provide you, we will do. We are in opposition both at the Centre and in Tamil Nadu. We will bring pressure on both the governments to do the needful for the families which have lost their breadearners," he told the women who poured their grievances to him.

Gandhi said: "We will put a tremendous amount of pressure on the Central government in Parliament. We will raise your issues strongly so that you get some relief.



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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured people that their bank deposits will be safe and that their interests will not be harmed in any way, amid worries over what is being called a "bail-in" provision in a new proposed banking law. PM Modi described them as rumours and asserted that the proposed Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill seeks to strengthen the banking system.

"The government is trying to strengthen the banking system by policy initiatives on a daily basis. But social media rumours are being spread about the FRDI Bill, which is completely opposite to the reality. We are trying to protect the depositors interest and the banks as well," PM Modi said in an address at industry body FICCI, a day before key state Gujarat votes in the second and last phase of assembly elections.

The Prime Minister's assurance comes as a huge controversy rages over the "bail-in" provision, under which banks will be allowed to forfeit a major portion of deposits made by account holders in case of a financial crisis.

Opposition parties have alleged that the government could use people's money to save financial institutions that have made bad lending calls. Banks are struggling under a bad-loan burden of around Rs. 10 lakh crore ($150 billion).

PM Modi said his government has inherited a "completely spoilt banking system" from the previous Congress-led UPA government. He said the biggest liability passed on by the previous government was non-performing assets (NPA).

The last government, the PM alleged, forced banks to lend to influential people, which exacerbated the NPA situation. "Commonwealth scam, 2G scam and Coal scam, and the biggest scam - the banking scam - all happened during UPA regime," the Prime Minister said.
Some financial analysts have suggested that a "bail-in", as against a bailout in which outside money is used to save a financial institution, may eat into funds parked by depositors.

An online petition last week appealed against allowing "a government entity to use depositors' money to save a bank on the verge of bankruptcy" and said to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, "Our hard earned money that we have saved for our children and for our future will be used to bail-in the banks." It got over 40,000 sign-ups in just 24 hours.

Mr Jaitley has already sought to allay concerns multiple times, saying the government will fully protect public deposits in banks and on Tuesday even hinted that the government is open to changes in the proposed bill, currently being reviewed by a parliamentary panel.

The Finance Minister has said that the government's massive Rs. 2.11 lakh crore capital infusion plan for banks will strengthen them and there is no question of any lender failing. If it happened, he promised, the government would step in to "fully protect" the deposits made by customers, he said adding that "the government is very clear about it".

The Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in August this year during the monsoon session and was referred to a joint parliamentary committee.




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New Delhi: Former US President Barack Obama on Friday said his administration made no distinction between Pakistan-based terror groups who at times targeted Indian and on other occasions American interests.

He also told the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit that he had offered every intelligence and military help to New Delhi to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack of 2008 -- blamed on Pakistani terrorists.

Obama was asked how he would address Indian concerns that the terror "we face is treated differently than the terror you face". He said he couldn't speak for other US administrations but that definitely was not the case with his government.

"I can say that is not how we viewed it. When the crisis, the tragedy in Mumbai took place, we were as obsessed with how to dismantle this terror network as India was.

"And in fact, our intelligence and military personnel were immediately deployed to work with the Indian government in any ways that the Indian government determined would be helpful in getting this done."

He, however, said the "true and understandable source of frustration" in India was based on "some connections between explicit terrorist organisations based in Pakistan and elements that are connected to various more official entities inside Pakistan.

"But that is not just true for terrorist organisations that were directed at India. That is true for those like Haqqani that killed US soldiers and that poses a difficulty."

He said there was a "historic recognition... that terrorism of any sort directed at any country has a way of metastasizing and you cannot say it is their problem, because eventually it becomes your problem later". 

Asked if Pakistan knew Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad where the US Navy SEALS shot him dead on May 2, 2011, Obama said there was no evidence to suggest that.

"We had no evidence that the Pakistan government was aware of bin Landen's presence there. That is something obviously that we looked at," said Obama, who oversaw the operation.

Asked if it meant a neglect by Islamabad, Obama told journalist Karan Thapar that he would "leave it to you to characterise beyond what I just said".

Obama also talked about the blow-hot-blow-cold Pakistan-US ties, saying Islamabad had been a partner in many ways but some elements, which he refused to name, were not so good.

"Pakistan has been in many ways a partner in fighting against certain terrorist organisations. But it is also true that there are elements that some times have not been good partners with us."





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New Delhi: Hitting out at the Tamil Nadu government, Tamil actor Kamal Haasan on Sunday said any regime that focusses on power and fame even if results in loss of life would fall.

A person is an accessory to a murder if his action results in an accident which Tamil Nadu's rulers should realise, he said.


In a tweet, Haasan said a government that does not value the lives of pedestrians cannot travel in a palanquin for long, in an obliquely reference to the death of a software engineer in Coimbatore - around 500 km from here - on Friday after hitting the wooden structure on the road.

The wooden structure was erected for an decorative arch as a part of the centenary celebration of AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran.

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss said the ruling party has not obtained any permission from the authorities for putting up such structures.





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New Delhi: Actor Kamal Haasan, who is prepping for a political career, on Tuesday weighed in on the controversy over Bollywood movie Padmavati, saying he wanted the head of Deepika Padukone "saved". His tweet was a response to a shocking comment from a Haryana BJP official on Sunday, announcing a 10-crore bounty on the heads of Ms Padukone, who plays the role of the 13th Century Queen, and the director of the film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Politicians, cutting across party lines, have demanded a ban on the Rs. 200-crore film, the release of which, slated for December 1, has already been deferred by its producers.

The tweet from Mr Haasan this evening read:

The comment of Surajpal Amu, the BJP's chief media coordinator in Haryana, added to the threats of violence from the Rajput groups, which say the movie distorts history and has portrayed the legendary Rajput queen Padmini in an offensive manner.

The Rajput Karni Sena, which is spearheading the protests across several cities, has said they would punish Deepika Padukone the way Lakhshman punished Ravana's sister Surpanakha in the epic Ramayana - by chopping off her nose. Their shocking comment had also received an endorsement from Mr Amu. Ms Padukone's security has already been scaled up.
Following the BJP's demand for an explanation, Mr Amu said he had made the statement as a "Rajput" and not as the party's officer-bearer. He also added that he firmly stands by his statement.

Mr Hasaan, who recently announced plans to form his own political party, has posted frequent criticisms not only of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK, but also the BJP. Asked about his political leanings, he had said, "My colour is obviously seen over the 40 years I have been working in cinema, definitely it's not saffron".

His tweets against the AIADMK have become sharper over the recent weeks, prompting frequent warnings from various ministers. In August, a minister threatened to sue him when he said everyone has to face corruption in Tamil Nadu.

In response, the actor asked his fans to flood the state's ministers with emails, exposing their experiences of corruption, and dared the government to arrest everyone.




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New Delhi: The Delhi government has decided to offer over 40 government services ranging from grant of water connection to marriage certificate at people's doorstep, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said here on Thursday.

Sisodia said citizens would save time and countless trips to government offices in the process and termed the decision as one amounting to bringing "government at your doorsteps" and "home delivery of governance".


The Minister said the decision was taken in a cabinet meeting on Thursday, adding that citizens would be able to access these services outside of the normal working hours too.

The 40 services on offer include issue of OBC, SC and ST certificates, motor vehicle registration certificate, driving licence, handicapped and old age pensions as well as sewage connection.

Sisodia said a nominal fee would be charged from people and added that a private agency would be hired to carry out the service.

Under the new project, if a person wanted a certificate from the government, he would telephone a call centre.

Then a 'Mobile Sahayak' would go to the residence or office of the applicant and collect the necessary documents, take photo and biometric details and then process the application.

Applicants can pay the prescribed application fee to the 'Mobile Sahayak', the Minister said, and termed the service the first of its kind in India.

Sisodia said all government services would be gradually added to the list of services. The project would be implemented in three to four months and added that they were yet to hire the agency to carry out the service.

The Minister said that though many of these services were currently online, many people don't have internet connectivity and the new project would benefit them.

Sisodia said that people can take appointment with 'Mobile Sahayak' to access services according their convenience and even on holidays, so that they do not have to take leave from work.






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NEW DELHI:  As Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government today celebrates one year of demonetisation, the move that yanked 86 per cent of the currency in circulation at the time as "Anti-black money day", the opposition plans united protest against the notes ban, which according to them was a "reckless" and "thoughtless" act by the central government. PM Modi, however, called the demonetisation a "decisive battle" that "Indians fought and "WON".


                        Here is your 10-point cheatsheet to this story:



  1. "I bow to the people of India for steadfastly supporting the several measures taken by the Government to eradicate corruption and black money," PM Modi said in a tweet this morning.



  1. The government has also released a short-film to highlight the benefits of , the unprecedented move taken purportedly to wipe out black money, curb terrorism and do away with fake currency notes.
  2. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, whose party has been leading protest against the notes ban move calling it "anti-poor", tweeted today, "Demonetisation is a tragedy. We stand with millions of honest Indians, whose lives & livelihoods were destroyed by PM's thoughtless act. "




  1. Rahul Gandhi will today participate in a candle-light vigil in Surat as part of the opposition parties' "Black Day" protest.



  1. Calling the measure "anti-people", the Congress and several opposition parties will hold protests against the notes ban in several parts of the country.




  1. However, the BJP leaders, including many union ministers, will fan out across the country to highlight the "benefits" of demonetisation.




  1. Former PM Manmohan Singh also attacked PM Modi over GST and demonetisation on Tuesday calling it a "twin blow" to the economy. Dr Singh said that demonetisation was an "organised loot and legalised plunder."





  1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley delivered a stinging rebuttal to Manmohan Singh. He said an exercise backed by "an ethical and moral rationale" was being described as loot, before going on to refer to the 2G and commonwealth games scam that took place during the UPA regime. That, he said, "is loot".




  1. Describing the November 2016 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and 1,000 currency notes as "a watershed moment for the Indian economy", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley it not only changed the agenda and made corruption difficult but because it was a "morally and ethically correct" step, it was also "politically correct".





  1. Turning up the heat on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government hit corruption and black money hard, making the opposition party angry.






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Jaipur: The new law that shields public servants including lawmakers and ministers from being investigated for on-duty action without prior sanction was necessary to end frivolous allegations meant to defame officials, a top Rajasthan minister told news channel NDTV, defending the law that the opposition Congress says was designed to "protect the interest of the corrupt" in the state.

The law, which requires a government approval for courts to take up such complaints against public servants, also made it a crime to identify the public servant against whom a complaint has been filed in the court.

The government can take up to six months to decide if a court should order a probe into a private complaint. If anyone reveals information that can identify the public servant before the government takes this call. they can be sent to jail for two years.

The law, enacted by an executive order or an ordinance last month, will be introduced in the state assembly on Monday.

The Rajasthan Congress claims the Vasundhara Raje government had enacted the law since it was nearing the end of its five year tenure in 2018 and was attempting to cover its tracks.

"Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje wants to institutionalise corruption that has been a hallmark of her regime for four years," said Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Congress president.

He called the provisions to outlaw reporting on allegations against public servants unless the government agrees to probe them "a draconian law is made only to protect the interest of corrupt individual".

Rajendra Rathore, Rajasthan's parliamentary affairs minister, is dismissive of the outrage around the law.
Mr Rathore told NDTV that the law was a response to a flood of "false allegations against public servants to demoralise them".

"People were filing false cases against public servants and that is the reason we have brought this law," the minister said.

Mr Rathore said a person can be punished only after being found guilty. "But before the court reaches this decision, his image can't be tarnished," he said.

There is no intention to curb media freedom or fundamental rights of people, he said, quickly adding that Maharashtra was the first state to enact a similar law.

The Devendra Fadnavis government did amend the criminal procedure code in 2015 which also barred courts from taking up complaints against public servants without the government's approval. The centre had proposed a similar provision in the anti-corruption law in 2013.

But neither Maharashtra nor the central government criminalised reporting on allegations facing public servants.

Tariq Anwar of the Nationalist Congress Party, which is in the opposition in Maharashtra, said the Rajasthan government "was trying to put restrictions on media"





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