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60,000 Indians detained along US-Mexico border, says Manish Tewari

Congress leader says he visited border area during visit to US, claims 90% of detainees from Punjab

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Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Manish Tewari on Saturday claimed that 60,000 Indian youth, a substantial number of them from Punjab, have been detained at detention camps along the US-Mexico border.

Tewari said he had personally visited the border area during his recent US visit and was alarmed by the situation there.

Addressing a party workers’ meeting organised by Punjab Congress secretary Satwinder Jawaddi and later during informal conversation with reporters here on Saturday, Tewari said he was told during his visit that 60,000 Indians, who had tried to sneak illegally into the US through Mexico, had been detained by the US authorities.

“Of these, over 90% are Punjabis,” he said.

Expressing concern over the plight of these stranded youth, Tewari said their release has to be dealt at the level of the external affairs ministry and he had already raised the matter. He said Punjab, too, needed to create job avenues for them.

Speaking about the Congress’ prospects for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the former Ludhiana MP said that the “countdown” of the NDA government had started.

“Their despair and frustration were revealed during the Prime Minister’s speech in the Parliament during the no-confidence motion,” he said. “The NDA may have won the confidence of the House, but it has actually lost the confidence of people across India.”

Tewari said after the elections next year, a “progressive and secular” government will be in power at the Centre.

India

Rajasthan unemployment rate doubles national average of 8.35% in August

However, the national average unemployment rate in the same month was 8.35 per cent.

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Unemployment Rate in India

Jaipur, Sep 24 : Rajasthan’s unemployment rate has more than doubled the national average rate of 8.35 per cent in August due to the lockdown imposed amid pandemic, which has grounded all vital activities, including tourism in the state.

The data has been recently released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

As per the data, the desert state has been ranked third after registering an unemployment rate of 17.5 per cent in August. Haryana tops the list with an unemployment rate of 33.5 per cent, followed by Tripura whose unemployment rate was 27.9 per cent in the same month.

However, the national average unemployment rate in the same month was 8.35 per cent.

A prominent hotelier of the state, Prithvi Singh said, “Rajasthan depends on tourism, export and handicrafts. Because of the pandemic, all three segments are shut as of now. Hence the dip.”

Tourism in Rajasthan contributes 23 per cent to its GDP, and hence, the need of the hour is aggressive marketing of tourism as it creates jobs for millions of people in the state directly and directly, he added.

A Rajasthan-based tour operator Sanjay Kaushik says, “Unlocking tourism at the right time is the need of the hour. As per reports, one foreign tourist generates jobs for around 40 people while one domestic tourist also creates jobs for around 25 people.

“Those guides, taxi drivers, artists engaged in puppet shows and the artisans making puppets and many more local handicraft makers and folk dancers get their regular income via tourism. Even in rural Rajasthan, the economy depends on tourism, those owning camels and horses, guides, taxis, cabbies, folk singers and all earn money with tourists coming in. There is a need for aggressive marketing of tourism in the state.

“Campaigns like ‘Padharo Mharo Des’ should be aggressively promoted; people are waiting to travel. However, there is a fear amongst them. Do they have to undergo quarantine? Do they have to take covid-19 test, if they come to the state? These doubts should be resolved. The festive season is coming and, hence, restrictions should be eased like other states,” he said.

Prithvi Singh said, “The need of the hour is to promote domestic tourism. Government needs to market Rajasthan extensively. People are scared to go out. The government should remove their fears and bring in confidence-building measures. In fact, promotion of pilgrim tourism can give a major boost,” he added.

He further said that the government should give rebates on extensive travelling. For example, if you travel after spending a particular amount, you should be eligible to get a rebate in one or the other form. The idea can be fine tuned with further brainstorming, Singh said, adding “These slew of ideas can help to generate employment in villages as well as urban areas.”

Meanwhile, a prominent travel agent said that taxes on liquor in the form of corona tax were thwarting the growth of hospitality in the state.

“In bars, every bottle is charged for corona tax, alcohol is highly taxed, petrol and diesel are also being taxed when their prices are plunging across the globe. The government, instead of planning to fill its empty coffers via taxes, should give respite from these taxes, which will boost tourism,” he added.

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Farmer bodies gear up for ‘Bandh’ on Friday

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Farmers Protests Kurukshetra

New Delhi, Sep 24 : Over two dozen farmer organisations have announced support to the ‘Bandh call on Friday to protest against the farm Bills passed by Parliament amid massive protests from 18 political parties.

The 31 farmer organisations in Punjab and Haryana are already on protest and come Friday the organisations want to convey their concerns to the government.

V.M. Singh, convener of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, who is from central UP, said “There will be nationwide unrest if MSP is not guaranteed and the food security of the poor is handed over to multinationals and corporates,” he said while appealing to President Ram Nath Kovind not to give assent to these Bills.

The same demand has been raised by 18 parties who met the President on Wednesday and requested him to return the Bills for reconsideration of the House.

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Avik Saha of Jai Kisan Andolan said, “We have been trying to engage democratically with the government. After the ordinances were issued, hundreds and thousands of letters have been sent to the Prime Minister. But even in Parliament, this government has refused listen”.

Farmers’ unions have requested farmers to come out in open to oppose the legislations as Bharatiya Kisan Union said “On September 25 there will be farmers’ curfew, blockade and till purchase of produce as per MSP is guaranteed in the law the agitation will go on.”

Rakesh Tikait of the BKU has appealed its members to come out in large numbers.

Farmers unions in Punjab are claiming that it is due to their pressure that Akali leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned as a minister from the Cabinet but the real success will be when the law is repealed. The most vociferous protests are in Haryana and Punjab.

The farmers’ unions say that the problem with the Bills goes beyond MSP to the whole issue of phasing out the ‘mandis’ as farmers are far more vulnerable to exploitation outside the ‘mandi’ system and they are producers, not agri-businesses.

Hannan Mollah , of All India Kisan Sabha, an affiliate of the Left parties, said, “How can a small farmer negotiate a fair deal with the big corporates?”

The farmers have received support from 18 parties including the Congress which has governments in four states, TMC in West Bengal, Left in Kerala, AAP in Delhi, TRS in Telangana while the BJD has also demanded the Bills be sent to a select committee.

The farmers are opposing the Bills passed by the government as the Upper House gave the nod to the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

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India

Opposition requests President to return farm Bills for reconsideration

After the meeting senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “the govt did not have the numbers and our request for division was ignored and even the resolution against the Bill was not allowed”

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Ram Nath Kovind

Opposition leaders met President Kovind on Wednesday and apprised him of the circumstances amid which the Farm Bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday. They requested him to return the Bills for reconsideration to the House.

After the meeting Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “the government did not have the numbers and our request for division was ignored and even the resolution against the Bill was not allowed.”

The opposition said that the government ignored the demand for sending the Bills to a select committee.

Ahead of this meeting, the Congress and other opposition parties continued to protest in the Parliament complex here on Wednesday.

The protesting lawmakers marched from Gandhi’s statue in the complex to BR Ambedkar’s statue within the premises to register their protest while carrying placards.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh tweeted: “All MPs of the Congress and like-minded parties are marching from the Gandhi statue to the Ambedkar statue in Parliament to protest against anti-farmers and anti-workers Bills rubber stamped in Parliament in the most undemocratic manner by the Modi government.”

Earlier, the opposition leaders met in the chamber of Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and decided to continue their protest over the Farm Bills.

The opposition and the government are at loggerheads ever since the two farm Bills were passed amid a ruckus in the Upper House on Sunday. The third contentious Bill on essential commodities was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

On Sunday, pandemonium broke out in the Upper House as the opposition protested over the two Farm Bills. Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien even approached the Chair and tried to snatch a mike while citing the rule book.

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