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Cabinet allows state entities to borrow from bilateral agencies

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, April 19 : The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved policy guidelines to allow state government entities to borrow directly from bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) partners for implementing vital infrastructure projects.

“State entities earlier didn’t have permission to enter into financial arrangements with bilateral agencies. Such permission had to be taken by the state government, which meant the amount would become a part of their FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management),” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here after a Cabinet meeting.

“This borrowing will be subject to fulfilment of certain conditions, and it would not be limited by the state’s FRBM target,” he said.

Jaitley said the eligibility criteria for state entities would be a revenue of over Rs 1,000 crore, and for infrastructure projects the cost criteria will be Rs 5,000 crore.

“These entities can approach bilateral agencies directly, so the funding would not come under the state FRBM… state budgets are already under much pressure,” he added.

As a corollary to this decision, the cabinet allowed the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to borrow directly from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link. Of the estimated project cost of Rs 17,854 crore, the JICA loan is expected to be Rs 15,109 crore.

(IANS)

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Sukma: CRPF personnel killed in Naxal encounter

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Naxal

Sukma, April 21: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel lost his life in an encounter with Naxals near Kistaram camp in insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on late Friday.

The gunfight erupted when troops of 212 battalion of CRPF, 208 CoBRA, along with Chhattisgarh police were carrying out a cordon and search operation last night.

The deceased was a native of Madhya Pradesh.

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Raipur: 7-year-old sexually assaulted in school

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rape-minor girl

Chhattisgarh, April 21: In yet another case of crime against minors, a seven-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted at Raipur School.

Speaking to ANI, Victim’s father said “It was her first day to the school on Wednesday. She went to the school and we wanted to meet her at the school, but we weren’t allowed to do so. While changing her clothes after she returned from school, my wife noticed blood on her private parts and she was not wearing undergarments.”

On being asked if she had reported about the incident to the teacher, the minor replied that the teacher was absent on the second day of her school.

Meanwhile, the police said that they were investigating the matter and were examining CCTV footages of the school. An FIR was lodged for the same.

The president of Child Right Commission, Prabha Dubey, said “I have spoken to the girl personally. She is saying that a ‘bhaiya’ had allegedly molested her. We asked the peon of the school about the undergarment, to which she replied that she had thrown away the undergarment since the girl had urinated on it. I will constitute a team to investigate the matter.”

In the wake of recent Unnao, Surat Kathua rape cases, Indian social media has been abuzz with the words – “rape horror”.

Massive countrywide protests are being held demanding death penalty for those accused of raping minors.

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Accused in fake facebook post on Manohar Parrikar’s health, gets bail

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Manohar Parrikar
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (File Photo)

Panaji, April 20: A city Judicial Magistrate First Class(JMFC) court on Friday granted bail to Kenneth Silveira, who was arrested by Crime Branch of Goa for posting fake information about Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s “death” on Facebook.

He was released on a personal bond of ₹10,000, reported The Hindu.

In a related development, members of civil society staged a protest outside the Goa Police headquarters here on Friday morning condemning the arrest.

Kenneth, 35, was arrested by the Crime Branch on Wednesday, a day after he put up the post on social media, on a complaint by a BJP office-bearer.

Parrikar is undergoing treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer in the US.

On Friday, a few dozen protesters rallied at the police headquarters and accused police of trying to “muzzle” free speech.

The Opposition has also criticised the police for the arrest of Silveira, who contested the 2017 by-poll in Panaji but lost to Parrikar.

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