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Congress suggestion to Govt: Don’t worry about fiscal deficit, current account deficit

The Congress also slammed the Union Government for not allowing CSR funds to the CM relief fund and termed it discriminatory. The party said the PM-CARES Fund should be merged with PMNRF.

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New Delhi, April 13 : The Congress has put forward another suggestion to the central government saying it should not worry about fiscal deficit and current account deficit as this is “extraordinary” economic situation.

The party has said the government should give more in relief as only less than 1 per cent of the GDP has been given to the Covid relief fund, whereas many countries have given to the tune of 15 per cent.

The Congress said that during 2008 economic crisis, the then UPA government gave 3 per cent of the GDP as stimulus.

The party demanded that there should be more relief in personal income tax.

Former Union Minister Anand Sharma said, “The government should not care for CAD (Current Account Deficit) and inflation as this is extraordinary situation and government should give second financial assistance to these sectors.”

Sharma while addressing a press conference, said the states should get their due of the GST and MNREGA.

“MSME sector which contributes 40 per cent of the export should be given interest free loan to pull them out from distress and the PSU should at least partially pay the debt of the MSME which is at the tune of Rs 10 lakh crore,” said Anand Sharma.

The Congress leader said that the lockdown should be lifted phasewise and some economic activity should start while suggesting that transport of goods by road should start immediately and the SDM should be authority to act as transport aggregator as during harvest season the transportation is the essential part.

He said, “Interest should be waived off on industries. It should not be complied with as the loans should be rescheduled which has completed in March 20 cycle.”

He said the companies could not bear the cost of the labour without any stimulus as International Labour Organization (ILO) has predicted 40 crore workers will be pushed into poverty.

The Congress also slammed the Union Government for not allowing CSR funds to the CM relief fund and termed it discriminatory. The party said the PM-CARES Fund should be merged with PMNRF.

The Congress said that those who are not under social security net and the paper work should be waived off to help people in the distress.

However, the Congress rejected the charge that some states ruled by the BJP are getting more fund than those ruled by opposition parties.

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In latest attack on govt, Rahul Gandhi highlights NPAs, says was ridiculed

Rahul Gandhi has been leading his party’s sharp criticism of the central government over a host of issues, including the June 15 standoff between the Indian and Chinese soldiers.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that large companies are under severe stress in India and banks are in distress. He targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for ridiculing him for warning about all this months ago.

“Small & medium enterprises stand destroyed. Large companies are under severe stress. Banks are in distress. I stated months ago that an economic tsunami was coming and was ridiculed by BJP and the Media for warning the country about the truth,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

He also attached a news report which claimed that the non-performing assets (NPAs) in the country will increase.

The former Congress president had attacked the BJP on Tuesday too by accusing the government led by it of economic mismanagement. “India’s economic mismanagement is a tragedy that is going to destroy millions of families. It will no longer be accepted silently,” he had tweeted yesterday.

He tagged a report with his tweet that claimed that India’s economic growth is likely to contract 4.5 per cent in 2020-21 due to Covid-19.

Gandhi has been leading his party’s sharp criticism of the central government over a host of issues, including the June 15 standoff between the Indian and Chinese soldiers. He has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement at all-party meeting and questioned the government’s stand on China.

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Temporary relief for Zee as HC admits appeal against selling of shares worth Rs 740M

The plea filed by Cyquator has sought the setting aside of the single bench order of the high court passed on July 3.

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Dr. Subhash Chandra

New Delhi, July 8 : The Delhi High Court in an interim relief to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd stayed IDBI Trusteeship and Franklin Templeton from selling or transferring the company’s shares worth Rs 740 million, after the court admitted an appeal filed by Zee.

A division bench of the high court presided by Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon admitted the appeal challenging the order passed by the single judge bench of the court. The orders were passed while the two judge bench was hearing an application filed by Cyquator Media Services Pvt Ltd, the holding company of Zee Entertainment.

Advocate Vijay Aggarwal had filed the plea seeking the stay on invoking pledge on the shares.

During the course of hearing, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul argued that the interim measure sought by Cyquator was denied in the order of the single judge, following the statutory provisions which are unambiguous.

“Any interference with the sale by the respondent no. 1 (IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd) of the pledged shares would affect the investors in the mutual fund on a day to day basis and may also result in irreparable injury inasmuch as if the price of the said shares were to fall, the security created by way of pledge of the shares would cease to exist and/or diminish,” Kaul told the court.

The appellant through its counsel advocate Vijay Aggarwal submitted that severe prejudice would be caused to Cyquator if the shares of Zee Entertainment are sold in open market during the present market conditions.

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on July 13.

The plea filed by Cyquator has sought the setting aside of the single bench order of the high court passed on July 3.

It also sought the court’s directions to restrain IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd from invoking the pledge or acting upon it, including by creating third party rights in the pledged shares for a period of six weeks.

“The Impugned Order fails to appreciate that in the present situation of COVID-19, all parties need to act fairly and reasonably and it would be ex facie wrong to put the Appellant (Cyquator) to prejudice alone when in fact a balanced outcome is achievable by waiting for 4-6 weeks,” the plea said.

It added that the Impugned Order failed to consider that while there may have been no urgency qua the invocation of the corporate guarantee, the pledge invocation was imminent and as such relief ought to have been granted at least vis-A-vis the Pledge Invocation Notice if not the Corporate Guarantee Notice.

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World Bank Sanctions $400 Million To Enhance Namami Gange Programme

“The government’s Namami Gange Programme has revitalized India”s efforts to rejuvenating the Ganga,” Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India, said.

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Namami Gange

New Delhi, July 7 : The Indian government and the World Bank on Tuesday signed a loan agreement to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme that seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga.

The Second National Ganga River Basin Project will help stem pollution in the iconic river and strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.

The $400 million operation comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed guarantee of up to $19 million.

The agreement for the $381 million loan was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the government, and Qaiser Khan, Acting Country Director (India), on behalf of the World Bank. The guarantee instrument will be processed separately.

Khare said that the Ganga is India”s most important cultural, economic and environmental resource, and the government”s Namami Gange programme seeks to ensure that the river returns to a pollution-free, ecologically healthy state.

The new project will extend the government”s and World Bank”s engagement in this critical national programme to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river.

The World Bank has been supporting the government”s efforts since 2011 through the ongoing National Ganga River Basin Project, which helped set up the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as the nodal agency to manage the river, and financed sewage treatment infrastructure in several riverside towns and cities.

Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, said that the continuity provided by the Second National Ganga River Basin Project will consolidate the momentum achieved under the first World Bank project, and help NMCG introduce further innovations, and benchmark its initiatives against global best practices in river rejuvenation.

“The government’s Namami Gange Programme has revitalized India”s efforts to rejuvenating the Ganga,” Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India, said. “The first World Bank project helped build critical sewage infrastructure in 20 pollution hotspots along the river, and this Project will help scale this up to the tributaries. It will also help government strengthen the institutions needed to manage a river basin as large and complex as the Ganga Basin.”

The sprawling Ganga Basin provides over one-third of India”s surface water, includes the country”s largest irrigated area, and is key to India”s water and food security. Over 40 per cent of India”s GDP is generated in the densely populated basin. But the Ganga river is today is facing pressures from human and economic activity that impact its water quality and flows.

Over 80 per cent of the pollution load in the Ganga comes from untreated domestic wastewater from towns and cities along the river and its tributaries. For this, sewage networks and treatment plants in select urban areas would be built to help control pollution discharges. These infrastructure investments and the jobs they will generate will also help India”s economic recovery from the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.

To ensure that these infrastructure assets function effectively and are well maintained, the project will build on the innovative Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) of public private partnership introduced under the ongoing NGRBP, and which has become the solution of choice for sewage treatment investments in the Ganga Basin.

Under this model, the government pays a private operator 40 per cent of the capital cost to build a sewage treatment plant during the construction period; the remaining 60 per cent is paid as performance-linked payments over 15 years to ensure that the operator runs and maintains the plant efficiently.

The $400 million operation includes a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million to backstop the government”s payment obligations for three Hybrid-Annuity-Model Public Private Partnership (HAM-PPP) investments on the Ganga”s tributaries.

The $381 million variable spread loan has a maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of 5 years. The $19 million Guarantee Expiry Date will be 18 years from the Guarantee Effectiveness Date.

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