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Congress targets BJP chief over ‘limited knowledge of international affairs’

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MANISH TEWARI

New Delhi, June 10 : The Congress on Friday ridiculed BJP president Amit Shah for his statement that US support for India’s bid to enter the multi-lateral export control regimes MTCR and NSG will “pave the way for India to become an important arms exporter”, by saying that the BJP “needs to understand that MTCR was about controlling proliferation of missiles and not becoming an arms exporter”.

Congress also stressed that no significant decision in favour of India came out of the NSG meeting that took place on Thursday night in Vienna.

“The most amusing comment on the Prime Minister’s foreign visit actually came from the BJP president (Amit Shah). He said that if India becomes a part of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), we will become a major arms exporter.

“When I read the statement in the paper, I thought it could have been a misquote, but then I went back and checked and it was not a misquote — possibly the BJP needs to understand that the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is about controlling proliferation of missiles,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

“It is not about making a country into a net arms exporter. So, this is the limited understanding which the BJP and its president unfortunately have about international affairs,” he added.

To a question that with regard to Switzerland, Mexico and USA, India needs their support for entry into NSG and whether it was not an accomplishment to address the joint session of the US Congress, Tewari said: “The fact is that it was in September 2008, that the concerted diplomacy of the UPA government broke the Nuclear apartheid which had been in place for two-and-a-half decades, commencing with India’s first peaceful nuclear explosion in 1984.

“It was the UPA government which was successful in getting a waiver from the Nuclear Supplies Group for the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement.

“NSG operates on the process of consensus. Even if one country objects to the entry of a new member, that country unfortunately does not get included. The manner in which this government has conducted its foreign policy over the past two years, rather than consolidating that window which was opened by the UPA, they have in fact, endeavoured to lose that window,” said Tewari.

“And that is why unfortunately, when the NSG met last night (Thursday), on the question of admission of new members essentially to consider India’s application, nothing really came out of that meeting and so in real terms, it has really been a set-back for India rather than something to be proud of,” he added.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his five-nation tour, including to the United States, Congress said that ‘not a single new idea came out of his US visit.’

“Insofar as the USA is concerned, in the past 24 months, there has not been a single new idea, a single big idea in the Indo-US relationship. The only one thread which the NDA-BJP Government and the Prime Minister have been taking forth is the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Energy Pact which was incubated and finally consummated during the UPA government,” said Tewari.

India

Tamil Nadu govt should present new budget for FY21: MK Stalin

According to Stalin, many small scale units have been closed for over 60 days due to lockdown and workers have lost their jobs.

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Mk Stalin

Chennai, May 27 : The Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly and the DMK President M. K. Stalin on Wednesday demanded the Tamil Nadu government present a revised budget for FY21 considering the revenue impact due to the coronavirus spread.

In a statement issued here Stalin said the estimates and allocations announced in the state budget for 2020-21 presented in the Assembly on February 14, this year has all changed now owing to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, the state budget has to be redrawn, he added

Stalin said question mark hangs over the state’s estimate of its own tax revenue of Rs 1.33 lakh crore for the FY21 out of total tax revenue of Rs 2.19 lakh crore.

According to Stalin, many small scale units have been closed for over 60 days due to lockdown and workers have lost their jobs.

He said it is imperative to reassess the budget 2020-21 presented earlier and draw a new one.

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India

Government has no choice, must listen to wise counsel: Chidambaram

The Congress has been demanding cash transfer directly to the people’s account to the tune of Rs 65,000 crore.

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p chidambaram

New Delhi, May 27 : The Congress, after rejecting the government’s economic package announced to revive the economy, has said that sooner than later the government will accept the suggestions made by the Congress.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday said on Twitter: “I had tweeted a few days ago that the day is not far off when the Congress’ suggestions will be accepted by the government. A stubborn government has no choice and must listen to experience and wise counsel.”

“The government has hinted at taking up cash transfers to the poor,” Chidambaram added citing media reports.

“The government has also practically admitted through unnamed sources that it has asked the RBI to be prepared for monetising part of the fiscal deficit,” he further said.

The Congress has been demanding cash transfer directly to the people’s account to the tune of Rs 65,000 crore.

Rahul Gandhi in his press conference on Tuesday said it is important the Government share concrete plans for how it intends to deal with our migrants crisis? How does it plan to scale up testing which is urgently needed? How does it plan to support our MSMEs? How will our State Governments be funded? There are many critical questions that the Government is not providing us answers to, which need to be addressed urgently, he said.

“Earlier this month, the Prime Minister announced an economic stimulus which according to him was equivalent to 10 per cent of the GDP. However, economists in India and around the world have done the maths and come to the sad conclusion that the economic stimulus announced by the Prime Minister is actually less than 1 per cent of our GDP and that too most of it is in terms of loans that could drag our MSMEs into a debt trap from which they will struggle to recover,” Rahul Gandhi had said.

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India

Lockdown is not the goal: Harvard Prof Ashish Jha to Rahul

The Harvard Professor said that life will be very different when lockdown ends.

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Rahul Gandhi Ashish Jha

New Delhi, May 27 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in his series of talks on Covid-19 pandemic interacted with Professor Ashish Jha of Harvard University who said that “lockdown is not a goal” but a time to separate infected persons from non-infected ones, when you can’t test aggressively. He said the lockdown has psychological impact too on the people.

“Lockdown buys you time, but lockdown is not the goal unto itself. You can use that time to prepare a really fabulous testing, tracing, isolation infrastructure. You want to use that time to communicate with people,” said Jha.

The Harvard Professor says that vigorous testing, tracing and isolation is helpful, “but if you can’t do that, then you have to lock everything down. Can you slow down the virus from a lockdown? Of course you can. But it has very substantial economic repercussions,” he said.

While Ashish Jha said that the reason to do the lockdown is that you are trying to slowdown the spread of the virus, as the virus is a new one. The humanity had not seen this virus before. That means all of us are suspects. All of us are susceptible population. Left unchecked, the virus will grow exponentially, he said.

“And the way to stop it is to take infected people and separate them from un-infected ones,” advocated Jha.

The Harvard Professor said that life will be very different when lockdown ends.

“This is not about going back to what life was like last May or June. That life over the next 6-12-18 months is going to look very different. And its really is about planning all of that out. So it’s not just communication, but really thinking through, what will public transportation look like? Who will go back to work. What will schools do. There is a lot of work you want to be doing during the lockdown,” he said.

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