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Delegation leaves for Pak to take part in Indus commission meet

To drive the point, the source recalled how Pakistan’s concern over India’s Uri-II and Chutak hydroelectric projects were resolved seven years ago through discussions.

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Permanent Indus Commission

New Delhi, Mar 19 : A 10-member Indian delegation today left for Pakistan to take part in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) beginning tomorrow in Islamabad.

The delegation comprises India’s Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena, MEA officials and technical experts.

Speaking to PTI, a government source said India is “always open” to discuss and resolve concerns Pakistan have over its projects under Indus Water Treaty (IWT) bilaterally.

The source, however, reiterated that there will be “no compromise” on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact.

However, the agenda for the meeting, taking place nearly six months after India decided to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits, is yet to be finalised.

Permanent Indus Commission

Asked whether the delay in reaching consensus over agenda for the meeting will leave little time to resolve issues, the source replied in negative.

“We always go into such meetings with optimistic mindset..

In the past too, there had been delays in finalising agenda for the meeting, yet solutions were achieved,” the source added.

To drive the point, the source recalled how Pakistan’s concern over India’s Uri-II and Chutak hydroelectric projects were resolved seven years ago through discussions.

Pakistan had raised objections over designs of 240 MW Uri-II and 44 MW Chutak projects, built in Baramulla and Kargil districts of Jammu and Kashmir respectively, saying these will deprive it of its water share under the pact.

However, at a meeting held here in May 2010, the neighbouring country withdrew objections after Indian side provided details of these.

Similarly, Pakistan has been flagging concern over designs of India’s five other hydroelectricity projects — Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) — being built/planned in the Indus river basin, contending these violate the treaty.

It had approached the World Bank, the mediator between the two countries of the 57-year-old water distribution treaty, in August last year raising issues over Kishanganga and Ratle projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

While there is no clarity yet whether issues relating to these two projects will figure during the meet as they are before the Bank, the source said Pakal Dul, Miyar and Lower Kalnai may be discussed.

India

No parole for mafia don Abu Salem to get married

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A file photo of gangster Abu Salem being taken to jail after a Mumbai court sentenced him life imprisonment in the Pradeep Jain murder case in 2015.

Mumbai, April 21: The Maharashtra government on Saturday rejected an application by incarcerated mafia don Abu Salem seeking 45 days parole for getting married, official sources said here.

Among the grounds cited by the authorities are that parole is not permitted for those accused or convicted of terror charges under the revised parole rules of the Maharashtra government in 2016, an official, who declined to be identified, told IANS.

Abu Salem, who is currently undergoing life imprisonment in Taloja Central Jail, Navi Mumbai, had applied in March to the Konkan Divisional Commissioner for parole for his second marriage with Sayed Bahar Kauser alias Heena.

The marriage was scheduled for May 5 in Mumbai and he had also provided the names and details of two of his cousins who were willing to stand guarantee for him.

He planned to stay temporarily at the Mumbai home of his prospective wife Heena during the parole duration.

In his application, Abu Salem cited how he was in jail continuously since the past more than 12 years without stepping out on parole/furlough even once.

In September 2017, Abu Salem – a close confidante of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar – was convicted and sentenced to a life sentence for his role in the March 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai which killed 257 and wounded over 700 others.

IANS

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Cabinet approves restructured scheme for making local bodies self-sustainable

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Saturday approved a restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) scheme aimed at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.

Addressing a press conference here, Union Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who chaired the CCEA meeting — will officially launch the scheme on April 24 in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla.

The total outlay for the scheme during 2018-19 to 2021-2022 would be Rs 7,255 crore, of which 60 per cent would be borne by the Centre.

Tomar said the RGSA will help more than 2.55 lakh Panchayati Raj Institutions to develop governance capabilities to deliver on sustainable development goals through inclusive local governance, with a focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.

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PNB moves Hong Kong High Court against Nirav Modi

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New Delhi, April 21: The Punjab National Bank on Saturday approached Hong Kong High Court against diamantaire Nirav Modi in connection with the multi-crore fraud. 

The public lender will also move the courts of other countries where the celebrity jewelry designer and his business associate Mehul Choksi have assets and businesses.

Earlier on April 6, the Ministry of External Affairs had asked authorities in Hongkong to arrest diamantaire who is one of the key suspects in multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud case.

Junior foreign minister V.K. Singh had told parliament “The ministry has sought the provisional arrest of Nirav Deepak Modi by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People’s Republic of China”.

The passports of Modi and  Choksi have been revoked.

Singh informed the house that India had submitted the request for Modi’s arrest to Hong Kong on March 23

Diamond trader Modi and owner of Gitanjali Gems, Mehul Choksi have been accused of defrauding the PNB of Rs 12,600 crore, with Rs 1,300 being added to the fraud kitty last month.

Earlier, the detected amount was Rs 11,300 crore.

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