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Endless arrogance of BJP govt has brought economic disaster: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre for continuing “muting” of democratic India, “turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns” over the contentious farm bills and bringing “economic disaster” for the country.

“Muting of Democratic India continues: by initially silencing and later, suspending MPs in the Parliament & turning a blind eye to farmers’ concerns on the black agriculture laws. This ‘omniscient’ Govt’s endless arrogance has brought economic disaster for the entire country,” tweeted Gandhi, who is away in the US accompanying his mother and Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, for a health check-up.

The tweet came after Rajya Sabha chairperson, M Venkaiah Naidu, suspended eight opposition lawmakers over protests on Sunday against the government’s move to rush through the contentious farm reform bills.

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill and the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill were cleared by voice vote in Rajya Sabha even as the Opposition members protested. The members stormed the Well of the House demanding that the bills be sent to a select committee for a review. Opposition leaders charged towards Rajya Sabha’s deputy chairman Harivansh’s seat as he was presiding over the proceedings. They jumped onto tables and shot videos of the ruckus.

The bills seek to allow farmers more flexibility in selling their produce. Many experts have hailed the reforms as significant, but some farmer bodies and opposition parties have insisted the new laws would only benefit corporate entities and traders and not the farmers.

The minimum support price (MSP) regime has not been mentioned in the legislation. It has triggered fears the new laws will weaken the existing regime set by the government to purchase produce directly from farmers.

In a series of tweets related to the legislation, Congress leader P Chidambaram separately questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government how will they guarantee the MSP to the farmers.

“The PM [Modi] and other ministers have promised that MSP will be guaranteed to the farmer. Pray tell us HOW? How will the government know which farmer sold what produce to which trader?” he asked. “There will be millions of private transactions every day in thousands of villages all over India. How will the government guarantee MSP is paid in these transactions? Under which law is a private purchaser obliged to pay MSP to the farmer in a private transaction?”

Chidambaram said the Modi government should stop lying to the farmers and making false promises. “The promise of guaranteeing MSP in private transactions is like the promise to deposit Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of every Indian,” he said.

Chidambaram was referring to a speech Modi gave in 2014 election as the prime ministerial candidate in which he promised to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks within 100 days of coming to power. He had said that if all the black money was brought back, it would be enough to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every poor person’s bank account.

The Congress has separately called a meeting of its general secretaries and in-charges of states to discuss the future course of action on the farm bills and give a final shape to its proposed nationwide agitation on the farm reforms issue. The meeting will be held in the absence of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at the party headquarters in Delhi. Six members of the party’s special committee–AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, KC Venugopal, Mukul Wasnik, and Randeep Singh Surjewala–will attend the meeting.

India

ISRO adopts new satellite naming style, RISAT-2BR2 now EOS-01

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Department of Space.

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ISRO launch

Chennai, Oct 28 : The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided follow a new naming policy for its earth observation satellites, it is learnt.

Henceforth, the Indian space agency will be naming its earth observation satellites as EOS tagged with a serial number.

As a result, ISRO’s radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR2 has been renamed as EOS-01, an official preferring anonymity told IANS.

The ISRO on Wednesday said its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) will launch EOS-01 as a primary satellite along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

The launch is tentatively scheduled at 3.02 p.m. on November 7, subject to weather conditions.

EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, the ISRO said.

The radar imaging satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can shoot pictures in all weather conditions.

The satellite can take pictures day and night and will be useful for surveillance as well as civilian activities.

This time around, the ISRO will be using the PSLV rocket’s DL variant that will have two strap-on booster motors.

This rocket variant was used the first time to put into orbit Microsat R satellite on January 24, 2019.

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Department of Space.

Owing to Covid-19 pandemic norms, ISRO has decided to close the rocket launch viewing gallery for the public during this launch and gathering of media personnel at the Sriharikota rocket port is also not on the cards.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Disaster

Delhi records highest new Covid cases since pandemic began

The cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day. The tally of active cases today rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day.

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New Delhi : Delhi reported an unprecedented rise in the number of daily infections on Wednesday. According to a health department bulletin, the national capital recorded 5,673 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike till date, taking the total case-load to more than 3.7 lakh with 40 new fatalities pushing the death count in the national capital to 6,396.

This is the highest single-day figure that Delhi has reported since the pandemic struck the country. The national capital, which is battling the third wave of infections, has been logging more than 4,000 cases daily for the last six days.

With the onset of the festive season, the unprecedented spike has raised concerns, especially when the national Covid tally has shown a steady decline.

The Covid-19 figures in the national capital have been increasing rapidly.

On Tuesday, Delhi reported 4,853 new infections and 44 deaths, which was also its highest daily spike. The number of fresh cases recorded on Monday stood at 2,832, and 4,136 on Sunday, while the figures were 4,116 on Saturday and 4,086 on Friday.

The cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day. The tally of active cases today rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day.

The Health Ministry had expressed concern over the spike in Delhi’s cases and is expected to hold a meeting with top officials of the UT government on Thursday to chalk out a strategy for prevention of the Covid spread, the officials said on Tuesday.

The unwanted record spike coincides with an extended festive season and the onset of winter.

Medical experts have suggested that the Covid-19 virus could become even more potent and fatal as the temperature drops.

The increase in Covid cases has also been linked to the worsening pollution in the national capital, which is preparing for its annual bout with “severe” and “hazardous” air quality levels.

Meanwhile, the daily national Covid tally of India is on a constant decline for over a week, which had been reporting close to one lakh cases daily till last month.

Experts say the country has passed its peak but a surge is looming over in view of festivities and laxity observed by the public.

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Business

Failing to pay property tax by Oct 31 may land Gurugram property owners in trouble

Charitable educational institutions, charitable hospitals and special schools for children, which charge the same fees as government schools and hospitals, are given a 100 per cent exemption.

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Gurugram: Property owners in Gurugram can lose their water and sewage connections if they fail to clear their property tax dues by October 31, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) said on Wednesday.

According to the MCG officials, as per the notification issued by the Haryana government, only three days are left to avail the benefit of exemption in the payment of property tax issued by the MCG.

According to the notification, the government is giving an interest waiver and 25 per cent rebate to those paying their entire property tax dues by October 31.

“We have given a last opportunity to the property owners to pay their dues within the next three days. If they still do not pay their property tax, the process of cutting their sewer and drinking water connections will be initiated by the civic authority from November 1,” MCG Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said.

“A special drive to seal commercial buildings will be carried out and the process of auction can also be adopted by sealing the building,” he added.

As per the government notification, property owners who deposit their entire outstanding property tax by October 31 will be given a 25 per cent exemption on property tax from 2010-11 to 2016-17.

“Property owners who have deposited their property tax in the last three years till October 31, will be given an additional 10 per cent rebate along with the regular 10 per cent rebate. Those paying by auto debit mode will get the benefit of an additional 5 per cent discount,” an MCG official said.

Charitable educational institutions, charitable hospitals and special schools for children, which charge the same fees as government schools and hospitals, are given a 100 per cent exemption.

The officials further informed that the civic body has also started an incentive scheme for all the resident welfare associations (RWAs) of the city. Municipal corporations will give an incentive amount of Rs 5 lakh to the RWAs which submit property tax of more than 80 per cent.

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