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Farmers’ struggle forced Centre to hike MSP: Yogendra Yadav

“It is not the price promised by PM Modi in hundreds of election meetings and contained in the 2014 election manifesto of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”

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Yogendra Yadav

New Delhi, July 4 : Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav on Wednesday said that a “historic struggle” by the farmers “forced” the government to hike Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Kharif crops, though it is “not the price” what Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised before 2014 Lok sabha elections.

“The MSP announcements of Kharif 2018-19 is a small victory for farmers. In this election year, the Modi Government has been forced to partially act, at least on paper, on the promise of remunerative MSP that it had made before the previous election,” Yadav said in a statement.

Finding flaws with the MSP announcement, he said that the announced MSP has not been “computed at 50 per cent above comprehensive cost (C2) being demanded by farmers’ organisations.

“It is not the price promised by PM Modi in hundreds of election meetings and contained in the 2014 election manifesto of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).”

He also raised concern over implementation of the decision, saying: “It is not an immediate relief to farmers, it is merely a promise, the fulfilment of which depends on government procurement and intensive support, something that has been lacking till now.”

Stressing to make MSP as a legal right, he said that unless MSP is prepared as a legal right, for enforcement, it remains “discretionary” and farmers will be left at the “mercy” of the next government.

Drawing a comparison between the UPA II and NDA governments, Avik Saha, National Convenor of Jai Kisan Andolan, in a statement said: “There is nothing historic or substantial about the MSP hike – it is in fact lower than the hikes given by UPA II government, in respect of almost all crops. For paddy, while the average hike provided by the UPA II was 69 per cent, the Modi government’s hike is only 41 per cent.”

Business

Tata Group’s total investment in Odisha to cross Rs 1 lakh cr soon

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Tata

Bhubaneswar, Nov 12: Tata Group’s total investment in Odisha will soon cross Rs one lakh crore, said its Chairman N. Chandrasekaran here on Monday.

For the Tata Group, the association with Odisha is “very long, more than 100 years old”, he said.

Chandrasekaran also said Tata Steel was given its first iron ore lease by the Maharaja of Mayurbhanj in the early part of 20th century. Since then, the group has significantly expanded in the state.

“Already, we have made investments worth Rs 75,000 crore and with the announcement of expansion of (Tata Steel’s) Kalinganagar plant, another Rs 25,000 crore would be invested. Total investments will soon cross Rs 100,000 crore in the state,” he said at the Make in Odisha Conclave here.

Not only Tata Steel has a large capacity, Tata Motors has a significant presence with its 30 service stations and dealers network and Tata Power has four generation units here, he said, adding that the TCS is the largest IT company in the state with about 5,000 professionals and the second phase would take it to a total of 12,000 professionals.

The group’s companies in retail and services sectors have engagements in the state, Chandrasekaran said.

He said the group’s experience in the state has been extremely “satisfying”.

The state is blessed with a lot of resources with stable government, proactive bureaucracy, ready infrastructure, strong mineral reserve, large pool of skilled manpower and secured social environment, he said.

The state produces 1.8 lakh technical graduates from over 950 institutions, who are excellent resources for development of any part of the country.

IANS

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India

Cabinet extends ITI Ltd’s quota for procurement by BSNL, MTNL

Provision of procurement quota from BSNL, MTNL and BBNL will provide further boost to-the order book of ITI and help in improving its financial health

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BSNL

New Delhi, Nov 8 : The Union Cabinet on Thursday extended the procurement quota of government-owned telephone equipment maker ITI Ltd for procurements made by the public sector companies of BSNL, MTNL and Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) for three years.

“BSNL, MTNL and BBNL would be requested to extend the benefit of procurement quota to ITI for a period of three years,” the Communications Ministry statement said.

According to the statement, the cabinet decided “to continue the Reservation Quota policy for ITI Ltd by reserving 30 per cent of the procurement orders placed by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL for ITI for the products manufactured by it”.

It also approved reservation for those outsourced items in which there is a minimum 12 per cent value addition by ITI during 2018-19 and 16 per cent value addition in 2019-20 and 20 per cent value addition in 2020-21, the statement said.

“Provision of procurement quota from BSNL, MTNL and BBNL will provide further boost to-the order book of ITI and help in improving its financial health,” it said.

The cabinet also approved reservation of 20 per cent of the orders for the turnkey projects like GSM network roll-out, WiFi and others of BSNL, MTNL and the BharatNet project of BBNL.

The validity of reservation benefit extended to ITI expired on May 31, 2018.

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Analysis

Demonetisation was an ‘unmitigated disaster’, says ex-banker Meera Sanyal

The PM’s promise that Demonetization would eradicate corruption was undoubtedly one of the main reasons for the initial goodwill towards Demonetization from the very poor, despite the hardships it inflicted on them. Sadly, however, this promise too was belied.

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Demonetisation Que

ew Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Exactly two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government commenced the exercise to ban over 85 per cent of high-value currency notes, former banking industry honcho Meera H. Sanyal says in her upcoming book that in its implementation, the 2016 demonetisation was an “unmitigated disaster”.

Sanyal, former CEO and Chairperson of Royal Bank of Scotland in India is currently a member of the National Executive Committee of the Aam Aadmi Party. In the chapter titled The Surgical Strike, she says that as financial and human costs of demonetisation began to add up, it became “painfully clear that what had been intended as a surgical strike on black money had regrettably turned out to be a carpet-bombing of the Indian people and our economy. It was a classic case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.”

The Big Reverse: How Demonetization Knocked India Out — brought out by Haper Collins India — will be available in stores from November 8, 2018.

Following is an extract from the book:

There is no doubt that the PM touched a deep chord in the heart of India, when he talked of the menace of corruption. Who among us has not felt “Some people have misused their office for personal gain… that corruption and black money tend to be accepted as part of life… that it has afflicted our politics, our administration and our society like an infestation of termites…”

According to the 2017 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report, 73 per cent of the bribes paid in India were by “the low economy groups, who had to pay money due to unavailability of other options, or had less influence to avoid paying bribes… high bribes were demanded for accessing public education and healthcare facilities… approximately 58 per cent and 59 per cent bribery rates were seen in education and healthcare sectors in India, respectively. The times when people paid a bribe was also seen to be almost equally high for police, identification documents, and basic amenities.”

The PM’s promise that Demonetization would eradicate corruption was undoubtedly one of the main reasons for the initial goodwill towards Demonetization from the very poor, despite the hardships it inflicted on them. Sadly, however, this promise too was belied.

In February 2018, Transparency International reported that India continued to be among the most corrupt countries in the world. In the 2017 Global Corruption Perception Index report, India with a score of 40 points, was ranked 81, down two places from its ranking of 79 in 2016.

Worse still, the report named India as the most corrupt country in the Asia-Pacific region, with 69 per cent bribery rates, which means that almost seven out of ten people had to pay a bribe to access public services. Vietnam was the second-most corrupt country with 65 per cent bribery rates, whereas Pakistan with only 40 per cent bribery rates, ranked much better than India. Japan came out as the least corrupt nation, with a 0.2 per cent bribery rate.

This demolishes one of the main arguments presented in favour of Demonetization. The Economic Survey for 2016-2017 had stated, “Across the globe there is a link between cash and nefarious activities: the higher the amount of cash in circulation, the greater the amount of corruption… In this sense, attempts to reduce the cash in an economy could have important long-term benefits in terms of reducing levels of corruption.”

As it happens, data does not support this argument. Japan is a case in point. Japan’s Currency to GDP ratio in 2015 was 18.61 per cent, much higher than India’s at 12.51 per cent. In the same year (2015) Japan was ranked as the 18th least corrupt nation in the world while India was ranked 76th, i.e. Japan, which has a much higher currency to GDP ratio than India, has far less corruption.

Clearly, therefore, Demonetization failed in its second big goal — eradication of corruption. If anything, the new 2,000 notes made it simpler for corrupt officials to take and stash away larger bribes, compounding the problem for ordinary Indians.

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