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Haryana to spend Rs 12 crore to avoid stubble burning

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Chandigarh, Oct 12: Faced with the problem of farmers indulging in stubble burning of wheat and paddy crops which causes environmental and health concerns, the Haryana government on Thursday announced that it will spend Rs 12 crore for the management of crop residue in the state.

Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi, who chaired a meeting of the state-level sanctioning committee of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) here on Thursday, said Rs 12 crore was approved for various activities of crop residue management.

“This would include providing subsidy for purchase of Happy Seeders, Straw Balers and Straw Reapers,” Dhesi said.

“During 2016-17, purchase of 1,462 Straw Reapers and 68 Happy Seeders was subsidised under RKVY. During 2017-18, provision has been made for the purchase of 2,433 Straw Reapers, 231 Happy Seeders and 38 Straw Balers,” he added.

With a bumper paddy crop expected in agrarian states Haryana and Punjab this kharif season — likely in excess of 22.5 million tonnes — concerns are being expressed on the crop residue that will be burnt by farmers to prepare their land for the next crop sowing.

Punjab, which contributes 50 per cent of food grains to the national kitty, is expecting to procure over 18 million tonnes of paddy this season.

The central and state governments, in recent years, have tried several steps — from warning farmers to registering cases against them to creating awareness on stubble-burning — but to no avail.

The burning of the crop residue, leading to pollution and smog over northern India in the winter months, has serious health implications for the people.

Even the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on stubble-burning in Punjab and Haryana but farmers in both the states say they have few options available to avoid burning the residue.

IANS

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PNB hits back at Nirav Modi, says “Come Up With Plan To Pay Dues”

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PNB and Nirav Modi

New Delhi, Feb 22: In a stiff reply to Nirav Modi, the Punjab National Bank asked the celebrity jeweller come up with a concrete plan to recover the dues that his companies have borrowed without following proper procedures.

“Your commitment and undertaking for sparing of the total liability was not backed by providing upfront amounts and timelines. However, should you have any concrete and implementable plan, do revert,” the bank’s mail stated, reported PTI.

The public lender said this in a response to Nirav Modi’s mail.

In his letter, blaming PNB for “destroying” his brand, diamantaire had asserted that the bank has closed the doors to repay the debt.

In the anxiety to recover your dues immediately, despite my offer (on February 13, a day before the public announcement, and on 15) your actions have destroyed my brand and the business and have now restricted your ability to recover all the dues leaving a trail of unpaid debts,” he had said.

Read More….PNB’s actions destroyed my brand, shut all options to recover debt: Nirav Modi to bank

Modi concluded the letter urging the bank to permit him to pay the salaries to 2,200 employees from the balance lying in the current accounts of his companies.

“Whatever may be the consequences I may face for my actions, the haste was, in my humble submission, unwarranted,” he asserted.

The bank on February 14 had detected Rs 11,400 crore fraud at its Brady House branch in Mumbai on February 14, named the firms owned by Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Group, and some other diamond and jewellery merchants as suspects.

Following the complaint by the bank, central government agencies, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate, registered cases against businessman Nirav Modi, his wife Ami, and Choksi, besides others.

In connection with the fraud, the CBI is questioning 12 accused who were arrested by the probe agency.

Apart from this, the Central Bureau of Investigation is also quizzing numbers of PNB officials including seniors officers.

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Modi talks of Nagaland’s development, says Naga issue’s resolution soon

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Tuensang (Nagaland), Feb 22: Assuring that the Centre is working towards finding an honourable settlement to the vexed Naga issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday appealed to the state electorate to vote the BJP and ally NDPP to power for political stability in the hill state and its development.

“We are working to end the political problems in Nagaland. I believe we’ll be able to hammer out a political solution to the Naga problem within the next few months, which will be honourable and well-deserving for the people of Nagaland,” he said at a public rally in remote Tuensang district.

The Prime Minister said the Centre had kept the door open for talks with anyone for finding a lasting solution to the Naga issues.

“We have kept open the option for talks with everyone. We are ready to talk to civil society and other groups at any time. We are ready to talk with the Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation also. I admit that the ENPO area is very backward. We are also going to consider special packages and schemes for the development of ENPO area,” Modi assured.

On August 3, 2015, the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Issac-Muivah) had signed a Framework Agreement to end the seven-decade-old insurgency. Last year, the government had signed an agreement with a Working Committee of six Naga national political groups.

In January, the Core Committee of Nagaland Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations had urged the Election Commission to defer the Assembly elections till a solution to the protracted Naga insurgency was found.

Eleven political parties in Nagaland had also decided not to issue tickets or file nominations to press for an early solution to the seven-decade-old insurgency.

Modi said the National Democratic Alliance government is giving special priority to the northeast and making efforts to enhance prosperity in the region. “Our government is committed to ensure all-round development of the northeastern states”, he said.

Beginning his speech by saluting the Naga people in the Nagamese language, Modi said if the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and BJP alliance came to power in Nagaland after the February 27 elections, development will reach the grass roots in the state.

“People of Nagaland have been striving for peace and stability. The development of Nagaland will gain speed only when we all move together. We must now go beyond political instability, which has been in the state for the last several years. Swearing in of four Cabinets in four years is a drag on development,” the Prime Minister said, emphasising the need for a strong and stable government in Nagaland to work for its development.

“My vision for the northeast is transformation by transportation, and in less than four years, we have added 500 km of national highways and plan to invest more than Rs 10,000 crore in the roads of Nagaland, he added.

“We would ensure that the funds released for your state reach you. With the help of technology, we will plug the loopholes which are causing wastage of public money”, he said.

Informing that the central government has approved the construction of 8,500 houses in Nagaland, Modi said that for the construction of new houses and completion of old schemes for houses, we have decided to provide Rs. 160 crore to Nagaland.

“Under National Health Mission, Nagaland has been provided Rs 400 crore and the government will spend around Rs. 1800 crore for making Nagaland’s capital Kohima a Smart City,” he promised.

The Prime Minister said corruption posed a big challenge.

“It is imperative for development that every penny from the Centre reaches the common man. The then Prime Minister (Rajiv Gandhi) had once said that only 15 paise reaches the common people as against every Re 1 released by the Centre. This must change. Our government is working towards this end and plugging loopholes and leaks.”

The Prime Minister said that every resource earmarked for Nagaland’s development would be spent on public welfare and there would be no tolerance towards corruption.

“Connectivity in Nagaland is a priority for us. We have ensured development of National Highways in the state. We will invest more money here in future to further strengthen the road network. We are also focusing on increasing rail and air connectivity,” Modi said.

He also saluted the culture of the Naga people. “The Constitution of India respects Indian diversity and also calls for living in harmony with all sections of society. The culture of Nagaland is our pride and we will do everything possible to preserve and promote it,” he added.

The BJP has fielded 20 candidates and its alliance partner NDPP 40 for the February 27 elections to the 60-member Assembly.

IANS

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Post-office scam unearthed in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind

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Bhind, Feb 22: A massive fraud to the tune of crores of rupees has been detected at Galla Mandi Sub-Post Office.

Following this all the records have bee sealed, UNI reported.

“Post-office agent Bevi Jain’s husband Ramesh colluded with post-master PS Bhadauria and withdrew crores of rupees from several post-office accounts. The agent and her family is absconding,” said Post Inspector Ajay Sahu.

The agent’s family has gone to some other state.

According to the reports, Ramesh used to fraudulently close post-office accounts, withdraw amount lying therein and provided the money to his sons to start a business.

This comes days after Rs 11400-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi which is considered as the biggest banking scam in the history.

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