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I share Trump’s vision of prosperity for India, US: Modi

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New Delhi, Aug 12 : Amid uncertainties regarding US President Donald Trump’s trade and visa policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he shares Trump’s vision of prosperity for India and the US.

“I share with him the vision of prosperity of our peoples through a strong India-US partnership, based on important convergences, inter alia, in combating terrorism and promoting stability and development in the Indo-Pacific,” Modi said.

“I have met President Trump a few times,” Modi said in an interview to the Times of India ahead of this year’s Independence Day. “We have also been in touch through several conversations.”

India and the US, apart from Japan and Australia, are part of a quad that was revived last year to work for peace in the Indo-Pacific, a geostrategically important region.

Modi’s comments come ahead of the India-US 2+2 Dialogue next month in New Delhi involving External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and their US counterparts Mike Pompeo and Jim Mattis.

In February, the Trump administration came up with a new visa policy that makes the procedure for issuing H-1B visas tougher.

According to the new policy, the hiring company would have to prove that its H-1B employee at a third-party worksite has specific and non-qualifying speculative assignments in speciality occupation.

In March, US President Donald Trump slapped import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, unfolding the prospect of an all-out global trade war.

In retaliation, India raised customs duty on 29 products, including on iron and steel products imported from the US.

Stating that India and the US were two important engines of growth in the world, Modi said: “The focus of President Trump and our own priority in India on innovation and entrepreneurship has the potential to take this relationship to new heights.”

He stressed that the India-US Strategic Partnership had “deepened in an unprecedented manner in the past few years”.

India and the US share a Global Strategic Partnership based on shared democratic values and increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues.

Cities

IMD warns for Cyclone in West Bengal & its adjoining areas

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IMD

New Delhi, 20 Aug: An alert has been sounded for Odisha, West Bengal and it’s adjoining areas of Bay of Bengal about the cyclone and heavy rains. Yesterday’s slow pressure area now lies over Odisha, West Bengal & its adjoining areas of northwest Bay of Bengal. Its associated upper air cyclonic circulation is extending up to 7.6 km above mean sea level tilting south westwards with height warns India Meteorological Department.

Rest of the places received heavy to very heavy rainfall in West Godavari & Krishna district & some parts of Visakhapatnam & Vizianagaram. Next 48 hrs, coastal Andhra is very likely to receive isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in many places, light to moderate rainfall at most places.

Under its influence, Andhra northern coastal received copious amounts of rainfall in last 24 hours. Some parts of Visakhapatnam, East & West Godavari have received heavy to very heavy rainfall says India Meteorological Department.

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All India traders strike against Walmart-Flipkart deal: CAIT

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Walmart-Flipkart deal
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and Flipkart Co-Founder and CEO Binny Bansal during an programme to announce Walmart Inc.'s acquisition of Flipkart 77% stake, in Bengaluru on May 9, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday called for an all India traders strike against the Walmart-Flipkart deal on September 28.

“We are organising a ‘Bharat Trade Bandh’ (All India Traders Strike) on September 28 against the Walmart-Flipkart deal. We want the government to nullify the deal as it is against the sector,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal told IANS.

“We have also planned a host of other activities like a mega traders protest march to gain public support against the deal.”

Accordingly, the confederation has called for a ‘Bharat Trade Bandh’ on September 28 and a massive nationwide ‘Rath Yatra’ to begin on September 15 and a mega traders rally on December 16 at New Delhi.

On Saturday, Walmart Inc. acquired approximately 77 per cent stake in e-commerce major Flipkart.

Accordingly, Walmart now holds approximately 77 per cent of Flipkart, while the remainder of the business is held by other shareholders, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft Corp.

Walmart’s investment includes $2 billion of new equity funding to help accelerate the growth of the Flipkart business and both companies will retain their unique brands and operating structures in India.

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Anil Ambani writes to Rahul on Rafale deal, says party has been misinformed, misled

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Anil Ambani
ADAG Group chairman Anil Ambani. (File Photo: IANS)

Mumbai, Aug 20 (IANS) Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani has written to Congress President Rahul Gandhi saying that the party has been “misinformed, misdirected and misled” by malicious vested interests and corporate rivals on the offsets related to the Rafale fighter jet deal.

A Reliance Infrastructure Ltd release said that Ambani wrote a letter to Gandhi last week and expressed “deep anguish over continued personal attacks” on him while terming all allegations as “baseless, ill-informed and unfortunate.”

Clarifying on the role of Reliance in offset exports/ work share, Ambani wrote that Rafale fighter jets are not being manufactured by Reliance or Dassault Reliance Joint Venture.

Ambani said Gandhi’s allegation that Reliance Defence was set up 10 days before the announcement on April 10 , 2015 of government’s decision to purchase 36 French-manufactured Rafale jets links factually incorrect information “and is thus irrelevant and completely false.”

“The Reliance Group announced its decision to enter the defence manufacturing sector in December 2014-January 2015, months before the intention for purchase of Rafale aircraft. In February 2015, we informed the Indian Stock Exchanges of the companies we have incorporated,” Ambani said.

The release said that all the 36 fighter jets are to be 100 per cent manufactured in France and exported from France to India.

Ambani clarified that not a single component worth a single rupee is to be manufactured by Reliance for these 36 Rafale jets.

“The allegations relating to `lack of experience’ are, thus, irrelevant,” the release said and added that there is no contract from the Defence Ministry to any Reliance Group company related to 36 Rafale aircraft.

Ambani said allegations of Reliance benefitting by thousands of crores was a “figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests” and put simply, “no contract exists with the Government of India “

“Our role is limited to offset exports / export obligations. More than 100 medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) will participate in this along with public sector undertakings like BEL and Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). This role strengthens Indian manufacturing capabilities and is in pursuance of the Offsets Policy introduced by the Congress-led UPA Government itself from 2005 onwards,” the release said.

Gandhi has been attacking the Modi government, alleging that the deal had caused a loss of Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer compared to the price negotiated by the Congress-led UPA government. He has also making allegations about the offsets.

The party also said on Saturday that it will launch a month-long nationwide agitation from next week on what it said was “Rafale scam” of the Modi government and other issues.

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