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RBI monetary policy panel refused meeting with Finance Ministry



urjit patel

Mumbai, June 7 : The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee had turned down the Finance Ministry’s invite for a discussion ahead of the panel’s policy review meeting on Wednesday, RBI Governor Urjit Patel has disclosed.

The RBI maintained its key interest rate at 6.25 per cent for its fourth successive monetary policy review, dashing the government’s hopes of a reduction.

“Regarding the Finance Ministry’s invitation for a meeting with the MPC…all the MPC members declined the request of the Finance Ministry,” Patel told reporters here following the announcement of the second bi-monthly monetary policy review of the fiscal.

Patel did not specify as to when the invitation had come from the Finance Ministry. Patel was asked if the ministry invite was an assault on the independence and autonomy of the RBI. The committee did not accept the invite, he added.

Since the six-member MPC started setting rates in October last year, this was the first time it did not take a unanimous decision, with five members voting in favour of holding the rate and one opposing.

Three of the six members of the MPC are government nominees, while the others are from the RBI.

Wednesday’s RBI decision to stay the lending ratecomes after latest official data showed a significant fall in both retail inflation as well as the country’s economic growth rate in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal, impacted by demonetisation, which had raised hopes for a rate cut.

Government sources said that there is unhappiness in official circles about the way the MPC has resisted relaxing rates for a period that has extended over six months now.

Announcing the status quo on the key interest rate, Patel said the abrupt fall in inflation in April “from the firming trajectory that was developing in February and March has raised several issues that have to be factored into the inflation projections”.

“Risks are evenly balanced, although the spatial and temporal distribution of the monsoon and the government staying the course in effective food management will play a critical role in the evolution of risks.”

“The risk of fiscal slippages, which, by and large, can entail inflationary spillovers, has risen with the announcements of large farm loan waivers,” he added.

The change in the RBI’s monetary policy stance from “accommodative” to “neutral” made at the February review is also being regarded in official circles as a hardening of the apex bank’s conservative and risk-averse approach.



Indian Navy plane crashes in Gujarat



Mumbai, March 22: An Indian Navy’s Remotely Piloted Plane operating from Porbandar in Gujarat has been crashed near an airbase on Thursday. 

The incident, the cause for which is not known, happened shortly after it took off around 10 a.m. No casualties were reported.

According to preliminary information, suspected engine failure could have led to the disaster.

In November, a similar aircraft crashed at the Kochi Naval Base soon after take off for a routine sortie from Willingdon Islands.

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Class 9 student suicide: Parents seeks CBI probe, School Principal refuses allegations of sexual harassment




New Delhi, March 22: The parents of a deceased 15-year-old, class nine student who committed suicide have demanded a CBI probe into the matter on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a group of people including kin of the victim agitated outside Ahlcon Public School in Mayur Vihar, Phase-I. They also blocked National Highway 24 in the protest.

Speaking to media, the student who committed suicide said no arrests have been made yet. Do they think my daughter lied about harassment by teachers? Is the Police under pressure or did they take bribes? I want justice and a CBI probe to be done.

On the other hand, the School Principal refuted the charges of sexual harassment made by the parents saying “one of the teachers against whom allegations are being made is a woman, how can she sexually harass someone? Other teacher has been here since 25 years and we never got any such complaint.

“School mourns her death and we are with the family. If I see her record she was an average student, not very good at studies but a great dancer. Students’ marks are given at PTMs but her parents didn’t attend any. She didn’t fail, had to give re-test”, he added.

According to ABP News, the CBSE has sought a report from Mayur Vihar’s Ahlcon school whose Class 9 student committed suicide over alleged sexual harassment.

The Noida Police on March 21 lodged a case against the principal and two teachers of an east Delhi school in the matter.


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Budget Session: Gratuity bill passed in Rajya Sabha, Both the houses adjourned for the day




New Delhi, March 22: As uproar continued on the 14th consecutive day in the second half of the Budget session, again both the houses failed to hold any discussion.

However, ahead of adjournment Rajya Sabha passed a Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) bill.

After TDP MPs walked up to the Well with placards, raising slogans, demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh, the Chairperson halted the proceedings till March 23, 11 am.

Meanwhile, minutes after the house met for the day, Lok Sabha adjourned till noon as loud slogans of ‘We want justice’ are raised.

Later, when the lower house reconvened,  Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar made an appeal all the MPs that they let the House run, the government is ready for discussion on all issues, be it no -confidence motion or banking related matters.

However, pandemonium continued which prompted the speaker to adjourn the house.

Earlier in a day, TDP MPs staged a protest in Parliament premises, demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh. MP Naramalli Sivaprasad joined the agitation dressed as a Swachh Bharat Abhiyan volunteer, carrying a wiper.

On the other hand, AIADMK demonstrated over Cauvery issue.

YSRCP’s YV Subba Reddy wrote to Lok Sabha Secretary General and gave a notice to include no-confidence motion in the list of business tomorrow.


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