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Sunday off for petrol pumps could invoke ECA: Government

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New Delhi, April 19, 2017: The threat by petroleum dealers to shut down pumps on Sundays will be dealt with according to measures necessary to maintain supplies of essential commodities, the Centre said on Wednesday.

“We have just now been made aware of this decision by the petroleum dealers through media reports,” a senior Petroleum Ministry source said when queried about the dealers’ decision to shut fuel bunks every Sunday starting May 14 to protest the public sector oil companies’ failure to hike dealer margins.

The decision will cover Haryana, Maharashtra and the entire southern region — Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala as well as Puducherry.

“We have to wait and see how this measure impacts on the ground… because petroleum products are classed essential commodities and the Essential Commodities Act (ECA) can be applied depending on the circumstances,” the source said.

Dealers’ body representatives told the media on Tuesday that their decision was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent call to save petrol and diesel.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was in Jaipur on Tuesday to witness the MoU signing for the construction of a refinery in Rajasthan by state-run Hindustan Petroleum, is expected to assess the possible fallout of the dealers’ decision here on Wednesday.

IANS

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Is operating ratio of Indian Railways the worst: Chidambaram

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New Delhi, April 21: Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday asked if the operating ratio of Indian Railways is the worst and added that if the ratio is close to 100 per cent or has exceeded it, that indicated a “comprehensive failure of management.”

He also asked if it was true that the accounts are being “dressed” to show an Operating Ratio just a little less than 100 per cent.

“What is the Operating Ratio of Indian Railways in 2017-18? Is it the worst ratio in recent years,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“Is it correct that the true Operating Ratio has exceeded 100 per cent? Is it correct that the accounts are being ‘dressed’ to show an Operating Ratio just a little less than 100 per cent,” he asked.

“If the Operating Ratio is close to 100 per cent or has exceeded 100 per cent, that indicates a comprehensive failure of management of the Indian Railways,” Chidambaram said.

IANS

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No parole for mafia don Abu Salem to get married

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A file photo of gangster Abu Salem being taken to jail after a Mumbai court sentenced him life imprisonment in the Pradeep Jain murder case in 2015.

Mumbai, April 21: The Maharashtra government on Saturday rejected an application by incarcerated mafia don Abu Salem seeking 45 days parole for getting married, official sources said here.

Among the grounds cited by the authorities are that parole is not permitted for those accused or convicted of terror charges under the revised parole rules of the Maharashtra government in 2016, an official, who declined to be identified, told IANS.

Abu Salem, who is currently undergoing life imprisonment in Taloja Central Jail, Navi Mumbai, had applied in March to the Konkan Divisional Commissioner for parole for his second marriage with Sayed Bahar Kauser alias Heena.

The marriage was scheduled for May 5 in Mumbai and he had also provided the names and details of two of his cousins who were willing to stand guarantee for him.

He planned to stay temporarily at the Mumbai home of his prospective wife Heena during the parole duration.

In his application, Abu Salem cited how he was in jail continuously since the past more than 12 years without stepping out on parole/furlough even once.

In September 2017, Abu Salem – a close confidante of absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar – was convicted and sentenced to a life sentence for his role in the March 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai which killed 257 and wounded over 700 others.

IANS

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Cabinet approves restructured scheme for making local bodies self-sustainable

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Saturday approved a restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) scheme aimed at making rural local bodies self-sustainable, financially stable and more efficient.

Addressing a press conference here, Union Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who chaired the CCEA meeting — will officially launch the scheme on April 24 in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandla.

The total outlay for the scheme during 2018-19 to 2021-2022 would be Rs 7,255 crore, of which 60 per cent would be borne by the Centre.

Tomar said the RGSA will help more than 2.55 lakh Panchayati Raj Institutions to develop governance capabilities to deliver on sustainable development goals through inclusive local governance, with a focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.

IANS

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