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This in not Budget, but BJP manifesto for Lok Sabha polls: Congress

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Mallikarjun Kharge
Mallikarjun Kharge (ANI File Photo)

New Delhi, Feb 1: The Congress on Friday dubbed the Interim Budget as the “BJP manifesto”, saying the entire exercise was aimed at wooing voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls without providing a report card of the Modi governments performance.

“Today’s budget is BJP’s election manifesto. This is nothing but trying to bribe the voters and the entire exercise was done keeping in mind the upcoming elections,” Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told the media after Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the Interim Budget.

“The budget is silent about the performance of the government in the last five years. What achievements they made, how much of their promises were fulfilled — what about the promise of 10 crore jobs in five years or giving Rs 15 lakh each to the people of India,” he asked.

The Congress veteran also questioned the move to present a “full budget” instead of a vote on account.

He demanded to know who would fulfil the new promises the Narendra Modi government was making as its tenure ends in May.

“This should have been a vote on account, their mandate is till May. Instead of that, they presented a budget for the entire year.

“Who will fulfil these promises they have made? This is nothing but misleading the people ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.”

He also refused to give credit to the government proposing tax exemption for individuals with annual incomes of Rs 5 lakh.

“This has been done to woo the middle class ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. And yet it is not a game changer because the people know what this government has done and how it has performed during the last five years.”

Kharge said the budget neglected the poor, especially the Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST).

“There is nothing for the poor, farmers and especially for the SCs and STs. They have proposed Rs 60,000 core for MNREGA, which is just Rs 1 crore more than last year.

“The fact is that to pay the dues in this regard to various state governments, the government needs Rs 10,000 crore,” he said.

“They feel they will get the votes through this budget but the farmers and people realise that they have been defrauded.

“They have only listed what they will do in next year but did not inform about what they did in the last five years,” added Kharge.

IANS

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Govt to levy interest on late payment to MSMEs for GeM purchase

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, July 3 : Government departments and agencies will have to pay interest on late payment to vendors, largely MSMEs, for products procured through the Government e-Martketplace (GeM), starting October 1.

Through an office memorandum, the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance on Friday said that if the payment is not made within 10 days of the Consignee Receipt and Acceptance Certificate (CRAC) being auto generated or issued by the buyer, the concerned department will have to pay interest at the rate of one per cent per month for the delayed payment.

However, this very interest will not go to the MSMEs concerned and instead, will deposited in an account maintained by the GeM, which will be used only for the education of buyers and sellers or public procurement with the prior approval of the Department of Expenditure, said the office memorandum.

“ln order to promote greater discipline and timeliness in payment to vendors, especially #MSMEs, the government has issued an order to levy interest on late payment to vendors on the government e-marketplace. #AatmaNirbharBharat,” said a tweet by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman”s office.

The order will be effective on orders made from October 1, 2020.

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Tomato prices skyrocket to Rs 70/kg in Delhi-NCR

He attributed the hike in the prices of all vegetables and fruits, not only tomatoes, due to the increase in diesel prices, which led to an increase in the transportation cost of vegetables.

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Tomato

New Delhi, July 3 : With the onset of the monsoon tomato prices soared to Rs 70 per kg in New Delhi and its surrounding areas on Friday.

Crop failure in the rainy season and the late arrival of tomatoes in the mandis (wholesale markets) have led to the price hike. However, the prices are expected to fall after the arrival of the new crop from Himachal Pradesh next week.

A month ago, the price of tomatoes in Delhi’s Azadpur mandi was between Rs 1.25 and Rs 4.75 per kg, while the wholesale price on Friday was Rs 6.44 per kg.

The model rate of tomato was Rs 3 per kg in Azadpur mandi on June 3, which has increased by 10 times to Rs 29 per kg. On July 2, the wholesale price of tomatoes rose to Rs 52 per kg in the mandi, which means there has been an increase of about 995% in the last one month. Due to the rise in wholesale prices, tomatoes were sold at Rs 80 per kg on Thursday in Delhi-NCR and Rs 50.70 per kg in Greater Noida.

Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) chairman Adil Ahmad Khan said prices have gone up due to late arrival of tomatoes. The quantity of tomatoes received at Azadpur mandi was 528.2 tonne on June 3 while on July 3 it was 281.6 tonne. The quantity has thus been reduced by nearly 50 per cent in a month. Only 241.9 tonne were received on July 2 due to which the wholesale price was Rs 6.52 per kg while the model rate was Rs 32 per kg, Khan added.

He attributed the hike in the prices of all vegetables and fruits, not only tomatoes, due to the increase in diesel prices, which led to an increase in the transportation cost of vegetables.

From next week, the arrival of the new crop from Himachal Pradesh will lead to a decline in the prices of tomatoes. He said at present 90 per cent of the tomatoes in Delhi arrive from Himachal Pradesh while only 10 per cent are received from Haryana and Karnataka.

The consumption of all green vegetables, tomatoes and onions has declined during the past few months because of the shutdown of hotels, restaurants, canteens and dhabas following the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the corona pandemic. This led to a marked fall in prices. The wholesale price of tomatoes had come down to less than one rupee per kg.

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JioMeet takes on Zoom, can support up to 100 participants

JioMeet offers unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

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JioMeet

New Delhi, July 2 : Amid growing calls for ”Made in India” digital tools, Reliance Jio has launched a free video-conferencing application called JioMeet, taking on US-based Zoom platform.

According to the JioMeet description on Google Play Store, the application can be used for 1:1 video calls and hosting meetings with up to 100 participants with enterprise-grade host controls.

Other highlights include easy sign up with either mobile number or email ID, meeting in HD audio and video quality.

The application can be used for creating instant meetings to chat with friends and also to schedule a meeting in advance and share meeting details with invitees.

JioMeet offers unlimited meetings per day and each meeting can go uninterrupted up to 24 hours.

The application can be used on Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, SIP/H.323 systems.

JioMeet has already been downloaded for over 10,000 times from Google Play Store.

Each meeting is password protected and the host can enable a “Waiting Room” to ensure no participant joins without permission, JioMeet said.

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