New Delhi :Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government will continue to take tough decisions and expressed hope that the size of the Indian economy will double to $5 trillion in the next five-seven years.
The contribution of manufacturing and agriculture would be $1 trillion each, he said, while laying the foundation stone of India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) in New Delhi.
Modi travelled by the Airport Express Metro to reach the venue of the foundation stone laying ceremony at Sector 25, Dwarka.
Metro officials said the ride was completed in 14 minutes.
He also travelled back from Dwarka Sec-21 to Dhaula Kuan station in the metro, boarding at 4:39 pm and de-boarding at 4:54 pm,” the official said.
In the train, people were surprised to see him and the prime minister obliged many passengers as they took selfies with him.
“I want to assure you that in the public interest, we have taken tough decisions and this will continue,” he said, adding India’s economy is gaining strength despite global challenges.
The economy, he added, is growing at over 8 per cent and in the “next five-seven years, size of the economy will touch $5 trillion and will rise further to $10 trillion in the next decade”.
Modi further said that the government has recently taken a decision to merge Dena Bank, Vijaya Bank with the Bank of Baroda.
“What is the need of dozens of public sector banks. We have been listening to this debate for years but no one took steps in that direction,” the prime minister said, adding the government has also merged banks with SBI and has now decided to merge three more state-owned banks.
Referring to the government’s Make in India initiative, he said India has become a hub of mobile phone manufacturing, which has provided employment to 4-5 lakh youth in the last four years and has helped the country save Rs 3 lakh crore foreign exchange.
The government, Modi said, is preparing district-level plans to promote ease of doing business so that they can increase their contribution to the national gross domestic product.
Tourism sector too has recorded healthy growth and has created job opportunities for youth, he added.
Talking about the Rs 25,703-crore convention centre, the prime minister said it would help create jobs for 500,000 youths.
He said that several countries have emerged as a hub for conference tourism but in India, nobody has thought in this direction.
Now, the government is working in this direction and developing this convention and expo centre with a sitting capacity of 10,000 people, he said, adding this centre would reflect India’s economic progress and rich cultural heritage.
He also said it is a part of the government’s vision which gives importance to world-class infrastructure, and ease of doing business.
He added that this government has built the longest tunnel, the longest gas pipeline, the largest mobile manufacturing unit, and electricity to every household among many others projects.
The centre would help in promoting startups, industries, improve ease of living for people and the MSME sector.
The facilities provided at the centre will be at par with the best in the world in size and quality, offering setting for international and national events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows.
RBI asks banks to grout ATMs to wall, floor for security by September-end
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank asked banks to ensure their ATMs are grouted to a wall, pillar, or floor by September-end, except those installed in high secured premises such as airports, to enhance security of the cash vending machines.
In 2016, the RBI had st up a Committee on Currency Movement (CCM) to review the entire gamut of security of treasure in transit.
Based on the recommendations of the panel, the central bank has now issued instructions aimed at mitigating risks in ATM operations and enhancing security.
As part of the security measures, all “ATMs shall be operated for cash replenishment only with digital One Time Combination (OTC) locks”.
Also, “All ATMs shall be grouted to a structure (wall, pillar, floor, etc.) by September 30, 2019, except for ATMs installed in highly secured premises such as airports, etc. which have adequate CCTV coverage and are guarded by state/central security personnel”.
Further, banks may also consider rolling out a comprehensive e-surveillance mechanism at the ATMs to ensure timely alerts and quick response, it said.
The new measures to be adopted by banks are in addition to the existing instructions, practices and guidance issued by the RBI and law enforcement agencies.
The RBI also warned the banks that non-adherence of timelines or non-observance of the instructions would attract regulatory action including levy of penalty.
SBI refuses to disclose communication from RBI, govt on electoral bonds
New Delhi: The State Bank of India has refused to disclose any communication it received from the government or the Reserve Bank of India on electoral bonds, terming it “personal information” and held in “fiduciary capacity”.
Responding to an RTI filed by Pune-based activist Vihar Durve who had demanded copies of all letters, correspondence, directions, notifications or e-mails received from the RBI or any government department between 2017 and 2019, the SBI said it cannot be provided by it.
The bank cited two exemption clauses under the RTI Act to deny information — Section 8(1)(e) which pertains to information held in fiduciary capacity and Section 8(1)(J) which pertains to personal information of a person which has no link to any public activity.
“Information sought by the applicant cannot be disclosed as it is in fiduciary capacity, disclosure of which is exempted under Section 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005,” the Central Public Information Officer of the bank said in his reply.
The bank also refused to give any details of action taken by it on such communications from the RBI and the government.
The electoral bonds, for giving donations to political parties, are being sold through SBI only. The sale opens in SBI branches when the Finance Ministry issues a notification of their sale for a given period.
The scheme of electoral bonds notified by the Centre in 2018 has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the bonds.
The bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India “or incorporated or established in India,” the government had said in a statement last year.
The bonds remain valid for 15 days and can be encashed by an eligible political party only through an account with the authorised bank within that period only.
A voluntary group working in the field of electoral reforms, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), has demanded a stay on the sale while the CPI(M) has challenged it before the Supreme Court in separate petitions.
ADR recently filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018 which was notified by the Centre in January last year.
Walmart’s Flipkart, Indian startup GOQii settle dispute over sharp discounting
New Delhi: Walmart unit Flipkart has settled a legal dispute with an Indian startup that alleged it suffered losses because its products were sharply discounted on the global retailer’s website.
GOQii, a seller of smartwatch-type health devices, sued Flipkart last month in a Mumbai court, alleging its devices were discounted by around 70 per cent to the retail price, much more than the two sides had agreed. The court had, as an interim measure, ordered device sales to be halted on Flipkart.
In a joint statement , the companies said the dispute had been resolved and GOQii health devices would again be available on Flipkart. They didn’t say how the settlement was reached.
Vishal Gondal, CEO of GOQii, told Reuters the company would withdraw the case against Flipkart. The e-commerce retailer’s “team worked on a resolution benefitting the brand and the customers”, Gondal said in the statement.
The legal spat was seen as a test case of the giant retailer’s operating strategy in the country.
Small traders and a right-wing group close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party have raised concerns about large e-commerce companies, saying they burn billions of dollars deeply discounting some products to lure customers onto their sites, in the expectation that they will also buy other goods.
GOQii said it signed an agreement last year with a Flipkart unit to sell two of its devices at a price not below 1,999 rupees (USD 28.63) and 1,499 rupees. It later found the devices were being sold for 999 rupees and 699 rupees, calling it “unauthorized” discounting.
In response, Flipkart said it reserved “the right to institute actions for defamation, both civil and criminal”, arguing it wasn’t responsible for any discounts which are determined by third-party firms which sell via its website.
The two companies struck a friendlier tone in their joint-statement on Friday as they brought the legal battle to an end.
“We have ensured constant engagement with GOQii to resolve any differences,” Flipkart said in the statement.
With a 19 per cent market share, GOQii was the second-biggest player in India’s so-called wearables market last year, data from industry tracker IDC showed. The market is dominated by China’s Xiaomi, with Samsung a small player.
Anantnag attack: Injured SHO succumbs at AIIMS
Srinagar, June 16: Station House Officer (SHO) Arshid Ahmad Khan who was injured in Fidayeen Attack on June 13 succumbed...
J&K on high alert after Pakistan warns India of Pulwama-type attack
Srinagar, June 16: Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are on high alert after Pakistan reportedly warned India of a...