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Key takeaways of FM Sitharaman’s maiden Budget speech

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Amid reports of a sharp slowdown in India’s economic growth, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday presented the first Budget of the Modi 2.0 dispensation at Parliament. Sitharaman began her maiden Budget speech with a challenge to make India a USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years. Here are the key takeaways from the finance minister’s Budget speech.

  • From $1.85 trillion in 2014, the economy has reached $ 2.7 trillion. Economy will grow to become a $3 trillion economy in the current year itself. We are well within our capacity to reach $ 5 trillion in the next few years
  • India Inc, our job creators, are the nation’s wealth creators; together, we can prosper. I wish to propose no. of reforms to kickstart virtuous cycle of growth.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, we provided rejuvenated centre-state dynamic, cooperative federalism, GST Council and a strident commitment to fiscal discipline; set the ball rolling for New India.
  • Average amount spent on food security per year approx. doubled during 2014-19 compared to preceding five years.
  • For providing an enabling ecosystem for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul, suitable policy interventions will be adopted.
  • 657 km of metro rail network has become operational in the country.
  • India’s first indigenous payment ecosystem for transport based on National Common Mobility Card was launched PM in March 2019, enabling people to pay multiple types of transport charges.
  • FAME II scheme aims to encourage faster adoption of electric vehicles by right incentives and charging infra.
  • Comprehensive restructuring of National Highways Programme to be done, to ensure creation of National Highways Grid of desirable capacity.
  • Government envisions using rivers for cargo transportation, which will also decongest roads and railways.
  • Railway infra would need an investment of 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030; PPP to be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services.
  • Several reforms would be undertaken to promote rental housing, current rental laws are archaic as they do not address lessor-lessee relationships fairly.
  • 350 crore rupees allocated for 2% interest subvention for all GST-registered MSMEs on fresh or incremental loans.
  • Schemes such as BharatMala, Sagarmala and UDAN are bridging rural urban divide and improving our transport infrastructure.
  • Payment platform for MSMEs to be created.
  • Pension benefit to be extended to around 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers with an annual turnover less than 1.5 crores under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Man Dhan Scheme.
  • Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation will be set up in 2019-20, action plan to deepen markets for long-term bonds with specific focus on infra sector to be put in place.
  • Existing Know Your Customer norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors to be rationalized and simplified, to make it more investor-friendly.
  • Electronic Fundraising Platform, a social stock exchange, to be set up to list social enterprises and voluntary organizations working for social welfare objectives.
  • Interoperability of RBI depositories and SEBI depositories necessary for seamlesss transfer of treasury bills; govt. will take necessary measures in this regard in consultation with RBI and SEBI.
  • Further opening up of FDI in aviation, media, animation AVGC and insurance to be examined, in consultation with stakeholders; 100% FDI to be permitted for insurance intermediaries.
  • Local sourcing norms for FDI to be eased for single-brand retailing sector.
  • To harness India’s space ability commercially, a public sector enterprise, New Space India Limited (NSIL) has been incorporated to tap the benefits of the ISRO.
  • By 2022, every single rural family except those who are unwilling to take the connection, will have an electricity and a clean cooking facility.
  • In second phase of PMAY-Gramin, 1.95 crore houses to be provided to eligible beneficiaries, during 2019-20 to 2021-22; they will have amenities such as LPG, electricity and toilets.
  • Time for completion of houses under PMAY reduced from 314 days in 2015-16 to 114 days in 2017-18, enabling the scale of achievement in PMAY.
  • Robust fisheries management framework to be set up under Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sambada Yojana to address critical gaps in value chain.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana – Phase 3 envisaged to upgrade 1.25 lakh km of road length at an estimated cost of 80,250 crore rupees.
  • To provide NRIs seamless access to Indian equities, NRI portfolio investment route to be merged with foreign portfolio investment route.
  • 100 new clusters to be set up in 2019-20 under SFURTI, which will enable 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain.
  • 80 Livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators to be set up in 2019-20 under ASPIRE to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries.
  • Pension benefit to be extended to around 3 crore retail traders and shopkeepers with an annual turnover less than 1.5 crores under Pradhan Mantri Karam Yogi Man Dhan Scheme.
  • Jal Shakti Mantralaya will work with states to ensure “Har Ghar Jal” for all rural houses by 2024, under Jal Jeevan Mission.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission to be expanded to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village, harnessing latest tech.
  • India will be made Open Defecation Free on October 2nd, 2019, as per the dream of PM Narendra Modi.
  • Under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Saksharata Abhiyan, Bharat Net is targeting internet connectivity in local bodies in every panchayat in the country.
  • New National Educational Policy to be brought in to transform Indian educational system; major changes in higher as well as school system to be brought in.
  • Exclusive TV programme exclusively for startups to be started, channel will be designed and executed by startups themselves.
  • National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under Khelo India.
  • To further encourage women entrepreneurship, Women SHG Interest Subvention Programme to be expanded to all districts in India.
  • Aadhaar card for NRIs with Indian passports to be issued after their arrival in India, without waiting for the mandatory 180 days.


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We had Allah with us, says Morgan after England’s historic win

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After leading the England men’s team to their maiden World Cup glory, skipper Eoin Morgan said that “we had Allah with us” and also mentioned that New Zealand had a better outing as compared to the hosts.

Empathising with the Kiwis, who lost the match on the basis of boundaries after both the regulation 50 overs and the Super Over ended in ties on Sunday.

Morgan on New Zealand’s campaign: “They’ve been actually through a better tournament than we have. The fact a trophy is sitting here is, you know — like I mentioned, we got the rub of the green today,” Morgan said during the post-match conference.

He added, “New Zealand, throughout the group stages, were absolutely outstanding, very consistent and in the semifinal were very ruthless in playing against India, India are an extremely strong team.”

Morgan on becoming the first captain to lead England men to World Cup glory: “I hope it (life) hasn’t changed that much. I enjoy my life. I lead quite a quiet one, so I hope it hasn’t changed too much. I would love it to change for everybody else who wants it to change, but I enjoy my life.”

On being asked if it was Irishman’s luck: “We had Allah with us as well. I spoke to Adil (Rashid), he said Allah was definitely with us. I said we had the rub of the green (smiling).”

Morgan is an Irish by birth, Ben Stokes a New Zealander, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are second-generation Pakistanis, Jason Roy, a South African.

Speaking on the diversity in the England squad: “It actually epitomises our team. Diverse backgrounds and cultures and guys grew up in different countries and to actually find humour in the situation we were in at times was pretty cool.”

Speaking on his future: “We will let the dust settle, we’ll celebrate as hard as we can. I think it’s deserved. And then we will look at things. Four years is a long time away. I think the big question I will have to answer is will I be in the team in four years, will I be good enough? These guys are improving very quickly. Will I be able to keep up with them.”

England’s World Cup-winning football legend Bobby Moore and rugby icon Martin Johnson’s black visage is carved on Mount Rushmore.

On being asked if he wants a similar sculpture: “Not at all. There’s no Mount Rushmore. Primrose Hill, that’s about it.”

Concluding with an emotional tribute, Morgan said: “They are the best, and they do it in a fashion that you’d have no qualms in turning around to your kid and saying, ‘Please idolise these guys, they are very admirable.’ They are.”

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Muslims with 50 wives, 1,050 kids ‘animalistic’: BJP MLA

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In a statement that could stir controversy, BJP MLA from Ballia, Surendra Singh, has said that Muslims who have many wives and children in large numbers have an “animalistic tendency.”

“In the Muslim religion, you know that people keep 50 wives and give birth to 1050 children. This is not a tradition but an animalistic tendency. In society, giving birth to only two to four children is normal,” the BJP leader said while speaking to reporters in Ballia on Sunday.

Surendra Singh has been in the news, time and again, for his controversial statements.

 

Last year in July, the Ballia legislator had said that every Hindu couple must have at least five children for Hindutva to remain intact.

Surendra Singh, in an interview to ANI, had said this step is necessary to increase the population of Hindus in India.

“It is the desire of every spiritual leader (mahant) for every couple to have a minimum of five children. This way the population will be under control, and Hindutva would remain intact,” Surendra Singh said.

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Babri demolition: Special judge seeks 6 months’ time to conclude trial

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New Delhi, July 15: A special judge holding trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans LK Advani, MM Joshi and others, on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking six more months to conclude the trial in the case.

The special judge, in a letter written in May, has informed the top court that he is due to superannuate on September 30, 2019.The matter came up for hearing on Monday before a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman, which asked the Uttar Pradesh government to apprise it by July 19 of a mechanism by which the tenure of the special judge could be extended till he delivered the verdict in the high-profile case.

On April 19, 2017, the top court had ordered day-to-day trial to be concluded in two years in the case.

 
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