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SC established falsity of wild allegations:Ambani welcomes Rafale deal verdict

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New Delhi: Shortly after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking investigation into Rafale fighter jets deal, Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani issued a statement, terming the allegations levelled against him as “baseless and politically-motivated”.

Welcoming the decision of the Supreme Court to dismiss all PILs, Ambani said that the top court order established the “complete falsity of the wild, baseless and politically motivated allegations” levelled against Reliance Group and him personally.

“I welcome the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court today, summarily dismissing all PILs filed on the Rafale contracts and conclusively establishing the complete falsity of the wild, baseless and politically-motivated allegations levelled against Reliance Group and me personally,” read the statement.

 

The statement by Reliance Group chairman further said that the company remained “committed to India’s national security” and government initiatives like Make in India and Skill India.

“We remain committed to India’s national security and to making our humble contribution towards the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ policies of the Government in the critical area of defence, including our offset partnership agreement with our valued partner, Dassault Aviation of France,” the statement further read.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government also launched a scathing counter-attack on the Congress party, citing the Supreme Court verdict, in the Rajya Sabha.
As the Upper House of Parliament convened, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought a debate on the Rafale issue, even as the Congress-led opposition reiterated the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the same.

Addressing mediapersons, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said that there were several issues that the top court did not get into, and hence there was requirement of a JPC to go through all files and documents related to the deal.

However, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah took to Twitter to blunt the Congress attack, claiming that the judgement exposed the “campaign of misinformation spearheaded by Congress President (Rahul Gandhi) for political gains”.

Shah tweeted, “Truth always triumphs! Court’s judgment on the Rafale deal exposes the campaign of misinformation spearheaded by Congress President for political gains.

The court didn’t find anything wrong with the process nor did it find any commercial favouritism in the deal.”

“On the contrary SC held that govt had no role in selecting offset partners & found no merit in the demand for a probe based on mere perception of individuals. It therefore raises obvious questions on the motive of those working to discredit the deal, which is important for India,” he added.


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RBI needs to ensure stability: Shaktikanta Das

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New Delhi: The head of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said he would take the steps necessary to maintain financial stability in the country and help create favourable conditions for growth.

India’s economy has grown because of measures such as the nationwide goods and services tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code that prevents wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets, Shaktikanta Das said in his address to an investor roundtable.

The country’s growth story is backed by its strong domestic fundamentals, he said, citing lower inflation.

 

Annual retail inflation rate dropped to an 18-month low of 2.19 per cent in December, strengthening the views of some economists that the central bank could ease monetary policy next month.

India’s top business groups on Thursday urged the central bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by at least half a percentage point and lower the cash reserve ratio it imposes on banks.

The country also needs to watch out for any sudden turbulence in the gloal financial market, Das said.

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Centre removes two PNB executive directors for lapses in Rs 13,500-cr fraud

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Chennai:The Central government has removed two Punjab National Bank (PNB) Executive Directors — Sanjiv Sharan and K.Veera Brahmaji Rao — for the lapses in the Rs 13,500 crore fraud allegedly perpetrated by absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The PNB has intimated the action to the stock exchanges.

“We welcome the Central government’s action to dismiss the two Executive Directors. The scam of such proportions could not have happened without the knowledge of the top management,” C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), told IANS.

 

“Perhaps for the first time, the Centra has removed the Executive Directors of a nationalised bank under the Nationalised Banks (Management and Miscellaneous Provision) Scheme, 1970. All these days it was said the top management of government-owned banks — Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Directors — are governed only by the contract of appointment.

“It is also good that the central government has followed the due process of giving the two PNB Executive Directors opportunity to put forth their views before dismissing them,” Venkatachalam added.

According to the Central government’s notification, on July 3, 2018, Sharan and Rao were issued a show cause notice as to why they could not be removed from office for having failed to exercise proper control over the functioning of PNB, thus enabling the fraud through the misuse of SWIFT at the bank’s Brady House branch in Mumbai.

After considering Sharan and Rao’s replies and the comments of the bank’s Board, the Centre removed them from office as it found it was expedient in the interests of PNB.

According to the notification, the dismissal of Rao is subject to the outcome of a plea in the Delhi High Court.

“We are happy to see some action being taken. Whether it is only the two Executive Directors and other officials are also involved in the scam has to be probed in full,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, in the past, low-level officers would have been the scapegoats for such massive scams.

“With the action taken on the top management, people will be satisfied that public sector bank officials are answerable for their lapses,” Venkatachalam added.

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In this new world, data is the new wealth: Ambani

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Mumbai: Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps against ‘data colonisation’, specially by global corporations, stating that Indian data must be owned by Indians.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi’s movement against political colonisation, Ambani said India now needs a new movement against data colonisation.

“Gandhiji led India’s movement against political colonisation. Today, we have to collectively launch a new movement against data colonisation,” he said Gandhinagar at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.

 

Stressing that, in this new world, data is the new wealth, Ambani said, “India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporate, especially global corporations.”

He further said, “For India to succeed in this data driven revolution, we will have to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India. In other words, give Indian wealth back to every Indian.”

Stating that the “entire world has come to recognise” Modi “as a man of action”, Ambani said, “Honorable Prime Minister, am sure you will make this one of the principal goals of your digital India mission.”

Later in the day, countering Ambani’s call, Governor – Commonwealth of Kentucky, Matthew Griswold, asked Modi “to think in the opposite” in order to realise the tremendous opportunity that lies in Indo-US partnership.

“Honorable prime minister you have been asked from this stage to think about limiting the amount of competition, limiting the exchange of ideas, information and goods. I would encourage you to think in the opposite,” he said.

While stating that it is important to put the people of India first, Griswold said, “It is also important to put their opportunity and our opportunity as citizens of the world to trade with one another and exchange ideas because iron sharpens iron.”

The greatest possibility comes from the exchange of these idea, he added.

“If we can cut the regulations, cut the bureaucracy, cut the red tape, the opportunity is enormous between our nations,” he added that India is now the 10th largest trading partner for the US and “climbing quickly”.

“The opportunity before us between India and the United States is incredible, but responsibility falls on each of one us, those of us in elected positions, those of you in the industry, those of you who represent various constituencies, we have much work to do…we must do this, ” Griswold said.

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