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Union Budget: Govt keeps Gaon, Garib and Kisan at centre of everything it does, says Sitharaman






Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday presented the first budget of the second term of the Narendra Modi government. This is also the first budget of Sitharaman who was given the charge of the ministry which was held by Arun Jaitley in the last term. 

Earlier in February, Piyush Goyal presented NDA government’s Interim Budget before the Lok Sabha elections. 

12:28 pm: Non-performing asset (NPAs) recovery of Rs 4 lakh crore over the last four years, NPAs down by Rs 1 lakh crore in the last one year.


12:26 pm: The government has proposed to provide Rs 70,000 crore for PSU bank recapitalisation.

12:23 pm: Exclusive TV programme exclusively for startups to be started, channel will be designed and executed by startups themselves. Standup India will be continued for the entire period coinciding with the 15th Finance Commission, i.e. 2020 – 2025

12:21 pm: Sitharaman announced that the Government is developing 17 iconic tourism sites as world-class destinations. To popularise sports at all levels, National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons to be set up under Khelo India: Sitharaman.

12:19 pm: The FM drew attention to the women of India, ‘Naari tu Narayaani’. She said, “This Government believes that we can progress, with greater women participation.”

12:17 pm: Aadhar card for NRIs with Indian passports after they arrive in India. They will not have to wait for 180 days.12:15 pm:Railways to be encouraged to invest more in suburban railways through SPV structures such as Rapid Regional Transport System; more PPP initiatives to be encouraged in the rail sector.

FM Sitharaman said that the Indian Railways will need an investment of at least Rs 50 lakh crore between 2018 and 2030 for modernisation and upkeep. The FM said that a PPP will make services better and faster. “A Public-Private partnership will usher the new dawn of Indian railway,” she said.

12.13 pm: New education policy will focus on research in the country, says FM Sitharaman. I propose to start a program, ‘STUDY IN INDIA’ that will focus on bringing foreign students to India for higher education: Nirmala Sitharaman.

12:09 pm: FM Sitharaman said that although zero budget farming is not a new thing, the government would like to shift focus on going back to the roots and reassess the implementation of zero budget farming. The FM said that 10 thousand new farmer producer organisations will set up for ensuring market reach for farmers.

12:07 pm: Under Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Saksharata Abhiyan, Bharat Net is targeting internet connectivity in local bodies in every panchayat in the country; this will be speeded under Universal Service Obligation Fund: FM

12:04 pm: 100 new clusters proposed to be set up in 2019-20 under SFURTI, which will enable 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain.

12.00 pm: New education policy will focus on research in country, says FM Sitharaman. I propose to Start a program, “STUDY IN INDIA” that will focus on bringing foreign students to India for higher Education: Nirmala Sitharaman

11:59 am: 80 Livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators will be set up in 2019-20 under ASPIRE to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries: FM

11:57 am: About9.6 crore toilets have been constructed since Oct 2, 2014. More than 5.6 lakh villages have become open defecation free. We have to build on this success. I propose to expand the Swachh Bharat mission to undertake sustainable solid waste management in every village, the FM added.

11:55 am: We’ll invest widely in agricultural infrastructure. We’ll support private entrepreneurship in driving value addition to farmers produce & those from allied activities too, like bamboo, timber & also for generating renewable energy. Ann daata ko kyun oorja daata bana nahi sakte?, said FM in her speech.

11:52 am: In the 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: FM

11:50 am: 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: FM 

11:47 am: Government keeps Gaon, Garib and Kisan at the centre of everything we do, of every programme. With the changing economic scenario, it’s important to upgrade roads connecting villages to rural markets. For this Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Phase 3 is envisaged to upgrade 1,25,000 km of road length over the next 5 years

11:45 am: To provide NRIs seamless to Indian equities, NRI portfolio investment route to be merged with foreign portfolio investment route.

11:42 am: By 2022, I would assure every single rural family except those who are unwilling to take the connection will have electricity and clean cooking facility, said FM. Village, poor and farmers are at the centre of all of our govt’s programmes. Local sourcing norms will be eased for single-brand retail sector, she added.

11:40 am: FM Sitharaman said Sebi asked to mull minimum public shareholding to 35% from 25%. Existing Know Your Customer norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors to be rationalized and simplified, to make it more investor-friendly

11:38 am: Govt will invite suggestions for further opening up of FDI in the aviation sector, media, animation AVGC and insurance sectors in consultation with all stakeholders. 100% FDI will be permitted for insurance intermediaries.

FM also announced 100% FDI permitted for insurance intermediaries. Credit Guarantee Enhancement Corporation will be set up in 2019-20, action plan to deepen markets for long-term bonds with a specific focus on infra sector to be put in place.

11:31 am: FM proposes measures to promote rental housing. Sitharaman also proposed measures to promote rental housing.

11:29 am: Sitharaman proposed to set up social-stock exchange to list social enterprises and voluntary organisation under SEBI

11:25 am: FM announced MSME loan up to Rs 1 crore with 2% interest subvention for all GST-registered MSMEs.

11:24 am: We don’t look down upon legitimate profit earning. Gone are the days of policy paralysis & license quota control regime. India Inc are India’s job creators, nation’s wealth creators. Together with mutual trust we can gain, catalyse past & attain sustained growth.

11:23 am: The FM underscored the government’s commitment to UDAN scheme, water transport and road transport to pit the rural-urban divide. Sitharaman said that the government will ensure that the National Highway grid is developed with an apt financial model.

11:21 am: India Inc, our job creators, are the nation’s wealth creators; together, we can prosper. I wish to propose number of reforms to kickstart virtuous cycle of growth, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

11:20 am: Vision for the decade: From 1.85 trillion dollars in 2014, the economy has reached 2.7 trillion US dollars in five years; it is well within our capacity to reach 5 trillion dollars in the next few years: Union Finance Minister

11:19 am: 300 km of new metro routes approved, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Time right for India to enter aircraft financing, says the finance minister.

1:17 am: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman: The Indian economy will grow to become a $3 trillion economy in the current year itself. It is now the sixth largest in the world. 5 years ago it was at the 11th position. Government has given a massive push to all forms of physical & other connectivity.  Wish to propose many initiatives to kick-start growth: Finance Minister 

Budget Speech @ 11:15 am:  It took India 55 years to reach $1 trillion economy and after that in five years we added another $1 trillion. $5 trillion economy size quite doable in next few years, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Last mile delivery stood out, citizens in every nook and corner of the country felt the difference; our objective was and continues to be Mazbooth Desh Ke Liye Mazbooth Nagarik, said FM Sitharaman. She added, “The common man was served even as major transformational reforms were brought about”.

Budget Speech @ 11:10 am: FM Sitharaman thanked the voters for re-electing the Modi government, adding that India has stamped its approval on a performing government as the BJP worked to empower the citizens, following the motto of Mazboot Bharat ke liye Mazboot NagarikAverage amount spent on food security per year approx. doubled during 2014-19 compared to the preceding five years: FM

11:05 am: The people of India have validated their two goals for our country’s future: national security and economic growth, says FM

11:00 am: Lok Sabha session has begun. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has risen up to present Budget 2019.

10:55: Union Cabinet approves Budget 2019. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman all set to present her maiden Budget shortly. The Budget Speech will begin at 11:00 am sharp.

10:45 am: Copies of Budget 2019 have been brought to Parliament ahead of the presentation. Union Cabinet meeting is currently underway in Parliament.


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




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




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

Press Trust of India



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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