New Delhi: Allegations against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on the Lalit Modi issue are “baseless” and the government has a “collective responsibility” for all decisions taken, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday.
“Our ministers are capable of taking decisions and all decisions are collective responsibility of the government,” he said at a press conference here jointly addressed with Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
“Let me clarify, all allegations are baseless. The minister and the party chief (Amit Shah) have given statements… whatever she did she did with good intentions – she acted bona fide. The whole government and party have the same view on this,” he said.
The finance minister also confirmed that notices have been issued against former IPL chairman Lalit Modi in 15 out of 16 cases.
“ED has directed several cases against person concerned… show cause notice have been issued in a number of them. These notices are quasi-judicial function of ED,” he said.
Jaitley clarified on the blue corner notice on Lalit Modi, saying “there is confusion about shades of blue”.
“Department of revenue intelligence had issued a light blue corner notice on the request of enforcement directorate to Lalit Modi in 2010 and that notice still stands,” he added.
Sushma Swaraj has been in controversy for helping out the controversial former IPL chief.
The external affairs minister has said she helped Lalit Modi, who has been staying in London since 2010 following allegations of financial impropriety, after he approached her last July, saying his wife was suffering from cancer and was to undergo surgery in Portugal. (IANS)
New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : India on Friday issued a medical visa to another Pakistani national following a promise made by the Ministry of External Affairs on Independence Day.
“Amna – We have approved medical visa for your father Mr Shamim Ahmed,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted in response to a request from one Amna Shamim through the Twitter handle of Karachi’s Muhammad Talha.
Shamim also posted a reference letter dated October 9 from a doctor in Sri Ganga Ram Hospital who stated that the patient was being considered for a liver transplant.
On Independence Day, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had announced that India would provide medical visas to all bonafide Pakistani patients.
As ties between the two countries soured over various issues, the ministry had announced in May that only a letter of recommendation by then Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz would enable a Pakistani national to get a medical visa for India.
The action was termed “highly regrettable” by Islamabad, which said that asking for such a letter violated diplomatic norms and such a requirement had not been prescribed for any other country.
However, a patient from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, seeking treatment in New Delhi for liver tumour, was given a visa on July 18.
Sushma Swaraj then said that he needed no recommendation from the Pakistani government for a medical visa because the territory “is an integral part of India”.
Since August 15, however, Pakistani nationals seeking medical treatment have not been denied visas. (IANS)
New Delhi: The entire Indian agriculture value chain is set to change drastically and food processing is going to be one of the main industries of the country in the future, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.
“The farm to kitchen chain is going to change in India, like elsewhere, with increased agricultural production, better storage facilities, more food processing and changing consumer food preference,” Jaitley said at the inaugural session of the World Food India 2017 here.
“Food processing is going to be one of the principal industries of India in future, and an entrepreneur in 2017 should think of the industry from the perspective of where it will be in 2040, 2050,” he said.
In terms of market size, the Indian food market was worth $193 billion in 2016 and is expected to cross $540 billion in 2020, officials said here. The sector has been growing at the rate of 12 per cent annually.
“There is a silent revolution ongoing in India. There is an expanding middle class and below that there is a growing aspirational class, which is building up reasonable purchasing power,” the Finance Minister said, noting that this provided an enormous potential market for food products in the country.
About the potential, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that only about 10 per cent of agricultural produce is processed in the country, leading to a lot of wastage.
The industry enjoys many fiscal incentives, including preferential credit under priority sector lending, she said.
“There is 100 per cent FDI (foreign direct investment) allowed into the sector through the automatic route and we have seen inflows increase 40 per cent over the last year,” she said.
“The proposal for a Food Processing Bank is also under active consideration.”
In the presence of delegates from many countries, the event was inaugurated earlier by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who pointed out that India is the biggest producer of milk in the world and the second in rice, wheat, fish and vegetable output.(IANS)
-by Veturi Srivatsa
New Delhi, October 23, 2017 :So much of cricket is being played around the world — Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20s. The so-called pecking order is going for a toss with each passing series.
India, who got to the No. 1 position in the One-Day Internationals after beating Australia, vacated it for South Africa who went up beating Bangladesh.
Bangladesh are still playing in South Africa, Sri Lanka in the Gulf, home of Pakistan, and New Zealand are in India for a series each in the two shorter formats. Australia are getting ready for the Ashes and the South Africans will be looking forward to settling a score with India.
Every international side is seriously looking to the 2019 World Cup, building their core component, or is it rebuilding with less than two years for the mega event. Some top cricketers around the world are happy playing in the shorter formats to prolong their careers and with an eye on the pay packages.
There was a time good Test cricketers used to move into the One-Day format on the strength of their technique and fitness. Players now look to get into the Test squad on the weight of their performance in the ODIs. Both the players and the selectors are striking a blance between the long duration domestic cricket and the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL).
India are going through a peculiar renaissance of sorts. Players who are thought to be indispensable not long ago are being rested, rotated and dropped whichever way one wants to take the selectors’ and team management’s perspective.
Not one or two players, practically the entire Test attack is banished to domestic cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are playing in the ongoing Ranji Trophy just to keep them in the loop. Jadeja is, with a vengeance, scoring hundreds and taking wickets.
The captain and chief coach Ravi Shastri seem to be calling the shots. Virat Kohli, like his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is slowly seeing the back of senior cricketers who he feels are slow coaches in the field, Jadeja being the exception. Both Jadeja and Ashwin had to go out for their inability to take wickets in the middle-overs on a regular basis.
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal are providing the variety in the attack and importantly they are taking wickets bowling at any stage of the match. Axar Patel is doing the backup job. If Ashwin and Jadeja are in consideration for 2019, then they should also get to bowl a lot of overs before their fate is decided once and for all.
If there are four players good enough to open the innings, none of them is being considered for a middle-order position. Actually, Lokesh Rahul is the man the team management wants to keep him in the squad. He also prefers to open the innings and he just couldn’t adjust at No.4 behind Kohli. Hardik Pandya was tried at four and looked good in one match and then he became a floater, pushing Dhoni up and down.
Ajinkya Rahane continues to be a stop-gap opener, getting an opportunity whenever Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan are out through injuries. Strangely, he is not seen as a middle-order bat after an impression was created that he cannot rotate the strike, though it was during his early years in international cricket.
The other middle-order slots are now with Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey, both have good performances and the powers that be think the two should to be nursed, particularly Jadhav who is not only a handy bowler but also a decent wicket-keeper in an emergency. Rahul is another who keen keep wickets. Amazingly, the squad to play New Zealand has a regular wicket-keeper, Dinesh Karthik as a batsman. He is also seen as a contender for the No.4 position.
Kohli continues to be the man to hold both the top order and in the middle, more so while chasing. His record is amazing going into his 200th match on Sunday against New Zealand in Mumbai. He has 12 hundreds more than Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who had 18 each at the very stage of their careers.
Kohli’s faith in Dhoni as his onfield consultant gives a totally different connotation to captaincy. None of the Fab Four or Five ever looked demonstrably carrying the side as Dhoni looks today. The arrangement is working out perfectly fine. The two are pulling the the youngsters in the side with them to give them confidence.
When will the exciting IPL stars get a chance if others are allowed to consolidate their positions playing at home? When will Rishab Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana or someone like all-rounder Washington Sundar and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj get a look in?
The bench strength looks impressive, but it has to be tested sooner than later.
(Editorial note : This article has been written by Veturi Srivatsa, a senior journalist and was first published at IANS. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at email@example.com)