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Centre not to go for another ordinance on land bill

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Land-Acquisition-Bill-2015

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Facing strong resistance from the Congress and other opposition parties over the controversial land acquisition bill, the Narendra Modi government has decided not to go for another re-promulgation of the ordinance and instead write to the states to formulate their own laws, sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said the government will recommend to the states to make required changes in their laws as per National Democratic Alliance’s version of the bill.

This decision was taken on Tuesday in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, the sources said.

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015, which has been brought by the NDA government, is being opposed by the Congress and other parties.

The bill is currently with a joint committee of parliament for detailed discussion on the provisions of the controversial legislation.

The committee is expected to give its report in the first week of August.

Senior leaders are of the view that the land bill will not be passed in the current monsoon session of parliament. So, the government will have to go for another promulgation after the session.

But BJP leaders feel that going for another promulgation may further embarrass the government.

“The NDA government brought the ordinance for the Mumbai-Delhi industrial corridor, which passes through seven states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi,” a BJP leader told IANS.

He said that among the seven states, five are ruled by the BJP.

President Pranab Mukherjee in May gave his assent to re-promulgation of the land ordinance, which was to expire in June.

The ordinance was first promulgated in December last year to amend the act passed during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in 2013.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Don’t forget 1971 Bangladesh War: M. Venkaiah Naidu warns Pakistan for “Aiding and Abetting Terror”

According to Naidu, "Our neighbour should understand that aiding and abetting terror will not help them, they should recall what happened in 1971... Terrorism is the enemy of humanity, it has no religion."

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NDA's Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reminded Pakistan not to forget what happened in 1971. Wikimedia
  • NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reminded Pakistan not to forget what happened in 1971 in a reference to the Bangladesh War
  • Naidu also criticized Pakistan for “mixing terrorism with religion” as its state policy
  • The former Union Minister asserted that Kashmir is an integral part of India and “not an inch” of it will be ceded

New Delhi, July 23, 2017:  Hitting out at Pakistan for “aiding and abetting terror”, NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday reminded it not to forget what happened in 1971 in a reference to the Bangladesh War in which it faced a humiliating defeat.

Naidu was addressing the annual Kargil Parakram Parade here, held in remembrance of soldiers killed in a war with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kargil sector in 1999.

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“Our neighbour should understand that aiding and abetting terror will not help them, they should recall what happened in 1971… Terrorism is the enemy of humanity, it has no religion,” he said.

Criticising Pakistan for “mixing terrorism with religion” as its state policy, the former Union Minister asserted that Kashmir is an integral part of India and “not an inch” of it will be ceded.

He also urged Pakistan to shun the path of confrontation.

“We are a peace loving people. We never attacked any country. We don’t want war, we don’t want confrontation. We want to have peace and good relations with our neighbours, but they should also reciprocate,” Naidu said. (IANS)

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Congress alleges center for involvement in Rs. 20,000 crore ‘Ujala’ scam; also demands independent probe.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claims that his government has distributed more than 21 crore LED bulbs, does not tell people that in the process, the government itself is making a mockery of its much-publicised 'Make in India' drive. "Crores of these LED bulbs, LED street lights, pumps and fans are made in China or in Taiwan"

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Representational image, courtesy: Wikimedia commons

New Delhi, March 27, 2017: The Congress party on Monday put the responsibility at the door of ruling NDA government accusing it for corruption in the process of procurement and distribution of ‘Ujala’ LED bulbs has given birth to a Rs 20,000-crore scam.

The party charged that the incumbent government was utilizing “dubious and questionable practices” for acquirement and dispersion of LED bulbs and requested an independent probe by a retired Supreme Court judge.

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“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who claims that his government has distributed more than 21 crore LED bulbs, does not tell people that in the process, the government itself is making a mockery of its much-publicised ‘Make in India’ drive. “Crores of these LED bulbs, LED street lights, pumps and fans are made in China or in Taiwan,” said Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.

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Gohil asserted that there was no transparency in the allotment of tender and acquirement of these LED bulbs, street lights, pumps and fans, among others.

“Cost of one such LED street light is about Rs 2,000. If we take into account the irregularities and fraud in the tendering process, this turns out to be a scam of at least Rs 20,000 crore,” he said.

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“While the Vigilance Commission mandates that such procurement should be publicised for RFQ (request for quotation) on the basis of merit and should be put on a government website, the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (the procuring agency) puts it on their own private platforms for a short period, thus manipulating the entire process of tendering,” said Gohil.

“Although there are four Power Ministry PSUs involved in this entire process, the companies neither manufacture nor procure any part, not even a diode of the LED bulb. Instead, they procure from Chinese and other foreign companies,” he included in his statement.

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The Congress also pointed out that the Vigilance Commission guidelines categorically state that a third party audit has to be done after such procurement.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard

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Before union budget’s cutback, State health budgets rose to 21 percent

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New Delhi: An analysis of government data released in October 2015 revealed that state health budgets, taken together– rose 21 percent in the previous year, before the 15 percent ‘cut’ in central funding of national health programs in the union health budget of 2015-16.

However, this increase is not uniform across states, indicating that states, especially smaller ones, unable to raise enough money, are spending less on health and education. Exactly how many states spent to compensate for central spending cutbacks over the past year is unclear because that data will only be available by the end of 2016.

As many as 58 per cent of Indians in rural areas opt for private healthcare (68 percent in urban areas), as we reported, because public health care is inadequate, and healthcare expenses push an additional 39 million people back into poverty every year, a Lancet paper said.

In anticipation of the transfer of money to states – a process called devolution, proposed in December 2014 by the 14th Finance Commission, Delhi had increased payments to state plans during the 2014-15 budget: Transfers rose by 108 percent to Rs 2,59,855 crore ($43 billion) for the state plans, according to reporters.

Many increases to states were substantial, particularly in key areas such as village development, education, health and agriculture. The idea, to quote from a government document, was to “provide greater ownership to state governments in implementation of plans schemes and avoid thin spreading of resources, model of restructured centrally sponsored schemes (CSSs) continues. Higher allocation under State/UT (union territory) plan is reflective of this”.

Between 2014-15 and 2015-16, unconditional transfers of tax revenues – or “untied” funds, to use official jargon– rose 55 percent, from Rs.3.38 lakh crore to Rs. 5.24 lakh crore, according to the budget’s revised estimates released in October 2015 (The budget is prepared using income estimates, typically revised after six months to account for actual tax received).

The union health budget rose six percent, from Rs.29,492.5 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 31,274 crore in 2014-15, the year the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presented its first budget. The cuts came in the second year of the NDA, 2015-16.

Smaller states can’t find money, therefore, cut health funding.

Although 18 states with poor health indicators, called “high-focus states”,– increased health spending in anticipation of central cutbacks, our analysis reveals how smaller states have cut health spending because they did not have the money.

Jharkhand and Odisha increased their health spending by 80 percent and 73 percent respectively between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Some states saw marginal increases; Tripura and Manipur cut health spending.

Money to create infrastructure has risen in state budgets, from 37.2 percent in 2011-12 to 50 percent in 2014-15, while funds for staff salaries and other administrative expenses fell from 62.2 percent to 49.9 percent.

“The country is close to completing its first budget cycle since the implementation of the FFC (14th Finance Commission) recommendations; any rigorous assessment of the real impact of these recommendations is difficult owing to large gaps in available data,” said a report from the Accountability Initiative, a Delhi-based think-tank. (Prachi Salve, IANS/indiaspends.org)