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Panaji: The Goa Police Crime Branch on Monday started its probe into the $976,630 international bribery scandal involving New Jersey-based consultancy firm Louis Berger, Congress politicians and officials.
The ruling BJP in Goa sought blacklisting of the firm, while the Congress demanded questioning of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar by investigators for his utterances about the scandal.
On a day of hectic developments, state Bharatiya Janata Party president Vinay Tendulkar said a party delegation would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to formally demand a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the bribery scandal.
An activist also filed a complaint with the central probe agency, alleging that more Goa ministers and officials were bribed by the consultancy firm in connection with two other projects.
“I have spoken to the director general of police and asked him to direct the Crime Branch to conduct the initial probe on the basis of which we will approach the CBI,” Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said.
Director General of Police T.N. Mohan told reporters a Crime Branch team was formed and documents related to the bribe would be obtained soon.
Top officials of Louis Berger have already pleaded guilty to offering bribes to the tune of $3.9 million to secure contracts in Asian countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait.
While the settlement announced by the US Justice Department did not identify the politicians and officials who were offered bribes, the documents revealed that the amount of $976,630 in bribes was paid during 2009-2010 to a Goa minister and other officials.
Former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat and former Public Works Department minister Churchill Alemao could also come into the ambit of the bribery investigation, sources said. Both Kamat and Alemao have denied the allegation.
Louis Berger was part of a consortium that eventually won a contract to execute a water and sewerage project in Goa.
The BJP, which has been at the receiving end over the last few days over a string of maladministration and graft cases, on Monday turned the heat on the Congress over the bribery scandal.
“Goa has been defamed internationally because of this bribery scam. BJP MPs from Goa will not only raise this issue in parliament, but we will also meet the prime minister and home minister to demand a CBI probe,” Tendulkar said.
Asked whether the BJP in Goa would seek blacklisting of Louis Berger, which is also linked to two other projects funded by the state government, Tendulkar said: “Yes. We will.”
While the BJP announced its intention to file a complaint with the CBI, Kashinath Shetye, a Right to Information (RTI) activist, on Monday filed a complaint with the agency demanding a probe into three projects secured by the consultancy firm in the state.
The Congress, meanwhile, in an attempt to brazen it out, dared the BJP to launch a CBI probe.
“Let the probe happen. We are not scared of anything,” Congress spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo said, and demanded that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar should be questioned because of utterances made by him at a party meeting in Goa on Sunday.
“The defence minister said he knows the bungalow in which the scam deal was struck. The investigating agency should first question him about it,” Reginaldo said.
One of Indi's leading luxurious Ayurveda skincare brands, Forest Essentials, announces its international foray with the London based Lookfantastic.com, Euroe's premium online beauty retailer. The partnership enables the brand to take significant strides towards its expansion globally starting with the launch in the United Kingdom. "Our focus and USP at Forest Essentials has always been at delivering high quality Ayurvedic products in a sustainable way, with a global appeal.
We firmly believe that the time is right for Forest Essentials to expand to the UK, as our first international footprint with Lookfantastic,' Europe's premium online beauty retailer. "The UK audience is well aware of Ayurveda and we are certain that the demand for our Made in India luxurious Ayurveda products, is going to continue to grow multifold, as consumers are today looking for moments of self-care, to feel better in this stressful period and we are well positioned to support this type of feel-good indulgence that consumers are seeking today," says Samrath Bedi, Executive Director, Forest Essentials. The brand's iconic product ranges, across skincare, body care and haircare will be available for purchase in the UK, including the Soundarya collection, crafted with 24k gold.
The brand's iconic product ranges, across skincare, body care and haircare will be available for purchase in the UK, including the Soundarya collection, crafted with 24k gold. | Wikimedia Commons
The brand's iconic product ranges, across skincare, body care and haircare will be available for purchase in the UK, including the Soundarya collection, crafted with 24k gold. Additional collections offered include the Men's Collection, Madurai Jasmine and Mogra, Green Tea and Oudh, and Nargis, Indian Rose Ab'olute. The brand's vast gifting options are also available via the e-retailer. A portfolio of over 660 premium brands onsite and revenue share grown 40 percent year on year in the last 4 year makes,
Lookfantastic is one of the most successful beauty websites globally. Unrivalled technology, a team of world-class experts, over 30 localized sites in as many languages enables the website to attract millions of visits per month with nearly 71 percent of them being international making it a natural choice as a retail overseas partner for Forest Essentials. Commenting on the announcement, Bedi added, "Ayurveda has gained acceptance globally and there is an increased need to explore authentic products that are not only luxurious but also high on efficacy. Forest Essentials has been a pioneer in every sense and we're confident that our foray into the UK will enable us to represent India and products Made in India successfully in the international market." (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Ayurveda, Skincare, Forest, Herbal, Body care, Hair care, Beauty Products
Khadi is no longer a dull, drab fabric meant only for politicians' wardrobes. A fashion show organised by the Khadi Gramodyog Board as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark the 75th year of India's Independence showcased the use of Khadi in traditional, as well as, contemporary and festive wear. From lehengas in resplendent Khadi silk to western clothes and casual wear, the models on Thursday night displayed new facts of the fabric.
Several well-known Indian designers including Ritu Beri, Farah Ansari, Rina Dhaka, Asma Husain, Aditi Rastogi and Himmat Singh showcased their designs. Gaurav Gaur directed the fashion show with clothes like lehengas, kurtis, kurta pajamas and partywear.
Lucknow's chikankari and silk artisans also participated in the event. A wedding collection in Khadi was the highlight of the show. "The show was based on the concept 'Khadi for nation, Khadi for fashion' and the fabric for all costumes was provided by Khadi Gramodyog Board," said a spokesman. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: lucknow, clothes, lehengas, fashion, fabric
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Intel saw its stock tumbling by more than 8 percent after the chipmaker said the industry-wide component shortage affected its PC chip business during the third quarter (Q3). Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told CNBC late on Thursday that he didn't expect the semiconductor shortage to end until 2023. "We're in the worst of it now, every quarter, next year we'll get incrementally better, but they're not going to have supply-demand balance until 2023," Gelsinger was quoted as saying.
The company delivered its Q3 results with revenue up 5 percent (year-over-year) driven by strong demand in its DCG and IoTG businesses, despite the highly constrained industry-wide supply environment. "Q3 revenue was $18.1 billion slightly below our guide due to shipping and supply constraints that impacted our businesses," George S. Davis, Chief Financial Officer, said in a statement. He also announced plans to retire from Intel in May 2022. In the third quarter, the company generated $9.9 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion.
| Photo by Slejven Djurakovic on Unsplash
According to the company, the demand remains strong in its PC business with particular strength in commercial, desktop, and higher-end consumer notebooks. In an earnings call, Gelsinger said that the digitization of everything accelerated by the four superpowers of AI, pervasive connectivity, cloud to edge infrastructure, and ubiquitous compute are driving the sustained need for more semiconductors. "The market is expected to double to $1 trillion by 2030. In that timeframe, the market for leading-edge nodes will rise to be over 50 percent of the total, while the market for leading-edge foundry services will grow at twice the rate of the semi-industry overall," he envisioned.
PC demand remains very strong, and "We believe the 2021 TAM (total addressable market) will grow double digits even as ecosystem shortages constrain our customer's ability to ship finished systems," Gelsinger added. "Customers continue to choose Intel for their datacenter needs and our third-gen scalable Xeon processor Ice Lake has shipped over 1 million units since launching in April, and we expect to ship over 1 million units again in Q4 alone," he informed. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Intel, Chip, processor, Desktop, AI, Semiconductor, PC, Processor