Himachal Pradesh will manage and improve its forest ecosystems under a Rs 800-crore project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), official sources said on Sunday.
JICA-India official Katsuo Matsumoto will visit the state capital on Monday for the launch workshop of the project, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will also be present.
The 10-year project on ‘Improvement of Himachal Pradesh Forest Ecosystems Management and Livelihoods’, which began this fiscal, will be implemented in 61 ranges in seven forest circles in Kinnaur, Shimla, Bilaspur, Mandi, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts, an official spokesperson told IANS.
He said a loan agreement for the project was signed in Tokyo, Japan, on March 29 in the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
The project provides for 80 per cent loan and the remaining amount will be state equity. Of the loan component, 90 per cent will be a grant from the Centre.
The project aims at sustainable management of forest ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, livelihood improvement support and strengthening institutional capacity.
The JICA is already providing a Rs 321 crore assistance to the state under a crop diversification project since 2011 for bettering the socio economic condition of farmers in Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Una districts. (IANS)
Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn has requested his release on bail after being indicted in Tokyo Friday on two new charges, his lawyers said, as the once-feted auto executive awaits a lengthy criminal trial that could be as long as six months away.
Ghosn was the overlord of an alliance that included Nissan Motor, Mitsubishi Motors and France’s Renault, until his surprise November arrest and removal as chairman of both Japanese automakers sent shockwaves through the industry.
The former executive, lauded for rescuing Nissan from the financial brink two decades ago, was charged with aggravated breach of trust for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008.
Ghosn, former Representative Director Greg Kelly and Nissan itself were also charged for understating Ghosn’s income for three years through March 2018. The three parties have been indicted for the same charge covering the years 2010-2015.
Ghosn and Kelly have denied all charges. Nissan said it regretted any concern caused to its stakeholders.
Bail is rare
It is rare in Japan for defendants who deny their charges to be granted bail ahead of trial. Kelly posted bail on Christmas Day and is unable to leave Japan without special permission.
Ghosn’s lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, expects his client to be held until trial, which he said could begin in about six months.
If bail is granted, Ghosn, who is suffering from fever, according to his lawyer, would not likely be released until Tuesday given that Monday is public holiday.
Kelly, a Ghosn ally, was hospitalized for treatment of a pre-existing neck problem after his release and has since been discharged, said his lawyer Yoichi Kitamura.
“This second indictment for Kelly comes as no surprise as it merely makes what was a five year period for the first into eight years,” Kitamura said.
Kitamura said he expects Ghosn and Kelly to be tried together on the two charges of understating income, and that he will work closely with Ghosn’s legal team.
Also Friday, Nissan said it had filed a criminal complaint against its former leader.
The automaker, in a statement, said it filed the complaint “on the basis of Ghosn’s misuse of a significant amount of the company’s funds. Nissan does not in any way tolerate such misconduct and calls for strict penalties.”
Ghosn, 64, appeared in court Tuesday for the first time since his arrest, looking thinner and grayer. He denied the allegations, calling them “meritless” and “unsubstantiated.”
He said he had asked Nissan to temporarily take on his foreign exchange contracts after the 2008-2009 financial crisis prompted his bank to call for more collateral. He said he did so to avoid having to resign and use his retirement allowance for collateral.
Ghosn’s lawyer Otsuru on Tuesday said Nissan had agreed to the arrangement on condition that any losses or gains would be Ghosn’s. Ghosn said the contracts were transferred back to him and that Nissan did not incur a loss.
On Thursday, the boards of Nissan and controlling shareholder Renault, where Ghosn remains chairman, met for an update on the matter. Nissan later said it remained committed to the alliance. (VOA)