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Modi, Ban discuss trust issues in climate change negotiations

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

United Nations: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon met in order to discuss issues regarding building trust in climate change negotiations, which emerged as a dominant concern for achieving the anti-global warming component of the UN sustainable development goals (SDG).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of India, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of India, addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Modi raised the issue of “trust deficit” with developed countries. He pointed out the fact that these countries appear to use the climate issue to keep the developing countries from improving their living standards under the pretext of controlling carbon emissions, according to Vikas Swarup, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman.

Making a call for climate justice, Modi said that developing countries should be allowed to develop and condemn placing restrictions and controls on development.

Positive measures like concessional financing of climate change projects and transfer of technology were needed to promote sustainable development instead of negative ones that focus on capping carbon emissions, he said.

Ban appeared to recognise these concerns. “The Secretary-General emphasised the need for climate change finance as a key to building trust between developed and developing countries,” according to a statement by Ban’s spokesperson.

He spoke of the tremendous importance of India’s role in renewable energy, and urged Modi to continue to show strong global leadership on this issue, the statement said.

Modi spoke of the goal of developing 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022.

UN peacekeeping operations in which India was historically the largest troop contributor was another important topic in their discussions. While Ban “commended India for its indispensable contribution to UN peacekeeping,” Modi said the manner in which the Security Council operated in mandating missions should be changed and it should consult the troop contributing countries.

Ban commended India’s “influential role” supporting the democratic transitions in Sri Lanka and Nepal, the UN statement said.

During his meeting with Ban that preceded his speech to the summit on sustainable development, Modi presented Ban with a book– ‘India and the United Nations: A Photo Journey, 1945 to 2015’ edited by Asoke Kumar Mukerjee, India’s Permanent Representative.

Climate change also featured in Modi’s meeting with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim when they discussed the UN sustainable development goals.

Modi said that the 17 sustainable development goals matched programmes already launced in India, Swarup said. Modi cited the plan for 175 gigawatts of renewable energy, the massive programme for sanitation and cleaning the Ganga as examples of matches with the SDG.

Jim said that Modi’s reforms had an impact on India and the nation’s strong performance was very different from that of many countries, according to Swarup.

Modi said that the governance of global organisations like the World Bank have to be strengthened and made more representative.

India was not adequately represented in the governance of the World Bank, Modi told him.

 

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Traders Body Wants Government to Seek a Ban on Amazon, Flipkart’s Festival Sales

“There will also be 10 per cent instant discount for Axis Bank debit and credit card holders and ICICI Bank credit card users,” it added

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Amazon, New york
A delivery person pushes a cart full of Amazon boxes in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Just a couple of days after Flipkart announced the dates of its “The Big Billion Days” sale, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has written to the government seeking a “blanket ban” on festive season sales conducted by the e-commerce giant as well as its rival Amazon and other such platforms.

While Flipkart announced that its annual six-day sale ahead of Diwali and Dussehra would take place starting September 29, Amazon is yet to announce the dates for its annual bumper sale.

During these periods, the e-commerce platforms offer heavy discounts to lure customers as Indians tend to make major purchases during the festive season.

“By offering deep discounts ranging from 10 per cent to 80 per cent on their e-commerce portals, these companies are clearly influencing the prices and create an uneven level playing field which is in direct contravention of the policy,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a letter to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

CAIT said that the practice of deep discounts offered by various e-commerce platforms during the festive season goes against the foreign direct investment rules.

The traders body argued that that as these e-commerce platforms are “openly flouting FDI norms, a blanket ban on such festival sales should be ordered and an investigation should be conducted as to how these companies are flouting FDI norms and accordingly action should be taken against them.”

amazon, china, flipkart
FILE – A worker removes an advertisement billboard of Indian online marketplace Flipkart, installed along the roadside in Mumbai, India, Oct. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is concentrating on India and its competition, Flipkart. VOA

“…much contrary to the FDI policy, the e-commerce portals are deeply engaged in B2C business and the quantum of B2B business is almost negligible,” CAIT, which represents 500,000 merchants and traders in India, said in its letter on Friday.

“As per FDI policy, e-commerce entities providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods and services and shall maintain level playing field.”

Flipkart, in its announcement of annual sales dates said that “affordability is one of the key pillars for the Big Billion Days, with a focus on empowering consumers to fulfil all their shopping aspirations without compromising on their budgets.”

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“This year, over 50 million Indians will have access to some form of credit, through Flipkart’s various loan options, including Cardless Credit, Flipkart PayLater and No-Cost EMIs on leading bank debit and credit cards,” Flipkart said.

“There will also be 10 per cent instant discount for Axis Bank debit and credit card holders and ICICI Bank credit card users,” it added. (IANS)