New Delhi, October 24: The center has appointed a new envoy to Kashmir in the hope of promoting peace in the troubled region.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh says former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma has been designated to open talks with Kashmir’s various factions – the first such appointment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“As a representative of the government of India, … Sharma will initiate a sustained interaction and dialogue to understand legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir,” Singh said in New Delhi.
Kashmir has been the center of a deadly tug-of-war between India and neighboring Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. The Muslim-majority Himalayan territory is divided between the nuclear-armed rivals, but both claim Kashmir in full.
Kashmir rebels have battled Indian forces for decades, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan. The rebels have staged a series of attacks on Indian security bases in recent months, including an attack in southern Kashmir in August that left eight security officials dead.(VOA)
New Delhi, October 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government was in the process of enacting stringent legislation aimed at protecting consumers along with setting up a Consumer Protection Authority (CPA).
“Consumers’ protection is this government’s priority. We are in the process to bring a new law on consumer protection keeping in mind the need of the country and business practices here,” Modi said at an International Conference on Consumer Protection for East, South and South-East Asian Countries.
“We are in the process of forming a Consumer Protection Authority, which will have executive powers, for immediate redressal.”
The rules were being streamlined to solve consumer problems in less time and at less cost, he added.
“The stress is being given on consumer empowerment. Strict provisions are being contemplated against misleading advertisements,” Modi said.
He said India was among the few countries which had enacted a law a year after the UN adopted guidelines on consumer protection in 1986.
The Prime Minister also said the prices of commodities were set to go down and consumer protection for their interest effects due to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Due to the GST, the competition among companies was going to increase. So prices will go down. It will help consumers from lower middle class and poor sections,” Modi said.
“Earlier, transportation by trucks would take five days but it has come down to just three three days now as checkposts on borders have vanished after the GST. It means transportation cost has gone down. This is going to be transferred to consumers,”
Taking a dig at those opposed to the GST, he said: “Some people may be taking advantage of the lack of awareness. However, the benefits will be transferred (to consumers) in days to come.”
Talking about the conference, Modi said: “It shows how seriously we take the needs of our citizens and how we strive hard to solve their problems”.
“It is the first conference in the region, where everyone is trying in their own ways to save the interest of consumers. However, we have to keep in mind that the world is going towards a single market,” Modi said.(IANS)
New Delhi, October 26:The United States pledged its commitment to deepening strategic ties with India as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders in New Delhi during a visit that highlighted their strong emerging alliance.
Combating terrorism and expanding India’s role in helping Afghanistan’s development were key issues discussed by Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Tillerson, who arrived in the capital city after stops in Kabul and Islamabad.
At a news conference after the talks, Tillerson extended an assurance that “in the fight against terrorism, the United States will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with India. Terrorist safe havens will not be tolerated.”
The top U.S. diplomat visited the region after the Trump administration unveiled a new South Asia strategy calling on India to play a larger role in Afghanistan’s economic stabilization and on Pakistan to take more action against militant groups based in the country.
Indian foreign minister Swaraj said President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the region “can only be successful if Pakistan acts decisively against all terror groups without any discrimination.” New Delhi has long blamed Islamabad for supporting insurgent groups that carry out terror acts in India.
Tillerson, who last week said that he sees India as a key partner in the face of what he considers negative Chinese influence in Asia, reiterated that India could play a wider role in the region. Analysts say Washington’s overtures for closer ties with India are prompted by the need to counter China’s rise.
Tillerson told reporters “the United States supports India’s emergence as a leading power and will continue to contribute to Indian capabilities to provide security throughout the region.” He said Washington was willing to provide New Delhi with advanced technologies for its military modernization.
“We also look forward to further cooperation in the broader Indo Pacific region as we both promote a rules-based approach to commerce and a transparent and sustainable approach to economic development,” he said.(VOA)