Wednesday February 20, 2019
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RBI pays government Rs 66,000 crore

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Mumbai, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it will transfer its surplus profit of Rs.65,896 crore to the central government.

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The central board of directors of the Reserve Bank of India, at its meeting held today (Thursday), approved the transfer of surplus amounting to Rs.658.96 billion for the year ended June 30, 2015 to the Government of India,” the RBI said in a statement, following a meeting of its central board chaired by governor Raghuram Rajan.
India’s central bank, whose accounting year goes from July to June had, last year, transferred Rs.52,679 crore of its surplus profit to the government.
Besides the government nominee directors on the central board – secretary department of financial services Hasmukh Adhia and the additional secretary in the department of economic affairs, Ajay Tyagi, the board meeting was also attended by chief economic adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian.
At its bi-monthly monetary policy review last week, the RBI kept its repo rate, at which it lends short-term to commercial banks, unchanged at 7.25 percent.
A day before the policy review, the government clarified it was not trying to curtail the central bank’s powers on a proposed monetary policy committee of the RBI.
“We are in discussion with RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on the form and manner of the monetary policy committee,” Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi told reporters here.
Noting out that the draft Indian Financial Code (IFC) is still under the government’s consideration, he said it was incorrect to conclude on the basis of the draft bill that the government was trying to curtail the RBI’s autonomy.
The draft IFC, circulated last month as a discussion paper, proposes to remove the RBI governor’s veto right in the monetary policy committee.
Besides taking away the RBI governor’s authority to veto interest rate decisions, the draft also proposed that the monetary policy committee would have four representatives of the government and only three from the central bank, including the RBI “chairperson”.
American research firm Moody’s Analytics, in a report last month, warned against the NDA government’s moves to tamper with the autonomy of the RBI in deciding on interest rates, as being potentially damaging for the economy.

(IANS)

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The Partial Shutdown Of The Government Of United States Ends

The shutdown furloughed 800,000 government employees, with at least 420,000 required to continue working without pay, and the remainder sent home

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Internal Revenue Service employees Brian Lanouette, of Merrimack, N.H., center right, and Mary Maldonado, of Dracut, Mass., right, join with others as they display placards during a rally by federal employees and supporters, Jan. 17, 2019. VOA

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget sent a memo late Friday to closed federal government departments and agencies to inform them that their divisions are now open and their employees can return to work.

The memo called on the agencies to “reopen offices in a prompt and orderly manner.”

The memo said the OMB appreciates the “cooperation and efforts during this difficult period” of the government shutdown.

Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a three-week spending bill, ending the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

“After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I see that Democrats and Republicans are willing to put partisanship aside, I think, and put the American people first,” Trump said in a Rose Garden announcement. “This is an opportunity for all parties to work together for the benefit of this beautiful nation.”

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The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen beyond a chain fence during the partial government shutdown in Washington, Jan. 8, 2019. VOA

By Friday evening, both the U.S. Senate and House had approved the legislation, which Trump then signed.

The bill funding the government through Feb. 15 does not include money for the construction of Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall. The president said that a bipartisan committee would be formed in the meantime to evaluate border security, but, contrary to previous claims, he was not asking for a concrete wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

“We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shining sea. We never proposed that,” he said.

The announcement came on the 35th day of the shutdown, when roughly 800,000 federal employees missed their second consecutive paycheck.

 

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., accompanied by Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., left, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 25, 2019, after President Donald Trump announces a deal to reopen the government for three weeks. VOA

 

It also came shortly after incoming flights to New York’s LaGuardia airport were delayed because of staffing issues, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA also said that departure delays at LaGuardia, as well as Philadelphia and Newark airports, were the result of air traffic control staffing shortages.

Early Saturday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named the Democratic House members — Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey of New York, Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, David Price of North Carolina, Barbara Lee of California, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Pete Aguilar of California — who will serve on the bipartisan committee to evaluate border security.

Speaking to reporters at the Capitol Friday after Trump’s announcement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump agreed to Democratic demands to separate the discussion on reopening the government from border security. He said he hopes Trump has “learned his lesson.”

 

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President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Jan 25, 2019, in Washington. VOA

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters, “I see every crisis as a challenge or an opportunity” and was careful not to characterize Trump’s motives during the government shutdown.

Trump’s announcement reversed his position from Thursday, when he said he would accept a deal to at least temporarily reopen the federal government if it contained a “pro-rated down payment” on the U.S.-Mexico border wall he has sought.

“It’s just common sense, walls work,” Trump said Friday, arguing the barrier would keep out criminals, human traffickers and drugs.

In an apparent reference to reports he was considering declaring a national emergency at the border, Trump said he had “a very powerful alternative” but chose not to use it. He said that option was still on the table if Congress could not come to an agreement within the three-week funding period.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he hopes there will be “good-faith negotiations’’ in the coming weeks to settle differences on border security.

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People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

A growing number of lawmakers of both parties have said compromise is the only way to end the political stalemate and reopen the government.

“It is long overdue for all sides to come together, to engage in constructive debate and compromise to end this standoff,” Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said. “Shutdowns represent the ultimate failure to govern and should never be used as a weapon to achieve an outcome.”

Also Read: A Quarter Of U.S. Jobs To Be Affected By Advancement Of A.I.

The shutdown furloughed 800,000 government employees, with at least 420,000 required to continue working without pay, and the remainder sent home, some of whom have been forced to look for temporary work elsewhere to help pay their household bills. All are set to miss their second biweekly paycheck on Friday.

Some government services have been curtailed, as about 10 percent of airport security agents ordered to work have instead called in sick, some food inspections have been cut back, and museums and parks are closed. Federal courts warned they could run out of money by the end of the month. (VOA)