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29 December 2019

GOVT SOOTHES BANKS OVER HARASSMENT BY CBI In an attempt to allay concerns of harassment by investigative agencies, the government on Saturday assured that honest commercial decisions taken by bankers would be protected and said that a system would be put in place for handling fraud cases. Announcing a mechanism whereby notices issued by the CBI to banks will carry a registration number to avoid any scope for unauthorised communication and consequent harassment, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Banks have gone through a slightly worrying period wherein decision making was getting difficult because of fear of 3Cs (CBI, CVC, CAG). There was concern and bona fide decisions are not being made by banks because of what they would say undue harassment, uncalled for harassment happens because of these agencies pursuing on cases.” The move to build in more accountability while initiating investigative action against bankers follows up on an earlier step where the government had directed investigative agencies to carry out a preliminary examination to ascertain whether a case of bank loan turning into NPA was the result of a criminal conspiracy or a bonafide commercial decision. Over a dozen officials of commercial banks and the RBI are facing inquiries by the CBI and ED. Sitharaman was speaking after a review meeting she held with heads of state-owned and private sector banks and attended by CBI Director R K Shukla. WON’T LET ASSAM BE RUN FROM NAGPUR: RAHUL Dubbing CAA-NRC as “Notebandi 2”, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi yesterday attacked ruling BJP’s ideological mentor RSS, saying in Assam that the state would not be run from Nagpur. Addressing the “Save Constitution-Save India” rally to mark Congress’ 135th foundation day in Guwahati, Gandhi riled the RSS saying, “Assam will not be administered by ‘chhaddiwalas’. Assam will not be run from Nagpur. It will be run from the state and by its people.” “What’s going on is Notebandi 2. The poor should forget the ill-effects of demonetisation. This one will deal them a double blow. Fifteen industrialist friends of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, will not be asked for any documents. As for who is lying, you saw my video on the detention centre after PM Narendra Modi said there were no detention centres in India. You can yourself decide who is lying,” he said. As Congress leaders attacked the government for CAA and NRC across states, former Home Minister P Chidambaram said in Kerala that the Centre won’t be able to move on the National Population Register if states declined to cooperate. BJP Rajya Sabha MP Rakesh Sinha slammed Rahul Gandhi. “By using foul and violent language against the BJP government in Assam, he has been trying to provoke non-BJP forces to resort to violence. His uncivilised & uncultured articulation indicates a new low in Congress. The language used for social activists & RSS reflects his poor acumen,” he said. LAW MINISTER, ON NPR, NRC Speaking about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) plan that have sparked protests across the country, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that a “proper legal process” will be followed for a nation-wide NRC, including consultation with state governments, and that “some” data collected for the National Population Register (NPR) “may or may not be used” for the NRC. His remarks, in a detailed interview to The Sunday Express, assume significance as more than half-a-dozen state governments, including Bihar, led by BJP ally JD(U), have opposed implementation of a nation-wide NRC. At least two have also said they won’t allow the NPR as it might lead to an NRC. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier said the NPR and NRC were governed by different laws and NPR data would never be used for the NRC exercise. “There is no connection between the two processes, nor can they be used in each other’s survey,” he said. On documents that would be acceptable for a nation-wide NRC, Prasad said no decision had been taken on this. Defending the Centre’s decision to initiate a fresh NPR, Prasad said this was necessary as the Census data “cannot be made public” to any authority and the NPR data would be used to frame policies for delivery of welfare schemes. On Congress objections, Prasad said, “In May 2010, while replying to a debate on Census 2011, the well-informed Chidambaram (Congress and senior leader P Chidambaram) said, ‘It will be obvious that Register of Citizens will be a subset of the Population Register’. The Congress owned up both the NPR and the NRC as a subset.” N. KOREA'S KIM HOLDS TOP PARTY MEETING AHEAD OF US DEADLINE North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has convened a key meeting of top ruling party officials, state media said Sunday, ahead of a year-end deadline for Washington to shift its stance on stalled nuclear talks. The plenary session, which opened on Saturday, follows widespread speculation that Pyongyang is preparing to test an intercontinental ballistic missile -- as a threatened "Christmas gift" for Washington. Talks on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula have been largely deadlocked since the second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump collapsed in Hanoi at the start of this year. The opening of the plenary comes a week after Kim held a meeting of top defense officials and discussed boosting military capabilities, and ahead of the leader's New Year speech on January 1, a key political set-piece in the isolated country. NETHERLANDS TO DROP 'HOLLAND' AS NICKNAME The Netherlands has announced to officially drop the nickname 'Holland' as part of a rebranding campaign. Companies, embassies, ministries and universities will only be able to refer to the country as 'the Netherlands' from January. 'Holland' refers to just two of the 12 provinces in the Netherlands, but the two names are often used interchangeably to describe the European country. ROUGHED UP BY POLICE ON WAY TO MEET FAMILY OF DETAINEE: PRIYANKA A war of words erupted between the Congress and Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday as party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was in Lucknow to participate in the Congress foundation day function, claimed she was roughed up by police in a bid to stop her from meeting the family of a retired IPS officer who was arrested on December 19 during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Priyanka walked some distance and later rode pillion with a party leader on scooter to reach the home of S R Darapuri. While she said she was grabbed by the neck and fell down, police denied this. Priyanka returned to the party office late in the evening after meeting Darapuri’s family. Speaking to the media about the incident, Priyanka said, “There is no reason to stop me midway on the road… They do not have the right to stop me. If they want to arrest me, they should do so… I got off the vehicle and started walking. I was surrounded and a woman cop held me by my throat. Another woman cop pushed me and I fell down.” She added, “I was determined (to go). I am standing with every citizen who has faced police oppression. This is my ‘satyagraha’.” ROW OVER MEERUT SP’S ‘GO TO PAK’ REMARK A row erupted after a video showed a top police officer in Meerut saying that protesters who had hit streets against the new citizenship law could “go to Pakistan”, drawing sharp criticism from various quarters with Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday accusing the BJP of infusing “communal poison” in institutions. BJP leader Uma Bharti said the reaction of SP was natural as they were raising slogans in favour of Pakistan, were abusing cops and throwing stones at them. The incident purportedly took place on December 20 in Lisari Gate police station area, when Meerut SP Akhilesh Narayan Singh was speaking to some locals in a narrow lane after violent protests and clashes in the city last week left five persons dead. Singh, however, said he made the remark for people shouting slogans in support of Pakistan during the protest. “I advised them to go to the place in support of which they were raising slogans.” The 1.43-minute-long video has been circulated widely. BJP state spokesperson and state information adviser Shalabh Mani Tripathi on Saturday praised the officer. In a tweet, Tripathi wrote, “I salute Meerut City SP Akhilesh Narayan Singh for giving a befitting reply to rioters…” PROPERTY DAMAGE: 140 GET NOTICES FOR RS 40 LAKH IN MEERUT The Meerut administration has demanded close to Rs 25,000 each from more than 140 people for damage incurred in the city during violence amid anti-CAA protests on December 20, which left five people dead. Additional District Magistrate Ajay Kumar Tiwari said that showcause notices have been sent to all those named in the FIRs related to the violence. According to the estimate prepared by the Public Works Department, Nagar Nigam, Meerut Development Authority and Road Transport Office for police vehicles that were damaged, the total cost of the damaged property in the city is Rs 40.87 lakh, Tiwari said. He added that as per orders of the Supreme Court, the total cost will be split among all those named in the FIRs. Tiwari said the showcause notices sent to 145 people this week stated that “prima facie” there is reason to believe that “you are responsible” for the damage incurred and they have been given time to defend themselves before any action is taken. ANDHRA PANEL SAYS LAND CHANGES MADE TO BENEFIT TDP LEADERS The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet sub-committee report that has accused former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, his son N Lokesh and at least six other TDP leaders of insider trading and purchasing land in an area in Guntur district later declared capital city Amaravati, has said Naidu’s TDP government made two main manipulations regarding land. The panel, set up by the YSRCP government, says one of these manipulations was redesigning boundaries of the Land Pooling Scheme area, so that lands of TDP leaders or their relatives fell adjacent to it. The second was redrawing boundaries of the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) to bring in plots belonging to TDP leaders. The report states that of 33,000 acres taken from landowners under Land Pooling Scheme, 2,353.28 acres were “assigned” lands. “Assigned” lands are land given to ex-Servicemen, and poor, landless beneficiaries, including SCs and STs, which cannot be sold or given away to a third party. “Most likely they were intimidated and coerced to part with their land,” an official said. N Lokesh has called the report part of the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government’s political vendetta to move the capital. J&K TWEAKS HOLIDAY LIST The Centre has launched an assault on one of Kashmir’s pre-Partition symbols of resistance against the Hindu Dogra rulers, disowning the Muslim “martyrs” who gave up their lives fighting their tyranny. Lieutenant governor G.C. Murmu’s administration has struck down July 13 and December 5 from the list of public holidays for the newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. July 13 was observed for decades as “Martyrs’ Day” in memory of the men killed by the Dogras’ forces in 1931 to crush protests against their rule. December 5 is the birth anniversary of National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who played a key role in Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India and whose grave is, for this reason, guarded round the clock against any vandalism by anti-India protesters. Added to the list of public holidays will now be October 26, the day Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. It will be observed as “Accession Day”. Enraged, the NC demanded that the decision be reviewed, arguing that the role of Sheikh Abdullah in “democratic awakening” of his people could not be undermined and had been acclaimed worldwide. CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami flayed the decision not to have a holiday on Martyrs’ Day. He called it an attempt to distort history. “It was a heroic struggle of the people, irrespective of caste, colour, creed and religion. The people’s movement reflected the aspirations of entire population of J&K. The administration has insulted the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said. ARTICLE 370, CITIZENSHIP BILL AMONG TOP GOOGLE SEARCHES IN INDIA THIS YEAR If Google searches are any indication of Indian online users’ interests, “Article 370” was one of the most political topics on their minds in 2019. More Indians asked “What is Article 370?” than any other “what is…?” question on Google, and it was the sixth most searched phrase on Google in the country this year up until December 21, the company’s “Year in Trends” report shows. CAB-related queries began faring in the top Google search results since December 10, a day after the citizenship Bill was passed in Lok Sabha - it was passed in Rajya Sabha on December 11. “CAB” is currently peaking at 100 in India. Google gives a search term popularity number determined by percentage of all searches in that location, not by absolute query count. The five analysed search terms were picked from Google’s trends report, which found “What is Article 370” as the most searched “What is…” question, followed by other “what is..” queries: “exit poll”, “black hole”, “howdy Modi”, “e-cigarette”, “ DLS method in cricket”, “Ayodhya case”, “Article 15”, “surgical strike”, and “National Register of Citizens of India”. NO MDR CHARGES ON RUPAY, UPI PAYMENTS FROM JAN 1 In a bid to promote digital payments, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said no MDR charges will be applicable on transactions through homegrown RuPay and UPI platforms beginning January 1, 2020. Department of Revenue (DoR) will soon notify RuPay and UPI as the prescribed mode of payment for digital transactions without any Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), she said after meeting with CEOs of public sector banks here. Accordingly, all companies with a turnover of Rs 50 crore or more will be mandated by DoR to provide the facility of payment through RuPay Debit card and UPI QR code to their customers, she said. MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from their customers via digital means. The merchant discount rate is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount. In her Budget speech in July, Sitharaman had proposed that businesses should offer low cost digital modes of payment such as BHIM UPI, UPI QR Code, Aadhaar Pay, Debit Cards, NEFT, RTGS etc. to their customers, and no charge or MDR shall be imposed on customers to promote digital payment. "I, therefore, propose that the business establishments with annual turnover more than Rs 50 crore shall offer such low-cost digital modes of payment to their customers and no charges or Merchant Discount Rate shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants. "RBI and banks will absorb these costs from the savings that will accrue to them on account of handling less cash as people move to these digital modes of payment," she had said. INDIAN EQUITIES MORE EXPENSIVE THAN EMERGING MARKET PEERS: RBI'S FSR REPORT Emerging markets’ (EMs’) equities look attractive from a valuation perspective relative to those of developed markets despite the wedge in earnings per share between the two groups, according to the FSR. That said, the valuation of Indian equities vis-à-vis its EM peers seems to be somewhat expensive. The high valuations of the benchmark indices will be sustainable only if there is a steady rise in corporate earnings, the report observes. The quarterly earnings per share growth of the S&P BSE 500 Index went up in the quarter ended September 2019 on a y-o-y basis, although the same for the Nifty 50 scrips declined. Further, future earnings expectations also witnessed a decreasing trend over the six-month period,” said the report. According to experts, the gap between underlying corporate earnings and share prices has widened to a multi-year high. The Sensex, for instance, may end the year at a price-earnings (P/E) multiple of 29x, the highest in 25 years. GLOVES OFF AFTER MARY KNOCKS OUT NIKHAT ON WAY TO OLYMPICS Chairs were hoisted, competitors taunted, expletives exchanged and foul play alleged. The long-awaited showdown between Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen — in a trial bout to decide who would make it to the Indian team for next year’s Olympic boxing qualifiers in China — will be remembered for the post-match ruckus. After her 9-1 win in New Delhi yesterday, six-time World Champion and Olympic bronze-medallist Mary first shouldered away an attempt at a hug by Nikhat and then uttered an expletive at her. In turn, as she passed by the enclosure marked for spectators, Mary and her coach Chhote Lal were mouthed off by Nikhat’s supporters. The contest was a culmination of a months-long public spat over the 51-kg spot, during which Mary repeatedly questioned the need for a trial while Nikhat clamoured for a fair fight. In October, Nikhat had written a letter to Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, demanding that she be given a trial bout against Mary Kom before the Indian squad for the Olympic qualifiers was decided. This was after the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) stated that it intended to pick Mary Kom for the qualifiers based on her bronze-winning performance in the World Championships in Russia. Nikhat was supported by the Telangana sports administrators in the audience. A state Sports Authority official lifted a chair to protest the scoring and threatened to enter the playing area. BFI administrators then joined in the scramble, and more expletives were exchanged. “It was an anticipated bout. It was an exciting environment, and some of us got a little carried away,” said BFI president Ajay Singh. “Mary is also a human being and lost her cool. That doesn’t mean she’s now not an icon of boxing. The important thing is, this was a fair contest.” 

Comments (0)

Hi Jenna! I made a new design, and i wanted to show it to you.
It's quite clean and it's inspired from Bulkit.
Oh really??! I want to see that.
FYI it was done in less than a day.
Great to hear it. Just send me the PSD files so i can have a look at it.
And if you have a prototype, you can also send me the link to it.

Hey Jenna, what's up?
Iam coming to LA tomorrow. Interested in having lunch?
Hey mate, it's been a while. Sure I would love to.
Ok. Let's say i pick you up at 12:30 at work, works?
Yup, that works great.
And yeah, don't forget to bring some of my favourite cheese cake.
No worries

Hello Jenna, did you read my proposal?
Didn't hear from you since i sent it.
Hello Milly, Iam really sorry, Iam so busy recently, but i had the time to read it.
And what did you think about it?
Actually it's quite good, there might be some small changes but overall it's great.
I think that i can give it to my boss at this stage.
Crossing fingers then