Morning Digest | Day after unrest, Sri Lanka government declares Emergency; India, Australia to sign interim trade pact today, and more

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal with his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan. File

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal with his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Day after unrest, Sri Lanka government declares Emergency

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared a state of Emergency in crisis-hit Sri Lanka, a day after angry citizens converged in front of his residence demanding his immediate resignation. An extraordinary gazette notification issued late on Friday said the state of emergency, coming into immediate effect, was “in the interests of public security, the protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community”.

India, Australia to sign interim trade pact on Saturday; thousands of Indian exports to get duty free access

Indian exporters from over 6,000 broad sectors, including textiles, leather, furniture, jewellery, and machinery, will get duty free access in the Australian market immediately after the interim trade agreement between the two countries comes into force, according to the government sources. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan will sign the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement in a virtual ceremony, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison on Saturday.

India, Russia trying to bypass sanctions: Russian Foreign Minister

Russia and India are looking at ways to “bypass” the sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union, and partners, visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday after talks with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. Mr. Lavrov, who flew into Delhi from Beijing a week after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi before his departure. “Prime Minister reiterated his call for an early cessation of violence, and conveyed India’s readiness to contribute in any way to the peace efforts,” Mr. Modi’s office said.

India has already started buying Russian oil: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said India has already started buying the cheaper Russian oil on offer. “Well, it’s gone through. We have started buying. We have received quite a number of barrels, I would think about three-four days’ supply, and this will continue,” she said, responding to a query on CNBC TV18.

GST collections hit new high in March

India’s gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections hit a record ₹1,42,095 crore in March, surpassing the January high of ₹1,40,986 crore and lifting the Centre’s projected gross tax revenues for 2021-22 significantly above the government’s revised estimates. The March GST revenues, for transactions undertaken in February, were 15% higher than the same month last year and 46% higher than the collections in March 2020. 

Govt. sends show cause notice to Congress over Chanakyapuri house

The Centre has initiated eviction proceedings against the Congress over a house in the Chanakyapuri locality of the national capital, which had been allotted to it as an office, with the Directorate of Estates under the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry sending a show-cause notice last week. According to the notice sent to the “All-India Congress Committee” (AICC) on March 25, the allotment of C-II/109, Chanakyapuri had been cancelled with effect from June 26, 2013, and communicated to the AICC on January 22, 2015. The directorate asked for a response within three days as to why an eviction order should not be passed for the “unauthorised” occupation of public premises.

In Sri Lanka, an economic crisis foretold

The island’s economy, which was already reeling from the shock of the Easter Sunday bombings, was brought to its knees by COVID-19, an ill-advised agricultural policy, and misguided economic decisions.  Meera Srinivasan reports on how the government’s lack of a plan to deal with an impending disaster has caused untold misery.

Over 1,600 complaints against judiciary: Rijiju

There have been as many as 1,631 complaints about the functioning of the judiciary, including judicial corruption, and such complaints have been forwarded to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Chief Justices of the concerned high courts following an “in-house” mechanism, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Lok Sabha on Friday. Answering separate queries, Mr. Rijiju also informed the House that the government had appointed 27 women judges out of the 39 recommended by the Supreme Court collegium and that there is no proposal to increase the number of judges of the top court from its current sanctioned strength of 34.

Chief Justice of India flags ‘falling credibility’ of CBI 

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Friday said, with the passage of time, like every other institution of repute, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also come under deep public scrutiny. Its actions and inactions had raised questions regarding its credibility, in some cases. Delivering the 19th D.P. Kohli Memorial Lecture, organised by the CBI, he said there was an immediate need for the creation of an independent umbrella institution, so as to bring various central agencies like the CBI, Enforcement Directorate, and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office under one roof.

BJP hits a century in Rajya Sabha, first party to do so after 1988

The results of the set of 13 Rajya Sabha seats that went to the polls on March 31 have set a record of sorts for the Upper House, with the BJP crossing the double-digit mark, and having 101 seats currently in the House, a first after the period of 1988-90 when the Congress had held that distinction.

Talks resume as Ukraine denies hitting depot on Russian soil

Talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine resumed on Saturday, as another desperate attempt to rescue civilians from the encircled city of Mariupol failed and the Kremlin accused the Ukrainians of launching a helicopter attack on a fuel depot on Russian soil. Ukraine denied responsibility for the fiery blast, but if Moscow’s claim is confirmed, it would be the war’s first known attack in which Ukrainian aircraft penetrated Russian airspace.

Amazon workers in NYC vote to unionise in historic labor win

Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York, voted to unionise on Friday, marking the first successful U.S. organising effort in the retail giant’s history and handing an unexpected win to a nascent group that fueled the union drive. Warehouse workers cast 2,654 votes — or about 55% — in favor of a union, giving the fledgling Amazon Labor Union enough support to pull off a victory. According to the National Labor Relations Board, which is overseeing the process, 2,131 workers — or 45% — rejected the union bid.

IPL 2022: KKR vs PBKS | Umesh and Russell fire Knight Riders to victory

Pacer Umesh Yadav’s four for 23 helped the Kolkata side bundle out Kings for 137 before West Indian Andre Russell powered the team home as KKR scored its second win in three matches.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2022 7:33:08 am |