Politics live: Amarinder writes to PM Modi, seeks farm loan waiver

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.  

 

Chandigarh

Punjab CM Amarinder writes to PM Modi, seeks farm loan waiver

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on June 5 urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive off loans of distressed farmers at the national level.

In a letter to Mr. Modi, the chief minister said that a one-time agriculture debt waiver for farmers was essential to reduce distress among the farming community and help in putting agriculture sector on a path of high growth trajectory.

“The government of India should bite the bullet once and for all,” Mr. Amarinder Singh wrote in the letter.

It was widely acknowledged that most of these ‘anndaatas’ (growers) of the country were facing severe debt stress, as a result of which some of them had even taken the extreme step of ending their lives by committing suicides, the CM said further.

He also emphasised on the need to rectify the situation, not with slow and small measures but with carefully thought-out steps to mitigate their distress and improve their living conditions.

Mr. Amarinder Singh apprised the Prime Minister that the Punjab government alone had provided a debt relief of ₹2 lakh to all the marginal and small farmers who had availed institutional loans.

As many as 5.52 lakh farmers have been provided a debt relief of ₹4,468 crore so far, and the remaining would be provided the entitled relief under the scheme in the near future, he said.

The relief given by the Punjab government from its limited resources was not adequate and needed to be supplemented by the government of India, Mr. Amarinder Singh wrote in his letter seeking a loan waiver at the national level.

Though the recent initiatives of the Central government, including financial assistance under PM-Kisan scheme, which provides income support of ₹6,000 per year, and pension to farmers were praiseworthy, they may not be adequate to mitigate the prevailing economic distress on account of high indebtedness of the Punjab farmers, he said.

In another letter, the CM urged Mr. Modi to advise the Union Ministry of Agriculture to effect suitable modifications in Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY).

Mr. Amarinder Singh said although, the scheme was considered to be a step forward and better than the previous ones, there were several “lacunae”, which had resulted in its non-acceptance by Punjab’s farmers and its non-implementation in the state.

The CM suggested that the PMFBY should be made farm or plot based instead of area based, as was the case at present.

Further, he suggested that indemnity level at more than 90% be allowed and be based on last year’s yield of affected and insured farmers.

The post-harvest losses in the mandis due to natural calamities should also be covered under the scheme, said Mr. Amarinder Singh.

The provision for localised calamities should also cover the losses due to unseasonal rainfall during Rabi crops and increase in cost of cultivation of Kharif crops due to deficient rainfall, he added.

He also demanded that no premium should be charged from farmers and it should be shared between central and state governments in 60:40 ratio, as most of the farmers were reeling under acute economic distress. — PTI

Kolkata

Trinamool leader Nirmal Kundu shot dead, BJP TMC trade charges

A Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader was shot dead at Nimta in West Bengal’s North 24 Paraganas district late on Tuesday evening. A video footage from the close circuit television cameras installed near his house shows him slumping on the road as a motorcycle speeds away. Nirmal Kundu was declared brought dead in hospital.

Two persons have been arrested in connection with the murder. A police officer in the Barrackpore Municipality said one of the arrested, Suman Kundu, was a BJP supporter.

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Kerala

Central employee held for call to police warning Union Minister V. Muraleedharan

V. Muraleedharan.

V. Muraleedharan.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

The Kozhikode police on Thursday arrested a 33-year old man attached to the Kozhikode Commissionerate of Central Tax, Central Excise and Customs on the charge of causing harm to the BJP office and Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan.

The police said Badal Gafoor of Kolathara, residing on the outskirts of the city, had called the Kozhikode city police chief on Wednesday night warning the BJP office and the Minister.

The Nallalam registered a case under section 118 (b) [ Penalty for causing grave violation of public order or danger if knowingly spreads rumours or gives false alarm to mislead the police, fire brigade or any other essential service ] of the Kerala Police Act. He was later released on bail.

The police traced the phone number to a BSNL employee in Thiruvananthapuram and local officers detained him. Investigators said he told the police that he attended a training programme with the official in Hyderabad in 2015 and they had struck a friendship. At the behest of the official, he initiated a mobile telephone connection in his name and handed over the SIM to the former.

The Kozhikode police are examining are examining his online profile. His mobile phone has been seized and sent for forensic analysis.

- Special Correspondent

Andhra Pradesh

V. Vijaya Sai Reddy appointed YSRCP Parliamentary party leader

Senior leader of the YSR Congress Party and Rajya Sabha member V. Vijaya Sai Reddy has been made Parliamentary Party leader.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy wrote a letter to the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs informing him of the appointment.

YSRCP’s Lok Sabha member Peddireddy Mithun Reddy has been appointed leader of the party in the Lok Sabha and another member Maragani Bharat Ram the chief whip.

Bobbili MLA-elect S.V.C. Appala Naidu has been appointed the pro tem Speaker to administer oath to the MLAs.

- Special Correspondent

New Delhi

Nirmala Sitharaman to attend G-20 Finance Ministers’ meeting in Japan

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the two-day meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors in Japan on June 8 and 9, according to a government official.

This will be the first overseas visit of Ms. Sitharaman as Finance Minister.

Besides Ms. Sitharaman, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das is also likely to attend the meeting at Fukuoka in Japan.

Among other things, the meeting over the weekend is likely to focus on risks and challenges being faced by the global economy, investment in infrastructure and international taxation.

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New Delhi

Finance Ministry may retain allocations made in interim Budget

The Finance Ministry has indicated that it will retain the interm budget allocations made to ministries and departments, in the final budget for the current financial year, to presented in the Lok Sabha on July 5.

In run-up the Lok Sabha elections, the finance ministry came up with an interim budget in February, authorising government expenditure for a limited period.

With the new government in place now, a full-year budget will be presented by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on July 5. - PTI

New Delhi

HM Amit Shah extends Eid greetings

Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday extended Eid greetings and hoped the festival would bring peace and happiness for everyone.

“Extend my warm greetings on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. May this festival bring peace, joy and happiness in everyone’s life,” he tweeted.

Eid is being celebrated across the country on Wednesday.

- PTI

West Bengal

Visva Bharati University not to organise Pous Mela

The Visva Bharati University campus. Photo: www.visvabharati.ac.in

The Visva Bharati University campus. Photo: www.visvabharati.ac.in  

 

The Visva Bharati University has decided not to organise the annual Pous Mela, an official of the central varsity said.

The Pous Mela is an annual fair which is held in Santiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district in the month of December and draws lakhs of people.

“It is not possible for an educational institution like Visva Bharati to organise such a big event like the Pous Mela in a manner directed by the National Green Tribunal and other authorities,” Anirban Sarkar, PRO, Visva Bharati said on Tuesday.

The decision not to organise the mela was taken in a meeting attended by the vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty, registrar and other members of the Santiniketan Trust, he said.

The meeting decided that the Santiniketan Trust will organise the Pous Mela instead of the Central university, Sarkar added.

- PTI

Delhi

Finance Ministry may retain allocations made in interim Budget

Finance ministry has indicated that it will retain the interm budget allocations made to ministries and departments, in the final budget for the current financial year, to presented in the Lok Sabha on July 5.

In run-up the Lok Sabha elections, the finance ministry came up with an interim budget in February, authorising government expenditure for a limited period.

With the new government in place now, a full-year budget will be presented by the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on July 5.

Warm welcome: MoS Anurag Singh Thakur greeting Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi

Warm welcome: MoS Anurag Singh Thakur greeting Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

In a circular, the finance ministry also said it will only consider additional allocations towards “unavoidable commitments” for which funds have not been earmarked in the interim budget.

“Allocations projected in the Interim Budget 2019-20, will not be altered,” said the finance ministry circular.

However, if there are any requirement on account of unavoidable commitments that have not been fully provided for in the February budget, “Ministry/Department may propose the same for consideration for inclusion in the Regular Budget 2019-20, with suitable justification” by Friday, it added.

Sitharaman’s budget team comprises Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur and Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian.

The official team is led by Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, Expenditure Secretary Girish Chandra Murmu, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, DIPAM Secretary Atanu Chakraborty, and Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar.

In her budget, the 59-year-old JNU alumnus, Sitharaman will have to address slowing economy, financial sector troubles like rising NPAs and liquidity crisis in NBFCs, job creation, private investments, exports revival, agrarian crisis and raise public investment without compromising on fiscal prudence.

The first session of the newly elected 17th Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26.

The Economic Survey for 2019-20 will be tabled on July 4, followed by the presentation of the budget on the next day.

- PTI

New Delhi

Living in harmony with nature will lead to better future: Modi

Living in harmony with nature will lead to a better future, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday on the occasion of World Environment Day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plants a sapling during an event in Amreli, Gujarat. File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plants a sapling during an event in Amreli, Gujarat. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

“Our planet and environment is something we all cherish greatly. Today on #WorldEnvironmentDay, we reiterate our commitment to ensure a cleaner planet,” the prime minister tweeted.

Living in harmony with nature will lead to a better future, he said and posted a short video.

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Odisha

Odisha CM tells minister to submit report cards of their depts every month

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has told his ministers to submit monthly report cards on steps taken by their departments for implementing the ruling BJD’s election manifesto, an official said.

The ministers were told to submit their report cards with the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) by the seventh of every month, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The first meeting of the council of ministers held on May 29 adopted the Biju Janata Dal’s election manifesto as the State government programme for the next five years.

Patnaik had also informed the ministers that the State government would have to apprise the people about implementation of promises made during the elections.

Since the government has set priority on poverty alleviation, empowerment of women, development of weaker sections of the society and welfare of youths, the ministers were told to act accordingly to meet the target.

The CM has also suggested to the ministers to set their department’s priority keeping an eye on the promises made to the people.

Patnaik has also stressed on the completion of the programmes within specific time frame.

“The Chief Minister has this time added ‘Time’ to the previous government’s 4T formula of - Team work, Technology, Transparency and Transformation,” the official statement said.

Patnaik has been stressing on a progressive model of governance this time.

The BJD government is in power in Odisha since 2000 and in the recently held Assembly elections the regional party won 112 seats in the 147-member state Assembly.

- PTI

Uttar Pradesh

Now, RLD announces it will fight UP assembly bypolls alone

A day after the SP and the BSP decided to contest alone all 11 seats in the upcoming assembly bypolls, their third alliance partner in the recent Lok Sabha elections - RLD - announced it too will go solo.

Rashtriya Lok Dal UP president Masood Ahmad, however, expressed hope that the ‘gathbandhan’ remains intact.

“The Rashtriya Lok Dal will contest the UP assembly bypolls on its own whenever they are held. However, it is too early to comment on the political scene of the state,” he told PTI.

Party chief Chaudhary Ajit Singh and Jayant Chaudhary will decide on the number of seats the party will contest and the matter may be discussed during a meeting in the next few days, Ahmad said.

When asked about the RLD’s role in the new political landscape of the State, which sends the highest number of 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha, Ahmad said, “The RLD was with the Samajwadi Party. We got the seats from the quota of Akhilesh“.

The UP RLD chief said the Congress should also be a part of the ‘gathbandhan’

When asked who will gain from the recent spate of political developments, Ahmad said, “The profit and loss analysis will be done later. Our wish is that the gathbandhan should increase its ‘kunbaa’ (clan), so that we can emerge as a strong anti-BJP force“.

The UP assembly bypolls will be important for the RLD as it has no representation in the UP Legislative Assembly.

In the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, the RLD had contested from three constituencies, but faced defeat on all.

RLD candidates Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary lost from Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat Lok Sabha seats respectively, while Kunwar Narendra Singh lost from Mathura.

- PTI

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 5:39:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/politics-live-update-june-5-2019/article27480316.ece

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