Image Courtesy: Incat CrowtherIn today’s spotted we present you Shi Zi Yang 7, a 40-meter catamaran passenger ferry which has been launched in Hong Kong.To be operated by Sea’s Young in Hong Kong, the ship was constructed by shipbuilder Wang Tak.The 199-passenger ferry was designed by naval architect Incat Crowther.“The design of the vessel focuses on an efficient hull form. An effectively laid out deck plan keeps superstructure to a minimum, with hull cross structure eliminated where not required,” Incat Crowther said.Powered by a pair of MTU 12V2000 M72 main engines, Shi Zi Yang 7 can achieve a speed of up to 32 knots.
zoom Japan’s big three container shipping companies informed that their new joint venture (JV) will operate under the tradename “Ocean Network Express”.Establishment of a holding company between Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) is currently planned in Japan, and an operating company is planned to be incorporated in Singapore.In addition, regional headquarters of the operating company will be set up in Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom (London), United States (Richmond, VA), and Brazil (Sao Paulo).“The move will allow Ocean Network Express to better meet customers’ needs by providing high-quality, competitive services through the consolidation and enhancement of the three companies’ global network and service structures,” K Line said.The trio agreed to establish the JV, which will integrate the three companies’ container shipping businesses, including worldwide terminal operation businesses, excluding those in Japan, in October 2016.The establishment of new JV will officially be announced once all anti-trust reviews are completed. In mid-March 2017, the proposed joint venture received an approval from the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS).The parties earlier said that the new joint-venture company would operate a fleet totaling 1.4 million TEUs, placing the new company as sixth in the market with approximately 7% of global share.K Line and MOL, which will each hold 31 percent, and their compatriot NYK Line, which will hold the remaining 38 percent, plan to establish the new joint-venture company on July 1, 2017, while business commencement is expected to start as of April 1, 2018.
Image Courtesy: TUIUK-based Marella Cruises has launched its newest cruise ship, Marella Explorer, following the vessel’s refurbishment process. The launching ceremony was held in Palma, Majorca, on May 17.Speaking on the occasion, Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Marella Cruises, said: “The launch of Marella Explorer marks an exciting time for us as she is the first ship to officially launch under the Marella Cruises name.”The 76,998-ton Marella Explorer, previously known as Mein Schiff 1, underwent a four-week refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain.At 265.5 meters long and 32.2 meters wide, Marella Explorer is the biggest ship welcomed so far into the Marella Cruises fleet. The 1,924 capacity ship (double occupancy) boasts 962 cabins and spans 13 decks.The cruise vessel set sail on its maiden customer voyage on May 19 to visit a variety of ports in the Mediterranean such as Villefranche, Barcelona and Naples.Marella Cruises, part of TUI UK and Ireland and TUI Group/World of TUI, is the third largest cruise line in the UK. Following the recent addition, its fleet now comprises six ships — Marella Explorer, Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2, Marella Dream, Marella Celebration, and Marella Spirit.
zoomImage Courtesy: Jasmina Ovcina French container shipping major CMA CGM revealed plans to use Rotterdam as a primary LNG bunkering port once it takes delivery of its new ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) by 2020.“The entire plan has been structured in such a way that the bunkers for the ships will be taken in Rotterdam,” Rodolphe Saade, CMA CGM CEO, was cited by Platts as saying.As CMA CGM announced last year, its nine 22,000 TEU vessels will be equipped with engines using LNG.The boxships will be LNG-powered, where a few percent of marine gas oil will only be used for the ignition in the combustion chamber. The use of LNG would yield significant benefits compared to heavy fuel oil. Namely, the move would lead to up to 25% less CO2 emissions, 99% less sulphur emissions, 99% less fine particles and 85% less nitrogen oxides emissions, according to CMA CGM.The ships, worth USD 1.2 billion, are on order at Chinese shipyards Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS).World Maritime News Staff
zoomNavios Lumen bulk carrier. Source: Flickr – under the CC BY 2.0 license; Image by: Kees Torn Containership charter owner Global Ship Lease (GSL) has agreed five-year charters with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) for two Post-Panamaxes.The 8,677 TEU ships in question are the 2005-built GSL Tianjin and the 2004-built OOCL Qingdao, to be renamed MSC Tianjin and MSC Qingdao, respectively.As informed, the new charters are expected to commence upon redelivery of vessels by current charterers during the late second quarter or early third quarter 2019. GSL Tianjin is currently working for CMA CGM and OOCL Qingdao for OOCL, according to data provided on GSL’s website.The new charters are expected to generate Adjusted EBITDA of approximately USD 25.6 million per vessel for the median firm period, the company said.“With these new five-year charters to MSC, GSL is taking another major step forward in realizing the full benefits of the supportive fundamentals for our high-specification containerships… We are confident that the underlying supply and demand trends that have created this strong market remain fully intact,” George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, commented.“Our ability to add more than USD 90 million of contracted EBITDA to our backlog from new charters announced year-to-date and in rapid succession demonstrates the significant value of our commercial platform. These long-term cashflows provide us with excellent forward visibility and further enhance our ability to optimize our capital structure and pursue a lower cost of debt,” Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, added.Global Ship Lease owns 38 containerships ranging in size from 2,207 to 11,040 TEU, nine of which are fuel efficient new-design wide beam vessels, with a total capacity of 200,615 TEU. The fleet’s average age, weighted by TEU capacity, was 11.3 years as of March 31, 2019.
faire des recommandations et préparer des plans, des programmes et des politiques concernant les services en français et assurera leur coordination et leur suivi une fois qu’ils auront été mis en oeuvre; répondre aux demandes du public concernant les programmes et les services en français; mettre en place des partenariats avec d’autres agences acadiennes et francophones au niveau provincial, national et international; exiger de tous les sous-ministres et de tous les présidents-directeurs généraux qu’ils nomment des coordinateurs de services en français, qui apporteront leur aide et leurs conseils dans la mise en oeuvre de la loi. « Ce projet de loi a été créé en collaboration étroite avec leschefs de file de la communauté acadienne » a dit M. d’Entremont.« Leur appui nous est très important et je compte sur leurparticipation continue pour l’amélioration de services publicsaux Néo-écossais de langue française. » « La Fédération est heureuse d’appuyer ce projet de loi » ditStan Surette, président de la Fédération acadienne de laNouvelle-Écosse (FANE). « Nous estimons qu’il s’agit d’unexcellent début et que cela va nous fournir un mécanisme utile etnécessaire pour la prestation des services en français enNouvelle-Écosse. » La Loi sur les services en français proposée fera égalementl’objet de changements dans la loi sur la fonction publique. Dans le cadre de la nouvelle Loi sur les services en françaisproposée par le gouvernement, la province répondra aux besoins dela communauté acadienne et francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse surle plan des politiques, des programmes et des services offertspar le gouvernement. Cette loi a été présentée aujourd’hui 1 octobre 2004 àl’Assemblée législative et va aussi permettre au gouvernement despécifier quelles institutions publiques auront l’obligation defournir des services en langue française. « La communauté acadienne et francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse ajoué et continue de jouer un rôle important dans la province et acontribué sur les plans économique, social et culturel » déclareChris d’Entremont, ministre des Affaires acadiennes. « La Loisur les services en français continuera à soutenir ledéveloppement de la communauté pour les générations à venir. » En vertu de cette loi, le ministre des Affaires acadiennes va: POUR LA TÉLÉ-ET RADIODIFFUSION : Le ministre de Affaires acadiennes, Chris d’Entremont, a présenté aujourd’hui (1 octobre) à l’Assemblée législative la Loi sur les services en français. La loi telle que proposée fera en sorte que les besoins de la communauté acadienne et francophone soient considérés lors de l’élaboration des programmes, des politiques et des services. Elle permet au gouvernement de spécifier quelles institutions publiques auront l’obligation de fournir des services en langue française. La Loi sur les services en français proposée fera également l’objet de changements dans la loi sur la fonction publique. -30- Personne contact: Réal Samson Bureau des affaires acadiennes 902-424-0497 Courriel : email@example.com
At age 16, Jennifer Barr quit high school for a job that paid $5.75 an hour. She thought she could live on that forever. Today she wants to work in the health-care field, but the first step was to return to Digby Adult High School to get her high-school diploma for adults. “I always wanted to return to school and at least complete my high-school diploma. It’s not that simple to go back though, after you’ve left. Real world commitments such as bills and debts and full time work made it seem impossible,” said Ms. Barr. “I never want to work for minimum wage. I want to tell every single kid that will listen — stay in school, you never know what you’ll want to be when you’re 25.” Ms. Barr is one of nine students graduating today, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, with their high-school diploma for adults. The graduates have completed programs offered by the Tri-County Regional School Board’s Yarmouth and Digby adult high schools, supported by the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning. “Through the School for Adult Learning, Nova Scotians, like Jennifer, get the skills they need to succeed at home, at work and in the community,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “The school is part of our effort to ensure people can return to learning and help pave the way to a brighter future for themselves and their families.” More than 450 Nova Scotians are graduating this month with the high school diploma for adults. About 4,800 Nova Scotians are enrolled in programs supported by the School for Adult Learning at more than 170 sites across the province. “The level of commitment and dedication demonstrated by all the adult students deserves great recognition,” said Cathy Breen, co-ordinator, Yarmouth Adult High School. “We extend well-deserved congratulations to all graduates, who have reached a very important defining moment in their lives. We wish all of them great success in their future endeavours.” The School for Adult Learning is funded by the departments of Education and Community Services, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning is part of the provincial government’s Skills Nova Scotia initiative, which involves training and skills upgrading, from basic literacy to workplace learning and job skills training.
Over the next two months public health dental hygienists will conduct an oral health survey of Grade 2 children in 115 schools to gather data to assist with program planning. The dental hygienists will assess the oral health of the children by examining their teeth and mouth. The survey will also involve a parental questionnaire addressing oral health perceptions and behaviours. “Oral health contributes to our overall health and this survey will provide us with the information we need to work towards improving children’s oral health in Nova Scotia,” said Sue MacIntosh, public health dental hygienist with Pictou County Health Authority. The survey will provide a collection of baseline data to assist oral health program planning in Nova Scotia. It will also provide information for the provincial Fluoride Mouthrinse Program. “It’s a partnership between academia, the provincial government and local public health services that will help advance oral health in Nova Scotia,” said Dr. Joanne Clovis, associate professor of Dalhousie University’s School of Dental Hygiene. The survey is a collaboration of the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, the District Health Authorities’ public health services and Dalhousie University.
COLCHESTER COUNTY: Cobequid Pass Eastbound Lanes Closed Eastbound lanes of the Cobequid Pass on Highway 104 are closed for further structural assessment of the toll booth on the east side. Eastbound traffic is being rerouted on to Trunk 4. Drivers may experience slowed traffic and are asked to drive with caution. -30-
Sunday, Aug. 30 will be the last day of beach supervision for most of the 21 beaches staffed by the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service. Lawrencetown Beach, Lake Milo and Aylesford Lake Beach will remain supervised until Monday, Sept. 7. Lawrencetown will re-open the weekend of Sept. 12 and 13 only. Lifeguards have been supervising the beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily since July 1. Since the service began 37 years ago, there has not been a drowning during supervised hours and, to date, this summer has been no exception. “I’m proud to report that, so far, we have kept our record intact for another year,” said lifeguard service director Paul D’Eon. “Our lifeguards have conducted numerous interventions, and we had a very low rate of major incidents.” Lifeguards will display their skills today, Aug. 28 to Sunday, Aug. 30 at Martinique and Rainbow Haven beaches. Nova Scotia lifeguards will compete against elite athletes from across Canada in the 16-19 age group, open and master categories. This is the sixth year that Nova Scotia has hosted the Canadian championships.
Businesses in Shelburne County can get some help using social media and websites to grow their business. Economic and Rural Development and Tourism has invested $50,000 in the eSmart program, which trains and mentors small to medium sized businesses on how to increase productivity through business technology. “Investing in our rural areas is important for growing our economy and helping our communities become more sustainable,” said acting Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister John MacDonell. “This investment is an example of how jobsHere, our plan to grow the economy, is helping businesses and communities become more productive and competitive.” The eSmart program helps develop digital business strategies, improve operations, increase market exposure, and increase sales. The training, offered by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, begins Thursday, Sept. 8. “Growing a small business can be difficult, even in the best of times,” said Dixie Redmond, executive director of Shelburne County Business Development Centre Ltd. ” This program will open business owners’ eyes to a whole new world of opportunities using technologies they might have been curious about, but haven’t yet tried.” The training will also help prepare businesses interested in participating in the second phase of the eSmart program, Get Connected, which is led by the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship and begins in November. This phase runs for four months and includes a two-day technology growth workshop, followed by a series of online training sessions, and mentoring from a business coach. “Get Connected helps businesses grow online by using low-cost digital tools they haven’t previously considered,” said Joel Stoddart, project manager for Get Connected and manager of business and non-profit development with Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship. “But it’s not just about technology, it’s about helping hardworking business owners get more of what they want from their business.” Funding for the program comes from the Community Development Fund, which assists regional areas and rural communities with local planning and entrepreneurship. It helps develop co-operatives and projects to ensure sustainable communities across Nova Scotia.
PICTOU COUNTY: The following roads are closed in Pictou County because of flooding: Laggan Road – detour on Bannerman Road. Browns Mills Road is closed at the bridge. Flooding is also reported on Pine Tree Road, Piedmont Valley Road, Middle River Road, Brookville Road, Route 348 at Plymouth, Route 374, Cove Road, Old Coach Road, Trunk 4 (Mount Thom near MacWilliam Road), Abercrombie Road at Abercrombie and Thorburn Road at James Ross bridge. Drivers in all areas should be alert for downed power lines, fallen trees, localized flooding, and shoulder washouts. Local Area Office: 902-755-7060 -30-
Nova Scotians who want to start a business and help communities will benefit from new legislation introduced today, Nov. 28. The Community Interest Companies Act, introduced by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell, will allow businesses formed under the Companies Act to be designated as community interest companies. They will have characteristics of both businesses and non-profits, combining entrepreneurship with a social purpose. “With this act, the government is helping Nova Scotia respond to 21st-century opportunities and trends,” said Mr. MacDonell. “We are making it easier for Nova Scotians to start businesses that can benefit the economy and create employment, while contributing to a social good. “Social entrepreneurism is a global trend that our government is paying close attention to and is committed to growing in Nova Scotia.” Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use business practices to advance social, environmental or community goals. Examples may include farmers’ markets, used clothing banks, community-owned wind farms and businesses run by charitable organizations. They often have a buy local focus and are gaining momentum worldwide as people seek to create, and support businesses, that contribute to the common good. “Nova Scotia is a national leader in the development of community and social enterprise,” said David Upton, president, Atlantic Council for Community and Social Enterprise. “The Community Interest Companies legislation is another tool that empowers communities to undertake initiatives that meet their needs. It will enable new types of partnerships and will allow community organizations to access additional sources of capital without eliminating any of the existing sources.” “Innovative governments around the world are recognizing the powerful role of hybrid companies for unlocking new ways to generate meaningful local employment and economic wealth,” said Tim Draimin, executive director of the Social Innovation Generation. “Nova Scotia’s Community Interest Companies Act will give the province a head start in unlocking new wellsprings of entrepreneurial creativity and community wealth.” Nova Scotia has a long-standing tradition of social enterprise dating back to the early co-operative and credit union movements. Current legislation does not fully address their needs. The government recognizes the role of social enterprise through jobsHere, and is committed to strengthening the sector. This legislation helps fulfills that commitment by regulating social enterprise. In April, the province announced $2-million in funding to support small-business loans for social enterprise through the Credit Union Small Business Loan program. This funding was the first step in the social enterprise strategy.
New Delhi: Smriti Irani, whose meteoric rise in the BJP saw her become the HRD and Information & Broadcasting Minister before being divested of these portfolios, on Thursday emerged as a giant-killer — this time scripting a historic win by dethroning Rahul Gandhi in the Congress’s home turf. The 43-year-old popular television actor-turned politician continued to cultivate Amethi in the past five years despite her loss in 2014 to Gandhi and this helped her reap electoral dividends. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThroughout her campaigning, Irani asserted that people of Amethi want change and development and will vote for Modi. Irani courted quite often, be it her educational qualification or her stint in the Union Cabinet. In her nomination papers, she mentioned she was not a graduate. She said she passed secondary school examination in 1991 and senior secondary school examination in 1993. In her affidavit for the 2014 polls, she had said she graduated from Delhi University in 1994, triggering a row over the veracity of her claim, with opposition parties alleging she was not a graduate. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsIrani became the youngest cabinet minister in 2014 after the BJP gained a massive victory in the Lok Sabha polls that year and was assigned the high-profile Human Resources Development (HRD) portfolio. However, she was shifted out of HRD ministry to Textiles after a two-year tenure replete with controversies. Her stint as the Information & Broadcasting Minister was also controversial – from reportedly fighting with the Prasar Bharti Board to issuing a notification on ‘fake news’, which was apparently withdrawn at the behest of the PMO. During her campaign in Amethi this time, Irani was often locked in a war of words with Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who dubbed her as an “outsider”. Last month, Priyanka accused her of distributing shoes in order to “insult” Rahul and said the people in the Congress chief’s Lok Sabha constituency are not beggars. Irani pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Political pundits are of the opinion that Rahul also chose to contest from Wayanad in Kerala anticipating a tough fight in Amethi. An eloquent speaker, Irani was often the BJP’s first choice for addressing the party’s press conferences and defending it during debates in Parliament. She had lost to Rahul by a margin of 1.07 lakh votes in 2014.
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy Saturday directed bureaucrats concerned to come up with proposals to increase the state revenue without imposing extra burden on common people. Reddy also asked officials to prepare a report listing the current financial position and why special status is needed for the state.He suggested levy of a “green tax” and also “garbage tax” as a way to secure additional revenue to the government. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCThree days into office, the new chief minister began preliminary review of government departments here Saturday, beginning with the critical Finance and Revenue. According to a YSR Congress party release, Reddy asked officials to come up with creative ideas on how to set right the state’s “wrecked financial system.” “At the same time, ensure no extra burden is imposed on common people,” the release quoted the Chief Minister as saying. Explaining his governments resolve to enforce liquor prohibition in the state in a phased manner, Reddy wanted the excise department to lay focus on that, first by eliminating all ‘belt’ shops (illicit liquor vends in villages). Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsThe Chief Minister also asked officials to prepare an effective case for securing special category status for Andhra Pradesh. “Prepare a detailed report listing out the current financial status of the state, the financial problems and why special status is needed. We have to present our case effectively to the 15th Finance Commission and the Central government,” Reddy said. Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam, Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) D Sambasiva Rao, Principal Finance Secretary S S Rawat and other officials attended.
Mumbai: Actor Tara Sutaria’s childhood photograph reminded actor Arjun Kapoor of actor Kareena Kapoor Khan’s son Taimur Ali Khan. Tara, who made her debut in Bollywood with Student Of The Year 2 this year, posted a photograph of herself on Instagram. The image featured a chubby Tara. She captioned the image: “Butterball Baby.” Arjun was quick to comment “Taimur” on it. On the work front, Tara has bagged two films. She will be seen in Marjaavaan, which also stars Sidharth Malhotra, Rakul Preet Singh and Riteish Deshmukh. Tara will begin work on a Hindi remake of the hit Telugu film RX100, which also stars Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan.
Washington: US President Donald Trump has said many North Koreans were literally in tears when he stepped into their country before his historic meeting with Kim Jong-un in the demilitarized zone dividing the peninsula. Trump travelled to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with South Korean President Moon Jae-In and met with troops stationed there before meeting Kim at a marker delineating the border between the two states. The North Korean leader then invited Trump to cross into his country. Trump accepted his offer and walked over the demarcation line, becoming the only sitting US president to set foot inside North Korea. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’After posing for photos, Trump and Kim held a bilateral meeting at the Freedom House in border town of Panmunjom, South Korea. “I actually stepped into North Korea and they say it’s a very historic moment,” he told American soldiers at Osan Air Base after his meeting with Chairman Kim. “Many people, I noticed, from Korea were literally in tears,” he added. Trump on Sunday returned to the White House. The New York Times described the meeting between Trump and Kim as a masterpiece of drama. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping”President Trump’s largely improvised third meeting on Sunday with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, was a masterpiece of drama, the kind of made-for-TV spectacle that Mr Trump treasures,” the daily said. Trump and Kim held a historic first summit in Singapore in June, which concluded with a vague joint statement where Kim pledged to work toward denuclearisation. Then they met in Hanoi, Vietnam in February, but talks broke down without any joint agreement as Kim pushed for sanctions relief and the US pushed for denuclearisation. Meanwhile, North Korea on Monday described the weekend meeting between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in the Demilitarised Zone as “historic” and “amazing”. The two leaders agreed to “resume and push forward productive dialogues for making a new breakthrough in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, the official Korean Central News Agency said. After a Twitter invitation by the US president on Saturday, the two men met a day later in the strip of land that has divided the peninsula for 66 years since the end of the Korean War, when their countries and their allies fought each other to a standstill. Kim and Trump shook hands over the concrete blocks dividing North and South before Trump walked a few paces into Pyongyang’s territory — the first US president ever to set foot on North Korean soil.
Kolkata: State health department has collaborated with department of periodontology and organised a seminar at Dr. R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital on the occasion of ‘Oral Hygiene Day’ on Thursday to spread awareness among the patients.The seminar demonstrated various techniques on how to maintain good oral hygiene among the masses. Bengal State branch of the Indian Dental Association with Indian society of periodontology celebrated the day to commemorate Dr GB Shankwalkar’s birthday. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaA scientific seminar on periodontal regenerative surgery was held at Command Military Dental Centre in Alipore. The programme witnessed the esteemed presence of Dr Anil Melath, president of Indian Society of Periodontology (ISP), Dr Nymphea Pandit, president elect , ISP, Dr Abhay Kolte, secretory of ISP, Major General Satish R Iyer, Dr TK Giri, principal of Dr R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital, Dr J K Singh, president of IDA in the state and Dr Raju Biswas, state secretary of the IDA. Free oral health screening camps were organised to celebrate ‘Oral Hygiene Day’ at Kalighat by the Bengal chapter of the Indian Dental Association in assistance with the Women’s Dental Council and Indian Society of Periodontology. Sex workers and their children were examined and given education how to maintain a disease free oral hygiene during the seminar.
New Delhi: A day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an array of measures to revive growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said it would boost the overall economy of the country.”The measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will facilitate ease of doing business, improve demand, make credit affordable and boost the overall economy,” Modi said. Sitharaman Friday announced a slew of measures to revive economic growth including treating CSR violations as a civil liability instead of a criminal offence, rolling back enhanced surcharge on foreign and domestic investors, withdrawal of Angel tax provisions for startups and their investors, amongst others. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Sitaraman also announced that banks will launch repo rate and external benchmark-linked loan products that will lead to reduced easy monthly instalments for housing, vehicle and other retail loans. Besides, She announced additional liquidity support of Rs 20,000 crore to housing finance companies (HFCs) by the National Housing Bank (NHB), thereby increasing the total support to Rs 30,000 crore.Reiterating that economic growth is a “priority” of the Modi-led government, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday said that India’s economic fundamentals have “remained robust” despite a global slowdown. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday He said the announcements by the Finance Minister reflects the government’s commitment to improve ease of doing business, easier credit to MSMEs and more money in the hand of individuals.”Decision to infuse capital in our banking system and ensuring liquidity in the NBFCs along with necessary protection for bankers will help step up credit offtake and private investments. Easier KYC, lower interest rates and faster loan processing will enhance retail consumption,” Shah said in a tweet. “Measures to encourage investments in capital markets and facilitating the startup ecosystem, streamlining GST refunds and steps to quickly resolve tax-related issues will help our entrepreneurs and market sentiments,” he added. Sitharaman’s set of announcements came on the same day Moody’s Investors Service revised downwards India’s GDP growth forecast for the current year to 6.2 per cent, saying the economy remains sluggish due to a combination of factors such as weak hiring, distress among rural households and tighter financial conditions. (With inputs from Indian Express)
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday attacked the Centre of using brute force to “scuttle” the voices of dissent in the Kashmir valley, and dared the BJP-led ministry to arrest her for raising voice against the government. Banerjee, while referring to RBI’s decison to hand over Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, said that important institutions of the country are being headed by retired bureaucrats, who are acting as “yes men” of the government. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja “What is going on in Kashmir? The government is using brute force to scuttle all voices of dissent in the valley,” she said while addressing a students rally here. TMC had opposed the Jammu anfd Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in Parliament and staged a walkout during the voting early this month. “If there is an all-party meeting, we would have kept our views. We don’t know where Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti & Omar Abdullah are presently,” she said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway Banerjee has on several occasions criticised detention of the three former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the state. A bitter critic of the saffron party, Banerjee asserted that she would continue to raise her voice against the government and dared it to arrest her for doing so. The TMC supremo said she “will not bow down before the BJP”. “All the institutions are headed by retired persons, who have no accountability. They are just following orders of the government like ‘yes men’,” the CM said, while addressing TMC’s students wing-Trinamool Chatra Parishad foundation day rally here. While referring to Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s decision to give Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the Centre, Banerjee on Wednesday said the reserve money of the central bank has also been exhausted due to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. “There is no reserve money in RBI now. All money has been used by the centre,” Banerjee said. The country is heading towards presidential form of government, and there will be no place for democracy, Banerjee said while hitting out at the ruling dispensation. “They are propagating one government, one leader,one party, one emergency. I presume we’re heading towards a presidential form of election. Is this what our freedom fighters fought for? “All other parties are being fragmented, when Karnataka government fell, no one said anything. They say they will capture Bengal too, I will see how that happens,” she said. “The central government is either threatening opposition leaders or buying them out with money. It is after Bengal now, as we are opposing its policies and divisive politics,” she added. Accusing the central agencies of trying to intimidate TMC MLAs and leaders, Banerjee said they are calling party leaders every other day with the sole intention to threaten and intimidate them. “One of my MLAs told me how the central agencies are intimidating them. We are not scared of any agency. We have committed no wrong. They will call one person today and another leader tomorrow. If they want they put me behind bars, I will go to jail. I will take that as fight for freedom struggle. I won’t bow down before BJP,” she said. Her comments comes in the backdrop of several top TMC leaders and ministers being summoned by CBI in Saradha Chit Fund scam and Narada sting operation. In the last few years, the saffron party has made deep inroads in Bengal and emerged as the main challenger to the ruling TMC by pushing the Congress and the Left Front to distant third and fourth positions respectively. Its leaders are now asserting that their next target was to unseat Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 Assembly elections. The BJP, in the general election this year, bagged 18 of the 42 seats in the state, four less than the ruling TMC. The TMC’s tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats.