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Midday News

1400 HRS
18.12.2018

THE HEADLINES,

  • India is rising as a force in the world at every level in economy, defence, social and cultural sectors, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Lok Sabha adjourned for the day and Rajya Sabha till 2 PM following uproar over various issues.

  • Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu says India's aviation sector is the fastest growing in the world.

  • Assam Government approves debt relief scheme for the farmers of the state.

  • Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya will face bankruptcy proceedings in the UK High Court next year.

  • In cricket, India lose second test against Australia at Perth by 146 runs.

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India is rising as a force in the world at every level including in economy, defence, social and cultural sectors. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this while speaking at a function on the theme 'Surging India' in Mumbai today. Mr Modi said:

"साथियो Surging India, ये दो शब्द १३० करोड़ भारतीयों की भावनाओ का प्रगतिकरण है भारत की अर्थव्यवसथा हो, भारत की प्रतिभा हो , भारत की सामाजिक व्यवसथा हो, भारत की सांस्कृतिक मूल्य हो, या फिर भारत की सामरिक ताकत हो! हर स्तर पर भारत की पहचान और मजबूत हो रही है."

The Prime Minister urged the media to attain a new height  to create an identity for itself.

"भारत विश्‍व में ताकत के रूप में उभरे इसके लिए कई क्षेत्रों में हमें वैश्विक उंचाई को प्राप्‍त करना होता है। चाहे साइंस हो, टैक्‍नोलॉजी हो, इनोवेशन हो, स्‍पोर्ट्स हो उसी प्रकार दुनिया में भारत की आवाज बुलंद करने के लिए हमारा मीडिया भी वैश्विक पहुंच बनाए।वैश्विक पहचान बनाए, ये समय की मांग है।"

The Prime Minister said four years back nobody thought that India would create a record of launching a hundred satellites in one go. And now, India is even working towards 'Gaganyaan'. Mr Modi said, till 2014, only 55 per cent houses in the country had a gas connection. Now the government is working towards finding permanent solutions & ending those practices that have held back progress for decades. The Prime Minister said in the past when companies were unable to repay loans, nothing used to happen to them & their owners but now this has ended:

"जब ये कंपनियां बीमार पड़ती थीं, घाटे में चली जाती थीं। बैंकों का पैसा नहीं लौटा पाती थीं। तो इन कंपनियों को कुछ नहीं होता था। क्‍योंकि इन कंपनियों को एक खास तरह का सुरक्षा कवच मिला हुआ था। लेकिन 2016 में इन्‍सो लवें सी एंड बैंकर प्‍सी कोड बनाकर मैंने इस सुरक्षा चक्र को तोड़ दिया।"

The Prime Minister is on a day long visit to Maharashtra today where he will launch various development projects. He will lay the foundation stone for two important metro corridors at a public meeting in Kalyan. PM Modi will also unveil the low-cost housing project to build about one lakh affordable houses under the Pradhan MantriAwasYojana before proceeding to address a public meeting. After this event, he would proceed to Pune for laying the foundation stone for the Pune Metro Phase 3 project:

Our correspondent has more on this:

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of line 3 of Pune metro running in between IT hub Hinjewadi and Shivajinagar today. This is the longest and fully elevated line of Pune metro with the length of 23 kms and connecting 23 stations. Work on line 1 and line 2 of Pune metro is already in progress. Line 1 will connect nearby industrial town Pimpri-chinchwad to the main bus stand of Pune Swargate. This is the only line passing through crowded old city of Pune. Hence its elevated track up to Shivajinagar will go underground for 5 kms from Shivajinagar to Swargate. Nitin Kelkar for AIR News Pune."

The Prime Minister also released 'Timeless Laxman' a book on R K Laxman's cartoons in digital format in Mumbai.

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Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament were again disrupted over several issues including Rafale aircraft deal. The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day and the Rajya Sabha till 2 PM.

The Lok Sabha witnessed acrimonious scenes on Rafale with Opposition and Treasury bench members engaging in raising slogan. Congress Leader MallikarjunaKharge insisted on a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale deal, saying the pricing of the aircraft should be discussed thoroughly. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar responded that the Supreme Court has already settled the issue. He, however, maintained that the government is ready for a detailed discussion on the matter. As chaotic scenes continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the House till tomorrow.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition forced an adjournment till 2 PM due to uproar over Rafale and other issues. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the Rafale issue, saying his party has given a privilege notice against the government for misleading both Parliament and the Supreme Court on the matter. Responding to this, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the notice is under his consideration as it pertains to a serious matter. Mr Azad was countered by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel, asserting that the government is willing to hold discussion on all matters, including Rafale. He accused the Opposition of running away from discussion. Amidst heated exchange between the treasury bench and opposition members, Mr Naidu adjourned the House.

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Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has said, the Centre will help States tide over distress situations for farmers through the market intervention scheme. Amidst uproarious scenes in the Lok Sabha during question hour, a few members raised concern over the plight of onion and potato farmers. The Minister in his reply said the market intervention scheme is already in place for certain agricultural commodities.

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Senior BJP leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said, the party has resolved to gear up for general elections next year. He was speaking at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting in New Delhi this morning. Later, addressing the media, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said:

"बैठक में दोनों सदनों ने जो पिछले दिनों कार्यवाही हुई उसका विवरण रखा गया और आने वाले कल में जो विधायी कार्य लोकसभा और राज्‍य सभा में संपन्‍न होना है उस बारे में भी चर्चा की गई। सभी सांसद गण अपनी उपस्थिति सुनिश्चित करे इस बात का भी आग्रह इस बैठक में किया गया।"

Quoting Rajnath Singh, MrTomar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most popular leader and BJP is far ahead of any other political outfit in the country.

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Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu has said that India considers Turkey as a close friend and an important business partner and both the nations can benefit from each other. He was addressing the India-Turkey Business Forum in New Delhi today. MrPrabhu said, trade relations between the two countries must be sustainable and both should export and import goods from each other. The Minister said, there is huge potential for Turkish companies in India particularly in agriculture, construction and other sectors. Mr Prabhu who is also Minister for Civil Aviation, said, aviation sector in India is growing at 20 per cent and it is the fastest growing aviation sector anywhere in the world. The Government is creating necessary infrastructure and in the next 10 years 100 more airports will be built with an investment of 65 billion dollars. He said, the Government is working on a strategy to manufacture aeroplanes in India. 

MrPrabhu said, with economic reforms, India will become a five-trillion-dollar economy in seven to eight years.

"We are also looking at potential of India in which in the next few years time, when I became the minister of commerce and industry, I had sad we will get prepare to head for a 5 trillion economy. I am happy to say that India will be 5 trillion economy in a matter of 7 - 8 years time. And we have already prepared a complete roadmap for it."

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The Assam government has approved debt relief scheme for the farmers of the state. The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting held in Guwahati yesterday headed by Chief Minister SarbanandSonowal. The state cabinet decided to waive 25 percent of loan amount to the farmers. However the maximum relief per farmer would be capped at 25 thousand rupees. The cabinet also decided that a farmer could avail a Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan at zero percent interest. The Cabinet also approved a farmers incentive scheme, under which 10 thousand rupees would be given to farmers having bad debts for taking loan under KCC.

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi today demanded that the government should waive loans of farmers across the country. Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Mr Gandhi said Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have already waived farmers’ loans. He also reiterated his demand for a JPC probe into the Rafale aircraft deal. 

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Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day amid uproar by the position.

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Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya will face bankruptcy proceedings in the UK High Court next year. A consortium of Indian banks in their attempt to recoup unpaid debt worth over one billion pounds has filed the case. TLT LLP, a UK-based law firm which had won a landmark case for the 13 banks led by State Bank of India earlier this year, confirmed that their bankruptcy petition against the 62-year-old businessman has been transferred to the insolvency list in London's High Court of Justice. Paul Gair, partner at TLT said that the hearing is expected to take place from March. 

In a ruling in May, a UK High Court judge had refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya's assets. The court also upheld an Indian court's ruling that the consortium of 13 Indian banks were entitled to recover funds.  

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In Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena has told his MPs not to join the government of RanilWickremsinghe. The President is reported to have conveyed this to a group of 21 MPs of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in a meeting today. His views assume significance as some of the SLFP MPs had expressed desire to join the new government of Mr. Wickremsinghe, who was sworn in again on Sunday. These 21 MPs were part of unity government till October the 26th but had parted ways to join the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa. The cabinet is being finalised and likely to be sworn-in, in the coming days.

President Sirisena decided to reinstate Mr. Wickremsinghe, ending the weeks long crisis but made it clear that he is personally against the appointment and did it out of respect for parliamentary traditions and democracy.

Meanwhile, Parliament is likely to debate a motion calling for the abolition of executive Presidency when it meets later today.

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The Countdown for the launch of India's communication satellite, GSAT- 7A will begin today at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The Satellite will be launched onboard GSLV-F11 at 4:10 PM tomorrow. While GSLV-F11 will inject the satellite into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, it will be placed in its final Geostationary Orbit using the onboard propulsion system.

GSAT-7A, built by ISRO, will provide communication capability to users in Ku-band over the Indian region. The satellite will have a mission life of eight years.

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In Uttar Pradesh, winter session of the state assembly started today. On the first day of the session both houses were adjourned after offering condolences. Members of the assembly paid homage to the former chief minister of the state Late Narayan Dutt Tiwari, former Central Minister Late Anant Kumar and member of the legislative assembly late Ram Kumar Verma who passed away recently.

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In cricket, Australia defeated India by 146 runs in the second Test at Perth today. It has now levelled the four-match series 1-1. The hosts bundled out India for 140 runs in 56 overs in their second innings on the fifth and final day. Starting from the overnight score of 112 for five, India lost their last five wickets for 28 runs and it was all over within 65 minutes of play.

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