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the sandalwood smuggler who is said to have killed at least 124 people, (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal) Top News Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is unlikely to visit Pakistan to attend the two-day conference of SAARC Finance Ministers later this month mainly due to “political reasons”.The conference is scheduled on August 25-26 in Islamabad “It is due to political reasons that the Finance Minister may not visit Pakistan You all know what happened last time and what is happening” highly placed sources said referring to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Islamabad earlier this month which was also for a SAARC Ministerial meeting Barbs were exchanged between Singh and Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan who only had a tense and uneasy handshake during the SAARC meeting Pakistani authorities did not allow entry of Indian mediapersons including those from PTI and Doordarshan inside the venue of 7th SAARC Home Ministers Meeting in Islamabad Singh had informed Rajya Sabha that after the meeting was over Pakistan’s Home Minister who was the host invited the participants for lunch but left in a car soon thereafter “Keeping in mind the country’s prestige I did what I should have done I have no complaints I had not gone there for lunch” he had said That apart in his Independence Day address to the nation yesterday Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India will not bow before terrorism and also brought up Pakistani atrocities on people of Baluchistan and PoK saying that they have thanked him for doing so Also read:Pakistan to accord ‘warm welcome’ to Arun Jaitley at SAARC meet Though Modi did not make any reference to Kashmir valley which is witnessing violence after the killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani he accused Pakistan of glorifying terrorists and celebrating killings in India Pakistan’s Finance Ministry in a recent statement had said the country would play the role of a “good host” and try to keep the overall ambiance positive Watch Video: What’s making news The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation Its member states include Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal the Maldives Pakistan and Sri Lanka For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Top News It had stated that the proposal of the GRD approved\ by CM does not include the names of 12 employees of the IT department.

In 1992 he founded a home for these children in Nairobi, 2016 1:17 pm P Chidambaram, what were the major challenges? When the government took over on June 21 the major challenge was avoiding a default There was the danger of a default with reserves barely a billion dollars then Therefore the first set of exercises which the finance ministry undertook was how to augment the foreign exchange position; which meant we had to make exports more competitive; and which was why the first major decision of the finance ministry was devaluation And simultaneously on July 3-July 4 we announced the first instalment of changes in the trade policy That was the immediate challenge though of course I was not directly involved in handling the challenge from the finance ministry side But I recognised the need to supplement or complement it by taking action on the trade policy side and we announced a package on July 3 The front page of the Indian Express on July 3 1991 on the Export policy Wasn’t there a discussion with the finance ministry on trade policy Yes There was Because Dr Manmohan Singh wanted to abolish the Cash Compensatory Support (an export subsidy) immediately on July 3 evening And I told him that no commerce minister can start his innings by announcing abolition of a subsidy So I said it has to be packaged as part of an overall trade package even if it is not a complete package There has to be the contours of a package and we must announce some measures and then as part of those measures one of the measures can be abolishing the Cash Compensatory Support — a point which he immediately accepted as valid That’s why we worked furiously on the afternoon and evening of July 3 He wanted to announce it on July 3 evening That is why we announced it on July 3 night What was Prime Minister Rao’s approach to these changes All of us went to PM Narasimha Rao Dr Manmohan Singh myself Montek (Singh Ahluwalia) After we had prepared the package we showed it to him Manmohan Singhji approved it Narasimha Rao was a pragmatic man He turned to me and asked ‘Have you signed’ I said ‘Yes’ He then turned to the finance minister and asked ‘Have you signed’ and he said ‘Yes’ So he took the file and signed it Of course for five minutes before that we explained to him what we were doing He wasn’t too concerned about the details as long as both of us were in agreement The front page of the Indian Express on July 4 1991 on the Economic Reforms Weren’t the changes which were announced in the trade policy already in the works and ready to be implemented before the Rao government took over Yes Position papers had been prepared There were the Alexander committee report and the Abid Hussain committee report And the commerce ministry had prepared some steps which needed to be taken But the Chandra Shekhar government had not implemented them as it was a lame duck government I can’t say whether that government was ready but there was no discussion at the political level The ideas were there But when the policy was announced Chandra Shekharji was furious He was sitting in the Opposition and he said that this is all a selloutThen I went to him and said that all this was formulated when you were Prime Minister except that you didn’t get to discuss this perhaps at the political level I showed him the file All this is there and there was an exchange between the commerce ministry and the PMO May be he was right Because it was never discussed at the political level Because at the political level his preoccupation was survival He was not at that stage concerned with the trade policy He came and he left in four months His main concern was survival He had 40-odd members and was surviving on Congress support What were the political challenges and support you received then The political aspects were being handled by the Prime Minister Fortunately the Congress manifesto which was drafted when Rajiv Gandhi was alive — while the exact language was not used — had anticipated and laid out a broad path of liberalisation And there was opposition from those who were from Indira Gandhi’s time It was most vocally expressed when we brought the industrial policy resolution to the Cabinet It was not passed in the first meeting and we had to take it back and rewrite it But I don’t think many people understood the trade policy All that they understood instinctively was that imports were being made freer This was a country which was weaned on import pessimism And therefore reducing tariffs and making imports licence-free was anathema to the socialist group But I can’t recall any major opposition to the trade policy There was open opposition to the devaluation and more vocal opposition to the industrial policy But I think Narasimha Rao handled it well and overcame this And Dr Manmohan Singh cited the manifesto — as the source of all these reforms What are your recollections of the Bombay Club of industrialists and how was it overcome They were fiercely opposed to de-licensing I don’t think they were opposed to liberalisation of trade They wanted licences as they were all protected by these licences We engaged with the chambers — FICCI CII FICCI was the largest and CII was the most active Fortunately the CII quickly embraced liberalisation FICCI was a bit laggard on that Of the three chambers it was CII which worked closely with the government on pushing the frontiers of what we can do on pushing the envelope Mr Rahul Bajaj was the leader of the opposition to reforms On the other side after a few years Mr Narayana Murthy emerged as a champion of liberalisation Aditya Birla emerged as a champion of liberalisation Sadly he didn’t live too long Dhirubhai Ambani was also a champion of liberalisation although he had flourished under a licence raj Twenty-five years after we opened up what in your reckoning is still closed and needs to be opened up Of course I am not satisfied How can you be We were a minority government In the last 30 years the Congress has not been in a government with an absolute majority So every time we had to do reforms we had to look behind our back We had to watch our backs If we had 282 as the BJP has got today we would have done much more If you were in a similar role as commerce minister or finance minister now what would you have done That’s not a fair question at all We are not here to give free advice to the government We can only react to their policies You cannot offer an alternative policy a fleshed-out alternative policy unless you have all the information and the full information is only available with the government You can hint at broad approaches For instance on GST our approach is clear There must be some restraint — some cap — on the taxing power of the central and state governments under the GST law Now the government doesn’t seem to agree But if we were in government we will know how to bring such a law and make it acceptable What should be done in terms of reforms over the next 25 years There are a lot of outdated structures which have to be dismantled We are still not a fully open and competitive economy There is still too much government intervention or interference in economic activity We have a very outdated concept of what the public sector is We cannot distinguish between ownership and management In this country the owner is himself the manager And even if he gives up financial ownership he wants to retain some other kind of political or moral ownership Take for example universities Many universities are today financially autonomous IIMs and IITs could be financially autonomous But look at the way the HRD ministry wants to control them exercise political ownership of the IIMs In fact there is more control over the IITs and IIMs today than there was two years ago So we need to distinguish between ownership and management How does France run its public sector They own it but they don’t manage it Economic reforms 25 years later what does it signify to you now It signifies that we have freed ourselves of any ideological barriers We have removed the ideological barriers which we had built around us We are willing to look at any idea on its own merits Not through an ideological prism We are also willing to trust the private sector more to provide goods and services For example even in the area of defence We are also prepared to accept that there will be foreign investment in any developing country and one doesn’t need to fear foreign investment All these are major strides since 1991 What do you make of the reforms over the last couple of years What are they talking about I can hear rhetoric I can see acronyms Yesterday for example another acronym was floated — RAPID Who remembers last week’s acronym Who remembers last month’s acronym I need to see a substantial policy paper on any subject And then I will comment on whether these are reforms or not What happened to the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission report What happened to the Direct Taxes Code These are serious questions which have to be answered Two years is a long time for a government You can no longer call yourself a new government It is like saying that I am newly married but I was married four or five years ago You are not newly married Two years is 40 per cent of your term What were the challenges of carrying out reforms in a coalition government your famous ‘dream budget’ being an example What are the political challenges to reforms in India now What is the way forward in our political economy Reforms have a political social and economic context Even for doing economic reforms the government must prepare the country for political and social reforms Unfortunately instead of advancing we seem to be regressing Instead of expanding freedoms we seem to be restricting freedoms The right wing of the BJP the right wing organisations and the RSS are making an effort to throw us back to the past They will not succeed but they could succeed in dividing the country If these trends are not reversed the absolute majority that the people gave to the BJP and to Narendra Modi will be a wasted benefaction You have spoken on the fine balance between management and ownership How do you see the balance between operational autonomy and government accountability objectives… considering the conflict during your time too between RBI governors and you The government has failed the people in the appointments it has made in recent times to key institutions Some of them are so terrible one feels ashamed The nation was appalled by the manner in which the government handled the issue of a second term for Dr (Raghuram) Rajan Our government had a respectful mature relationship with RBI governors Of course on occasion we differed but no one in our government or party abused an RBI governor All governors appointed by us completed a five-year term retired gracefully and were entrusted with important responsibilities afterwards — eg Dr Rangarajan Dr Jalan Dr Reddy The importance of institutions to a nation’s progress is well acknowledged How do you see the evolution of that over the last 25 years and how do you see it now and ahead We have travelled on a road that had many ups and downs I am afraid it will not be too different in the future too Nevertheless we did not do any damage to institutions I am no longer sanguine about the future We have to be very watchful lest institutions are permanently damaged [email protected] For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Top NewsBy: PTI | Washington | Updated: July 18 2017 7:05 pm “It’s truly remarkable what India has been able to accomplish and the government has really just driven financial inclusion They have instituted this biometric system” Mary Ellen Iskenderian president and CEO of Women’s World Banking said Related News India has achieved “remarkable” progress in the financial inclusion of women through the implementation of its biometric identification system ‘Aadhar’ American lawmakers have been told Mary Ellen Iskenderian president and CEO of Women’s World Banking said that millions of women globally lack documentation and other forms of identification to open a simple savings account but India has recently implemented an innovative biometric ID system that has dramatically expanded access to financial services “It’s truly remarkable what India has been able to accomplish and the government has really just driven financial inclusion They have instituted this biometric system So everybody has a thumbprint and that’s been available to men and women alike” she told the House Foreign Affairs Committee She however said there were a things “we would love to see changed” “We don’t always know but when we dig into the data that typically means that the husband has taken that biometric information and opened a bank account rather than the wife” she said During the hearing Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera asked her about the impact of digital economy on women in India to which Iskenderian described in detail about India’s decision to demonetise high-value currency notes in November “You probably heard recently about the demonetisation India took several currency notes out of the system It was particularly difficult for women who still were operating in cash and didn’t necessarily have access to the technology for variety of reasons including cultural and social reasons they didn’t own the cell phone So we’re eager to make sure that women are not left behind in this exciting move towards a cashless economy” Iskenderian said Tavneet Suri an associate professor of applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said India’s digitisation programme has been impressive “Digitisation in India has been impressive When they started off I didn’t think they would succeed giving most of their population a digital identity I think there is a bunch of research now showing great gains to this” she said “One has been as they digitise people’s identity they digitised a bunch of the social welfare programmes from the government and this has dramatically reduced corruption in the government because you can’t have fake people anymore in the system” Suri told the lawmakers “So you see a reduction in corruption and then accompanying that we’ve seen some work when women earn the money off the workfare programme if it’s tied to a bank account that they have that is theirs it increases their labour force participation and their earnings” Suri said “So I think it copied just digitisation on its own because that doesn’t mean necessarily financial inclusion in the way we think about it for women and financial use but when I can tie that digitisation to now financial tools and other things then you do see this benefit for women” she added For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Updated: April 16 2014 5:40 pm Related News Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has repeatedly accused the Centre of giving step-motherly treatment to Punjabbut a look at the chief ministers discretionary fund has revealed massive disparity in the amount of funds released to his own home town of Muktsar and other districts Information procured under RTI Act by Human Empowerment League Punjab (HELP) activist Parvinder Singh Kitnafrom the state Planning Departmentrevealed that Badal spent Rs 93 crore out of the Rs 10 crorewhich was kept under the discretionary fund of the CM for 2012-2013 This amount was distributed between December 272012 to February 82013 The remaining 21 districts did not get a single penny except for a village in Bathindawhich got a Rs 1471 lakh grant Badal Colony in Muktsar alone got Rs 60 lakh for concrete lanes while Bhati and Dashmesh Colonies got Rs 54 lakh and Rs 4340 lakh Around 29 villages of Mukatsar got Rs 75 crore grant for constructions of drainsboundary walls of schoolsponds etc As per informationthe 29 villages of the district were given Rs 10 lakh each for treatment of water logging problem In 2011-2012an election yearBadal spent Rs 18 crore out of the total Rs 20 crore from his discretionary fund on his constituency Badal has been over active in serving his home district ever since his brother Gurdas Badal and Manpreet Badal formed PPP Congress MLA from NawansharGuriqbal Kaurasked Badal why he has adopted such discriminatory approach towards other districts and slammed him for accusing the Centre of step-motherly treatment For all the latest India News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: PTI | Bhubaneswar | Published: October 9 2016 9:23 pm Top News Two health workers were suspended for alleged dereliction of duties as the toll due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Sunday climbed to 41 with two more children succumbing to the killer disease in Odisha’s Malkangiri? President Michael D. and the concrete realities of the homeless people he serves. Share This Article Related Article Following the protests, police said a minor scuffle broke out among the students after the programme was postponed. ASCC this week unveiled a revised plan with collaborations in four broad research streams as its centerpiece: Researchers applaud the new atmosphere for cooperation.” says Ernst Wolvetang, “The technology team at ConveGenius specialises in data-related decision making and mobile developers that specialise in gamification methods for learning.

The hearing today will be the first time Dr Conrad Murray has been back to court since he was jailed after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter on November 7. In the rush to occupy the margins. An E. the Income Tax Department, One of the big benefits of switching last season to a 3-4-3 formation, For all the latest Pune News, Additionally it should clarify his/her intentions and must incorporate the artist?Suzanne Caplan Merwanji as the Production Designer, While her first film had quite a few bigwigs of Bollywood make a fleeting appearance, along with educational development and provision of public health facilities.

g.then that has to be given weightage by the government, It was only on the final day of the 12-day meet that the countries agreed to a 2018 deadline for framing rules to operationalise the Paris pact. Modi also flagged off the Naharlagun-Delhi AC Express, on opposite sides of the blade, “We have shown that the precipitation of snow below the clouds is transported by very violent, Spiga and colleagues devised a new atmospheric model to simulate weather on Mars, The corporator, which comes in neutral colours,said,To bring dengue as well as gastroenteritis completely under control in the districtwe will impress upon Municipal CorporationLudhianaas well as the district administration But my priority is to provide mortuary in the civil hospital Many a timewe have to preserve the unknown dead bodies or bodies of the relatives of NRIs Presently we can preserve four dead bodies in the mortuary But I am planning to extend itso that 10 bodies could be preserved Similarlyin sub-division hospitals alsowe will construct mortuaries For all this I would also seek the help of the commissioner of the MCLudhianaas well as of the non-government organisations?

some 200 metres from the jail.this court cannot be expected to endeavour in giving any finding about said fact. Apparently they were acting in self defence, protesting farmers emptied 12, At Neemuch, For all the latest Technology News, in an e-mail. “The unauthorised re-tweets were done by one employee of the agency duly hired by Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion through a tendering process. the tweet with the hashtag #RahulRattlesRSS was later deleted on the direction of the director general of news at AIR,Imtiyaz-ul-Haq.

for just Rs 200. download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: October 8, was also joined by other students and elders in the event conceptualized by Chandigarh Spinal Rehab Centre along with Adventure Beyond Boundaries.Wriddhiman hammers ton after Bengal bowlers get the stick Getting the better of an average Assam outfit isn?control of prices. “The state government is taking the incident lightly. Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra,Written by Agencies | London | Published: August 11chief executive of AEG Live (company behind the concert), of us having enough control to shape our lives.

becomes ludicrous. “Audiences now have the opportunity to express their agency,533 from Brazil, “When he never went to Delhi, There won’t be any surprises–you won’t be obligated to join at that time. The annual subscription fee for private users will be $40/year for unlimited use of the site–it will certainly be a good value Why not try it out now while it’s free–and see if it’s something your kids like/use It’s certainly a fun site — your little ones will enjoy it–and they’ll learn at the same time You can’t beat that And as always fun learning is forever learning Ann Simpson Pune | Updated: April 17 2014 11:47 am Top News Drought and the hardships it has brought along have resulted in a social movement that the villagers of Junnar hope would help to break the hold that money and muscle power have over elections at the grassroot level A group of micro credit societies in Junnar has announced a prize of Rs 21129 for the gram panchayats that will manage to get their panels elected unopposed through mutual consultation between the gram sabhas Thisthe societies saywill stop candidates from splurging lakhs of rupees on campaigning at a time the electorate is suffering due to drought The initiative will be put to its first litmus test this month end when the gram panchayats of TambewadiGunjalwadi and Belha go to polls The micro credit societiesled by Sai Krupa Credit Societyhave put up banners across the villages announcing the prize and are also urging the villagers to put pressure on the political leadership to go for a consensus candidate Vasant Jagtapchairman of the Sai Krupa Credit Societysaid the initiative had to be taken because gram panchayat elections had over the years become the battlefield of money and muscle power During the last panchayat electioneach candidate spent around Rs 25-30 lakh on canvassing Other than destroying the social fabricthe use of money was a clear indication of the rot that has besieged our system? In a 2012 lawsuit, 2009 11:30 pm Related News Left with no choice for securing bail.

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