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Major News and Events of 08 May 2015

What Happened on 08 May 2015


Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Adjourned Repeatedly

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned twice today as opposition parties opposed Union government’s decision to extend the parliamentary session by three more days. While terming the decision of extension as “authoritarian”, Congress, TMC, and Left rushed to the well and asked the government to explain the decision. Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of INC, asked for speaker’s intervention on the issue. Rajya Sabha was also repeatedly adjourned. Opposition parties today sought resignation of Gadkari after CAG indictment by INC and other political parties. It is learnt that the land acquisition bill will be tabled today and CPI has decided to go all out against the proposed bill on 14 May.

Salman Khan gets Relief from Imprisonment

The Bombay High Court today suspended lower court’s order that sentenced Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to five-year imprisonment on a 13-year old hit-and-run case. This means he will not be required to go to jail today and will be out on bail. His appeal against the order issue by the lower court will now be heard in the High Court. After this news went public, stock price of a company associated with Salman Khan - Eros International - went up by 9 per cent. This stock was down by 6 per cent two days back when he was sentenced to five years prison term by a lower court in Maharashtra. At 3.29pm IST, the stock was trading 15.30 points up at 402.10.



Gartner expects Indian Government's Expenditure on Technology to Grow by 5.7 Per Cent

Global consultancy company, Gartner, estimated that expenditure of Indian government in technology in 2015 will increase to US$6.8 billion, which will be an increase of 5.7 per cent. As per the estimate, expenditure will be on data centers, IT services, software, internal services, devices and telecom services by national as well as local governments. The estimate is done after the announcement of high decibel projects such as Digital India and Smart Cities. Anurag Gupta, Vice President for Research of Gartner, said that they expect developments in the integration services, to be accelerated through integration of mobile technologies and Aadhar cards, mainly for e-government initiatives.

India Wins Third Match against Japan by 2-1 in Four-match Hockey Test Series

In the third match of the four-match Hockey Test series, India beat Japan by 2 goals to 1, thereby taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series. VR Raghunath and Akashdeep Singh scored for India and Hirotaka Wakari scored for Japan. First quarter of the game was owned by Japan as the players resorted to long passes to put pressure on the Indian team. However, India soon recovered and put up a counter attack with short passes among team mates. While India’s VR Raghunath scored at the 30th minute and Akashdeep Singh at 36th, Japan’s Hirotaka Wakari scored at the 44th minute.  

Union Government forms Panel to Resolve MAT and other Tax Disputes

With Foreign Portfolio Investors pulling out around Rs. Rs 9,170 crore in the last four trading sessions due to their concerns on MAT and retrospective tax issues, Union government formed a panel for suggesting ways for resolving MAT and other tax disputes. While speaking in the parliament, Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, said that his government believes in taxation certainty, retroactive taxation avoidance, and to enable foreign as well as domestic investment. He further added that they will ensure that those principles are followed. FIs became jittery when tax department demanded Minimum Alternate Tax on income from foreign investors from late 2014, in spite of MAT being introduced back in 1990s. Till April 2015, capital gains by FIs were exempted by government but for exemption for the past dues only Supreme Court can do that.       

Indian Rupee against US Dollar Falls to 20-month Low Level due to Sell off by FIs

Indian Rupee per US Dollar breached the crucial psychological mark of Rs. 64 and hit a 20-month low level of Rs. 64.28 per US Dollar. Rupee value with respect to US currency has been falling continuously in the last five trading days and yesterday reached a low last seen in September 2013. One of the major reasons of depreciation of Indian currency value is the redemption done by the foreign investors in the last 14 trading sessions due to their concerns on MAT and retrospective tax demands by Indian Tax Department. Data says that in the last 14 sessions, the FIs sold stocks to the tune of around Rs 13,500 crore or $2 billion.   

Modi emphasises on Infrastructure Development

Connectivity related infrastructure sector received a boost yesterday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to put emphasis on progress of the railway sector as the PM believes this sector has maximum potential to impact lives of many Indians. A statement after the meeting said that importance of island development and port-led development has also been highlighted. Modi said that global interest is there on Indian Railways and therefore the policy interventions should be made in a positive manner so that they can be utilised to benefit people and their needs. Some of the areas where government will emphasise include development of railway stations, doubling of railway tracks, electrification, and gauge conversion.

Lok Sabha Passes Bill to Operationalise 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement

Indian parliament yesterday passed a landmark Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill that will operationalise 1974 India-Bangladesh Land Boundary agreement. As per the agreement, lands will be exchanged between the two neighbours, putting an end to a long awaited standoff on territorial issues. After passage of the bill, 10,000 acres of lands will be transferred to Bangladesh and 510 acres will be given to India. Lok Sabha witnessed a rare show of unanimity as all 331 MPs, irrespective of party-line voted in favour of the bill. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that passage of the bill will help India address illegal immigrant issue in a better manner. Though Swaraj spearheaded passage of the bill, she made a faux pas by pressing the red button instead of the green during voting, which she corrected through paper vote.  

UP CM hits out at Central Government by Accusing Non-Cooperation in Development

Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, accused Narendra Modi government of non-cooperation. He specifically mentioned that the centre is not helping UP in the quest of development in spite the fact that BJP received maximum number of MPs in the Lok Sabha. Akhilesh made the charges during a function in Amrapur area, where he was inaugurating three solar power plants, each costing Rs. 80 crore. He also took a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying that foreign trips by the PM will be fruitful only when they translate into investment. He also cautioned Modi that it has to be ensured that the profit doesn’t fly out of India.

Modi plays down China's Expanding Clout in the Region just before his China Visit

As the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepares to make a crucial trip to China from 14 May to 16 May, he played down increasing regional fears of China’s expanding clout in the region during an interview with Time Magazine. Modi said that China, just like any other country, has the right to expand its influence in the region, provided international rules and human rights are respected. He went on to call it a “natural tendency”. Analysts believe that this is a more mature statement from Narendra Modi than his earlier statement made during last Lok Sabha rally, before becoming PM, where he warned China of getting rid of the "expansionist mindset".   

Union Urban Development Minister Clarifies that Every State will Have atleast one Smart City

Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, while replying to a question in Rajya Sabha by K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, said that every state in India will get at least one smart city, as per the grand plan of developing 100 smart cities throughout India. He went on to add that these smart cities will promote quality life to citizens by providing them with clean environment. Venkaiah Naidu also said that currently the government is finalising the guidelines to implement the 100 smart cities mission and the selection of cities will be done once the finalised guidelines are issued to every state.  

Main Accused of 72-year-old Ranaghat Nun Rape Case Arrested by West Bengal CID

The West Bengal CID arrested two main accused - Ahidul Islam Babu and Milan Sarkar – involved in the rape of a 72-year-old nun of a convent at Ranaghat from West Bengal’s Sealdah station yesterday night. Both the accused will be produced at Ranaghat court today and the CID will likely ask for their custody. The main accused in the case were untraceable since the 14 March incident where they along with their accomplices ransacked Convent of Jesus and Mary, looted Rs 12 lakhs, and gang-raped the 72-year-old head nun of the convent school. CID arrested two others in the case earlier.