Menstrual hygiene drive increases sanitary napkin use, but problems remain

The use of sanitary napkins has increased from 50.7 per cent to 54 per cent between 2014 and 2015, driven by a government scheme to promote menstrual hygiene.

But the scheme suffers from multiple problems–the quality and supply of sanitary napkins, lack of awareness and unsafe disposal techniques, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government reports.

The scheme for promotion of menstrual hygiene among girls between 10 and 19 years of age was launched by the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) in 2011. It covers rural areas in 107 districts across 17 states. In 2014, the scheme was merged with the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) which works in the area of adolescent health.

The sanitary napkins distributed under the scheme are manufactured by rural self-help groups. Quality control measures are left to the states. The expenditure on the scheme has gone up from Rs 24.33 billion in 2014-15 to Rs 37.03 billion in 2016-17, revealed a reply to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the READ MORE


Demonetisation was an idiotic jolt: 8 things Arun Shourie spoke about

Slamming the Narendra Modi government over sliding economic growth and increasing job losses, Arun Shourie, who was a union minister in the BJP-led government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has likened demonetisation with suicide, saying the latter is too “a bold step”.
Former Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie told NDTV that note ban was the largest money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented entirely by the government.
It was an idiotic jolt, he said read more

Excise duty on petrol, diesel cut by Rs 2/L; Govt may suffer Rs 26k-cr loss

Facing public resentment over the recent spike in fuel prices, the government on Tuesday cut the excise duty on both branded and unbranded petrol and diesel by Rs 2 a litre from Wednesday.
According to sources, the finance ministry was initially reluctant to reduce the duty due to revenue concerns, but relented after discussions with the petroleum ministry on implementing steps to bring down petrol prices to Rs 60-65 a litre.
While this would hit the revenues of the exchequer by Rs 13,000 crore in the second half of the current financial year at a time when the fiscal deficit has already touched 96 per cent of the Budget Estimates, consumers will get relief as the move would reduce the read more

Cheap fuel: After new highs, experts see petrol, diesel prices falling soon

Diesel prices in Delhi on Tuesday scaled a new all-time high of Rs 59.14 per litre, while other cities too saw a considerable increase.
However, industry experts and the government believe that prices will ease in the next few weeks as international prices are showing a declining trend.
In Delhi, the price of petrol, too, was at a two-year high on Tuesday at Rs 70.88 per litre.
Since the implementation of daily pricing from June 16 this year, Indian basket crude oil has gone up by around 19 per — from $46 a barrel to $55.36 a barrel. However, domestic retail selling prices of petrol  and diesel in Delhi have gone up by only eight per cent during this read more

SBI cuts minimum balance requirement in savings account to Rs 3,000

Faced with outcry over levying fees for failing to maintain monthly average balance (MAB) in savings bank account, State Bank of India has slashed charges on non-maintenance of MAB by 20-50% across customer categories.


“The pensioners and beneficiaries of social benefits from the government and accounts of minors (upto 18 years) will be exempted from minimum balance requirement. The financial inclusion including Jan Dhan accounts have never been subject to any charges,” SBI said in statement.


For customers in metro regions, it also reduced minimum amount to be maintained in SB account to Rs 3,000 from previous requirement of read more

Modi promises to light up all homes by December 2018 with Rs 16000-cr scheme

Setting the bar for higher government spending in the infrastructure sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday unveiled a flagship programme called “Saubhagya — Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana” to provide power to all households in the country by December 2018. The Rs 16,320-crore scheme aims at providing “last-mile electricity connectivity to all rural and urban households”.


The announcement, made at the headquarters of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, would reinforce the ruling party’s electricity-for-all target, recently advanced from 2019 to 2018. “Of the 250 million houses that India has, more than 40 million of the houses are electrified.
Through Saubhagya, without taking money from the poor, electricity will be provided to these (remaining) families. For this, we expect an expenditure of more than Rs 16,000 crore,” Modi said.
The Union government will provide 60 per cent of the read more