Demonetisation made our shampoo, soaps, biscuits unavailable at stores: ITC

The ITC on Friday said that the government’s demonetisation drive had led to disruptions in the wholesale trade channels for the company’s FMCG products.
“In the recent past, there had been disturbances in the wholesale channels due to demonetisation which led to unavailability of ITC’s FMCG products in many stores”, CEO of the company Sanjiv Puri said while replying to shareholders’ at the AGM here.
The shareholders expressed grievances that ITC’s FMCG products were difficult to locate at super stores. The company manufactures a plethora of FMCG (non-cigarette) ranging from shampoo, soaps, biscuits, perfumes, packaged foods and read more

GST impact: Yogi govt breached ‘One Nation, One Tax’ theme, say SMEs

The small and medium enterprises in Uttar Pradesh have pilloried the Yogi Aditya nath government for purportedly breaching the spirit of ‘One Nation, One Tax’ theme of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by mandating e-Way Bill for goods of smaller value.
E-Way Bill is an electronic bill required for the movement of goods above the value of Rs 50,000 under GST. However, the Yogi government has mandated it even for transporting goods of the value of Rs 5,000 and above, which the entrepreneurs claim violated the GST rules, since the threshold is 10 times less than as provided under relevant rules.
Claiming that the e-Way Bill decision had been taken in haste, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) chamber, Indian Industries Association (IIA) has asserted it would hit the state’s small and medium businesses hard, while impairing their competiveness as well.
IIA has submitted its representations to the GST Council chairman, Centre, UP finance ministers, UP Tax department etc seeking the rollback of the decision for providing succour to the sector.
The MSME space in UP is estimated at over 4 million units and the sector contributes almost READ MORE

Nitish and Modi’s love-hate relationship: Meet the frenemies in Indian politics

When Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi expressed his angst at Janata Dal (United) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar simply walking out of the mahagath bandhan or grand coalition, which he had so assiduously stitched together in the state ahead of the assembly elections in 2015, his pain was understandable – for the grand old party has of late being making overtures to all ‘secular’ parties to put up a united front against the BJP.

There can be no better example of this than the love-hate-love relationship shared by Nitish with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There relationship is best describes as that of a ‘frenemy’ or a person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.

Once holding Modi in high esteem, Nitish changed his views in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots, even going so far as to end his 17-year alliance with the NDA after it chose Modi to lead its charge in the 2014 general elections and then becoming a bitter critic in the prime READ MORE

Ghatkopar building collapse: NDRF saves 11 people trapped under rubble

“Please cut my hands but pull me out of the debris,” implored Pragya Jadeja in a frail voice when she spotted the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) jawan looking out for survivors after the collapse of a residential building in suburban Ghatkopar on Wednesday.
Mere dono haath kaat do bhaiyamujhe jaldi bahar nikaalo… Nahi to main mar jaungi (cut my both the hands but please pull me out quickly otherwise I am going to die),” the 50-year-old said in a voice filled with pain and helplessness.
Jadeja was one of the 11 survivors pulled out from under the rubble of the four-storey Siddhi Sai Cooperative Housing Society which collapsed last morning, killing 17 people.
Narrating his experience, constable Santosh Jadhav said, “We could hardly peep in to find that Jadeja’s both the hands were partially crushed between two big fallen walls. But we comforted her, cut the huge RCC structure, and finally pulled her out safe.”
Similarly, a 20-year-old woman was pulled out alive from under the mound by the rescuers who reached her after hearing her READ MORE

Medical visas: No restrictions on foreign patients except Pak, says govt

India has not imposed any restrictions on medical visas for foreign patients but in case of those from Pakistan, a recommendation letter from Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs is required for obtaining a visa, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.
In a written reply, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said the government has issued more than a lakh of medical visas so far in this year.

 

The government has not put any restrictions on medical visas for foreign patients, and requests for such visas for urgent medical cases are expeditiously processed and issued on the same day, he said.
“However, in case of Pakistan, we ask for recommendations letter from Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, to process genuine and urgent cases,” Singh read more

18 people die of tuberculosis every day, says NGO’s study, govt denies data

India’s richest municipal corporation has denied nonprofit Praja Foundation’s assessment–made from the corporation’s own data–that 18 people die of tuberculosis every day, even as Praja Foundation claims the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has no way of knowing if the assessment is wrong because it cannot access its own death-related data ever since it moved to a new software.

The assessment, released two weeks back, was based on data accessed through Right to Information (RTI) filings from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which refutes its conclusions saying the data has been put together “unscientifically.”

Praja Foundation alleges that the BMC switched to a new software in December 2015, whose design prevents it from accessing its own data on mortality, leaving it with no way of knowing if Praja Foundation’s estimate is incorrect.

What the report said

In its The State of Health of Mumbai report, Praja Foundation assessed that 6,472 Mumbaikars died of tuberculosis during 2016-17–nearly 18 people read more

Gujarat floods: PM Modi announces Rs 500-cr relief fund, death toll at 60

Even as low pressure continues to cause heavy rains and flooding in several regions of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conducted an aerial survey on Tuesday, announced a Rs 500-crore central assistance to the state disaster relief fund (SDRF).

PM Modi conducted an aerial survey of the Banaskantha district, the most affected region in the state, forcing the Indian Air Force (IAF), the national disaster relief force (NDRF) and other state agencies conduct rescue operations.

In the past 24 hours, districts of Banaskantha, Patan and Sabarkantha in North Gujarat have seen at least 12 talukas receive over 200 mm of rainfall, as per the state emergency operations centre. At least three IAF helicopters were pressed into service for airlifting locals and the distribution of food packets in Banaskantha, apart from the Indian Army rescuing stranded people using boats.

North Gujarat has, so far, seen over 500,000 food packets being distributed in the affected areas.

Followed by the air survey, PM Modi was apprised of the rainfall and flooding situation across Gujarat by the state government officials in a meeting attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and READ MORE