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Budget 2020: 'Estimated nominal growth of GDP for 2020-21 at 10%', says Nirmala Sitharaman


New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, holding a folder containing the Union Budget documents, poses for photographers along with her deputy Anurag Thakur and a team of officials, outside the Ministry of Finance, North Block in New Delhi, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Photo: PTI

Finance Minister Nirmala SItharaman on Saturday said that the estimated nominal growth rate of GDP for the year 2020-21 on the trends available, was at 10%.

"We estimate a fiscal deficit of 3.8% in RE 2019-20 and 3.5% for BE 2020-21," the Finance Minister added.

Receipts for 2020-21 is estimated at 22.46 lakh crore rupees, and expenditure at 30.42 lakh crore rupees, she said.


While presenting the Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the Central government's debt had reduced to 48.7% of GDP in 2019 from 52.2%.

The govt had also clocked a GDP growth of 7.4% over 2014-19 & FDI increased from $119 bn in 2009-14 to $ 284 billion, she said.

"There are one million people out of poverty and we should be proud of it. We have moved on from over 4% growth in 1950s to 7.4% to 2014-19 period," the Finance Minister said.

"Motto of 'Sabka saath, sabka vikas and sabka vishwas' has implemented new programmes for the poor and disadvantaged under Prime Minister Modi," she added.

"We have clocked a GDP growth of 7.4% over 2014-19 and FDI increased from $119 billion in 2014-19 to $284 billion", she said.

Economic Development would entail reforms across the economy and more space for the private sector. She said the Budget is woven around 3 prominent themes -- aspirational India, economic development and a caring society.


(With inputs from agencies)


CAA Protest: One student injured in firing during demonstration in Jamia area, accused arrested

A man was seen waving a gun during the ongoing protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Jamia area of ​​Delhi. The young man continued to show the gun fearlessly in front of the police. He then opened fire in which a student was injured. However, it is claimed that the student was shot not by the young man but by the police. The student was taken to Holy Family Hospital. At present, the police has arrested the young man.

The incident occurred during the march from Jamia Millia Islamia Universiti to Rajghat. It is surprising that under such tight security, the young man reached there with a gun. People present there say that during this time, the accused youth was shouting slogans of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Delhi Police Zindabad and Vande Mataram.

On his 72nd death anniversary, PM Modi pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary, saying the Father of the Nation will continue to inspire people to build a strong, capable and prosperous country.

"A tribute to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary. The ideals of Bapu will continue to inspire us to build a strong, capable and prosperous New India," Modi tweeted.

Narendra Modi

राष्ट्रपिता महात्मा गांधी की पुण्यतिथि पर उन्हें कोटि-कोटि नमन। पूज्य बापू के व्यक्तित्व, विचार और आदर्श हमें सशक्त, सक्षम और समृद्ध न्यू इंडिया के निर्माण के लिए प्रेरित करते रहेंगे।

8:04 PM - Jan 29, 2020
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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the most renowned name in the history of India’s freedom struggle was shot by a right-wing fanatic, Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948. During the days leading to the Mahatma’s death, he had been fasting in protest of the violence and massacre that had spread over the nation after the creation of Pakistan.

He was a strong supporter of maintaining India as a secular and a non-violent nation due to which he had been facing criticism. For Gandhi, democracy had to be based on the principles of equality for all irrespective of religion, caste and class.

'Indira Gandhi had strangulated democracy': Jitendra Awhad triggers row at anti-CAA rally in Maharashtra

Not new to giving controversial statements, MLA and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jitendra Awhad has triggered a row which might change political equations within the Maha Vikas Aghadi government. On Wednesday, Jitendra Awhad accused former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of “strangulating the democracy”.

"Indira Gandhi had also strangulated democracy, nobody was ready to speak against her. Then, students from Ahmedabad and Patna protested and the JP movement started leading to her defeat. This history will be repeated in Maharashtra&the country", Awhad said in a public meeting in Beed.


Maharashtra Min&NCP leader Jitendra Awhad: Indira Gandhi had also strangulated democracy,nobody was ready to speak against her.Then, students from Ahmedabad&Patna protested&JP movement started leading to her defeat. This history will be repeated in Maharashtra&the country. (29.1)

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4:44 PM - Jan 29, 2020
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Students movement became the reason for India to unite against Indira Gandhi, which led to imposing Emergency in the country. Jayaprakash Narayan, also called Lok Nayak, had launched a mass movement against Indira Gandhi's government in 1974. Jailed during the Emergency, he defeated the Congress party in 1977 for the first time which led to the formation of the Janata Party government in the Centre.

The NCP leader's statement may draw an angry response from the Congress Party which is part of Maharashtra government with the NCP and the Shiv Sena.

Awhad had recently, on January 20, said that ancestors of people sitting on the throne in Delhi "were appeasing" Britishers at the time when Awhad's father, Satish Awhad was facing a death sentence for the sake of the country.

He made the remarks at a rally in Beed district of Maharashtra against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and in support of the stance of several opposition parties against the National Population Register (NPR). The opposition parties have accused the BJP-led coalition of trying to bring the National Register of Citizenship.

Awhad, who is Maharashtra Housing Minister, also said Muslims can tell where their grandfather was buried but Hindus may not be able to tell the place where the last rites of their ancestors were performed.

Mumbai: Two injured after under-construction foot overbridge collapses in Mankhurd

On Thursday, at least two people were injured after a part of an under-construction foot overbridge collapsed in Mankhurd area. Two cars, which were passing through the area, were also damaged after a portion of the bridge fell on them.


Maharashtra: Two persons injured after an under-construction foot overbridge collapsed in Mankhurd area of Mumbai. The injured have been admitted to a hospital and the work to remove damaged portion to clear the road is underway.

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3:14 PM - Jan 29, 2020
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According to news agency ANI, injured have been admitted to a hospital and the work to remove damaged portion to clear the road is underway. The incident took place in the early hours of January 30, on Mankhurd link road. The cops and administration officials are at the spot.

More details are awaited.

Dr Kafeel Khan arrested by UP police in Mumbai for making inflammatory remarks in AMU against CAA

New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday arrested Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan in Mumbai for making inflammatory statements at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act on December 12 last year.

An FIR was registered against him under section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) of IPC on December 13. Khan was scheduled to be at the Mumbai Bagh protests on Thursday. In the same mould as Delhi's Shaheen Bagh, women protesters have started an indefinite stir against the CAA at Mumbai Bagh, with the agitation entering the third day on Wednesday.

Doctor Khan, a paediatrician hit the headlines after the death of 60 children in the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur in August 2017 due to disruption in oxygen supply over unpaid bills. He was removed from his post at the state-run BRD hospital after 40 kids died in two days. Khan was the nodal officer of the 100-bed AES ward at the state-run hospital and was removed following the deaths on August 10 and 11. He was later arrested.

‘Diplomatic victory for India’ as no voting in European Parliament on CAA: Sources

New Delhi: In a diplomatic win for India, there will be no voting in the European Parliament on the resolution on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Thursday, government sources told ANI.

The voting in the Parliament was scheduled for Thursday on a five-page resolution. The resolution alleged that the CAA is not only "discriminatory" and "dangerously divisive" but also a "violation of India's international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights".

"In a diplomatic victory for India, there will be no voting on the EU resolution on CAA tomorrow. Friends of India prevailed over friends of Pakistan in the European Parliament today," government sources said. A Pakistan-origin Member of European Parliament (MEP) Shaffaq Mohammed is reportedly behind the draft resolution against the CAA. The sources said that Mohammed's efforts to get the resolution passed were "defeated".


"Strenuous efforts of outgoing British MEP Shaffaq Mohammed to get the resolution passed by the European Parliament against India on the penultimate day of Brexit was defeated," the sources added."CAA is a matter internal to India and has been adopted through a due process through democratic means. We expect that our perspectives in this matter will be understood by all objective and fair-minded MEPs," the sources added.

Although there has been no official reaction from the External Affairs Ministry on the resolutions, sources had earlier said that the CAA is an internal matter of India adopted through a democratic process after a public debate in both Houses of Parliament.

The sources had also called on those members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who intended to move the resolutions, to engage with the Indian government to get "full and accurate assessment of the facts before they proceed further".

The amended Citizenship Act grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

After raids conducted to lookout for Sharjeel Imam, Jahanabad police detain his brother

On Tuesday, the Jahanabad police detained Sharjeel Imam's brother Muzammil Imam, reported news agency ANI. Sharjeel, a JNU student and co-coordinator of Shaheen Bagh protests, who has been booked on sedition and other charges in several states for his alleged "inflammatory" speeches.


Bihar: Jahanabad police detain brother of JNU student&co-coordinator of Shaheen Bagh protests Sharjeel Imam. Delhi Police y'day conducted raids in Mumbai, Patna, Delhi to look for Sharjeel Imam & arrest him for his "cut off Assam from India" remark he allegedly made few days ago

7:41 PM - Jan 27, 2020
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On Monday, Delhi Police conducted multiple raids in different parts of the country to nab Sharjeel Imam. The Crime Branch of Delhi Police on Sunday booked Imam and slapped him with a sedition case after his alleged speeches went viral on social media where he was heard speaking about "cutting off" Assam and the northeast from India. Imam has been slapped with charges of sedition and inciting enmity between communities under Sections 124A, 153A and 505 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Following the FIRs, chief proctor of the JNU summoned Imam to appear before him by February 3 and explain his position on the alleged provocative speeches made by him.

Earlier, a series of videos have gone viral on social media in which Imam is heard saying: "If we all come together, then we can separate the Northeast from India. If we cannot do it permanently, then at least for one to two months, we can do this." "It is our responsibility to cut Assam from India. When this happens, only then the government will listen to us," he is heard saying further in the video.

Assam police had, earlier, lodged a case against him under the anti-terror law--the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Meanwhile, police in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh have registered FIRs against Imam under IPC sections relating to waging war against the nation and sedition. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for life.

Imam's mother reacted with anguish to the developments back home in Bihar's Jehanabad. "My son is innocent. He is a bright young man and not a thief or a pickpocket. I swear in the name of God that I do not know about his whereabouts," Afshan Rahim told reporters.

China's Coronavirus death toll rises to 106 with more than 4,000 confirmed cases

Wuhan (China): The death toll from a coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed, authorities said Tuesday.

The health commission in central Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic, said 24 more people had died from the virus and 1,291 more people were infected, raising the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4,000 nationwide.


The World Health Organisation on Monday admitted an error in its assessment of the global risk of a deadly virus in China, saying it was "high" and not "moderate". The Geneva-based UN health agency said in a situation report published late Sunday that the risk was "very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level."

In a footnote, the WHO explained that it had stated "incorrectly" in its previous reports on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that the global risk was "moderate". The correction of the global risk assessment does not mean that an international health emergency has been declared.


Shiv Bhojan: Over 24,000 plates served in 2 days

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government's ambitious Shiv Bhojan scheme — a meal at Rs 10 — has found hungry takers. On the first day, January 26, 11,147 plates, as against a target of 18,000 plates per day, were served in 122 canteens spread over 35 districts. On January 27, 13,500 plates were served.

The scheme, launched on an experimental basis, could not take off in Yavatmal due to code of conduct for the legislative council election.

The meal is served between 12 pm and 2 pm in the canteens identified by the state government. They are supposed to serve 500 plates per day. Initially, 50 outlets/canteens have been opened, and the government wants to increase this number in due course. The lunch plates or ‘thalis’ comprise two chapattis, one vegetable sabzi, rice and dal.


The Food and Civil Supplies is the nodal department for the implementation of the scheme across the state. The Shiv Sena, which now leads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, had promised this scheme in its poll manifesto. It is similar to the Amma Unavagam scheme in Tamil Nadu and Indira Canteen in Karnataka.


“The goal of the scheme is to provide affordable and quality food at Rs 10 per plate. The scheme has been started in district headquarters,” said Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Chhagan Bhujbal.

The minister informed that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and he will jointly hold a dialogue through web link with a few Shiv Bhojan canteen operators on Tuesday.

Bhujbal said the department gets the update on the number of plates served in these canteens through an app. He also informed that the government has earmarked Rs 6.48 crore for three months for the scheme and it will be increased considering the response from people. A dept official said while the customer gets a plate at Rs 10, its actual cost is Rs 50 in urban areas and Rs 35 in rural areas. The government is giving the balance amount as grant to the district collectorate. He informed that the demand is quite high in urban areas compared to rural.