Ram Rajya means progress, abolition of poverty and no discrimination, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said yesterday as he asked critics not to see any political designs behind his government’s efforts to develop this temple town. The state government wants to realise the dream of a ‘Ram Rajya’ through development, he asserted. In a speech that began amid shouts of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ at his government’s mega ‘Deepotsav’ event, Adityanath hit out at critics saying there were some who opposed all his actions no matter what he did. A total of 1.71 lakh earthen lamps glittered on the bank of river Sarayu while a blue chopper decorated as the mythological ‘Pushpak Viman’ descended on the Ram Katha Park with artistes decked up to resemble Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman at the event.
The Congress has announced its first list of 59 candidates for the November 9 Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls, with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh being fielded from the Arki constituency in Solan district. The list was finalised after a marathon meeting of the Congress central election committee chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi. Nominees for the remaining nine seats, including Shimla (Rural), would be announced later. According to media reports, Singh had earlier said that he wanted to contest the election from a seat which the Congress has not won in previous polls. Arki in Solan district was won by the BJP in the previous two Assembly polls. State Congress chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukkhu has been fielded from the Nadaun seat, which the latter had unsuccessfully contested in the previous election to the 68-member Assembly.
The ministry of housing and urban affairs has sought a review of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in order to ensure that homebuyers are not given short shrift when real estate firms enter the bankruptcy zone. In a letter to the secretary, corporate affairs, Tapan Ray, his counterpart in the housing and urban affairs ministry Durga Shankar Mishra suggested that homebuyers be made “primary secured creditors” so that their right to claim over distribution of assets should be above all other “secured creditors”.
While denizens of Delhi NCR love eating out more elaborately in standalone restaurants, their counterparts in Bengaluru and Mumbai prefer on-the-go meals. That is the finding of American Express’ recently launched ‘Dining Industry Insights — India Market’ survey, which demonstrated the highest growth rate in QSR (quick service restaurants)/takeaways for Mumbai and Bengaluru, at 63% and 67%, respectively, in 2016-17, but Delhi NCR came up trumps in the casual dining space logging in 54% growth. The three-metro sample size for the survey was carved out of the 1.08 million Amex card holders in India, as per Reserve Bank of India records.
Indian Railways (IR) garnered an additional Rs 625 crore — 1.3% of its annual passenger earnings — thanks to the flexi-fare system launched a year ago in the high-end Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains. Passenger traffic in these trains came down 18% to 31.9 million during the year. IR projected 10 % gross traffic receipts (GTR) growth in 2017-18 — passenger revenue 12% and freight 5%. These were revised downwards in the general Budget — GTR is now seen at Rs 1.72 lakh crore, against Rs 1.84 lakh crore originally. Overall passenger revenue in the first five months of this fiscal stood at Rs 20,735 crore, exactly in line to meet the annual target of Rs 50,125 crore.
Since electricity is a natural monopoly, despite the fact that there are regulators to prevent price gouging of users, the best solution to keep tariffs competitive is to, well, introduce competition. So, when the Electricity Act was framed in 2003, it envisaged a situation of ‘open access’ which essentially meant that users would be free to choose who their electricity provider would be, much like the mobile number portability of today. So, your current service provider could be A, but if you preferred B, you could get electricity from it—B would then pay a tariff to A for using its wires that come into a customer’s premises and supply electricity through this.