Cabinet reshuffle: PM Narendra Modi to go for rejig on Sunday, several new faces expected
Several new faces, including some from the BJP’s allies, are expected to join the government when Prime Minister Narendra Modi a reshuffles his council of ministers on Sunday. It will be the third such exercise since he took over in May 2014. “A process has been set in motion for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan at around 10 am on Sunday,” a top government official said. Four junior ministers – Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sanjiv Kumar Balyan, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahendra Nath Pandey – have resigned ahead of the rejig. Two Cabinet ministers, Uma Bharti and Kalraj Mishra, have also offered to resign, said BJP sources. Bharti, who is the water resources minister, said only Shah or anyone on his behalf can speak on the issue.
2 killed as huge garbage dump collapses in Delhi, 5 rescued
A portion of a mountainous garbage dump in east Delhi’s Ghazipur collapsed on Friday because of heavy rain, killing two people, officials said. A day after torrential rain — the heaviest in three years — lashed Delhi, a section of the pile in a landfill slumped over a car and three two-wheelers, pushing the vehicles off the road and into a canal, they said. Five people were rescued from the Kondli canal, the officials added. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia visited the site and took stock of the situation. The enormous dump — estimated to be as high as a 15- storey building — looms like a dark mountain on the side of NH24, a busy highway that connects Delhi to Uttar Pradesh. Travellers and commuters can see dumpsters winding their way up to the landfill, where about 2,500 metric tonnes of garbage are dumped every day, with scavenging birds hovering over it.
India expected to raise terror concerns strongly at BRICS
India is expected to raise its concerns over terrorism strongly at the next week’s BRICS Summit, hosted by China, which on Friday said New Delhi’s concerns over Pakistan’s counter-terrorism record is not an “appropriate topic” to be discussed at the forum. India also did not rule out a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the margins of the Summit on Monday with External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar saying it is a common practice to arrange bilateral meetings on the sidelines of such multilaterals. But he refused to divulge details, saying he cannot share timing and other information on bilateral meetings that have already been confirmed including those among BRICS leaders or with guest countries invited by China as part of an outreach exercise.
Use data analytics to track undeclared wealth, says PM Narendra Modi to taxmen
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked tax officials to use data analytics to track undeclared wealth and fix clear targets for improving tax administration by 2022. Inaugurating the second edition of the annual ‘Rajaswa Gyan Sangam’ — the joint conference of direct and indirect tax officials — the Prime Minister asked taxmen to clear pendency of cases and create an environment that instills confidence among honest taxpayers and uproots corruption. The Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said, has brought more than 17 lakh new traders into the indirect tax system within two months. He asked them to ensure that the benefits of the biggest tax reform since independence reach the common man and even small traders with turnover below Rs 20 lakh are registered in the new system. Asking taxmen to improve their work culture and incorporate both a sense of urgency and measurability in their performance, Modi said officers must fix clear targets to improve the country’s tax administration by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.
Bofors scam: Supreme Court agrees to hear 12-year-old plea
The politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case was back in the limelight today with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear BJP leader Ajay Kumar Agarwal’s appeal challenging a 2005 Delhi High Court order quashing charges against Europe-based industrialists Hinduja brothers in the matter. Justice R S Sodhi of the Delhi High Court, since retired, had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the three Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore. Taking note of the interim plea seeking an early hearing of 12-year-old appeal, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would list the appeal for hearing in the week commencing from October 30 this year.
Bad news for debt defaulters; PNB draws up list in addition to RBI’s
Punjab National Bank is drawing up a list of defaulters it plans to refer to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), in addition to the list it has received from the Reserve Bank of India, to expedite its bad loan recovery process, a senior official with direct knowledge of the development said. “We have nearly finished making this list and it should be ready in the next two to three days. We do not want to depend only on what the RBI has sent,” the official who is not authorised to speak to the media, said on the condition of anonymity. The list will include borrowers with outstanding between Rs 500 crore and Rs 5,000 crore, the official said. In August, the Delhi-based public sector lender said it had exposure to 13 accounts amounting to Rs 350 crore that had been referred to the NCLT.