Morning News Bulletin: Track the latest updates

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Published: September 23, 2017 7:40:56 AM

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as the two leaders met for the first time in a bilateral setting

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as the two leaders met for the first time in a bilateral settingExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as the two leaders met for the first time in a bilateral setting

Sushma Swaraj raises issue of terrorism, H1B with Rex Tillerson

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday raised the issue of terrorism and H-1B with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as the two leaders met for the first time in a bilateral setting.  Swaraj and Tillerson, who met here on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session, also discussed strengthening of the US-India political and economic partnership, officials said.  “The Secretary thanked the Minister for India’s contributions to stability and development in Afghanistan and the region,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said after the meeting.  “They discussed further strengthening the US-India political and economic partnership,” she said.  Swaraj also strongly raised with Tillerson the issue of H1-B visa, the most sought after by Indian IT professionals.

Development is the solution to all problems: PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said development was the solution to all the problems in the country and accused the previous governments of destroying the public exchequer in their bid to win elections.  Modi, who is on his first visit to Varanasi after the BJP’s landslide victory in the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in March this year, also launched several development projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore for his Lok Sabha constituency. “Development is the solution to all our problems,” Modi said addressing a public meeting here.

Big relief for consumers: Prices of FMCG products falling after GST rollout

Prices are falling in the FMCG segment a month-and-a-half after the roll out of the GST. A host of consumer majors, including Hindustan Unilever and ITC, have reduced prices of FMCG products such as soaps, shampoo, detergents, biscuits and savoury snacks, among others. This has resulted in a 3-8% decline in prices of goods across modern retail outlets, including Big Bazaar and Hypercity, apart from online grocery firms such as Bigbasket and Grofers. After the implementation of the GST, hair oil, toothpaste and soaps have been put under the 18% tax slab, significantly lower than the previous 22-24% slab. The GST rate schedule indicates that nearly 81% of all items are in the 18% tax bracket, or below. “Post the roll-out of the GST, there has been a downward trend in prices of products as far as new stock is concerned. However, as we still have three-five months of old stock which belongs to the pre-GST regime, the larger impact would be seen once the old stock gets completely replaced by new items,” said Sadashiv Nayak, CEO of Big Bazaar, Future Group India.

In Madhya Pradesh, here is how check dams, e-choupal helping farmers prosper despite rain woes

Kishore Singh, a farmer from Durgapura village near here, is getting ready to harvest soyabean, despite large parts of Madhya Pradesh having received ‘deficient’ monsoon rainfall this season. In fact, irrespective of the precipitation, he has been cultivating at least three crops in a year since 2006, thanks to a check dam built close to his field to conserve rainwater. Singh, who owns 35 acres of land, grows soyabean in the kharif season and wheat and chana as winter crops. “Prior to the construction of the check dam, I used to grow kharif crops like soyabean only if the rains did not betray my fields. However, in 2014, 2015 and again, this year, despite rainfall being inadequate, the farming hasn’t got affected thanks to the dams,” Singh told FE.

Supertech homebuyers row: SC says those who want their money back will be refunded; wants grievance redressal portal in place

In a breather to flat buyers, the Supreme Court on Friday directed that an online portal be set up for those seeking a refund of their money invested in the Supertech’s Emerald Court project in Noida. While appointing advocate Gaurav Aggarwal as the amicus curiae in the case, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the flat buyers should register their claims for refund on the portal and also asked the builder to refund the principal amount with interest at the rate of 14%, as directed by the Allahabad High Court. Supertech has so far deposited `20 crore with the Supreme Court registry. The twin towers — Apex and Ceyane — in its Emerald Court residential project on Noida Expressway have 857 apartments, out of which 600 have been sold. The Emerald Court House on the outskirts of the capital has 15 other towers, fully built with residents living there. There are around 53 allottees out of around 600, who had sought refund of their amount after the HC had in April 2014 ordered the demolition of the two 40-storey residential twin towers and directed Supertech to refund money to home buyers with 14% interest in three months.

To put a roof over your head, here is what Narendra Modi government is doing

In a boost to homebuyers, the government on Friday extended the interest subsidy of up to Rs 2.6 lakh on home loans under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban) to the middle income group (MIG) beneficiaries by fifteen more months till March 2019. On December 31 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the credit-linked subsidy scheme for MIG (CLSS- MIG) till December this year. Under the scheme, an interest subsidy of 4% on housing loans of up to Rs 9 lakh for those with an income of Rs 12 lakh per year and of 3% on housing loans of up to Rs 12 lakh for those having an income of Rs 18 lakh per year is being given. According to senior government officials, the scheme, effective January 1, 2017, and available only in 2017, would benefit borrowers taking loans for buying ready-to-occupy houses.

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