News highlights of the day: Saratov Airlines plane crashes near Moscow, killing 71

21:09 That’s all for today, readers. Thanks for staying on with our coverage of the day’s action. Your enthusiasm encourages us to better our coverage every day. Do come back tomorrow for more news, views and insights.



 Gandhi hit the temple trail for the second day of his election campaign in 


 on Sunday, reports 


. He stopped in the heart of 




 district and visited 




 temple to pay obeisance to the 



PresidentGandhi hit the temple trail for the second day of his election campaign inon Sunday, reports. He stopped in the heart ofindistrict and visitedtemple to pay obeisance to the

The temple, built by a local chieftain, has a history of 500 years of existence. After spending 15 minutes there, Gandhi boarded the bus and hit the campaign trail again. As the bus passed by several villages, he waved at the waiting people.

After launching the party’s campaign at Ballari on Saturday, Gandhi had visited Goddess Huligamma temple in Koppal district, a famous temple in the region. He also had visited Gavi Siddheshwara Mutt in Koppal, a mutt of the majority Lingayat community.

On the third day of his four-day visit on Monday, Gandhi would visit Khwaja Bande Nawaz Dargah in Kalaburagi district.

21:05 Three dead, crops damaged as hailstorm hits parts of Maharashtra

Hailstorm over the central parts of Maharashtra, Marathwada and parts of Vidarbha region claimed three lives, with state government officials saying that an assessment of the damage caused has been ordered, reports PTI. A senior revenue official said the hailstorm started around 7.30 am and continued for the next 30 minutes.

According to officials, two men from Jalna and a woman from Washim died in the hailstorm. “The hailstorm has severely damaged crops including grapes, cotton, green gram and wheat among others. A sizeable loss of cattle and poultry has been reported. The damage assessment report will be finalised in the next couple of days,” said a revenue official from Aurangabad divisional commissionerate.

20:10 Plane crashes near Moscow, killing 71 people

A plane operated by Russia’s Saratov Airlines crashed near Moscow on Sunday, killing all 71 people on board, news agencies said. There were 65 passengers and six crew members onboard the plane which went missing from radars less than 10 minutes after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, TASS reported.

The plane – a short-haul regional Antonov AN-148 – was bound for the Russian city of Orsk in the Orenburg region that borders Kazakhstan. Russian state TV channel Rossiya-24 showed footage of fragments of the plane in a snow-covered field.

“Debris has been found, there are no survivors,” TASS quoted a source as saying. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash. The Russian Transport Ministry was considering various possible reasons, including weather conditions and pilot error, Interfax said.

20:07 Cleric who said shifting of mosque possible ‘quits’ as 


 executive member

The AIMPLB approved Maulana Syed Salman Husain Nadvi’s “decision to quit” as its executive member, days after he met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar over the Ayodhya dispute and said at the board’s meeting that shifting of a mosque is possible according to the Sharia, reports PTI.

“Moulana Salman Nadwi is no longer a board member. Sub-committee of the board accepts Nadwi’s (sic) decision to quit the organisation,” the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said in its official Twitter account. However, AIMPLB member Qasim Rasool Ilyas said “action” was taken against Nadvi after he disagreed with the board’s views on the matter.

20:04 Babri

 Masjid will remain mosque till eternity: 


Babri Masjid will remain a mosque till eternity and Muslims can never exchange land for the masjid, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said. In a statement issued on the concluding day of its 26th plenary, the board said Babri Masjid is an essential part of faith in Islam and Muslims can never “abdicate” the Masjid.

“Babri Masjid is an essential part of faith in Islam and Muslims can never abdicate the Masjid nor can they exchange land for Masjid or gift the Masjid land. Babri Masjid is a Masjid and it shall remain a Masjid till eternity. By demolishing Babri Masjid, it never loses its identity as a masjid. And according to Shariah, it always remains a Masjid,” the statement said.

19:23 Aadhaar

 not compulsory for treatment: 


 govt to hospitals

The Haryana government has directed hospitals across the state not to deny or delay treatment to any patient without Aadhaar card or any other identity card, reports PTI. The directive assumes significance as it comes after a case of reported denial to a pregnant woman into the labour ward of a hospital in Gurugram, allegedly for not holding Aadhaar card, after which she had to deliver her baby outside the emergency ward.

19:12 EV sales to see double-digit growth till 2020, says a 



Electric vehicle (EV) sales in India are expected to witness a double-digit growth till 2020, fuelled by government measures for the sector and reducing battery prices, among others, says a report. A joint study by Assocham and global advisory services firm EY said, although EVs are not yet mainstream, government push and increasing consumer awareness are driving EV adoption in India, pointing to a growing momentum.

Currently, EV industry in India is at nascent stage comprising less than 1% of total vehicle sales. Stressing the urgent need for creating charging infrastructure at a rapid pace, the report said it is the determining factor for growth of EVs. “The road map to electric mobility vision is based on growing collaborative economy and proliferation and success of electric and shared mobility business models,” the report noted.

19:08 Start working; you don’t have much time, 




Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi asked him to stop giving speeches on the past and start working, saying he did not have much time before completing his term, reports PTI. “You will have to tell the country during the elections what you did in the last five years. It is going to be five years and you have not even opened your account,” he told Modi, making him the focal point of his attack in a series of roadside and public meetings.

On the second day of his ongoing “Janashirvada Yatra” in northern parts of the state in the poll-bound Karnataka, he said Modi was delving into the past to attack the Congress rather than accounting for his performance. Gandhi said “BJP failed to create jobs, bring back black money and brought down the economy, but all Modi talks about is Congress is this, Congress is that.” He said the country had made Modi Prime Minister to provide employment to youth, to help farmers, to establish schools and hospitals and not to talk about Congress party.

19:02 Centre saved Rs 56,






, says PM 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Centre has saved Rs 56,000 crore through Aadhaar-enabled direct benefit transfer of about 400 government schemes, reports PTI. Stating that technology plays a pivotal role in the growth of an economy, Modi said one tax structure or GST has been made possible in India only because of it.

18:52 Reliance Infrastructure

 bags Rs 


 order from 


Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) said it has won a Rs 567 crore order from state-owned NTPC for Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) works at the latter’s 3×500 MW power plant in Jhajjar, Haryana. FGD method is used to remove sulfur dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants.

RInfra EPC has received the letter of approval (LoA) from NTPC for FGD works of its 3×500 MW power plant in Jhajjar, the company said in a statement. EPC division of RInfra had earlier emerged as L1 bidder amid competition against leading EPC players including BHEL, L&T, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power system.

18:48 Iran marks anniversary of Islamic Revolution after protests

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians rallied on the streets on Sunday to mark the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, just weeks after anti-government protests rocked cities across the country, reports AP. Demonstrators burned American and Israeli flags, as well as images of President Donald Trump, whose refusal to re-certify the nuclear deal with world powers has riled Iranians.

A few burned a white sheet reading “BARJAM,” the Farsi acronym for the 2015 nuclear accord that Tehran signed with world powers. Such activities commonly mark the anniversary, which commemorates the overthrow of US-backed Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. That began a period of hostilities between Iran and the West, including an attack on the US Embassy in Tehran and the subsequent hostage crisis. However, President Hassan Rouhani made a point to call for unity among Iran’s people across its political spectrum, from hard-liners backing the theocratic government to reformists demanding change.

18:39 ONGC

 to nominate one director on 



State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is likely to nominate one director on the board of recently acquired Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) while retaining all the present directors of the company, reports PTI. ONGC late last month completed acquisition of the government’s 51.11% stake in HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore. HPCL is now a subsidiary of ONGC.

Like its other major subsidiaries – Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) and ONGC Videsh, ONGC is likely to nominate just one director on the board of HPCL, sources said. HPCL board currently has four functional directors besides the Chairman and Managing Director. It also has two government nominee directors and six independent directors.

Sources said the Articles of Association of HPCL provide for the board to be made up of a maximum of 20 directors, including independent ones. ONGC can, theoretically speaking, nominate more than one director but such nomination would have to be matched by an appointment of an equal number of independent directors, they said. So, while ONGC can nominate 3 directors, it may eventually name only one, they added.

18:16 Singapore to open trading in Indian products as per normal

In its continuing assurances to traders, Singapore Exchange said its entire India suite of products, including Nifty, will open and operate per normal on Monday, reports PTI. The SGX reiterated and reassured international traders of its Indian product trade from Monday. This comes after the Indian Exchanges on February 9 announced a decision to stop the commercial licensing of their indices and market data with a number of foreign exchanges and other business partners.

18:12 Saratov Airlines plane crashes near Moscow, 71 people feared dead

A plane operated by Saratov Airlines crashed in the Moscow region on Sunday, likely killing all 71 people on board, Russian news agency Interfax said, citing a source in the emergency services. There were 65 passengers and 6 crew members onboard the plane, RIA reported.

17:54 SBI

 wrote off bad loans worth over Rs 


 cr in 


The country’s largest lender SBI wrote off bad loans worth Rs 20,339 crore in 2016-17, the highest among all the public sector banks, which had a collective write off of Rs 81,683 crore for the fiscal, reports PTI. The data pertains to the period when the associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) were not merged with it.

Public sector banks’ (PSBs) write-off stood at Rs 27,231 crore in 2012-13, government data showed. The figure has jumped nearly three-fold in five years. In 2013-14, the state-owned banks wrote off bad loans worth Rs 34,409 crore; Rs 49,018 crore in 2014-15; Rs 57,585 crore in 2015-16 and hitting Rs 81,683 in the fiscal ended March 2017.

Besides SBI, Punjab National Bank had a write-off of Rs 9,205 crore in 2016-17, followed by Bank of India (Rs 7,346 crore), Canara Bank (Rs 5,545 crore) and Bank of Baroda (Rs 4,348 crore). In the current financial year, PSBs have written off loans worth Rs 53,625 crore in the six months to September.

17:28 North Korea keeps mum on summit invite as its delegation winds up South visit

North Korea’s delegation sent to the Winter Olympics held “frank and candid” talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the North Korean news agency said on Sunday, but it made no mention of the North’s invitation to Moon to Pyongyang for a summit.

The delegation, the highest-ranking to visit the South and led by the younger sister of the North’s leader Kim Jong Un, concludes its visit on Sunday after charming and intriguing the South Korean public, but still faces deep scepticism over Pyongyang’s sincerity towards improving relations. Any summit between the two still-officially warring Koreas would be a coup for Moon, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

17:17 Gold 


 see Rs 


 outflow in 10 months of 


Investors have pulled out Rs 110 crore from gold exchange-traded funds in January, taking the total outflow to Rs 679 crore in the first 10 months of the current fiscal, mainly on account of poor returns. The outflow meant assets under management (AUM) of gold funds plunged by over 15% during the period under review to Rs 4,906 crore, from Rs 5,670 crore in the year-ago period, latest update with the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) showed.

Trading in gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has been lukewarm in the previous four fiscals. It had witnessed an outflow of Rs 775 crore in FY17, Rs 903 crore in FY16, Rs 1,475 crore in FY15 and Rs 2,293 crore in FY14. On the other hand, equity and equity-linked savings scheme (ELSS) saw an infusion of Rs 1.5 lakh crore during the first 10 months of FY18. This included an investment of over Rs 15,000 crore in the last month alone.

17:07 NTPC

 may borrow Rs 


 cr to add 6,900 MW by March 2019

State-run power giant NTPC may borrow about Rs 16,000 crore in the next financial year for adding 6,900 MW of fresh electricity generation capacity by March 2019. “The corporation may hit the bonds or debt market to borrow about Rs 16,000 crore during the next financial year for financing the ongoing projects,” a source told PTI.

“NTPC is currently working on adding 21,000 MW capacities and projects are at different stage of execution… by March 2019 it plans to add about 6,900 MW. The company is comfortably placed and has enough leveraging potential. It will continue to fund the projects at debt to equity ratio of 70:30,” the source added.

16:51 Coal India Q3 net profit up 4% at Rs 3,


State-run miner Coal India (CIL) reported a 4.21% increase in its consolidated net profit at Rs 3,004.79 crore for the quarter ended December 2017. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 2,883.27 crore during the October-December quarter of the previous fiscal, CIL said in a regulatory filing. Total income during the quarter under review stood at Rs 22,484.14 crore. It was Rs 23,064.65 crore in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

16:05 Niti

 bats for setting up independent debt management office

Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar made a strong case for setting up an independent debt management office, saying better servicing of loans could lead to substantial reduction in India’s interest payment, reports PTI. At present, the government debt, including market borrowing, is managed by the Reserve Bank of India. “Now the time has come to seriously consider better management of India’s debt servicing obligations…interest payment is such a large part of the revenue expenditure that better management of debt servicing could substantially reduce interest payment,” Kumar said.

Noting that India’s external debt is only 18% of total GDP, the Niti Aayog vice-chairman said that when the RBI manages India’s debt then there is a conflict of interest. “Because if you let more external people come and compete in government debt market then you get more foreign exchange, therefore exchange rate management gets problematic. “So, therefore debt market remains confined to few domestic players…I think therefore time has come for this step to be taken in right earnest,” Kumar insisted.

15:58 Govt measures to ensure MSMEs become growth engine, says DFS Secy

A slew of recent measures, including tax concessions in the budget, for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has been taken with an aim to transform such enterprises worth Rs 6.33 crore into a growth engine for ‘new India’, a senior government official told PTI.

These initiatives will bring down the tax burden on enterprises with an annual turnover of up to Rs 250 crore and also lower the interest burden, leaving more surplus for investment and growth of the MSME sector which is the backbone of the country’s economy in terms of output, exports and employment generation.

The RBI on its part too announced various measures for MSMEs hit by the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) by giving them additional up to 180 days to clear their dues to banks. “All these measures are aimed at making the Rs 6.33-crore MSME enterprises growth engine for new India,” Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said.

Multiple initiatives are trying to address various issues inhibiting the growth of the sector, which is the largest job creator, he said. First and foremost, the recapitalisation of the banks to enable them to enhance their lending capacity by Rs 5 lakh crore, a substantial chunk of this would go towards the MSME sector.

Besides, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech lowered the corporate tax rate to 25% from 30% for companies with a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore, benefiting the entire MSME sector, he said. As part of alignment with the new taxation regime, the Union Cabinet last week also approved the change in criteria for classifying MSMEs from ‘Investment in Plant & Machinery’ to annual turnover. As per the new classification, enterprises having annual turnover of less than or equal to Rs 5 crore fall under the ‘micro’ category.

15:44 Aster DM Healthcare raises Rs 


 from anchor investors

Aster DM Healthcare has raised Rs 294 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial public offer opening on Monday. The company, which runs hospitals in India and the West Asia, has allocated shares to anchor investors at the upper end of the IPO price band of Rs 190 per scrip.

The price band for the offer, which would be open from February 12 to 15, is Rs 180-190 per share. According to a filing to the stock exchanges, Aster has alloted 1,54,75,843 shares at the price of Rs 190 apiece to anchor investors raising Rs 294 crore. Through the IPO, Aster is expected to garner Rs 980 crore.

15:35 Property prices in metros stagnate, finds survey

With the real estate market beginning to adjust to various reforms like demonetisation, GST and RERA, most Indian metros witnessed recovery with sales improving, while property prices corrected or maintained status-quo, a survey said. According to the survey by property portal, most of the metros saw average property prices either dipping or remaining flat, while overall sales improved in a few markets.

The sales volume witnessed growth in cities such as Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru on the back of price corrections. While Hyderabad and Kolkata saw rentals increasing by 4% each during the October-December 2017 quarter as compared to the same period in 2016, Bengaluru and Mumbai recorded 3% hike.

The report said the inventory-heavy markets of Delhi NCR and Mumbai witnessed corrections in some popular housing pockets of Gurgaon, Noida and Navi Mumbai.

14: 54 Major fire at scrap market in Mumbai, none injured

A major fire broke out at a scrap market in suburban Kurla this morning, a fire brigade official said.

No casualty has been reported in the incident, he said.

“The blaze started at a scrap shop in the market near Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road in Kurla around 6 am and spread to other adjacent galas (shops),” the official said, reports PTI.

The flames engulfed the packing material, stock of oil and chemicals, scrap material kept in the area, he added.

14:21 Govt released Rs 9,940 cr to states for Smart Cities Mission

The Centre has released nearly Rs 9,940 crore to the states so far for the Smart Cities Mission, with Maharashtra accounting for the highest amount of Rs 1,378 crore, followed by Madhya Pradesh getting Rs 984 crore, according to government data.

The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has announced 99 cities for central assistance under the BJP government’s flagship programme.

The total proposed investment in these cities was Rs 2.03 lakh crore.

Maharashtra with eight cities, including Pune and Nashik has received central grant of Rs 1,378 crore so far, followed by Madhya Pradesh, with seven cities getting central grant of Rs 984 crore, the ministry data shows, reports PTI.

14:12 Jammu Terror Attack: NIA team has reached Jammu amid ongoing operations in Army camp. 5 soldiers, 1 civillian killed in operations. 4 terrorist neutralised by Army. Army chief will stock of the situation in Jammu, reports News 18.

14:00 SBI wrote off bad loans worth over Rs 20k cr last fiscal

The country’s largest lender SBI wrote off bad loans worth Rs 20,339 crore in 2016-17, the highest among all the public sector banks, which had a collective write off of Rs 81,683 crore for the fiscal.

The data pertains to the period when the associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) were not merged with it.

Public sector banks’ (PSBs) write-off stood at Rs 27,231 crore in 2012-13, government data showed, reports PTI.

The figure has jumped nearly three-fold in five years.

In 2013-14, the state-owned banks wrote off bad loans worth Rs 34,409 crore; Rs 49,018 crore in 2014-15; Rs 57,585 crore in 2015-16 and hitting Rs 81,683 in the fiscal ended March 2017.

13:51 In a tweet today, Karnatka CM siddaramaiah said Yeddiyurappa’s move to stay in the slum is welcomed even if it is a political stunt. He further pressurized PM Narendra Modi to implement the ‘scheduled castes and scheduled tribes sub-scheme’ act nationally, reported News 18.

13:34 Rahul Gandhi campaigns in Karnataka​, says: “Last year Narendra Modi didn’t waiver loans of the farmers but let the rich off their loans. BJP was ruling here 5 years back, 3 CM were changed 11 ministers had to resign and Modi comes here and talks about corruption. Their last govt broke the world record for the most corrupt. The elections are around the corner…vote for congress,” reports News18.

13:13 Heavy shelling in Terkundi and Kangagali area of Balakote sector of Poonch dist, J&K, reports News18

12:08  India’s jump in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Rankings from 142 to 100 is unprecedented. But we are not satisfied with this, we want to improve even more. We will do whatever it takes to achieve it: PM Modi #ModiInUAE, tweets ANI

12:08 PM Modi addressing Indian diaspora in Dubai

The Prime Minister speaks to the Indian diaspora at the Dubai Opera House in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. He spoke about the progress of the country in the four years of the current government. The Prime Minister spoke about the ease of doing business, as well as reiterating the commitment to make India adhere to the ‘Global Benchmarks’ of the country.

This is the second day of the Prime Minister’s visit to the country. Modi was previously in Abu Dhabi where he iaugurated a temple, and signed close to five MOUs with the UAE.

11:53 GST return simplification panel to meet industry this week

The government-appointed panel on GST returns under GSTN chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey will meet industry and traders this week to seek their views on simplification of return filing process.

The committee is likely to submit its report to the Group of Ministers, headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, which will finalise its recommendations by the month end and place it before the GST Council, Pandey said.

The government had set up the return simplification committee in November last year to ease the burden on businesses to file three returns in a month along with initial sales return GSTR-3B.

In an interview to PTI, Pandey said the committee after consulting stakeholders will try and bring in a process under which once the seller uploads the sales invoice on the GSTN portal, it would automatically show in their returns.

11:10 Winter Olympics 2018: Games organisers confirm cyber attack, won’t reveal source

Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organisers confirmed on Sunday that the Games had fallen victim to a cyber attack during Friday’s opening ceremony, but they refused to reveal the source.

The Games’ systems, including the internet and television services, were affected by the hack two days ago but organisers said it had not compromised any critical part of their operations.

“Maintaining secure operations is our purpose,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams.

“We are not going to comment on the issue. It is one we are dealing with. We are making sure our systems are secure and they are secure.”

11:08 M-cap of top 10 companies erodes by over Rs 1 lakh crore

The combined market valuation of the 10 most valued Indian companies slumped by Rs 1,11,986.87 crore last week, with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) taking the steepest hit.

Over the last week, the BSE Sensex recorded a steep fall of 1,060.99 points or 3.02 percent as sentiment was hit by the imposition of long-term capital gains tax on equities as well as the global markets turmoil.

10:53 Majority of 8-12 year old kids prone to online threats: Report

A majority of kids in the age bracket of 8-12 are subjected to online threats like cyber- bullying and video game addiction, and the situation is “acute” in emerging economies, says a survey.

The joint report by DQ Institute and the World Economic Forum, over 50 per cent of 8-12 year olds are susceptible to cyber-bullying, video game addiction, offline meetings, disinformation and online sexual grooming.

Notably, the problem is more acute in emerging economies, where “internet adoption has been more rapid and less subject to appropriate safeguards by parents, industry or government”.

The purpose of the ‘2018 DQ Impact Report’ is to highlight the need for concerted action by government, industry and civil society to help parents counter the threats facing the youngest ‘digital citizens’ and “such a need is more acute in emerging economies”, it said.

10:43 Omaxe to invest Rs 170cr in Mathura township; gets green nod

Omaxe had sought the environment clearance for the expansion as the build up area is more than 1.5 lakh sq metre even as the expansion is less than 50 hectare

The built up area for the existing plus proposed expansion project will be 2.83 lakh square metre.

In a letter issued to the company, the Union Environment Ministry has given the environment clearance for the expansion of the ‘Omaxe Eternity township’ with some conditions.

As per the proposal, the company plans to develop 1,070 additional units, taking the total units to 3,784 in the entire township.

The cost of the expansion is estimated to be Rs 170 crore.


Delhi held to ransom by traders: HC on amendment of masterplan

In an apparent disapproval of the government’s proposed amendment of the master plan after traders protested against the sealing drive, the Delhi High Court has observed that a few people have “held the city to ransom”.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar further observed that by sitting on a dharna “you can get the master plan changed”.

“Not because it is required nor after checking if the city can handle it. It is done because a few hundred people sit on a dharna.

“The master plan is being amended because the traders have held the city to ransom by pulling down their shutters,” it said and asked the authorities whether an environment impact assessment was conducted before proposing to amend the Master Plan-2021.

The Master Plan-2021 is a blueprint for urban planning and expansion in the metropolis to 


 overall development and the proposed amendments were for bringing a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential plots and complexes

The Master Plan-2021 is a blueprint for urban planning and expansion in the metropolis tooverall development and the proposed amendments were for bringing a uniform floor area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residential plots and complexes

on par with residential plots.

The observations by the bench came while hearing matters pertaining to unauthorised constructions and encroachment of public land.

The traders, across Delhi, had on February 2 shut down their shops in protest against the sealing of commercial establishments running from residential areas or premises.

10:13 Companies spent Rs 28,000 crore towards CSR works in nearly 3 years

Corporates have spent more than Rs 28,000 crore towards social welfare activities in nearly three years of CSR norms coming into force, the latest official data showed.

The requirement for certain class of profitable entities to spend a certain amount on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works came into effect from April 1, 2014 as part of the new Companies Act.

An analysis of data compiled by the corporate affairs ministry showed that a total amount of Rs 28,111.63 crore has been spent on CSR activities by eligible companies during the period from April 1, 2014 to November 30, 2017.

In the current fiscal till November 30, a total of Rs 4,719 crore was spent while the total money shelled out towards CSR works touched a high of Rs 13,827.86 crore in 2015-16.

During the first year of CSR norms implementation — 2014-15 period — the total expenditure stood at Rs 9,564.77 crore.

Out of the total amount, more than 70 per cent came from private sector companies. These entities’ share is Rs 19,948.86 crore during the period from April 1, 2014 to November 30, 2017.

10:02 AIMPLB member says shifting of mosque is permissible

Maulana Syed Salman Hussain Nadvi, an executive member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), who met Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar earlier this week, today said he favoured an amicable settlement of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute.

“The atmosphere should be good (between the two communities)….There is permission for this in the Sharia. As per the Hanbali school of (Islamic) thought, a mosque can be shifted,” Nadvi said.

He put forth his views at the board’s meeting here last night, and there was a disagreement, he said.

“We have to conserve our mosque. Conserving does not mean we will fight at the same place and take it. We can shift the mosque. A grand mosque can be built… where a university can also be set up,” Nadvi added.

A meeting of the working committee of the AIMPLB took place here last night, as part of the board’s ongoing 26th plenary session.

Nadvi said while he expressed his views at the meeting, the board’s stand was that once a mosque is constructed at a certain place, it remained a mosque forever.


No change in stand on Babri masjid issue: AIMPLB

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board today said there is no change in its stand on the Ayodhya issue as “once a masjid is built, till eternity that

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board today said there is no change in its stand on the Ayodhya issue as “once a masjid is built, till eternity that

will be a masjid”.

AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who is also a member of the board, briefed reporters tonight on
the proceedings of the second day of the 26th plenary of the

AIMIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who is also a member of the board, briefed reporters tonight onthe proceedings of the second day of the 26th plenary of the

board here.

The presidential address was given by AIMPLB president Maulana Rabey Hasni Nadvi in the morning session followed by an address by general secretary Maulana Wali Rehamani, he said.

“About Babri masjid, it was clearly said that once a masjid is built, till eternity that will be a masjid. There will be no compromise. As far as the Babri masjid is concerned, the people who compromise on the masjid issue will be answerable to the Almighty,” Owaisi said.

09:35 OVL, partners acquire 10% stake in Abu Dhabi oilfield for $600 million

ONGC Videsh and its partners have acquired a 10 percent in a large offshore oilfield in Abu Dhabi for USD 600 million, the first time any Indian company has set foot in oil rich Emitrate.

OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL), paid a signing amount of USD 600 million for a 10 percent stake in Abu Dhabi National Oil Co’s (ADNOC) 40-year Lower Zakum Concession, Offshore Abu Dhabi, reports PTI.

“The current production of this field is about 400,000 barrels of oil per day (20 million tonnes per annum) and Indian consortium’s annual share shall be about 2 million tonnes,” OVL said in a press statement.

09:09 Amid Olympic thaw, Pence says allies united in isolating N. Korea

US Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday said the United States, South Korea and Japan were in complete agreement on isolating North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, even as the two Koreas deepened their diplomatic detente at the Winter Olympics, reported Reuters.

“There is no daylight between the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan on the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program,” Pence told reporters during a flight to the United States following his visit to South Korea, where the Olympic games are being held.

A senior administration official aboard Pence’s airplane also told reporters that South Korea and Japan “are solidly with our alliance and the need to continue and intensify economic sanctions.”

Last month, a White House official told reporters Pence would attend the Winter Olympics opening to cheer American athletes and to counter any North Korean effort to “hijack” the games with a propaganda campaign.

08:53 PM meets Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; India, UAE sign 5 pacts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday as the two sides signed five agreements including a historic pact awarding a consortium of Indian oil companies a 10 percent stake in offshore oil concession.

Modi, who arrived here from Jordan on the second leg of his three-nation tour, was received by Mohammed Bin Zayed and other members of the Royal family at the airport. The two leaders hugged each other and exchanged pleasantries.

The Prime Minister thanked the Crown Prince for the special gesture of receiving him at the airport and said his visit will have a positive impact on India-UAE ties.

The Prime Minister thanked the Crown Prince for the special gesture of receiving him at the airport and said his visit will have a positive impact on India-UAE ties.

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