Banking services throughout India including West Bengal continued to remain paralysed for the second day today in response to a two day nationwide strike since yesterday.
The 48 hour All India strike has been called by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), a conglomerate of nine bank unions, to press for its demand for a 30 per cent hike in salary and other payments with immediate effect.
Congratulating large number of bank employees throughout the country for their overwhelming support for the ‘success of the two day strike’, All India Bank Employees President Rajen Nagar and other senior office bearers of UFBU said here on Thursday that over 4,50,000 employees of all Public sector, Private and Regional Rural Banks and even the security guards of their respective ATMs participated the strike in support of their demand.
They however, expressed sincere regrets for causing huge inconveniences and untold miseries to millions of bank customers across the country because of the two day complete strike when not only all banks, their ATMs also downed their shutters.
‘We squarely blame the alleged big brother attitude of the Indian Bankers’ Association for forcing us to go for the nationwide strike by not agreeing to our demand (for a 30 per cent pay hike) for all Bank employees in accordance with the previous tripartite agreement with them,signed in 2012, said Nagar.
Instead of listening to us and seat for a dialogue for a negotiated settlement of the issue,they unanimously decided to offer us a meagre two per cent hike in salary against our demand for 30 per cent, Nagar said echoing others adding that in view of the current inflation and hike in prices of all commodities they could not accept such an offer and decided to go for a two day All India strike in protest.
About the timing of their strike and their decision to close all ATMs across the country, including over 21,000 odds in West Bengal, and that too at the time of payment of monthly salary and other dues for the employees of both organised and un organised sectors, Nagar claimed that they had no other option but to call the strike at this juncture to draw the attention of IBA.
However, all on line bank transactions remained open and functioned normally on both the days, he claimed and regretted the severe inconveniences to a large number of customers particularly those in rural and semi urban areas where bank branches were most active in every aspect of the banking transactions. Incidentally, this was the second nationwide bank strike on similar demand this year.
Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Shri Ram Shaw\
Archives for May 2018
Union Textile minister Smriti Irani today called upon the Indian jute growers to catch up with the latest fashion trends of the world to overcome stiff competition from a ‘galloping Bangladesh’ with better products.
Addressing members of the city’s premier Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) at a special session here today on “Recent Development in the Textile Industry : The Road Ahead”, the Union minister regretted that in spite of being the largest producer of Jute in the world, India continued to lag far behind a galloping Bangladesh in terms of exporting jute related products to every corner of the globe with quality products.
Referring to the possibility of improving the quality of Indian jute in the midst of a stiff competition, Irani suggested that the issue could be taken up in consultation with the union ministry of Agriculture so that a better seed could be produced for a better end product.
In this connection she urged the West Bengal based jute growers to take the initiative for producing a much better quality jute as suggested by the experts Agricultural ministry, as the state was the largest producer of this fibre based product involving millions of farmers.
The Union minister who at the beginning of her brief address invited queries from the audience, comprising a number of experts in the jute and textile industries about the problems facing the sector, highlighted the growing importance of ‘technical textile’ which could be used in a wide range of products at minimum cost.
Technical textile was now the in thing in the textile industry, she said and referred to its vast utilisation in a variety of items – from garments to door mat and from bed cover to car seat cover – apart from many other items of every day use.
The government of India had earmarked a huge sums of money of more than Rs 17,288 crores for its further development and proper utilisation, Irani said and called upon the players in small and medium scale industries in textile sector to make full use of them for a double digit growth.
Earlier replying to a variety of queries from those related with the textile industry, particularly the possibility of early refund under the new GST regime,the minister said though the final decision in this regard was vested on the all powerful GST Ministerial Council,she could forward their recommendations to the concerned authority for an early result.
In this connection she informed the gathering about the latest decision of the GST Council as well as the Union Finance ministry allowing self certification to seek refund for those whose annual business turnover was less that Rs 20 lakhs.
Earlier, welcoming the guest MCCI Senior Vice President Vishal Jhanjharia highlighted the problems facing the world’s second largest producer of textiles and garments after China with an annual turnover of over three trillion dollars, and sought the ministry’s intervention for their early solutions.
Hindusthan Samachar/Ankur/Shri Ram Shaw\
Hero Intercontinental Cup to begin at Mumbai Football Arena on June
India will take on Chinese Taipei in the opening match of the tournament
Indian national football team head coach, Stephen Constantine said on Thursday that he has “broken things down and have set the plans to win each of these three games” in the Hero Intercontinental Cup.
India will take on Chinese Taipei in the opening match of the Hero Intercontinental Cup at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday (June 1), the kick-off of which is slated for 8 PM.
Speaking at the official pre-tournament press conference in Mumbai, Constantine said, “We will use this tournament as a preparation for the AFC Asian Cup. I am aware of the quality of the players whom Kenya and New Zealand have brought in and they are playing all across Europe.”
“The quality of those leagues matter. We are using this game to develop and improve,” the Coach added. “Kenya and New Zealand will be giving us different problems and we need them in our developmental process. Physically we are prepared and we need to now prepare tactically,” he added.
Team Captain Sunil Chhetri, also present on the occasion mentioned about the “desire to win among the players is 100 percent.”
“It’s an absolute honour for me to have played for my country. I have been involved with many coaches, players, physios and staff. I love playing for India and will give my best what I can. I am fully fit.” “It was mixed bag when he first arrived for the Camp. There were players some of whom hadn’t played for almost a month while there were some who joined the Camp straight from an AFC Cup match. But we are ready,” he added.
Chhetri who stays two matches short of becoming the second-ever Indian player to play 100 International matches after Bhaichung Bhutia opined there is a lot of “awareness” among the players since he first started off.
“The present generation is much more aware. The boys have more knowledge of what to do and what not to. They are willing to take care of themselves and their nutrition,” he stated. Constantine made a mention of the two new support staff – Joel Carter and Claus Peeterson.
“Claus works with individual players who are not quite ready. He is a rehab specialist and the players really enjoy and need the session,” Constantine informed.
“Carter is doing match analysis and is a coach in his own right. We have broken down our opponents. We have had separate sessions with individual players and are looking at the video clips both from matches and training sessions to get better. I need to thank AIFF for allowing me to do this,” he said. Referring to the “programme coming up” Constantine felt there is a “lot of Football to be played between now and the Asian Cup.”
“We have quite a programme coming up. We have the Asian Games, the SAFF Championships, the October and November windows. It’s quite a busy schedule. There is a lot of Football to be played between now and the Asian Cup. “I have 11 U-23 players in the squad but we also need the senior players lead, guide and mentor these players,” he pronounced.
“It’s all about performance, work. It doesn’t matter whom we play. Whoever is in front of us is the team we need to beat. There is much more awareness about the game from the general public. But I think in the last 4 years we have taken it to a new level. We need to continue the momentum and qualify for tournaments like the Asian Cup on a regular basis.”
Hindusthan Samachar/Shri Ram Shaw
Several pourakarmikas organized a protest outside the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) head office on Wednesday, ahead of monthly board meeting. The pourakarmikas, who had gathered under the aegis of the Karnataka State City Corporations, City Councils and Town Councils’ Pourakarmikas Federation, demanded that the BBMP promptly pay their pay pending for five months, regularize services, and direct an inquiry on “benami pourakarmikas”.
Leader R. Sampath Raj and BBMP’s Joint Commissioner (SWM and Health) Sarfaraz Khan met them and guaranteed them of looking into their demands.
In the council meeting, the issue was raised by Opposition Leader Padmanabha Reddy. He requested that the BBMP adjust the small scale arranging by mulling over the IPD Salappa report, which suggested one pourakarmika for each 500 individuals. At present, the BBMP is following the Government Order of having one pourakarmika for each 700 individuals.
Mr. Khan educated the board that the zonal chiefs had been solicited to confirm the number of pourakarmikas in each zone, after a few instances of fake names were accounted for. He additionally said that the ESI and PF of around 6,000 pourakarmikas, put together by the garbage contractors, were not coordinating. “We are in converses with authorities of both ESI and PF in such manner,” he said.
Mr. Raj guided the authority to lead a review of the pourakarmikas required in each zone.
The power-sharing arrangement between the two alliance partners is being finalized and is in the final stages, the sources added.
The leaders of the two parties have held five rounds of talks here since yesterday to finalise the portfolio sharing arrangement between the two alliance partners.
Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and his deputy Dr G Parameshwara
Sources said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is on board on the issue and has spoken to leaders on phone from the United States, where he travelling with his mother, who has gone for a medical check-up.
We have held five rounds of talks with each other and have decided that the JD-S will get the Finance portfolio. I will be now travelling to Bengaluru to hold further talks within our party, JD-S leader Danish Ali told PTI.
He said he would meet both Chief Minister H D Kumarswamy and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda.
Bioscopewala Applauded With Positive Reviews
Deb Medhekar’s Bioscopewala is winning compliments from the audience as well as industry people. Abhishek Bachchan & Goldie Behl took to social media to compliment producer Sunil Doshi on the film. The film has been receiving great feedback from critics as well. Director Deb says, “So much hard work goes on behind the scenes while making a film and all that while, you are dreaming of glory, hoping that all this hard work will be noticed, appreciated. The day the film was going to release it felt like all the butterflies from the whole planet had migrated to my stomach. It felt like I couldn’t breathe and then the reviews started coming in. Suddenly all that hard work, all the sweat was validated.” Bioscopewala is proving to be a worthy adaptation of the classic Kabuliwala. Bioscopewala stars Danny Denzongpa, Geetanjali Thapa, Tisca Chopra & Adil Hussain. Presented by Fox Star Studios in association with Star India, produced by Sunil Doshi.
Parmanu: The Story Of Pokhran Debuts Across 1570 UFO Moviez Network Screens
An Indian historical action drama film, Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, directed by Abhishek Sharma, debuts across 1570 UFO Moviez network screens. The Other releases this week are Telugu movie, Nela Ticket debuts across 472 UFO Moviez screens. Marathi movie, Bucket List debuts across 393 UFO Moviez screens. English movie (2D/3D), SOLO: A Star Wars Story’ debuts across 216 UFO Moviez screens. Hindi movie, Bioscopewala debuts across 143 UFO Moviez screens. Marathi movie, Raja debuts across 126 UFO Moviez screens.
Teaser Of Saregama’s Yoodlee Films Next Is Out Now
The teaser of Kunal Kapoor’s new film – Noblemen is out, and it tackles the extremely pertinent and important issue of bullying in high schools. The film, produced by Yoodlee Films – the film production stable from Saregama India – is directed by Vandana Kataria, and has an ensemble cast of fresh faces, along with Kunal Kapoor. The film is narrated through the tale of the main protagonist, a young 15-year-old boy, Shay, who struggle to come to terms with his adolescent years, and is terrorized by a gang of bullies. The film is set in an all boys’ boarding school, where Shay’s interest in dramatics is encouraged by Murali, (Kunal Kapoor). However what starts off as his desire to be a part in the enactment of the Shakespearean play, The Merchant of Venice, turns into a battle of student hierarchy & egos, unleashing a chain of events that lead to loss of life & innocence. This will be the 3rd film by Saregama’s film production arm, Yoodlee films. Yoodlee Films has previously released the critically applauded Ajji, directed by Devashish Makhija last year, and the sensitive & mature romantic drama Kuchh Bheege Alfaaz, directed by Onir, earlier this year.
Eon Productions & MGMayer Studios Partner With Universal Pictures
EON Productions & Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios (MGM) have reached an agreement with Universal Pictures to partner on the worldwide release of the 25th James Bond film, it was announced recently by EON Productions’ Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli, MGM’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kevin Ulrich & President, Motion Picture Group, Jonathan Glickman & Chairman of Universal Pictures, Donna Langley. Daniel Craig will return as 007, the legendary British secret agent & Academy Award®-winning director Danny Boyle will direct from an original screenplay by Academy Award® nominee John Hodge. Production on Bond 25 is all set to begin on 3rd Dec, 2018. MGM will release the film theatrically in US on 8th Nov, 2019 through its new joint venture for domestic theatrical distribution with Annapurna Pictures & Universal will release internationally commencing with a traditional earlier release in UK on 25th Oct, 2019. Under this arrangement, MGM will retain digital & worldwide television distribution rights. Universal will also handle physical home entertainment distribution.
Makers Of October Enjoy Success!
Shoojit Sircar’s October, a beautiful journey of love which was highly appreciated by the audiences and received immense appreciation by the critics globally, has garnered the makers great profits. The film bought together Varun Dhawan for the 1st time ever with the power house writer director duo Juhi Chaturvedi & Shoojit Sircar. October is entering into its 7th week (close to 50 days) in the theatre and has earned over 46 crores from domestic theatrical rights. The total cost of the film (COP +PNA) being around 30 crores, it made about 35 crores only by non- theatrical revenue which includes satellite, music, digitial & overseas. Thus the makers had a good profit sharing on the film along with one of the best reviews for a film in a while. October has been a beautiful journey for the team for being one of the most loved film of the year and also has been a successful one!
Sanjay Dutts Productions’ Next Prasthaanam To Start Shoot On Nargisji’s Birthday
Sanjay Dutts Productions which is all set to produce the Hindi remake of the Telugu hit Prasthaanam, will have the film go on the floors on the birthday of Sanjay Dutt’s mother Nargisji. Sanjay Dutt who will be seen playing one of the lead roles in the film was keen on starting this new venture on the day of his mother’s birthday marking it to be a milestone for the film. The film which is a family Drama with a political backdrop will be shot in Lucknow and also stars Ali Fazal & Amyra Dastur. Deva Katta, who directed the original movie, will also helm the Hindi project. Sanjay Dutt Productions is getting back to producing films after 7 years with this anticipated film which had created a lot of buzz during the Telugu release.
Ronnie Screwvala & Siddharth Roy Kapur Reunite At The Movies With ‘Pihu’
RSVP & Roy Kapur Films to join hands for this path-breaking film – Pihu, directed by national award winner Vinod Kapri, all set to release on 3rd Aug, 2018. Known to have backed path breaking & unconventional cinema like – Dev D, A Wednesday, Rang De Basanti & Barfii – in their 1st ever innings together at UTV, Ronnie & Siddharth seem to have picked up where they left off from. Their 1st ever collaboration – Pihu in their new avatars at RSVP & Roy Kapur Films, is a testament to their belief in content-driven films. Pihu, directed by journalist turned filmmaker Vinod Kapri is a 1st ever for Indian cinema in every aspect. Circumstances lead to a 2 year old girl Pihu being left alone in an apartment. What ensues makes for an edge of the seat social thriller, based on a true story which is sure to blow your mind. The fact that it’s the only film in the history of our cinema to have just one character throughout played by a 2 year old child makes this movie absolutely incredible. Much like they’ve done in past with Lunchbox, Shahid, Khosla ka Ghosla, Udaan and so many others, Ronnie & Siddharth have identified the unique potential in Pihu to break norms of storytelling, push boundaries of narrative & discovered a fresh new directorial voice in Vinod Kapri. Pihu was officially selected for prestigious international film festivals which include Vancouver, Palmsprings, Iran, Morocco, Germany et al. The film went on to win “Best Film” at Morocco. It was also the opening film at India’s largest – International Film Festival of India, Goa (2017) where it received rave reviews.
Amidst death of 13 people and Tamil Nadu government’s order shutting down of the 22-year old plant, P. Ramnath, CEO of Sterlite Copper says that “false propaganda dominated over the truth about the company”.
“We are deeply saddened and aggrieved by the loss of 13 innocent lives in the unfortunate incident on May 22, 2018 at Tucorin town, a few kilometers away from our plant. While it is an irreparable loss to these families, Vedanta as a responsible corporate citizen and on humanitarian grounds, would like to extend all possible support to families of deceased and severely injured,” Ramnath told IANS in an email response to queries.
“The basic premise of protest was unfortunate, as the plant was non-operational, awaiting Consent to Operate from TNPCB (Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board). False propaganda dominated over the truth about the company, we will continue to bring out the truth to the general public and explore all options,” he added.
Sterlite copper is a unit of Vedanta Ltd part of Vedana group headed by Anil Agarwal.
Ramnath said the company was always willing to have a dialogue with the protestors and address their concerns.
“We were always willing to have a dialogue with the protestors and address their concerns. This was even communicated to the general public and other stakeholders through print media. We invited them to come and visit our facilities to see for themselves how we have undertaken environmental friendly initiatives. They did not respond,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami on May 29 said the order issued by the state government for shutting down the Sterlite Copper plant was legally valid and blamed the DMK for the violence in Thuthookudi or Tuticorin on May 22.
Ramnath said the company is still deciding on its future course of action regarding the plant closure order.
“Closure of Sterlite Copper plant is an unfortunate development, especially since we have operated the plant for over 22 years in most transparent and sustainable way, contributing to the Tuticorin and state’s socio-economic development. We will decide on the future course of action,” he said when asked whether the company would move the courts regarding closure.
The decision of the Tamil Nadu government to shut the copper smelter plant in Tuticorin would have serious economic ramifications by pushing India’s annual import bill by an estimated $2 billion, Ramnath had said earlier.
“While an estimated 30,000 direct and indirect jobs are now on the line, a large number of small to medium enterprises that are dependent on our smelter for copper are also likely to suffer due to supply disruptions. Since Vedanta Sterlite is one of the largest copper producers in the country, manufacturers in sectors ranging from electrical to defence will have to turn to imports and that will push up the nation’s annual import bill by an estimated $2 billion based on the current price,” he had said.
In a second successive blow to Vedanta Ltd, the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (SIPCOT) on May 29 cancelled, “in larger public interest”, the land allotted in Thoothukudi for the expansion of Sterlite Copper’s smelting plant.
Asked why the company did not move well in time to answer the allegation against it on pollution and environment degradation, Ramnath said: “Since the beginning of the protests our team has met with the protesting villagers and the various stakeholders to dispel their fears. We had published a series of advertorials to reach out to the general public and even had debates on regional TV channels, however anti-development associations/groups have whipped up the emotions of the public by citing completely baseless and unfounded health hazards.”
He also clarified that the company was not complacent regarding the simmering tension.
“There is no room for complacency in such matters and our team has been constantly engaging with all the stakeholders.”
The Vedanta copper smelter serves over 800 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the downstream industry for the electrical sector. The bulk of supplies to the electrical sector are to units in northern and western regions.
The ordinance imposing the death penalty for raping a child was in the pipeline for long and was not brought because of the nationwide outrage over the rape and murder of a minor in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, a top official in the Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry has said.
“It was a criminal law amendment bill piloted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). And we (WCD ministry) extended our full support to it. The introduction of the new amendment has nothing to do with the Kathua rape incident,” WCD Secretary Rakesh Srivastava told IANS.
“Our minister (Maneka Gandhi) had pitched about it earlier much before the ordinance came into action. We had already moved the suggestion to the law ministry and it was announced on due time,” Srivastava added.
The ordinance, which amended the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (Posco), brought down the age of the victims from 18 to 12 years. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), a statutory body under the WCD ministry, has been mandated to monitor Pocso.
However, the government’s move has not been welcomed by lawyers, NGO workers and human rights activists. According to them, the existing act was strong enough and the new law will have a negative impact on the minds of both the victim and the accused.
“Different viewpoints have emerged when the new amendment came into limelight but we haven’t examined all the opinions. I agree we didn’t consult with the NGOs or human rights activists before enforcing the act which we should have done, but we always go through all the ideas which are suggested to us,” he pointed out.
Asked whether the death penalty is the ultimate solution to curb rape cases and reduce incidents of sexual harassment, the secretary insisted that the new act will serve as a deterrent both for criminals and the judiciary with a timeframe now being laid down for trying cases under the act.
“The stringent act will force the criminals to think before committing the heinous crime; there will be a fear of facing the death penalty. This will reduce the rate of crimes against children in the country,” he maintained.
Recently a court in Madhya Pradesh sentenced to death a man found guilty of raping a minor. Pointing to this, the Secretary said that the district courts have started to act quickly on such cases and they are serious about the issue.
However, currently over 112,000 cases under the Pocso are pending before various district courts and High Courts. As per the NCRB data, the pendency rate of Pocso act cases was 89 per cent whereas conviction rate was only 29.6 per cent.
According to activists and lawyers, lack of professionals for Pocso cases at the district level often leads to delays in proceedings.
When asked whether the ministry is working on bringing a quick solution to the large number of pending cases, Srivastava said that the WCD is also pitching for fast track courts so that day-to-day hearings can be conducted.
“Also the time limit for hearing a case has been decided at two months,” he noted.
The secretary also added that the ministry is equally concerned about the sexual abuse that boys below the age of 12 face and are therefore working towards bringing another amendment in the Pocso.
“It (Pocso) has always been gender neutral. Sexual harassment during childhood is faced equally by boys and girls. Under Section 5 of the Pocso act, Criminal Law Act 2013 will undergo the change and it will be introduced by WCD only,” he stated.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the “self-proclaimed chowkidar”, take immediate action against Defence Ministry officials for allegedly receiving kickbacks of Rs 17.5 crore in purchase of spares for the IAF’s An-32 transport aircraft.
“Ministry Of Defence, India (MODI) officials, accused of making millions of dollars in kickbacks via Dubai by Ukrainian government in An-32 deal. Modiji, as our self proclaimed chokidar, I urge you to take immediate action against your corrupt MODI officials,” Gandhi said in a tweet.
He attached a report by The Indian Express which said that Ukraine is probing the alleged kickbacks in India’s purchase of spares for military transport aircraft An-32 in which its anti-corruption bureau suspects involvement of Indian Defence Ministry officials.
Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said the victory of the combined opposition candidates in the Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly by elections is a “befitting” reply to the BJP and those who sought to divide the country.
“I want to congratulate all the people, farmers, Dalits etc. who voted for us. This is a defeat for those who do not believe in democracy. People have given a befitting reply to the BJP. The people who were trying to divide the nation have got a befitting reply,” the former Chief Minister told reporters here.
He said that people of the state have taught the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a lesson for “betraying” on all the poll promises.
“People of the state have taught them a lesson for betraying them,” Yadav said, adding, “UP government has repeatedly fooled the people. Farmers were told that their loans were waived but instead they lost their lives.”
The SP leader congratulated the voters in Noorpur and Kairana. “This is a victory for the farmers, the neglected, the poor and the Dalits.”
He thanked the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) Chief Ajit Singh, RLD leader Jayant Chaudhary for holding the fort against the BJP in Kairana and recalled the legacy of former Prime Minister Charan Singh.
The SP leader also thanked the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Mahan Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Nishad Party, Peace Party, Left parties and the COngress for supporting the opposition candidates in the by-polls.