1st phase of Chabahar port launched: 10 key points explaining its relevance

Would provide opportunities to Indian companies to penetrate and enhance their footprint in the region

Chabahar Port

The first phase of Chabahar port was inaugurated on Sunday by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.The Chabahar project, located on the Gulf of Oman, only 85km from China’s Gwadar port in Pakistan, is important for India as it will allow it to bypass Pakistan in accessing Afghanistan and Central Asia. Business Standard is republishing this 31/10/2017 article which explains the significance of the port.

India sent its maiden cargo of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port in Iran, bypassing Pakistan on Sunday. The shipment will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate route providing reliable and robust connectivity for central Asia.

Also Read : First phase of Chabahar port inaugurated

Also Read : Iran opens Chabahar port: India, Afghanistan can now trade bypassing Pak

The shipment was flagged off from the Kandla port in Gujarat with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani joining the ceremony through video conferencing.

10 things to know about Chabahar port in Iran:

— In February 2016, the Union Cabinet approved provision of credit of $150 million from EXIM Bank to the Islamic Republic of Iran for Chabahar Port Development

— It will help in expanding maritime commerce in the region and facilitate growing trade and investment with Iran and other countries in the region Read More

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India’s crime capital: Delhi sees most murders, rapes, abductions in 2016

Delhi had most cases of cruelty by husband or his relatives (3,645)

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Delhi had the highest incidence of murder, rape and abduction among 19 cities with populations more than 2 million, national crime data for the year 2016, released on November 30, 2017, show.

Further, Delhi also reported the highest crime rate (1,222.5 crimes per 100,000 population) under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), according to data published by the National Crime Records Bureau. Delhi was followed by Kochi (757.9) and Jaipur (756.5), data show.

Delhi accounted for nearly 39% of all crimes under the IPC reported in cities in 2016, followed by Bengaluru (9%) and Mumbai (8%). IPC crimes in Delhi increased 43% in two years from 139,707 in 2014 to 199,445 in 2016.

Crime

Source: Crime In India, 2016: National Crime Records Bureau

As many as 2,194 murders were reported across 19 cities in India, down 6% over 2014. Delhi reported the most–479 murders in 2016, with a murder rate of 2.9 per 100,000 population. Patna, the capital of Bihar, reported the highest rate of murder (9.5) with 195 cases in 2016, a 5% decline over 2014.

Click Here To Read : Crimes of India

2 yrs after Maggi ban: Food firms, regulators still walk on thin ice

Analysis of ash content in food, for the uninitiated, involves the burning away of organic content, leaving inorganic minerals

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On Wednesday, instant noodle brand Maggi was in the spotlight for failing laboratory tests conducted in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The current run-in coming after the lead-in-noodle issue that surfaced in May 2015 and was finally settled in 2016. This time food regulators found excess presence of ash content in Maggi, manufactured and marketed by Nestlé India, points to the difficult relationship shared by the company and the regulator.

Nestlé, however, is not the only company to come under regulatory scanner in the past few months. Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved was twice in the news this year for food safety violations pertaining to its atta noodles and amla juice, respectively. Earlier in the year, the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Hardcastle Restaurants, which runs McDonald’s outlets in west and south India, to serve soft-drinks with warning labels.

Also Read : Maggi noodle in crisis, again: After lead, now it’s ash taking away spice

Nestlé India in a conversation with Business Standard said it was yet to receive a copy of the UP FDA notice and that the lab report may have been formed based on quality standards that are now obsolete. “We wish to reassure our consumers that Maggi noodles are 100 per cent safe for consumption. We strongly reiterate that at no stage of manufacturing process, ash is added to the noodles. It is fully compliant with the standards set by FSSAI,” a company spokesperson said.

Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), said that he was yet to hear from the two. “We are monitoring the situation closely. We have not heard from the company (Nestlé) or the state body (UP FDA) yet. Having said that, we have revised the standards for noodles, and ash content, excluding acid insoluble ash, is no longer an issue. Yes, when it comes to acid insoluble ash, there is a limit prescribed by FSSAI and it is to be seen whether this limit has been breached based on the new standards (for noodles).”

Click Here To Read → Maggi Ban News

India, US will work for inclusive growth: Ivanka Trump ahead of GES Summit

Ivanka said 52% of entrepreneurs will be women, attending from 127 different countries

Ivanka Trump

India and the US will continue to work together to increase economic opportunities and inclusive growth, US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trumptoday said, days ahead of her visit to Hyderabad for a global business summit.

Ivanka, 36, will lead a high-powered American delegation of officials, women entrepreneurs and businessmen for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017in Hyderabad, a three-day summit beginning November 28.

The summit will be attended by 1,500 entrepreneurs from 170 countries and would have around 350 participants from the US, a large number of whom are Indian-Americans.

ALSO READ: GES 2017: Economics, Ivanka and Hyderabad’s green card-holding rich beggars

Ivanka would deliver the keynote address at the summit, which would be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

She said that her aim for this summit is to serve as an open and collaborative environment for the exchange of ideas, to broaden networks, and to empower entrepreneurs to take their ideas and passion to the next level.

“The US and India will continue to work together to increase economic opportunities and inclusive growth. I very much look forward to my visit and to seeing Prime Minister Modi and Foreign Minister (Sushma) Swaraj once again,” Ivanka told reporters on Tuesday.

Incredibly excited to be visiting India next week for the eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), she said. Read More

Act fast on GST rate cut or face action: Hasmukh Adhia

Finance secretary says onus of passing on the benefits is on companies

Hasmukh Adhia

Companies, including FMCG firms, might be prosecuted if their retailers do not immediately cut the prices of products whose goods and services tax (GST) rates have been slashed.

Union Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia says the retailers or the companies cannot continue with higher prices on grounds that the old stocks have not been exhausted.

“We have made provisions for the companies to claim the difference from the government as input tax credit. But I am not willing to accept their argument to postpone passing on the benefits to consumers till they have disposed of their old stocks.”

According to him, the new prices should be effective from November 15.

The GST Council in its last meeting this month cut the tax rate on 176 items from 28 per cent to 18 per cent and on two to 12 per cent.

There was a huge demand to make these cuts. Speaking in a Doordarshan interview in which Business Standard was present, Adhia, who is also revenue secretary, said it was inconceivable that a 10 per cent cut in the price of, say, detergent products should be minuscule for consumers.

Read our full coverage on GST

Only God can save us, say officials as BJP, AAP, Cong spar over Delhi smog

An estimated $600 mn is needed to provide farmers with alternatives, but the BJP of PM Narendra Modi and Opposition parties in power in New Delhi and nearby Punjab are squabbling over who will pay

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As pollution level climbed to 12 times above the recommended limit this week in India’s capital, government officials said they knew what was needed to control the smoky haze, but nothing would be done, at least this year.

A major source of the smog at this time of year across northern India, including New Delhi, is farmers burning the stubble of the previous crop to prepare for new plantings in November.

An estimated $600 million is needed to provide farmers with alternatives, but the Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition parties in power in New Delhi and nearby Punjab states are squabbling over who will pay, said three federal government officials who have been briefed on the situation.

“Nothing more is likely to happen this year,” said one of them. “We’re now praying. Only God can save us.”

The official said he had bought pollution masks for his family and installed air purifiers at his home in New Delhi, now the most polluted city in the world, according to the Brookings Institute. The city is home to more than 20 million people.

Click Here To Read → Delhi Air Pollution

Padmavati row: Karni Sena wants Bharat Bandh, Bhansali gets security cover

Bhansali has been facing the ire of various groups and self-styled experts on what they term as ‘erroneous’ depiction of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati.

Padmavati

The Shri Rajput Karni Sena on Wednesday called for a ‘Bharat Bandh’ (shutdown) on December 1 if Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie “Padmavati” releases on that date, while the Maharashtra government provided a precautionary security cover for the filmmaker in view of the increasing controversies and growing threats.

“We will hold rallies across the country, including Gurugram, Patna, Lucknow and Bhopal before the release date,” Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder-patron of the Shri Rajput Karni Sena, an organisation of the Rajput community, told media persons in Jaipur.

He said all communities, including Muslims, supported the Sena on the issue.

“We demand a complete ban on the film. Now, we don’t want any pre-screening of the movie. All we want is a ban,” he said.

He claimed that as per the Cinematography Act, the government can withhold the release of a movie for three months even after a go-ahead by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and it can be extended further.

“We request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter,” Kalvi said.

Bhansali has been facing the ire of various groups and self-styled experts on what they term as ‘erroneous’ depiction of Rajput queen Rani Padmavati.

There have been protests and violence against Bhansali and opposition to the film right from the time it was being shot at various locales in different parts of India and now, as it prepares for release globally soon.

Barring these groups and individuals, the entire film fraternity and civil society members have expressed support to Bhansali for his latest film venture.

The Indian Film and Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) has thanked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for providing security cover to Bhansali, who lives and works in Mumbai.

Click Here To Read → Padmavati Row