Pak Army:War is not the solution to problems

Pak army official in their deliberation with the media  spoke on various subjects  as per the reports Geo Tv.

Speaking on Pakistan’s relations with India, the DG ISPR said. “India is our neighbour and we do not want war with anyone because war is not the solution to problems.”

Major General Ghafoor said Pakistan wanted to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue but the desire for peace should not be considered a weakness.

He added that in the last three years 945 ceasefire violations have taken place at the Line of Control (LoC). “In the last four months alone 314 violations have taken place in which 46 Pakistanis have been martyred while in retaliation 40 Indian soldiers have been killed.”

The DG ISPR added that Indian was doing this according to a plan which was to divert international attention from the atrocities in Occupied Kashmir. “The drama of surgical strike was a part of this plan.”

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the media on Tuesday, stating that restrictions on Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed was a policy decision.Authorities have placed JuD chief Professor Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and four others under house arrest.“This was a policy decision taken by the state in the national interest and several institutions will have to play their role. This news came yesterday and in the coming days more details will be available,” DG ISPR said.

The DG ISPR emphasised that there was no foreign pressure behind this decision and it was taken in national interest.

DG ISPR said that Pak Army has no connection with the disappearances of the missing bloggers. Two of the missing bloggers. Salman Haider and Asim Saeed, had returned home last week.

“As for the bloggers story, it’s in front of the media. We don’t have any connections to it, even their disappearances have nothing to do with army,” he said.

“Whatever statements they (bloggers) made are in front of the media,” DG ISPR added.

While responding to a question about Dawn Leaks, Major General Ghafoor said that the inquiry is in progress and upon completion the government will share it with media.

On Jan 28, missing blogger Salman Haider had returned home. On Jan 29, social activist and blogger Asim Saeed, who had gone missing earlier this month, returned home ‘safely’, his family had confirmed to the BBC Urdu.

Asim Saeed had gone missing on January 4, along with another blogger Waqas Goraya. Fatima Jinnah University Professor and blogger Salman Haider had disappeared on January 6.

The matter of Dawn Leaks emerged in October, when Dawn Media Group journalist Cyril Almeida published a report on an alleged civil-military rift over the issue of tackling jihadi outfits.

Pakistan’s top military commanders had expressed serious concern over what they called the “feeding of a false and fabricated story of an important security meeting”, terming it a breach of national security.


India would remain fastest growing major economy in the world.

India would remain fastest growing major economy in the world.

The survey pegs GDP growth rate at constant market prices for the current year 2016-17 at 7.1 per cent. It also said, Agriculture sector is projected to grow at 4.1 per cent in the current year which is up from 1.2 per cent in 2015-16. Government expects the real Gross Domestic Products, GDP to be in the range of 6.75 percent to 7.5 per cent during 2017-18 financial year.

The survey asked the government to remain vigilant to prevent spike in prices of items like pulses, sugar, milk, potatoes and onion. The survey sees fiscal windfall from Pradhan Manttri Garib Kaalyan Yojan and low oil prices.

The Survey admits that demonetisation has had short-term costs but holds the potential for long-term benefits. Early evidence suggests that digitalization has increased since demonetisation. Additionally, remonetisation will ensure that the cash crunch is eliminated by April 2017.

It said, the cash squeeze in the meantime will have significant implications for GDP, reducing 2016-17 growth by 0.25 per cent to 0.5 percentage points compared to the baseline of 7 percent. It also predicted, retail inflation will be well below RBI’s target of 5 per cent in the current fiscal as demonetisation would discourage any price headwind.

According to th survey, growth in the industrial sector is estimated to moderate to 5.2 per cent in 2016-17 from 7.4 per cent the previous year. It said, the GST will create a common Indian market, improve tax compliance and governance, and boost investment and growth.

It also called for cut not just in individual income tax rates and a timetable for reducing the corporate taxes but also for widening the net to progressively encompass all high incomes.

The Survey also listed the some of the challenges that might impede country’s progress. The challenges are ambivalence about property rights and the private sector, deficiencies in State capacity, especially in delivering essential services and inefficient redistribution.

The Economic Survey also stated that the inter-state migration of labour is significantly higher than previous estimates.

The Survey highlighted difficulties in privatizing public enterprises, even for firms which according to economists belong to the private sector. In this context, the Survey pointed towards the need to further privatize the Civil Aviation, Banking and Fertilizer sectors.

It also pointed out that the capacity of the State in delivering essential services such as health and education is weak due to low capacity, high levels of corruption, clientelism, rules and red tapism. At the level of the states, competitive populism is more in evidence than competitive service delivery.

The Survey notes that over the past two years, the government has made considerable progress toward reducing subsidies, especially related to petroleum products. Technology has been the main instrument for addressing the leakage problem and the pilots for direct benefit transfer in fertilizer represent a very important new direction in this regard.


Philippines’ Duterte pulls police off drug war

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he had ordered all police to stop prosecuting his deadly war on drugs as he sought to cleanse the force of widespread corruption. “I have ordered the police to stop all operations,” Duterte said during a speech to give military awards at the presidential palace. However the crackdown, which has seen more than 6,000 people killed in seven months, was set to continue with Duterte ordering the military and a drug enforcement agency under the president’s office to carry on. Duterte’s comments came a day after he described the police force as “corrupt to the core”, following a series of scandals in which officers were accused of using the drug war as cover for murder, kidnapping, robbery and extortion.


BRICS Cities: What are we comparing?

The term BRIC was used initially in an analytical sense to refer to a grouping of countries beyond the West with the potential to reconfigure the geography of the global economy. After 2009 however it referred to a political alliance with geopolitical intentions (with BRIC becoming BRICS when South Africa joined in 2010). The construct is under pressure in terms of its analytical and political use as BRICS economies have become increasingly differentiated in terms of economic performance and as severe diplomatic tensions have emerged within the alliance.

In this seminar Philip discuss ongoing comparative work on cities in the BRICS, a grouping of countries that account for nearly 40% of the world’s total urban population. With the enormous diversity of the BRICS in almost all categories – including scale, economic performance, levels and rates of urbanisation, income and governance – questions arise over the meaning and purpose of comparison. We discuss the challenge of comparison but nevertheless show how very different places can be drawn into a meaningful comparative conversation. There is however a significant point of commonality. All countries in the BRICS have experienced far-reaching political and/or economic transformations over the past few decades in a way that the global West has not.

In the presentation we show how these macro changes have been translated into urban change, but also show how differences in the national and local management of these processes account in part for significant differences (and similarities) across the BRICS in terms of urban outcomes. We use the different trajectories of metropolitan governance as an illustrative case.

Philip Harrison is the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning funded by the National Research Foundation and hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He served as a member of the National Planning Commission in the Office of the President from 2010 to 2015.  Previously, Prof. Harrison was Executive Director in Development Planning and Urban Management at the City of Johannesburg for 4 years from 2006 to 2010. Prior to that, he held a number of academic positions at the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Natal, including Professor and Chair of Urban and Regional Planning at Wits from 2001 to 2006. He has published widely in the fields of city planning and regional and urban development. His most recent publication is the jointly edited book Changing Space, Changing City: Johannesburg after Apartheid.


Sagar Media Inc


Hero India Open 2017

9 Mar – 12 Mar, 2017
Venue DLF Golf & Country Club, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
Prize Money US $1750000;

European Tour and Asian Tour Co-Sanction

International blends with Home-grown talented players ,Chawrasia, Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal, Rashid Khan, Shiv Kapur and Rahil Gangjee.

Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal said, “Indian golf is at a very exciting juncture, as it has begun making a mark on virtually all golf Tours across the world. The Hero Indian Open is on the European Tour platform for the third year in a row and the field has steadily become stronger. Amidst this the exciting news is that Indian players have still managed to hold their own, having won the title last two editions.”

The event is the first men s international event to be played at the Gary Player course at the DLF Golf and Country Club.  Media deliberations  after the address by the Guest  the pertinent question were raised with fervent  response  from the players and authorities.

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Meghalaya’s first ever Apparel and Garment Centre inaugurated at Ampati


Centre will create employment opportunities for both men and women of the region: Union Textiles Minister

Leverage handloom legacy, become enterprising entrepreneurs: Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, to youngsters of Meghalaya

The Union Textiles Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, along with Chief Minister of Meghalaya Dr. Mukul Sangma, inaugurated the first ever Apparel and Garment Making Centre in Meghalaya, near Ampati in South West Garo Hills today, in the presence of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju.

Dedicating the centre to the people of Ampati in particular and to the state as a whole, Smt. Irani said that the project was testimony to the true convergence of efforts of Central and State Governments. She said that the Apparel Centre will create employment opportunities for both men and women of the region, thereby empowering them economically.

Smt. Irani informed that the Union Ministry of Textiles is implementing projects worth Rs. 70 crore in sericulture and weaving sectors for Meghalaya alone. The Textiles Minister said that around Rs. 32 crore has already been sanctioned for the state of Meghalaya, for promotion of handlooms. She appealed to the youngsters, particularly women, to leverage their handloom legacy and become enterprising entrepreneurs. As the region is well-known for regional dyes, Smt. Irani urged upon the weavers of the state to register with India Handloom Brand, which she said can directly connect the weavers with big multinational companies. The Union Minister said that once the centre starts functioning to its full potential, it will give an indication to investors across the country that the youth of the region are ready for economic engagement and expansion.

The sprawling Apparel and Garment Making Centre, covering an area of 45,000 sq. ft, has been set up at Hatisil near Ampati, at a cost of approximately Rs. 14.26 crore, under the North East Region Textiles Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) of the Ministry of Textiles. The centre has three units, two of them housing 105 sewing machines each, and the third one having seventy machines. The foundation stone for this centre was laid in 2015 by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, in the presence of the then Union Textiles Minister. Its construction was completed by NBCC, in a record time of less than two years.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma expressed his gratitude to the people of the region, for creating a conducive atmosphere and enabling completion of the huge infrastructure before timeline, without cost overruns.  He expressed confidence that the garment centre at Hatisil would grow to become the most sought-after export unit in the state. He spoke of the advantage provided by the availability of international market in neighbouring Bangladesh, and the opportunity it offers in forging business partnerships with investors of Bangladesh. Stating that the weavers of the region are a ready workforce and that they only require advanced training, he highlighted the importance of providing training for their technological up-gradation.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju said that the Centre has given special focus to Meghalaya, particularly Garo Hills, in creating job-oriented programmes. He added that there could not be a better programme for women than this, for promotion of textiles and handlooms in the state. Dwelling on the huge potential of the region, he said there was a need to create industries and employment opportunities to harness the potential of sectors such as like sericulture and weaving.

Minister for Sericulture and Weaving, Government of Meghalaya, Clement Marak; Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya, Zenith Sangma and several other dignitaries and officials from both Central and State governments were present on the occasion. The inaugural programme was also attended by hundreds of weavers from various parts of the region.


The Apparel and Garment Making Centre is being set up as part of a landmark initiative announced by the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Nagaland, on 1st December, 2014. The Prime Minister had announced that an Apparel and Garment Making Centre shall be constructed in all North Eastern states. Each Apparel and Garment Making Centre set up under the initiative is estimated to generate direct employment for 1,200 people.

For local entrepreneurs with requisite background, required facilities to start a unit will be provided in ‘plug and play’ mode. Once such entrepreneurs get established, they can set up their own units, allowing the facility to be provided to new entrepreneurs. The project will be fully funded by the Ministry of Textiles, with an estimated expense of Rs. 18.18 crores for each state. The initiative comes under the North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) of the Ministry of Textiles. NERTPS is an umbrella scheme for the development of various segments of textiles, i.e. silk, handlooms, handicrafts and apparels & garments.


IPPB branches launched in Ranchi & Raipur

Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley and Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha launched the operations of the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) here today as two pilot branches at Raipur and Ranchi through video conferencing from Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Jaitley said that about 650 IPPB branches will be opened by September this year and that will have a multiplier impact as far as banking in India is concerned. He said with IPPB, banking at the doorstep will no longer remain a mere slogan, but will become a reality due to huge postal network in the country. He said that financial Inclusion is critical for the socio-economic development of the country, but there are significant gaps in this area and a large proportion of country’s population remain unbanked or underbanked. IPPB will effectively leverage the ubiquitous post office network with its pan-India physical presence, long experience in cash handling and savings mobilization, backed by the ongoing project of IT-enablement, to bridge this gap in Financial Inclusion.

In his address, Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha has commended the hard work done by the Department of Posts in setting up the India Post Payments Bank and hoped that both organizations will work in tandem to take the benefits of government schemes and financial services that are not easily available in rural areas to customers across the country and to the marginalized population in urban and rural areas alike. He said, the objective of IPPB will be public service rather than promoting commercial interests.

Secretary, Department of Posts, Shri B.V.Sudhakar said that the IPPB is widely expected to be a game changer for financial inclusion in the country as the USP of this initiative is doorstep banking, particularly in the rural areas.

As mandated by the RBI, the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) would focus on providing basic financial services such as all kinds of payments; including social security payments, utility bill payments, person to person remittances (both domestic and cross-border), current and savings accounts up to a balance of Rs 1 lac, distribution of insurance, mutual funds, pension products and acting as business correspondent to other banks for credit products especially in rural areas and among the underserved segments of the society.

Set up us a 100% Government of India owned Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts, it will open around 650 branches in district HQ locations. All 1.55 lacs post offices including the 1.39 lac of the rural post offices will be mapped to the IPPB branch at the district headquarter and function as access points for IPPB. IPPB will usher in state of the art internet and mobile banking platforms, digital wallets and use innovative and emerging technologies to catalyse the shift from a cash dominant to a less cash economy.

While many other banks and financial institutions are working on the same theme, the USP of IPPB will be its ability to ease access and handhold the adoption of new age banking and payments instruments among citizen of all walks of life through the delivery by postmen and Grameen Dak sevaks, savings agents and other franchisees who will take banking to door steps. IPPB thus aspires to the most accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man with the motto – “No customer is too small, no transaction too insignificant, and no deposit too little”.

Given ‘in principle’ approval by the RBI along with 10 other aspirants on 19th Aug 2015, IPPB received the cabinet’s approval on 1st June, 2016 and was incorporated as on 17th Sept, 2106. Today it became the second payments bank to launch its operations. Having got its final banking license from the RBI on the 20th Jan 2017 it has commenced operations in record time of 10 days in partnership with the Punjab National Bank, after obtaining all necessary approvals and registrations from the RBI, NPCI etc.


INVITE: Press Conference by ADR and Goa Election Watch

INVITE: Press Conference by ADR and Goa Election Watch on ‘Goa Assembly Elections 2017:Criminal, Financial,

Dear Friends,

You are cordially invited for a Press Conference organized by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Goa Election Watch  to release a comprehensive report on

 Goa Assembly Elections 2017: Criminal, Financial, Educational, Gender and Age details of Candidates of all Political Parties’.

The report will cover analysis of criminal, financial and other background details of the candidates of all political parties contesting this election and shall be based on the inputs provided by the candidates in their sworn affidavits with their nomination papers. Maj. Gen. Anil Verma (Retd.), Head of ADR, will be present among others to discuss the report and interact with the members of the press.

Details of the Press Conference:Topic: Goa Assembly Elections 2017: Criminal, Financial, Educational, Gender and Age details of Candidates of all Political Parties

Venue: Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hall, Panaji

Date: 31st Jan, 2017: Tuesday

Time: 3:00 PM

Yours sincerely,  


Dear Mr. Sagar, Budget 2017 big bets: Arun Jaitley must make it:

Dear Mr. Sagar

Budget 2017 big bets: Arun Jaitley must make it attractive for private sector to invest in infrastructure, housing
Budget 2017 is expected to be a ‘big’ budget. With GST on the anvil and demonetisation already undertaken, the ground has been laid for the government to announce some big-bang measures for promoting investment and lifting the economy to a…
Rajiv Kumar and Palakh Jain
New Delhi | Published: January 26, The Financial Express

According to a PwC report, India will require investment to the tune of trillion over the next seven years to meet its infrastructure and housing demand, of which approximately 70-80% of the demand will come from housing. (Reuters)

Budget 2017 is expected to be a ‘big’ budget. With GST on the anvil and demonetisation already undertaken, the ground has been laid for the government to announce some big-bang measures for promoting investment and lifting the economy to a higher growth and employment-generation trajectory. The forthcoming budget will be perhaps the last chance for the Modi government to usher in necessary reforms to stamp out corruption and the concomitant black economy. Some more reforms of the direct tax regime and the FRBM, on which a high-powered committee will have submitted its report at the end of December 2016, may also be on the anvil in this budget which will be presented amidst the turbulent global environment. These measures, which will be seen as a follow up to the large number of incremental measures across a wide range of sectors taken over the last 30 months and some bold structural reforms like the GST and demonetisation, could also yield a strong electoral lift for the NDA as it approaches the four provincial elections lined up for 2017. The forthcoming budget will surely be not an ordinary one.

The writing on the wall is that this budget will be a follow-up on the recent demonetisation exercise and, hopefully, also a major step towards the implementation of GST. The finance minister could also take advantage of the larger fiscal space available to the government as a result of the demonetisation, higher indirect tax collections and the recommendations of the Committee on FRBM to announce major increases in public capital expenditure that could trigger the tepid investment cycle of the present. In this context, the finance minister could consider the following as focus areas for the upcoming budget.

Infrastructure and housing
According to a PwC report, India will require investment to the tune of $1 trillion over the next seven years to meet its infrastructure and housing demand, of which approximately 70-80% of the demand will come from housing. The funding gap will be the primary challenge, and new avenues of funding like credit enhancement schemes for key projects and development of strong bond markets would be important steps for generating alternative capital. To meet the funding needs, government will need to proactively work on attracting private sector investment in this sector.

Budget 2017: Focus On Green Vehicles, Make In India, Says Ravi Shingari Of KPMG

India adds nearly 1 million people every month to the workforce. All this is combined with the challenge posed by disguised unemployment in the agriculture sector and bad working conditions in the unorganised sector. According to the Economic Census, the numbers for the percentage change in employment for various key industries are not encouraging (as shown in the accompanying graphic). The only way to prepare the labour force for new jobs is intense reskilling and reimagining India’s education; without this, India’s demographic dividend is not going to be realised. The government should incentivise industries such as robot technology and futuristic cars.

India’s export growth has been lacklustre since 2012. Worse, the country is on the verge of losing its competitiveness in manufacturing. This is on account of the high logistics costs, combined with poor productivity. If this continues, then the increase in local demand will primarily benefit foreign producers and cause a trade-deficit problem. Defence and MSME sector offer some hope in terms of renewing the competitiveness of the Indian economy.


Cashless economyIn November 2016, the government initiated demonetisation of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes to curb black money and fake currency. An important impact of this step will be on cashless payments. These will pick up, and the government will have to support this progress by incentivising e-payments. According to a government website, Electronic Transaction Aggregation and Analysis Layer (eTaal), 3.53 billion transactions were done in 2014, which almost doubled in 2015 to 6.95 billion. Given the preference of Indians for technology, this figure will increase manifold after demonetisation. Giving adequate and right incentives to companies operating in this domain will be an important signal to the world in India’s journey from developing to developed world.


With India at the cusp of a digital revolution, there is a need to provide the necessary ecosystem for this sector to flourish. Incentivising this sector will not just benefit the e-commerce companies by further accelerating their growth, but will also position India as industry-friendly and attract more investments from foreign investors which, in turn, creates a ripple effect by generating infinite employment opportunities. Introducing tax incentives for start-up employees and funding of start-ups can be some initiatives which will help this sector immensely.

With this background, Budget 2017 is an opportunity for the government to outline its priorities for the year to come.

Rajiv Kumar is founding director, and Palakh Jain is senior fellow, Pahle India Foundation

Warm regards,

Rajiv Kumar

Founder Director

Pahle India Foundation

C4/54 First Floor

Safdarjung Development Area

New Delhi – 110016

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