New Delhi

Govt. has taken several initiatives in different sectors to ensure growth: Jaitley

Arun JaitleyNew Delhi, Jan.14 - Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the NDA Government has taken several initiatives in different sectors in the last eight months to take the economy on a higher growth path.

He said that overall, with growth improving and inflation and external fronts under control, macro-economy stability has improved.

The Finance Minister said growth deceleration has bottomed out and the revival has started.

Jaitley said the economy registered a higher growth in the first half of the current financial year at 5.5 per cent as compared to last year's 4.9 per cent in the first half, and 4.7 per cent for the full financial year 2013-14.

India wants bond with Australia to extend beyond business: Andrew Robb

Andrew RobbNew Delhi, Jan 13 : Australia Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb on Tuesday said that New Delhi and Canberra are willing to take their existing good relations to the next level, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the bond between the two countries to extend beyond mere business.

"I was very honoured to have a meeting with Prime Minister Modi and we were talking about how Australia and India can take our relationship, which has always been strong, to another level because of the ambition that he has got for the country and because of the agenda that is exciting the world," Robb said.

Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham roped in for 'Hera Pheri 3'

Abhishek Bachchan, John AbrahamNew Delhi, Jan 13 : Firoz Nadiadwala's hit comedy franchise 'Hera Pheri' is back with its third film with a new star cast, it has been revealed.

The film titled as ' Hera Pheri 3' will once again be directed by Neeraj Vora and will feature 'Dostana' boys John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan , alongwith Sunil Shetty and Paresh Rawal.

Shetty, who will be a part of the film for the third time said, "I think it's a film which is the first franchise In Bollywood so I am really excited about the project.

Lohri to be celebrated across Northern India today

Lohri to be celebrated across Northern India todayNew Delhi, Jan. 13 - The bonfire festival of Lohri will be observed and celebrated across Northern India today.

The people of Punjab and Haryna primarily celebrate Lohri to signal the end of the Winter Solstice.

This year, in Punjab and Haryana, the state governments and NGOs are going with the theme of saving the girl child.

Government puts 40 more coal mines on offer for auction

Government puts 40 more coal mines on offer for auctionNew Delhi Jan. 13 - The government has put 40 more coal mines up for auction and allotment.

Twenty-six of these 40 mines would go to the power sector.

As per the list, 23 mines are earmarked for auction, while 17 others including Tara East, Parsa East and Kanta Basan would be allotted directly.

The e-auction of the 23 coal mines will be held from the second week of February.

The auction process for 204 coal mines was begun last December through a re-promulgation of the coal ordinance. (ANI)

Ruth Wilson wins Best Actress TV Golden Globe for 'The Affair'

Ruth WilsonNew Delhi, Jan 12 : Ruth Wilson has won the 'Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama' for her role in 'The Affair' at the 2015 Golden Globes Awards.

The 32-year-old actress, who was nominated for a BAFTA and Golden Globe for Best Actress in a mini-series for her role in 'Jane Eyre', is best known for her performances in 'Suburban Shootout' (2005), 'Jane Eyre' (2006), and as Alice Morgan in the BBC TV psychological crime drama 'Luther' since 2010.

' The Affair' is about the psychological effects of an affair between a married waitress at a Hamptons diner and a teacher who spends his summer at his in-laws' estate on the island. (ANI)

Fliers to show original jewellery docs before declaring them

New Delhi - Foreign-bound fliers, wishing to declare jewellery and precious metals, should now carry an affidavit in case they don't have original documents affirming ownership of valuables before customs so that they are not charged duty on such items on their return.

The customs department has opened a valuation counter at international airport here for appraisal of gold and other jewellery and issued a detailed guidelines for the passengers to declare them.

"Passenger must state the purpose of visit abroad and submit an undertaking to re-import the same jewellery," the guidelines said.

Market valuation: Top 6 Sensex firms lose Rs 52,781 crore

New Delhi - The combined market valuation of top six Sensex companies plunged by Rs 52,781 crore last week, with ICICI Bank and TCS taking the biggest hit.

Except, ONGC, Infosys, HDFC Bank and HUL, other six companies amongst the top 10 list including ITC, RIL and CIL suffered losses in market capitalisation (m-cap).

The m-cap of ICICI Bank fell by Rs 11,810.33 crore to Rs 1,98,130.31 crore, witnessing the biggest fall among the top 10 most valued Indian companies.

TCS saw its m-cap dropping by Rs 11,487.94 crore to Rs 4,92,071.64 crore, followed by SBI Rs 9,182.85 crore to Rs 2,26,435.62 crore and ITC Rs 9,154.77 crore to Rs 2,85,197.19 crore.

Fin Min proposes new tax accounting standards for businesses

New Delhi - To ensure consistency as well as clarity on taxation issues, the Finance Ministry has proposed new tax accounting standards related to income computation and disclosures by businesses.

The new draft of 12 Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS), for which comments have been sought from stakeholders till February 8, is aimed at having consistency in respect of issues that come under this ambit.

This ICDS is applicable for computation of income chargeable under the head 'profits and gains of business or profession' or 'income from other sources' and not for the purpose of maintenance of books of accounts, according to the Ministry.

UN Secretary General to participate in Vibrant Gujarat Summit

Ban Ki moon UNNew Delhi, Jan 9 : United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will pay a three-day official visit to India starting January 10 to participate in the 2015 edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, to be held in Gandhinagar.

At the summit, the UN Secretary General will be the guest of honour and the keynote speaker. He is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as visit the Sabarmati Ashram and inaugurate the 10 megawatts Canal -Top Solar Power Plant in Vadodara.

Omar puts onus on PDP for Governor's rule in J-K

Omar AbdullahNew Delhi, Jan 9 : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday lamented that Governor's rule has been imposed in the state despite a good turnout in the assembly polls and lambasted the People's Democratic Party (PDP) for the latest political development in this regard.

"I'm sorry after an election with such a good turnout we have a situation of Governor's rule but as I've maintained the onus lies with @jkpdp," Omar tweeted.

"Lastly, if @jkpdp have a govt in place before the 19th of Jan I'll publicly acknowledge that they were right and I was wrong. Let's see now," he added.

Govt to exempt ONGC, OIL from fuel subsidy payment this fiscal

New Delhi - The government is likely to exempt ONGC and Oil India Ltd from payment of fuel subsidy during the rest of the fiscal due to steep decline in global oil rates to around USD 50 per barrel.

Upstream producers Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and OIL made good nearly half of the revenue loss or under- recoveries that fuel retailers incurred on selling cooking fuel and diesel until recently at government controlled rates.

This subsidy contribution was by way of discount on crude oil they sold to the downstream firms and it was capped at USD 56 per barrel in 2013.

Govt to invite bids for 4 UMPPs in 3-6 months: Goyal

New Delhi - The government is looking to start a fresh process of inviting bids for ultra mega power projects (UMPPs) at four locations in the country in the next three-six months, Power Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said.

"These four proposed UMPPs include two for which we have cancelled the bid and we will be inviting fresh bids, and two more have been identified - one in Bihar and another in Jharkhand," Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on the sidelines of Economic Times Power Summit.

The Minister said he is hopeful the process of inviting bids will start in the next three to six months.

Domestic car sales soar 15.26% in December

New Delhi - Domestic passenger car sales rose 15.26 percent to 1,52,743 units in December 2014 as compared to 1,32,524 units in December 2013.

Motorcycle sales last month declined 3.52 percent to 7,79,908 units from 8,08,389 units a year earlier, according to data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

Total two-wheeler sales in December rose 4.52 percent to 12,12,996 units.

Sales of commercial vehicles rose 9.01 percent to 51,000 units in December, SIAM said.

Vehicle sales across categories registered an increase of 5.68 percent to 15,12,881 units from 14,31,543 units in December 2013, it added. PTI

Unemployment rate rises to 4.9 percent in 2013-14: Labour Bureau

Unemployment rate risesNew Delhi, Jan 8 : The unemployment rate in the country rose to 4.9 per cent in 2013-14 from 4.7 per cent in 2012-13.

According to the latest survey report by Labour Bureau, the unemployment rate dropped in urban areas from the previous 5.7 percent to the current levels of 5.5 percent in 2013-14. However, the overall percent dropped due to unemployment rates rising in rural areas.

The unemployment rate among men increased to 4.1 per cent from 4 per cent in 2012-13. Among women, it increased to 7.7 per cent from 7.2 per cent in 2012-13.

However, the unemployment rate among women came down to 12.4 per cent in urban areas, from 12.8 per cent in 2012-13. (ANI)

Kailash Satyarthi presents Nobel Peace Prize medal to President

Kailash SatyarthiNew Delhi, Jan 7 : Kailash Satyarthi presented his Nobel Peace Prize Medal to President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday, dedicating the honour bestowed upon him to the nation.

According to a release from the Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Mukherjee said he was very happy that Sathyarthi received the award and welcomed Satyarthi's gesture of presenting the medal to him, adding that the Nobel Prize medal will be kept on display at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum.

Amitabh Bachchan launches trailer of upcoming movie 'Shamitabh'

ShamitabhNew Delhi, Jan 7 : Amitabh Bachchan on Tuesday launched the trailer of the much anticipated movie 'Shamitabh' along with the cast and crew in Mumbai.

The film's trailer, which showcases Bachchan in a rugged look with heavy beard and unkempt hairstyle, seems to have increased the curiosity of moviegoers without revealing any inch of the plot.

'Shamitabh' is amalgamation of two letters of Dhanush's name "Sh" which is followed by Amitabh's name and it marks as a debut for Akshara Haasan.

Telecom Commission sends back 3G spectrum proposals to Trai

New Delhi - Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC) has decided to send back Trai?s recommendations on 3G spectrum pricing for a reconsideration.

According to sources, TC today discussed Trai's proposals on 2100 MHz band base price, used for 3G services, in its meeting and decided to send back the recommendations for a review.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on December 31 had recommended a base price at Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz.

An internal committee of the Department of Telecom (DoT) is believed to have suggested fixing base price of 3G spectrum at Rs 3,899 crore per megahertz, about 43 per cent higher than the rate recommended by Trai.

PNB revises interest rate on fixed deposits by up to 0.5%

Punjab National BankNew Delhi: State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) on Tuesday revised interest rate on fixed deposits by up to 0.5 percent on various maturities.

"For deposits less than Rs 1 crore having maturity between 7-14 days, the new interest rate will be 4.50 per cent from the existing 4 percent," PNB said in a statement.

Similarly, the bank has increased interest rate by 0.5 percent on the fixed deposit between 30-45 days. The new rate would be 5 percent from the existing 4.50 percent.

For term deposits having a maturity period of 180-270 days, the rate has been revised upwards by 0.25 percent to 7.75 percent.

The new rate would be effective from January 8, it added.

Great pity that athletes lobby to receive awards, says Omar

Omar AbdullahNew Delhi, Jan 6 : Taking a jibe at the pugilist Vijender Singh and badminton ace Saina Nehwal after the duo advertised their names for the Padma Bhushan, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said it's a great pity that the Indian athletes feel they have to lobby and threaten to receive awards.

He took to twitter to express his views in this regard, saying the criteria for the coveted award should be based on merit.

"It's a great pity that our athletes feel they have to lobby and threaten to receive awards, criteria based on merit should be all that decides," Omar tweeted.

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