Monday, May 23, 2016

India and Iran today signed 12 MoU

 India and Iran today signed 12 Memoranda of Understanding and agreements in various areas including building and operating the Chabahar port by India. It followed the delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The other agreements include cooperation in culture, science and technology, library sciences, and cooperation between the exim banks of both the countries. Signing of Chabahar port agreement will further improve trade relations especially between India and Afghanistan After the port would be completely functional, India can directly send its goods to Afghanistan.
After signing of the agreements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his press statement, termed the agreement on developing first phase of Chabahar port as a milestone on bilateral economic ties. Mr Modi said, the port will develop better connectivity among India, Iran and Afghanistan. He said, the port will help in faster economic growth in the region. Mr Modi said, India is committed for the early implementation of the signed agreements today by the two countries.
Noting that peace and stability is crucial in the region, the Prime Minister said India and Iran share the commitment to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region. He said both the countries are committed to fight the menace of growing terrorism and extremism.
Mr Modi said the two countries agreed to consult closely and regularly on combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime. Mr Modi said he and President Rouhani also shared concerns at the spread of forces of instability and terror in the region. He also extended an invitation to Mr Rouhani to visit India.
Earlier, in a joint statement with Prime Minister Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Chabahar port is a symbol of synergy between both the nations. He said the port can serve as a point of connectivity to different countries.
He said, economic relations between Delhi and Tehran can further be expanded through the project. Dr Rouhani also touched upon commonalities between the two nations and said promotion of Hindi and Persian in both the countries were also discussed.
Mr Rouhani said, both the nations discussed about sharing of intelligence to check the menace of terrorism, as its tentacles are spreading over Syria, Yemen and many other areas in the region. He stressed upon booth the nations to work together to bring peace and stability in the region.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was accorded ceremonial welcome on the forecourts of the Saadabad Palace in Tehran. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this evening.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani, at the delegation level talks, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
Press Information Bureau - PIB,  Government of India's photo.
Press Information Bureau - PIB,  Government of India's photo.
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DSK Shivajians ‘A’ score 6 past Sangam FC for tenth win

 23rd May 2016 DSK Dream City, Pune – DSK Shivajians ‘A’ once again logged a one-sided win subduing Sangam F.C 6-0 in a PDFA Super Division League game at the DSK Dream City, Football Fields.
Two goals by Mohd. Salah (25th & 78th minute) and a goal each by Astle Pereira (11th), Saddam Sayyed (77th), Vikram U (83rd) and Tarun Taneja (89th) ensured that DSK Shivajians ‘A’ registered their tenth win.
With five players getting on the score sheet, it was skipper Riyan Yadgiri who played an important part by assisting three goals.
DSK Shivajians ‘A’ opened the scoring early with Astel knocking home a sitter. It took another fourteen minutes for the hosts to double their advantage when Ivo Fernandes set up an easy finish for Mohd. Salah.
There was no further addition to the score line thereafter and DSK Shivajians ‘A’ went into the break with a two-goal cushion.
In the second half, DSK Shivajians took it easy. But when they did step up the pace they did net four in a matter of 12 minutes in the latter part of the game.
During this slack period of the game, DSK Shivajians had two of their players pick up bookings – Franky  Oliverio (42nd) and Raviraj Kurne (56th).
In the last quarter of the game, Saddam Sayed utilized Riyan’s assist to score the third, then within a minute Mohd. Salah added another by doing justice to Sidney Colaco feed to take the scoreline to 4-0.
Vikram  U. combined with Prathamesh Singh to add the fifth goal while Tarun Taneja completed the six-goal rout after Riyan once again turned provider.
DSK Shivajians next run into Chetak F.C on 24th May 2016.

Analysis of Funds Collected and Expenditure incurred by Political Parties

Analysis of Funds Collected and Expenditure incurred by Political Parties

During elections in 11 years – 2004 to 2015

 Executive Summary

Total number of elections held between 2004 and 2015

·         Between January 2004 and December 2015, there were a total of 71 Assembly Elections and 3 Lok Sabha Elections.
·         The maximum number of Assembly elections were held in 2008 when 10 states (Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Rajasthan, J & K, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram) went for polls while least number of Assembly elections were held in 2010 when only Bihar went for polls.
·         Total funds were collected and spent between 2004 and 2015, during the election period of 1535 days.

Number of elections vs. number of contesting parties

·         Except in 2004, it can be noticed that between 2005 and 2015, the number of contesting parties increased with thetotal number of Assembly elections held during that period. While 65 parties contested in 4 Assembly elections held in 2005, it increased to 82 parties in 5 Assembly elections held in 2006.
·         Maximum number of 120 parties contested in the 10 Assembly elections held in 2008.
·         The number of National and Regional Parties which contested in the Lok Sabha elections held in 2004 was 42 while during2009 Lok Sabha elections, it was 41parties and in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it increased to 45 National and Regional parties.
Elections Vs. Parties200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015
Assembly Elections
6
4
5
7
10
7
1
5
7
9
8
2
Contesting Parties
62
65
82
93
120
90
18
76
88
102
101
35
Lok Sabha Elections
1
1
1
Contesting Parties
42
41
45

 Inline image 1

 Total funds collected by Political Parties: Lok Sabha elections (2004, 2009, 2014)

·         According to the proforma issued by the Election Commission of India to political parties for submission of their election expenditure statements, funds received between the date of announcements of elections and completion of elections have to be disclosed in cash, cheques/DD, in kind (value of which has to be specified).
·         Collectively, during the Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009 and 2014, political parties declared collecting a total of Rs 2355.35 crores of which 44% or Rs 1039.06 crores was by cash and 55% or Rs 1299.53 crores was by cheque.
·         Rs 16.76 crores was declared by the parties as funds collected ‘in kind’ during the Lok Sabha elections.
Inline image 2

Total funds collected by Political Parties: Assembly elections (2004-2015)

·         Maximum funds were collected during the 7 Assembly Elections held in 2012where 13 political parties have declared collecting a total of Rs 695.28 crores of which Rs 370.45 crores was collected in cash (53% of total funds) and Rs 324.83 crores was collected by cheque (47% of total funds).
·         Collectively, during the 71 Assembly elections held between 2004 and 2015, political parties have declared collecting Rs 2107.80 crores in cash (63% of total funds) and Rs 1244.86 crores by cheque (37% of total funds).
·         Rs 15.39 crores was declared by the parties as funds collected ‘in kind’.
Inline image 3

Top 5 regional parties which collected maximum funds and incurred maximum expenditure during Lok Sabha elections

·         Among all the Regional parties who have submitted their election expenditure statements for the Lok Sabha elections held in 2004, 2009, 2014, the top 5 parties include SP, AAP, AIADMK, BJD and SAD.
·         These 5 parties have declared collecting a total of Rs 267.14 crores which forms 62% of the total funds declared by all the regional parties collectively. They have declared collecting Rs 129.22 crores in cash (48% of total funds) and Rs 137.72 crores by cheque (52% of total funds).
·         Despite contesting in only one Lok Sabha election, AAP stands second in the total funds collected by declaring Rs 51.83 crores.This forms 19% of total funds collected by all the 5 Regional parties which contested in 3 Lok Sabha elections
·         Among the top 5 regional parties, SP has declared the maximum expenditure ofRs 90.09 crores during the Lok Sabha elections followed by AIADMK which had declared incurring an expenditure of Rs 39.31 crores.

Inline image 6

Top 5 regional parties which collected maximum funds and incurred maximum expenditure during Assembly elections

·         Among all the regional parties which have declared their expenditure during Assembly elections held between 2004 and 2015, the top 5 parties include SP, AAP, SAD, Shiv Sena and AITC.
·         The 5 parties have declared a total of Rs 291.92 crores as funds collected of which Rs 112.87 crores was in cash and Rs 179.02 crores was by cheque. This forms 82% of the total funds declared by all the regional parties collectively.
·         SP declared collecting a total of Rs 186.8 crores while AAP comes a distant second with Rs 38.54 crores as total funds collected.
·         SP declared incurring the maximum expenditure of Rs 96.54 crores during the Assembly elections followed by Shiv Sena with Rs 29.605 crores.
 Inline image 7

Details of parties defaulting in submission of expenditure statements – 2011 to 2015

Based on the information on the website of the ECI, ADR analysed availability of statements of election expenditure incurred by political parties during Assembly Elections held between 2011 and 2015.
·         Among the National Parties, election expenditure statements of NCP and CPIare not available for 2 Assembly electionsheld between 2011 and 2015.
·         The availability of election expenditure statements of Regional Parties is equally worrisome where the statements of JD(U) is unavailable for 15 Assembly Elections while that of SP is unavailable for 11 Assembly Elections.

Observations & Recommendations of ADR 

Observations
·         The election expenditure statements submitted by 49 Regional parties for Lok Sabha elections were analysed:
·         20 of the 49 parties had spent more than the total funds collected during the election period.
·         A total of Rs 58.56 crores was ‘remaining unpaid’ by 20 parties at the time of submission of expenditure statements. It is to be noted that 12 parties out of the 20 had declared expenditure more than the funds collected.
·         Maximum expenditure ‘remaining unpaid’ was declared by AIADMK, Rs 25.91 cr (66% of total exp); SP, Rs 9.72 cr (11% of total exp) and YSR-C, Rs 5.6 cr (31% of total exp).
·         The election expenditure statements submitted by 37 Regional parties forAssembly elections were analysed:
·         19 parties declared spending more than the funds collected
·         Rs 44.66 cr was the amount declared as ‘remaining unpaid’ by 16 parties. 10 of those who had declared amounts remaining unpaid had incurred expenditure more than the funds collected.
·         Maximum expenditure ‘remaining unpaid’ was declared by SP, Rs 17.79 cr (18% of total exp); AITC Rs 6.1 cr (33% of total exp); Shiv Sena, Rs 5.925 cr (20% of total exp)
·         ECI had issued transparency guidelines and made it effective from 1st Oct, 2014 stating that donors making cash donations made to parties would not get tax exemption. It also stated that parties should not make any expenditure above Rs 20,000 in cash (with exceptions). But there is no provision in the expenditure format for the parties to declare expenses below or above Rs 20,000. Hence, it appears that the parties are taking advantage of the opacity in the expenditure statements to collect and spend funds in cash.
·         Since the guidelines became effective, Haryana, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Delhi have gone for polls.
·         During Bihar and Delhi assembly elections:
§  9 parties have submitted their expenditure statements: AAP, JDU, LJP, RJD, RLD, RLSP, SP, SAD, Shiv Sena
§  A total of Rs 9.39 crores was collected by them in cash (23% of total funds)
§  Rs 2.30 cr spent in cash (5.1% of total expenditure).
·         A total of Rs 7.46 cr was remaining unpaid at the time of submission of the expenditure statements
 Recommendations
·         It must be made mandatory for all political parties to submit their statements of expenditure in the format given by the ECI, within the prescribed time limit. Political parties not submitting on time or in the prescribed format should be heavily penalized.
·         The details of all donors who contribute to national and regional parties exclusively for their election campaigns must be declared in the public domain irrespective of the amount donated.
·         A format similar to the donations report along with the date of donations, submitted to the ECI on an annual basis, has to be prescribed for the expenditure statement so as to bring in more transparency in the finances of the political parties especially during elections when it is said that black money plays a major role.
·         Similar to the shadow observers of the ECI for monitoring expenditure of candidates, there must also be observers for monitoring the expenditure of political parties.
·         While it is crucial for political parties to submit their expenditure statements for greater financial transparency, it is equally important to file the same within the time limit set by the ECI and endorsed by the Supreme Court of India. The National and Regional Parties should, ideally, lead by example by filing complete and correct statements of expenditure to the ECI well in time for public scrutiny so as to encourage financial transparency. 

For details of total expenditure incurred in cash and cheque by political parties during the 3 Lok Sabha elections and 71 Assembly Elections, please refer to the attached reports (in Hindi and English).

Contact Details

Media and Journalist Helpline

+91 80103 94248
Maj Gen Anil Verma (Retd)
Head

National Election Watch
Association for Democratic Reforms

+91 8826479910
Prof Jagdeep Chhokar
IIM Ahmedabad (Retd)

Founder Member National Election Watch, Association for Democratic
Reforms
+919999620944
Prof Trilochan Sastry
IIM Bangalore

Founder Member,
National Election Watch,
Association for Democratic Reforms
+919448353285,

CAIT SUPPORT PM FOR CASHLESS ECONOMY

CAIT SUPPORT PM FOR CASHLESS ECONOMY MENTIONED IN MANN KI BAAT
CAIT DEMANDS INCENTIVE SCHEMES TO ENCOURAGE ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has complimented Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for spelling out his vision about cashless society in his Man Ki Baat address made yesterday to the Countrymen. ” It will be a pro-active step towards eradication of black money since use of digital payments will bring accountability and make the system more transparent”-said CAIT. It has suggested that like PM Jan Dhan Yojna and Mudra Yojna, this vision of cashless society should be canvassed through a national campaign across the Country and an incentivisation scheme must be formulated to encourage more and more people to use electronic payments in their personal expenditure and business transactions. While saying so, the Prime Minister has set an agenda for of cashless economy as one of the priority of the Government-said CAIT. In line with PMs cashless vision, the CAIT will soon release a White Paper and a Roadmap on Less Cash economy in India and will also hold a national conference of stakeholders to take forward the cashless vision of Prime Minister.
In India 96% retail transactions are conducted in cash.Only 3.6% of households in India make cashless transactions. There are about 60 crore Debit Cards and 2 crore Credit Cards in the Country. Almost 95% of Debit Cards are used at ATMs to withdraw cash. The CAIT has suggested to levy 0.5% service charge on each withdrawl from ATMs to discourage cash withdrawals.
CAIT National President Mr. B. C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal while reaffirming the commitment to transform India and trader’s constituency of 5.77 crore small businesses to adopt digital technologies and electronic payments said that for India to see double digit growth, it is critical to leverage all modes of electronic payments like Debit/Credit Card, Point of Sale terminals and Mobile Applications to a great and wider extent. The Government should launch a massive national campaign for making awareness across the Country in association with Trade Associations, Resident Welfare Associations, Consumer Organisations, Banks, Financial Institutions, Chartered Accountants and other sections of the public. The CAIT has been at the fore front of a less cash vision by partnering with MasterCard since last more than One and a half year to educate merchants and traders about digital payments and e commerce. So far it has trained about 50 thousand traders all over the Country by holding regular workshops,seminars and conferences.
They further suggested that in order to ensure early adoption of cashless society, the Government should bring incentivisation policy which may include tax benefits, discounts in property tax, telephone and electricity bills and in other government revenue. There are merely about 12 lakh POS terminals in the Country. To augment usage of POS terminals at its availability at reasonable prices, the Government should facilitate manufacturing of Point of Sale (POS) terminals in the Country itself under Make in India program.Currently, the POS machines are imported. The CAIT has also called for abolition of import duty on POS terminals. It has also urged the Government to abolish transaction cost usually taken by the Banks on each transaction made through Debit/Credit Card which is a major deterrent in adoption of electronic payments.There also a need for easier KYC norms for small businesses alongwith a revised credit rating mechanism.
They further said that it is imperative that we adopt best available technologies & innovations. To achieve this, we must adopt a payment neutral approach that prioritizes a free & open market and a competitive playing field that encourages a race to the top for innovation, cost,security and integration and gives consumers and businesses the freedom of choice that is hallmark of various economies of the world. The National Payment Council of India (NPCI) should be made an independent regulator and Rupay must be handled by any separate Authority-added CAIT.  The NPCI should be working with the private sector to tackle the shared goal of moving to a less cash society.

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