Monday, May 1, 2017

200 ARRESTS AT MAY DAY CLASHES IN ISTANBUL

Protesters hold May Day demo in Istanbul’s Bakirkoy neighbourhood.
Turkish Government Bans May Day Celebrations In İstanbul’s Taksim Square as per media reports.May Day rallies in Tukey’s  city  descended into clashes with the police, as several activist groups tried to get into cordoned-off areas of the city. Over 200 people have been detained, and at least one man was reportedly killed.
Labor Day celebrations in Istanbul turned violent as multiple groups of demonstrators attempted to march towards central Taksim square, despite police cordons and warnings. Taksim Square was the traditional place for May Day celebrations until 1977, when dozens of people were killed during demonstrations on what was dubbed ‘Bloody May Day.’ The square was reopened for celebrations in the late 2000s, but was shut again in 2013.media agencies

SAEED KARIMIAN OF IRANIAN SATELLITE NETWORK SHOT DEAD IN ISTANBUL

The head of Iranian satellite television network GEM TV, Saeed Karimian, was shot dead in Istanbul along with a business partner on Saturday, Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported, as cited by Reuters. Their car was reportedly stopped by a jeep and shots were fired. Karimian was later found dead by emergency services in Istanbul’s Maslak neighbourhood. His business partner was declared dead at the hospital. Karimian was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court in 2016 on charges of “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the state.”

DEPUTY PM & HOME MINISTER OF NEPAL BIMALENDRA NIDHI RESIGNS

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister of Nepal Bimalendra Nidhi has resigned from his post yesterday. According to media reports, Shri Nidhi has resigned in protest of impeachment motion registered against Chief Justice Sushila Karki, Nepal’s first female chief justice.
Member of Parliament from ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Centre) has registered an impeachment motion at the parliament secretariat yesterday against Chief Justice Karki alleging her interference in the jurisdiction of executive and failing to issue verdicts without being prejudiced.
At least 249 MPs signed the motion which is over the required number to open an impeachment investigation. It comes after the Supreme Court overturned the government’s choice of chief of police.

ISRAEL SAYS 300 PALESTINIAN END HUNGER STRIKE

An Israeli minister said Sunday that 300 Palestinians have agreed to end an almost two-week-old hunger strike launched in protest at the conditions of their detention. Three hundred hunger strikers have “agreed to take food without having obtained” any of their demands, Israel’s internal security minister, Gilad Erdan, told army radio. “Negotiations are out of the question,” he said, adding that 920 Palestinian prisoners remained on hunger strike. Erdan also said the prison service planned to set up 400 medical centres inside jails “to avoid as much as possible the transfer of hunger striking detainees to civilian hospitals.”

SOLDIERS MARTYRED IN CEASEFIRE VIOLATION BY PAKISTAN IN POONCH

In Jammu and Kashmir, two soldiers were martyred today in an incidence of ceasefire violation along Line of Control by Pakistani forces in Poonch district. Two soldiers were also injured.
Defence sources told AIR that Pakistani forces started unprovoked firing with automatic weapons and rackets targeting some Indian positions in Krishna Ghati sector at around 8.30 this morning. Indian troops retaliated the ceasefire violation and the exchange of fire lasted for some time.
The firing left four soldiers, three from BSF and one from army, injured. Two of the soldiers, one from army and another from BSF, later succumbed to their injuries. The injured have been evacuated and airlifted to the military hospital in Udhampur.

MR. ANTHONY LIANZUALA TAKES OVER AS THE NEW CONTROLLER GENERAL OF ACCOUNTS

Mr. Anthony Lianzuala takes over as the New Controller General of Accounts (CGA)
Mr. Anthony Lianzuala took over as the New Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in national capital here today. Earlier, the Government of India had appointed Mr. Anthony Lianzuala, a 1982-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer, as the new Controller General of Accounts (CGA), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance with effect from May 1, 2017. He will be the First person from the North-Eastern Region to hold this position.
Mr Lianzuala, a graduate from the Hindu College of Delhi University, has vast and rich experience in the government both at the Centre and the State levels. He worked at higher positions in the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Rural Development.
Mr Lianzuala was the first Director of training institute in the field of Public Financial Management and Accounting in the North-East named INGAF-NER, based in Aizawl, Mizoram. He is highly credited for his IT initiatives in the North-Eastern Region. He was instrumental in computerising the functions of the State Treasuries of Mizoram. He has also served in Mizoram as Secretary in various departments including Agricultural Marketing, Border Trade and Relief & Rehabilitation. He was also selected as Managing Director of North-Eastern Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), a Public-Sector Undertaking, based in Guwahati.

REAL ESTATE ACT COMES INTO FORCE

Real Estate Act comes into force from tomorrow; A new era begins, says the Government
Ongoing and new projects shall be registered with Regulatory Authorities by July end
Model Regulations issued by the Government
Regulation of real estate sector becomes a reality ending nine year wait
Ending the nine year long wait, regulation of real estate sector involving over 76,000 companies across the county becomes a reality from tomorrow i.e May 1, 2017 with the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act,2016 coming into force.
With all the 92 Sections of the Act coming into effect from tomorrow, developers shall get all the ongoing projects that have not received Completion Certificate and the new projects registered with Regulatory Authorities within three months i.e by July end. This enables the buyers to enforce their rights and seek redressal of grievances after such registration.
Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu in his tweets on the occasion said today; “Real Estate Act coming into force after a nine year wait marks the beginning of a new era making buyer the King while developers benefit from the confidence of the King in the regulated environment. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s personal interest in the matter made the Act a reality now. The Act ushers in the much desired accountability, transparency and efficiency in the sector with the Act defining the rights and obligations of both the buyers and developers. This important legislation gained momentum under this Government and could see the light finally”.
Ahead of the Act coming into force, Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has formulated and circulated Model Real Estate Regulations for adoption by the Regulatory Authorities in the States/UTs. Under these Regulations, developers are required to display sanctioned plans and layout plans of at least 3 feet X 2 feet size at all marketing offices, other offices where properties are sold, all branch offices and head office of the promoters in addition to the site of project. Real Estate Regulatory Authorities may take decisions on all issues preferably through consensus failing which through voting with Chairman using Casting Vote in case of a tie. There shall be quorum for the meetings of the Regulatory Authorities and if a meeting is adjourned due to lack of such quorum, such meeting can take place without quorum. Members of Regulatory Authorities shall declare interest if any in the matters coming up for discussion and shall not participate there in.
Some of the major provisions of the Act, besides mandatory registration of projects and Real Estate Agents include:
1.Depositing 70% of the funds collected from buyers in a separate bank account in case of new projects and 70% of unused funds in case of ongoing projects;
2. Projects with plot size of minimum 500 sq.mt or 8 apartments shall be registered with Regulatory Authorities;
3.Both developers and buyers to pay the same penal interest of SBI’s Marginal Cost of Lending Rate plus 2% in case of delays;
4.Liability of developers for structural defects for five years; and
5. Imprisonment of up to three years for developers and up to one year in case of agents and buyers for violation of orders of Appellate Tribunals and Regulatory Authorities.
Further to several rounds of consultations, the Ministry of HUPA has made several and substantial changes in the Real Estate Bill that was first introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2013 to make the final Act more effective towards promotion of the sector.
At the time of passing of the Bill in Rajya Sabha in March last year, there were 76,044 companies were operating in the real estate sector including 17,431 in Delhi, 17,010 in West Bengal, 11,160 in Maharashtra, 7,136 in Uttar Pradesh, 3,054 in Rajasthan, 3,004 in Tamil Nadu, 2,261 in Karnataka, 2,211 in Telangana, 2,121 in Haryana, 1,956 in Madhya Pradesh, 1,270 in Kerala, 1,202 in Punjab and I,006 in Odisha.
As per industry information, between 2011 and 2015, real estate projects in the range of 2,349 to 4,488 projects were launched every year amounting to a total of 17,526 projects with a total investment of Rs.13.70 lakh cr in 27 cities including 15 State capitals. About ten lakh buyers invest every year with the dream of owning a house.
Chronology of events leading to regulation of real estate sector including both residential and commercial segments from May 1, 2017:
1.May,2008: Ministry of HUPA first prepared a Concept Paper on regulation of real estate sector and a model law for legislation by States/UTs;
2. Conference of Ministers of Housing in 2011 suggested a central law for regulation of real estate sector;
3.July, 2011: Ministry of Law & Justice too suggested central legislation for regulation;
4. June,2013: Union Cabinet approved Real Estate Bill, 2013
5. August, 2013: Real Estate Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha and was referred to Standing Committee;
6. February, 2014: Report of Standing Committee was laid on the Tables of both Houses of Parliament;
7. February, 2014: Attorney General upheld validity of central law for regulation of the sector
8. April,2015: Union Cabinet approved official amendments based on recommendations of Standing Committee;
9. May, 2015: Matter referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha
10. July, 2015: Report of Select Committee tabled in Rajya Sabha
11. December, 2015: Real Estate Bill, 2015 incorporating several modifications based on Select
Committee report and stakeholder consultations was approved by the Union Cabinet;
12. March 10, 2016: The Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Bill, 2016 passed by Rajya Sabha;
13. March 15, 2016: Lok Sabha passed the Bill as passed by Rajya Sabha;
14. March 25, 2016: President gives assent to the Bill;
15. April 26, 2016: 59 Sections of the Act were notified making them effective from May 1, 2016 enabling preparation of Real Estate Rules, setting up of Regulatory Authorities and other infrastructure;
16. April 19, 2017: Remaining 32 Sections of the Act notified making them effective from May 1st this year requiring registration of projects within three months from tomorrow.
17. May 1, 2017: New era begins for development of real estate sector in an atmosphere of investor confidence.

AK & RG – DEFEATED BY PAST SUPPORTERS, MISSING THINK TANK

MODI HOLDS TALKS WITH TURKEY’S PRESIDENT

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding delegation level talks with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New Delhi. A number of agreements are expected to be signed in several areas after the talks.
Key bilateral and regional issues, including India’s NSG membership bid and ways to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and trade are expected to be discussed.
Earlier, addressing India Turkey Business Forum, Prime Minister Modi said the level of present economic and commercial relations between the two nations is not enough against the real potential.
He said, as the two countries strive to build stronger political ties, the time has come to also make more aggressive effort to deepen the economic relations.
Mr Modi urged for more Turkish investment in India. He said the two countries enjoy substantial economic ties and bilateral trade has increased in the recent years.
The Prime Minister said, India is committed to provide business friendly environment to the Turkish companies. He said, economies of both the countries are based on strong fundamentals and can do better in future.
He said, Indian economy is fastest growing major economy. Apart from maintaining this pace, the focus is to remove inefficiencies from the system, Mr Modi added. The Prime Minister said Goods and Services Tax is a step forward to boost economic relations.
He also said, today’s knowledge-based global economy is continuously opening new areas and India and Turkey must factor this in the economic and commercial interactions.
He said his government has planned to build 50 million houses by 2022. and for this purpose FDI Policy in construction sector has been repeatedly refined.
The visiting digitary is accompanied by senior cabinet ministers and a 150-member business delegation.
Mr Erdogan was accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi this morning. He was received by President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi. Mr Erdogan also laid wreath at Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat.
The Turkish President will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will also call on Mr Erdogan.

JAPAN DISPATCHES BIGGEST WARSHIP TO PROTECT US SUPPLY VESSEL

Japan has dispatched its biggest warship, Izumo, to escort US supply vessels including the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group. The helicopter carrier Izumo is the first warship deployed outside of exercises under new laws passed in 2015 that allow Japan to come to the aid of an ally under attack known as collective self-defence.
The Izumo’s deployment follows recent joint exercises conducted by Japan and the US, and other naval developments amid increased tensions. Japan’s post-World War Two constitution bars its military from using force to resolve conflicts except in cases of self-defence.
The legislation allows the Self-Defense Forces(SDF) to guard US ships engaged in such activities as joint exercises and the monitoring of possible ballistic missile launches.

13TH ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ELECTORAL AND POLITICAL REFORMS: DAY 2


Chandigarh, 30th Apr 2017: The second day of the 13th Annual National Conference being organized by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW) focused on criminalization of politics and the impact of the media on elections and governance as well as the grave necessity to address the most pressing problems in the electoral and political arena.
Criminalization of Politics:
[Panelists: Shri S.N. Shukla (General Secretary, Lok Prahari), Adv H.C. Arora (Advocate-Punjab & Haryana High Court), Prof. Ashutosh Kumar (Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Panjab University), Prof. Manjit Singh (Member, Swaraj Abhiyan);
Chairperson: Prof. Trilochan Sastry (Founder member and Trustee of ADR)]

The panelists shared their views regarding the increasing criminalization of politics.

While speaking on the criminalization of politics and lack of transparency in political parties, Shri S.N. Shukla (General Secretary, Lok Prahari) said that nothing substantial has been done by the successive governments in the last 20 years to restore and maintain the purity of the highest democratic institutions of Parliament and State Legislatures by preventing entry/continuance of persons with criminal background in these august bodies. He said that the main causes of this alarming situation are: Disregard of the judgement invalidating Section 8(4) of the RP Act, 1951, Contempt for the decision in Manoj Narula’s case, Non-compliance of the Apex Court’s order dated 10.3.2014 in WP © No. 536 of 2011, No disqualification even for those charge sheeted for heinous crimes, Prisoners can contest even though they cannot vote, Lack of effective deterrent punishment for filing false affidavit, Lacuna in the guidelines for registration of political parties and First past the post system.

Adv H.C. Arora (Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court) highlighted the issue of pension taken by convicted MPs and MLAs ranging from Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 2.15 lakhs as there is no provision in law for stopping the pension of convicted MPs and MLAs.

Prof. Ashutosh Kumar (Prof. Dept. of Political Science, Panjab University) raised questions on why political parties give tickets to candidates with criminal cases. He said that since candidates with criminal cases bring funds to the political party, buy votes, intimidate voters and cut votes of opposition candidates, political parties give tickets to them. He also highlighted that due to lack of internal democracy among political parties, distribution of tickets is on the order of party supremo resulting in an increase of candidates with criminal cases.

Prof. Manjit Singh (Swaraj Abhiyan) stressed on the need to strengthen local governments. He said that we all need layered democracy instead of a hierarchical democracy.

Prof. Trilochan Sastry (of ADR) said that we have to engage the youth rigorously to bring change and get clean candidates in elections.


Impact of Media on Elections & Governance:

[Panelists: Shri. Uttam Sengupta (Executive Editor, National Herald), Shri Mukesh Bhardwaj (Executive Editor, Jansatta), Shri Vishal Monga (Chief of Bureau, Times Now), Shri Sarabjit Pander (Former Special Correspondent, The Hindu, Chandigarh);
Chairperson: Maj. Gen. Anil Verma (retd.), (Head of ADR)]

Maj. Gen. Anil Verma (retd.) Head of ADR, opened the panel for the discussion with discussing the role of media for pressurizing political parties.

Shri Uttam Sengupta (Executive Editor, National Herald) said that elections have changed beyond recognition be it election expenditure or bribing the voters. He also raised the issue that the media is unable to understand the changing dynamics of elections. He suggested that the way forward to resolving issues related to media was a provision of auditing media itself.

Shri Mukesh Bhardwaj (Executive Editor, Jansatta) provided the historical overview of the evolution and transition of media. He emphasized that the media still holds it’s credibility.

Shri Vishal Monga (Chief of Bureau, Times Now) clarified that politicians do not get pressurized by the media. He said that the media creates a perception of politicians and a generalization of media as corrupt is not correct. He reminded the audience that media is still a watchdog of society as several cases have been revealed through media only.

Shri Sarabjit Pander (Former Special Correspondent, The Hindu, Chandigarh) opined that social media is not revolutionary as it has not brought any major improvements. He called social media highly irresponsible.

Next Steps Forward:

Prof. Trilochan Sastry (Founder Member and Trustee of ADR) said that we should think about practical action plans which we could initiate all over India. He said that all criminal cases of MPs and MLAs should be disposed of within one year. He requested all National Election Watch partners to send RTIs and inquire the status of cases against MPs and MLAs in their respective states. He also said that we have to try and get few elections set aside, where candidates misrepresent election expenditure, as it will be a strong deterrent for political parties and would discourage them from fielding candidates with criminal cases and who indulge in bribing and intimidating voters.

Shri Jaskirat Singh (Trustee of ADR) explained the working of the Election Watch Reporter (EWR) and how it can help in gathering information on distribution of liquor, money etc. during elections.

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