The LokSabha cleared the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment)
Bill, 2019 by a voice vote on Thursday.
The Bill replaces an Ordinance promulgated on March 2 and
provides for a stiff Rs. 1 crorepenalty and a jail term to private entities for
storing Aadhaardata.It also makes the use of Aadhaar voluntary for opening a
bank account, securing a mobile phone connection, or receiving treatment at a
Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi
Shankar Prasad, speaking about the Bill, assured the House that the government
is also working on a data protection Bill, which will be brought in at a later
date to ensure data privacy for all Indians.
Speaking on the possible violation of the Supreme Court judgment
on Aadhaar, as raised by several members of the Opposition, the Minister
replied: “Let us not together work towards bringing down the power that this
Parliament has give to us. The Parliament has been given power to frame laws,
and we are not violating the Supreme Court judgment.”
The Bill saw stiff Opposition in the House. Trinamool Congress
leader in the LokSabhaMahuaMoitra said the Bill strikes at the very heart of an
With the Centre claiming that 99.2% of rural India is now
open defecation free, the next big goal on the Swachh Bharat journey is the
100% safe and scientific disposal of solid and liquid waste, according to
the Economic Survey 2018-19.
However, it emphasises that the large resources needed to reach
this milestone will need to be met through crowd and corporate funding, private
partnerships and innovative financing mechanisms along with government
According to it, the scientific disposal of waste has a
noticeable impact on “social development”, referring to the sanitation workers
and manual scavengers who now work to dispose of waste, mostly in unscientific
and unsafe ways.
Some of the areas which must be dealt with in this next phase
are sewer construction and water availability, scientific techniques for waste
disposal, treatment of industrial effluence, drain bio-remediation, river
surface cleaning, sustained rural sanitation and monitoring of villages, says
Apart from financial resources, mindset change is the other
major ingredient required for sustained progress in sanitation. The
swachhagrahis or village level ambassadors who have already been recruited for
Phase 1 of the programme are key to maintaining momentum, it says, in keeping
with its thrust on leveraging behavioural economics.
Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister NirmalaSitharaman
tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in both Houses of Parliament today.
The survey projects GDP to grow at 7 per cent in 2019-20. The
Indian economy is expected to grow at 6.8 per in 2018-19 while maintaining
The fiscal deficit has been pegged at 3.4 per cent of GDP for
2018-19. The survey has provisionally estimated 2.9 per cent growth rate for the
agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.
283.4 million tonnefoodgrain production has been projected.
Imports are slated to grow at 15.4 per cent while exports are projected to grow
at 12.5 per cent for the year 2018-19.
It has put forex reserves at 412.9 billion dollars for fiscal
2018-19.The survey also lays down the strategic blueprint for fructifying Prime
Minister NarendraModi’s vision of India becoming a 5 trillion dollar economy by
The theme of the survey is about enabling shifting of gears to
sustained economic growth to achieve a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2025.The
survey has recommended creating a virtuous cycle encompassing private
investment, jobs, export and demand. It states that the Indian economy has
performed well in the last five years.
A failure on the part of banks, the government and the
regulator till 2014 has got us into the current bad loan mess and the
resultant low capital buffers, Urjit Patel, the past Reserve Bank Governor,
has said, asking all to resist the temptation of going back to status quo.
In his first comments after resigning as the RBI Governor on
December 10 last year amid sharp differences with the government, Mr. Patel said
banks indulged in over-lending while the government did not ‘fully play’ its
It can be noted that after 2014, which saw a change of guard in
government, the RBI, under the governorship of RaghuramRajan, started an asset
quality review that led to the recognition of the huge pile of hidden stress in
the system and an attempt at resolution through the introduction of bankruptcy
Mr. Patel, who spent over five years at the RBI, including in
his role as the Deputy Governor, advised stakeholders to stay the course even in
the face of difficulties.
On the Supreme Court striking down the February 12, 2018
circular, which was also a major bone of contention between him and the
government, Mr. Patel said only time will tell whether a system of ‘extend and
pretend’ will make a comeback.
U.S. tariffs against China must be lifted for the two sides
to reach a deal to end the trade war, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on
Trade teams from the world’s top two economies “have maintained
communication”, Ministry spokesman GaoFeng said, days after Presidents Donald
Trump and Xi Jinping agreed at the G20 in Japan to revive negotiations.
“The United States’ unilateral tariff increase on China’s
exports to the United States is the starting point for the Sino-U.S. economic
and trade frictions,” Mr.Gao said at a weekly press briefing. “If the two sides
can reach an agreement, the tariffs imposed must be completely eliminated.
China’s attitude toward this is clear and consistent,” Mr.Gao said.
The countries have exchanged tariffs on $360 billion in two-way
trade and negotiations broke down in May after the United States accused China
of reneging on its commitments.
The U.S. leader said he would not slap new tariffs on Chinese
exports and suggested he could take a softer stance on Chinese telecom giant
Huawei, which he has moved to blacklist.
On Wednesday, Trump administration officials said top
representatives of the U.S. and China are organising a resumption of talks for
next week to try to resolve the trade war.
An official from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
said later that the two sides were in the process of scheduling a
principal-level phone call with Chinese officials for next week.
Sudan's ruling military council and a coalition of
opposition and protest groups have reached an agreement to share power
during a transition period leading to elections.
Addressing a press conference, African Union mediator Mohamed
Hassan Lebatt today said the two sides agreed to establish a sovereign council
by rotation between the military and civilians for a period of three years or
The two sides also agreed to form an independent 'technocratic'
government and to launch a transparent, independent investigation into violent
events in recent weeks.
Omar al-Degair, a leader of the Forces for Freedom and Change --
an umbrella organization of opposition groups, hailed the agreement as the
beginning of a new era and said the agreement opens the way for the formation of
the institutions of the transitional authority.
General Mohamed HamdanDagalo, Deputy Head of the Transitional
Military Council, said that the agreement will be comprehensive and will not
The power-sharing agreement came after two days of talks in
Khartoum that resumed on Wednesday.