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‘North-south divide’ debate unfounded: Finance panel

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:Amid reports of existence of a “north-south divide” in it, the Finance Commission on Friday ruled out injustice to any state in the allocation of divisible pool of central revenue and asserted such a debate was unfounded, sources said.

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‘North-south divide’ debate unfounded: Finance panel

New Delhi, May 18

Amid reports of existence of a “north-south divide” in it, the Finance Commission on Friday ruled out injustice to any state in the allocation of divisible pool of central revenue and asserted such a debate was unfounded, sources said.

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu met members of the commission and sought an explanation into the matter, sources in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat said.

“During the meeting, the commission ruled out any injustice to any state in the allocation of divisible pool of central revenue and asserted that the north-south debate being sought to be raised in the matter is unfounded,” a source said.

The finance ministers of six Opposition-ruled states and Union Territories met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and sought amendments to the “unfair” terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission.

“The commission’s stand in this regard was stated at a meeting of its chairman and members with the Vice-President on Friday. Terms of reference of the commission, their implications and broad approach likely to be followed by the commission were discussed at length during the hour-long meeting,” said the source.

Naidu told the commission members that as the Chairman of the Council of States, he thought it would be appropriate to talk to them about the principles followed by various commissions in the recent past and their thinking in the present context.

He brought to their notice reports about reservations of some states on some aspects of the terms of reference of the commission and some even suggesting a north-south perspective.

Chairman of the commission NK Singh and members informed Naidu that rewarding states for their past performance besides incentivising future performance, specific needs of the states and the Centre, right of citizens for equal entitlements broadly guide the commission’s approach in determining allocation of revenue between the Centre and states and among the states.

Elaborating further, he said the 14th Finance Commission was asked to go by the 1971 Population Census, but it took into consideration the 2011 Census, thereby rewarding those who did well in population control, sources said.

He said the terms of reference suggested a broad set of nine indicators including “efforts and progress made in moving towards replacement rate of population growth” to reward well-performing states.

Naidu suggested to the commission to further the cause of economic unity and integration of the nation, performance, reforms, specific needs of the states and the Centre and the problems of farm sector within the ambit of the terms of reference of the commission.

“The VP stressed the commission should do what is needed to make agriculture sustainable through appropriate recommendations and resources for promotion of necessary infrastructure,” the source said.

The commission is to submit its report on determining the transfer of revenues and allocation of grants-in-aid of revenue of the states by April 1, 2019. The recommendations of the commission will be applicable for the period 2021-22 to 2022-27. — PTI

No change in PDS rates, says Paswan

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:The government has decided not to hike prices of foodgrains sold via public distribution system (PDS) for one more year, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday.

RCom, Ericsson in talks to settle Rs1,000-cr debt

RCom, Ericsson in talks to settle Rs1,000-cr debt

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Communications (RCom) on Friday said it was in “advanced” talks with Swedish gear maker Ericsson to resolve their dispute over the telco’s dues worth over Rs 1,000 crore.

RIL gets green nod for Rs 2,338cr expansion project in Maharashtra

20 May 2018 | 11:36 AM

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries (RIL) has received environment clearance for the expansion and optimisation of its petrochemical complex at Nagothane in Raigad district of Maharashtra at an estimated cost of Rs 2,338 crore.

ED summons Nirav Modi’s father, sister

ED summons Nirav Modi’s father, sister

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi’s father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Mayank Mehta as part of its probe in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, an official said here on Friday.

Customised rooftop solar kits launched

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

Chandigarh: Hartek Solar Private Limited, the rooftop solar division of the Chandigarh-based Hartek Group, on Friday announced the launch of its customised rooftop solar kits.

RBI imposes Rs 5-cr penalty on bank

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank on Friday said it has imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on South Indian Bank for non-compliance to its asset classification and know your customer (KYC) norms, among others.

Rs nosedives to 68

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

Mumbai: After a brief respite, the rupee once again turned shaky and plunged by 30 paise to end at a fresh 16-month low of 68 against the US currency on renewed dollar buying interest amid global macro challenges.

Anil Kumar Jha is Coal India CMD

19 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

New Delhi: Anil Kumar Jha has been appointed as chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of Coal India Limited, the Personnel Ministry said on Friday.

Rs 4-per-litre hike in fuel prices in offing, says report

Rs 4-per-litre hike in fuel prices in offing, says report

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:A Rs 4-per-litre increase in petrol and diesel prices is in the offing if state-owned fuel retailers are to return to pre-Karnataka poll hiatus margin levels, brokerage firms said.

FM assures help to 11 PSBs under RBI scanner

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday promised all possible help to strengthen the 11 public sector banks placed under the ‘Prompt Corrective Action’ (PCA) framework by the RBI to check their deteriorating financial health.

Oil hits $80 for first time since late 2014

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

London: Benchmark oil contract Brent North Sea hit $80 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since late 2014, extending a recent run higher fuelled by tight supply concerns.

NiMo scam: SEBI raps PNB for late disclosures

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

MUMBAI:Punjab National Bank on Thursday said SEBI has warned it for delay in disclosures to stock exchanges about the $2-billion fraudulent transactions allegedly carried out by Nirav Modi and Gitanjali Group.

Rs 85-cr jewellery seized from Choksi firm

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it has seized over 34,000 pieces of jewellery worth Rs 85 crore from the Gitanjali Group, owned by diamantaire Mehul Choksi, in connection with the Rs 13,000-crore PNB fraud case.

FMs of six states petition Prez against 15th Finance Comm

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

NEW DELHI:Upset over the terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission, Finance Ministers from six states and UTs, including Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal, today met President Ram Nath Kovind to lodge their protest.

OnePlus 6 now in India at Rs 35K onwards

18 May 2018 | 1:02 AM

MUMBAI:Chinese smartphone player OnePlus on Thursday launched its flagship OnePlus 6 in India featuring an all-glass design.

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