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Mann ki Baat - 27
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  • Election Commission recognises Akhilesh Yadav's faction as Samajwadi Party; Allots Party symbol bicycle to it.
  • BJP releases first list of one hundred forty nine candidates for upcoming assembly elections in UP; also announces list of sixty four candidates for Uttarakhand.
  • RBI raises daily ATM cash withdrawal limit to ten thousand rupees; Weekly withdrawal limit unchanged at 24 thousand rupees for savings account.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, GST roll out deferred to 1st July; GST council arrives at a decision on dual control issue.
  • Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan rules out possibility of reverting to system of subsidizing auto fuel.
  • In Australian Open: World number one Andy Murray,  Roger Federer and Venus Williams advance to second round.   


Election Commission has recognised Akhilesh Yadav's faction as the Samajwadi Party and permitted it to use the name of the party and its symbol 'Bicycle'. The Commission today rejected party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav's claim over the party and its symbol.  The Commission observed that  the Akhilesh group enjoys support of overwhelming majority, both among the legislative and the organizational wing of the party. The Commission said in response to its direction,  Ramgopal Yadav on behalf of UP Chief Minister's faction submitted individual affidavits of the members of legislative and organizational wings in support of the claim. It said, Mulayam Singh Yadav did not file any affidavit of MPs, MLAs or any delegates except his own. 

Soon after the decision, Akhilesh loyalist Ram Gopal Yadav thanked the Election Commission and said that the party will release its list of candidates in the next two days. More from our correspondent:

“​Addressing party workers at Samajwadi Party HQs the SP founder alleged that Akhilesh ​is playing in the hands of Ramgopal Yadav, who ​is​ working on directions of BJP. Interestingly, ​Mulayam also called Naresh Uttam, who has been made party state president by Akhilesh, to the meeting. Mulayam said he was trying his level best to save the party and slammed Akhilesh for not understanding things.​ Mulayam also said that he will accept whatever decision the Election Commission takes on the contentious poll symbol issue. ​Merajuddin, AIR News, Lucknow."


 The BJP has announced the first list of 149 candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Prominent among those included in the list are former State Unit Chief Laxmikant Bajpai from Meerut seat, party national Secretary Shrikant Sharma from Mathura, Sangeet Som from Sardhana. The 403 member assembly will go to  polls in seven phases starting from 11th of next month.

The party also announced the list of 64 candidates for Uttarakhand Assembly elections. The party has fielded Birendra Singh Pal from Dharchula assembly seat which is the home turf of present Chief Minister Harish Rawat. Besides, BJP State Unit Chief Ajay Bhatt will contest from Ranikhet. Yashpal Arya who was the Cabinet Minister in Harish Rawat government will be the party candidate from Bajpur reserved seat. Mr Arya  joined the BJP this afternoon. Former MP Satpal Maharaj will contest from Chaubattakhal.

Briefing reporters in Delhi, Union Minister and senior party leader, J P Nadda said, all the sitting MLAs in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have been renominated for the ensuing polls. He said, efforts have been made to accommodate all sections of the society while finalising the list.


The BJP also announced six candidates for Punjab Assembly.


In Goa, sixty nominations have been filed today, making seventy one in total till date as only two days left for filing nominations. Speaking to media in Panaji, Chief electoral officer gave this information. Goa will go to polls on 4th of next month.


Election Commission has asked the States not to initiate any action on their own against the Chief Electoral Officer, CEO for any allegation of irregularities. In its letter addressed to the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories, the Commission said, the CEO in the State is appointed by it and the Office of the CEOs are essentially extension of the Commission to carry out multifarious election related functions. It said, the CEO is on deputation to the Commission under relevant sections of Representation of People Act and the EC is the disciplinary authority for CEO. It said, officers and staff employed in connection with the conduct of elections are deemed to be on deputation to the Election Commission and such officers and staff are under its control. The Poll Panel has asked the Chief Secretaries to issue necessary instructions in the matter for scrupulous compliance.


 The Reserve Bank of India has raised the daily Cash  withdrawal limit of 4500 rupees from ATMs  to ten thousand rupees per card with immediate effect.  However, the overall withdrawal limit from saving accounts will remain unchanged at 24 thousand rupees per week.The limit on withdrawal from current accounts has also  been enhanced from 50,000 rupees per week to one lakh  rupees. It   extends to overdraft and cash credit accounts also. In its notification, the RBI said,  the ceilings were raised following review of the current withdrawal limits.   Earlier, the RBI had raised the ATM withdrawal limit  from 2500 rupees to 4500 rupees form 1st of this month.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on 'डिजिटल लेनदेन के लिए सरकार की पहल'. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 p.m. Listeners can ask their questions to the experts sitting in the Studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. (Repeat 1800-115767). You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 (Repeat 011: 2331-4444) and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews alerts by #tag Askair.

This programme will also be available on Doordarshan DTH.


Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley has said, the GST roll out has been deferred to 1st July this year as it seems to be a more realistic date. Earlier, the government had set 1st of April,2017 as the deadline to roll out the new  tax regime. Briefing media in New Delhi this evening, Mr. Jaitley said, GST Council has arrived at a decision on dual control issue. He said, the entire taxation base will be shared between the assessment machinery of center and states.

Issue of cross empowerment and dual control was taken up and we discussed this issue for the entire day and we have been able to arrive at the decision on this issue.  The entire taxation base will be shared between the assessment machinery of the Centre and the State.

The Finance Minister also said, tax regime for the power sector will be decided by power committee.


The states would do 50 per cent of the assesses above 1.5 crore turnover and 90 per cent of those below the 1.5 crore turnover.  The Centre would do 50 per cent of those above 1.5 crore turnover and 10 per cent of the assesses below the 1.5 crore turnover.

Mr. Jaitley also said as per convention, states will be empowered to collect tax on any economic activity in marine region. He said, as territorial  waters come under jurisdiction of the Centre but States will be empowered to levy and impose tax on their economic activities. He said, the next GST Council meeting will be held on 18th of next month to approve drafts of supplementary legislations including Integrated GST.


Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has ruled out the possibility of reverting to  the system of subsidizing auto fuel.  Responding to a media query on the sidelines of the function in New Delhi today, Mr Pradhan however said, the government may cut  excise duties if rate hike pinches hard. There has been 5 rupees 21 paise hike  per litre hike in petrol price and 4 rupees 45 paise in diesel rates since December. He said, Petrol price was deregulated in June 2010 and diesel in October 2014 and the same will continue. He said,  subsidy should be given only to needy persons and not to people who can afford it.

Earlier in the Day, Mr. Pradhan inaugurated a month long awareness drive on fuel conservation - Saksham 2017. In his address,  the Minister said, the drive aims to create awareness amongst masses towards judicious utilization and conservation of petroleum products along with use of energy efficient appliances.

The Minister said, draft fuel efficiency norms for heavy duty vehicles will be released on 1st of April this year. 


Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has indicated that start-ups may get additional tax benefits in the forthcoming budget. Ms Sitharaman was speaking at the first anniversary function of Start Up India in New Delhi today. She said the ministry has already suggested to the finance ministry to consider raising tax holiday for start-ups to 7 years from the current 3 years to encourage budding entrepreneurs. The Minister said, tax and tax-related matters always come from start-ups as it makes tangible difference to them.

There will always be something in that box on tax for which only Government can answer and I fully agree that it will keep coming and we are quite happy to receive it.

The Minister said, all the suggestions of the entrepreneurs have been compiled by the ministry and given to the finance ministry.


 Prime Minister's Office, PMO has dismissed reports appearing in a section of media that it purportedly wrote a letter to CBI on the Rose Valley case as totally false and baseless. In a rejoinder, the PMO said, it has not issued any such letter to CBI and the letter displayed in the  publication is a forgery. The PMO  asked the publication  to immediately publish a corrigendum to this effect prominently. The PMO also asked withdrawal of  the said false news report from the website and any other platforms where it may still be accessible to the public.


Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore today inaugurated the Indian Panorama Film Festival at Siri Fort auditorium in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rathore said movies in the Indian Panorama section has an emotional appeal with the audiences as they can relate them with their own culture, region and language.


In Bihar, Patna District Magistrate has been removed from a three member inquiry team which is investigating the boat tragedy which claimed 25 lives on Makar Shankranti. The team is headed by Principal Secretary of State Disaster Department Pratyaya Amrit and Deputy Inspector General of Police Shaleen.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said, inquiry should be conducted objectively and from all angles.


The domestic stock markets ended with modest gains, today, and the rupee strengthened slightly against  the dollar. A report:     


 The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange rose 50 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 27,288. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange added 12 points, to 8,413. At the forex market, the rupee appreciated 6 paise, to 68.10 against the dollar. Gold rose 150 rupees, to 29,500 rupees per ten grams in Delhi. And Brent crude oil futures lost 10 cents, to 55.35 dollars a barrel. Pradeep Kumar, AIR News.


India and Mauritius today signed an MoU for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and cooperatives. The MoU was signed between Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Mauritius Business and cooperatives Minister Mr Soomilduth Bholah in New Delhi. An official release said, the MoU will enable the two countries to collaborate in Dairy and fisheries sector.  India offered to exchange its expertise and technology with Mauritius in agro, industry, fisheries and dairy sector.


In Tennis,  the first Grand Slam of the season,  the Australian Open began in Melbourne today as players struggled in hot conditions with temperatures topping 32 degree Celsius.  World number one Andy Murray, Key Nishikori, Marin Cilic and the oldest player in women's draw at 36, Venus Williams,  moved into the second round of the tournament along with China's Zhang Shuai.  World number four Simona Halep of Romania however made a shock first round exit after losing to an unseeded American Shelby Rogers, 3-6, 1-6. Swiss Roger Federer will be seen in action tonight.

There are no Indian players in the Singles categories. The Doubles are, however, featuring the participation of Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna.


In Uttarakhand, the higher reaches of various districts are experiencing light snowfall. The temperature has decreased and people are reeling under severe cold wave.

In Himachal Pradesh, the entire tribal belt of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Bharmaur and upper areas of Shimla, Kullu and Sirmaur were cut off from rest of the state while mid and higher hills today received second heavy snowfall of the season and the lower hills experienced widespread rain.


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