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Union Budget 2017-18 LIVE updates: Income tax relief, political funding, highlights of Arun Jaitley’s fourth budget

Union Budget 2017-18 LIVE updates: Income tax relief, political funding, highlights of Arun Jaitley’s fourth budget

Union Budget 2017-18: Here are the LIVE updates from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget speech 2017 in Parliament today. Follow us for the latest on what is new in Budget 2017.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union budget 2017-2018 in Lok Sabha today. This is the fourth budget by the Narendra Modi government. Jaitley said the demonetisation move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2016 will not have a lasting impact on the economy. Jaitley also announced that the budget allocation for welfare of women and children under various ministries will be increased to Rs 1,84,632 cr.Jaitley also said he took immense pride in presenting a joint budget including the Railway Budget. Railways will focus on passenger safety, capital works and cleanliness, among other issues, Jaitley said. Following the presentation of the Union budget, both Houses of Parliament will adjourn for the day.
Union Budget 2017 LIVE updates:
2.00 pm: A controversial Budget 2017 which is clueless, useless, baseless, missionless and actionless. Heartless No roadmap for the country or the future from a government that has lost all its credibility. Tax payers still have restrictions on withdrawals. Remove all restrictions immediately. And where are the figures for demonetisation? Misleading. Full of jugglery of numbers and hollow words which mean nothing, says Mamata Banerjee1.37 pm: The Finance Minister has presented an ‘Uttam’ Budget, devoted to strengthening the hands of the poor, says PM Modi, adding that it is an important link between all the steps taken in the last two and a half years and the development that will follow in the future.Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said that the merger of the Railway Budget with the general budget will give an impetus to the transport sector’s growth. “aim of the Government is to double the income of farmers.”1. 33 pmConsider it a mixed budget. Industry hoped for a lot more for promotion of investment but I think Finance Minister did whatever was possible: DS Rawat,General Secretary ASSOCHAM
1. 30 pm: It’s a historic and important budget which will have a long term impact: Nitin Gadkari1.25 pm: What is the need to present the Budget every year? Were all announcements of last year’s budget fulfilled?: Uddhav Thackeray,Shiv Sena1.24 pm: Former #RBI governor C Rangarajan describes #Budget2017 as ‘a fairly routine’ Budget1.23 pm: Path breaking budget, a new era has begun, says Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu1.22 pm: The budget numbers dont seem to add up, as there is huge expansion on Govt spending on schemes. The budget is rhetorical, but in actually creating jobs there is precious little. Railways got a cursory mention: Manish Tewari, Congress1.21 pm: Reducing cash limit for political funding from Rs 20K to Rs 2K is meaningless. Because there is no limit in number of persons, says Yogendra Yadav of Swarajaya Abhiyan1.20 pm: Rail safety record of this govt very bad. Did FM say anything? Prime Minister had spoken about bullet train. Has it come? Rahul Gandhi1.19 pm: Stock gains widen; Sensex climbs over 347 points, regains 28,000-mark, Nifty surges 92 pts on Budget proposals.1.17 pm: MSMEs would be encouraged to come into the formal sector with #Budget2017 announcement, says Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI1.15 pm: Devendra Fadnavis – Job intensive housing sector gets a boost and will provide houses for poor and middle class, generating more employment. The pathbreaking income tax reforms and slashing slab from 10% to 5% will encourage tax compliance.1.10 pm: Govt wanted to make an impact with budget before polls. But there was no impact. Should have announced something big for farmers. Expected fireworks (post demonetisation) but turned out to be nothing. Didn’t specify where the jobs would come from. Sher o shayari ka budget hai, kisaano ke liye kuch nahi kia,yuvaon ke liye kuch nahi kiya: Rahul Gandhi12. 55 pm: Arun Jaitley introduces Finance Bill in Lok Sabha. House stands adjourned. Thank you for following our live blog. Get all our Budget analysis copies on IndianExpress.com
12. 55 pm: Arun Jaitley concludes his budget presentation12. 52 pm: One page tax filing form for taxable income under Rs 5 lakh12. 51 pm: Those individuals in the tax bracket of Rs 50 lakh will stand to benefit from a tax rebate of Rs 12,500.12. 50 pm: Jaitley reduces existing rate of taxation for individuals with income between 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh to 5% instead of 10%; Surcharge of 10% for those whose annual income is Rs 50 lakh to 1 crore; Surcharge on Rs 1 crore or more remains unchanged.12. 47 pm: Govt considering option to amend Negotiable Instruments Act to ensure that holders of dishonoured cheques get payment12. 45 pm: What do the markets look like right now? BSE Sensex at 27,656.70; Nifty at 8,548.8512. 44 pm: Political funding reforms:Max amount political party can receive in cash donation will be Rs 2000 from any one sourcePolitical parties will be entitled to recieve donations by cheque or digital modeAs an additional step, an amendment is being proposed to the Reserve Bank of India Act to enable the issuance of electoral bonds in accordance with a scheme that the Government of India would frame in this regard. Under this scheme, a donor could purchase bonds from authorised banks against cheque and digital payments only. They shall be redeemable only in the designated account of aregistered political party. These bonds will be redeemable within the prescribed time limit from issuance of bond.
12. 42 pm: A proposal to receive all government receipts beyond a certain threshold through e-modes under consideration12. 41 pm: No cash transcations above Rs 3 lakh, announces Arun Jaitley12. 40 pm: We are committed to make our taxation rate reasonable, our tax administration more fair and expand the tax base of the country12. 39 pm: Basic customs duty on LNG to be reduced from 5% to 2.5%, announces Arun Jaitley12. 37 pm: Tax rate for companies with an annual turnover up to 50 crores to be reduced to 25%, to strengthen MSME sector12. 36 pm: The net tax revenue grew by 17% in 2015-16, says Jaitley12. 34 pm: Deposits between Rs 2-80 lakh made in 1.09 cr accounts post demonetisation, says Jaitley12. 33 pm: Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried, says Jaitley12.30 pm: Due to demonetisation advance tax on personal income tax increased by 34.8%12. 30 pm: The rate of growth in advance tax in personal income tax domains has increased by 34.81%12. 29 pm: Coastal roads of 2,000 kms to accelerate development of Coastal Economic Zones12. 28 pm: 3.7 crore individuals filed tax returns, 99 lakh of them below taxable limit. Number of people with more than 50 lakh income is 1.26 lakh, says Jaitley
12.26 pm: Predominance of cash in our economy makes it easy for people to avoid taxes, we are largely a tax non compliance society, when too many people evade taxes burden falls on those who are honest, says Arun Jaitley.12. 23 pm: Total resources being transferred to the states & union territories with legislature is Rs 4.11 lakh crore. Budget allocation for highways stepped up to Rs 64,000 crore in FY18 from Rs 57,676 crore. Allocation for national highways stepped up to Rs 64,000 cr from Rs 57,676 cr. Fiscal Deficit target for 2017-18 is 3.2%.12. 22 pm: Defence expenditure excluding pension at Rs 2.74 lakh crore, says FM Arun Jaitley12. 21 pm: The total expenditure of budget 2017-18 has been placed at Rs 21.47 lakh crore, says Arun Jaitley12. 20 pm: Good news for those who have to travel long distances for obtaining a passport. Arun Jaitley has announced that Head Post Offices will now be used as the front office for passport services.12. 19 pm: Forex reserves to offer a cover for 12 months of imports, announces Arun Jaitley

12. 18 pm: New law to confiscate properties/assets of economic offenders fleeing country12. 18 pm: Select airports in tier-II cities to be taken up for operations, development on PPP mode12. 17 pm: Chandigarh and eight districts of Haryana have been declared Kerosene free12. 15 pm: Railway tariffs to be fixed on the basis of cost, social obligation and competition; Railway related state-run companies like Ircon, IRCTC to be listed on stock exchanges, says Arun Jaitley12. 13 pm: 125 lakh people adopted the BHIM app so far; merchant version of Aadhaar-enabled payment will be launched shortly for those without debit cards, mobile phones. Govt will launch two new schemes to promote the use of BHIM app.12. 12 pm: Priority will be given to tribal, Dalit, women to setup greenfield enterprises, says Arun Jaitley12. 11 pm: Action plan to eliminate Kala Azar and Filariasis by 2017, Leprosy by 2018, Measles by 2020 and Tuberculosis by 202512. 10 pm: Allocation for SCs increased from Rs 38,833 cr to Rs 52,393 cr, a rise of 35 per cent, Jaitley says.12. 09 pm: Transport sector allocated Rs 2.41 lakh crore and Bharat Net Project allocated Rs 10,000 crore12. 06 pm: The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has been abolished, Jaitley announced, adding that further liberalisation in the FDI policy would be taken in the next few days.
12.00 pm: Total investment for infrastructure in budget 2017 stands at a record Rs 3,96,135 cr, says Arun Jaitley.11. 59 am: Railways will integrate end to end transport solutions for selected commodities through partnership. By 2019, all coaches of Indian Railways will be fitted with bio-toilets.11. 57 am: At least 25 stations expected to be awarded during 2017-18; 500 stations will be made differently abled-friendly by providing lifts and escalators11. 56 am: A new metro rail policy will be announced, this will open up new jobs for our youth: FM Jaitley11.55 am: Good news for all those who book tickets on IRCTC. You will no longer have to pay service charge, announces Jaitley.11. 54 am: Rs 1.3 lakh crore has been allotted for solar power, disabled friendly stations. Rail safety fund with a corpus of Rs 100,000 crore to be created over a period of 5 years. Jaitley announces Rs 55000 crore for Railways in Budget 2017. Capital and development expenditure pegged at Rs 1.31 lakh cr for railways in 2017-18 from Budget.11. 53 am: Focus is on swachch railways, says Jaitley. Steps will be taken to launch dedicated trains for pilgrimage and tourism, he says.11. 52 am: Jaitley also announced the restructuring of University Grants Commission.
11. 49 am: On health, the government proposes to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025. Two new AIIMS Hospitals to be set up in Jharkhand and Gujarat11. 49 am: Budget allocation for welfare of women and children under various ministries increased to Rs 1,84,632 cr.11.48 am: The government is looking to complete 1,00,00,000 houses by 2019 for houseless and those living in kaccha houses. Open defecation free villages are now being given priority for piped water supply.11. 47 am: SANKALP – 4000 crores allotted to train for market oriented training. At least 3.5 crore youth will be provided market-relevant training under Sankalp programme11. 46 am: For youth, proposed to introduce a system of measuring annual learning; Science to be given focus; Quality education will energize our youth. Skill centres will be set up across the country to help youth seeking opportunities outside the country11. 45 am: 100% village electrification will be achieved by May 1,201811. 43 am: Minilabs by qualified local entrepreneurs to be set up for soil testing in all 648 krishivigyan kendras in the country11. 42 am: Allocation for Pradhan Mantri Awaaz Yojana up from 15,000 cr to 23,000 crTo get the latest budget updates in Marathi, click here11. 40 am: Sanitation in rural areas has gone up from 42% in October 2014 (launch of Swachh Bharat) to 60% now.11.37 am: PMGSY roads work accelerated to 133 km roads/day in 2016-17 as against 73km/day during 2011-14, says Arun Jaitley11. 35 am: MGNREGA should create productive asets to improve farm productivity, incomes. MNREGA allocation increased. Highest ever allocation for MNREGA at Rs 48,000 crore. Participation of women in MGNREGA up to 55%.
11. 30 am: We will support Nabard for 63,000 functional PACs. Done in 3 years at an estimated cost of Rs 1,900 cr. Issurance of soil health cards have gathered momentum. Fasal Bima Yojana – 40% cropped area to be covered in 2017-18, 50% in 2018-19. A dedicated fund worth Rs 5,000 crore to be set up for micro-irrigation under Nabard11. 26 am: With better monsoon, agriculture is expected to grow at 4.1%. Target for agricultural credit for 2017-18 is set at ten lakh crore, announces Arun Jaitley11. 24 am: “We are aware we need to do more for our people, our agenda is transform, energise and clean India, that is ‘tech India’”11. 25 am: Surplus liquidity in banking system created by demonetisation will lower borrowing cost and increase access to credit.11. 23 am: “My aim while preparing the budget this year has been to spend more in rural areas, infrastructure and poverty alleviation and yet maintain fiscal prudence.” We have done away with planned and non planned allocation of resources to states, Jaitley says.11. 22 am: “Demonetisation to create a new normal for a bigger, cleaner GDP; slowdown, if any, will be only transient. Effects of demonetisation will not spill over to the next year. Demonetisation is a bold and decisive measure, for many decades tax evasion was a way of life for many. I am reminded of what our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi said ‘a right cause never fails’.”11. 21 am: India’s Current Account Deficit decreased frm about 1% of GDP last yr to 0.3% of GDP in 1st half of 2016-17. Growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to recover in 2017. India remains a bright spot in global economy, we are seen as an engine of global growth.11. 18 am: “CPI inflation is expected to remain within RBI’s mandated range of 2 to 6 percent. International Monetary Fund estimates that the world GDP will grow by 3.1% in 2016 and 3.4% in 2017.”
11. 15 am: “FII has increased from Rs 1.07 lakh crore to Rs 1.45 lakh crore. India has become the sixth largest manufacturing country in the world. Government has ensured fiscal consolidation without cutting back on public investments.”11. 14 am: “Expectations included burning issues like inflation and price rise, issue of corruption and crony capitalism. Our focus will be on energising youth to reap benefits of growth and employment. Growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to recover in 2017.”11. 12 am: “From favouritism to objectivity in decision making, from an informal to a formal economy, inflation in double figures has been controlled, we have launched a massive war against black money… The government is now seen as a trusted custodian of public money,I express gratitude to people for their strong support. Our Govt. was elected amidst huge expectations of people, the underlying theme of expectations being good governance.”11.10 am: “Madam Speaker, on this auspicious day of vasant panchami I rise to present the union budget 2017-18,” Arun Jaitley said, as he stood to present the budget.11.07 am: Kharge says Ahamed is a very senior leader who has been a part of legislative affairs for over 40 years. “Budget can be postponed today and presented tomorrow. He was on his duty. He collapsed in Parliament and was taken to the hospital,” Kharge said, but Mahajan refused to budge saying the budget will be presented.11.04 am: Mahajan says she would have adjourned the House for the day but today’s sitting has been specifically fixed by the President and it’s a constitutional obligation. “The House may go ahead with the presentation of the Union budget 2017-18. The House may not sit tomorrow as a mark of respect for the deceased member.”11.02 am: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan begins the session announcing the passing away of MP E Ahamed. She highlighted his career as a member of Parliament. “We deeply mourn the death of our colleague,” Mahajan said. The House stood in silence as a mark of respect.11. 00 am: Lok Sabha has convened and Arun Jaitley is set to present the Union Budget 2017-18.10. 57 am: More budget expectations here – We expect reduction in corporate tax and simplifying the tax system, says Dr. Naushad Dirbes; Expect benefits for exports to boost Make In India from Budget 2017, says Piruz Khambatta.10. 55 am: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has also expressed his views on whether the budget should be presented today. “Budget has a sanctity, we are already in the 11th hour. There should be no controversy over it. It’s a constitutional obligation, Naidu said.10. 50 am: Now that we have a confirmation from the Speaker, let’s look at some of the expectations from Arun Jaitley’s budget. Chandrajit Banerjee of CII is of the opinion that taxes – both direct & indirect and asset restructuring are some of the important expectations from Arun Jaitley’s budget. Anshuman Magazine say Budget 2017 is only the first step. More needs to be done afterwards in the real estate sector.
10.45 am: “We are saddened at the demise of MP E Ahamed, but the Budget will be presented today itself. We have to keep in mind that budget is a constitutional obligation, it will have to be presented,” Mahajan told reporters outside Parliament House.10. 40 am: Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has confirmed that the Union budget will be presented today. News agency ANI quotes her as saying that a formal announcement will be made shorty.10. 38 am: Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda has also expressed that the budget should be postponed. “Postponement of budget will be no big deal, it’s not as if secrecy will break,” he said.If you want to get Budget 2017 updates in Malayalam, click here. For Hindi updates, click here10.35 am: #BudgetTrivia – The budget docket contains sixteen documents including the speech by the Union Finance Minister.10.32 am: A quick meeting of the Union Cabinet has begun in Parliament House. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will share details of the budget with his cabinet colleagues before heading to Lok Sabha where he will present the budget.10.28 am: Constitutional experts have shared their view on whether the Budget should be postponed. Subhash Kashyap tells news agency ANI that it is neither possible nor correct to postpone the budget once the documents have arrived in Parliament House.10.25 am: President Pranab Mukherjee’s office, too, took to Twitter to share images of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and officials of the Finance Ministry during their customary visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Finance Minister briefs the President on the government’s initiatives in the budget before he presents it in Parliament.

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HIGHLIGHTS India vs England, 2nd T20I, cricket scores and updates: Hosts win by 5 runs, level series 1-1

HIGHLIGHTS India vs England, 2nd T20I, cricket scores and updates: Hosts win by 5 runs, level series 1-1
India will be eager to produce a much improved performance to avoid a Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket series loss against England in the second of the three-match rubber here on Sunday.

India were comprehensively beaten by seven wickets in the first T20I match at Kanpur. Their famed batting line-up, spearheaded by skipper Virat Kohli who opened the innings, failed to get going and could only manage to post 147/7 after being sent in to bat.
They lost wickets at regular intervals, failing to get any momentum in their innings. Kohli (29), recalled veteran Suresh Raina (34) and former skipper M.S.Dhoni (36) were the only batsmen to get starts but were unable to capitalise.
Not only the senior batsmen, newer players like opener K.L. Rahul (8), middle-order bat Manish Pandey (3), all-rounder Hardik Pandya (9) all got dismissed cheaply, squandering the chance to rise to the occasion.

England reached the target comfortably with 11 balls to spare, losing only three wickets.
India are likely to persist with Kohli opening the batting. But they may re-look their team combination with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh and seasoned leg-spinner Amit Mishra considered for selection.
Rising wicketkeeper-batsman Rishab Pant has also a fair chance of being named in the playing XI, having impressed with his destructive batting abilities in a 50-over practice game against England earlier in Mumbai.

Bhuvneshwar may take the place of an expensive Jasprit Murah, who was heavily punished by England batsmen at Kanpur. Veteran speedster Ashish Nehra wasn’t in rhythm either in his comeback match to international cricket post surgery.

England pacers did most of the damage at Kanpur. They bowled just short of length, denying the big-hitting Indian batsmen room to free their arms. All the five bowlers used by captain Eoin Morgan claimed wickets.

England would be confident of their prospects at Nagpur’s VDCA stadium, having defeated India in a World Twenty20 Championship match last year when the hosts were captained by Dhoni. They are likely to name Kanpur’s winning XI.
Morgan himself is in good form, guiding the team to a win at Kanpur with a crucial 51-run innings. He also scored a century (102) in the One-Day series, which his team lost 1-2.
Morgan got able company at Kanpur in Joe Root (46). They have enough firepower in their batting to punish any bowling line-up and exhibited it in the first match.
The absence of India’s premier spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, both rested for the series by India, has been to their advantage though they exhibited vulnerability against leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal at Kanpur.
Squads:India: Virat Kohli (c), KLRahul, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Parvez Rasool, Ashish Nehra, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mandeep Singh, Rishab Pant, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Amit Mishra.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Sam Billings, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Tymal Mills, Jonathan Bairstow, Jake Ball, Liam Dawson and David Willey.

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India Today Mood of the Nation: Note or vote, India banks on Modi

India Today Mood of the Nation: Note or vote, India banks on Modi
These are the principal findings of the latest India Today Mood of the Nation opinion poll that also registered widespread support for the government’s demonetisation initiative and surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Narendra Modi is best suited to be India’s next Prime Minister and the ruling National Democratic Alliance led by him would romp to power with 360 seats if Lok Sabha elections were held now. These are the principal findings of the latest India Today Mood of the Nation opinion poll that also registered widespread support for the government’s demonetisation initiative and surgical strikes in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
Around two-thirds of the respondents see Modi as the top pick to become the next Prime Minister, leading his nearest rival- Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi- by 55 percentage points. The latest edition of the MOTN survey was conducted by market research firm Karvy Insights Limited across 19 states from the end of demonetisation deadline on December 30 until January 9. A total of 12,143 interviews were carried out (53% in rural & 47% in urban), spread across 97 parliamentary constituencies in 194 assembly seats.

The study shows that there would be a three percentage point rise in the BJP’s vote share, and 2% & 1% drops in vote shares of Others and the Congress respectively. The BJP would get more than 300 seats on its own if parliamentary elections were held now, with substantial gains since the survey done in August.
The study shows that there would be a three percentage point rise in the BJP’s vote share, and 2% & 1% drops in vote shares of Others and the Congress respectively. The BJP would get more than 300 seats on its own if parliamentary elections were held now, with substantial gains since the survey done in August.
The PM’s score has gone up 15 percentage points, is the highest ever in the past six surveys, and has grown across all religions in the last three opinion polls.
People are also supporting Modi’s performance as Prime Minister with 69% rating his performance as either good or outstanding. That’s a jump of 16 percentage points over the survey done six months ago.
Also, 1 out of every 4 respondents considers his performance to be “outstanding” this time, compared to 9% in the edition six months ago and 16% in the survey done a year ago.
Modi also seems to have got the thumbs up from people on the issue of demonetisation as 45% of the respondents believe that the ban on the old 500 and 1,000-rupee notes will help curb black money and corruption while 35% also believe that it will be good for the economy.
However, 68% of the respondents feel that the government should lower income tax rates in this Budget, post demonetisation, while 61% say the NDA government now needs to crack down on election funding of political parties. 53% of the respondents believe that the confusion over demonetisation rules has dented the image and credibility of the RBI, while 55% of the respondents believe that the implementation of the scheme was bad or could have been better.
On whether the cash ban issue would help the BJP in the crucial Uttar Pradesh and Punjab polls, 56% of the respondents said “Yes”.The Congress’s antics in Parliament seem to have been keenly observed by the voters as 39 per cent of the people feel that the grand old party and its allies are responsible for the stalemate.Only 18 per cent respondents believe that the BJP and its allies are disrupting the functioning of the two Houses.On the issue of Pakistan, the Modi government seems to have got the people’s endorsement as 58% of the survey respondents feel that last year’s surgical strikes were much-needed to teach the rogue neighbour a lesson.
“62% of the respondents feel that the Modi government has handled relations with Pakistan satisfactorily or handled it well,” the poll says.The surgical strikes took place in September where India’s Para Special Forces had crossed over into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir to destroy terrorist launch pads there.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar emerged as the best performing chief minister in the country while his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal’s popularity ratings have come down by half in the past six months. Though Rahul Gandhi’s popularity is going down in comparison to Narendra Modi, the Nehru-Gandhi scion emerged as the best alternative to PM Modi, with the backing of 28 per cent respondents. Kumar and Kejriwal occupied the second and third positions respectively. Gandhi’s popularity has gone up over the survey done six months ago.
The survey also found the popularity of Kejriwal has come down since August. No leader emerged as a strong choice to lead a mahagathbandhan, or grand alliance. 11 per cent of the people felt that Kejriwal is the best bet to lead a third front/mahagathbandhan, but his score has dipped since the last survey.
The Modi government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is its most popular initiative with the endorsement of 27 per cent of the respondents. With 16 per cent votes, Jan Dhan Yojana was the second most successful programme, followed by Digital India at 12 per cent.

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US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the phone for the first time last night and swapped invitations during what was described as a warm conversation.

 

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the phone for the first time last night and swapped invitations during what was described as a warm conversation.

 

President Trump “emphasized that the US considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world”, the White House said in readout of the call. President Trump has invited PM Modi to visit the US later this year. In tweets this morning, the Prime Minister said he had also invited the US President to India.
PM Modi is the fifth world leader that President Trump has called since taking office four days ago. The phone call took place around 11.30 pm, which is 1 pm in Washington.

The two discussed opportunities to strengthen US and India’s partnership in broad areas such as the economy and defense, the White House said, adding, “President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the United States later this year.”

Both leaders also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia and “resolved to stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism,” said the US statement.
PM Modi was among the first to congratulate President Trump after his stunning November election win, saying he appreciated his “friendship” with India.

President Trump, whose “Buy American, Hire American” policy and plans to clamp down on H-1B visas has caused some unease in the Indian IT industry, has so far been positive about India.
During the US election campaign, when Mr Trump often used negative rhetoric against foreign nations, he was largely positive about India. He praised PM Modi for championing bureaucratic reform and economic growth and mentioned India as the only other nation besides Israel, with which he wanted to strengthen ties.
Mr Trump also courted Indian-American voters and released a Hindi ad for Diwali, in which he borrowed PM Modi’s 2014 campaign catchphrase to say — “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar, (This time a Trump government)”.

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India vs England 5th ODI stats: First time India have lost at home under Virat Kohli

 

India vs England 5th ODI stats: First time India have lost at home under Virat Kohli

Ravindra Jadeja became also became the the first left-arm spinner from India to have more than 150 ODI wicketsStatistical highlights of the third and final ODI between India and England:
# England’s five-run thrilling win is their joint-third narrowest victory in terms of runs vs India in ODIs – the smallest being by one run at Cuttack on December 27, 1984.
# After remaining unbeaten in 19 international matches since November 2014, India have lost their first match at home under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.# The last five ODIs (day/night) at Eden Gardens, Kolkata have been won by the side batting first.
# For the first time, England have posted three 300-plus totals – 350 for seven at Pune; 366 for eight at Cuttack and 321 for eight at Kolkata – a distinction accomplished by them for the first time in an overseas bilateral series.
# Just once, England have registered 300 four times in a bilateral series – four times vs New Zealand in 2015 – 408 for 9 at Edgbaston, Birmingham; 365 for nine at The Oval; 302 at Southampton and 350 for three at Nottingham.
# For the first time in a three-match ODI series, both the teams have managed 2000 runs – 2090 (ave.46.44) for the loss of 45 wickets at an impressive 7.00 RPO, obliterating the 1892 (ave.37.09) for the loss of 51 wickets in the Afro Asia Cup in India in 2007.# Jason Roy, for the first time, has posted three successive fifties in ODIs – 73 at Pune, 82 at Cuttack and 65 at Kolkata.# Roy’s third fifty vs England is his eighth in ODIs. His innings of 65 is the second highest by an England opener at Eden Gardens, Kolkata behind the 121 by Marcus Trescothick vs India on January 19, 2002.
# Roy’s aggregate of 220 (ave.73.33) is his highest tally in a three-match ODI series vs India. His aggregate is the highest by an England batsman in the just concluded series.# Sam Billings and Roy were associated in a stand of 98 -England’s second highest for the opening wicket at Eden Gardens, Kolkata next only to the 129 between Alastair Cook and Craig Kieswetter vs India on October 25, 2011.# Ravindra Jadeja became the first left-arm spinner from India to complete 150 wickets or more in ODIs – his aggregate being 151 at an average of 34.68 in 129 matches.
# Eleven left-arm spinners have claimed 100 wickets or more in ODIs.# Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes were associated in a stand of 73 – the highest seventh-wicket partnership at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in ODIs, obliterating the 65 between Johan Botha and Jean-Paul Duminy for South Africa vs Ireland on March 15, 2011.# Virat Kohli has become the seventh Indian captain to complete 1,000 runs in ODIs. The leading run-getters for India as captain being Mahendra Singh Dhoni(6633), Mohammad Azharuddin (5239), Sourav Ganguly (5082), Rahul Dravid (2658), Sachin Tendulkar (2454), Kapil Dev (1564) and Kohli (1035).
# Kohli’s tally of reaching 1000 runs in only 17 innings is a record for the quickest by a captain to this milestone in ODIs, bettering the 18 innings taken by Abraham de Villiers.# Kohli has managed 185 runs at an average of 61.66 – his best performance in a three-match ODI series as captain.# In all the five ODI series as Captain, Kohli has scored atleast a century.# Kohli’s fourth fifty vs England is his 39th in ODIs.
# Jonny Bairstow (56 off 64 balls) has posted his first fifty vs India – his third in ODIs – the highest being 83 not out vs New Zealand at Chesteer-le-Street on June 20, 2015. His only other fifty is 61 vs Pakistan at Leeds on September 1, 2016.# Kedar Jadhav has managed 232 runs at an average of 77.33, including a hundred and a fifty. The said performance is his best in an ODI series. For the first time in a series, he has recorded a century and a fifty.# Jadhav’s above tally is the highest by a batsman on either side in the recently concluded series.# Jadhav’s series strike rate of 144.09 in the series is the third highest by an Indian batsman in a series (minimum 150 balls) – the highest being Virender Sehwag’s 150.25 while scoring 299 in five innings at an average of 74.75 vs New Zealand in 2008-09.# Chris Woakes has finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series – 6 wickets at an average of 29.83.# Yuvraj Singh has become the first batsman to manage 1500 runs in India-England ODIs – his tally being 1523 runs at an average of 50.76 in 37 matches.
# Hardik Pandya has scored a fifty and captured three wickets in the same match for the first time – 56 and 3 for 49. Two Indian all-rounders have accomplished the said double four times each – Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.# Ben Stokes (57 not out + 3 for 63), for the second time in an ODI, has achieved the double of a fifty and three wickets – the first instance being 70 and 4 for 38 vs Australia at Perth on January 24, 2014.# Ronnie Irani is the only other England all-rounder to accomplish the double vs India – 53 and 5 for 26 at The Oval on July 9, 2002.# Overall, 15 instances of a double of a fifty and three wickets in the same match have been recorded for England in ODIs.# Stokes has been adjudged the Man of the Match for the second time in ODIs – his first was against Australia at Perth on January 24, 2014.# 17 fifty-plus innings of 50 or more in the just concluded series is a record for a three-match bilateral ODI series, surpassing the 14 between West Indies and India in 2013-14.

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After tricolour doormats, Amazon forced to stop selling Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops

After tricolour doormats, Amazon forced to stop selling Mahatma Gandhi flip-flops

New Delhi: Global e-tailing giant Amazon was forced to stop the sale of flip-flops with Mahatma Gandhi’s image after the Indian government expressed demanded that Indian sensitivities and sentiments be respected.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “Our Ambassador in Washington had been instructed to convey to Amazon that while providing a platform for third-party vendors, they should respect Indian sensitivities and sentiments. We have been in touch with Amazon both in Washington as well as in Delhi and we have had constructive conversations.”
“I am happy to report that the offending item has since been pulled by Amazon and we hope that our engagement will continue to be fruitful.”

Last week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had received a similar complaint that the Canadian portal of Amazon was selling doormats depicting Indian flag.
Swaraj had reacted sharply to the incident and demanded that the doormats be withdrawn. She had also threatened to revoke the visas of all Amazon officials working in India as well as not grant any visa in the future.

Amazon responded by conveying its regret to India over a “third-party seller” in Canada offending Indian sentiments, adding that it has already pulled out the item from its website.

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Highlights: India vs England 2nd ODI, cricket scores and updates: Hosts clinch series with 15-run win

Highlights: India vs England 2nd ODI, cricket scores and updates: Hosts clinch series with 15-run win
: After guiding India to a thrilling three-wicket win against England in his maiden One-day International (ODI) as full-time skipper, Virat Kohli will be aiming to clinch the three-match series by grabbing the second ODI too.

Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman Kedar Jadhav smashed brilliant centuries to forge a 200-run fifth-wicket stand and helped the hosts chase down the stiff 351-run target with 11 balls to spare in the first match in Pune on Sunday.
Going by the last Ranji Trophy match between Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir on the same strip at the Barabati Stadium, where Haryana scored 502 in their first innings, the India-England tie promises to be another run-feast.
The toss could also be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the match, given the dew factor at this time of the year and both the captains will be looking to bat second.
Though India got over the line in the first ODI despite 63 for 4 at one stage, thanks to Kohli and Jadhav’s heroics, the men-in-blue will be hoping to get a good start from their opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Lokesh Rahul.
Comeback man Yuvraj Singh and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will also need to step up and give Kohli company in the middle order while Jadhav and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are already in good nick.

In the bowling department, India will be hoping for an improved performance from premier off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who went wicketless and leaked 63 runs from his 8 overs in the match.

Pacers Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Pandya have done a decent job while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was also amongst the wicket-takers in the first game.

On the other hand, all the English batsman managed to get starts in the first game, with opener Jason Roy (73), Joe Root (78) and Ben Stokes (62) getting to their respective half centuries.
Barring Root, who consumed 95 deliveries, all the others scored at run-a-ball or took lesser deliveries for their scores and the No.3 batsman will now need to live up to the intensity of the format.

Their bowling department has once again been at the receiving end of Kohli’s batting prowess, and as pacer Jake Ball suggested, England will be aiming to pitch more short stuff to the Indian captain.

While England bowlers will be targetting at getting the back of Kohli, dark horses like Jadhav still can take the game away from their grasp if they continue to focus on individuals and not the top six Indian batsmen.
After Cuttack, both the teams will be heading to Kolkata for the final ODI, which will be played at the Eden Gardens on January 22.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Lokesh Rahul, Umesh Yadav.
England: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes.

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RBI replaces 60% of banned currency: Rs 9.2 lakh cr remonetised till date

RBI replaces 60% of banned currency: Rs 9.2 lakh cr remonetised till date

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has infused around 60 per cent of the total banned currency notes after demonetisation.
The RBI Governor Urjit Patel told a parliamentary standing committee on finance on Wednesday that the central bank had infused new currency notes worth around Rs 9.2 lakh crore into the system. Currency notes estimated around Rs 15.4 lakh crore were withdrawn when the Centre announced demonetisation on November 8, 2016. Most members in the finance committee, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and panel chairman M Veerappa Moily, spoke in favour of protecting the autonomy of the RBI as an institution but said that accountability from its governor must be sought as the note ban had impacted a large of number of people.

Though the members found Patel’s explanation lucid, they were miffed that he did not answer queries like how much money had been deposited in banks after demonetisation or by when the cash supply situation would ease across the country. “Patel came across as a professional in his brief… but we had a lot of issues to raise,” said an Opposition member.
The finance committee meeting was significant as key finance ministry officials, including Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia briefed the panel.

Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal also briefed the panel on monetary policy, including the note ban.
Representatives of the Indian Banks’ Association also briefed the panel.

As members sought to know if the government forced the RBI to suggest the note ban, both Das and Patel replied that the government had been discussing the issue with the central bank since early 2016.
However, while Das said such consultations started in May, Patel said discussions were initiated in January.
When a member asked why a joint secretary of the finance ministry had been deployed at the RBI to monitor the currency situation after demonetisation, Patel had no reply.

Sources said both the briefings were inconclusive and would resume after the first half of the Budget session of Parliament ended on February 9.
According to sources, the Opposition members asked a lot of questions related to the suffering of the people, the economy, job losses and the over 100 deaths attributed to the note ban.
In response to queries related to the preparedness of the banking system to deal with the impact of the note ban, RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra said all the automated teller machines (around 200,000) were functional now.

Congress member Digvijaya Singh wanted a timeline on lifting of cash withdrawal limits.
“Patel could not answer how much money had come back into the system and by when banks’ operations would be normal. RBI officials were defensive on demonetisation,” another Opposition lawmaker said.

Manmohan Singh lends a helping hand to Patel
Former Prime Minister Mamnohan Singh came to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel’s help when he faced a tricky query from a member of the standing committee on finance. When a member asked Patel if there would be chaos if the existing restrictions on cash withdrawals are removed, Singh told Patel, “You should not reply to that query”. Singh, who served as the RBI Governor before his terms as finance and Prime Minister, also noted that the autonomy of the RBI as an institution must be protected, sources in the committee said. In November, Singh had criticised the government on demonetisation, terming it as “organised loot and legalised plunder” of the country.

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Two Months After Demonetisation, Nepal Still Awaits Help From India

Two Months After Demonetisation, Nepal Still Awaits Help From India

New Delhi: Nepal’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Tuesday said that Nepalese people have been suffering ever since demonetisation was announced.
Speaking to CNN-News18 Mahat said, “Of course people in Nepal are feeling the pinch. They are holding legally earned Indian currency which they cannot use for businesses or anything else and they would like to get it exchanged”.
Indian currency is widely accepted in Nepal and post-demonetisation Nepali citizens have been left in the lurch with old 500 and 1000 rupee notes which are no longer legal tender. In addition to that, India and Nepal share a porous border as a result of which many Nepalese residents regularly travel to India for medical care, education and business.

Mahat confirmed that he had taken up the matter with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley whom he met on Tuesday. When asked whether this had become a point of discord between the two neighbors he said, “It is not a point of discord but we want the problem to be resolved at the earliest otherwise people will not be able to use their money”.
Nepal wants the Reserve Bank of India to exchange the entire demonetised currency held by Nepal’s Central Bank. In his meetings Mahat is believed to have told the Indian government that Nepal’s Central Bank can ask people to deposit old notes and once that is done the RBI can exchange the total demonetised currency held with it. The new notes can then be distributed among depositors.
Mahat also said that it was sad that the SAARC summit has been held up because of tension between India and Pakistan. He said, “We hope relations between India and Nepal will normalize soon so that SAARC can happen. We don’t want the process to die”.
Nepal is the chair for SAARC and following the Uri attacks India and several other member states had written to it expressing their inability to attend this year’s SAARC summit which was supposed to be held in Islamabad.