29122018-TTC-01.qxd 29-12-2018 01:20 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.2 no.359 | 26 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | saturday, december 29,2018 HASINA SEEKS RECORD FOURTH TERM PAGE 19 BANKS’ GROSS NPAs JUMP TO ~10.39 LAKH CRORE PAGE 18 /thetribunechd Export incentive on onion doubled to shore up prices New Delhi, December 28 Concerned over the fall in onion prices, the government today doubled the export incentive to boost shipments and ensure better returns for farmers. At present, onion traders get 5 per cent export incentive on fresh crop under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS). “The government increased the export incentives under the MEIS to 10 per cent,” an official statement said. Wholesale prices of onion are “subdued” at present due to an increase in the arrival of the fresh crop in the mandis, it said. “To contain the situation, it has been decided to encourage export of onions so that the domestic prices stabilise,” the statement said. With the current increase, onion enjoys one of the highest incentives for agroexports. — PTI ~4,500-CR INDIAN AID TO BHUTAN PAGE 22 /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Ready for J&K polls: Rajnath Bumrah skittles Aussies Defends move to impose Guv rule in June without waiting for govt formation Tribune News Service India captain Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah (left) celebrate the wicket of Australia’s Shaun Marsh on Day 3 of the third Test in Melbourne on Friday. Bumrah’s career best figures of 6/33 helped the tourists dismiss the hosts for a meagre 151 in the first innings. India lead by 346 runs. AP/PTI PAGE 20 New Delhi, December 28 The Union Government, under fire for having imposed Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir without waiting for elected parties to cobble up a coalition, announced on Friday that it was ready for Assembly elections in the state once the Election Commission of India decided on it. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, responding to a discussion on a resolution on the presidential proclamation of President’s rule in the state, said: “We are ready to talk to anyone (in Kashmir). We are committed to the democratic process.” The resolution was adopted by a voice vote. The minister defended Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the COMMITTED TO DEMOCRATIC PROCESS: HM We are committed to the democratic process. All security will be provided once the Election Commission decides on the matter (of holding elections in Jammu and Kashmir) ❝ Rajnath Singh, HOME MINISTER House. Governor’s rule was imposed on June 19 after the Mehbooba Mufti-led Peoples Democratic Party-BJP coalition government in the state fell. On December 19, President’s rule was imposed. Leaders of various parties questioned the Governor’s decision to dissolve the Assembly instead of asking the claimants (PDP with NC and Congress support) to prove majority on the floor of the House. Rajnath Singh defended Malik, saying the latter had no option other than to recommend Governor’s rule. He refuted claims that the BJP was trying to prop up Sajjad Lone as CM, saying, “If someone made such a claim, it must have been in his personal capacity.” To this, Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge pointed out that Governor Malik was quoted as having said he was being asked to anoint Lone as CM. “If the BJP wanted to indulge in horse-trading to form the government, it would have done so during ~10,000 cr for man Passports of 4 Punjab kids 6 swine flu deaths in mission to space used in bid to traffic minors 10 days alarm Hisar 3-member crew to be sent for 7 days Mukesh Ranjan Tribune News Service New Delhi, December 28 The government today announced a 40-month timeline for the country’s indigenous man mission to space — Gaganyaan — and approved Rs 10,000 crore for the project. Sharing details of the decision taken by the Union Cabinet, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Under project Gaganyaan, a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days. The project will cost Rs 10,000 crore and will be completed in 40 months from its announcement.” The Gaganyaan project was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech. He had said the mission would be undertaken by 2022. It envisages two unmanned and one manned flights to the space. India has already inked agreements with Russia and France for assistance. The government later in a statement said the project would establish a broader framework for collaboration between ISRO, academia, industry, national agencies and other scientific organisations. It was also expected to generate employment and train human resources in advance technologies, the statement added. Making a case for the programme’s real impact, the government said it had a huge potential for technology spinoffs in areas such as medicine, agriculture, industrial safety, pollution and waste, water and food resource management. Syed Ali Ahmed Tribune News Service NewDelhi, December 28 On a complaint from the US Embassy, the CBI has registered a case of illegal trafficking of children from Punjab’s Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr). Among those booked are Gagan Gupta of Pathankot; Balraj Khera, the owner of KPS Travel and Kings Punjab Travels, Jalandhar; Chetan Sabharwal, the owner of M/s Click Education Services Private Limited, Chandigarh; Lovepreet Singh of Tarn Taran and Tilak Raj of Hoshiarpur. The CBI said Gagan Gupta was allegedly trying to traffic four children under assumed identities and passports of students of St Joseph’s Convent — all in the 13-15 age group. The US Embassy said Gagan Gupta, who “misrepresented” herself as the principal, in August last year had tried to DELHI AGENT IN DOCK IN ANOTHER CASE District admn begins awareness drive ■ The girls were taken to Nairo- Deepender Deswal bi by Shama Javaid Deen, a Kenyan national, and Delhibased agent Aryan, who allegedly ran an organised crime syndicate ■ “It appears the two are running a human trafficking network by pushing young Indian girls into prostitution abroad on the false promise of a good job and salary”, Col Rahul Dutt, Director (Overseas Employment), take the four children to the US, allegedly on assumed identities of four students. During an inquiry, it was found that these visas were issued to children who were part of the school group that was to visit the US and that the trip was organised by Click Education Services whose agent had collected the passports of students and the school staff. The agent complained in March 2018 ■ After a preliminary inquiry, the CBI filed a case under the Immoral (Traffic) Prevention Act against Ludhiana-based agent Kala alias Emmnuel Masih and Aryan allegedly tried to send four of his clients on the passports of the students to whom the visas were issued. Another case was registered on MEA complaint which said the Indian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, had rescued three young girls allegedly trafficked to Mombassa on the pretext of employment as dancers but were coerced into prostitution. Tribune News Service Hisar, December 28 The death of six persons, five of them women, because of swine flu in the past 10 days has alarmed the district health authorities, who have initiated steps to check its spread. The first death was reported in October. So far, 39 patients have tested positive and have been hospitalised. Villages in Hansi and Narnaund, besides Hisar, are the worst affected. Sources claim owing to lack of facilities, a large number of patients have opted for private hospitals. Civil Surgeon Dr Dayanand said the National Centre for Disease Control, New Delhi, had confirmed the deaths were due to swine flu. He said some of the deceased were in the highrisk category as they suffered from other ailments too. Deputy Commissioner Ashok Kumar Meena said the administration had started an awareness campaign to check the spread of the virus. Dr Naresh Jindal, Principal Disease Investigation Officer at Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar, said the virus appeared to be spreading from human to human. “We haven’t found any case of disease among poultry or piggery anywhere in Hisar or elsewhere. This virus is airborne and gets active during cold weather. Cleanliness is key for prevention,” he said. the six-month Governor’s rule,” the Home Minister responded, adding that none of the major parties had shown interest in forming the government when Malik’s predecessor NN Vohra met them in June. Even as Rajnath Singh spoke, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah interjected, saying, “The PDP approached our party and we agreed to provide them support along with the Congress. But the irony was that the fax and phone of the Governor was not working.” He said the Governor’s House was not the place to prove majority, but the floor of the Assembly. Meanwhile, Union Minister Jitendra Singh, blamed the impasse in Jammu and Kashmir on a series of “blunders" by successive governments in the state, “starting with the Nehruvian blunder”. Three headless bodies found in Bhiwani Tribune News Service Hisar, December 28 Headless bodies of a 32-yearold woman, a girl aged 12 and a toddler were found dumped in a plastic drum along the Rohtak-Bhiwani highway near Bhiwani’s Kharak village today. The village sarpanch informed the police, which moved the bodies to the Civil Hospital and then to the PGIMS in Rohtak for postmortem. The bodies are yet to be identified. The police have begun investigations. Sadar police station SHO Prem Singh said a forensic team had collected samples. The Haryana Police have asked their counterparts in Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab to ascertain if any “missing persons” report had been filed at their police stations. A police official said they were hopeful of an early breakthrough in the case. Just 2 Haryana MLAs list queries, no QuestionHour TRAI gives a month to consumers Members blame it on quick announcement of one-day session, INLD says govt wanted to avoid it Sushil Manav Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 28 Just two MLAs submitted questions to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat, forcing the business advisory committee of the Haryana Assembly to do away with Question Hour during the day-long Winter Session today. Kiran Choudhry, Leader of the Congress Legislature Party, and Parminder Singh Dhull, INLD MLA from Julana, were the only ones in the 89-member House (Jind MLA Hari Chand Midha had died on August 26) who had submitted questions. While Choudhry’s questions Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar speaks during the Winter Session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Friday. PRADEEP TEWARI pertained to corruption, compensation to farmers and lack of irrigation water at the tailends of canals, Dhull had questions on issues on farmers in Jind, expenditure on foreign tours of ministers and pendency of internal and external development charges. Choudhry said she and oth- er leaders from Opposition parties wanted the Assembly session to be extended beyond today and also wanted to have a Question Hour, “but we were told that only I and Dhull had submitted questions”. Umesh Aggarwal, BJP MLA from Gurugram, said most members had no inkling of the session. “We were thinking it will be held in February or March for the budget or vote-on-account. But it was suddenly announced.” Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala, however, alleged that the government used the lack of questions as an excuse to avoid Question Hour. “The MLAs are to be given at least 15 days for submitting questions. But the government gave four-five days. Even if only two members had submitted questions, the Question Hour could have been held, as others could have asked supplementary questions,” Chautala said. “Our MLA Jagbir Singh Malik had at least 20 questions to ask, but could not submit these as the government called the session at very short notice,” former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said. AAP convener Naveen Jaihind said it was shocking that both the ruling and Opposition MLAs were non-serious. Today’s issue consists of 26 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends. to select TVchannels of choice New Delhi, December 28 The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Friday gave time till January 31 for consumers to select channels of their choice under the new framework for broadcasting and cable services and said all existing packs of subscribers will continue uninterrupted till then. The TRAI, in March 2017, had notified the new regulatory framework for broadcasting and cable services and re-notified it on July 3, 2018, prescribing the implementation schedule. All the service providers were required to complete the preparation for migration to NO STAY BY HC Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday declined to stay implementation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's March 2017 regulations and tariff order relating to fixation of charges for free and pay channels. It issued notice to TRAI and posted the matter to January 3 for further hearing on a petition filed by a cable TV association. PTI the new framework by December 28, 2018, as the new framework will come into force the next day. In order to facilitate all service providers to migrate their subscribers from old to new framework without causing inconvenience, TRAI, after consultations with broadcasters, DTH operators, and MSOs (multi-system operators), has given them more time to seek options from subscribers for smooth and interruption-free migrations. “All existing packs/plans/bouquets to the subscribers will continue uninterrupted till January 31, 2019. No service provider will disconnect any signal or feed,” TRAI said. The government said the new framework will provide “freedom of choice” and give consumers “direct control” on their monthly bill. — PTI
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