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Fri, 23rd June 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “State” Tag

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s approval rating plunges amid lingering school scandal

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has dropped below 50% for the first time in more than a year as respondents expressed dissatisfaction with his response to allegations of preferential treatment toward a conservative educator.

The cabinet’s approval rating plunged to 49% in a weekend poll by Nikkei Inc. and TV Tokyo, down 7 percentage points from May and 11 points compared with April. The government’s disapproval rating climbed 6 points to 42% — the highest since October 2015.

 This marks the Abe cabinet’s most serious setback in public opinion since that year, when legislation expanding the armed forces’ remit ignited a public debate on Japan’s commitment to peace.

Now, the prime minister is facing allegations of favoritism over plans to establish a veterinary school in a government-designated special zone for deregulation. The prospective school operator, Kake Educational Institution, is headed by a friend of Abe’s.

The government insists that all of the proper procedures were followed in approving the new school. But a purported memo describing the project as in line with “the prime minister’s wishes” — a document whose credibility the government had questioned — has been found at the ministry of education after a second internal investigation.

The ruling coalition’s move to cut short the upper house debate on anti-conspiracy legislation also seems to have contributed to the drop in support. Among other things, the recently enacted law makes it a crime to plot terrorist attacks. Nearly half, or 47%, of respondents support the law, which has raised concerns among civil liberties groups, while 36% are opposed.

The cabinet’s approval rating fell among both men and women. Only 24% of respondents unaffiliated with any political party expressed support for the government, down 5 points from the previous survey.

RBI : Plastic notes to be issued soon

With demonetisation having created a major cash crunch across the country, the government on Friday informed Parliament that a decision has been taken to print plastic currency notes and for which procurement of material has started.

“It has been decided to print banknotes based on plastic or polymersubstrate. The process of procurement has been initiated,” Minister of State for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply in Lok Sabha to a query whether RBI proposes to print plastic currency notes in place of paperones.

RBI for long has been planning to launch plastic banknotes after field trials. In February 2014, the Government had informed Parliament that 100 crore plastic notes of Rs 10 denomination would be introduced in a field trial in five cities selected for their geographical and climatic diversity.

The selected cities were Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar.

Plastic notes have an average life span of about five years and are difficult to imitate. Also, currency notes made of plastic are cleaner than paper ones. Such notes were first introduced in Australia to safeguard against counterfeiting.

Trump Says He Will Issue Executive Order On First Day In Office Withdrawing U.S. From TPP

In a video message released moments ago by Donald Trump, the President-Elect announced that he has asked his team to develop a list of executive actions for his first day as president and announced that he would issue an executive order on his first day of office, withdrawing the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership, and would issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the TPP, voiding Obama’s “free-trade legacy.”

Trump stated that his agenda “will be based on a simple core principle, putting America first… whether it’s producing steel, building cars, or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right her on our great homeland.”

 He added that he would issue a rule, along the lines of what he proposed during his Gettysburg address, that for every new government regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated, and said that he will direct the labor department to investigate abuses of visa programs.
  • TRADE – Withdraw from TPP and negotiate bilateral trade deals in America’s favor
  • ENERGY – Cancel job-killing restrictions on American energy industry (including shale energy and clean coal)
  • REGULATION – For each new regulation, 2 old rules must be eliminated
  • NATIONAL SECURITY – Develop a plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyber-attacks and all other forms of attack
  • IMMIGRATION – Direct Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs
  • ETHICS REFORM – Drain the swamp by imposing a 5-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyist after they leave the administration (and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign governments)

The full clip is below.

 

AAP govt shuts schools, bans construction for few days

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced a list of measures to be enforced by the state government to curb the soaring pollution in the national capital, including putting all construction projects across the city on hold for the next five days and ordering the shutdown of all schools for the next three days.

Addressing a press conference here after chairing an emergency meeting to take stock of the initiatives being taken to put a dent in the spike in pollution, Kejriwal announced the following emergency measures:

  •  All construction and demotion works will be shut down for the next five days
 No diesel generators to be used for the next 10 days, except in hospital and emergency places
  •  The Badarpur Power Plant will be shut down for the next 10 days
  •  Transportation of fly ash to stop for 10 days
  •  Vacuum cleaning of roads to begin from 10th November

Power sector debt worth Rs 1.34 trillion at high risk: Crisil

Nearly Rs 1.34 lakh crore worth of debt on operational and under-construction power projects is at risk, says ratings agency Crisil.

As per Crisil estimates, around 17,000 MW of operational power projects with a debt of Rs 70,000 crore and additional 24,000 MW under-construction projects with a debt exposure of around Rs 64,000 crore are at high risk.

“These operational projects are those, which are facing the consequences of aggressive bidding for coal supplies or facing huge cost overruns, and those with gas-supply issues,” Crisil Senior Director Sudip Sural said.

He said over the period, the credit growth to the sector will moderate to 5 per cent over the next three years as compared to an average of 18 per cent witnessed in the last five years.

“This is primarily because the discoms debt which has been the key components of this exposure, is going to go out of the banking system over a period of time and move to the fold of the state government because of the UDAY scheme,” Sural said.

GST Bill: The dangers lurking in the future

The first round of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill is over. There were no losers. The next round is expected in the Winter Session of Parliament beginning in November 2016. Key issues are still at large, and I wish to begin a debate on them.

Contrary to the impression that the central government may have conveyed to the state finance ministers, the issue of Dispute Resolution has not been settled by the Bill that was passed by the Rajya Sabha recently. Article 131 of the Constitution allows states to file a suit in the Supreme Court for adjudication of disputes between states or between the Centre and one or more states. Besides, there are the well-known provisions such as Articles 32, 226 and 227.

In my view, the provision to establish a dispute settlement mechanism by the GST Council is constitutionally suspect. Be that as it may, assume that the mechanism ‘resolves’ a dispute between two states. If one of the states is dissatisfied with the verdict, nothing can prevent that state from challenging the decision by way of a suit or a writ petition. To assume that the ‘mechanism’ will be the final dispute resolution authority reflects a poor understanding of the provisions of the Constitution and the nature of ‘judicial power’.

The standard rate

RBI should be allowed to take its own decision: Raghuram Rajan

RBI has been enjoying full autonomy and support of the government so far and it should be allowed to take its own decision, Governor Raghuram Rajan has told the central bank’s staff.

While addressing an in-house meeting of RBI employees here on the first day of his three-day visit to Odisha, Rajan also said that with agriculture playing a key role in India there is a need to focus on small and medium agro-based projects.

“Our economy is agriculture based. Therefore, we should focus on small and medium agro-based projects,” Rajan said.

He also said that the Indian economy was on the right track and could emerge as a major player globally.

Rajan, however, said the RBI which has been enjoying full autonomy and support of the government so far and should be allowed to take its own decision, said an RBI employee who was present at the meeting where media was not allowed.

“RBI’s decision is very crucial as it is connected with fate of crores of people. A slight mistake could put the entire country and its people in trouble. Therefore, RBI’s decision must be accurate and to the point keeping in view the interest of the people,” the employee said quoting Rajan.

Now, A Narendra Modi film before every movie in the theatre

The Narendra Modi-led government has suggested that adding the word “PM” or the name of a nationalist leader to the name of a scheme can help solve the debate around naming central schemes.

The Centre has also recommended that fortnightly films be produced to highlight the achievements of Narendra Modi. The government has reportedly suggested that these films be “mandatorily” played before the screening of movies in every theatre.

According to the Indian Express the suggestion was made by the group of ministers (GoM), during a meeting chaired by Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, set up to recommend ways of increasing visibility of central schemes in states and districts.

TAKING CONTROL 

As per the daily, it was suggested at the meeting that the government’s achievements be highlighted, stressing on the “difference between the past and present” in a “humorous way”.

Other suggestions reportedly made at the meetings were:

Rajya Sabha passes Real Estate Bill- Full Detail

Real Estate Bill; Benefits for homebuyers, developersThe Rajya Sabha today passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015, paving way for regulation in the real estate sector.
The law will protect home buyers against erring developers besides bringing in investments as well as transparency in the sector.
In December last year, the Cabinet had approved 20 major amendments to the Bill based on the recommendations of a Rajya Sabha committee.
In December last year, the Cabinet had approved 20 major amendments to the Bill based on the recommendations of a Rajya Sabha committee.
Till now, the real estate sector had been devoid of any sort of regulation. With many developers going back on their commitments, end-consumers have suffered without any forum to register their complaints in the recent times. It also led a new form of consumer activism.

ALERT : China stock market regulator announces new rules governing share sales

China China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC)

  • Major shareholders of listed companies restricted to selling maximum 1% of their holdings in single entity via competitive bidding process every three months
  • Major shareholders should file share sale plan 15 days in advance of sale
  • Share sale regulation effective on January 9

CSRC says these new rules will ease panic sentiment

  • Will help stabilise market expectations
  • new rules do not mean China Securites Finance Corp. will exit the market

(China Securites Finance Corp. is the government support/buyer of stocks … i.e. the PPT)