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Bobby Jindal sued over order to protect same-sex marriage opponents
A gay rights advocacy group and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana are suing Louisiana's Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal for issuing an executive order aimed at protecting opponents of same-sex marriage.
 
Jindal signed the religious freedom executive order in May hours after the Louisiana Legislature refused to pass a bill that would have implemented similar protections for those opposing same-sex marriage, according to NOLA.com.
 
The ACLU and other plaintiffs allege that Jindal has overstepped his executive authority by trying to provide a right to same-sex marriage opponents that only the Legislature can give.
 
"The governor's job isn't to create law," Sean Sullivan, with Forum for Equality Foundation, the LGBT rights organization involved with the lawsuit, was quoted as saying. "There is a big separation of powers issue here."
 
"The ACLU used to defend civil liberties, now it appears they attack them," said Jindal in a written statement suggesting the lawsuit is politically motivated.
 
"The Left likes to pick and choose which liberties they support at any given time, and it seems to me that religious liberty has fallen out of favour with them,"
 
The plaintiffs are accusing Jindal of permitting discrimination through the executive order.
 
The order is meant to protect people, businesses and nonprofits from losing access to professional licensing, tax benefits and other government services if they refuse to support same-sex marriage.
 
The ACLU and plaintiffs in the suit say this means individuals and companies would be able discriminate against same-sex couples, without facing repercussions.

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India's April-May fiscal deficit at over 37 percent of estimate
India's fiscal deficit in the first two months (April-May) of the current financial year touched Rs.208,624 crore, or 37.5 percent of the target for the current fiscal, official data showed on Tuesday.
 
This compares with the deficit of 45.3 percent during the same period a year ago.
 
The fiscal deficit for the full fiscal 2015-16 has been estimated at Rs.555,000 crore, or 3.9 percent of the GDP.
 
The government's tax revenue for the period was Rs.19,889 crore or 2.2 percent of the estimate, data from the Controller General of Accounts showed.
 
Total receipts (from revenue and non-debt capital) during the two months in question was Rs.54,207 crore or 4.4 percent of the estimates.
 
Total expenditure of the government during April-May was Rs.262,000 crore or 14.8 percent of the full year's estimates.
 
The revenue deficit during April-May was over Rs.172,000 crore or 43.8 percent of the estimates.
 
The government last month said it had managed to improve on its target for containing the fiscal and revenue deficits in the 2014-15 fiscal.
 
"As a result of prudent policies and commitment to fiscal consolidation, fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP is 4.0 percent as against the RE (revised estimate) of 4.1 percent (4.4 percent for the previous 2013-14)," the finance ministry said in a statement.
 
"The fiscal deficit at the end of 2014-15, stands at Rs.5,01,880 crore which is 98 percent of the projected figure in RE 2014-15," it added.
 
Regarding receipts, the government said gross tax collections at Rs.12,45,037 crore for the last fiscal had shown a growth of 9 percent (Rs.1,06,303 crore) as compared to fiscal 2013-14.
 
The gross tax collections is 9.8 percent of GDP, it added.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had in the Budget 2015-16 extended the target deadline for controlling fiscal deficit to three percent, reasoning that insistence on a timetable to contain the deficit would harm growth prospects.
 
The targets for the next three years have been set at 3.9 percent for 2015-16, 3.5 percent for 2016-17, and 3 percent for 2017-18.

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Petrol cut by 31 paise a litre, diesel by 71 paise
With a slight softening of international prices, Indian Oil Corp on Tuesday reduced the rates of transport fuels, cutting petrol by 31 paise a litre and of diesel by 71 paise in Delhi, effective from midnight, with corresponding decrease in other states.
 
The prices were last revised on June 15, when petrol was hiked by 64 paise a litre and diesel cut by Rs.1.35.
 
"Since last price change, there has been a decrease in international prices of both petrol and diesel. INR-USD exchange rate has appreciated during this period," the oil marketer said in a release here.
 
The price of petrol per litre from Wednesday will be Rs.66.62 in Delhi, Rs.74.09 in Kolkata, Rs.74.52 in Mumbai and Rs.69.84 in Chennai.
 
Diesel will cost Rs.50.22 a litre in Delhi, Rs.54.75 in Kolkata, Rs.57.64 in Mumbai and Rs.53.62 in Chennai.
 
The Indian basket of crude oil cost $59.95 a barrel on the last trading day on Monday. A barrel equals 159 litres.

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Raj Mishra

1 year ago

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