Bus terminals shall have modern amenities like those in airports and all road toll points would be connected with e-governance system.
Cashless treatment of road accident victims during critical golden hour to be launched, announced Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Rural Development and Drinking water and Sanitation in a press conference this morning. The formation of a National Road Safety & Management Board (NRSMB) is under the active consideration of the government, the minister added. While emphasizing road safety, the minister said that modern road side amenities will be provided and that it shall generate lot of employment too. On going green, the minister said that to the extent possible, the government shall not cut trees, and shall transplant those that are necessary to be cut.
On development in the roads sector, the minister continued that bus terminals shall have modern amenities like those in airports under the BOT (build-operate-transfer) model. CCTVs are being introduced at all toll plazas during the current year. A web portal providing details on user fee rates, concessions/discounts at toll plazas is to be launched by the government. All road toll points would be connected with e-governance system.
The New Motor Vehicle Act, drawing inputs from international agencies like World Bank has been put on the Ministry website, announced the minister. This is important as India has the world’s 2nd largest road network, measuring 48 lakh km.
Special norms with relaxation are being evolved in road sector for hilly and extremist affected areas. A project is underway in Uttarakhand so that roads shall not be damaged due to rains. These were the special remarks made by the minister for areas were road sector development is difficult. Border projects are one of the highest priorities of the government, he added.
A historic step is being taken as regarding environment by using iron slag in Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. This is superior and environment-friendly.
In terms of achievements, the minister said that 1,000 km of new roads constructed already, 350 km are being strengthened. The minister disclosed that 189 projects were stalled due to issues regarding clearances, land acquisition, etc. Many have been resolved. Out of 54 projects pending from the government's side for environmental clearance, 33 have been approved.
Finally, the minister also covered disputes in the road sector and also their resolution. Disputes worth Rs10,550 crore resolved in recent past for Rs.958 crore disclosed Gadkari. Expeditious resolution of disputes and settlement of claims are significant for timely implementation of projects, pointed out the minister. A 3-stage dispute resolution mechanism has been made operational at NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) to expedite process for one-time dispute settlement
The minister added that there will be no compromise on rehabilitation of people displaced due to land acquisition. There is no question of reducing the compensation to farmers for land acquisition.
According to SFIO, the Saradha group companies will face prosecution for violation of several laws
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which completed its probe into the Saradha ‘chit fund scam’, said that its 14 group companies have been found to be running ‘ponzi schemes’ and would face prosecution for violation of several laws.
The investigation concluded that the group was using collections from new investors to make payments to the previously-enrolled members, rather than from income generated through investments, in typical resemblance to a ponzi scheme.
Among others, the activities of these companies were found to be in serious violations of the Companies Act, the SEBI Act, and several provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) said in a statement on completion of the SFIO probe.
The Ministry said those companies which have been found to have violated the SEBI regulations for ‘collective investment schemes’ would be prosecuted for violation of SEBI Act, instead of the Companies Act, as the former carried longer terms of imprisonment.
Besides, prosecution would also be initiated by the state governments for violations of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Scheme (Banning) Act, while the probe report and necessary evidence would be shared with CBI to avoid duplication in prosecutions.
The scam, in which lakhs of investors in West Bengal and neighbouring states were defrauded of thousands of crores through illegal money pooling activities, came to light early last year and has also had its political ramifications.
The case has also become a political hot potato with the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government facing flak from various quarters.
“The companies, their promoters, directors and managerial personnel have been found guilty on many counts of various provisions of the Companies Act... dealing with illegal collection of deposits and false statements," it said.
ICICI Bank announced its ‘Cardless Cash Withdrawal’ service that allows its customers to transfer money from their account to anyone in India with a mobile number. The recipient can withdraw money round the clock without using a debit card from over 10,000 ATMs of ICICI Bank across the country. The sender needs to be an ICICI Bank savings account holder.
The facility can be initiated by any ICICI Bank savings account customer (sender) by logging into Internet banking of ICICI Bank website. The sender first needs to register the recipient’s name, mobile number and address. The sender will get a four-digit verification code while the recipient a six-digit reference code, over SMS.