Citizens' Issues
Centre asks states to procure sugar for ration shops from open market

Following the the partial de-control of sugar sector, the union government would not be able to supply sugar to states at subsidised rates. It however, agreed to pay Rs18.50 per kg to state government for selling sugar at subsidised rates in ration shops

The union government has asked state governments to immediately start buying sugar from the open market to ensure supply to ration cardholders as its stock would be over next month.


Food Minister KV Thomas, in a letter to state chief ministers, said that the centre has allocated sugar quota up to May 2013 and "it is imperative that the states take immediate action for procurement for future requirements."


The minister also asked states to "initiate steps immediately to ensure that the supply of sugar through PDS is not affected during the period of transition and thereafter."


Last month, the Centre has partially decontrolled this sector and mills are no longer obligated to supply sugar to the Centre for the public distribution system (PDS). The union government has scrapped the levy sugar mechanism, under which mills were obligated to supply 10% of their production at a cheaper rate for ration shops.


Now, the state governments are required to procure sugar from the open market through a transparent system. The Indian government will bear the difference between the ex-mill price of Rs32 per kg and retail sugar price of PDS at Rs13.50 per kg.


Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging Vedanta-Cairn deal

The apex court said it cannot sit on judgement on the decision taken by parties in a business dealing

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere in the $8.5-billion Cairn-Vedanta deal and dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) that had challenged validity of the deal.


A Bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra said that the decision by the Centre and ONGC pertaining to the deal was taken after due deliberation and the Court cannot sit in judgment on the decision taken by parties in a business dealing.


The PIL was filed by Bengaluru-based Arun Kumar Agarwal, who had alleged that there was a clause in the agreement between Cairn Group and ONGC that in case Cairn Group wanted to sell its shares in Cairn India, it would first offer the same to ONGC and this right was “not asserted” by the PSU and the Centre.


He had also alleged that the decision on the deal had been made on “extraneous considerations” and without taking into account the relevant aspects.


As per the clause, Cairn could sell its shares to other parties only after ONGC refused to buy the stake and ONGC, thus, had the right of first refusal, he had said.


The petitioner had alleged that Cairn Energy had violated the clause and signed a deal with Vedanta Group to sell its shares in Cairn India, without making an offer to ONGC and that the exchequer would have benefited by over Rs one lakh crore if ONGC had insisted on enforcing the clause.


The Bench, however said there were no extraneous considerations involved in the deal.


Cairn India Ltd, a subsidiary of UK-based Cairn Energy, is the operator of the Rajasthan oil block. It had entered into an agreement with the UK-based Vedanta Group on 16 June 2010, to sell its majority stake in Cairn India for around $8.5 billion, without offering the shares to its partner ONGC in the joint venture as per the agreement of right of first refusal, the PIL had said.


Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah dies in Chandigarh hospital

Sanaullah, a convicted Pakistani terrorist serving life sentence, was injured in a scuffle with another inmate in the high-security Kot Balwal jail in Jammu

Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay, injured in a scuffle with another inmate in a Jammu jail and admitted to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) at Chandiragh, died on Thursday morning.


A spokesperson from the PGIMER told reporters that “The patient was brought in a brain dead condition and died this morning due to multiple organ failure”.


Meanwhile, the body of Sanaullah Ranjay will be handed over to Pakistan.Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Ministry of External Affairs is coordinating with the Pakistani authorities to complete the formalities to send back his body home. “Once the formalities are done, we will hand over the body,” he said.


The 52-year-old Sanaullah was airlifted from Jammu to the PGIMER on Friday.


The PGI spokesman said that it was a case of death in custody and a post mortem will be conducted for which a medical board is being constituted.


“The post mortem will be conducted by the Medical Board in the presence of a Magistrate and videography will be done of the process,” he said.


His condition had worsened yesterday following kidney failure and neurological problems.


“Patient has become extremely critical. He has developed renal failure with no urine output since morning. Hence he was put on peritoneal dialysis by Nephrologists,” the bulletin issued last evening said.


A resident of Sialkot in Pakistan, Sanuallah was serving a life term after he was convicted under TADA provisions following his arrest in 1999.


He was injured in a scuffle with another inmate in the high-security Kot Balwal jail in Jammu and rushed to the PGIMER in an air ambulance on Friday last.


The assault came a day after the death of an Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh who was brutally attacked by fellow inmates in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail.




3 years ago

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