Nation
Logjam over FDI ends in Lok Sabha after four days

Lok Sabha Speaker announced her decision to allow a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184 which entails voting ending the logjam of over four days 

 
New Delhi: Logjam over foreign direct investments (FDI), which led to wastage of four days in Lok Sabha, ended on Thursday with Speaker Meira Kumar allowing a discussion with voting but members from the Trinamool Congress disrupted the proceedings over LPG cap issue, reports PTI.
 
As soon as the House met for the day, the Speaker announced her decision to allow a debate on FDI in multi-brand retail under Rule 184 which entails voting and hoped that the House would now function smoothly.
 
Welcoming Kumar's decision, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj assured her smooth functioning of the House, following which Question Hour was taken up for the first time since the session began last Thursday.
 
But normalcy prevailed only till noon as Trinamool Congress members stormed the Well displaying placards and raised slogans demanding that 24 subsidised LPG cylinders be given to a family per year instead of six now.
 
Trinamool members, whose party was part of Congress-led UPA till two months back, also raised anti-government slogans on the issue of 2G spectrum and coal block scams.
 
The friend-turned-foe of Congress also sought to rub in its opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail with former minister Sultan Ahmed making a personal statement explaining the reasons for his resignation from the government. 
 
Amid thumping of desks by the Opposition, Ahmed said his party was forced to withdraw support to the government as it went ahead on allowing FDI in retail despite giving assurance to Parliament that all stake-holders would be taken into confidence.
 
His senior party colleague, Saugata Roy, also quoted Lok Sabha rules and urged the Speaker to direct the government to respond to the charges made by Ahmed.
 
The Speaker refused to give such a direction and continued with the Zero Hour, asking members to raise issues of national importance.
 
As the members spoke, Trinamool MPs trooped into the Well raising slogans and displaying placards to demand 24 subsidised LPG cylinders to a family instead of the cap of six, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for over 90- minutes.
 

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Micro-finance is in danger zone: Ramesh

Micro-finance is in a 'danger zone' and to think that poverty alleviation in India is possible through this 'discredited model' is 'crap', says the union Minister for Rural Development 

 
New Delhi: Micro-finance is in a 'danger zone' and to think that poverty alleviation in India is possible through this 'discredited model' is 'crap', said Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, reports PTI.
 
"Nothing can stop an idea whose time has gone. And micro- finance is in a danger zone. It is a discredited model. It has raised more questions that it has answered," the Minister said in his valedictory address at the Micro finance summit.
 
Citing the recent micro-finance crisis in Andhra Pradesh that triggered meltdown, Ramesh said he was among those who believe that micro-finance has promised much more than it has actually delivered, created more problem than actually solved and continue to promise much more than that actually put on the ground.
 
"One should be somehow more modest in the expectation of micro-finance and micro-finance institutions. To think that we are going alleviate poverty is a tall tall claim. Poverty alleviation through micro-finance -- it is crap," he said.
 
The micro-finance sector of the country had faced a crisis when the Andhra Pradesh government came up with a law to regulate the sector in 2010.
 
The law banned micro-finance institutions from collecting weekly loan instalments, doorstep business. Its direction to such institutions to secure government approval before giving a second loan to a borrower affected the sector after banks stopped giving money to them.
 
Ramesh, however, agreed with the idea of restructuring or rebuilding the model brick by brick.
 
"The objective of micro finance is very clear. It is to provide finance to people who do not have access to finance.
 
And there is no doubt in my mind that there are many advantages when it comes to delivery of finance through the micro finance route," he said.
 
Hailing the bank-link self-help groups (SHGs) as India's contribution to the world of financial inclusion, Ramesh said the fundamental focus in the banking SHG model has been building social capital, community institutions.
 
The focus has also been on delivery on public services which governments have traditionally failed to do in a satisfactory manner, he said.
 

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Police let off boy detained over 'abusive' Facebook comment on Raj Thackeray

According to police, a 'fake account' was used by unidentified person or persons in the teenager's name from which the objectionable comment was posted on Facebook 

 
Mumbai: A 19-year-old boy from neighbouring Thane district, detained on suspicion of posting an "objectionable" comment against MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Facebook, was let off after police found that a "fake account" was used by some persons in the teenager's name, reports PTI.
 
"Sunil Vishwakarma is cooperating with us in the case and was allowed to go last night after initial questioning. He is nowhere involved in the case," a senior police officer said.
 
Police in neighbouring Thane district had picked up the boy after receiving a complaint alleging that he had posted some "objectionable" comment on Raj Thackeray on the social networking site.
 
According to police, a "fake account" was used by unidentified person or persons in the teenager's name and a case was being registered in this regard.
 
Police are treading cautiously in the matter against the backdrop of suspension of two senior officers from Palghar for arresting two girls in connection with a Facebook post lamenting the shutdown of Mumbai in the wake of Shiv Sena patriarch Balasaheb Thackeray's funeral on 18th November.
 
The boy has not been charged and police have sought legal opinion, an officer from Palghar police station had said last night on condition of anonymity.
 
Thane (Rural) unit MNS president Kundan Sankhe had claimed that the boy had made "abusive" comments about Raj Thackeray and the people of Maharashtra, including women.
 
Late in the night, Additional Superintendent of Police, Thane, S Nishandar told PTI that as per the probe, some unidentified person created a fake account in the name of Vishwakarma, and posted objectionable comment about Thackeray and Maharashtrians in his name.
 
Vishwakarma had accessed his own Facebook account last on Monday, while the comment on fake account was posted the next day.
 

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COMMENTS

Shadi Katyal

4 years ago

What a shame that people are living under the fear and threat and Shiv Sena is running the show.
Can a nation live under such acts like the Nazi did during their rule.
One is shocked to hear on NDTV that Balaji is God for them and will take any action if some one makes any remarks about the family.
What kind of thinking we have?????

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