Citizens' Issues
MP bans commercial vehicles older than 15 years
Bhopal : The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to disallow commercial vehicles older than 15 years to run on roads in the state.
 
Transport minister Bhupender Singh told reporters on Tuesday that the decision was taken in view of the rising pollution. Such old vehicles would neither be issued new permits nor given fitness certificates. Police and transport department would launch search operation as well. 
 
The minister also said the government is pondering over reducing the age limit for getting licence from 18 to 16.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

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M Muralidharan

11 months ago

Will AK do it in Delhi?

When global retailers knocked at India's fashion doors
New Delhi : India's burgeoning appetite for foreign brands attracted a string of international brands to establish their presence in the country this year. US apparel retailer GAP, Swedish multinational retail-clothing company H&M, British fashion brands TOPSHOP and TOPMAN and more, available at brick-and-mortar stores or online mediums, are already a hit.
 
The summer arrival of GAP, which has made inroads into India through a franchise agreement with textile and retail major Arvind Lifetsyle Brands Limited, was much talked about.
 
Spread over a 10,000 sq ft south Delhi mall, the first flagship store offers Gap for men and women, GapKids, and babyGap. The plans are big as officials hope to open about 40 stores in the next five years and Arvind Lifetsyle Brands Limited expects Rs. 1,000 crore worth of business opportunity from the venture.
 
"I think our clothes are perfect for Indian summer. It's very easy to wear with a whole lot of linen feel to it," Oliver Kaye, CEO - Gap Business, told IANS.
 
Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited also brought American youth brand Aéropostale to India, with a store at a south Delhi mall in November.
 
Swedish multinational retail clothing company H&M, which is known globally for offering fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way, also opened shop in the country, again at a south Delhi mall.
 
And then, call it the successful feedback of the first store that within a gap of a month, the brand opened its second store - its largest in the country - at another south Delhi shopping destination.
 
Expansion plans for the brand include another store in capital suburb Gurgaon, to be followed by outlets in Mumbai and tier-II and tier-III cities.
 
India is one of the most exciting markets in the world right now, with so much potential within retail, said Janne Einola, country manager, H&M Hennes & Mauritz Retail Private Limited.
 
"The response to H&M has been fabulous! We are happy that the Indian customers are pleased with our business concept of fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way.
 
"We see a great potential for further expansion in India, the number and time frame will be determined by real-estate opportunities and retail market development.
 
"Our expansion strategy is to always open at the best business location. We have proposed to invest up to euro 100 million ($110 million) in the SBRT (Single Brand Retail Trade) application," Einola told IANS.
 
It was not only through offline stores that many international brands made its India entry this year as many of them chose to be part of the Rs.720 crore worth Indian fashion industry through online mediums.
 
Handbags from French label Anna Luchini are now available in the Indian market via e-commerce platform Fashionara.com, which has also introduced watches for women from another French label, Christian Lacroix.
 
Jabong, a leading fashion online retailer in India, has clearly established its dominance in bringing well-curated collections of international fashion labels such as Buggati Shoes, Tom Tailor, NEXT, Misguided, TOPSHOP, TOPMAN, et al in its portfolio this year.
 
Nils Chrestin, Interim CEO at Jabong and Group CFO of Global Fashion Group, feels that many international brands today are seeking an online presence to explore the diverse Indian market.
 
"In the last two years, Jabong has facilitated a lot of deals and, as a result, has been able to successfully build an International portfolio," Chrestin told IANS.
 
Officials of TOPSHOP and TOPMAN had been eyeing India as a feasible market for quite some time before partnering with Jabong. They feel that the country's market demonstrates great opportunity for fashion brands and the Indian customer is very fashion-savvy.
 
As of now, they are happy with the response from the customers.
 
"TOPSHOP and TOPMAN are very new to India and after an impactful launch on Jabong in September earlier this year have continued to experience high levels of traffic as well as meeting sales targets.
 
"Both brands are growing at a rate of 25 percent month on month and contribute substantially to Jabong's international business portfolio. There's a huge appetite for fashion in India which is why so many brands continue to enter the market," the brands' spokesperson told IANS.
 
Also, six leading South Korean cosmetic companies made their debut in India this year with an array of cosmetic and wellness products. The companies signed a joint venture agreement with an Indian firm for marketing their products first and will eventually make them in India under the 'Make in India' campaign.
 
The companies are PLK International, Coson Company Limited, Outin Futures Corporation, BCL Cosmetics Company Limited, Kell Cosmetics Company Limited, and Esthetic House Company.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article. 

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Replies to RTI queries have to follow a specific format in Maharashtra
The Maharashtra Government has issued a notification last fortnight to follow clear norms for giving RTI replies. This follows DoPT’s general guidelines, issued in October 2015, to discipline PIOs who give evasive replies to RTI queries
 
Public Information Officers (PIOs) in Maharashtra will be required to provide comprehensive replies to right to information (RTI) applicants. In a notification issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), on 19 December 2015, the Maharashtra government has specified a general format for reply, thus a taking a step forward in citizen-friendly use of the RTI Act.
 
In a clear snub to the PIOs, who act in a high-handed fashion, the circular also makes it mandatory for them to provide certified copies to the applicants, if so requested, to give reference of the section under which the information is denied as well as full details of the Appellate Authority’s contacts, so that the applicant can pursue his application, more effectively and easily.
 
The circular states, “Various Public Authorities provide information to applicants requisitioning information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 in various forms. Since the nature of information differs and since it is not possible for the Public Authorities to prepare a prescribed form, a circular clarifying what the replies should contain has been issued by the Central Government vide Circular No. 10/1/2013-IR Date 6.10.2015, which was required to be brought to the notice of everybody, concerned. Hence, this notification.”
 
It may be recalled that, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), in a letter dated 6 October 2015, sent to Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories (UTs)  had said, “It has been observed that different public authorities provide information to RTI applicants in different formats. Though there cannot be a standard format for providing information, guidelines have been provided.” (Read: PIOs can no more give wishy-washy replies under RTI )
 
The circular issued by Maharashtra government states the following points, which need to be kept in mind by the PIO, while replying to the applicant:
 
  1. The number and date of the RTI Application received under the Act along with the date of receipt of the application by the public authority concerned.
  2. Name, designation, address, official telephone number and e-mail of the PIO  concerned.
  3. In case the information requisition is denied, the detailed reasons for denial of the information along with the concerned section of the RTI Act.
  4. In case of transfer of the RTI application to other public authority under section 6 (3) of the RTI Act, detailed information of the public authority to which the application is to be transferred.
  5. Name, designation, address, official telephone number and e-mail of the Appellate Authority should be mentioned first while responding to the RTI application under the RTI Act and ‘The first appeal be filed within 30 days from the date of receipt of the letter of the PIO’ should be categorically mentioned in the last paragraph.
  6. While corresponding under the RTI, all PIOs and First Appellate Authority (FAA) must clearly mention their name, designation and department under their signature.
  7. In case the applicant has requisitioned attested information under the Right To Information Act, 2005, the Public Information Officer concerned must attest the information and make a mention to that effect on the information while providing the information. In case the number of documents/ records being provided is too large, his subordinate gazatted officer may attest the information if required. The mention about attestion be made as following.
  8. All Heads of Department in Mantralaya should bring the provisions of the said circular to the notice of the Heads of Departments, Public Authorities and all those concerned subordinate to them and notify them to act accordingly.
  9. The circular has been made available on the website of the Maharashtra Government www.maharashtra.gov.in 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh  is consulting editor of Moneylife, and also convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

11 months ago

All of us are indebted to Vinita Deshmukh for being vigilant and proactive about RTI in Maharashtra.

Without her constant monitoring, I doubt if the Maharashtra govt would have been so forthcoming.

I remember her holding sessions with budding RTI activists to train and guide them in the procedure of asking for information under RTI. I hope she continues to do so in the coming years too.

Here is wishing her and her team a successful New Year.

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