Police relent; no restriction on crowd, offers 7 days protest

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Mr Hazare, his team and the Delhi Police. Initially, the police insisted only five days’ protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month

New Delhi: Bowing before public pressure after Anna Hazare’s arrest, Delhi Police on Wednesday withdrew virtually all pre-conditions for the hunger strike by the Gandhian and his team in the Indian capital, reports PTI.

After the Hazare team indicated that it was ready to accept Ramlila Maidan as the venue for the protest, police reworked the conditions lifting restriction on the number of protesters and allowed them seven days agitation initially which could be extended later.

The fresh proposals came during the marathon discussions between Mr Hazare, his team and the police. Initially, the police were insisting that they could allow only five days’ protest which was turned down by the activists who asked for permission for one month.

Police had earlier denied permission to Mr Hazare to hold his indefinite fast at Jai Prakash Narain Park near Ferozeshah Kotla Ground after the 73-year-old social activist refused to give an undertaking that he would restrict his protest to three days and the number of protesters to 5,000.

Sources said the new proposals include lifting of restriction of the number of vehicles that can be parked at the protest venue and allowing a medical examination of protesters by a government doctor as well as a private doctor chosen by the Hazare team.

Earlier, the police had said a team of government doctors would examine Mr Hazare and others.

Sources said police can extend the number of days of protest beyond seven days. They said there was no restriction on the number of protesters and will allow protesters ‘to the capacity’ at Ramlila Maidan.

Asked whether the offer was acceptable, Mr Hazare’s associate Kiran Bedi said, “No, Anna is asking for 30 days’ permission for the protest which includes fast period.”

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CMIE scales down GDP growth projection to 8.1% for FY11-12

The forecasts for all major sectors have been scaled down as none of the major sectors have seen an upward revision in their forecasts, CMIE said in its monthly review

Mumbai: The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has revised its real GDP forecast for 2011-12 downwards from 8.6% to 8.1%, reports PTI.

The forecasts for all major sectors have been scaled down. The reasons for the scaling down the forecasts differ from sector to sector. None of the major sectors have seen an upward revision in their forecasts, CMIE said in its monthly review here.

The agricultural sector is expected to grow by 2.2% in FY11-12. This forecast is lower than our earlier forecast of a 3.2% growth, it said.

The downward revision reflects, largely, on expectations of a lower output of groundnut and cotton because of poor rains in Gujarat and also Andhra Pradesh.

One of the reasons why the agricultural growth rates of the current fiscal have been scaled down is that the fourth final estimates of major crops indicate some exceptional high growth rates in 2010-11.

The forecast for the industrial sector has been scaled down from 8.9% to 8.6%. The production forecast for power generation, steel, edible oils, and cars have been scaled down because of a variety of reasons.

A lower growth in production of agriculture and industry is expected to adversely impact the growth in the services sector, CMIE said.

Several senior government officials have admitted that the 9% growth assumed in the Union Budget is unlikely to be achieved. The finance minister also stated that the economy is likely to grow by around 8%.

This was the lowest forecast from the government. And, it came after the forecast of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory (PMEAC) that sounded a bit more negative than expected as it reduced its forecast from 9% to 8.2%.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had scaled down its forecast to 8% in May 2011. The central bank's current stance seems to be to bring down inflation even if it comes at the cost of some growth.

Several private agencies-mostly from the financial broking arms of multinational investment companies have scaled down their forecast to less than 8%. Morgan Stanley is at the lower end of the spectrum at 7.2%, CMIE said.

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CBI examining documents of Aircel-Maxis deal

The CBI said Standard Chartered was the banker in the deal in which Maxis bought 74% stake in Aircel, adding the documents could provide crucial details about the financial transactions

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is examining the documents submitted by Standard Chartered Bank in connection with its probe into former Aircel chief C Sivasankaran's allegations that then telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran forced him to sell his company to Malaysia-based Maxis group in 2006, reports PTI.

The documents were handed over to the CBI after some bank officials were recently questioned. The agency has registered a preliminary enquiry into sale of telecom spectrum during 2001-07.

Sources in the agency said examination was being done with the help of some bank officials deputed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

They said Standard Chartered was the banker in the deal in which Maxis bought 74% stake in Aircel, adding the documents could provide crucial details about the financial transactions.

Mr Sivasankaran had alleged in a statement before the agency that he was forced to sell his stake in Aircel by Mr Maran and his brother Kalanidhi at a very cheap price to Malaysia-based Maxis, which is considered closed to the Marans.

The allegations have been refuted by Dayanidhi who maintains that he did not play any role in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Sources said the CBI primarily wants to get details of correspondence of bank with both parties-Sivasankaran and Maxis officials-and the manner in which entire deal was done.

The CBI in the preliminary enquiry is verifying the allegations levelled by Sivasankaran, the sources said.

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