Regulations
Uber continues to be banned in Delhi
US-based taxi provider Uber will continue to be banned in the national capital as the Delhi government rejected its fresh request for plying cabs.
 
The decision was taken after the city government found that Uber "failed to submit the sworn affidavit of complying with the ban order in letter and spirit".
 
Despite being banned, these taxi services continue to operate in the capital as the city government does not have the mechanism to block their websites.
 
The city government also turned down the request of Ola and Taxi for Sure app-based cab providers on the same ground.
 
Following the rape of a 25-year-old woman by a cab driver of the Uber taxi company in December last year, the city government had banned all app-based taxi services.
 
Last week, a Delhi woman accused a Uber cab driver of molesting her in neighbouring Gurgaon.
 
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai had recently met representatives of Uber and Ola and told them to provide relevant information if they their wanted fresh licenses to be considered.
 
They were asked to provide full details of their drivers and vehicles.
 
On Tuesday, Rai had said the city government would ask the Centre to block the websites and apps of Uber, Ola and other app-based taxi services in Delhi.
 
"It is beyond our understanding why the Centre, despite being informed, is not taking action against these taxi services. These services are taking undue advantage of being app-based," he had said.
 
The taxi operators have been told that their fresh applications for licences will only be considered after they furnish affidavits agreeing to standard and stringent safety norms, particularly for women passengers.

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Monsoon will be promising for farmers: Skymet
Skymet, the private weather forecasting agency, has predicted a "promising monsoon" for farmers in India, sticking to its stand that rains this year would be normal or 102 per cent of the long term average.
 
In a report released on its website in the evening on Wednesday, Skymet said that "with the Indian Meteorological department predicting a second straight drought year for the country, a massive challenge could be ahead of Prime minister Narendra Modi's ambitious plans of reviving India's subdued economy.
 
However, it said it disagreed with IMD's prediction of 88% rains.
 
Skymet said that Monsoon 2015's overall performance will be normal, and promising for farmers.
 
But, it said, the monsoon is likely to be weak in the sub-divisions of south interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, East Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.
 
Noting that the main Kharif or Monsoon crops cultivated in India are paddy, soyabean, cotton and groundnut, it said that soyabean production would be hampered as Madhya Pradesh, which will be affected by a below normal monsoon, produces 53 per cent of the crop. The other crops will only be marginally affected.
 
Agricultural produce, it says, will not be hampered in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana as these states have sufficient irrigation facilities and will also receive normal rainfall throughout the four-month long monsoon season. The West Coast will also receive good showers, while Peninsular India will be at a moderate risk of below normal monsoon rains.
 
On Tuesday, Skymet had released a report saying why it was sticking to the 102% prediction for monsoon, despite the IMD forecasting a drought year.
 
It said that this year El Nino had been causing a lot of anxiety among people but El Nino has been continuing since 2014 and is not a cause of much concern. 
 
"Weather agencies worldwide are evaluating the performance of Monsoon 2015 under the scare of El Nino. However, Skymet has been assessing other oceanic parameters and atmospheric conditions since December 2014, and will not change its stance that monsoon will be ‘normal," the report says.
 
"We at Skymet believe that other forecasting agencies are over-weighing El Nino's impact on monsoon and therefore, sticks to normal rains to the tune of 102% of the long term average (based on 30 years)," it said.

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Government files complaint against Nestle with consumer disputes panel
The government on Wednesday filed a complaint against Nestle India with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), following the controversy over samples of Maggi noodles containing lead beyond permissible limits.
 
Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters here that the NCDRC will probe the matter and take appropriate action.
 
He said the government, for the first time, was taking action under Section 12-1-D of the Consumer Protection Act, under which both Centre and states have powers to file complaints.
 
He said as there would be delay in getting the reports from food safety watchdog FSSAI (Food Safety Standards Authority of India) and since it concerned consumers' health, the government decided to file a written complaint before the NCDRC.
 
Paswan said he did not know what will be the outcome of the FSSAI reports.
 
"If the FSSAI reports are found to be positive, it is a very serious issue," he said.
 
The minister defended FSSAI over the Maggi noodles controversy, and said if a company violated the standards, the regulator cannot be responsible for it.
 
Asked whether FSSAI was responsible for not checking the quality of Maggi, he said: "After getting licence, if someone does wrong and misleads the consumer, how can FSSAI be held responsible?"
 
He also said that until the inquiry was complete, the government cannot take action either against the company or the brand ambassadors.
 
The Delhi government on Wednesday banned Maggi noodles for 15 days in the capital, after 10 of 13 samples were found to contain more than the permissible quantity of lead.

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