India country brief 101122 Basic Political Developments

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INDIA COUNTRY BRIEF

101122

Basic Political Developments





  • An all-party meeting called to end the deadlock in Parliament on 2G spectrum failed on Monday as the Opposition stuck to its demand for JPC probe and rejected the government’s proposal for attaching multi-disciplinary probe teams with the PAC to go into CAG report.




  • The Maoists are apparently trying to take their war against the establishment to the people by reaching out to disgruntled tribals, Dalits and religious minorities. The extremists claim to be working to uphold the 'democratic rights' of those wrong- footed by the government and security agencies - in other words, they are doing all they can to incite the people against the state, the police said.




  • Congress leaders say Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, whose TV channel attacked party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is a person of 'no consequence' and his ouster will be less harmful than his staying on.




  • Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has agreed to accept the BJP's decision to remove him and step down, according to sources in the party. He reached Delhi after the top leadership summoned him.

National Economic Trends

Reserve Bank of India Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said emerging market economies contribute more than half the global growth.


Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions




  • The Uttar Pradesh Government today approved signing of an agreement between UP State Power Generation Corporation and Niveli Lignite Corporation Limited for setting up of a 2000 MW thermal power project in Kanpur. The decision in this regard was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mayawati here.





  • India today moved a step closer to making mobiles virtual wallets by launching services that allow seamless and real-time fund transfer from one person''s bank account to another through cellphones. Mobile remittance services, which have done wonders in other emerging market economies like Kenya and the Philippines, are expected to change the retail payment landscape in the country that has over 600 million mobile subscribers and 300 million bank account holders.



  • Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a capital expenditure programme of Rs.2,400 crore (around $530 million) Monday to upgrade the energy infrastructure in the state over the next five years.




  • Orissa Monday signed a final agreement with Hyderabad-based Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd for a Rs.6,500 crore port project, an official said.The full-fledged all-weather port would be built by the company at Astaranga in Puri by 2015 on a build, own, operate, share and transfer (BOOST) basis, G.K. Dhal, secretary of the commerce and transport department, told IANS.

Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)




Militant Activity/Terrorism (Particularly in Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida, Chennai, Coimbatore)




  • Suspected Maoists today killed three CPI(M) supporters in West Midnapore district where the bullet-riddled bodies of two Trinamool Congress activists were found. Two Trinamool Congress supporters, who were among seven kidnapped from Bodomouli village allegedly by CPI(M) armed cadre last night, were found shot dead with their hands tied on National Highway 60 near Jagannathpur under Salboni police station area this morning.





  • Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants tonight attacked the house of a Special Task Force (STF) constable and killed his mother besides injuring his wife and two children in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, triggering an encounter with security forces.



Labor/Social Unrest




FULL TEXT

Basic Political Developments


All-party meet fails to end Parliament deadlock
PTI

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article905365.ece?homepage=true

An all-party meeting called to end the deadlock in Parliament on 2G spectrum failed on Monday as the Opposition stuck to its demand for JPC probe and rejected the government’s proposal for attaching multi-disciplinary probe teams with the PAC to go into CAG report.

After the hour-long meeting, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told the opposition parties that he would get back to them after consulting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Mr. Mukherjee had called the leaders of all parties to discuss ways to end the logjam over 2G probe because of which Parliament has remained paralysed ever since the winter session began on November 9 as the Opposition has been insisting on setting up of Joint Parliamentary Committee to go into the scam.

During the meeting, the government proposed that the teams of multiple agencies probing the 2G scam could be attached with the Public Accounts Committee, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said.

This was rejected by the opposition parties in unison as they stuck to their demand for JPC, she said.

“We said that we will not accept (the government proposal),” Mr. Swaraj said, a view echoed by representatives of other opposition parties who attended the meeting.


Maoist plot to incite people's war revealed
Dalip SinghNew Delhi, November 22, 2010

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/120765/LATEST%20HEADLINES/maoist-plot-to-incite-peoples-war-revealed.html
The Maoists are apparently trying to take their war against the establishment to the people by reaching out to disgruntled tribals, Dalits and religious minorities.

The extremists claim to be working to uphold the 'democratic rights' of those wrong- footed by the government and security agencies - in other words, they are doing all they can to incite the people against the state, the police said.

This was revealed in a letter recovered by the Andhra Pradesh Police from the Delhi home of slain journalist Hemchandra Pandey.

A five- member team of the AP Police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) had raided the rented accommodation in north Delhi where Pandey and his wife Babita stayed from February 7 to July 1.

The Hindi journalist was shot dead by AP Police on July 1 in the forests of Adilabad along with CPI (Maoist) central committee member Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad.

The letter was written by 'Comrade Ajith' (said to be the code name of CPI (Maoist) chief Ganpathy) to 'Sitapathi' (Azad). It said Maoists should work to mobilise opinion to ensure that adivasis, Dalits and religious minorities are be able to exercise their rights.

Ajith said in the letter: "I request you to write letters to Pracharak and Gaayak and to other leading elements to raise democratic demands/ autonomy of adivasis, the issue of reservations for backward sections and the basic demands of Dalits, religious minorities, women, students, peasants and workers." Ganpathy heads the CPI (Maoist)' s standing committee - the outfit's highest decision-making panel.

The committee comprises two members - Nambala Kesav Rao and Kishen Da.

Azad was part of the CPI (Maoist)' s 12-member politburo.

The letter, penned in English, touches upon ' hot topics' such as the Telangana issue as well as river- water sharing in Andhra Pradesh.

The timing of the letter - written on December 22 last year - is also significant, for the Telangana agitation reached its peak then.

Ajith called for making river- water sharing a fundamental demand for a separate Telangana state. He also stressed that the capital of the new state should be Hyderabad.

The Maoist also had words of caution for his comrades, discussing the need to be more " secretive and selective" about the movement of the central committee members and important couriers
Not easy to forgive Jaganmohan: Congress leaders Mon, Nov 22 04:34 PM

http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20101122/818/tnl-not-easy-to-forgive-jaganmohan-congr_1.html
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Congress leaders say Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, whose TV channel attacked party chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is a person of 'no consequence' and his ouster will be less harmful than his staying on.

'He has done something which is not easily forgivable and the high command will take the final decision,' Congress leader K. Keshav Rao told reporters outside parliament.

'As far as I am concerned we don't take him as a man of consequence,' he said.

A programme aired Friday and Saturday by Sakshi TV channel, owned by Jaganmohan Reddy, blamed Gandhi for the 'sorry state of affairs in the Congress' and called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a 'rubber stamp'.

Son of late Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Jagan has been rebelling against the party high command ever since K. Rosaiah was made chief minister following his father's death in a helicopter crash last year.

Rao said that Jagan was trying to be a hero through these acts of rebellion.

'By doing this he thinks he has become a hero, if he is removed he becomes a martyr,' Rao said.

'This is not the first time that the boy is revolting... he had done it earlier when he defied orders of Madam (Sonia Gandhi)...not only this he had issued a protest letter, an open letter. He had also used some sentences which were a slap on the high command's face,' he added.

Another senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh said: 'Jagan has always been a rebel, perhaps his ouster will be less harmful than his continuation in the party.'

Admitting that Jagan may float his own party if removed from the Congress, the party leader said that though it will have a negative impact on the party, his continuation may have worse effects.

'Of course if he floats a party it will cut into our vote bank, but what he is doing is worse for the party,' he said.

Yeddyurappa ready to go: BJP sources
Headlines TodayNew Delhi, November 22, 2010

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/Story/120768/LATEST%20HEADLINES/yeddyurappa-ready-to-go-bjp-sources.html
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has agreed to accept the BJP's decision to remove him and step down, according to sources in the party. He reached Delhi after the top leadership summoned him.

Yeddyurappa, who had been reluctant to quit, is learnt to have agreed to abide by the party's decision. Yeddyurappa has been called to Delhi on Monday to meet BJP chief Nitin Gadkari. His aides, Karnataka Higher Education Minister V.S. Acharya and Home Minister R. Ashok, are already in Delhi.

While Acharya claimed the BJP had not taken any decision on Yeddyurappa's fate, Ashok said the crisis would be sorted out.

"Yeddyurappa will put before the party all the problems that the Opposition has been creating for him for the last three years. Everything will be sorted out," Ashok said.

The chief minister is expected to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine from Delhi. Sources said there is also a possibility that Yeddyurappa will put in his papers in Bangalore itself and stay away from Delhi. Headlines Today has learnt that he has even chosen a successor.

Yeddyurappa has been under fire for an alleged land scam favouring his sons. This has come as an embarrassment for the BJP when it's fighting the Congress over the 2G spectrum scam.

But getting Yeddyurappa to step down too has its consequences. It would mean that the BJP is admitting to corruption in its Karnataka government and could dent the party's campaign on the 2G scam.

Karnataka's complicated caste equations and the fear of a split in the BJP state unit have complicated things.


National Economic Trends

RBI chief: EMs contributing more to global growth

http://in.news.yahoo.com/137/20101122/748/tbs-rbi-chief-ems-contributing-more-to-g.html
Mon, Nov 22 06:27 PM

Enlarge Photo Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao speaks in New Delhi March 26, 2009.... Emerging market economies contribute more than half the global growth, the Reserve Bank of India governor Duvvuri Subbarao said on Monday.

Subbarao also said in a speech that the coupling of emerging market economies with others was getting stronger.

He was speaking at a book launch event in Mumbai.


Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions


UP Govt approves signing of power project Mon, Nov 22 06:26 PM

http://in.news.yahoo.com/20/20101122/372/tbs-up-govt-approves-signing-of-power-pr.html

Lucknow, Nov 22 (PTI) The Uttar Pradesh Government today approved signing of an agreement between UP State Power Generation Corporation and Niveli Lignite Corporation Limited for setting up of a 2000 MW thermal power project in Kanpur. The decision in this regard was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mayawati here.

As per the decision, the state would get at least 75 per cent of the power generated, the government spokesman said, adding that the plant would be established in Ghatampur of Kanpur district. Meanwhile, Mayawati also directed the Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC) to provide 50 per cent of the total profit generated from tendu leaves to those who collect it.

The work of collecting tendu leaves for the bidi industry is done by local labourers, who sell it at UPFC centres. These labourers are presently issued coupons and paid Rs 500 for 50 thousand tendu leaves.
Mobile remittance service launched in India Mon, Nov 22 06:34 PM

http://in.news.yahoo.com/20/20101122/372/tbs-mobile-remittance-service-launched-i_1.html
Mumbai, Nov 22 (PTI) India today moved a step closer to making mobiles virtual wallets by launching services that allow seamless and real-time fund transfer from one person''s bank account to another through cellphones. Mobile remittance services, which have done wonders in other emerging market economies like Kenya and the Philippines, are expected to change the retail payment landscape in the country that has over 600 million mobile subscribers and 300 million bank account holders.

The Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS), which currently has seven banks including the largest lender SBI on board, was launched by Reserve Bank Deputy Governor, Shyamala Gopinath. She said the service has the potential not only to change the retail payment landscape in India but also help push financial inclusion, on the back of high mobile penetration.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), promoted by 10 banks, will act as the settlement agency between banks and deliver the back-end support to the system. "This is the first-of-a-kind system in the country and the real power would be when it starts delivering in the rural areas," NPCI''s Chief Executive, A P Hota, told reporters.

To avail of the service, an account holder will have to get mobile money ID (MMID) from the bank. MMID will be his ID for all mobile-commerce transactions.

The banks will install special application on the mobile phone from where the remitting will be done. Once the process is complete, the bank account holder can remit money to anyone, provided he has the receiver''s MMID and mobile phone number.

In case of a low-end phone, where the application cannot be installed, money can be transfered through SMS. Initially, the service will be free for the account holder with banks bearing the cost of 25 paise per transaction. In case of SMS-based remittance, the user will be charged Rs 2 per SMS, which NPCI is trying to get waived-off by talking to mobile phone operators, an NPCI official said.

Currently, the Reserve Bank regulations cap the maximum amount to be remitted through mobiles at Rs 50,000 a day. Gopinath said the launch of such a service will help in financial inclusion because of the success of mobile telephony in the country.

She said stakeholders in the scheme -- banks, merchants and mobile phone companies -- should work together for greater integration to help reduce the use of cash and encourage the use of "mobile wallets". Gopinath said, RBI is encouraging the bank-led model for m-commerce, which allows the whole gamut of services like deposits, withdrawals and remittances rather than the less secure non-bank led model.

Orissa to upgrade power infrastructure

Mon, Nov 22 04:56 PM

http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20101122/836/tbs-orissa-to-upgrade-power-infrastructu_1.html

Bhubaneswar, Nov 22 (IANS) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched a capital expenditure programme of Rs.2,400 crore (around $530 million) Monday to upgrade the energy infrastructure in the state over the next five years.

'The aggregate technical and commercial loss in Orissa stands at 39 percent, which appears to be very high,' Patnaik said here.

'With this loss level, the distribution sector cannot be viable enough to provide quality and reliable power,' he added.

Patnaik said the project will cut down on power losses during distribution, and provide cheap and reliable electricity to consumers.

The state government and power distribution companies will invest Rs.1,200 crore each under the programme.

Orissa signs final pact for Rs.6,500 crore port project Mon, Nov 22 05:42 PM

http://in.news.yahoo.com/43/20101122/836/tbs-orissa-signs-final-pact-for-rs-6-500_1.html

Bhubaneswar, Nov 22 (IANS) Orissa Monday signed a final agreement with Hyderabad-based Navayuga Engineering Company Ltd for a Rs.6,500 crore port project, an official said.

The full-fledged all-weather port would be built by the company at Astaranga in Puri by 2015 on a build, own, operate, share and transfer (BOOST) basis, G.K. Dhal, secretary of the commerce and transport department, told IANS.

The company will submit a detailed project report within a year, Dhal said after signing the final agreement, also known as a concession agreement, with a senior official of the company in the state secretariat.

The port will initially handle 25 million tonnes of cargo per annum and will further expand to 70 million tonnes per annum, he said.

At the initial phase, dredging will be done up to 15.5 metres which will ultimately reach 20 metres. It will cater to ultimate vessel size of 1.75 lakh DWT (Dead Weight Tonnage), he said.

The government had earlier entered into an initial pact with the company in 2008 for the project. The concession agreement was signed as part of the terms and conditions in the initial pact, he said.

Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)




Militant Activity/Terrorism (Particularly in Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida, Chennai, Coimbatore)



WB: Maoists Kill Eight in West Midnapore Midnapore (WB)

| Nov 22, 2010

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?702045



Suspected Maoists today killed three CPI(M) supporters in West Midnapore district where the bullet-riddled bodies of two Trinamool Congress activists were found.
The ultras gunned down two CPI(M) supporters Sushil Mahato and Paresh Mahato, who were neighbours, at Dhanngori village, police said.
In another incident, the body of CPI(M) supporter Ganesh Ahir, who was kidnapped by suspected Maoists from Rashikpur village in Salboni police station area last night, was found this morning.
Two Trinamool Congress supporters, who were among seven kidnapped from Bodomouli village allegedly by CPI(M) armed cadre last night, were found shot dead with their hands tied on National Highway 60 near Jagannathpur under Salboni police station area this morning, they said.
The two Trinamool Congress supporters were identified as Kalipada Tudu and Chunka Soren. The other five managed to escape.
Maoists had yesterday killed CPI(M) zonal committee member Rahim Patar and Garmal gram panchayat pradhan, Pashupati Singh at Ovkharikasuli village under the same police station area.
The joint forces had yesterday recovered an unidentified beheaded body from Puluidanga village in Binpur police station area.
J&K: LeT Militants Attack STF Constable's House Jammu | Nov 22, 2010

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?702023

Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants tonight attacked the house of a Special Task Force (STF) constable and killed his mother besides injuring his wife and two children in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, triggering an encounter with security forces.

A group of militants of LeT led by Commander Salman barged into village Nadigad in Kehswan belt of Kishtwar district and attacked the house of STF cop Qasim Gujjar tonight, police officials said.
They opened indiscriminate firing on the house and also lobbed grenades, they said, adding that the cop's mother Goja Begum was killed, wife Nazia and his two children aged 6 and 9 were injured, they said.
After hearing the firing, police and Army personnel rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area, where a fierce gunbattle has broken out between militants and the security forces.
The attack came close on the heels of yesterday's encounter at Gujjar Mohalla, where District Commander Salman alias Hayder's Uncle, an LeT operative was killed.
"It seems a case of retaliation. This is an act of LeT," they said, adding STF Cop Qasim was one of the policemen involved in the operation against LeT terrorists in the Gujjar Mohalla yesterday.

Labor/Social Unrest






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