ENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Minister Responds to Consumer Advocate’sReport The minister responsible for auto insurance, Ron Russell, saysmany of the recommendations contained in the auto insurancereport released today, Sept. 24, by consumer advocate GeorgeJordan will be addressed in legislation that will be introducedin the upcoming session of the House of Assembly. “The consumer advocate did a great job monitoring and listeningto the concerns of Nova Scotians during the government’s publicconsultation process. We have had ongoing meetings with Mr.Jordan throughout this process to make sure consumers’ concernsare addressed,” said Mr. Russell. “His input has been a keyfactor in shaping the government’s response to the auto insuranceproblem.” The minister said government’s goal continues to be an effectivereduction in rates and increased protection for Nova Scotians. “In response to the Consumer Advocate’s Interim report we havealready passed several changes to the current legislation thatwill allow us to make regulatory changes,” said Mr. Russell.”These changes have addressed several protection issues thatconsumers had. The upcoming legislation will focus on providingconsumers with rate relief and more protection, fairness andchoice.” The minister thanked Mr. Jordan for the report, saying it wascomprehensive and thorough and that it is a significant step inthe auto insurance reform process. He is glad the consumeradvocate will continue to build on this report and be vigilantlooking out for the insurance concerns of Nova Scotians. Government has been dealing with the issue of rising autoinsurance premiums since February 2002, when it directed the NovaScotia Utility and Review Board to conduct a rate review. In themonths that followed, government hired a consumer advocate,developed education guides for consumers, held a publicconsultation, and introduced legislation to freeze rates andprevent unfair discrimination. It also conducted consultations,research, and analysis that would allow it to develop anappropriate solution for reforming auto insurance in Nova Scotia.
Work is underway to prepare for a major project on Highway 125 inCape Breton County. The tender to complete the clearing of about six kilometres ofright-of-way from exit 4 near Balls Creek to exit 6 near SydneyRiver has been awarded. R. MacLean Forestry Ltd. of Antigonishwas awarded the contract, valued at $38,750. The work is to becompleted by Monday, March 15. “We are following through on our commitment to the residents ofCape Breton County,” said Transportation and Public WorksMinister Ron Russell. “This work is another step toward providingthe best road network possible for the travelling public.” The work involves preparing the site for the start ofconstruction of new twinned lanes on Highway 125 from Balls Creekto Sydney River. The project will include a new interchange atthe Coxheath Road and widening of the existing divided highwaynear Sydney River. The estimated cost of the project is $13 million. Under the cost-shared Strategic Highways Infrastructure Program, the provincewill provide $9.4 million in funding, while the federalgovernment will contribute $3.6 million. The new four-lane highway is expected to be completed in the fallof 2005.
With the crack of a wine bottle, the newest addition to NovaScotia’s ferry fleet was officially christened today, June 23, atEast Ferry in Digby County. Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works, smasheda bottle of Nova Scotia wine across the hull of the PetitPrincess, the new car ferry that sails Petit Passage betweenDigby Neck and Long Island, as part of the ceremony. “This event is being held to recognize the importance of thePetit Princess to the residents of this area,” said Mr. Russell.”Not only will the ferry carry goods and people safely but itwill also encourage economic growth through tourism in thisbeautiful part of the province.” The $4-million ferry was built at the Halifax Shipyard and madeits maiden voyage across Petit Passage in March of 2004. ThePetit Princess is 42 metres long with a capacity of 24 cars, 95passengers and four crew. As part of a naming contest at Islands Consolidated School, theferry was named Petit Princess after the water it crosses, PetitPassage. The name was proposed by Felicia Frost, a Grade 7student. The Petit Princess replaces the 29.1-metre Joshua Slocum, builtin 1974. The province sold the Slocum but retained the name forfuture generations as a way to celebrate the feats of NovaScotian Joshua Slocum, the first person to navigate solo aroundthe world. The Slocum ferry was renamed The Lost Joshua prior tosale.
The operator, Island Vacuum Services Ltd., took immediate remedial action. The operator had exercised due diligence, as required by Section 160 of the Environment Act, before the leak occurred. There were no apparent adverse effects from the leak. “The operators had conducted themselves in good faith before and after the leak,” said Kerry Morash, Minister of Environment and Labour. “However, we determined after the incident that the facility cannot be operated to appropriate standards and acted accordingly.” The department revoked its approval for the facility in November 2004. The requirements for the closure of the facility will be determined by an environmental site assessment scheduled for completion this summer. The Department of Environment and Labour will not file charges over a leak at a septage treatment lagoon in Middle River, Victoria Co. The leak occurred in late July 2004 and a complaint was filed on Aug. 1, 2004. After investigating, the department concluded that charges were not warranted. The department also consulted the public prosecution office in Sydney. The considerations behind the department’s decision include:
The Income Tax Act will also have some new provisions that will provide for creation of: a graduate tax credit, which will give $1,000 to reduce income taxes for students who have graduated from an eligible post-secondary program and who pay taxes in Nova Scotia a child care benefit tax credit, for parents and guardians of children under the age of six who receive the federal Universal Child Care Benefit. The credit will offset provincial taxes resulting from this taxable federal benefit a new energy efficiency tax credit against the large corporations capital tax to help promote energy conservation and the use of renewable energy. Several amendments are being made to the Provincial Finance Act: The Equity Tax Credit Act will be amended to clarify a number of provisions related to labour sponsored venture capital corporations, to ensure the investment provisions operate as intended. As well, the act will change parts of legislation around community economic development investment funds, to give the funds more financial stability as their community initiatives grow. Changes to the Revenue Act will exempt biodiesel produced in Nova Scotia from motive fuel tax and will reduce the tax on private sale of used motor vehicles from 15 per cent to 14 per cent, consistent with the one per cent federal reduction in GST. Changes to the Sales Tax Act will enable the provision of the household energy rebate, that will take eight per cent off energy and electricity bills for Nova Scotia households, starting in January 2007. Related regulations needed to implement the program will be introduced later in the year, following consultation with industry partners. Minor housekeeping changes are being made to the Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation Act, The Environment Act, the Summary Proceedings Act, and the Highway 104 Western Alignment Act. The Public Service Act is also being amended to formalize recent changes to government structure and department names. The Financial Measures Act does not contain measures related to changes in the federal dividend tax credit. Once the federal legislation is available, Nova Scotia will introduce matching legislation designed to ensure provincial revenues from dividend taxes stay neutral. A fact sheet on the 2006-07 Financial Measures Act is available at www.gov.ns.ca/finance/ . Finance Minister Michael Baker introduced the Financial Measures Act today, July 5, to support a number of measures in the 2006-07 Nova Scotia budget, including tax relief for Nova Scotians. The act amends a total of 11 acts of the legislature. It is substantially the same as the legislation introduced on May 11, following the May 9 budget. “This legislation contains measures needed to give Nova Scotians the tax breaks announced in the budget,” said Mr. Baker. “We are taking steps to improve our economy, build a more competitive business environment, and help Nova Scotians keep more of their own money.” The Income Tax Act will be amended in several places to implement tax measures announced in the budget. Among the changes to existing income tax provisions are: increases in income tax exemptions and non-refundable tax credits for individuals phasing down and elimination in 2012 of the large corporations capital tax increases in the healthy living tax credit to $500 from $150 to help with the cost of registering children and youth in sport or recreation activities. to ensure that the province will be able to use federal Bill C48 funding for the specific purposes prescribed by the federal government, in the event the purposes differ from those outlined in the provincial Finance Act to give the province the authority to provide direct student loans from the consolidated fund, and to make sure that all revenues collected under the motive fuel tax, as well as net revenues from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, will be channeled directly into the construction and maintenance of highways.
Nova Scotia is taking its online tourism marketing to a new level with innovative new tools such as Google Earth Nova Scotia to reach the 70 per cent of tourists who use the Internet for travel planning. The 2007 tourism marketing campaign was launched at Stanfield International Airport today, April 24. The location reflected the province’s new tourism plan that includes a gateway strategy with an increased focus on markets that have direct air access to Nova Scotia. The plan, New Realities, New Directions, was introduced in December. It also includes a courtship strategy that drives customers to novascotia.com for engaging samples of unique Nova Scotia experiences, as well as a strategy to continue developing those experiences to build the province’s tourism brand. “Since most of our potential visitors are shopping for Nova Scotia information online, we’re putting ourselves right in front of them on popular websites and making it easier to buy Nova Scotia experiences online,” said Len Goucher, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “Nova Scotians don’t get to see the entire scope of our marketing in target markets, so were proud to share this campaign and show the full extent of what we do to promote Nova Scotia as a vacation destination.” The tourism plan was developed through the industry-led Tourism Partnership Council. “The new tourism plan and this marketing campaign are very much a reflection of our industry’s knowledge of, and experience with, today’s traveler,” said Chris Millier, council chair. “This is the direction we need to take to ensure Nova Scotia businesses continue to grow in today’s highly competitive global tourism industry.” The marketing campaign delivers the customer courtship component of the tourism plan. This component is summed up in three words: lure, sample, buy. A wide variety of advertising will lure potential visitors to novascotia.com. Examples of print advertising include The Globe and Mail, New York Times, National Geographic, Canadian Living, Smithsonian, and Food and Wine. Ads will appear on many of these publications’ websites, as well as on Google and Google Canada, AOL, Canoe and Yahoo. Television ads are airing in Atlantic Canada — Nova Scotia’s largest market — from May to October. They will also air in Ontario, Calgary and the northeastern United States early in the season. Once lured to the website, potential visitors will sample unique Nova Scotia experiences and can book vacation packages online. There are 17 video vignettes, grouped by core experience, on the website. They are accessible from the home page and give visitors enticing samples of Nova Scotia, from Celtic music and wine and cuisine, to motorcycling and surfing. More vignettes will be added. Potential visitors can also explore these experiences through Google Earth Nova Scotia. The province is among the first to use the technology as a tourism marketing tool. Visitors to novascotia.com can download data placing more than 100 Nova Scotia experiences, represented by tartan dots, across the province. By clicking on the dots, people can learn about cycling the Cabot Trail, touring vineyards in the Annapolis Valley, seeing Bluenose II in its home port of Lunenburg, and more. Seventeen of the locators link to corresponding vignettes on the website. Potential visitors can also sample Nova Scotia experiences through promotional events in target markets. The department will run an event with a kitchen party theme in Ottawa, featuring the core experiences of cuisine, music and culture. The department will also kick off the Parks Arts summer concert series and promote Nova Scotia’s genealogical connections in Boston. The department has seven consumer trade shows on its schedule, including SaltScapes from April 27 to 29 in Halifax. It has also participated in a wide variety of travel trade shows selling Nova Scotia as a destination to tour operators. Staff are working aggressively to ensure travel media publish free editorial information promoting Nova Scotia. The department will monitor the season through industry partners and its comprehensive system for reporting tourism statistics. The system includes counting overnight visitors — excluding Nova Scotia residents — at all entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from licensed accommodation operators. Detailed tourism statistics are posted regularly on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/pubs/insights .
Le public est invité à la réception annuelle en plein air de la lieutenante-gouverneure. La réception aura lieu le mercredi 17 juin au Royal Artillery Park, à Halifax, de 14 h à 17 h. On servira des rafraîchissements. Le public qui désire assister à la réception pourra se présenter à l’entrée située au 1575 de la rue Queen ou à l’entrée principale sur la rue Sackville. Il n’y a pas beaucoup de places de stationnement au Royal Artillery Park, mais il y aura des places additionnelles sur le terrain de stationnement de l’Université Dalhousie à l’angle des rues Queen et Morris.
A new French-language school for students in the Porters Lake area will open in September. Lakeview Consolidated School, in Halifax Regional Municipality, now a Grade Primary to Grade Six school, will become the 21st French first-language school run by the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). The announcement today, May 25, was made as students, teachers, staff and the Acadian and Francophone community celebrated the 15th anniversary of the CSAP. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the anniversary of the CSAP than to announce a new school,” said Education Minister Ramona Jennex. “The CSAP has a proud history of excellence in education, and I’m pleased that more Nova Scotia students will be able to learn and enjoy learning in their first language.” For the first year, the school will be home to a Grade Primary class, and the Grandir en français program for four-year olds. The school will add a grade level each year so that in six years, it will be a full Primary-6 elementary school. The long-term plan for the school could include adding additional grades earlier depending on the enrollment needs of the area. “We are very proud of the opening soon of another school for theCSAP, this time in the Eastern Shore region”, said Kenneth Gaudet, president of the CSAP. “This school is in addition to four schools already existing in the Halifax Regional Municipality and is the second new school which opened recently in Halifax.” Students now attending Lakeview Consolidated School will move to a new elementary school in Porters Lake.
Le Prix communautaire pour les arts et la culture, qui appuie l’intégration des arts et de la culture dans la vie communautaire : Ville de New Glasgow et comté de Pictou, 10 000 $ Le Prix Grand-Pré, qui reconnaît les artistes néo-écossais de tous les domaines dont le travail reflète les valeurs culturelles acadiennes : Jay LeBlanc, 2 000 $. Les Prix de mérite pour un artiste établi, qui reconnaissent les artistes professionnels établis qui sont à la mi-carrière : Carole Langille, Christy Ann Conlin, Janice Jackson, Jeremy Webb et Sara MacCulloch, 5 000 $ chacun. Un comité indépendant d’artistes a sélectionné les finalistes au prix Portia White parmi les candidatures reçues. Les finalistes et les récipiendaires du Prix communautaire pour les arts et la culture et des Prix de mérite pour un artiste établi ont été choisis par des comités indépendants. Le Prix du chef-d’œuvre du lieutenant-gouverneur de la Nouvelle-Écosse est choisi par un comité externe. Des billets pour l’événement sont toujours disponibles. Les billets coûtent 25 $ et peuvent être achetés en ligne à l’adresse www.creativenovascotia.com. L’excellence artistique en Nouvelle-Écosse sera reconnue encore une fois dans le cadre de la remise annuelle des prix pour la création en Nouvelle-Écosse qui aura lieu ce soir, 25 octobre. Le thème de l’événement cette année est « Espèces originales (Sélection artifi/offi-cielle) » et il aura lieu au Musée d’histoire naturelle à Halifax. En plus des prix, 12 installations artistiques interactives seront présentées au public. « À titre de nouveau ministre des Communautés, de la Culture et du Patrimoine, j’ai hâte de travailler avec les artistes et les organismes du secteur pour développer davantage les arts et la culture dans cette province, a dit Tony Ince, ministre des Communautés, de la Culture et du Patrimoine. Cet événement annuel célèbre la diversité et l’excellence artistique que nous avons ici, et offre la chance aux Néo-Écossais de faire l’expérience des œuvres des meilleurs artistes de la province. » Cette année, l’événement sera co-animé par Arts Nouvelle-Écosse. Formé en 2012, l’organisme Arts Nouvelle-Écosse assure la gestion du financement provincial versé directement aux artistes. « Nous sommes ravis de co-animer cet événement afin de célébrer les récipiendaires de cette année, a dit Candace Stevenson, présidente d’Arts Nouvelle-Écosse. Les récipiendaires sont un exemple de l’ampleur du talent de la communauté culturelle néo-écossaise. » Ron Bourgeois, président du Conseil de leadership pour la création en Nouvelle-Écosse, souligne que le fait qu’il s’agit de la huitième année de la tenue de la cérémonie démontre bien l’importance et la pertinence des prix. « Les prix sont également un reflet du groupe très doué d’artistes que nous avons ici, en Nouvelle-Écosse, a dit M. Bourgeois. Je suis très reconnaissant envers tous ceux qui ont contribué et qui continuent de contribuer à cette merveilleuse initiative. » Laurie Swim a été choisie comme récipiendaire du prestigieux prix Portia White, présenté par le ministère des Communautés, de la Culture et du Patrimoine. Le prix, d’une valeur de 18 000 $, permet également au récipiendaire de nommer un nouvel artiste ou organisme culturel de la Nouvelle-Écosse qui recevra le prix de protégé, d’une valeur de 7 000 $. Le récipiendaire du prix de protégé Portia White sera annoncé lors de la cérémonie. Le Prix du chef-d’œuvre du lieutenant-gouverneur de la Nouvelle-Écosse, d’une valeur de 25 000 $, sera également remis à l’un des finalistes suivants : Jason Buxton, Chester, cinéma Steve Higgins, Halifax, sculpture Anthony Black, Nick Bottomley et Christian Barry, Halifax, théâtre Des renseignements supplémentaires sur les finalistes sont disponibles à l’adresse www.nsmasterworks.ca. D’autres prix et récipiendaires incluent :
The province released the 2012-13 Occupational Health and Safety annual report today, Dec. 18, showing what government did last year to make workplaces safer. The report, which covers April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013, focuses on things such as inspections, compliance, prosecutions, administrative penalties, legislation, and the number of fatalities in workplaces across Nova Scotia. “This report is an important document that helps us see what’s been done in the past and what we can do with our partners to make the year ahead safer,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. Last year, the number of inspections increased. Safety officers conducted nearly 2,500 inspections, the highest number to date. Work began on the new workplace safety strategy, improvements were made to the administrative penalty system and new regulations we introduced for fall protection, scaffolding and temporary highway work. Ten people died on the job from traumatic injury during the period, up from six. There were 22 workplace fatalities caused by a long-term injury or illness, an increase of one from the previous report. “This report shows that there are still far too many people not returning home from work,” said Ms. Regan. “That’s why we are stepping up our safety efforts. We are hiring more inspectors, adding to our prosecution team, and working with industry to identify and target high-risk companies with poor safety records.” These changes, and several others, are part of the province’s workplace safety strategy, and address auditor general recommendations to improve the province’s health and safety services. “We will do everything we can to spare families from hearing the news that a loved one has had an accident at work,” said Ms. Regan. To review the annual report, visit http://novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/pubs.asp#anreport.
Le gouvernement rappelle aux parents, aux élèves, aux enseignants, aux administrateurs et aux employeurs de remplir un questionnaire en ligne d’ici le vendredi 8 juillet afin d’aider à préparer une politique sur l’assiduité scolaire, politique qui visera à accroître la réussite des élèves en classe. Le ministère de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance souhaite obtenir des commentaires sur des enjeux et des idées clés pour améliorer l’assiduité globale des élèves. À partir des renseignements recueillis au moyen du sondage en ligne, des groupes de discussion, des consultations et des recherches, le Ministère préparera une nouvelle politique pour fournir dès l’automne une approche uniforme dans les écoles. « Je tiens à remercier les personnes qui ont déjà exprimé leur opinion et j’encourage davantage de Néo-Écossais à nous communiquer leurs idées sur la manière de mieux soutenir l’apprentissage des élèves par le truchement d’une meilleure assiduité, a dit la ministre de l’Éducation et du Développement de la petite enfance, Karen Casey. Nous savons qu’il s’agit là d’une question complexe et qu’il y a beaucoup de raisons pour lesquelles les élèves s’absentent. C’est pourquoi nous avons besoin de parler avec les élèves, les parents et les enseignants pour aider à élaborer une politique qui est suffisamment souple pour tenir compte des besoins individuels des élèves et pour respecter le jugement professionnel et les connaissances de nos enseignants. Le Plan d’action en matière d’éducation vise à aider les élèves à mieux réussir, et cela comprend le fait de favoriser leur présence régulière à l’école au moyen d’une politique panprovinciale d’assiduité scolaire. Vous trouverez le questionnaire à l’adresse www.ednet.ns.ca/fr/consultations-sur-la-politique-provinciale-sur-lassiduite .
The review’s findings can be found at http://novascotia.ca/just/global_docs/Webposting_re_death_in_custody.pdf The Department of Justice is committed to being as open and transparent as possible about major incidents involving people in its custody. Through the Disclosure of Information on Major Incidents Involving Persons in Custody policy, the department publicly discloses major incidents including death, assaults resulting in hospitalization, and drug seizures. consult with health-care professionals to look at more intervention options to reduce risks associated with drug overdose conduct a cross-jurisdictional review of best practice standards in response to drug overdose in correctional facilities followup with staff including discussions on ways to reduce the risk of similar deaths in the future continue to followup critical incident and stress management work with staff, as required The Department of Justice has completed an internal review into the death of an offender at the Cape Breton Correctional Facility on Jan. 31. Jason LeBlanc, 42, was admitted the afternoon of Jan. 30 and was found unresponsive in his cell at 2:30 a.m. and pronounced dead by Emergency Health Services personnel at 2:45 a.m. An autopsy conducted by the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service found the cause of death to be a drug overdose. “My heart goes out to Mr. LeBlanc’s family and loved ones,” said Justice Minister Diana Whalen. “We will use this tragic situation to improve our procedures going forward.” Upon admission to the correctional facility, the man was seen by health-care staff and did not show signs of impairment or otherwise indicate any health concerns. No contraband was found on him and there were no indications he had consumed drugs prior to admission. He was examined by health-care staff later that evening. Video reviewed as part of the Department of Justice internal investigation shows the man with a small plastic bag in his cell. The bag is believed to have contained contraband drugs that were concealed in the man’s body cavity at admission. Correctional officers are not permitted to conduct invasive internal searches. The review found that some policies and procedures were not followed. As a result of this review, Correctional Services will: BROADCAST VERSION The Department of Justice has completed an internal review into the death of an offender at the Cape Breton Correctional Facility on January 31st. Jason LeBlanc, 42, was admitted the afternoon of January 30th and was found unresponsive in his cell at 2:30 a.m. and pronounced dead by Emergency Health Services personnel at 2:45 a.m. An autopsy conducted by the Nova Scotia Medical Examiner Service found the cause of death to be a drug overdose. The review found that some policies and procedures were not followed. As a result of this review, Correctional Services will consult with health-care professionals to look at more intervention options to reduce risks associated with drug overdose, conduct a review of best practice standards in response to drug overdose in correctional facilities and followup with staff on ways to reduce the risk of similar deaths in the future. The review’s findings can be found on the Department of Justice website. -30-
Government has modified the salary increase proposed by a tribunal determining provincial and family court judges’ salaries and benefits. The Nova Scotia Provincial Judges’ Salaries and Benefits Tribunal recommended a salary increase of about 9.5 per cent over the next three years, including a 5.4 per cent increase in the first year. Government does not agree with the recommendation and instead is providing the judges with a salary increase of one per cent in 2019-20 and no increase in the first two years. This is the same wage increase given to Crown attorneys and the funding increase for doctors. It is also the proposed wage increase for public-sector workers. “The salary increases recommended by the tribunal do not fit our economic situation and taxpayers’ ability to pay,” said Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Randy Delorey. “Instead, we have adopted a fair salary increase for judges that stays within the fiscal plan. “Government has determined that this modified salary increase is reasonable, sufficient to attract excellent candidates for appointment as judges and respects the independence and critical role of the judiciary in our democracy.” Judges currently make an annual salary of $236,376, plus benefits. For the last three years starting April 1, 2014, judges’ salaries were increased by 3.8 per cent in the first year and by the consumer price index for Nova Scotia in the final two years, which was 1.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent. Government has also referred to the tribunal, for review and comment, its intention to freeze the accrual of judges’ public service award effective April 1, 2017. The Provincial Court Act outlines the process to determine the salaries and benefits for provincial and family court judges. A three-person tribunal that includes representatives of the judges and the government is convened every three years. Once the compensation tribunal files its report, government can confirm, vary or reject its recommendations.
Gurugram: There is a ray of hope for Gurugram’s forgotten heritage as the Haryana government wants to revive the tourism potential of the state. Gurugram is famous for its forts, baolis and palaces but poor maintenance and lack of awareness of these sites have resulted in the degradation of these historical sites over the period of time.The state of apathy was reflected in early part of 2018 when a baoli built during the British time was about to get usurped for the widening of the road. The project was stopped due to the intervention of the civil society but the baoli at Badshapur still is reeling under poor maintenance. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarIf the Haryana government plan is implemented, not only money will be spent on the beautification of the monuments but there will also be a concerted effort to bring in more tourists to these places. Even though the past of Gurugram is not widely known, the city that gets its present name from Guru Dronacharya has been a vital part of the kingdom of Delhi. It has the monuments not only dating back to Mughal but also the Prithviraj Chauhan era all of which are today deteriorating under public apathy. Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceThe most prominent among this degradation is the Badshahpur fort. Having been constructed in the year 1216 AD, the historical structure today faced the challenge of unchecked encroachment. Over the years, more than 150 residential structures have come around the fort. Ironically, even though the monument is among the state government’s tourism sites, no measures have been taken to preserve the rich historical tradition. The similar fate today is faced by the bundh (artificial water body) that is a few distances away from the fort. Set up during the Mughal era’s time, the land has been taken by the locals in the area. Another historical monument that is degrading under public apathy is the Sheesh Mahal that was built in the mid-1700s by a Mughal vassal. Over the years, various historical events were held at the place which also included the war between 1857 mutineers and the British. Presently, a lot of complaints have been received from the place being used by drug addicts.
New Delhi: After fleeing for more than four years, a man was arrested for killing an elderly person in Mansarovar Park area.The accused was nabbed from Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh. A reward of Rs.50,000 was declared by Delhi Police on the arrest of the accused person. Police identified the accused as Pardeep. Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Rajesh Deo said that on May 2015, the accused killed a man in Mansarovar Park area,” police said. “On June 7, the team arrested the accused from village Koilawar Manjha in Barabanki in UP,” added DCP Deo.
Melbourne: Superstar Shah Rukh Khan will be the chief guest at this year’s Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, the festival organisers announced Thursday. Helmed by the Victorian government, Australia, the IFFM is back for its 10th edition in the cultural city and will celebrate “courage” as its central theme. Khan said he is honoured and delighted to accept the invitation. “An industry of our magnitude and diversity deserves to be celebrated with great passion and fervour, which is what the festival embodies. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’ “I’m particularly pleased with the theme of the festival this year which is courage, an emotion that resonates with storytellers who really have the might to change the society and the world. I have had great memories of shooting for ‘Chak De! India’ in Melbourne and look forward to being back again, this time to celebrate Indian cinema,” the actor said in a statement. Khan will open the IFFM on August 8 along with the other festival guests and in the company of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange. Also Read – ‘Always looking for that one great love’ Andrews said he is looking forward to having the Indian actor as part of the festival. “This event has grown significantly over the past decade and with the extraordinary Shah Rukh Khan here, this year’s festival is shaping up to be the biggest and most exciting yet,” he said. “The Bollywood and Indian film industry is the biggest in the world and in addition to supporting this festival, we’ve announced a new Bollywood and Indian Cinema Attraction Fund to bring more film productions from India and the subcontinent to Victoria. Perhaps we’ll even lure Shah Rukh back to our shores again,” Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley added. Lange said the team is excited to host Khan in the city. “He’s truly an icon of Indian cinema internationally, a person millions and millions follow and look up to. We are looking forward to hosting Mr Khan in Melbourne,” she said. The festival will run through August 17.
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Tuesday allowed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to quiz Mohammad Arif Ghulambashir Dharampuria for seven days in connection with the Pakistan-based Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) terror funding case. Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain extended Dharampuria’s custody for another seven days. He was presented before the court on expiry of his earlier five-day NIA custody. Dharampuria, a resident of Gujarat’s Valsad, was arrested from the Delhi airport on June 12. Also Read – Kejriwal ‘denied political clearance’ to attend climate meet in Denmark Dharampuria had been hiding in Dubai for long. The NIA had issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) against him and he was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on his arrival from Dubai. This was the fifth arrest in the case related to receiving of terror funds being sent by FIF operators to their associates through hawala operators to create unrest in India. The NIA registered the FIF terror funding case on July 2, 2018 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). As per the case, some Delhi-based individuals were receiving funds from FIF operatives based abroad and using the same to further terror activities. The FIF was established in 1990 by 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, who is a designated “global terrorist”. The US also designated FIF as a terrorist entity in 2010. It is a front organisation of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terror group proscribed under UAPA.
Washington: Pakistan is facing “significant economic challenges” due to a weak and unbalanced growth and that its economy is at a critical juncture where it needs an ambitious and bold set of reforms, the IMF has said. Cash-strapped Pakistan, which currently has a currency reserve of less than USD 8 billion — enough to cover only 1.7 months of imports — approached the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) in August 2018 for a bailout package after the Imran Khan government took over. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping The global lender last week formally approved the USD 6 billion loan to Pakistan, which is facing “significant” economic challenges on the back of “large” fiscal and financial needs and “weak and unbalanced” growth. “Pakistan is facing significant economic challenges on the back of large fiscal and financial needs and weak and unbalanced growth,” David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the IMF Executive Board said. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangLast week, the IMF approved the 13th bailout package for Pakistan since the late 1980s. The latest bailout package is worth USD 6 billion, of which USD 1 billion is to be disbursed immediately and the rest in the next three years. A decisive fiscal consolidation is key to reducing the large public debt and building resilience, and the adoption of the fiscal year 2020 budget is an important initial step, Lipton said. Achieving the fiscal objectives will require a multi-year revenue mobilisation strategy to broaden the tax base and raise tax revenue in a well-balanced and equitable manner, he said. It will also require a strong commitment by the provinces to support the consolidation effort and effective public financial management to improve the quality and efficiency of public spending, he said. Observing that protecting the most vulnerable from the impact of adjustment policies will be an important priority, Lipton said that this will be achieved by a significant increase in resources allocated to key social assistance programmes, supporting measures for the economic empowerment of women and investment in areas where poverty is high. A flexible market-determined exchange rate and an adequately tight monetary policy will be key to correcting imbalances, rebuilding reserves and keeping inflation low, he said, adding that an ambitious agenda to strengthen institutions and remove impediments to growth will allow Pakistan to reach its full economic potential. In an accompanying report, the IMF said that Pakistan’s economy is at a critical juncture. The legacy of misaligned economic policies, including large fiscal deficits, loose monetary policy and defence of an overvalued exchange rate, fuelled consumption and short-term growth in recent years, but steadily eroded macroeconomic buffers, increased external and public debt, and depleted international reserves. Structural weaknesses remained largely unaddressed, including a chronically weak tax administration, a difficult business environment, inefficient and loss making state-owned enterprises, amid a large informal economy. “Without urgent policy action, economic and financial stability could be at risk, and growth prospects will be insufficient to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population,” the IMF said. The Fund-supported programme is expected to coalesce broader support from multilateral and bilateral creditors in excess of USD 38 billion, which is crucial for Pakistan to meet its large financing needs in the coming years, it added. Pakistan has so far received billions in financial aid packages from friendly countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE during the current fiscal year.
Mumbai: Reliance Group subsidiary Reliance Power on Friday said that it has entered into an Inter-Creditor Agreement (ICA) with six lenders for resolution of the company’s debt. According to Reliance Power, the ICA was signed on July 6, 2019. The agreement has been signed under the framework of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Circular of June 7, 2019. “Reliance Power has now achieved standstill for 180 days as per the ICA. According to the RBI Circular, the Resolution Plan of Reliance Power is to be implemented within 180 days,” the company said in a statement. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep “All 6 lenders of Reliance Power’s subsidiary Vidarbha Industries Power Limited (VIPL) 600 MW Butibori Power Project near Nagpur in Maharashtra, have also signed ICA giving VIPL a 180-day timeframe to implement a resolution plan,” it said. On Thursday, Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) said that its 16 lenders have signed the ICA. In a regulatory filing, the company also said that it aims to be a “zero debt” firm by the year 2020. Reliance Infrastructure has already announced the sale of its Delhi-Agra
Washington DC: A livid Democratic Party has introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives, condemning the “racist” tweets of President Donald Trump against four non-white women lawmakers from the Opposition party. Trump sparked a furore on Sunday when he said the women lawmakers “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and they should go home. Though Trump did not explicitly name Democrat Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley in his initial Twitter tirade on Sunday, the context made a clear link to the four Democrat women, who are known as The Squad. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingThree of the women were born in the US and one, Omar, was born in Somalia but came to the US as a child. The Democratic Party introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning the alleged racist tweets. The resolution by Congressman Tom Malinowski could be voted on as early as Tuesday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said that Republican lawmakers “must join” Democrats in “condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets” and urged Democrats to support a resolution put forward by House Democratic lawmakers. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang”The House cannot allow the President’s characterisation of immigrants to our country to stand. Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the President’s xenophobic tweets,” Pelosi wrote in a Dear Colleague letter to House Democrats. But Trump, a Republican, was in no mood to relent. “The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four “progressives,” but now they are forced to embrace them. That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats” Trump said as he unleashed a series of tweets against four Democratic Congresswomen. The four women lawmakers held a news conference at the Capitol on Monday to denounce a tweet by the president in which he apparently suggested that they leave the country. “This is a president who has overseen the most corrupt administration in our history,” Omar said. “To distract from that, he’s launching a blatantly racist attack on four duly elected members of the United States House of Representatives, all of whom are women of colour,” she said. “This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or it’s happening on national TV. And now it’s reached the White House garden,” she said. “This is simply a disruption and a distraction from the callous chaos and corrupt culture of this administration, all the way down,” Pressley said. Both Omar and Tlaib repeated their calls for Trump to be impeached. Trump had in a tweet, which was widely considered as against the four Democratic progressive lawmakers, said they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” before speaking out about how the United States government should be run. “He would love nothing more than to divide our country based on race, religion, gender, orientation or immigration status because this is the only way he knows how to prevent the solidarity of us working together across all of our differences,” Omar said. Trump also said these progressive Democrats “came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe.” His tweets were considered by the Democrats as “racist.” On Monday Trump again defended his controversial tweets. “If you are not happy, if you are complaining all the time, you can leave,” he told a heated news conference outside the White House. As the women spoke to reporters on Monday evening, he tweeted again. “If you are not happy here, you can leave! It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America,” he wrote.