The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Centre rules out FDI in retail trade

New Delhi: The Centre on Monday told the Lok Sabha there was no proposal to permit foreign direct investment (FDI) in the retail business, reports our special correspondent.

“The existing policy, being followed since 1997, is that the government is not going to permit FDI in retail trade,” disinvestment minister Arun Shourie said in response to Congress chief whip Priya Ranjan Das Munshi’s statement.

During zero hour, Das Munshi said differences over the issue had cropped up in the government. The Planning Commission, he said, had opposed FDI in retail business and the tenth plan had recommended it.

If the ban on retail FDI was lifted, it would hurt employment and destroy prospects of the business in the country, Das Munshi said.

CPM MP Hannan Mollah backed Das Munshi’s contention.

Shourie assured them that the issue never came up before a Group of Ministers on FDI. He, however, said he would get the matter examined.

Shourie recalled two companies being given special permission in specified areas of retail trade before 1997. No FDI was allowed after that, he said.

Information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj said India could become a printing hub for Asian editions of technical and speciality magazines after the decision to allow 74 per cent FDI in non-news and non-current affairs publications.

Stray cattle owners to be fined

New Delhi (PTI): Concerned by the pollution and obstruction of traffic by stray cattle in the capital, Delhi High Court on Monday ordered imposition of Rs 1,000 as fine for each animal set free on the streets by its owner.

A bench of Justices Anil Dev Singh and r.s. sodhi issued a series of directions to the Delhi government, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation to tackle the menace.

Owners who let their cattle roam the city streets freely would be prosecuted under Section 289 of the Indian Penal Code.

The section provides a minimum jail term of six months and maximum of one year and imposes a fine on the owner if he fails to prevent his cattle from causing any “probable” danger to human life, or a probable danger of grievous hurt to any other person.

Directing the authorities to employ adequate staff to deal with stray cattle and locate their owners, the court said a humane approach should be adopted while dealing with the animals.

4 held in flesh trade racket

Sonepat (PTI): With the arrest of four people, including three women, Haryana police on Monday claimed to have busted a gang engaged in flesh trade here.

The racket — run by a married couple from Punjab, Devinder and Sunita — was operating from a rented house in Jiwan Nagar. Acting on a tip-off, police sent a decoy customer and once the amount was settled Devinder showed him three women. The police arrested these women along with Devinder.

Smoke alarm

Mangalore (PTI): Smoke billowing out of a pipe near Mangalore Chemicals and Fertiliser factory on Sunday night caused panic among residents. The leak in the pipe was plugged by engineers from the factory and officials of the Karnataka Pollution Control Board, police said.

Suspect murdered

Madurai (PTI): A murder accused was hacked to death by a seven-member gang near the Tirumangalam bus stand on Monday. Police said the accused was on his way to court when the assailants hacked him to death.

Pilgrims killed

Chennai (PTI): Four Iyyappa devotees from Chittur district of Andhra Pradesh were killed and four hurt in a mishap near Krishnagiri in Dharmapuri. Police said the mishap occurred when a car in which they were travelling hit a lorry while attempting to overtake it.

Bomb hoax

Hyderabad (PTI): Panic gripped the Deccan Medical College in Kanchanbag for over two hours following a phone call warning of a bomb on the premises. It later turned out to be a hoax. Police said the anonymous caller had also warned them that the explosive may go off any time.

Bank robber held

Moga (PTI): Punjab police on Monday claimed to have cracked a bank robbery committed on December 9 in the Central Cooperative Bank at Chandpurana village in Moga. Robbers had looted Rs 4 lakh from the bank. The bank’s security guard, Chamkaur, was arrested and Rs 50,000 recovered from him.

St Thomas Church in Kalyan town of Thane has been declared a pilgrim centre. Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil read out the official decree on Sunday, coinciding with the three-day celebrations to mark the anniversary of the arrival of St Thomas in India.

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