No change in policy on Chinese FDI after disengagement

Agencies
February 23, 2021

How Will India's Revised FDI Policy Impact Future Chinese Investment?

New Delhi, Feb 23: There is no change in the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy from China post disengagement and easing of tension between the two Asian giants.

The Commerce Ministry sources discarded recent media reports, which suggested that with easing of tensions at the border, India has given approval to various Chinese FDI's and many are in pipeline.

Government sources told media that there is no change or easing in FDIs from China as of now and nor it is planned in near future. All investments from China have to follow the procedures and government clearance route, nod will only be given to those investments that bear no implications on Indian security interests. Any Chinese company that potentially impinges on India's security will not be cleared.

Ever since the Galwan clash at the eastern border, India has tightened screws on Chinese investment inflows coming into India and has also banned several Chinese apps. Beijing says these actions are against the ethos and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

However, the government sources say that three proposals, which are recently cleared are based in Hong Kong and one is a Japanese origin company; they are all security cleared.

Sources said clearance of investments had no linkage with disengagement as projected by some media reports. These proposals came up during the meeting on January 22 and were cleared by Ministry of Commerce and Industry on February 5.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced disengagement plan on February 11 in the Upper House of the Parliament.

According to Commerce Ministry sources, one company that has got the go-ahead is Nippon Paint Holdings Co. Ltd, Japan (Nippon Japan). Nippon Japan is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

Another FDI proposal, which is cleared is of Citizen Watches (India) Private Limited (Citizen Watches (HK) Ltd, Hong Kong (Citizen Watches Hong Kong) which is 100 per cent held by Citizen Watches Company Limited, Japan (a company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange).

FDI proposal of Netplay Sports Private Limited is also recently cleared, according to commerce ministry sources, Netplay India is involved in sports, amusement and recreation activities. The investee company has set up a chain of sports facilities/centers for, inter alia, badminton, basketball, football. Four more sports centres are proposed to be opened with the investment funds.

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News Network
July 19,2021

arafat.jpg

Makkah, July 19: Muslim pilgrims ascended Saudi Arabia's Mount Arafat on Monday in the high point of this year's Hajj, being held in downsized form and under coronavirus restrictions for the second year running.

Just 60,000 people, all citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia, have been selected to take part in this year's Hajj, with foreign pilgrims again barred.

The mask-clad faithful, who had spent the night in camps in the Valley of Mina, converged on Mount Arafat where it is believed the Prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon, for the most important of the Hajj rituals.

Worshippers will assemble on the 70-metre (230-foot) high hill and its surrounding plain for hours of prayers and Quran recitals to atone for their sins, staying there until the evening.

After sunset, they head to Muzdalifah, halfway between Arafat and Mina, where they will sleep under the stars before performing the symbolic "stoning of the devil".

The scene was dramatically different to past pilgrimages, which have drawn up to 2.5 million people, and this year the mountain was free of the huge crowds that descend on it in normal years.

Privileged few

Being one of the lucky few "gives you a feeling that our God is forgiving and has chosen us to be in this place," said Selma Mohamed Hegazi, a 45-year-old Egyptian. "God willing, our prayers will be accepted."

"My whole body is shivering," she said as she stood among the other emotional pilgrims, wearing the ihram, the traditional seamless white garment worn during the Haj.

Worshippers described a sense of tranquillity descending on the mountain, also known as the "Mount of Mercy".

"To be one of only 60,000 doing haj ....I feel like I am part of a (privileged) group that was able to reach this place," said Baref Siraj, a 58-year-old Saudi national.
The Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims with the means to travel at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings.

Participants were chosen from more than 558,000 applicants through an online vetting system, with the event confined to fully vaccinated adults aged 18-65 with no chronic illnesses.

Safety first

Authorities are seeking to repeat last year's successful event, which took place on the smallest scale in modern history with just 10,000 participants, but which saw no virus outbreak.
Saudi health authorities said Sunday that not a single Covid case had been reported amongst the pilgrims this year.

The kingdom has so far recorded more than 509,000 coronavirus infections, including over 8,000 deaths. Some 20 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country of over 34 million people.

The Haj, which typically packs large crowds into congested religious sites, could have been a super-spreader event for the virus.

But Saudi Arabia has said it is deploying the "highest levels of health precautions" in light of the pandemic and the emergence of new variants.

Pilgrims are being divided into groups of just 20 to restrict potential exposure, and a "smart Haj card" has been introduced to allow contact-free access to camps, hotels and the buses to ferry pilgrims around religious sites.

Black-and-white robots have been deployed to dispense bottles of sacred water from the Zamzam spring in Makkah's Grand Mosque, built around the Kaaba, the black cubic structure towards which Muslims around the world pray.

Ibrahim Siam, a 64-year-old Egyptian pilgrim who comes from Dammam in the east of the country, said that high-tech procedures introduced to manage the Haj "have made things a lot easier."

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News Network
July 19,2021

New Delhi, July 19: India saw a single-day rise of 38,164 new coronavirus infections, while the death toll climbed to 4,14,108 with 499 daily fatalities, the lowest in around 104 days, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The total tally of Covid-19 cases has increased to   3,11,44,229.

The active cases have declined to 4,21,665 and comprise 1.35 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate stands at 97.32 per cent, the data updated at 8 am showed.  

A decrease of 995 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of  24 hours.

Also, 14,63,593 tests were conducted on Sunday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of Covid-19 in the country to 44,54,22,256, while the daily positivity rate was recorded at  2.61 per cent.

It has been less than three per cent for 28 consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate has declined to  2.08 per cent, according to the health ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,03,08,456 and the case fatality rate stands at 1.33 per cent, the data stated.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past  60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on  October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29,  90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 2 crore on May 4 and 3 crore on June 23. 

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News Network
July 22,2021

Bengaluru, July 22: Calling BJP the most corrupt party, Karnataka Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah today said the new government that will come after Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s exit will also be “corrupt”. 

Speaking to reporters at Vidhana Soudha after chairing a meeting of the Congress’ legislators, the former CM said: “B S Yediyurappa gave a bad government in Karnataka. It was not a pro-development government; it was a government filled with corruption.” 

“By removing Yediyurappa, I don’t think an honest CM will come. The BJP itself is a corrupt party. Their ministers are corrupt. So whoever comes, it will be a corrupt government,” he said. 

The Congress leader recalled that he had predicted Yediyurappa’s exit several months ago. “I've been saying for 6-7 months that Yediyurappa will be changed. I had credible information. Nobody believed me, but it has come true now,” he said, adding that this was the BJP’s internal affair. 

The Congress staged a protest against the alleged Pegasus spyware snooping. Congress leaders took out a march from Vidhana Soudha till Raj Bhavan, but they were detained by the police on the way. 

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