Petrol, diesel prices hiked for 9th straight day: Check rates here

News Network
February 17, 2021

New Delhi, Feb 17: Petrol and diesel prices touched new highs on Wednesday after fuel rates were hiked for the ninth consecutive day. 

In Delhi, petrol and diesel prices were increased by 25 paise each. Petrol is priced at Rs 89.54 per litre, while diesel at Rs 79.95 per litre in the national capital. 

The petrol price in Mumbai has touched the Rs 96 per litre mark. In the financial capital, petrol is priced at Rs 96.00, while diesel cost Rs 86.98 per litre. 

In Bengaluru, petrol is priced at Rs 91.76 per litre, and diesel at Rs 85.09 per litre. 

The Congress on Tuesday hurled the “Modi Tax” accusation at the Centre as prices of petroleum products witnessed a sharp increase owing to steep excise duties levied on fuel.

Congress leaders claimed that the Modi government had collected over Rs 20 lakh crore by imposing additional excise duty on petrol and diesel over the past six years and eight months.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan last week had told Parliament that the government is not considering a reduction in excise duty to cool rates from their record highs.

Central and state taxes make up for over 61 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and about 56 per cent of diesel.

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News Network
April 3,2021

Bengaluru, Mar 3: Hinting at no relaxation in the new set of guidelines issued by the state government, amid pressure from various sectors, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Saturday said it was inevitable to take certain strict measures so that things don't go out of control. 

He said the guidelines have been issued on the advice of the technical advisory committee consisting of experts, after examining the situation, and if things are under control by April 20, activities will be allowed to resume.

"The government is not happy by restricting activities. I have been requesting through the media for the last one month that a second wave is at our doorstep and if we don't understand and take precautionary measures, the government will have no other options and may have to take serious measures," Sudhakar said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said Karnataka was the first state to resume all the business activities, but the state is today reporting about 5,000 cases per day and 3,500 of them are from Bengaluru alone. "The technical advisory committee has said this will be there for another two months, till the May end and the graph will start declining from June first week. If we don't take measures and something untoward happens, won't it be the government's responsibility?" he asked.

Aimed at curbing Covid-19 with the spike in cases, the government on Friday in a new set of guidelines had ordered the closure of gyms and swimming pools while capping the seating capacity in theatres at 50 per cent in certain districts. It has also ordered apartment complexes to shut common facilities such as party halls and clubhouses.

The new restrictions imposed by the government through the guidelines will be in force till April 20. Noting that the government has issued guidelines after getting several reports from the technical advisory committee, and after consulting senior officials and ministers, Sudhakar said it was not done at one go.

"People from several sectors are saying their activities should not be restricted and should go on freely. Yes, we (govt) too understand, but things should not go out of our control, so it was inevitable for the government to take certain strict measures. We request for cooperation from everyone," he said.

The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce has decided to meet Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to bring to his notice about the impact of capping the seating capacity in theatres at 50 per cent, on the industry, and is likely to seek relaxation so that it doesn't impact films that have just been released.

Also, gym owners have demanded the government to reconsider the decision or allow them to operate with 50 per cent capacity or announce a package so that they can make payment for staff and use it for maintenance. There is pressure from some private schools to allow them to function, similar is the demand from gym, swimming pool and club owners, also people want to hold marriages with large gatherings, the Minister said.

"These measures are not permanent, let's follow these temporary measures for some days... I'm not saying it (Covid- 19 spread) can be controlled 100 per cent by these measures, but we can try to bring things under control," he said. Responding to a question, the Minister said there are guidelines for elections, and religious places too, there is no concession for any sector or activities.

"The government is only trying to control this pandemic that's all, there is no politics or any malicious intent behind this," he said, as he evaded questions on night curfew or weekend lockdown stating that he doesn't want to speak on what measures will be taken in the future. 

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Agencies
April 12,2021

Kolkata, Apr 12: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in an apparent jibe at state BJP leaders, said on Monday that those threatening of more Cooch Behar-like killings should be banned politically.

She wondered what kind of human beings are politicians who say that there will be more Sitalkuchi-like incidents and that the death toll should have been higher.

Four people were killed in CISF firing after they "attempted to snatch the rifles of the central forces" while voting was underway in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district in the fourth phase on Saturday, sparking a political storm in the state.

"Some political leaders are threatening of more Sitalkuchi-like incidents, while others are saying that the death toll should have been higher. I am stunned and shocked to see such reactions. What are these leaders up to? They should be politically banned," Banerjee said, while addressing an election rally at Ranaghat in Nadia district.

BJP leaders were seen referring to the Cooch Behar killings and threatening that more such incidents may happen if "naughty boys" take the law into their hands and that more than four people should have been killed in the firing.

Banerjee alleged that the BJP is killing its own workers and leaders and damaging their vehicles "to bring a bad name to the TMC".

"Before conspiring to kill four persons in CISF firing, the BJP, a party of murderers, killed a Rajbongshi brother," she said.

Apart from the four people who were killed in CISF firing, another man was shot dead outside a polling booth by unidentified persons in the same Sitalkuchi assembly constituency area.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has alleged that Banerjee paid tributes only to the four persons killed in CISF firing because they were from the minority community.

Accusing the BJP of communalising the murder of young voters on polling day, Banerjee said, "You cannot succeed in your nefarious game to divide the people of West Bengal. This is not Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat."

Alleging that Shah had hatched the conspiracy of Cooch Behar killings with the full knowledge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the feisty TMC leader said, "After returning to power, I will order a probe to unravel the sequence of events, who were involved, how it all started, whether any rumour was at play...everything."

She urged people not to vote for a party that encourages "firing on voters standing in a queue".

Claiming that her government has given land rights to people settled in refugee colonies in the state, the chief minister said, "The BJP has sent 14 lakh Bengalis in Assam to detention camps. The same fate may await you if they come to power in West Bengal."

She asserted that though she is a Brahmin woman and a devout Hindu who knows mantras by heart, caste identity is not important to her.

"I consider myself inseparable from Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, SCs, STs, OBCs and all other communities. We don't exclude anyone in the name of caste, community or religion. Unlike the BJP, we consider everyone as humans," she said.

"One of the BJP MPs, contesting the assembly polls, has herself damaged the windscreen of her car to give a bad name to the TMC," she said, in an apparent reference to an incident in which the car of saffron party leader Locket Chatterjee was damaged during a TMC protest in Chunchura assembly seat.  
 

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News Network
April 13,2021

jaleel.jpg

Kozhikode, Apr 13: Kerala Higher Education and Minorities Welfare Minister K T Jaleel has resigned in the wake of Kerala Lok Ayukta finding him guilty of nepotism.

The term of the CPM-led Left Democratic Front government in Kerala is ending shortly. Jaleel is the second minister in the Pinarayi Vijayan government to quit over nepotism. Industries Minister E P Jayarajan had to quit from the ministry during the initial months of the government following allegation of back-door appointment of a close relative.

The Kerala Lok Ayukta last week found Jaleel guilty of nepotism and declared that the minister should not continue as a member of the council of ministers.

The allegation against Jaleel was that his second cousin K T Adeeb was appointed as general manager of Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation by altering the qualifications required for the post. Following the allegations, Adeeb had resigned from the post in November 2018.

Jaleel had even moved the Kerala High Court on Monday against the Lok Ayukta order. While a section of CPM leaders tried to defend him, there was strong resentment within the LDF over allowing Jaleel to continue.

Jaleel announced his decision to resign through the social media on Tuesday maintaining that he was resigning on moral grounds and he was not involved in any corruption.

Jaleel was elected to Kerala Assembly from Thavanur in Malappuram as CPM (Independent) and he had contested in this election also. He was a former Indian Union Muslim League leader and also worked with Students Islamic Movement of India earlier. He also faced allegations of nexus with gold smuggling accused and smuggling religious books.

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