'Majority of Indians cutting expenses to cope with high fuel prices'

Agencies
February 22, 2021

46541763.jpg

New Delhi, Feb 22: As petrol and diesel prices soar to record high levels, and petrol nearing the Rs 100 mark across metro cities, around 51 per cent Indians are cutting on their other expenses to manage their spending on fuel prices, showed a survey by Local Circles.

Around 21 per cent of the respondents to the survey said that they are "cutting spending on essentials and it is painful" for them. Another 14 per cent are dipping into savings to pay for it.

The survey showed that around 43 per cent of respondents said that their monthly petrol or diesel bills were lower due to limited commute or work from home among other factors. Another 2 per cent reported no spending on the fuels.

On the question of what the respondents want their state governments to do for lowering the fuel prices, 32 per cent said that the government should levy an absolute value of the value added tax (VAT) instead of a percentage of the base price, and 47 per cent said the rate of VAT should be reduced.

There were, however, 8 per cent of consumers who said that the current VAT model is "fine".

The poll showed that 79 per cent of the citizens want their state governments to take action against rising petrol and diesel prices, either by lowering the VAT or levying an absolute value of the tax. Levy of an absolute VAT instead of a percentage VAT on the base price can help keep the prices relatively lower even if base price of petrol and diesel rises in the coming months.

The survey by LocalCircles to understand how Indians are coping with the skyrocketing rise of petrol and diesel prices in the last 12 months received more than 22,000 responses from citizens located in more than 291 districts of the country.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
February 24,2021

b90230.jpg

Tehran, Feb 24: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has called on the United States to “immediately” end its failed policy of economic terrorism against the Iranian nation, saying such a move is a prerequisite for negotiations within the framework of the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rouhani stressed that the Islamic Republic still wants the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to remain strong, but that the agreement’s survival in the current situation hinges on the US abandonment of its economic terror campaign.

“The new US administration must immediately halt the economic terrorism operation. Once it does so, there will be a path forward. Then, we can negotiate,” the president said.

“We will talk within the JCPOA not about the JCPOA. It is not possible to add two more articles [to the present pact],” said Rouhani, referring to calls by the US and its European allies for an expanded deal with Tehran which would also cover issues unrelated to its nuclear program.

The Iranian chief executive also noted that no country other than Iran has abided 100 percent by the terms of the JCPOA, which the US left in 2018 and subsequently re-imposed the sanctions against the Islamic Republic that had been lifted under the UN-endorsed accord.

“We stood by the covenant and acted based on the interests of the country. China and Russia relatively worked with us and tried to act. The three European countries acted very poorly and on many occasions remained inactive. The United States unleashed its campaign of economic terrorism, withdrew from the treaty and committed all these crimes over the past three years,” Rouhani said.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has indicated a willingness to rejoin the JCPOA, but it has been dragging its feet on taking any meaningful measure to undo the former US government’s wrongs.

It has conditioned the US’s return to the deal on Tehran’s resumption of the commitments it has suspended under the JCPOA.

However, Tehran says it will retrace its nuclear countermeasures only after the US lifts its sanctions in a verifiable manner.

Rouhani defends agreement with IAEA

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani hailed the recent “temporary bilateral technical understanding” between the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Under the deal, Iran stopped its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Agreement and denied IAEA inspectors access to its nuclear facilities beyond the Safeguards Agreement for three months.

During this period, Iran withholds recordings from monitoring equipment that the IAEA installed at its nuclear sites. If the US sanctions are lifted completely, Tehran will provide the information to the IAEA, otherwise it will be deleted forever.

Rouhani said Iran abided by the Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions, a law passed last December by the Parliament, and at the same time maintained its relations with the IAEA and told the world that it is pursuing peaceful nuclear activities.

“This government is a government of prudence and hope… and it proved its prudence here. It enforced the law and did not budge an inch regarding the law… We did not implement 99.9 percent [of the law], but followed and enacted 100 percent of it. We acted smartly in such a manner” that the IAEA confirmed Iran was not opting for non-cooperation, he added.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
February 14,2021

Image result for Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati, Feb 14: Labelling AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal as the "enemy of Assam", state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday asserted that he is an extremist in protecting Indian and Assamese culture.

Accusing Ajmal of trying to do something alien to Assamese culture, Sarma, the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor, said he will talk about politics of identity till the Lok Sabha MP and opposition leader is in the political scene.

"I am an extremist in protecting Indian and Assamese culture in this land. If anybody has given me this title, kindly convey my regards and thanks to them," Sarma told reporters when asked about the opposition branding him as the extreme of polarisation politics.

Asked if he and Ajmal are equal in their politics of polarisation, the Assam finance minister claimed that while the AIUDF chief is doing something "alien to Assam's culture", he is trying to protect Assamese culture.

"I am trying to protect Indian nationalism. There have to be two extremes. So, if there is a north pole, there will be a south pole. If Badruddin Ajmal disappears, then we will also disappear. Then we will talk about development and something else.

"But as long as Badruddin Ajmal is there, we will talk about development and politics of identity. And if that made me an extremist, I am happy about that," he said.

"Probably this is the most dangerous phase of Assam politics. He (Ajmal) is bringing money from fundamentalist organisations. In the name of social service, he is creating a network which is not conducive for Assamese culture," Sarma added.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
Agencies
February 25,2021

Joe Biden revokes Donald Trump-era ban on issuance of green cards | World  News – India TV

Washington, Feb 25: President Joe Biden has lifted a freeze on green cards issued by his predecessor during the pandemic that lawyers said was blocking most legal immigration to the United States.

Former President Donald Trump last spring halted the issuance of green cards until the end of 2020 in the name of protecting the coronavirus-wracked job market a reason that Trump gave to achieve many of the cuts to legal immigration that had eluded him before the pandemic.

Trump on December 31 extended those orders until the end of March.

Trump had deemed immigrants a risk to the US labour market and blocked their entry to the United States in issuing Proclamation 10014 and Proclamation 10052.

Biden stated in his proclamation on Wednesday that shutting the door on legal immigrants does not advance the interests of the United States".

To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here. It also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world," Biden stated in his proclamation.

Most immigrant visas were blocked by the orders, according to immigration lawyers.

As many as 120,000 family-based preference visas were lost largely because of the pandemic-related freeze in the 2020 budget year, according to the American Immigrant Lawyers Association. Immigrants could not bring over family members unless they were US citizens applying for visas for their spouses or children under the age of 21.

It also barred entry to immigrants with employment-based visas unless they were considered beneficial to the national interest such as health care professionals.

And it slammed the door on thousands of visa lottery winners who were randomly chosen from a pool of about 14 million applicants to be given green cards that would let them live permanently in the United States.

The blocked visas add to a growing backlog that has reached 437,000 for family-based visas alone, said California immigration lawyer Curtis Morrison, who represented thousands of people blocked by the freeze.

I'm thrilled for my clients who are now in a position that they can now enter the US," he said. But that backlog will take years if the administration does not take ambitious measures."

A federal judge last year issued a ruling that all but lifted Proclamation 10052 by allowing temporary foreign workers to enter the United States if their employers are members of the US Chamber of Commerce or several other large organisations that represent much of the US economy.

But Proclamation 10014 continued to block thousands of immigrants.

Immigration lawyers said they were surprised Biden did not immediately lift the freeze like he did with Trump's travel ban imposed against people from mostly Muslim-majority countries. As a result, some immigrants blocked by the travel ban found they still could not come to the United States because of the freeze.

Biden's actions come only days after thousands of visa lottery winners at risk of having their visas expire won a court order that put their visas on hold by the judge in the case. Now they will be allowed to use their visas to enter the country.

The United States makes available up to 55,000 visas a year for immigrants whose nationalities are under-represented in the US population. The visas must be used within six months of being obtained.

Meanwhile, Biden has proposed legislation that would limit presidential authority to issue future bans against immigrants.

The president has not said whether there will be any redress for visa lottery winners who lost out because of the pandemic-era policies. But he is calling for the US to increase the number of diversity visas available via the lottery each year from 55,000 to 80,000.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.