Nirav Modi declared fugitive economic offender

News Network
December 5,2019

Mumbai, Dec 5: A special court here on Thursday declared diamantaire Nirav Modi, the key accused in the USD 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, a fugitive economic offender, on a plea of the Enforcement Directorate.

He is the second businessman after Vijay Mallya to be declared a fugitive economic offender under provisions of the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, which came into existence in August last year.

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are the prime accused in the PNB fraud case, related to alleged fraudulent issuance of Letters of Undertaking that caused a loss of over USD 2 billion to the public sector bank.

Nirav Modi was earlier arrested in London and his extradition process is pending.

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Sachin Pilot shouldn't go Scindia way; he has future in Congress: Digvijaya Singh

News Network
July 19,2020

New Delhi, Jul 19: Blaming the BJP for the political drama in Rajasthan, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Sunday asked Sachin Pilot not to leave the grand old party.

In an interview to news agency, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister said Pilot should not follow Jyotiraditya Scindia into the BJP, as he has bright future in Congress.

His remarks follow Pilot's open rebellion against the Ashok Gehlot government, which has been on shaky ground with at least 18 legislators backing the rebel leader.

Pilot was sacked as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and the state Congress chief recently and the Congress has accused the BJP of making efforts to topple the Gehlot-led government by indulging in horse-trading.

"The BJP is behind the crisis in Rajasthan," Singh said.

The Congress veteran said he tried to call Pilot but his calls and text messages went unanswered.

"Age is on your side. Ashok (Gehlot) may have offended you, but all such issues are best resolved amicably. Dont make the mistake that Scindia made. BJP is unreliable. Nobody who joined it from any other party has succeeded there," Singh said.

He said this is the first time that Pilot hasn't responded to him.

"Sachin is like my son. He respects me and I also like him. I called him three-four times and also texted him. He didn't revert. He used to respond immediately earlier," he said.

"It is good to be ambitious. How can one move forward without having ambitions, but along with ambition, one must also have commitment to your organisation, ideology and the nation," Singh said.

For latest updates on the Rajathan Political Crisis, click here

"I heard that he (Pilot) may form a new party. But what is the need for it. Has Congress not given him anything? He was made an MP at 26, a Union minister at 32, the state Congress president at 34 and deputy chief minister at 38. What else does he want? Time is on his side," Singh said.

If Pilot had any issue, then as the state party unit president, he should have called a meeting and discussed the matter, he said. Pilot could have involved Congress national general secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Avinash Pande in talks with Gehlot to resolve differences, he added.

"If you have faith in your legislators, why have you have confined 18-19 of them in ITC Grand hotel at Manesar in Haryana," Singh said.

This is the same hotel where the BJP kept MLAs from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh (during political dramas in those states), he said.

Pilot should forget whatever has happened, come back and sit across the table to discuss how Congress could be strengthened, he said

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Counterfeit products create Rs 1 lakh crore hole in Indian economy, incidents up by 24% in 2019

Agencies
July 30,2020

economy.jpg

Mumbai, Jul 30: Counterfeiting incidents have increased 24 per cent in the country in 2019 over the previous year, creating an over Rs 1 lakh crore hole in the economy, according to a report.

The report also said counterfeiters are having a free run due to the pandemic-driven disruptions to organised supply chains and the resultant spike in consumer demand.

According to the report by ASPA, a self-regulated industry body of anti-counterfeiting and traceability solutions providers, counterfeiting has risen steadily in the last few years, and exploiting the pandemic as a cover for their activities.

Between February and April 2020, over 150 incidents of counterfeiting cases were reported, mostly about fake PPE kits, sanitisers and masks taking advantage of the high demand for these products, it noted.

"There was a 24 per cent increase in counterfeiting in 2019 over 2018, leading to the loss of more than Rs 1 lakh crore to the overall economy," said Nakul Pasricha, president of Authentication Solution Providers Association.

The association works with global authorities like the International Hologram Manufacturers Association, Counterfeit Intelligence Bureau of the Interpol, and domestic industry lobbies like Ficci, he said.

Counterfeiting is a universal issue and is 3.3 per cent of global trade, according to the OECD data, impacting social and economic development across the world.

The report lists the currency, FMCG, alcohol, pharma, documents, agriculture, infrastructure, automotive, tobacco, lifestyle and apparel, as the 10 sectors impacted most by counterfeiting.

Among these, currency, alcohol and FMCG continue to be the top three sectors with the highest counterfeiting in the last two years. The FMCG sector is most vulnerable, as counterfeit incidents rose 63 per cent between 2018 (79) and 2019 when the reported cases jumped to 129.

Within the states, the fakers have a free run in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bengal, Punjab, Jharkhand, Delhi, Gujarat, and Uttarakhand, calling for urgent actions to frame anti-counterfeiting policy measures.

According to the report, UP continues to be on top followed by Bihar, Rajasthan, and together these three states represent almost 45 per cent of all counterfeiting reported in the last two years.

What is more alarming is that counterfeiting is not limited to high-end luxury items today, as common everyday items as fake cumin seeds, mustard cooking oil, ghee, hair oils, soaps, baby care vaccines and medicines are aplenty in the markets.

"There is an urgent need for building and nurturing authentication ecosystems in the country with the active involvement and active participation of all stakeholders," said Pasricha.

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India's COVID-19 count reaches 10,38,716 with a spike of 34,884 cases

News Network
July 18,2020

New Delhi, Jul 18: With 34,884 people testing positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, India's Covid-19 caseload surged to 10,38,716 while 6,53,750 patients have recovered from the disease so far, according to data by the Union Health Ministry.

The death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 26,273 with 671 fatalities reported in a day, the data updated at 8 am on Saturday showed.

At present, there are 3,58,692 active cases in the country, while 6,53,750 people have recovered so far and one has migrated.

"Around 62.94 per cent of patients have recovered so far," an official said.

The total number of confirmed cases includes foreigners.

This is the third consecutive day when the number of Covid-19 cases increased by more than 30,000.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a cumulative total of 1,34,33,742 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to July 17 with 3,61,024 samples being tested on Friday.

Of the 671 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, 258 are from Maharashtra, 115 from Karnataka, 79 from Tamil Nadu, 42 from Andhra Pradesh, 38 from Uttar Pradesh, 26 each from West Bengal and Delhi, 17 from Gujarat, nine each from Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, and eight each from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Telangana has reported seven fatalities followed by Haryana with five deaths, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha reported four each, Assam and Puducherry have registered three each, Chhattisgarh and Goa reported two each while Kerala and Uttarakhand have registered a fatality each.

Of the total 26,273 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra accounted for the highest 11,452 fatalities followed by Delhi with 3,571 deaths, Tamil Nadu 2,315, Gujarat 2,106, Karnataka 1,147, Uttar Pradesh 1,084, West Bengal 1,049, Madhya Pradesh 697 and Rajasthan 546.

So far 534 people have died of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh, 403 in Telangana, 327 in Haryana, 239 in Punjab, 231 in Jammu and Kashmir, 201 in Bihar, 83 in Odisha, 51 in Uttarakhand and Assam each, 46 in Jharkhand and 38 in Kerala.

Puducherry has registered 25 deaths, Chhattisgarh 23, Goa 21, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh 11 each, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura three each, Meghalaya and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu two each while Ladakh has reported one fatality.

The Health Ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

Maharashtra has reported the highest number of cases at 2,92,589 followed by Tamil Nadu at 1,60,907, Delhi at 1,20,107, Karnataka at 55,115, Gujarat at 46,430, Uttar Pradesh at 45,163 and Telangana at 42,496.

The number of Covid-19 cases has gone up to 40,646 in Andhra Pradesh, 38,011 in West Bengal, 27,789 in Rajasthan, 24,797 in Haryana, 23,589 in Bihar and 21,081 in Madhya Pradesh.

Assam has instances of 20,646 infections, Odisha 16,110 and Jammu and Kashmir 12,757 cases. Kerala has reported 11,066 novel coronavirus infections so far, while Punjab has 9,442 cases.

A total of 4,964 have been infected by the virus in Chhattisgarh, 4,921 in Jharkhand, 4,102 in Uttarakhand, 3,304 in Goa, 2,366 in Tripura, 1,832 in Puducherry, 1,800 in Manipur, 1,417 in Himachal Pradesh and 1,151 in Ladakh.

Nagaland has recorded 956 Covid-19 cases, Chandigarh 660, Arunachal Pradesh 609 and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu together have reported 585 cases.

Meghalaya has reported 403 cases, Mizoram 282, Sikkim has registered 266 infections so far, while Andaman and Nicobar Islands has recorded 194 cases.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the ICMR," the ministry said, adding that 163 cases are being reassigned to states.

State-wise distribution is subject to further verification and reconciliation, it added.

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