New Delhi: Armament and aerospace firms are flocking to India which is offering rich pickings in military contracts worth tens of billions of dollars despite an economic slowdown.
The hardware-hungry military says it cannot cut defence spending despite the slowdown.
“Yes, there’s the economic turmoil but India’s defence programmes will continue as before,” defence production secretary Pradeep Kumar said.
“There’s no scaling down of the modernization of the armed forces,” he said, announcing 303 international firms will hawk their wares at an 11-15 February air show to be held in Bangalore.
Karzai for reconciling with Taliban, Pakistan
Munich: Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on Sunday for a process of reconciliation with the Taliban, and urged foreign forces in his country to do more to halt civilian casualties.
“This is the right time for me to call for a process of reconciliation,” he said.
Cross-border terrorism was one of the greatest threats facing his country, Karzai said, vowing to improve ties with Pakistan to tackle the problem.
—AFP and AP
SC dismisses excise plea against Nestle India
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition challenging a tribunal’s verdict that quashed the penalty of at least Rs1 crore imposed by the excise department on Nestle India Ltd for “suppression of facts” on its chocolate brand Milky Bar Choo.
A bench denied relief to the excise department, which alleged that the sectoral tribunal’s decision to set aside the penalty was contrary to the Central Excise Act, 1944.
Additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran alleged that Nestle was clearing its chocolate brand at a concessional duty rate of 8% by declaring it as a sugar confectionery.
SC stays Madras HC order against ITC
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed the the Madras high court verdict that held ITC Ltd responsible for importing around 1,000 tonnes of “hazardous municipal waste” and asked the company to export the material to the US. The Madurai Bench of the high court had also directed the customs authorities to initiate action against the officers of ITC (paperboard and specialty paper division) responsible for garbage from the US rotting inside 35 cargo containers at the Tuticorin port for at least three years.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan stayed the high court order till 16 February after senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for ITC, stated that the firm cannot be treated as the owner or the importer of the cargo.
Telcos settling scores through PILs, says HC
New Delhi: The Delhi high court has accused telecom companies of using the court as a platform for settling scores against their rivals by prompting others to file public interest litigations (PILs) challenging government’s spectrum allocation and auctioning policy before it.
“These are frivolous litigations. Private parties are behind theses litigations... Nothing has to come out from such PILs. It’s waste of time,” a bench headed by chief justice A.P. Shah said while dismissing a PIL filed by a non-governmental organization challenging the auctioning policy.
Kalyan issue: SP asks Congress to steer clear
Lucknow: In a stern message to the Congress party, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said on Sunday it had “no moral right” to comment on the bonhomie between his party and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kalyan Singh as the Congress was in power at the Centre when Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. “I want to advise Congress to keep away from the issue of Kalyan Singh’s friendship with SP as it did not have the moral right to do so,” Yadav said. “From opening up the locks and allowing foundation laying at Babri mosque in Ayodhya, all was done during Congress regimes at the Centre. Even in 1992 when the mosque was demolished, it was Congress which was ruling at the Centre,” he said.
Vajpayee on ventilator, doctors hopeful
New Delhi: Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee undergoing treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for chest infection, is stable and responding to treatment, according to doctors attending to him.
“His condition is stable. He is making progress. We expect that he continues to make progress ahead. He is still on the ventilator but is responding to treatment,” Sampath Kumar, head of cardiac thoracic vascular sciences department of AIIMS, said. “We will have to wait for a few more days for his full recovery,” Dr Kumar said.
Pilot survey to study the impact of NREGA
New Delhi: The government plans to carry out a pilot survey to study the impact of its flagship National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, where maximum work is done under the scheme. “We have asked the National Sample Survey Organisation to do a survey on works done under NREGA and its impact on rural development including asset creation in villages,” Rita Sharma, secretary, rural development said.
Pakistan govt to take up Mumbai dossier today
Islamabad: A top cabinet panel chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is set to discuss Pakistan’s response to the Mumbai terror dossier on Monday, ‘The Nation’ newspaper reported on Sunday.
Pakistan’s defence committee of the cabinet (DCC) is set to meet on Monday “to discuss how to proceed in the matter,” the report said.
Pakistan is expected to make public the report of its probe into the Mumbai attacks early this week.
It has, however, said it will not hand over to India any Pakistani nationals found to be involved in the attacks and will instead try them under the country’s laws.