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BJP comes in support of Arnab Goswami, attacks Congress

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday targetted Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over the arrest of Arnab Goswami by the Maharashtra Police.

While coming in support of Goswami, the BJP said that in ‘our democratic setup, independent media is a pillar but now it is being bullied’.

BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda said, “Every person who believes in a free press and freedom of expression is furious at the Maharashtra Government’s bullying and harassment of Arnab Goswami. This is yet another instance of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi-directed antic of silencing those who disagree with them. Shameful!”

While Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar said, “This is not the way to treat the Press. This reminds us of the emergency days when the press was treated like this.”

The most critical was Union Minister for Textile Smriti Irani. She tweeted: “Those in the free press who don’t stand up today in support of Arnab, you are now tactically in support of fascism. You may not like him, you may not approve of him, you may despise his very existence but if you stay silent you support suppression. Who speaks if you are next ?”she said

Continuing with the attack on the Congress, BJP’s national vice president, Baijayant Jay Panda said, “Disconcerting scenes of Republic tv editor Arnab Goswami manhandled by Mumbai police carrying assault weapons. Unending harrassment by Maharastra govt of one channel: “We wd’ve come voluntarily if summoned, as we have been doing.” THIS is what an undeclared emergency looks like (sic).”

The Congress refuted the allegation and countered this by asking: “Why is there selective outrage?”

The Maharashtra Police’s Raigad unit on Wednesday morning raided the residence of Republic TV owner and arrested its Chief Editor Arnab Goswami in an abetment to suicide case.

A senior police officer Sachin Vaze said that Goswami was arrested in the abetment to suicide case of 2018, which had been closed earlier and has now been reopened.

A police team swooped on the Republic TV’s chief and picked him up from his home even as his family protested while his colleagues started rushing to the spot for live coverage.

The channel strongly slammed the move for “parading the editor of a top Indian news channel like a criminal, pulled by the hair, threatened, not allowed to drink water” after 20-30 policemen barged there.

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Decision to be taken on scientific basis: K’taka CM on lifting of weekend, night curfew

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said that the decision on lifting of weekend and night curfew will be taken on a scientific basis. A meeting with expert committee members later in the afternoon would decide on the continuation of weekend curfew, he said.

Many legislators, MPs and organisations are set to convey their opinion on the issue. A suitable decision would be taken based on the views of the experts and the trend of the prevailing third wave of Covid, Bommai said.

“We will take into consideration how the third wave has unfolded and its future consequences. It’s impact on health infrastructure in the coming days to arrive at a decision. We will also discuss the action taken so far and the existing situation and decision would be taken on a scientific basis,” he said.

“The state government is doing its duty in the form of ‘Thrividha Dasoha’ of providing Anna (food), ‘Ashraya’ (shelter) and ‘Akshara’ (education) for the deprived,” Chief Minister Bommai said.

Speaking to mediapersons before heading to participate in the ‘Dasoha Dina’ at Tumakuru Siddaganga Mutt he said, “Siddaganga Mutt has heralded a culture of Dasoha (charity) in Karnataka.

“Sri Shivakumara Swamiji has followed the ideals of Basaveshwara in letter and spirit. State government has decided to celebrate Dasoha Day in Siddaganga Mutt. Our government is treading the path shown by the great seer. The rice quota per head has been raised from 4kg to 5kg. Ragi and Jowar are also being distributed according to the food habits of the region,” he said.

The state government has undertaken ‘Vidya Dasoha’ (educational charity) by providing scholarships for children of construction workers and farmers. A massive housing project is being implemented. About 5 lakh houses are being constructed,” Bommai said.

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Indian MSMEs have manufacturing cost advantage in global value chain

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There is tremendous potential for Indian engineering MSMEs to be integrated into the global value chain due to their manufacturing cost advantage, and to achieve high growth, the two most significant interventions required are related to credit assistance and technology upgradation, MSME Secretary B.B. Swain said on Thursday.

The MSME Ministry has been working closely with other Ministries and Departments to facilitate the ease of doing business for MSMEs, he said in his address at the inaugural session of MSME Conclave organised by EEPC India.

MSMEs contribute around 30 per cent to India’s GDP and have a 50 per cent share in the country’s exports. MSMEs engaged in manufacturing engineering products are about 29 per cent of the 67 lakh MSMEs which have registered since July 1, 2020 on the Udyam registration portal. In the National Manufacturing Policy, manufacturing output has been targeted to increase MSMEs’ contribution to the GDP.

A Knowledge Paper titled ‘Integrating Indian MSMEs to Global Value Chain’, released in the inaugural session, suggested that India’s trade regime should promote value addition in the country. Hence, the general tariff structure should be low on raw and primary goods, slightly higher on intermediaries, and the highest on final products.

It further recommended that both direct and indirect tax structure should be neutral and not discriminate between the nature of firms. Banks and financial institutions should be more willing to discern genuine exporters and demand less collateral. Stability in policy measures with less intervention and emphasis on neutrality on behalf of the government will be necessary, it added.

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Former Kerala CM Achuthanandan tests Covid positive

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Veteran CPI-M leader and former Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan tested positive for Covid-19. The 98-year-old leader has been admitted to a private hospital here, his son V.S. Arunkumar posted on social media.

Even though his father was confined to the house due to his age, the nurse attending on the veteran, the other day turned Covid positive and after he went for testing, he also was found positive, Arunkumar added.

“Following the advice from doctors, he was shifted to a hospital on Thursday and is presently convalescing at the hospital bed,” wrote Arunkumar.

He bowed out from electoral politics and did not contest the April 6 Assembly elections, while he was a member of the outgoing Assembly.

He served as the Chief Minister from 2006-2011 and was the Leader of Opposition from 2011-2016. He had to make way for Pinarayi Vijayan as the new Chief Minister in 2016.

Achuthanandan then had to be content with being a legislator and later he was made the chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission, which came with cabinet status. But just before the Assembly polls, he quit from the post.

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