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Mizoram Governor Jagdish Mukhi for more border trade with neighbouring nations




Acting Mizoram Governor Jagdish Mukhi has said border trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh would be pursued for the benefit of the state.

On the opening day of the budget session of the Assembly here on Tuesday, the Governor said: “In keeping with “Act East Policy”, border trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh would be vigorously pursued so that Mizoram can benefit economically.”

He said the state government would soon embark on a fresh “road map” of development under the new flagship programme — Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP).

“THe SEDP would accelerate progress and growth in all key sectors where the state has tremendous potential. The objective of the policy is to transform Mizoram into a truly welfare state that is self-reliant and its development both inclusive and sustainable and where governance is transparent and participatory.”

He told the House the SEDP, unlike earlier programmes of previous (Congress) government, would not be given as “doles” but as a hand-holding support on the viability of projects and feasibility of livelihood income generation.

“The menaces of drug abuse and drug trafficking have assumed alarming proportions in Mizoram. The state government would deal with the issue with all seriousness,” he said.

Mukhi said measures would be taken to eradicate social evils. A new bill to repeal the Mizoram Liquor (Control and Prohibition) Act, 2014, implemented since January 2015, would be tabled during this session.

“All-out efforts would be made for combating trafficking of women and children, juvenile delinquency and rehabilitation as well as restoration programmes through network of residential homes and non-institutional services in partnership with civil society,” he said.

The Governor said to develop Aizawl into a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission, a special purpose vehicle — Aizawl Smart City Limited — is now functional for implementation of varied features of the mission.

“In 2019-20, through a grant of Rs 500 crore from the Centre, of which Rs 53 crore has been released, Aizawl would get a complete facelift in various aspects,” he said.

The Governor also said tourism has tremendous potential in generating both revenue and employment.

“Efforts to place Mizoram as a preferred tourist destination in the domestic and international circuits would be undertaken in a focussed manner. Rural tourism can help the rural economy and special emphasis will be laid to encourage community participation in tourism activities,” said Mukhi.


Nokia phone maker acquires cybersecurity firm Valona Labs



Nokia. (Photo: Twitter/@nokia)

HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, on Thursday announced it has acquired assets of mobile, enterprise and cybersecurity software firm Valona Labs for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition of new asset may further build upon the company’s reputation as a global leader in smartphone software updates and security.

“As a company that believes every phone should be built upon the foundations of security, reliability and dependability, we are proud to announce the acquisition of assets of Valona Labs – a renowned and trusted mobile software business,” Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global, said in a statement.

The smartphone maker is also launching a brand-new Centre of Excellence in Tampere, Finland.

The new centre will specialise in software, security and services, propelling HMD Global’s transition from a purely hardware business, to a combined hardware and services company, diversifying its intellectual property and differentiating its unique go-to-market offering.

In March this year, HMD Global entered a new service category with the launch of its global data roaming service, HMD Connect, which enables people around the world to benefit from a hassle-free data SIM.

Over the coming months, the centre in Tampere will concentrate on developing this service further and begin work on other services such as remote device locking, enterprise mobility management, mobile device software security, secure network communication and black box testing.

The centre will create an immediate need to hire new technical talent in the region and will be led by the former award-winning Head of Unit for Valona Labs, Ari Heikkinen.

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Bajaj Auto reports 31 % decline in June sales



Bajaj Auto.

Two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto on Thursday reported a fall of 31 per cent year-on-year in total sales, including exports, for June 2020.

The rate of fall on a sequential basis has narrowed down.

According to the company, its total sales during the month under review fell to 2,78,097 units from 4,04,624 units sold during the corresponding month of 2019.

Similarly, Bajaj Auto’s total domestic sales stood at 1,51,189 units — down 34 per cent — from 2,29,225 units sold in June last year.

The two- and three-wheeler manufacturer’s overall exports declined by 28 per cent to 1,26,908 units from 1,75,399 units shipped out during the like month of 2019.

In term of two-wheelers, the company’s total sales fell 27 per cent to 2,55, 122 units from 3,51,291 units sold in June last year.

The company’s commercial vehicles’ sales during the month under review declined by 57 per cent to 22,975 units from 53,333 units sold during the like period of last year.

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Pause on petrol, diesel price hike for 3rd consecutive day




Fuel prices seems to have gone for a longer pause after rising in 22 of the past 26 days as oil marketing companies (OMC) kept the pump prices of petrol and diesel unchanged again on Thursday.

In the national capital, petrol price on Thursday stood at Rs 80.43 per litre and diesel at Rs 80.53 a litre, same level as Tuesday and Wednesday when the OMCs went for a pause and kept the prices unchanged.

Sources in public sector oil companies said that consumers could get relief from the regular price rise of the two petroleum products in the coming days as the pause for three days now could be replicated in several of the coming days due to softening of the global oil prices.

Also, the oil companies have covered most of the shortfall arising when for 82 continuous days (from March 14 to June 6) petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged while government substantially raised taxes on the products.

Starting from June 7, petrol price has increased by Rs 9.17 and diesel by Rs 11.14 in the national capital. In the other cities the magnitude of increase was similar. With global oil prices remaining around $ 40 a barrel, any fall in oil prices now may result in fuel consumers actually getting the benefit of a cut in the petrol and diesel prices.

But oil inventories in the US have fallen and that may again bump up the prices that could take crude closer to $ 45 a barrel mark. If this happens, and the price level is sustained for some time, fuel price could rise further in India.

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