19:49 TN petro dealers won’t accept plastic money from tomorrow: Petroleum dealers in Tamil Nadu today announced they will not accept plastic money starting tomorrow in protest against a one per cent levy plus taxes on all transactions made through debit and credit cards, prompting harried consumers rush to fuel outlets.
The Tamil Nadu Petroleum Dealers Association said it has received an intimation from banks that a Merchant Discount Rate of one per cent will be levied on all transactions done at the retail fuel outlets from January 9.
“We have suddenly received intimation from the bankers, reneging on their existing agreements with us, and for having decided to levy a Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) of one per cent plus taxes on all transactions done at our outlets,” K P Murali, President of the Association, said.
This move was a ‘unilateral’ one by bankers who had installed card swipe machines at the fuel outlets, he added.
Protesting the move, Murali said their margins were fixed on a per kilolitre (KL) basis and that they did not have scope to absorb these charges.
“We have specific mechanisms to compute the margin and these do not have any scope for Credit/Debit card MDR. This will lead to financial losses for the dealers,” he said.
Further, bankers were also ‘delaying payments’ and not settling the entire dues, he alleged.
The reconciliation of swipes to amount being credited to our accounts is causing a lot of hardships and losses to a large percentage of the dealer community, he said in a statement.
‘We will not be able to withstand the financial losses generated by these transactions and have decided to stop accepting Credit/Debit Cards from January 9, 2017,’ he added.
The announcement prompted the city motorists to rush to fuel outlets to fill their vehicle tanks by making payments through Debit and credit cards.
19:36 4 Israeli soldiers dead in Jerusalem truck ‘attack’: Four Israeli soldiers were killed when they were run down by a truck in Jerusalem today in what police is treating as a deliberate attack, a medic at the scene said.
Arie Jaffe, of the United Hatzalah emergency service, said that the driver was also killed in the incident in west Jerusalem.
Palestinian security officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah said he was a Palestinian from the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber, close to the scene.
Police quoted rescue services as saying that 15 Israelis were injured, one seriously, in today’s ramming.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the victims were in a group of soldiers alighting from a bus at the promenade, which has a scenic view down onto the Old City.
The bus driver said they had been on a cultural tour of the city.
Rosenfeld said that suddenly the lorry driver ‘ran his vehicle into them. At this moment of time we have ruled out an accident’.
IMAGE: Israeli security forces work at the scene of a truck ramming incident in Jerusalem on Sunday. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
19:16 Modi has taken peoples money like a ‘pickpocket’: Yechury: In a stinging attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation, Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Sunday alleged that he had taken away the money of people like a ‘pickpocket’ and contested the claim about economic growth not being affected much.
Taking to Facebook, Yechury charged Modi with helping black money hoarders to exchange it with white money and said the government was ‘playing fraud’ by claiming that the growth rate will be 7.1 per cent despite the note ban.
The scathing remarks from the Marxist leader come a day after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party hailed scrapping of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes calling it as a ‘sacred movement’ that will lead to a clean economy.
Yechury wondered how the saffron party can claim ‘victory against black money’ when the government has not produced data on money that was returned to banks and restrictions on withdrawals continue.
‘Modi behaves like a pickpocket, who has picked pockets of the people first, and now says he will come out with welfare schemes,’ Yechury said in the post.
Recalling that Modi had, in the run up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls, said that 90 per cent of black money is parked abroad, Yechury alleged that the prime minister was doing nothing on this front. — PTI
18:05 I’m SP’s national president and Akhilesh UP CM: Mulayam: Mulayam Singh Yadav addresses a press conference in New Delhi.
Flanked by Shivpal Yadav and Amar Singh on his side, Mulayam claimed that he is the national president of the Samajwadi Party, and Akhilesh is Uttar Pradesh chief minister.
“After being expelled from the party for six years, Ramgopal Yadav had no right to call a convention. The convention he called was a fake,” Mulayam said.
17:52 Video shows Odisha railway cops thrashing disabled man for stealing phone: A disabled man was thrashed by the Railway Police in Balasore district of Odisha for allegedly stealing a mobile phone.
According to reports, the disabled person was caught by the passersby while he was trying to flee after stealing the mobile from a passenger at the Balasore station.
The incident had happened on January 3.
Later the man was handed over to the RPF staff.
After recovering the stolen mobile from the disabled person, the RPF staff kicked him mercilessly as shown in a video clip.
The Balasore RPF official however said that those personnel were not from the district.
The Railway Police are trying to identify both the accused and the disabled person.
A railway passenger from Balasore has shot the visuals from his mobile while travelling by another train. After returning to Balasore he released the visuals to the media.
IMAGE: Screengrab from the video. Photograph: ANI
16:52 Raheel Sharif appointed chief of Islamic anti-terror alliance: Pakistan’s recently retired army chief General Raheel Sharif will head the Saudi Arabia-led 39-nation Islamic military coalition formed to combat terrorism, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said.
Asif, while speaking during a talk show on Geo TV, admitted that an agreement in this regard was finalised a few days ago.
He said the decision was taken after taking the incumbent government into confidence and it was finalised here first. The headquarters of the new Saudi-led coalition would be based in Riyadh.
Asif said that both the government and army were on board regarding the decision to let General Raheel take charge of the alliance.
He, however, refused to share the details of agreement under which Raheel has been appointed the chief of the Saudi-led alliance.
‘As you are aware that this thing was in the pipeline for quite some time and the prime minister was also part of the deliberations,’ Asif was quoted as saying.
Raheel retired as the army chief in November and has been succeeded by General Qamar Javed Bajwa. — PTI
16:28 Istanbul attacker identified as IS jihadist from Uzbekistan: The attacker who shot dead 39 people, including two Indians, on New Year’s night at an Istanbul nightclub has been identified as an Uzbek jihadist who belongs to the extremist Islamic State group, Turkish press reports said.
There had been confusion over the identity of the attacker — who remains on the run — with reports initially suggesting a Kyrgyz national and then a Uighur from China, AFP reported.
But intelligence services and anti-terror police in Istanbul have now identified the man as a 34-year-old Uzbek who is part of a Central Asian IS cell, the Hurriyet daily and other Turkish newspapers reported.
It said he has the code name of Ebu Muhammed Horasani within the IS extremist group. There was no official confirmation of the report.
The killer slipped into the night after killing 27 foreigners and 12 Turkish nationals at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul just 75 minutes into 2017.
Despite an intense manhunt, he remains on the run, with some reports saying that he is still believed to be in Istanbul. — AFP
15:33 Suicide bomber kills at least 11 at Baghdad market: A suicide bomber blew up a car at the entrance of Baghdads main vegetable market today, killing at least 11 people and wounding dozens, security officials and medics said.
“A soldier at the gate of Jamila market opened fire on a suicide car bomb after noticing a suspect vehicle but the terrorist blew up his car,” interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan was quoted as saying by AFP.
A police colonel and a hospital official said at least 11 people were killed and 35 wounded. Maan said the soldier who opened fire on the attacker was among the wounded.
Jamila is the main wholesale vegetable market in Baghdad and lies in Sadr City, a vast, mostly Shiite, neighbourhood in the northeast of the capital which has been repeatedly targeted.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but all such recent bombings have been claimed by the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State group. — AFP
Photograph: Wissm al-Okili/Reuters
14:54 UPDATE: Lucknow hit and run incident: Death toll rises to five.
14:16 I-T Dept detected Rs 4,807 cr black income post-demonetisation: Over Rs 4,807 crore of undisclosed income has been detected while new notes worth Rs 112 crore have been seized by the Income Tax department as part of its country-wide operations against black money hoarders post demonetisation.
Official sources said the taxman carried out a total of 1,138 search, survey and enquiry operations under the provisions of the Income Tax Act since the note ban was declared on November 8 last year, even as the department has issued 5,184 notices to various entities on charges of tax evasion and hawala-like dealings.
The department, they said, has seized cash and jewellery worth over Rs 609.39 crore during the same period even as the new currency seized (majorly Rs 2,000 notes) is valued at about Rs 112.8 crore.
The value of the seized jewellery in this is Rs 97.8 crore.
“The total undisclosed income admitted or detected as part of this action, till January 5, is Rs 4,807.45 crore,” they said.
The agency has also referred a total of 526 cases to its sister agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to probe other financial crimes like money laundering, disproportionate assets and corruption as part of their legal mandate. — PTI
Image for representation only.
13:44 What’s new in Yadav vs Yadav war: Nameplates of Mulayam Singh Yadav with designation (national president), and Shivpal Yadav have been restored at the Samajwadi Party HQ in Lucknow. The office has now been locked
Mulayam and Amar Singh are in Delhi and are likely to meet Election Commission tomorrow at 12.45 pm to consolidate their claim on the party’s poll symbol ‘cycle’.
Amar Singh said the signatures of support which Ram Gopal Yadav presented to the EC are forged and ‘hence their authenticity is doubtful’.
He also said that numbers of MLAs supporting matters when a government has to be formed, not for party symbol.
13:01 Trump’s son-in-law’s deals with Chinese financial firm raise concerns: Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s business ties with a Chinese financial behemoth are raising concerns over potential conflict of interest as he prepares for a role in White House, advising the President-elect on foreign policy that could affect his company’s bottom line.
About eight days after his father-in-law was elected President of the United States in November last year, Kushner had met with Wu Xiaohui, the chairman Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese financial behemoth with estimated assets of $285 billion (Rs 19 lakh crore) and an ‘ownership structure shrouded in mystery’, according to an extensive report in the New York Times.
The meeting at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan ‘was a mutually auspicious moment’ and Wu and Kushner, husband of Trumps daughter Ivanka, were nearing agreement on a joint venture for redevelopment of prime New York real-estate property, 41-floor building at 666 Fifth Avenue, a ‘crown jewel’ of the Kushner family real-estate empire.
The report added that Anbang, which has close ties to the Chinese state, has seen its aggressive efforts to buy hotels in the US slowed amid concerns raised by Obama administration officials who review foreign investments for national security risk.
After Anbang acquired Waldorf, such were the security concerns that Barack Obama broke with presidential protocol and did not stay at the Waldorf when he visited New York for the opening of a session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
American officials cited security, counterintelligence and cyber-surveillance concerns for the same.
Following the meeting, Wu toasted Trump and declared his desire to meet the President elect, whose ascension, he was sure, would be good for global business. — PTI
11:51 Demonetisation was disruptive but period of pain is getting over: Jaitley: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that ‘demonetisation is obviously disruptive as are all reforms as they change the retrograde status quo’.
Accepting that implementation of demonetisation carried pain and led to short-term criticism and inconveniences as well as a drop in economic activity, the FM said, “Squeezing out of 86 per cent of currency constituting 12.2 per cent of GDP (gross domestic product) would obviously have significant consequences.”
He said the period of pain and inconveniences is getting over and economic activity is being restored.
“Queues outside the banks have disappeared and the remonetisation has moved ahead,” Jaitley said.
He also said that reducing cash may not eliminate crime and terrorism but it can inflict serious blow on them.
He said more money with banks is bound to bring down the rate of interest. — PTI
– For those workers who seek economic opportunities abroad, our effort is to provide maximum facilitation and ensure least inconvenience
– Will launch skill development program, Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojna for Indian youth who seek employment overseas
– Directed embassies to be pro-active towards needs and problems of Indian community abroad
– NRIs and PIOs have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields
– The security of Indian nationals abroad is of utmost importance to us
– I would again encourage all PIO Card holders to convert their PIO Cards to OCI Cards
11:13 Indian diaspora is a valuable partner in our journey: PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas In Bengaluru today. Here are the highlights of his speech.
– This is one such festival where you are both the host and the guests
– Indians abroad are valued not just for their strength in numbers. They are respected for the contributions they make
– Indian diaspora is our valuable partner in India’s journey of development
– The Indian diaspora represents the best of Indian culture, ethos and values
– For my govt and for me personally engagement with overseas Indian community has been a priority
– Remittance of close to sixty nine billion dollars annually by overseas Indians makes an invaluable contribution to the Indian economy
– We want to turn ‘brain-drain’ into ‘brain-gain’ and your support in this is very important
10:58 PM Modi at Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Portugal PM Antnio Costa are present at the inauguration of 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in Bengaluru. PM Modi to address the audience shortly.
The 14th edition of the annual convention of NRIs and PIOs, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, is taking place in Bengaluru from January 7-9.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will launch the non-fare revenue policy, a first in railways, offering various schemes for revenue-yielding activities including train branding, rail radio schemes and the mega offer of setting up about 2400 ATMs at platforms of major stations across the country early next week.
“Currently railways earns less than 5 per cent of its total revenue through non-tariff sources. Our aim is to raise it substantially through concrete offers,” said a senior railway ministry official involved with the firming up the non fare revenue policy.
ATMs will be on end platforms or prominent spaces in the circulating area of the station, he said, adding stations will be offered via transparent e-auction process for a long-term 10-year contract.
10:10 Will resign after completion of my tenure, says Bedi amid Puducherry CM vs LG fight : Amid growing differences between her and the Congress government, Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi on Saturday said she would quit the post in May next year on completion of two years in office.
“I have given myself a tenure here. I shall relinquish my office on May 29, 2018 when I complete two years in Puducherry,” she said in a communication to PTI.
Bedi said that she has already informed her ‘seniors’ about this.
Her statement comes a day after Congress MLAs shot off a memorandum to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh complaining about Bedi’s style of functioning in the backdrop of her cancelling an order of Chief Minister V Narayanasamy banning officials from using social media for official communication.
10:00 Florida shooting: How a laptop saves man’s life: A man who witnessed the shooting at a Florida airport narrowly escaped death when his laptop stopped a bullet from hitting his body.
Steve Frappier was among the travellers inside Terminal 2 of the Fort Lauderdale International Airport when a gunman began shooting people at random when he heard popping, like firecrackers.
At least five people were killed in the rampage, and six others were wounded, according to a count from federal authorities. More than 40 others were injured in the panic that ensued as shots rang out.
Frappier recalled the harrowing moments in the baggage claim area where the scene unfolded.
It was completely silent and all we could hear was just the popping of the guns, he told CNN. He took cover on the ground while wearing his backpack. Then he said he felt a something strike him in the back.
Pic: The laptop which saved Frappier
“There are news reports coming in that post demonetisation, printing presses in Pakistan which were involved in printing of counterfeit Indian currencies are shut.
“There are reports that after the scrapping of high value notes, there is sharp decline of 60 per cent in the incidents of violence in Kashmir and there is 50 per cent drop in hawala transactions,” said Irani.
Irani was here to attend the Digi Dhan Mela organised in city to promote cashless transactions.
While addressing the gathering at the event, the Union Textile Minister said that after assuming office of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi started ‘Swacchta Abhiyan’ but the “Arthik Swacchta” (financial cleanliness drive) began on November 8.
She further said that Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi recently told her that post demonetisation there is a decline in cases of women and child trafficking.
The minister claimed that people of this country have extended their support to the demonetisation move. “People are supporting the decision taken by Modiji because every countryman knows that the decision taken by the PM is in the interest of the nation,” she said.
09:22 Won’t contest UP polls but will ‘actively’ campaign against BJP: AAP: Taking its fight against the BJP to newer pastures, Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal will “actively campaign” against the saffron party in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, though it will not enter the electoral arena.
After completion of the election process in Punjab and Goa, where the AAP will be contesting, all leaders including star campaigners, will concentrate on Uttar Pradesh to expose BJP, “which has betrayed the country and which is the biggest devil in national politics”, AAP spokesman Vaibhav Maheshwari said.
Details of senior AAP leaders’ tour programme will be worked out soon but almost all of them will campaign against the ruling party at the Centre so as to apprise the people of the real face of the BJP and tell them what all can happen if they are elected in the state, he said.
A detailed itinerary will be released later in which AAP will apprise people of the “wrongs” committed by BJP although they will not seek votes for any party in the Uttar Pradesh polls, he said.
BJP is contesting the elections with demonetisation as the central issue and AAP has dubbed it as the biggest scam, Maheshwari said, adding this campaign (against BJP) can also be termed as a new kind of politics in which his party will be putting its energy and money into the elections in which its stands to gain nothing in terms of seats.
09:00 Congress to hold ‘Janvedna Sammelan’ to discuss note ban problems: The Congress will hold a day-long national convention, “Janavedna Sammelan” in New Delhi on January 11 to discuss the problems faced by the people across the country post demonetisation.
The convention will be held at Talkatora stadium.
“The convention will see the participation of all the national, regional leaders and office-bearers of the Congress party. To implement the programme we have also made an implementation committee at the state level,” senior party spokesman C P Joshi told reporters.
“We will highlight every decision of the government which is neither in favour of the country nor the citizens,” he added.