Arun Jaitley questions unemployment data, says lack of jobs would have led to ‘great social unrest’

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday questioned a report on jobs data, which claimed that unemployment reached a 45-year high in 2017-’18, saying several datasets have indicated that jobs have been created by the Narendra Modi government.

After RSS chief’s speech, Hindu religious leaders demand date for construction of Ram temple

Pandemonium ensued at an event in Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh on Friday after Hindu religious leaders asked Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat when the Ram temple in Ayodhya would be completed.

Budget 2019 is just a ‘trailer’, tax rebate will strengthen the middle class, say BJP leaders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the Budget a “trailer” of the Budget that will take India on the path to development after elections, while Union minister Arun Jaitley said it was “pro-growth and pro-farmer”.

‘Where is the justice?’ asks Vijay Mallya after his assets worth Rs 13,000 crore are seized

Businessman Vijay Mallya on Friday claimed that his firm’s assets worth Rs 13,000 crore were seized on behalf of a consortium of banks whom he owes Rs 9,000 crore. Mallya also questioned the allegations of fraud and money laundering against him.

Budget 2019: Congress has never bothered about farmers, Piyush Goyal tells ANI

Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said every budget over the past four years has added value to the lives of farmers unlike the ones presented by Congress-led governments. The Congress never bothered about farmers, the minister told ANI in an interview after presenting the budget earlier in the day.

Unemployment report: ‘India can hide data but not the truth,’ writes economist Kaushik Basu

Economist Kaushik Basu on Friday expressed concern about unemployment in India and blamed the Narendra Modi government’s “disproportionate focus” on big firms and its alleged neglect of smaller ones.

West Bengal: Three people dead, one missing after coal mine collapses in Bankura

Three people died and one person was reported missing after a portion of a state-owned coal mine collapsed on Thursday in West Bengal’s Bankura district. The mine, located in Baguli village, is owned by the West Bengal Power Development Corporation and is reportedly abandoned.

Markets: Sensex closes 212 points higher, Nifty ends at 10,893 following interim Budget 2019

Indian benchmark indices on Friday lost some gains in late afternoon trade, hours after Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented the interim Budget 2019.

Budget 2019: Congress calls it an election manifesto, says giving farmers Rs 17 a day is an insult

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the Centre’s interim Budget presented on Friday as an “election budget” and said it will have implications on the General Elections scheduled for later this year. In his Budget speech, Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal proposed a full tax rebate for individual taxpayers with annual income up to Rs 5 lakh, pension scheme for workers in the unorganised sector and assured income support for farmers with small landholdings.

Full text: Narendra Modi government lists 10 points of ‘Vision 2030’

The Narendra Modi government on Friday unveiled its vision for 2030, listing 10 “dimensions” ranging from improved infrastructure to cleaner air, responsible bureaucracy and taking India to the “outer skies”. The vision was presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal during his Budget speech in Parliament.

Budget 2019: Centre to miss fiscal deficit target for 2018-’19, revises it to 3.4% of GDP

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday pegged the fiscal deficit for 2019-’20 at 3.4% of the Gross Domestic Product. This is slightly higher than the target of 3.3% of GDP that the government had set itself last year. Goyal said the higher fiscal deficit is due to the “need for income support for farmers”.

Budget 2019: Small farmers to get Rs 6,000 a year as assured income

The government on Friday announced assured income support for farmers with small landholdings through a scheme that will cost Rs 75,000 crore in the next fiscal year. Farmers with land up to two hectares will get Rs 6,000 per year in their bank accounts in three equal instalments, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said. Beneficiaries will get the amount from December 1, 2018, retrospectively.

Budget 2019: No tax on annual income up to Rs 5 lakh, says Finance Minister Piyush Goyal

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday proposed to double the income tax exemption limit up to Rs 5 lakh. The announcement was made during Goyal’s speech in Parliament for Budget 2019. Goyal said people with gross income of up to Rs 6.5 lakh will be kept out of the tax bracket if they make investments in provident funds and prescribed equities.

Budget 2019: Piyush Goyal announces Rs 3,000 monthly pension for workers in unorganised sector

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced a mega pension scheme that he said will benefit 10 crore workers in the unorganised sector in the Interim Budget for 2019-’20. The scheme will be implemented from the current year, he said. The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan will provide a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to workers in the unorganised sector aged 60 and above. The scheme is aimed at workers earning up to Rs 15,000 a month.

Unemployment: PM’s economic advisor says Centre will put out a new survey to show increase in jobs

Prime Minister’s Economic Advisor Bibek Debroy on Friday said the Centre will prepare a fresh jobs report that will show that there has been a substantial increase in job creation. His comments came a day after a news report cited data from the National Sample Survey Office and said that unemployment rate in India was at a 45-year-high of 6.1% in 2017-’18.

CBI row: Supreme Court issues notice to Centre in AK Bassi’s petition against his transfer order

The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by Central Bureau of Investigation officer AK Bassi challenging a transfer order issued by interim agency chief M Nageswara Rao. The Supreme Court also questioned the Centre for the delay in appointing a regular director. “Interim director cannot continue for so long. Why have you not appointed regular director?” the court said.

IAF’s efforts to support HAL have affected our fighting capabilities, says Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Thursday said the Indian Air Force’s efforts to support state-owned aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has affected its fighting capabilities. “We have made concessions for HAL, but will the enemy make any concession for us when we face them in battle,” he asked at an event in Delhi.

Bengaluru: Trainer fighter jet crashes near HAL airport, both pilots dead

Two pilots died after a Mirage 2000 trainer fighter aircraft crashed near the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport in Bengaluru on Friday. One pilot died after suffering injuries while landing on the wreckage of the aircraft. The crash took place near Yamalur off old Airport Road in Bengaluru.

Unemployment after demonetisation and GST even worse than headline numbers suggest, says report

The effect of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax could be worst than expected than what was shown in the unemployment rate figures reported by the National Sample Survey Office for 2017-2018, a media report said on Friday.

Sabarimala: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat claims Kerala government is oppressing Ayyappa devotees

The Kerala government is oppressing devotees of Ayyappa by exceeding the judicial mandate on the Sabarimala temple, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Thursday. Bhagwat, who addressed the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Dharam Sansad in Prayagraj, claimed that women did not wish to enter the temple despite the Supreme Court lifting age restrictions for women.

Uttar Pradesh: Five arrested for firing at, burning effigy of Mahatma Gandhi in Aligarh

The Uttar Pradesh Police have arrested five people associated with the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha for shooting at an effigy of Mahatma Gandhi to mark his 71st death anniversary in Aligarh on Wednesday. The police had registered a case against 13 people, including the outfit’s national general secretary Puja Shakun Pandey, who is seen firing at the effigy in a video.

Piyush Goyal set to present last budget of Modi government’s term today

Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will present the Budget at 11 am in Parliament today. This is the last Budget of the Narendra Modi government’s current term, which ends in May. Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who presented the previous four Budgets of the Narendra Modi government, is away for medical treatment in the United States. This will be Piyush Goyal’s first Budget as finance minister.

Goa: Law banning drinking, cooking in public passed by the Assembly, to carry fines up to Rs 10,000

The Goa Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed amendments to the Goa Tourist Place (Protection and Maintenance) Act, 2001, that prohibits drinking alcohol, cooking and littering in tourist places, including beaches. Stores selling alcohol located in tourist places have been barred from allowing customers to carry take away bottles or cans containing liquor.

CBI: Narendra Modi-led panel to meet on Friday evening to pick new agency chief

A prime minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee will meet on Friday evening to pick the new director of the Central Bureau of Investigation. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who is part of the panel, had said on Wednesday that the meeting will take place at 6 pm.

Jammu and Kashmir: At least two suspected militants killed in Pulwama gunfight

At least two militants were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district early on Friday morning. A gunfight broke out between the suspected militants and security forces after a five-hour siege at Drabgam village in south Kashmir, reports said. Internet services were snapped in Pulwama and nearby Shopian as a precautionary measure.

HD Deve Gowda talks of rift between JD(S) and Congress, says he will not ‘keep quiet now’

Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Deve Gowda has expressed dissatisfation with the alliance government that his party runs with the Congress in Karnataka, and said he was in pain because of problems between the two parties.

J&K leaders want the state’s youth to get killed to blackmail Delhi, alleges Satya Pal Malik

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday accused political leaders in the state of wanting to get youth in the state killed to “blackmail” the Centre and keep it “under pressure”. Malik made the controversial comment in his address at Kisan Mela in Jammu district’s Akhnoor.

No one who cheats India can escape and hide, says Arun Jaitley

Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi with introducing a culture of honesty in governance, and said those who cheat the country would not be able to escape and hide anywhere in the world.

Former CBI chief Alok Verma may face action for defying government order, say reports

The Ministry of Home Affairs may take action against former Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Verma – who was removed from his post on January 10 – for defying a government order appointing him the chief of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards, reports said on Thursday. He may have to face departmental action, which may include the suspension of pensionary dues.

GDP grew 7.2% in 2017-’18 instead of 6.7% estimated earlier, says Centre

The Centre on Thursday revised the Gross Domestic Product growth rate for the 2017-’18 financial year to 7.2% instead of the 6.7% estimated earlier. “The first revised estimates for 2017-’18 have been compiled using industry-wise/institution-wise detailed information instead of using the benchmark-indicator method employed at the time of release of provisional estimates on May 31, 2018,” said the Central Statistics Office.

Unemployment data: Centre did not release report as it is still under process, says NITI Aayog

The NITI Aayog on Thursday said that an official report according to which unemployment rate in India was at a 45-year-high of 6.1% in 2017-’18 was not final, and the data related to it was still under process. The government agency was reacting to a news report in the Business Standard newspaper published earlier in the day that was based on a report by the National Sample Survey Office’s Periodic Labour Force Survey.

Sabarimala: Supreme Court to hear petitions challenging women’s entry into temple on February 6

The Supreme Court will hear on February 6 the petitions seeking a review of its September 28 verdict allowing women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. A batch of 49 review petitions are up for hearing before the Supreme Court.