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FM's Bonanza: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said the government will establish a 'special window' to provide priority debt financing for completion of stalled housing projects in the affordable and middle-income housing sector. Sitharaman said 1,600 stalled housing projects with 4.58 lakh homes will benefit from the alternate funding mechanism, adding that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its Governor discussed a viable way to reach out to homebuyers. Read more.
Lawyers Vs Police: As lawyers demonstrated outside district courts in the city amid a raging war with the police, Bar Council of India chairman Manan Kumar Mishra on Wednesday said any incident of violence involving lawyers, police and public will not be tolerated. He said the police are “abusing the judiciary” and demanded that the government step in and he also added that the council will act against lawyers who broke the law and demanded that no FIR be filed against them till judicial inquiry is over. Read more.
New Directions: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered incentives for small and marginal farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh burning stubble, directing that Rs 100 per quintal be given to farmers for handling crop residue of non-basmati rice. The court ordered state governments to provide machines on hiring basis and also operational expenses for hiring them. Read more.
Pawar Snubs Raut: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday snubbed Sanjay Raut for his “confidence” that the Shiv Sena had the support of 175 MLAs, saying he too wanted to see how the Uddhav Thackeray-led party cobbled together the numbers. Pawar also asked the BJP and Sena to form the government in Maharashtra at the earliest, and asserted that the NCP and Congress will work as a "responsible opposition". Read more.
Ayodhya Row: Prominent Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind on Wednesday said the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case will be acceptable to it and appealed to Muslims to respect the verdict. He asserted that Muslims’ claim in the Ayodhya case is based on historical facts and evidence that the Babri Masjid was constructed without demolishing any temple or any other place of worship. Read more.
Kartarpur Corridor: India on Wednesday took note of the photographs of Khalistani Separatist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in an official video on the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor, said sources in the government. New Delhi has raised objections to the video through diplomatic channels. The video released by Pakistan to mark the inauguration event featured a poster of three Khalistani separatists, including Bhindranwale, with “Khalistan 2020” written over it. Read more.
Agree or disagree
That a tentative agreement has been hammered out between the government and the NSCN(IM) is the only safe conclusion that can be drawn from the parleys held between the two sides in the capital over the past few weeks. Twenty-two years is a bit too long for the talks to reach the decisive phase but bringing the NSCN(IM) on board has been a huge success whose ramifications would be felt in the region for a long time. The insurgent outfit still has the resources to give a harrowing time to the Indian security forces for a few years or to the civil administration through agitations and road blockades. It has a network that not only spans the entire region but across the border in many countries. And that may be enough to slow down some vital projects in the Northeast and upset the government’s projections. Read the piece by Rajeev Bhattacharya, who argues why Peace with NSCN(IM) is vital for Modi government's Act East Policy.
Art of the Day
Onions continue to burn a hole in pockets of Delhiites as prices soar to Rs 100 per kg, Centre looks to import.