What Is the Crypto Bill All About? – Latest news headlines


Sundara Rajan, the chief compliance officer at CoinSwitch

Ever since news got out that the government is planning to introduce a new cryptocurrency bill during the winter session, there’s been a lot of misinformation floating around. This led to a lot of panic selling initially, but things seem to have cooled off a bit. However, a lot of cryptocurrency traders and investors in India are worried about the future of crypto in the country.

To make things simpler, CoinSwitch recently held some highly useful sessions on YouTube. The goal of these videos is to spread knowledge, and help people understand the current status of the proposed cryptocurrency bill in India. This will help everyone make informed trading and investment decisions when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Sundara Rajan, the chief compliance officer at CoinSwitch, talked about the proposed crypto bill, and other details around regulation that would be useful for cryptocurrency investors and traders in India. Below, we’ll explain some of the key details that were shared during the live YouTube session.

 

Are we past the ‘crypto will be banned’ narrative?
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind right now is – will India really ban crypto? To put an end to rumours, Rajan said we can safely say that India will not ban crypto entirely. He talked about the recent developments and official statements that have been released both publicly and internally with stakeholders. The government is mainly concerned about the misuse of crypto, and wants to avoid that. Apart from that, the government seems to be looking at ways to regulate crypto.

Crypto taxation amid the news
To clarify a key question on crypto taxation in India, Rajan referred to a recent statement by revenue secretary Tarun Bajaj where he discussed how people should be paying taxes on capital gains based on their cryptocurrency profits. Tax laws can also be changed to introduce TDS on crypto capital gains. If the government is planning to introduce these taxes, it means they’ll allow buying and selling of cryptocurrencies.

What about people reading between the lines of the bill description?
We don’t really know much about the proposed cryptocurrency bill apart from the main headline. But people are still trying to make assumptions out of whatever is being made public or discussed online, leading to a lot of panic. To make things clear, Rajan said that no one currently knows about the content of this propose crypto bill.

Everything is still a part of speculations, he further added. The crypto market in India crashed initially because of a lot of panic selling due to unverified news. A lot of crypto investors in India lost a good chunk of their money due to this, Rajan added. He also said that these speculations should end until we have some verified news and details about the proposed bill.

Rajan also said that CoinSwitch believes that this proposed bill on cryptocurrencies will bring some sort of positive development for the industry. It doesn’t look like the government will ban crypto entirely. We don’t know what the bill itself contains as of now, but we’re hoping the bill will be positive and our business is going on as usual. We’re not changing anything based on these ongoing speculations.
 

How can money laundering be curbed in crypto?
Sceptics believe that crypto is the breeding ground for money laundering. One of the key issues for the government itself is whether crypto will lead to a rise in money laundering cases across the country. To explain things, Rajan answered by saying money laundering has happened across various channels, and continues to take place.

But you cannot close an asset class just because it can be misused. Some people may use crypto to launder money, and we have to figure out a way to prevent that from happening. However, money laundering can happen across a wide range of assets. Regulation in crypto may help curb money laundering in the long run.

Rajan further added that strong KYC, monitoring transactions, and avoiding cash transactions are some of the ways to avoid money laundering with crypto. He said it’s wrong to say money laundering is happening only with cryptocurrencies. Banning crypto may not be the one-stop solution to this problem.

How should investors react?
A lot of cryptocurrency investors and traders in India are worried about their investments, and they want to know how they should go about their transactions. Rajan is clear about one thing — avoid panic selling. He said everyone should stop making buying or selling decisions based on half-baked news or reports. Once the bill is out, and the government brings regulation to the industry, you can carry on with your investments and trades. Avoid panic buying or selling at all costs, he added.

What makes CoinSwitch’s KYC process reliable and safe?
CoinSwitch has a robust KYC process which will be further improved going forward, said Rajan. The company is also actively monitoring transactions to avoid potential scams. Rajan said this will remain an ongoing process, and we will continue to work on it without compromises. This is a win-win for both the company as well as its users.

Rajan ended the live session by further cementing his belief that the government will not introduce a blanket ban on crypto. He said he hopes there will be a positive development in the proposed bill, and it’s only a matter of time before we know the actual contents of this bill. As for traders and investors, Rajan warned everyone to avoid panic buying or selling until there’s reliable information available.

(Disclaimer: Coinswitch is an advertiser on the NDTV Network)



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Latest News Today – Centre Introduces Bill To Help Pandemic-Hit Small


Government has introduced a bill to provide relief to pandemic hit small and medium enterprises

The Centre on Monday introduced a bill in Lok Sabha for providing a resolution process for financially stressed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those which have been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The bill will amend the insolvency law and offer what is being termed, a pre-packaged resolution process for such small enterprises.

The proposed amendments would help notify the threshold of a default not exceeding Rs 1 crore for initiation of pre-packaged resolution process. The Centre has already prescribed the threshold of Rs 10 lakh for this purpose.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which was introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will replace the ordinance that came into effect on April 4, 2021 to provide relief for pandemic affected MSMEs.

The bill seeks to have a new chapter in the Code to facilitate pre-packaged insolvency resolution process for corporate persons that are MSMEs.

Under a pre-packaged process, main stakeholders such as creditors and shareholders come together to identify a prospective buyer and negotiate a resolution plan before approaching the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). All resolution plans under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) need the tribunal’s approval. 

As per the bill’s objective, it aims to specify a minimum threshold of not more than Rs 1 crore for initiating pre-packaged insolvency resolution process as well as provisions for disposal of simultaneous applications for initiation of insolvency resolution process and pre-packaged insolvency resolution process, pending against the same corporate debtor.

There would be a penalty for fraudulent or malicious initiation of pre-packaged insolvency resolution process or with intent to defraud persons, and for fraudulent management of the corporate debtor during the process.

Further, punishment would be meted out for offences related to pre-packaged insolvency resolution process.



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Latest News Today – US Senate Approves Mammoth Innovation Bill To Counter


The measure cleared the chamber on a 68-32 vote

Washington:

The US Senate passed a sweeping industrial policy bill Tuesday aimed at countering a surging economic threat from rival China, overcoming partisan divisions to support pumping more than $170 billion into research and development.

With both American political parties increasingly worried about competition from Asia’s largest power, the measure cleared the chamber on a 68-32 vote, one of the most significant bipartisan achievements in Congress since Joe Biden’s presidency began in January.

It also represents the largest investment in scientific research and technological innovation “in generations,” according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, which earlier passed a different version. The two will have to be reconciled into a single bill before it is sent to the White House for the president’s signature.

Biden said he was “encouraged” by the Senate’s passage of the United States Innovation and Competition Act.

“We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off,” Biden said.

“As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind. America must maintain its position as the most innovative and productive nation on Earth.”

The package, a key provision of which addresses a shortage of semiconductors that has slowed US auto production this year, will help US industry bolster its capacity and improve technology.

It is seen as crucial for US efforts to avoid being out-maneuvered by Beijing as the adversaries compete in the race to technological innovation.

Schumer called the measure “one of the most important things this chamber has done in a very long time, a statement of faith in America’s ability to seize the opportunities of the 21st century.”

The proposal aims to address a number of technological areas in which the United States has fallen behind its Chinese competitors, including in semiconductor production.

The bill allocates $52 billion in funding for a previously approved plan to increase domestic manufacturing of the components.

It also authorizes $120 billion over five years for activities at the National Science Foundation to advance priorities including research and development in key areas like artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum science.

And it facilitates tie-ups between private firms and research universities.

“This is an opportunity for the United States to strike a blow on behalf of answering the unfair competition that we are seeing from communist China,” said Republican Senator Roger Wicker, one of the main co-sponsors.

Whichever countries best harness technologies like AI, robotics and quantum computing will be able to shape innovation to its image, added Schumer, before criticising Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Do we want that image to be a democratic image, small D? Or do we want it to be an authoritarian image, like President Xi would like to impose on the world?” Schumer asked.

Bid for US “leadership”

A summary of the Senate legislation notes how the Chinese Communist Party is “aggressively investing over $150 billion” in semiconductor manufacturing in order to control the advanced technology.

While the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell stressed that the measure remained “incomplete,” it nevertheless passed by a healthy margin, highlighting how the nation’s competition with its rising geopolitical rival China is one of the few issues that can bring feuding Republicans and Democrats together.

“For everything from national security to economic policy, there’s a clear and urgent need to reorient the way our country views and responds to the challenge from China,” Republican Senator John Cornyn said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Latest News Today – Bill Gates’ Carefully Curated Populist Persona Has


Before all the revelations about his divorce, dubious workplace behaviour, and ties to Jeffrey Epstein, Bill Gates was just America’s huggable billionaire techno-philanthropist. Sure, he had accumulated absurd riches from cofounding Microsoft and lived in a $130 million (roughly Rs. 950 crores) mansion with an indoor trampoline room. But he was also known to drive his kids to school, binge Modern Family, dress like Ned Flanders and wait in line for his favourite cheeseburgers.

There was power in Gates’s air of down-to-earth dad-dorkdom. Lots of one-percenters donate big to vital causes; few achieve Reddit AMA relatability. Over the past two decades, Gates trampolined off his and his wife Melinda’s vast charitable efforts to another stratosphere of societal influence. He became arguably the leading business voice on fixing the world’s woes, as comfy pontificating about eradicating disease and improving education systems on the Ellen DeGeneres Show as he was advocating for climate change and COVID-19 solutions on Fox News.

That populist persona popped on May 3, when Bill and Melinda French Gates announced they were splitting up after 27 years of marriage. Unflattering particulars quickly emerged, including reports that Bill had an extramarital affair and pursued other office romances with employees at Microsoft and the humanitarian foundation that carries their names. In a divorce filing, Melinda said their relationship was “irretrievably broken.” The question now is whether Bill’s reputation is, too.

It’s easy to forget that Bill Gates wasn’t always so publicly revered. During the heyday of the PC revolution, he was the ruthless nerd-turned-tycoon who brutally and profanely berated underlings and allegedly tried to slash Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s equity in the company while he was undergoing cancer treatment in the early 1980s. (Gates has said his recollection of events differed from Allen’s.) Windows software, his flagship creation, was a buggy mess that frustrated millions of consumers, and Steve Jobs groused that Gates and his team showed “no shame” and “no taste” in ripping off Apple’s products. Even the judge who oversaw Microsoft’s crippling turn-of-the-century monopoly trial said Gates had “a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success.”

By the 2000s, though, the world’s richest man seemed to have realised he had to change this Redmond-robber-baron narrative—and that his wealth could help. He stepped down as Microsoft’s CEO and shifted his attention to what would become the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which eventually gave away more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,64,600 crores) to fight malaria and AIDS and boost childhood vaccination rates, earning the couple widespread praise, not to mention Time’s 2005 “Persons of the Year” cover with U2’s Bono. Less than a decade after Microsoft’s antitrust trial, Gates was making the rounds on Capitol Hill advising lawmakers on US technology competitiveness and health initiatives.

“I was lucky enough in my Microsoft work to accumulate an ownership that was worth a lot of money,” he told Charlie Rose in 2008, shortly after switching to full-time focus on his giving pledges. “Warren [Buffett] likes to call that ‘claim checks’ on society, where you get to say, you know, have a thousand people go build a pyramid for you or do whatever you want.”

Surely, these massive philanthropic claim checks have immensely aided vulnerable populations. They’ve also proved astonishingly effective in rehabbing his image from tyrannical technocrat to saintly saviour. Good deeds bought good will. His and Melinda’s annual foundation letters grew more popular than Microsoft product launches (albeit a low bar). Media scrutiny mostly vanished, replaced by perpetual guest-editor spots at major publications lusting after Bill’s world-changing ideas. His 2015 TED Talk racked up tens of millions of views, his occasional book recommendations were greeted like Oprah endorsements, and it wasn’t too long before Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

This was more than superficial fame. Gates’s civic clout could sway the discourse on critical and controversial issues (only recently he lobbied to keep COVID-19 vaccine patent protections in place), an influence that’s threatened as more lurid details surface from his current divorce proceedings. That’s not to suggest NGOs and nonprofits will stop taking his money. But, as skeptics have noted, if he’s sought inappropriate relationships with female employees, the foundation that bears his name is probably no longer the ideal advocate for women’s empowerment. If he became too close years ago with Jeffrey Epstein, even after Epstein had pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor, Gates is clearly not the right leader to campaign against sex trafficking. It’s not so much that he’s at risk of being “cancelled” altogether as he is from being Ctrl-Alt-Deleted from his perch atop the moral high ground.

A spokesperson for Gates said that the “rumors and speculation surrounding Gates’s divorce are becoming increasingly absurd,” and that “the claim of mistreatment of employees is false.” The representative added, “Claims that Gates had any personal conversations with Epstein in these meetings, which were about philanthropy, are simply not true.”

This was also supposed to be a year of focus on climate change for Bill, with the billionaire raising a call to arms via the February launch of his book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” and rallying global leaders and regular consumers to invest in green-tech research, fix carbon regulations, and buy more electric cars and less meat. Instead, he got a few months of book touring before the world’s eyes darted to his divorce.

Another consequence may be that Bill’s personal brand, his billionaire-of-the-people shtick, will invite a tough reappraisal. Essential to his bespectacled, do-gooder charm was that it felt authentic and accessible. A 2019 Netflix docuseries even sought to take viewers Inside Bill’s Brain. Released just a month before Melinda purportedly began consulting with divorce lawyers, the glowing three-part ode to Bill’s folksy genius presents him as a devout partner who guzzles Diet Cokes and is incessantly scratching his messy hair over how to save the world.

Now, however, the show only serves as a jarring reminder of how much engineering went into the overhaul of Bill’s persona, especially as contradictory evidence—such as his apparent habit of being dismissive of his wife in meetings—comes to light. Asked in one episode of the series whether Melinda ever called him out on “his shit,” Bill gave an answer that’s lost its endearing awkwardness in retrospect. “A lot of it, sure. I hope she doesn’t know all of it,” he said, laughing. “No, I’m just kidding.”

In 2017, in his foreword to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella’s autobiography “Hit Refresh,” Bill Gates wrote of the importance of legacy. “As the title of this book implies, [Satya] didn’t completely break with the past—when you hit refresh on your browser, some of what’s on the page stays the same,” Gates wrote.

His point was that as much as Microsoft had reinvented itself in the many years since Gates ran the software giant, its source code still retained parts of his DNA. The same could be said for the broader technology landscape. Gates had reinvented himself as a philanthropist, yet he also remained a legend among startup cofounders and unicorn CEOs, a statesman in Silicon Valley at a time when many of its once-mythologised leaders are deceased, disappeared, or disgraced.

Gates, who stayed on Microsoft’s board until last year, was both an inspiration for top execs—“I knew that part of rediscovering the company’s soul was to bring Bill back, to engage him more deeply in the technical vision for our products and services,” Nadella has written—and a rare voice of reason in a tech industry. But since the Wall Street Journal reported that some of Microsoft’s directors wanted him to step down in 2020 due to an investigation into a decades-old office fling (a spokesperson for Gates said the relationship ended amicably and that his resignation had nothing to do with the affair), will the rest of big tech want to hit refresh again on Gates’s involvement too?

For years, he was respected enough to smack around techies usually indifferent to outside criticism. Before it was cool, Gates chided the Valley for neglecting thorny societal problems in favour of building apps and gizmos. (“When you’re dying of malaria, I suppose you’ll look up and see that balloon, and I’m not sure how it’ll help you,” he once cracked, referring to Google’s Internet-beaming Project Loon.) He’s tried to temper the arrogance of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who inherited the mantle of most-loathed geek, and, last summer, chastised Elon Musk for speaking out of school about the pandemic.

With an asterisk on Gates’s appeal now, it’s likely his ubiquity of tech activism will be less meaningful. Musk, for one, already writes off Gates’s taunts. “Billy G is not my lover,” Musk tweeted in July. Imagine what Tesla’s Memelord will resort to if Gates picks another fight with him amid his tabloid-worthy scandals. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s redemption story is strong enough under Nadella that Gates’s soul isn’t required anymore. If anything, it seems more likely that near-term corporate events will feature cameos not from Gates but Steve Ballmer, his once-maligned CEO successor who has since turned into the loveable-goofball owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Gates has long bristled at questions about his legacy. He has sworn he’s never had “some end-of-life goal,” and has called self-memorialising “a stupid thing.” For a 65-year-old who listens to history lectures on the treadmill and owns Leonardo da Vinci’s journals, it’s not quite believable that Gates hasn’t reflected on how future generations will look back at his life’s work. But as he said in 2005, as his second act was just taking off, “It doesn’t matter; it doesn’t motivate me. If we’re all forgotten or remembered, it doesn’t change what we do every day.”

– With assistance from Dina Bass and Ashlee Vance.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP


It’s Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.





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Latest News Today – Bill And Melinda Gates Announce Divorce After 27 Years


Bill and Melinda Gates said they decided to end the marriage after “a great deal of thought” (File)

Washington:

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife and fellow philanthropist Melinda announced on Monday they are divorcing after a 27-year marriage.

One of the world’s wealthiest couples — with a joint fortune estimated at $130 billion — the Gates have channelled billions into charitable work around the globe via their hugely influential foundation.

In announcing their split on Twitter, the couple said they would continue their joint work on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds programs in global health, gender equality, education and other causes.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said in a joint statement, posted on each of their official accounts.

“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” they wrote.

“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”

The statement offered no additional details on the split but said: “We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”

The announcement comes two years after the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, another of the world’s wealthiest people, and his wife MacKenzie.

Met at Microsoft

Bill Gates, 65, was a geeky teenager when he started what would become the world’s most valuable company, and was for a time the world’s richest man and most prominent philanthropist.

He stepped down as Microsoft chief executive in 2008 to devote more time to philanthropy and later left the board, keeping only the title of “founder and technology advisor.”

Melinda Gates, 56, met Bill at Microsoft in 1987, shortly after she joined the tech firm, and the pair married in 1994.

Their foundation is among the world’s richest, having provided more than $54 billion in grants over two decades in areas including malaria and infectious disease control, agricultural research, basic health care and sanitation, in various parts of the world. It has an endowment of more than $46 billion.

In recent years, Bill Gates has largely distanced himself from Microsoft and the tech industry, instead speaking about poverty and health initiatives, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year the foundation pledged some $250 million to help fight the pandemic, with some of the funds channeled to the distribution of life-saving doses of Covid-19 vaccines to parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Gates, who had been warning as early as 2015 about the potential dangers of a global pandemic, became the target of conspiracy theorists who claimed he knew in advance about Covid-19.

The split comes following the high-profile divorce of Bezos, whose ex-wife took the name MacKenzie Scott and promptly began giving away billions to various causes without setting up a conventional foundation.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Latest News Today – In Setback For Arvind Kejriwal, Centre’s Delhi Bill


The bill was cleared by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

New Delhi:

A controversial bill giving more powers to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor – the centre’s representative – compared to the city’s elected government, was cleared by President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday, officially becoming law. The Union Home Ministry will now declare when it will come into effect.

On Wednesday, the bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha amid a walkout by the Congress and several other opposition parties including Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party.

The bill is seen as a huge setback to Arvind Kejriwal’s government, which has been sparring with the Lieutenant Governor since it came to power for the first time in the national capital in 2013.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill makes it clear that the term “government” in Delhi means the Lieutenant Governor and his opinion has to be taken before the Delhi government takes any executive action.

The bill was passed in parliament after two days of chaos in the Upper House, where opposition MPs repeatedly said it will destroy democracy. The opposition has been demanding that the bill be sent to a Select Committee.

The legislation was passed in Rajya Sabha by a voice vote. The opposition had sought a division when the government moved the bill for consideration. During voting, 83 members were in favour while 45 opposed the bill. Just before the passage of the bill, the Congress too walked out.

The AAP government in Delhi has regularly accused the BJP of trying to rule Delhi by proxy through the Lieutenant-Governor.

Most opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Shiv Sena, the ruling YSR Congress of Andhra Pradesh, and the Akali Dal had opposed the bill. The YSR Congress had walked out in the middle of the debate.

AAP said the bill will not be accepted by the people and there will be protests, much like the farmers’ protests. It also said one of the key reasons the bill was brought was Mr Kejriwal’s support for the protesting farmers. 



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Latest News Today – Parliament Passes Bill To Set Up National Bank For


The bank will support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing

Parliament on Thursday passed a bill to set up the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) to fund infrastructure projects in the country, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserting that its audited accounts will be placed before both the Houses every year and they will have “oversight” of the institution. Rajya Sabha passed the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill, 2021 by voice vote on Thursday. The bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Participating in a debate on the bill, some members raised the issue of lack of parliamentary oversight of the institution and demanded that the proposed legislation be sent to a select committee for scrutiny. Replying to the debate, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman explained, “Every year audited accounts (of this bank) will come to each House of Parliament….so Parliament oversight (of the institution) is in-built in the bill.”

Section 26 of the bill provides, “The Institution shall furnish to the Central Government and the Reserve Bank within four months from the date on which its accounts are closed and balanced, a copy of its balance-sheet and accounts together with a copy of the auditor’s report and a report of the working of the Institution during the relevant year, and the Central Government shall, as soon as may be after they are received by it, cause the same to be laid before each House of Parliament.”

Thus, the development finance institution, called the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID), will be answerable to Parliament. The bank will support the development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India, including development of the bonds and derivatives markets necessary for infrastructure financing and to carry on the business of financing infrastructure.

Sitharaman explained that a five-year tax break is provided to private development finance institutions under the bill to ensure enhanced flow of funds and, thereafter, they should be smart enough to become competent. “The Act (bill) gives space to private institutions to come up for which we give tax benefits for first five years and for this institution (NaBFID), we are giving tax benefits for 10 years,” she told the House.

She further told the House, “We have provided an authorised capital of Rs 10 lakh crore. Rs 20,000 crore has been given as equity and Rs 5,000 crore has been given as grant. Sovereign guarantee has been provided. This institution will be able to access the line of credit from RBI,” she said. She further explained that on the financial side it will lend for infra projects and more importantly, it will establish a credible framework for both equity and debt investment.

She said that the 2019 budget had the announcement of Rs 100 lakh crore investment for infrastructure over the next five years and by that year-end, the government came up with a national infrastructure pipeline which had 700 projects all related to infrastructure. This is not just for building roads and bridges but is also for social infrastructure like hospitals and schools, she added.

She said that development finance is highly risky and takes a long time as gestation periods are long, and it also needs a higher credit cost to be included. “It is not as if we are dependent on FDI (foreign direct investment) or sovereign fund,” she said, adding that it will establish a credible framework for both equity and debt investment.

“It will attract investment from both domestic and global institutional investors as we as domestic retail investors. We are not depending on just FDIs,” she told the House. About the ownership of NaBFID, she said, “The government’s stake will start from 100 per cent but eventually long time later it will be brought down to 26 per cent. But, there will always be 26 per cent presence of the government at all times. It will be professionally run and the government will only appoint the chairman. Other appointments will be done by the Banks Board Bureau and not by the government.”

She stressed that all the safeguards have been provided in the bill. In her 2019-20 budget speech, Sitharaman had proposed a study for setting up DFIs for promoting infrastructure funding. About 7,000 projects have been identified under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with a projected investment of Rs 111 lakh crore during 2020-25.

NIP, a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide world-class infrastructure across the country and improve the quality of life for all citizens, will be crucial for attaining the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by Financial Year 2025. Participating in the debate, several opposition members demanded that the bill be sent to a select committee as it lacked adequate provisions for accountability and oversight.

Narain Das Gupta of the AAP said the bill should be sent to a select committee. He pointed out that there are no provisions of accountability or oversight and asked why a new bank was being created when similar institutions have “failed in the past”. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh rued that the bill was not sent to a standing committee of Parliament for scrutiny.

Ramesh outlined the long history of development financial institutions in the country, and talked about IDBI, ICICI, and NABARD, among others. Terming the bill “very ambitious”, he said NaBFID would be a government company and huge resources are going to be mobilised, and yet there is no external oversight, external surveillance, or external monitoring.

Jharna Das Baidya of the CPI(M) demanded that the government set out a structural financial mechanism for this as similar institutions such as ICICI, IDBI and IFCI were set up earlier as well. She said the current bill does not have adequate provisions for accountability to the stakeholders and the public at large.



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Latest News Today – Centre’s Delhi Bill Passed In Rajya Sabha Amid Uproar,


The bill was passed after two days of chaos in the Upper House.

New Delhi:

A controversial bill proposing to give more powers to Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor — the Centre’s representative — compared to the city’s elected government, was passed by the Rajya Sabha today amid a walkout by the Congress and several other opposition parties including Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party. The bill is seen as a huge setback to Arvind Kejriwal’s government, which has been sparring with the Lieutenant Governor since it came to power for the first time in the national capital in 2013.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill makes it clear that the term “government” in Delhi means the Lieutenant Governor and his opinion has to be taken before the Delhi government takes any executive action.

Mr Kejriwal, in a tweet, said: “RS passes GNCTD amendment Bill. Sad day for Indian democracy. We will continue our struggle to restore power back to people. Whatever be the obstacles, we will continue doing good work. Work will neither stop nor slow down”.

The bill was passed after two days of chaos in the Upper House, where opposition MPs repeatedly said it will destroy democracy. The opposition has been demanding that the bill be sent to a Select Committee.

Today, the legislation was passed in Rajya Sabha by a voice vote. The opposition had sought a division when the government moved the bill for consideration. During voting, 83 members were in favour while 45 opposed the bill. Just before the passage of the bill, the Congress too walked out.

“The way Draupadi’s clothes were ripped off (in Mahabharat) — the Constitution is being given the same treatment,” said Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh, who earlier said the BJP brought the bill because it lost the assembly elections in Delhi twice.  

“The Constitution of the country is being changed without any Constitutional amendment,” said Mr Singh, pointing out that the system of administration in Delhi, as it stands today, was arrived at after 69 Constitutional amendments.

A constitutional amendment requires two-third majority in parliament — not a simple majority — for which the BJP lacks numbers in the Upper House.  

The AAP government has regularly accused the BJP of trying to rule Delhi by proxy through the Lieutenant-Governor.

Most opposition parties, including the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, Shiv Sena, the ruling YSR Congress of Andhra Pradesh, and the Akali Dal had opposed the bill. The YSR Congress had walked out today in the middle of the debate.  

AAP said the bill will not be accepted by the people and there will be protests, much like the farmers’ protests. It also said one of the key reasons the bill was brought was Mr Kejriwal’s support for the protesting farmers.  

“Two crore people chose the government. What is our crime? All this was done because Kejriwal did not put farmers in jail when they came to Delhi. The bill must be cancelled,” Mr Singh said.

Replying to the debate, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy tried to respond to the opposition’s concerns. The amendments, he said, have been brought to remove ambiguities in the 1991 Act and the changes were made in the spirit of a Supreme Court judgment. Earlier the Supreme Court had ruled that the Delhi government need not obtain the Lieutenant Governor’s “concurrence” on every issue of day-to-day governance.

The amendments in the Act would create a sound government mechanism in Delhi, he said, by bringing in transparency and clarity, equity and inclusiveness and enhance accountability.





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Latest News Today – Chaos Over Delhi Bill In Rajya Sabha, Finance Minister’s


The opposition has been demanding that the bill be sent to a Select Committee.

New Delhi:

Opposition protests over the new Central bill giving more powers to Lieutenant Governor in Delhi disrupted Rajya Sabha for a second consecutive day.  As MPs raised slogans condemning the government, Finance Minister Nrmala Sitharaman was forced to cut short her reply to the debate on Finance Bill after verbal clash with the Trinamool Congress over implementation of Central schemes.

The Trinamool Congress has said it has rushed its MPs to Delhi specifically to counter the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, which has already been cleared by the Lok Sabha and now has to pass the Rajya Sabha test.

The proposed law gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor — the Centre’s representative in Delhi — compared to the city’s elected government.

The opposition has been demanding that the bill be sent to a Select Committee.

“You have lost the election twice, so you have brought the bill,” said Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh, referring to the BJP’s consecutive losses in the assembly elections and the continued feud with the Delhi government over the last six years.

“I want to say to the people of the ruling party — the elected government of Delhi is made up of 69 constitutional amendments.

The bill is wrong and undemocratic. This is saying Lieutenant Governor means government… Today, two crore people of Delhi have stood up for justice,” he added.

“It is a matter of taking away the authority of the elected government here and giving it to LG. It is against the constitution. It should not become a law,” said the Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge.



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Latest News Today – In Setback For Arvind Kejriwal, Centre’s Delhi Bill


The Bill gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, who represents the centre

New Delhi:

A Bill that gives the centre more power over Delhi moved one step closer today to becoming law, in a setback to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has been passed in the Lok Sabha and will now be taken up in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor — the centre’s representative in Delhi — compared to the city’s elected government. It was brought in parliament last week, three years after a constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled on the dispute between Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Lieutenant Governor.

The government claimed that the Bill would “further define” the responsibilities of the elected government and the Lieutenant Governor “in line with the constitutional scheme of governance… as interpreted by the Supreme Court.”

Arvind Kejriwal called the development an “insult” to the people of Delhi.

“Passage of GNCTD amendment Bill in Lok Sabha today is an insult to the people of Delhi. The Bill effectively takes away powers from those who were voted by people and gives powers to run Delhi to those who were defeated. BJP has cheated the people,” tweeted the Chief Minister.

Arvind Kejriwal, whose AAP won 62 of 70 seats in the 2020 Delhi election, leaving only eight for the BJP and none for the Congress, has often accused the BJP of trying to rule Delhi by proxy, through the Lieutenant Governor, and scuttling most of his plans and decisions.

The new Bill makes it clear that the term “government” in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will mean the Lieutenant Governor, whose opinion has to be taken before the Delhi government takes any action.

In 2018, a five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court had held that while the Lieutenant Governor must be informed about Delhi cabinet decisions, his concurrence was not needed except in the case of police, public order and land.

“The status of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi is not that of a Governor of a State, rather he remains an administrator, in a limited sense, working with the designation of Lieutenant Governor,” the judges had said.

The judges had ruled that the lieutenant governor is “bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers” and that “the Lieutenant Governor has not been entrusted with any independent decision-making power”. He had to “either act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers or implement the decision taken by the President on a reference being made by him”.

If there was any difference of opinion between the elected government and the Lieutenant Governor, then it could be referred to the President.

The new Bill will most affect Mr Kejriwal, who has been heading the Delhi government since 2015 under the shadow of the centre’s veto. The AAP government’s power tussle with Najeeb Jung continued with his successor Anil Baijal. In 2018, the Chief Minister protested at the office of Mr Baijal after a number of his decisions were blocked.

The BJP’s Manoj Tiwari dismissed allegations that his party was trying to grab more power. “The Bill is only aimed at removing any confusion. There is no question of grabbing power through the backdoor. AAP is trying to rule Delhi like a state instead of a Union Territory,” he said.





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