Jaswant offers a glimmer of hope on rollback
While there was no firm indication that the
Government would give in to the mounting pressure from its allies
and the Opposition to roll back the recent price hikes, the
External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, did raise hopes
today when he promised in the Rajya Sabha to communicate the
members' sentiments to the Union Cabinet.
BJP MPs expect a gesture
There was no indication from the Government
of a rollback in prices but there were hints that some small
gesture could be made before the Finance Bill is put to vote in
the Lok Sabha on May 4.
Flexibility for banks in RBI credit policy
In a move to strengthen the financial sector in
the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today announced
measures to provide operational flexibility to banks and
institutions in interest rate policy, improving prudential
standards and credit delivery mechanisms, which will result in
improving liquidity and reducing costs. The central bank also
issued guidelines for entry of banks into insurance sector.
Gehlot makes common cause with A.P., Gujarat
The Rajasthan Chief Minister, Mr. Ashok Gehlot,
has asked the Union Government to treat the allocation of
foodgrains under the food- for-work programme to drought-affected
areas as a grant. Mr. Gehlot has also solicited the support of
the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, and the
Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Keshubhai Patel, to pursue the matter
with the Centre and go for a ``joint action'', if need be.
China thanks India
China has thanked India for its support in
defeating an American- sponsored resolution criticising the
Chinese record on human rights in Geneva recently.
Will PMK part ways with DMK?
The founder-president of the Pattali Makkal
Katchi (PMK), Dr. S. Ramadoss, today did not rule out the
possibility of parting ways with the DMK-led alliance in Tamil
Nadu. However, he made it clear that his party would continue to
be part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the
Jaswant stands in for Vajpayee
For the second day today the Prime Minister,
Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, was unable to attend Parliament, as he
was nursing an infected throat. The Prime Minister was scheduled
to reply to the debate in the Rajya Sabha on the motion of thanks
to the President, but ``a recurring throat infection'' prevented
him from attending to this conventional duty; instead, the
External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, did the honours.
India, Russia to chalk up plan to bust terrorism
India and Russia are getting ready to
formalise interaction between their national security
establishments to counter international terrorism spreading
across the strategic arc extending from Afghanistan to Chechnya.
The Uttar Pradesh PWD Minister, Mr. Kalraj
Mishra, today resigned from the State Cabinet in the wake of
corruption charges levelled against him in the Assembly.
Pak. sees no change in India's stance
Pakistan today said the statement of the
External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh, about the
possibility of ``talks about talks'' did not ``appear to reflect
any change in India's position prescribing conditions for
Chandrika holds security review
The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika
Kumaratunga, today held an overall review of the security
situation in the immediate aftermath of the Elephant Pass