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Top news: India offers to open up its dairy, poultry markets to US to seal trade deal, says report

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Top news: India offers to open up its dairy, poultry markets to US to seal trade deal, says report
File photo of Narendra Modi and Donald Trump. | Nicholas Kamm/AFP

India has offered the United States partial access to its poultry and dairy markets in an effort to sign a limited trade deal during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India later this month, Reuters reported on Friday citing unidentified officials. Trump is scheduled to visit India on February 24 and 25.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said he was open to discussing matters related to the Citizenship Amendment Act with anyone, including the protestors at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality, but any conversation would take place on merit. “I want to say that they [Shaheen Bagh protestors] should ask for time from my office,” Shah said at the Times Now Summit in Delhi. “Within three days I will give time. I have said anyone I will meet, but nobody wants to discuss. A discussion will have to be done on merits.”

India offers US partial access to poultry, dairy markets in bid for limited trade deal: Report

India has offered the United States partial access to its poultry and dairy markets in an effort to sign a limited trade deal during US President Donald Trump’s visit to India later this month, Reuters reported on Friday citing unidentified officials. Trump is scheduled to visit India on February 24 and 25.

India is the world’s largest milk-producing country. However, it has hesitated to open its dairy market in order to protect the livelihoods of eight crore rural households engaged in the industry.

Rajya Sabha official demoted for ‘offensive, sarcastic’ social media posts against PM Modi

A deputy director in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has been demoted because of his “offensive, derogatory, demeaning and sarcastic” remarks on social media against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some Union ministers and chief ministers, PTI reported on Thursday.

This is reportedly the first time an official in Parliament has faced action over his social media posts.

Vijay Mallya appeals against extradition from Britain, India says ‘overwhelming’ proof of dishonesty

Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya appealed in Britain’s High Court on Thursday against his extradition to India to face fraud and money laundering charges resulting from the collapse of his defunct company Kingfisher Airlines, PTI reported. The businessman fled India and moved to London in March 2016. Mallya owes Indian banks more than Rs 9,000 crore.

Crown Prosecution Service lawyer appearing for India, Mark Summers, highlighted “overwhelming evidence of dishonesty” on Mallya’s part. “There is enough in the 32,000 pages of overall evidence to fulfil the [extradition] treaty obligations that there is a case to answer,” Summers told the court.

Citizenship Act: Amit Shah says he is ready to discuss law with Shaheen Bagh protestors

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said he was open to discussing matters related to the Citizenship Amendment Act with anyone, including the protestors at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality, but any conversation would take place on merit, The Indian Express reported.

“I want to say that they [Shaheen Bagh protestors] should ask for time from my office,” Shah said at the Times Now Summit in Delhi. “Within three days I will give time. I have said anyone I will meet, but nobody wants to discuss. A discussion will have to be done on merits.”

The home minister said people have a right to protest peacefully but violence is not justified. Shah said he supported the Delhi Police on its action at Jamia Millia Islamia University in December.

India needs more ambitious structural, financial sector reforms urgently, says IMF

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said that the Indian economy urgently needed more ambitious structural and financial sector reforms, PTI reported. The monetary fund had in January said the Indian economy is projected to grow 4.8% in 2019-’20. In October, it had predicted an expansion of 6.1%.

Responding to a question about the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Washington-based organisation’s spokesperson Gerry Rice said the economic environment in the country was weaker than what they had forecast earlier.

Environmentalist RK Pachauri dies at 79

Noted environmentalist RK Pachauri died in New Delhi on Thursday. The founder-director of the city-based “The Energy and Resources Institute”, or TERI, was 79 years old.

Congress’s loss in Delhi an ‘unmitigated disaster like coronavirus’: Jairam Ramesh

Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday said his party’s defeat in the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections was an “unmitigated disaster like coronavirus”.

Bureaucrat Rajiv Bansal appointed Air India chief

Bureaucrat Rajiv Bansal was appointed the chairperson and managing director of national carrier Air India on Thursday. He will succeed Ashwani Lohani.

BJP may have lost Delhi polls due to hate comments such as ‘goli maaro’, says Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said provocative comments by Bharatiya Janata Party during the Delhi poll campaign may have cost it the elections. “Statements like ‘goli maro’ and ‘Indo-Pak match’ should not have been made,” Shah said at the Times Now Summit in Delhi.

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