Picking up litter and making an effort to waste less are greatways for Nova Scotians to celebrate Earth Day today, April 22,and to keep the province clean every day. “I encourage Nova Scotians to make it Earth Day every day,” saidEnvironment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. “It’s easy toorganize a community litter cleanup, especially with help fromthe Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up program that is run all yearlong by the Clean Nova Scotia Foundation.” Mr. Morash presented a trophy made of trash to high schoolstudents at the Shambhala School today. The classes registeredwith Clean Nova Scotia and picked up litter in their schoolcommunity. The class that collected the most litter won thetrophy. Elementary students at the school aimed to have “litter-lesslunches” this week by using reusable containers when possible.They weighed packaging waste produced from their lunches eachday. Mr. Morash presented a plant to the class with the leastwaste. “The students and staff at this school recognize the importanceof keeping communities litter free,” said Mr. Morash. “Theyprovide an excellent example for all Nova Scotians to reduce ourwasteful daily activities for the benefit of our citizens, ourvisitors and our wildlife.” Nova Scotians can register with Clean Nova Scotia to organize aGreat Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up event. Each group will receive afree cleanup kit including garbage bags, blue bags, aninformation booklet, posters and a data card to record what hasbeen collected. To register, see the Clean Nova Scotia website at www.clean.ns.caor call 424-4252.
Premier Rodney MacDonald today, April 24, announced that Angus MacIsaac has been appointed acting Minister of Finance, and will remain deputy premier and Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Mr. MacIsaac replaces Michael Baker who has taken time off for health reasons. Mr. MacIsaac has been the MLA for the constituency of Antigonish, since elected to the House of Assembly in 1999. -30-
Local Area Office: 902-543-7376 Fax: 902-543-5596 LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Highway 103 will have alternating lane closures for cold planing, repaving and shouldering from Tuesday, April 29 to Friday, June 27. Alternate route is available at Trunk 3 from Exit 6 to Exit 7 from Hubbards to East River. -30-
An independent human rights board of inquiry has found that the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, the province’s Acadien school board, violated the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act when it forced one of its managers to retire. Robert Theriault of Meteghan filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission alleging the school board discriminated against him when it required him to retire after reaching the age of 65 in April 2005. In his decision, board of inquiry chair Donald Murray did not accept the school board’s argument that it followed a practice of mandatory retirement consistent with the exemption for legitimate mandatory retirement schemes, programs or practices in section 6 of the Human Rights Act. “There are plans or schemes and practices, that are consistent within identifiable employee groups, but these are not consistent across all employee groups,” said Mr. Murray. The existence of mandatory retirement plans for other groups of unionized employees did not affect Mr. Theriault’s situation as a non-unionized employee, according to the board of inquiry. In finding that discrimination took place, the board of inquiry will be able to decide what kind of remedy is available to Mr. Theriault if the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial is not able to reach an agreement with him on that point. A complaint is referred to an independent board of inquiry when the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission believes a prima facie case of discrimination is made after an investigation by a human rights officer. The chief judge of the provincial court selects a board chair from a roster and the commissioners ratify the nomination. The decision on the complaint is then in the hands of the independent board. Evidence collected during investigation of a complaint is presented at the hearing by the commission’s legal counsel. The complainant and respondent can make submissions and question witnesses. The board chair then decides whether discrimination has occurred. All parties have a right to appeal decisions of boards of inquiry to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. A copy of the decision is available on the commission’s website at http://gov.ns.ca/humanrights/decisions/2008decisions.htm .
KINGS COUNTY: Hillaton Road Hillaton Road will be closed for bridge repairs until the spring of 2009. A detour route is available on Route 221 to Route 358 to Saxon Street. -30- Local Area Office: 902-679-4308 Fax: 902-679-6124
Nautel Limited also took home the award for Exporter of the Year. “Tonight’s winners should be especially proud of their accomplishments,” said Stephen Lund, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. “In spite of a worldwide economic crisis, Nova Scotia exporters continue to find success in the global marketplace. These seven award-winners remain competitive in these challenging times by seeking out new markets, being more innovative and building on their existing relationships.” This year’s keynote speaker was Stephen S. Poloz, senior vice-president, financing Export Development Canada, who addressed the global financial crisis and its likely impacts on Canada. He also outlined how his organization is adapting to help exporters meet those challenges. Mr. Poloz leads Export Development Canada’s Financial Products Group, delivering an extensive range of lending, financing, political-risk insurance and equity programs. He is also responsible for economics and the corporation’s International Trade Intelligence Department. Seven Nova Scotia companies won honours at the 26th Annual Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards last night. The winning companies had combined export sales of more than $55.5 million in 2008. “Nova Scotia is known for producing high-quality products and services that are distributed around the world,” said deputy minister of Economic and Rural Development, Ian Thompson. “Tonight’s award winners are some of our province’s top ambassadors, representing Nova Scotia as a strong competitor, while contributing to our province’s economy.” The award-winning companies are: New Exporter, Terra Beata Farms Ltd Long-term Exporter, Maritime Paper Products Limited Export Growth Through New Markets, Glenora Distillers International Export Growth Through Product Development, Nautel Limited Export Growth Through Partnership, TeamSpace Canada Export Growth Through Sales, Origin BioMed Canadian Market Development, AG Research Inc.
The province will offer a one-time new home construction rebate equivalent to 50 per cent of the provincial portion of the HST, Premier Darrell Dexter announced today, July 7. “Government is fulfilling a commitment to reduce the HST on new home construction to stimulate the economy while creating and maintaining jobs for skilled tradespeople,” said Premier Dexter. “Construction is a major driver of the provincial economy and this innovative program gives us an opportunity to create the jobs needed during this tough economic time.” Homeowners who have a municipal construction permit dated May 1 or later will be eligible for the rebate. The four per cent rebate will be limited to a maximum of $7,000. Fifteen hundred rebates will be available for construction or purchases completed by March 31. From January to April, Nova Scotia experienced a more than 30 per cent decrease in new home construction, excluding apartments, over the same period in 2008. “Premier Dexter understands that our industry and our skilled tradespeople are vital to economic growth in Nova Scotia,” said Paul Pettipas, chief executive officer, Nova Scotia Homebuilders Association. “This is a smart plan that will help builders and keep skilled tradespeople working in our province.” Program details are being developed in consultation with industry and will be available later this summer. Details will be shared with the public when they are finalized.
CAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 105 Highway 105, between Millville Road and St. James Road is closed as a result of an earlier motor vehicle collision and will re-open at about 4:30 p.m. today, April 4. -30-
The province continues to work with the people and communities in Queens County, to help build a brighter future following the closure of the Bowater mill. Queens MLA Vicki Conrad, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris, announced today, April 10, the province will cover the remaining municipal costs for the Queens General Hospital project. “The closure of the Bowater mill was a devastating blow to families and businesses along the South Shore, and as expected, the Region of Queens Municipality experienced a sudden loss of tax revenue, making it harder to fund some capital projects,” said Ms. Conrad. “Last December, Premier Darrell Dexter promised to work with local officials to ensure important projects stay on track while local councils take some time to plan and adapt. “This will ensure this important community project is completed, despite the municipality’s lost tax revenue from the mill closure.” The province will pay an additional $500,000 toward the renovations and improvements at Queens General Hospital, relieving the Region of Queens Municipality of its final two payments of $250,000 to the South Shore District Health Authority. This will bring the province’s total contribution to the Queens General health project to $3 million. “Our council made a $1-million commitment to the Queens General health project when times were better, before the mill closed,” said Christopher Clarke, mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “This funding has mitigated the amount of tax increase that would have been necessary to offset the loss from Bowater, and so, we very much appreciate the province stepping forward.” “The people of Queens have shown generosity and courage in these hard times by continuing to support fundraising efforts for improvements, renovations and updates to our hospital,” said John Murray, a board member of the South Shore District Health Board and chair of the Funds Raising Committee of the Queens General Hospital Project. “Thanks to our community and to our municipal and provincial partners, this project is on track.” The province will soon announce details of an agreement with the Municipality of District of Lunenburg to help offset its lost tax revenue. The forest industry is changing and the mill site can offer a place for Nova Scotians to lead that change. The province continues to offer support to the local workforce and is moving ahead with plans to create a bioresources centre that will change the face of the forestry sector. Innovation will be a key part of protecting and creating jobs, now and in the future. This approach will attract private investment and support research and development of new products not yet imagined. The Lunenburg-Queens Transition Action team, with representation from provincial departments and agencies and municipal governments, will meet later this week to discuss actions taken since December 2012 and plans for moving forward.
Cinq Néo-Écossais éminents, reconnus à l’échelle internationale comme chefs de file dans leurs domaines respectifs, ont été reçus dans l’Ordre de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Le premier ministre Stephen McNeil en a fait l’annonce aujourd’hui 30 septembre. « Nous rendons hommage chaque année à des Néo-Écossais issus de tous les horizons mais qui ont tous quelque chose en commun, a dit le premier ministre McNeil. Chacune de ces personnes a consacré sa vie à contribuer à l’amélioration de la qualité de vie des autres et, par le fait même, à créer une province plus solide et plus prospère. » Les récipiendaires de l’Ordre de la Nouvelle-Écosse pour 2015 sont : — Dre Margaret Macdonald Casey, Halifax : la docteure Casey a été fournisseuse de soins de santé, éducatrice et championne des intérêt de la collectivité. Elle fait partie d’un petit groupe de professionnels de la santé qui a reconnu le besoin urgent et non satisfait des familles du quartier nord d’Halifax en matière de soins de santé accessibles et respectueux, et elle a beaucoup travaillé à prodiguer ces soins. Elle a défendu l’idée qu’il fallait remédier à des problèmes sociaux comme la pauvreté, l’analphabétisme et le racisme pour pouvoir améliorer les soins de santé. — Louis E. Deveau, Dartmouth : M. Deveau est originaire de Salmon River dans le comté de Digby. Il a fondé Les Algues Acadiennes Limitée, une multinationale de la biotechnologie spécialisée dans la fabrication de produits techniques dérivés d’algues marines, produits qui sont exportés dans plus de 80 pays. Son entreprise a été désignée l’une des sociétés les mieux gérées au Canada depuis 13 ans, elle a reçu des prix pour la sécurité, les exportations, l’excellence en environnement et son éthique des affaires. — Martin Rudy Haase, Chester : M. Haase est l’un des écologistes ayant les plus longs états de service en Nouvelle-Écosse. Il a lutté contre les pesticides dangereux, l’extraction minière de l’uranium, l’énergie nucléaire et la coupe à blanc. Il a été membre fondateur de la Friends of Nature Conservation Society en 1954, organisme qui a sauvé une île au Maine en évitant qu’on coupe tous les arbres qui la recouvraient. M. Haase a été le premier propriétaire foncier à donner une servitude de conservation au Nova Scotia Nature Trust, protégeant ainsi une bande de terre sur les rives du lac Bras d’Or en 1996. — Sharon Hope Irwin, Sydney : Mme Irwin a consacré 40 ans à faire en sorte que les garderies soient accueillantes, abordables, accessibles et polyvalentes. Sa garderie a intégré avec succès des enfants ayant un handicap visuel, des enfants souffrant d’ostéogénèse imparfaite et des enfants souffrant de paralysie cérébrale. Elle a créé l’organisme sans but lucratif Trait d’union : Réseau national pour l’intégration des enfants ayant des besoins particuliers en service de garde, et elle a parcouru le Canada pour transmettre son message d’accueil. — Alistair MacLeod, Dunvegan, comté d’Inverness (à titre posthume) : M. MacLeod est réputé être l’une des plus belles voies de la littérature au Cap-Breton. La langue et la culture gaéliques, celles de ses ancêtres, l’ont beaucoup influencé et il a été en mesure de traduire l’esprit et la valeur des traditions orales dans ses histoires qui, à leur tour, ont été traduites en 17 langues. Son œuvre a été saluée de nombreuses fois, y compris en 2001 lorsque M. MacLeod a reçu le prix littéraire international IMPAC de Dublin pour son roman intitulé No Great Mischief. Le Conseil consultatif sur l’Ordre de la Nouvelle-Écosse choisit les récipiendaires parmi les nominations que présentent les citoyens de la province. Les récipiendaires de 2015 ont été mis à l’honneur lors de la 14e cérémonie d’investiture qui s’est tenue à Province House à Halifax. L’Ordre de la Nouvelle-Écosse a été créé en 2001 et il est la plus haute distinction conférée par la Province. Les récipiendaires ont le droit d’utiliser les lettres O.N.S. après leur nom.
Une interruption du système téléphonique de Bell Aliant a un impact sur le service à l’échelle de la province. Le système 911 est en mesure de recevoir des appels, mais l’interruption du service a une incidence sur la capacité des répartiteurs de transmettre les appels aux organismes appropriés. D’autres moyens tels que les téléphones cellulaires et les systèmes à liaisons radiomobiles sont utilisés pour transmettre ces appels. Tous les appels relatifs à une urgence médicale sont transmis avec succès au centre de répartition des Services de santé d’urgence. Le système 811 est aussi touché et ne peut pas recevoir d’appels. Si vous avez une urgence médicale, rendez-vous directement au service d’urgence le plus près ou composez le 911 à partir d’un téléphone cellulaire. Les réseaux cellulaires ne sont pas touchés. La cause du problème a été cernée, et Bell Aliant déploie tous les efforts nécessaires pour rétablir le service le plus rapidement possible. -30-
Legion members and guests in 15 communities across Nova Scotia will enjoy better facilities thanks to nearly $103,000 in funding support through the Legion Capital Assistance Program. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, MLA for Lunenburg, announced the funding today, Sept. 16, on behalf of Tony Ince, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Legion buildings often play significant roles in helping to strengthen communities,” said Ms. Lohnes-Croft. “They are places where veterans socialize and where communities mark some of their most important events. This funding program, created in partnership with the legion, honours our gratitude to veterans for all they have given to Nova Scotia.” The $102,889 funding will help legion branches make structural and roof repairs, upgrade washrooms, install heat pumps, and make other important improvements. The program ensures that existing community buildings remain in good condition for the benefit of the community. “I applaud the Government of Nova Scotia’s support for legion branches through the Legion Capital Assistance Program,” said Steve Wessel, president, Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command. “Cost-shared grants awarded through this program to carry out building upgrades are invaluable in assisting Royal Canadian Legion branches to remain accessible and sustainable to best serve our veterans and our communities.” The program provides up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum of $10,000. In-kind trade work may be considered as part of the organization’s share. Legions apply for funding in the spring each year. Priority is given to those with the greatest financial need while ensuring that funding is spread well across the province.
The second session of the 63rd general assembly will open at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, with the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia reading the speech from the throne. The first session will be prorogued at 11 a.m. It is necessary to prorogue the existing session to open a new session of the general assembly. -30-
New Delhi: Delhi’s satellite districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddh Nagar witnessed a marginal hike in NOTA voters in the Lok Sabha elections, accounting for 26,241 votes, according to official data.The maximum None Of The Above (NOTA) voters were from Gautam Buddh Nagar, while Gurgaon had the lowest NOTA numbers, the Election Commission data showed. Altogether Gurgaon, Faridabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad had 26,241 NOTA votes this time, up from 15,577 in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, when the choice was first made available to voters in parliamentary elections, it showed. Also Read – Cylinder blast kills mother and daughter in Karawal NagarGurgaon registered 5,389 NOTA votes (0.37 per cent of total votes cast), up from 2,658 from 2014 (0.20 per cent of total votes cast), according to the data. The ‘Millennium City’ elected BJP’s Rao Inderjit Singh with a vote share of 60.94 per cent, while Congress’ Ajay Singh got 34.24 per cent votes and BSP’s Chaudhary Rais Ahmed could manage 1.85 per cent of all votes cast. Faridabad had 4,986 NOTA votes (0.38 per cent of total votes cast), up from 3,328 from 2014 (0.29 per cent of total votes cast), it showed. The industrial hub witnessed a landslide victory of BJP’s Krishan Pal, who secured 68.9 per cent of all votes cast against Congress’ Avtar Singh Bhadana (20.72 per cent) and BSP’s Mandhir Maan (6.54 per cent). Also Read – Two persons arrested for killing manager of Muthoot FinanceGhaziabad had 7,495 NOTA votes (0.45 per cent of total votes cast), up from 6,205 from 2014 (0.46 per cent of total votes cast), the data showed. In Ghaziabad, BJP’s V K Singh alone polled 61.96 per cent of all votes cast, followed by SP’s Suresh Bansal (29.06 per cent) and Congress’s Dolly Sharma (7.34 per cent) Gautam Buddh Nagar recorded the maximum of 8,371 NOTA votes (0.60 per cent of total votes cast), up from 3,328 from 2014 (0.29 per cent of total votes cast). Here, BJP’s Mahesh Sharma secured 59.64 per cent of all votes, followed by BSP’s Satveer Nagar (35.46 per cent) and Congress’s Arvind Kumar Singh (3.02 per cent), the data showed. In these four constituencies, NOTA had better vote share than most other candidates, including independents, according to EC statistics. In Gurgaon, there were 27 candidates and NOTA ranked on the fifth spot, while in Faridabad it got the same rank among 24 candidates. In Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad, NOTA amassed the fourth-highest vote figures among 13 and 12 candidates, respectively, it showed. Results for the 17th Lok Sabha elections spread over seven phases were announced on May 23, with BJP candidates emerging victorious on 303 seats.
Sydney: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar is suing Australian sports equipment maker Spartan Sports after it allegedly failed to pay him almost $2 million. In a case filed in an Australian court, Tendulkar reportedly alleged that the Sydney-based bat maker, which has since been renamed, has failed to make payments due to the batting great. A preliminary hearing for the dispute is slated for June 26 in Sydney. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Tendulkar’s lawyers said in documents filed at the court that Spartan Sports International “failed to make any payments due to Tendulkar” and a statutory demand issued in September 2018 for $2 million has remained unpaid. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ Medvedev Tendulkar had agreed with the company in July 2016 that they will pay him a minimum of $1 million a year to use his image and promotional services to sell “Sachin by Spartan” products. The imagery included a distinctive silhouette logo on clothing and bats. Tendulkar since attended many promotional events for the company. Additionally, another company owned by the Spartan group — Spartan Sports Brands — registered a trademark in Australia featuring a “silhouette” of Tendulkar “performing his signature square cut”. Other companies in the group also used that image to sell a variety of products. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’ships In September 2018, Tendulkar terminated the agreement with Spartan and requested its companies to stop using his image. His lawyers allege that the companies “continued to make use” of the trademark logos and have continued “to manufacture, promote, sell and/or supply the products”. Tendulkar is suing a number of Spartan companies for misleading or deceptive conduct. This includes allegedly representing that he endorses its products and the Spartan brand. He is also suing them for passing off — for suggesting an official endorsement or sponsorship relationship — and breach of contract. In addition to seeking damages, he also wants the court to permanently restrain the companies from “manufacturing, marketing and selling products” and the image must either be handed over or destroyed and that the Tendulkar trademarks be cancelled.
Washington: California’s powerful Indian-origin Democratic Senator Kamala Harris has raised more than USD 23 million since she announced her presidential bid in January. Among over 20 Democratic presidential aspirants, Harris, 54, whose mother had migrated to the US from Chennai, is running neck and neck with former US vice president Joe Biden, particularly after her impressive show at the first Democratic debate held recently. Harris’s presidential campaign raised nearly USD 12 million from more than 279,000 people in the second quarter of 2019. Almost 150,000 new donors contributed to her campaign during the second quarter. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping In total, she has raised more than USD 23 million since she announced her presidential bid in January. According to a campaign statement, Harris brought in more than USD 7 million through her digital programme alone. The campaign’s average contribution was USD 39, and the average online contribution was just USD 24. Harris launched her campaign on January 21 with a promise to reject money from corporate political action committees and federal lobbyists. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang So far, Harris’ campaign has brought in nearly half a million dollars this quarter from its online store, which has already sold 1,400 ‘That Little Girl Was Me’ t-shirts that feature a now-viral photo of Harris as a young girl. This was the single best-selling item in the month of June, despite not being available until June 28. “The momentum Kamala Harris is seeing right now is buoyed by hundreds of thousands of grassroots supporters who believe in her 3 am Agenda to address the issues keeping people up at night,” said Harris campaign manager Juan Rodriguez. “As it has been from the beginning, this campaign is powered by the people. These resources will help expand Kamala’s growing strength in this primary and put her position to win the Democratic nomination, Rodriguez said. Following her commanding performance in the first debate, Harris will return to campaign in New Hampshire Sunday, July 14. At a house party in Gilford and a town hall in Somersworth, Harris will discuss her plans to deliver tangible solutions to the real challenges facing American families. A day earlier, she announced her USD 100 billion plan to invest in minority home ownership to address the racial wealth gap. The plan would affect four million home buyers who either live on rent or in historically redlined communities’ area, amend the credit reporting process and hold lenders accountable for discriminatory practices. “I will remove unfair barriers Black Americans face when they go to qualify for a home loan. I will strengthen anti-discrimination lending laws and implement stricter enforcement. And I’ll invest I’ll invest through the federal government USD 100 billion to put home ownership within the reach for those who live in redlined communities and it would help up to four million families with down payments and closing costs,” Harris said.
New Delhi: The government on Thursday introduced in Lok Sabha a bill to repeal 58 old laws which, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, are a source of inconvenience and trouble for people.Opposition members accused the government of “rushing through” bills without giving lawmakers due time to deliberate on their content. Prasad said the Narendra Modi government has already repealed 1,458 old and archaic Acts and the move to scrap 58 more laws is a part of the same exercise. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The government also rejected the opposition’s claim that members were not given adequate time to study the bill, with Prasad saying that a two-day notice was given and added that there is already a consensus that it is a good exercise. Members can debate the bill as it is only being introduced now, he said. Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the bill was discussed in detail in business advisory committee, which has members from all major parties. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KSpeaker Om Birla said he will work to ensure from the next session that members get a two-day period to study bills before they are introduced and added that British era laws should be scrapped and replaced with new legislations. Some members were heard saying that the Indian Penal Code is also a British era law. In this debate between opposition members and the ruling party, BJD’s Bhartruhari Mahtab came to the government’s rescue and said it has stuck to the agenda decided in business advisory committee. Bills were distributed among members as a supplementary agenda by previous governments, something which has not happened yet, he said. Tharoor said he was not opposed to the Repealing and Amending Bill, 2019, while the attacking the government for its “bad habit” of rushing through bills. Some of the old acts that have been repealed are the Hackney Carriage Act 1879 which was legislated for the regulation and control of hackney-carriages, Dramatic Performance Act 1876 when theatre was being used a medium of protest against the British rule. Prasad said the Centre has conveyed to states the need to repeal 225 old laws which are in their realm.
Mumbai: Four opposition Congress-NCP legislators in Maharashtra resigned from the State Assembly on Tuesday, amid talk of their joining the ruling BJP. NCP MLAs Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale (Satara), Vaibhav Pichad (Akole) and Sandeep Naik (Airoli) and Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar (Naigaon) handed over their resignation letters separately to Speaker Haribhau Bagade at the state legislature building Vidhan Bhawan in south Mumbai. I am more interested in protecting the interest of my assembly constituency,” said Bhosale, whose cousin Udayanraje Bhosale is NCP MP from Satara. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Vaibhav Pichad hails from Akole tehsil in Ahmednagar district and is the son of former NCP minister Madhukar Pichad. Vaibhav’s assembly segment adjoins that of Balasaheb Thorat, the new state Congress president. Maharashtra BJP leaders have been harping that the party aims to win at least 220 of the total 288 Assembly seats along with allies. Kolambkar is a seven-term lawmaker from Mumbai, while Shivendrasinhraje Bhosale won the Satara seat in 2014 by 47,813 votes. The four MLAs are likely to join the BJP on Wednesday, sources said. These would be the latest inductions in the BJP ahead of Maharashtra Assembly polls due in just over two months. NCP’s Mumbai unit chief Sachin Ahir recently quit the party to join the Shiv Sena, while Jaydutt Kshirsagar, NCP leader and former Maharashtra Minister, joined the Shiv Sena in May.
Satara: With the NCP witnessing desertions by a number of leaders recently, party chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday extended his “best wishes” to them and said he has experience of tackling such situation. Pawar also said local MLA Shivendrasinh Bhosale resigning and embracing the ruling BJP would have no bearing on the NCP’s Assembly poll prospects in Satara district. He exuded confidence that the NCP would retain the seat. The opposition parties in Maharashtra, particularly the NCP, witnessed its MLAs and key leaders joining the BJP and Shiv Sena last month. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ These include three NCP legislators- Bhosale, Sandeep Naik and Vaibhav Pichad- who joined the BJP along with the party’s state women wing president Chitra Wagh. Besides, its Mumbai unit president Sachin Ahir and Shahapur MLA Pandurang Barora joined the Shiv Sena last month. “My best wishes to those in the party who have other ideas (of desertion) on their minds. Such situations arise in politics sometimes and I have the experience of dealing with it,” Pawar told reporters here. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K The former Union minister said he was not concerned about the NCP’s prospects in Satara in the Assembly polls, due in September-October, after Bhosale’s decision to jump the ship. “I have received three applications (from candidates seeking the party’s poll tickets) from Satara Assembly segment. So, I am not concerned about (falling short of) candidates. The party will definitely retain the seat,” the NCP patriarch said. Pawar also said the Satara MLA had confided in him that the latter would not join the BJP. Bhosale had also sought a meeting with Satara MP and his cousin Udayanraje Bhosale, Pawar added. Shivendrasinh Bhosale and Udayanraje Bhosale are said to be sharing strained relationship. “He (Shivendrasinh Bhosale) wanted a meeting with the Satara MP. We decided we will discuss the issue after the (on-going) Parliament session is over. But he took the decision (of quitting the party) even before we could hold discussion,” Pawar said. The veteran leader also said he is clueless about how many more NCP men from Satara will quit the party. But in the same breath, Pawar added those who follow the ideology of late Deputy Prime Minister and first Maharashtra Chief Minister Yashwantrao Chavan, a Congress stalwart who hailed from Satara, will not make such a move. Noting the NCP MLAs, who switched allegiance to the BJP-Shiv Sena, contended that they were unable to carry out public works while being on the opposition benches, Pawar said it showed the ruling parties were functioning with “vendetta”.
New Delhi: The revenue department is conducting India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) at 15 ports, including sea and air, with an aim to identify and address bottlenecks in the cross border trade flow process. TRS, an internationally recognised tool advocated by World Customs Organisation, is being conducted from August 1-7, the finance ministry said in a statement Thursday. The exercise will be institutionalised on an annual basis, during the same period every year, it added. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe initiative for accountable governance will measure rule-based and procedural bottlenecks (including physical touch points) in the clearance of goods, from the time of arrival until the physical release of cargo, it added. “The aim is to identify and address bottlenecks in the trade flow process and take the corresponding policy and operational measures required to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures, without compromising efficient trade control,” the ministry said. The expected beneficiaries will be export oriented industries and MSMEs, who will enjoy greater standardisation of Indian processes with comparable international standards.