Modi 2.0 begins with farmer push
- Cabinet’s first decisions are all for the farmer community. PM-KISAN scheme to be extended to all farmer families, irrespective of size of land holdings. The Cabinet has given its nod for contributory farmer pension scheme with entry age of 18-40 years. After age 60, beneficiaries will recieve Rs. 3,000 per month as pension. The scheme aims to cover 5 crore small and marginal farmers. The govt budget for scheme: Rs. 10,775 crore over three years
- Now 14.5 crore farmers to be covered under PM-KISAN; to cost exchequer Rs. 87,000 cr annually, says Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar
- Cabinet clears pension scheme for traders; 3 crore retails traders and shopkeepers to benefit from this move, says govt
- Cabinet approves Rs. 13,343-crore programme to control diseases among livestock
Budget session likely from June 17
The budget session of Parliament is likely to be held from June 17 till July 26, in which regular budget will be presented, a senior official said on Friday.
The dates of the session were discussed at the first cabinet meeting of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government which was sworn in on Thursday.
The interim budget for the year 2019-20 was presented by then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on February 1, 2019.
Scholarships given under National Defence Fund increased
In its first decision of its second tenure, the Narendra Modi government has enhanced the amount to be paid as part of ‘Prime Ministers Scholarship Scheme’ under the National Defence Fund.
The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2,000 per month to Rs. 2,500 per month for boys and from Rs. 2,250 per month to Rs. 3,000 per month for girls.
The ambit of the scholarship scheme has also been extended to the wards of State police personnel who “were martyred during terror/naxal attacks”.
The quota of new scholarships for wards of State police personnel will be 500 in a year.
The National Defence Fund (NDF) was set up in 1962 to take charge of the voluntary donations in cash and kind received for promotion of the national defence effort, and to decide on their utilisation.
The Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme (PMSS) is being implemented to encourage technical and post-graduate education for widows and wards of the deceased or ex-service personnel of armed forces and paramilitary forces and Railway Protection Force.
Sri Lanka is looking forward to PM Modi’s visit: President Sirisena
People all over the world are congratulating PM Modi for rising to safeguarding Indian democracy, said Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena. He added that the country is looking forward to PM Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka on June 9.
Mr. Sirisena was speaking in a press conference in New Delhi. He is in the country to attend the Bilateral Meeting with BIMSTEC Nations at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
He said that presidential election has been scheduled for December 7, 2019, but none of the political parties have selected candidates. “I am not in a hurry to make up my mind,” he said.
Regarding the Easter church bombings, the President said: “I was in Singapore at the time of the attacks. A clear report had been sent by Indian intelligence agencies on April 4 to Sri Lanka. Correspondance had taken place between defence chiefs. However, from April 4 to 16, the day I left to Singapore, none of the chiefs informed me about this. I would have not left country had I known it. I removed the defence security and police chief because of this grave shortcoming.”
He goes on: “Terrorism takes many forms. In some countries there are domestic terrorists. For 30 years, Sri Lanka suffered from terrorism. We had peace for 10 years. Attack on Sri Lanka was carried out by an Islamist group. All democratic countries should join hands as terrorism hurts all countries. The objective of terrorism is to break bonds. However, in Sri Lanka the situation is under control. We have stability and peace in the country,” said Mr. Sirisena, adding that tourists have started returning to the country.
He says: “We conducted investigation into Easter Sunday blasts. We have received support of intelligence organisations of friendly countries – India, US and UK came to help us. Foreign policy of Sri Lanka relies on neutrality – we prefer mediation in resolving differences.”
Continuing about the terrorist attack, he says: “The investigation shows a terrorist group was behind the blasts. It seems an international outfit supported them. They travelled to countries abroad. Most of the people in the group, including the suicide bombers, were wealthy people…. they are young men and professionals. A few had doctorates. It is possible that they collected money for the activities from within the country.”
He assured that the Sri Lanka has not received any reports of the attackers visiting India. “We assure security for all groups in Sri Lanka. We are a vibrant democracy like India. Security and safety of all citizens will be ensured by my government, and no community will be targeted,” added Mr. Sirisena.
First-time Ministers Amit Shah, Jaishankar get key portfolios
A day after the swearing-in ceremony, the portfolios of Ministers were announced. First-time ministers Amit Shah and S. Jaishankar bagged the key Home and External Affairs portfolios respectively. Nirmala Sitharaman became the first woman full-time Finance Minister, while Rajnath Singh will be handling Defence.
Dr. Jaishankar is the second career diplomat, after Natwar Singh, to head the Ministry of External Affairs.
A new Ministry called Jal Shakti has been created and Gajendra Singh Shekawat will be handling it.
Click here to read the full list of portfolio allocations.
As Danve moves to Centre, BJP looks for new Maha president
With Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve joining the Union Council of Ministers, the State unit of the ruling party is likely to get a new face to lead it in the Assembly elections scheduled for later this year.
BJP sources said a meeting of the State unit was likely to be held soon to decide on Mr. Danve’s successor.
State ministers Chandrakant Patil (Revenue), Subhash Deshmukh (Co-operation) and Ranjit Patil (MoS Home), all hailing from the politically-significant Maratha community, are among the names being talked about in party circles for possible successor to Mr. Danve.
Maneka Gandhi likely to be pro-tem Speaker
Senior BJP leader and eight-time MP Maneka Gandhi is likely to be the pro-tem speaker in the 17th Lok Sabha, sources said. Ms. Gandhi, 62, a veteran BJP leader, had won from the Sultanpur seat in Uttar Pradesh. Sources said she has been selected to become the pro-tem speaker in the 17th Lok Sabha elections. Ms. Gandhi is the outgoing Union Minister for Women and Child Development.
T.N. fails to find a place in Ministry
With no nominee of the party making it to the Union Council of Ministers, members of the AIADMK are a disappointed lot.
In fact, it will be the first time in over 60 years that the State will have no representation in the Union Council of Ministers.
However, BJP spokesperson T. Narayanan contests this. “Nirmala Sitharaman and S. Jaishankar, both sworn in on Thursday, are from our State,” he said, expressing confidence that the AIADMK would “definitely” be accommodated at the Centre in the next round of expansion.