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Government Soon to Launch Plastic Currency Notes December 09, 2016 16:57

The government on Friday notified Parliament that a decision has been taken to print plastic currency notes and obtaining of material has started."It has been decided to print banknotes based on plastic or polymer substrate. The process of procurement has been initiated," minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply in Lok Sabha to a question whether RBI intends to print plastic currency notes in place of paper ones.The Reserve Bank for long has been thinking to launch plastic currency note after field trials.In February 2014, the government had told Parliament that one billion plastic notes of Rs 10 denomination would be started in a field trial in five cities which were selected for their geographical and climatic diversity. The selected cities were Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla, and Bhubaneswar.Plastic notes have a normal lifespan of about five years and are difficult to copy . Also, currency notes made of plastic are cleaner than paper ones. Such notes were first introduced in Australia to safeguard against counterfeiting.Replying to another question, Meghwal said "it was informed by RBI in December 2015 that they have received some banknotes of Rs 1,000 without having security thread which was printed at Currency Note Press (CNP), Nashik, on paper supplied by Security Paper Mill (SPM), Hoshangabad.An inquiry has been initiated by Security Printing and Minting Corporation (SPMCIL) and the units involved (SPM and CNP).""Major penalty charge sheet has been issued to the personnel concerned. Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated as per departmental rules," the minister said.Meghwal further said "action has been taken to strengthen quality procedure and online inspection system in a manufacturing process and special training has been given to the persons concerned to avoid such types of mistakes in future.""Additional inspections have been introduced to ensure defect-free production," he said. Also Read: Nation Wide Shut Down; Opposition Parties Join Hands to Fight Note BanBY M. DIVYA SRI

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SC Hears PILs on Demonetization Policy December 09, 2016 16:44

The Supreme Court on Friday started hearing some petitions and public interest litigation (PILs) questioning the demonetization policy of the Central government, which came into effect from November 8. Arguing for the Centre, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that "the government had taken all the necessary steps to ease inconveniences of the general public." The Supreme Court asked the Centre, "When you made the policy on demonetization, was it confidential?" Chief Justice of India TS Thakur also asked the Centre as to why the order of granting limit of Rs 24,000 per day to a person had not been complied with. While responding to the SC, the Centre asked it not to interfere with demonetization as it was a monetary policy. Demonetization is a monetary policy, a court shouldn't interfere." The Supreme Court also outlined nine questions for the adjudication to choose whether demonetization was undemocratic or not. The apex court will start the hearing on the demonetization matter again on December 14. The hearing was adjourned on Monday and moved to Friday as CJI TS Thakur was on leave. Several petitions were filed, comprising one by Vivek Narayan Sharma, against the policy that has created huge changes across the nation. The petitioners have asked the government's rationale and modus operandi behind the implementation of the policy which has reportedly created nuisance to the general public. Also Read: Govt to Remove Service Tax on All Debit & Credit Card Transactions BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Gun Battle in Kashmir, 2 Militants & 24 Year Old Youth Killed December 09, 2016 16:00

After 36 hours of an immense gun battle between security forces and militants, two militants were killed in Bijebhara area of Anantnag district of Kashmir. "The bodies of the two militants were recovered from the debris of the house at Arwani in Bijbehara area this morning after security forces blew up the building using explosives", a police official said. He said "one of the bodies was severely burnt. However, an army official said they were still sifting through the debris and a final statement on the incident will be issued once the operation was called off. One army jawan was injured in the gunfight that began in the early hours on Thursday." Security forces searched the whole area on Wednesday evening after they got information about the presence of Lashkar-e-Taiba militants there. Unfortunately, a 24-year-old youth died after being he got wounded by a "stray bullet" near the site of encounter. "Arif Shah, a resident of Sangam area of Anantnag district, was hit when security forces were dealing with a group which was indulging in stone-pelting near the encounter site", the official said. However, locals claimed that "Shah was killed in security forces action against protesters." Also Read: Pak Army Violates Ceasefire in Rajouri, 1 Soldier Killed & 3 Injured BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Akhil Akkineni to Get Engaged with Shriya Bhupal Tonight December 09, 2016 15:42

Tollywood actor Akhil Akkineni is all set to get engaged to his lady love Shriya Bhupal tonight at GVK House in Hyderabad. The ceremony is going to be a strictly family affair. Both Akkineni and Bhupal's family invited only their close friends and relatives to bless the young couple. There will be entertainment as music composer Anup Rubens will be performing live. Anup will be performing some of Akhil's favorite songs from his father Nagarjuna and brother Naga Chaitanya movies. Noted playback singers Ankit Tiwari of ‘Aashiqui 2’ fame, Chinmayi, Sameera Bharadwaj and Dhanunjay will be joining Anup. There have also been several reports that Tamannaah and Lakshmi Manchu will be performing dances at the do. Akhil-Shriya's wedding will take place in May next year and Tuscany, Italy iwhich is  said to be a destination wedding. BY M. DIVYA SRI

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IT Officials Seize Rs.100 Cr from TTD Board Member’s House December 09, 2016 10:26

The Tamil Nadu Income-Tax sleuths seized Rs 100 crore cash in which around Rs.10 crore was new Rs.2000 notes. This is probably the biggest cash seizure. Officials also seized 120 kg gold from residences and offices owned by TTD Board member J. Sekhar Reddy. Mr. Reddy is also a public works department contractor in Chennai and Vellore. I-T sources said "Mr. Reddy is the suspected benami of a top IAS official at Fort St George in Tamil Nadu and he is known as Isuka (sand) Sekhar in the sand mining circles. I-T sleuths raided eight premises in Chennai and Vellore since Thursday morning and unearthed Rs 100 crore in cash." “As of now, we have unearthed Rs 100 crore cash and 120 kg gold. Searches are still on,” I-T officials said. "Sekhar and friends were tracked via phones. The premises belong to industrialist Sekhar Reddy, his associate Srinivasa Reddy and their agents including one Prem,” said an IT official. Sources said "the raids were the fallout of monitoring of phones and following the trail of Prem, who was trying to change some gold bars. The trail led to the Reddys, who are believed to have close links to the sand mafia through sand quarrying contract jobs. Apart from premises belonging to Srinvasa Reddy in Vijayaraghava Road in T. Nagar and Sekhar Reddy in Yogabal Street in T. Nagar, the officials raided a room in a star hotel in Teynampet." The I-T officials got shocked when they found Rs 10 crore in new notes. “Of course, it cannot be done without the help of bankers. The role of bankers in the case is also being probed,” a senior income tax official noted. J. Sekhar Reddy, (47) hails from Thondan Thualsi village near Katpadi in Vellore district. He was a small-time contractor who used to lay cement on village roads. Somehow he managed to get some railway contracts through the railway union. He then started meeting  MLAs in order to get tenders for work from their constituency development fund. Years ago, he uses to stay with one of the AIADMk ministers as they were roommates. He also got access to TTD Board through his friends in the railway union. Also Read: Lok Sabha Passes the Bill to tax Money amid Chaos BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Six Storey Building Collapse in Nanakramguda, 1 Killed & 2 Injured December 09, 2016 09:51

In a shocking incident, a six-storey under-construction building collapsed at Nanakramguda on Thursday. One person died and two were critically injured. The under-construction building was located opposite Sadhura Apartments. The building was owned by Satyanarayana Singh. A woman and her two children were pulled out of the debris early morning today. According to to the officials, the mishap occurred around 9.30 pm. Workers were working on the sixth floor when the mishap took place. The GHMC was informed immediately. Rescue teams were not able to reach the location and got delayed due to heavy traffic at Gachibowli. Many local residents assisted the GHMC rescue team to rescue those stuck in the debris. Two earthmovers were called to clear the debris. Five 108 ambulances and two from a nearby corporate hospital were sent to the spot. The Cyberabad police and Emergency personnel are still working to pull out the bodies out. The building collapsed due to the poor quality of construction, illegal floors and two illegal cellars and excavation works in the neighboring plot. GHMC officials said that "an excavation work up to 40-foot depth was being carried out by Swagruha Ventures in the neighboring plot. This is believed to have weakened the building’s foundation." (Video Source: NTV Telugu) Also Read: Baby pulled out of rubble, 3 days after building collapsed BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Chiru’s Upcoming Flick ‘Khaidi No. 150’ Teaser Released Today December 08, 2016 18:36

Mega Star Chiranjeevi's 150th film 'Khaidi No. 150' has already created a huge craze among chiru fans. There is a good news for all fans. The much-awaited teaser of 'Khaidi No. 150'  was released today. Ram Charan, is the producer for his dad's 150th movie. The movie has been produced under the banner of Konidela Production. The actor-turned-producer confirmed the news. The teaser will be screened along with his son's film 'Dhruva' which is going to release on December 9. Producer Ram Charan announced the news about the teaser's release on his official Facebook handle of Konidela Production. He said: “Dad’s ‪#KhaidiNo150Teaser from 6PM TODAY. Subscribe to Konidela Production Company Youtube Channel here. 'Khaidi No. 150' is an official remake of 2014 Tamil hit film 'Kaththi'. The film is scheduled to be released on January 13, 2017. Video: Also Read: "I started my career with her"-Hema Malini on Jayalalithaa BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Fire Accident in William Jute Mill in Kolkata, No Casualties Reported December 08, 2016 18:11

A shocking incident, a fire broke out in the Shibpur Fort William jute mill in Howrah district of West Bengal in the morning. The reason for the mishap is because an oil storage tank caught fire. The Shibpur police station has taken control of the situation. Five fire tenders are still trying to extinguish the fire. As the mill had sprinklers, they got activated as soon as the first cloud of smoke emerged. This led to less damage to the goods. Officials said "initially, the fire got spread rapidly but now the situation is under control. No causalities have been reported till now and the police is investigating the cause of the fire." The Kolkata Jute mills were affected hugely because of  demonetization drive. Now the fire is an added blow as many poor people are working in the mill. More Details Awaited... Also Read: Fire Breaks out at Delhi Sadar Bazar BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Gunfight in Kashmir, 3 LeT Militants Killed December 08, 2016 17:40

In yet another battle between security forces and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, three militants were killed on Thursday. The gunfight took place for six hours in Kashmir, which led to protests across the south of the valley. All the mobile phone and internet services were suspended in many parts of south Kashmir in order to prevent rumours and details being spread about the counter-insurgency operation through social media. Police said, "the slain militants were all Kashmiris and apparently belonged to south Kashmir." "Three local militants of LeT have been killed. But a search operation is still going on," a police officer said. As soon as the news about the killings got viral, clashes erupted between protestors and security forces. The protesters even tried to enter the gunfight site in Arwani village of Anantnag, which is located some 40 km south. The clashes also led to protestors throwing a stone at the security forces. Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana said to be one of the most wanted militants in the state. He was earlier rumored to be among the the militants. Locals said "he escaped from the hideout in Arwani which lies close to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's ancestral Bijbehara town." But security officials neither confirmed nor denied if he was among the militants trapped since Wednesday night. Police said, "security forces surrounded the village late on Wednesday following a tip off about the presence of militants inside the hideout." "As security forces tightened the cordon, some gunshots were heard. But after that there was no exchange of fire," the officer said. He said "the gunfight intensified in the morning after militants started firing at the security forces.Mobile phone and internet services were suspended in south Kashmir Anantnag district as the gunfight raged." The authorities did not formally confirm whether the mobile phone operations were really suspended or not. They told IANS "the action had been taken to check the spread of rumours in the area." Also Read: Gunfight Breaks out in J&K 1 Terrorist Killed & 2 Army Men Injured BY M. DIVYA SRI

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Govt to Remove Service Tax on All Debit & Credit Card Transactions December 08, 2016 16:34

In order to promote digital transactions, the government is going to remove service tax on debit and credit card transactions of up to Rs 2,000. With another add on, the government declared that those who purchase petrol through debit or credit card, they all will get 0.75% discount. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said "Insurance cover worth Rs 10 lakh for those who book railway tickets online". "The government has decided to exempt services by an acquiring bank to any person in relation to settlement of an amount up to Rs 2,000 in a single transaction transacted trough credit, debit card or other payment card service," sources said. Finance minister Arun Jaitley will hold a meeting in Parliament in order to inform everyone. Huge cash crunch is being seen in the country following demonetisation of old high value notes. People are lining up outside banks and ATMs for withdrawing money. The government is taking  several steps in order to promote cashless or digital transactions. This will take India towards a less-cash economy. Recently, the government also asked all banks to introduce additional 10 lakh PoS terminals by March 31 in different parts of the country. Also Read: ICICI hikes ATM charges BY M. DIVYA SRI

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