THE jinxed National Mineral Policy (NMP) faces yet another delay as the ministry of mines has decided to obtain the views of states on the draft amendments to the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act. With states and the Centre differing on various proposals on amending the Act, sources said that implementation of the policy may get stalled for some more time.

Manmohan Singh's four-year term in office has been resurrected in the last few months of its existence. When his government this week defeated a no-confidence motion in Parliament instigated by his former coalition partners, the communists, Indian television stations used a popular Bollywood song, "Singh Is King," as a backdrop.

Caution and consensus must be the watchwords

What the government and its leaders have not taken into account is that these reforms do not depend merely on a numerical majority in the Lok Sabha.

THE TRIUMVIRATE: Leading players in pushing ahead the reforms agenda

Newswire18 / New Delhi July 24, 2008, 0:46 IST
A Parliament panel has advised that futures trade in agricultural commodities should be discouraged as speculative trade leads to artificial rise in prices.

In its report tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the Parliament Standing Committee on agriculture said that though futures offers a good hedging mechanism, it has not benefitted small farmers in India so far.


The Indian economy is expected to have grown at 9.08 per cent in 2007-08, as against 9 per cent reported earlier, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told Parliament today even as the UPA government won the trust vote in the Lok Sabha to remain in power.

"Despite predictions of gloom and doom, I had always maintained that the year will end with a growth rate close to 9 per cent. At the end of the year we have reported 9 per cent; but more refined estimates now place the growth rate at 9.08 per cent," Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha during the debate on the trust vote.

It will be life imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 10 lakh for those found guilty of sale and production of spurious drugs in the country.
Not only this, this offence has been made non-bailable and will be heard only at the special designated court which will be set up by Centre in collaboration with state governments and the judiciary.
At present such an offence is liable to five years of imprisonment and Rs 10,000 penalty.
The Centre gave its approval on Thursday to move official amendments to the Drugs and Cosmetics Amendment Bill, 2005 which is pending in Rajya Sabha.

ALLEGING that interests of developing nations have not been addressed, the CPM on Thursday asked the Manmohan Singh government to reject the revised drafts in the WTO mini-ministerial meeting at Geneva next week. The party sought a debate in Parliament on the issue before New Delhi "yields further ground' in agriculture or Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA).

Somnath Chatterjee has refused to quit, rebuffing CPM boss Prakash Karat, who wants him to resign as Speaker of Lok Sabha before July 22 so that Chatterjee can vote against the government in the floor test. Chatterjee, whom the party expected to step down, refused to yield, telling Sitaram Yechury that he would choose the timing of when to quit.

A day after formally severing ties with the UPA, Left parties on Thursday attacked the Government for approaching the IAEA Board of Governors without proving its majority in Parliament, dubbing the move as a "shocking betrayal of moral commitment' made to the country. They vowed to make it "politically' impossible for the Government to go ahead with the nuclear deal.

With its key demands on Parliament's approval for the deal having been met by the UPA Government, the BJP is set to raise the pitch on the "unholy alliance' between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, the price rise, the farmers' issue and the Congress-led Government's "dismal record on the internal security front'. The NDA will meet here on Wednesday to discuss the alliance's future course of action.