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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cabinet approves to declare Andaman set of ports as major port

ANI, New Delhi, 4 March : The Indian Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal of the Shipping Ministry to declare Andaman and Nicobar set of ports as major port and establish the Andaman and Nicobar Port Trust with its headquarters at Port Blair.
The cabinet also approved to extend the applicability of the provisions of the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 to Andaman and Nicobar set of ports. The Cabinet also approved the proposal to disband the Port Management Board and transfer its establishment to the proposed Andaman and Nicobar islands Port Trust and to bifurcate the Andaman and Lakshadweep harbour works and transfer a part of its establishment to the A and N Port Trust and to take consequential actions with reference to the above declaration.
The establishment of the Major Port Trust at Andaman and Nicobar islands is expected to give attention to the development of the backward areas of the island group by increasing commercial activities, encouraging tourism, attracting foreign direct investment, supporting Tsunami rehabilitation programme and undertaking various developmental and welfare activities permitted under the provisions of the Major Port Trust Act, 1963.
It will also supplement the capacity requirement of the Major Port Trust in the country; safeguard the country’s strategic interest besides encouraging cruise tourism.

Bangladesh govt keen on South Asian regional connectivity
Dhaka, 4 March : Officials from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan may meet soon to chalk out plans for closer regional connectivity following an understanding reached between Dhaka and New Delhi.
Direct transport services would allow movement of people and of goods into each others' markets. This was discussed when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was in New Delhi in January. "Such a meeting can pave the way for understanding and working out a modality for introduction of something like direct bus services. Bangladesh or Bhutan can convince India to agree to transit for the land-locked Himalayan state," New Age newspaper Thursday quoted an unnamed senior official as saying.
The Prime Minister's Office here has asked the ministries concerned to expedite the process of implementation of the decisions made at the Bangladesh-India New Delhi summit.

Maoists ultimatum : Free our leader or face consequence
Kolkata, 4 March : The Maoists have threatened to start a full-scale offensive against the government if their leader Venkateshwar Reddy alias Telugu Deepak is not released by 5 pm on 6 March.
Telugu Deepak was arrested by the CID on 3 March at Sursuna bus stand in Kolkata. According to the Police Deepak was in-charge of Maoist operations in West Bengal and was close to Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishenji. Telugu Deepak has been blamed of planning the attack in Sildha in West Bengal on 15 February, in which 24 jawans of the Eastern Frontier Rifles (EFR) lost their lives.
ULFA vice-chairman release from jail
Guwahati, 4 March : In a further boost to initiating peace talks with the proscribed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), the outfit’s ‘vice-chairman’ Pradeep Gogoi was on Thursday released on bail from the central jail here.
Emerging out of the jail, Gogoi told waiting newsmen that he will play any role assigned by his group in the peace process. “The course of action to be adopted in taking talks forward will be decided by the collective leadership of ULFA,” he said. Gogoi, however, reiterated that jailed leaders must be freed if talks are to be taken forward. He is the second ULFA leader to be released on bail in two weeks. ‘Publicity secretary’ Mithinga Daimary was earlier released on 26 February.
The ULFA leadership, most of whom are in jail here, had refused to initiate talks ‘with handcuffed hands’ and Gogoi’s and Daimary’s release is being constructed as a first step by the government in the talks direction. Photo : Chinmoy Roy

Be careful while preparing NPR : Chidambaram tells DMs
PTI, New Delhi, 4 March : The Government on Thursday asked district magistrates posted along the Indo-Bangladesh border to guard against people from across the border that may try to enroll their names in the National Population Register (NPR).
Home Minister P Chidambaram said there have been some instances in border areas where people from across the border have tried to get themselves enrolled in the NPR, which will be updated across the country beginning April one. "There is a danger, mostly in Indo-Bangladesh border -people crossing over and get enumerated in the NPR," he said addressing the All India Conference on National Population Register here.
The India-Bangladesh border is 4095 km long. The enumeration exercise will cover all 35 states and Union Territories and the country's 1.2 billion citizens living in 7,742 towns, 6,08,786 villages and 24 crore households involving 25 lakh government employees.
Export-import through Benapole land port stops again
UNB, Benapole, 4 March : Export-import activities between Bangladesh and India through Benapole land port came to a halt again today morning.
Benapole Customs Cargo officer Debashis Chandra said trading through the land port remained suspended due to the conference of the CPIM backed labour organisation. General Secretary of Petrapole C&F Agents Welfare Association Kartik Chandra said trading through the land port remained suspended as the labourers are reluctant to join duties due to the conference.

Govt is working to ensure transparency by using ICT : PM
Dhaka, 4 March : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the present government is working to ensure transparency, accountability and good governance, by utilising information technology as tools for implementing the ‘charter of change’.
She said this while inaugurating the Digital Innovation Fair at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre in the capital. She expressed the hope that the ICT would help to ensure transparency and accountability of the government and establised rule of law, stamping out corruption from the country. The fair have been organised in order to reach the government services to the people’s doorsteps in short time, the prime minister said. She further said people will not have to go door to door of the administration for getting government service. "Service will reach at the people’s doorsteps".
Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken up measures to bring the entire country under e-governance to strengthen the telecommunication system of the country.

RAB arrest Facebook share tipster for manipulating S Exe.
AFP, Dhaka, 4 March : A Dhaka-based Facebook stocks tipster with over 10,000 followers has been arrested on charges of illegally manipulating Bangladesh's overheated stock exchange, police said Thursday.
Mahbub Sarwar, 26, a prolific blogger who provided online stock tips through the popular social networking site, will be charged with market manipulation, Mohammad Sohel, spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion police force told AFP. READ FULL STORY AT BENGAL NEWZ/ FACEBOOK
Sonia backs Pranab, signals support for fuel price rise
Reuters, New Delhi, 4 March : Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling Congress party, backed Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday, effectively signalling her support for a move to raise taxes on fuel, lawmakers said.
The budget move to raise fuel prices for the first time since July has met with anger from both the opposition and government allies, underlining the challenge in cutting the fiscal deficit from a 16-year-high of 6.9 % of GDP.
Gandhi, widely seen as running the government from behind the scenes, has a history of supporting populist measures, so her stand was being seen as a test of how far the government will push reforms to liberalise state-regulated sectors like fuel.

Maoists again gun down CPI(M) local committee member
Jhargram, 4 March : Maoists gunned down a CPI(M) local committee member and zonal president of the party's youth wing DYFI at Kendboni khal in Jhargram area of West Midnapore district today.
Swapan Mondal (38), the CPI(M) local committee member of Harda and Belpahari panchayat samiti member besides being the DYFI president for Belpahari zone, was on his way home at Belebera village when he was stopped by armed Maoists and gunned down, police said.
Bangladesh's CID gets 3 months more for 21 August probe
Dhaka, 4 March : Bangladesh's Criminal Investigation Department on Thursday got three more months to submit the probe report in one of the two 21 August grenade attack cases.
ANM Bashir Ullah of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court Dhaka allowed the time after the investigation officer (IO) sought four more months to submit the report in the case filed under the Explosive Substances Act. IO Abdul Kahar Akond pleaded for the time on Thursday saying he could not complete the investigation in due time. Earlier on 5 January this year, the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court gave CID two more months to submit the probe report.
Twenty-three Awami League leaders and workers were killed and over 300 maimed in the incident. AL President Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack.

Khagrachhari OC stand released in connection with 23 Feb's violence
Rangamati, 4 March : The officer-in-charge of Khagrachhari Sadar Police Station was stand released on Thursday in connection with 23 February violence that killed one and injured 50 others.
Police Super office sources said the action was taken against OC Shariar Khan following an order by Additional Inspector General of Police (Admin) Nabo Bikrom Kishor Tripura in the early hours of Thursday. Asked, Superintendent of Police Abu Kalam Siddique confirmed the matter but he declined to make any comment.
5,000+ Bangladeshi NGOs apply for govt's Climate Funds
Dhaka, 4 March : As many as 5,000 non-government organisations have applied for fund to the Bangladesh government to fight adverse impacts of climate change, a parliamentary body disclosed yesterday.
At a discussion over the usage of the climate change fund, the parliamentary standing committee on environment and forest ministry formed a five-member sub-committee to oversee the utilisation of the fund by NGOs. The government has decided to sanction Tk 100 crore for NGO initiatives from its Tk 400 crore climate change fund, Abdul Momin Talukder, chief of the parliamentary body told reporters after the meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban.
Cashew nut industry promotes employment in rural Tripura
ANI, Agartala, 4 March: There is an increasing demand for cashew nuts both in the domestic and international markets and this has enabled Tripura's emerging cashew nut industry to generate employment in the rural areas.
Tripura is one of the major cashew nuts producing states in the country. ashew Nuts processing units have mushroomed across the state as a result of its high demand across the country. Maa Tara Cashew Processing Industry' in Ashwini Market West Tripura is one such unit.he venture was set up six years ago with financial help from the government.
Currently the unit's output is nearly 150-160 metric tones and it is generating good profits. Speaking to ANI, Maa Tara Cashew Processing Industry, manager, Sisir Sarkar said: "We collect raw cashew and do the processing in our factory, which runs around ten months a year with the help of around 100 local village women workers."
The unit has helped generate employment especially for women and this has brought about a major change in their lives. Tripura over a period of time has emerged as a cashew nut production hub.