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UPA backs economic reforms

Talking to media after the Meeting held at the Prime Ministers residence at 7 Race course here , Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has underlined the need for a number of measures to ensure there is no volatility of the Rupee and investments continue to flow into the country. Mr. Chidambaram said, it was also equally important to stimulate domestic investors, so that they invest in the nation’s economy. He said, investment is the key was underlined in the meeting today.

He said, the need to do more reforms also came up for discussion. Finance minister Chidambaram said, by and large the message had gone to the people that these measures were unavoidable and necessary. He also thanked the people for their understanding.

The meeting also discussed on how to counter the negative opposition to the important decisions of the government. The UPA Coordination Committe took place in the back drop of opposition by the BJP, against the diesel price hike, FDI in retail and other measures of the government.

The Congress working Commitee had already endorsed the decisions taken by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to improve the economic growth of the nation which would ensure more jobs and better living opportunities on a larger scale to the people of the country. Replyling to a query on withdrawal of support by the UPA ally Trinamool Congress, Mr. Chidambaram said, the UPA government has the required numbers in Parliament.

7, 00 Indian workers detained in Kuwait

Five teams of Consular officials from the Embassy will be visiting around 30 police stations in the Kuwait city today to track down the details of remaining Indian workers under detention.

The Indian workers detained in Kuwait in the visa misuse row are being provided access to the Indian embassy authorities. 650 detained Indian workers have been identified at the deportation and detention centers in Kuwait while 65 detainee have been identified at three police stations.

The exact number of Indian workers in custody will be clear only after the five teams from Indian embassy complete their visits at 30 police stations in Kuwait.

The Charge de Affairs at Indian Embassy, Mr. Vidhu P Nair told official Indian media AIR that all Indians with valid documents, whose sponsors are showing up, will be released, while the remaining may be deported to India.

Most of the detained workers are from Rajasthan who had come to Kuwait on domestic work visa, but got engaged in private industrial areas for which a separate visa is required, which is an offence in Kuwait. The other category of detained workers is those who have been residing illegally in Kuwait even after the expiry of their visa.

Around 2136 workers from different nationalities were arrested by the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry after a raid in the blue collar areas across the country on Wednesday on charges of expired residency and involvement in drug, theft, liquor and other such cases.

World Hindi conference begins in S Africa


Preneet Kaur said that India is trying its very best to make Hindi official language of the UNO. New Delhi is doing its very best to achieve this goal and it had achieved some progress. On the diplomatic level also, New Delhi is making contacts with another countries to realise the objective.


Finance Minister of South Africa told the gathering that South Africa also carries the profound memories of Mahatama Gandhi’s Association. He acknowledged the spirit of Gandhi in their struggle against apartheid and said Nelson Mandela carries the true spirit of Gandhi. He also spoke about India’s contribution in the cultural ties with South Africa.


The 9th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan is organised by Govt of India with the support of Hindi Shikhsa Sangh, South Africa. The conference will deliberate on a series of traditional and contemporary themes related to both classical and modern aspects of Hindi. The theme of the conference this year is Bhasha Ki Asmita Aur Hindi Ka Vaishvik Sandarbh.

Man shouts slogans against PM at Vigyan Bhawan

“Prime Minister go back,” the man, identified as Santosh Kumar Suman who is a member of Supreme Court Bar Association,  shouted at Dr Singh as he walked up to the rostrum to deliver his address “Conference on Economic Growth in Asia and Changes of Corporate Environment”.

The conference, organised by Indian Law Institute, was attended by legal luminaries from across Asia besides Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia and Law Minister Salman Khurshid.

The Prime Minister waited for a while at the rostrum as security officials took the lone protestor out of the plenary hall of Vigyan Bhawan, the venue of the conference

Police officials said the protester has been detained for questioning.

PM calls for creating an economic friendly environment

Inaugurating a Conference in New Delhi, on economic growth and changes of corporate environment in Asia, Dr. Singh stressed on the need for creating a climate that encourages investments and promotes inclusive and sustainable development. The Prime Minister also stressed on the responsibility of the Corporate sector in fulfilling social responsibilities to ensure inclusiveness. He stressed for maintaining highest standards in the Corporate governance by inculcating probity, transparency and accountability. The Prime Minister pointed out that inclusiveness is fundamental to sustainable development and the framers of the Indian constitution and Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar had visualized a bright and prosperous economic future for all citizens.

The prime minister said, the resistance against important economic decisions felt now, is not any different than in 1991 when the country unshackled itself from the license Raj. Reiterating the need for economic reforms, Dr. Singh said, time will prove that the hard decisions were taken in national interest.

The Prime Minster said, Asian countries are expected to become the engine of growth for the region and contribute towards economic stability in the back drop of the global slow down. Dr. Singh said, the Asian region and especially India has been able to weather the impact of the economic crisis without facing difficulties.

The Prime minister said, the Parliament is also working towards fine tuning the laws of the country to facilitate suitable economic environment and to ensure development and inclusiveness. The Prime Minister said, the government will soon bring the Companies bill in Parliament. Dr. Singh said, the Governments in Asia have the responsibility to ensure that corporate laws match up to international standards and the regulation of stock exchanges meets expectations of global investors. He said, the banking financial sectors should be exemplars of both efficiency and stability.

Dr. Singh pointed out that judicial decisions have transnational impact. He said, Judges these days are also having to also play the role of social activists, political thinkers and philosophers for the common good.

The Chief Justice of India Justice S.H Kapadia who spoke on the occasion stressed on the need for fine tuning existing laws to promote economic democracy to meet the growing aspirations of the youth. He said, without economic democracy, political democracy will be in peril in the country.

TMC Ministers resign from UPA government

Talking to media , party general secretary Mukul Roy said that he has submitted the withdrawal letter of TMC to President Pranab Mukherjee in view of the what he called the anti people decisions taken by the government.

The Ministers– Mukul Roy, Sudip Bandhyopadhay, Sultan Ahmed, Sougata Roy, Sisir Adhikary and C M Jatua — went to the Prime Minister’s 7, Race Course Road residence to submit their resignations.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday had announced her decision to withdraw support to the UPA protesting the Centre’s decisions to hike diesel prices, withdraw subsidy on cooking gas and allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed dismay over the ally’s decision in protest against allowing FDI in retail.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will address the nation through Doordarshan tonight at 8 pm. The Prime Minister’s office has confirmed that Dr. Singh will explain to the nation the recent reasons behind the decisions taken on economic reforms. Dr. Singh is expected to spell out the reasons that prompted the government to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.

He is likely to cite the difficult times facing the economy and emphasise that the step was aimed at pushing economic growth and generating employment. The thrust of the Prime Minister’s message is expected to be that the step was taken in national interest.

After the Cabinet decision on the 14th of this month, Dr.Singh had said that the step was intended to bolster economic growth and make India a more attractive destination for foreign investment. He believed that these steps will help strengthen country’s growth process and generate employment in these difficult times. He had also sought support of all segments of public opinion for this.

Sweets Can Sour Your Sexual Life

Doctors, however have found out a way for married couples to enjoy happy conjugal life.

Take less sweets, more fruits and vegetables but not fruit juices or cold drinks. Take care to see that uniformity is maintained in your target glucose levels before and after meals if you are a diabetic patient. If you are not a diabetic patient then take care you don’t become one by curbing pre-diabetes symptoms.

Stimulation of sex glands for the release of Testosterone hormones that lead to improvement of the male sexual organ may be hampered with diabetes. The condition called Hypogonadotropic  Hypogonadism was seen to be present in 36% diabetics in north India, according to a recent study the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI).

Sex glands in men called gonads or testes secrete chemical substance called Testosterone which maintains sexual functioning. Centrally, the brain sends signals for the release of LH from pituitary glands, which act as triggers for gonads to perform.

Among 200 males aged between 35 to 60 years in the study, levels of Testosterone, LH were significantly low as compared to non-diabetic group.

Diabetes expert at Maharaja Agarsen Hospital and who supervised the study, Dr Rajeev Chawla said ; “we estimate 50% to 60% of middle age men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction. The study results support the belief of high prevalence of ED in diabetics and especially because of interference at brain level in the functioning of sex glands. Correcting hormonal imbalance can help restore healthy sex life in people with diabetes.”

The study suggests Androgen Deficiency in Aging Males (ADAM) Score Test for every diabetic patient 40 years old and more.

ADAM Score Test is a questionnaire based test where the person has to answer 10 questions. It establishes early signs of erectile dysfunction.
Ten questions of ADAM Score Test are –

1.Do you have a decrease in libido?
2.Do you have a lack of energy?
3.Do you have a decrease in strength or endurance?
4.Have you lost height?
5.Have you noticed a decreased enjoyment of life?
6.Are you sad or grumpy?
7.Are your erections less strong?
8.Have you noticed a recent deterioration in your ability to play sport?
9.Are you falling asleep after dinner?
10.Has there been a recent deterioration in your work performance?

Affirmative answers to questions 1 or 7 or to any 3 other questions provide a positive case for ADAM.

Definition of control in diabetes takes a new stance with Glycemic variation being added as a vital condition to be prevented in the management of diabetes. This comes after the conclusion that fluctuating levels of glucose, even in diabetics with tight glucose control, pose a great risk for heart disease.

Calling this as need requiring urgent action, the President of the Delhi Chapter of RSSDI, Dr Rajeev Chawla said : “By Glycemic variation we mean non-uniformity in target glucose levels before and after meals in diabetic patients. This may be frequent but still can go unnoticed in control markers like glycosylated Haemoglobin (HbA1C). This variation is capable enough to cause injuries in blood vessels causing dysfunction of many associated organs or parts specially heart, eyes and kidney.”

According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India is expected to cross 100-million mark for diabetic patients by the year 2030.

Dr Chawla said “Delhi has a prevalence rate of 11% and is affecting both urban and as well as rural population. Pre-diabetes is also rampant and most importantly it is estimated that more than 35% of people with pre-diabetes get converted to T2D.”

The Secretary of the Delhi Chapter of RSSDI, Dr BM Makkar said : “Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where there is a misbalance between insulin and glucose. From lifestyle changes to therapeutic intervention, management of diabetes is to balance glucose and insulin. If any new situation arises like fasting or heavy snacking, the balance is broken and blood glucose may vary between high and low causing relative damage.”

According to Dr Makkar obesity is single most independent risk factor for diabetes and is rising in all age groups. It is a dangerous sign which needs focus on newer methods to tackle it, from programmes for patients to newer anti-obesity agents in horizon.

The National Secretary of RSSDI and Head of the Department of Endocrinology in GB Pant Hospital, Dr SV Madhu said : “As a new addition in the protocol, alongwith multi-point monitoring by doctor, patient counseling will be of utmost importance. A dietary change in diabetes is not only about avoiding sugar. Not skipping meals is as important as not taking food items with high calories or Glycemic index.”

He advocated the role of central insulin resistance and new markers associated with glucose in the body.

India has 62.4 million diabetics in 2011 as compared to 50.8 million in 2010 according to IDF and is expected to rise to 100 million by 2030. Nationwide average prevalence of T2D is 9% with Delhi at 10.9%. The prevalence is seen high in urban areas but also seen growing in rural areas. Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) is mounting with an prevalence of 9% in urban areas and 7.8% in rural areas. It is estimated that 35% of IGT will be converted to diabetics, therefore adding to the disease burden.

Opposition slams PM speech, corporate cheer

Just after the speech Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress Chief and West Bengal Chief asked : “I want to ask what is the definition of aam aadmi? Is it not becoming clear that the use of the name of aam aadmi, and misuse of power of chair. Is it to finish aam aadmi? Is it the game plan.

Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar another leader of Trinamool Congress said PM was a gentleman, a learned man. “But the Congress has no touch with the common man, though they keep talking about aam aadmi. Cut in subsidy will create problems for the middle class”.

”The Prime Minister has sought to defend the indefensible steps taken by the government. The Prime Minister has not answered how he could proceed with these measures when it does not have the support of the overwhelming majority in Parliament” CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that there was nothing new in the PM’s speech

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the Prime Minister tried to mislead the country in his speech. “He appeared advocating the interests of foreign countries and not the Indians, he leads”.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said  If PM wanted to show intent, he should have acted against corruption. Instead he has burdened the common man.

Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari said Everybody knows that a major share of petrol and diesel is imported. “But what steps has the government taken to bring down the consumption. He is accusing the Opposition of creating confusion on the issue but, in fact, Singh himself is doing so”.

D Raja, of CPI  said that the address was very very desperate. He miserably failed to answer any questions raised by common man and parties.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi while defending PM said the Prime Minister has explained each and everything as to why under the present circumstances, tough steps taken by the government were necessary. This should be appreciated by other parties.

The corporate world has welcomed the PM speech saying it was balanced and encouraging  

Chairman of the Godrej Group and president of CII, Adi Godrej termed the speech as  very balanced saying PM clearly explained that these steps were very necessary.

“His comparison with 1991 was very apt. I am impressed with the action last week and today’s speech; the government has good support. Mamata’s pullout may strengthen the government – the stock market went up and the rupee appreciated. A stronger rupee will lead to lower inflation” he said.

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw MD, Biocon said that PM gave a very cogent explanation of the urgency for reforms. He reached out to the people to explain how he can’t afford India to reach a situation like some European countries where people are losing their jobs. I wish he had done this earlier. We can’t have a prime minister who keeps large periods of silence.

PAISA PEYD PER NAHI UGTA, PM reminds common man

In a televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said: “The time has come for hard decisions. For this I need your trust, your understanding, and your cooperation,” he said on a day when the markets hit a 14-month high. (Read: Markets hit 14-month highs on reforms push).

“Money doesn’t grow on trees,” he said, defending the decision to increase diesel prices and cap the supply of subsidised cooking gas to households. Reforms like opening up the retail sector to foreign investment, he said, are vital for reversing the economic slowdown and creating jobs.

Targeting the opposition, which has said FDI in multi-brand retail will wipe out small store owners, he urged the country not to be misled “by those who want to confuse you by spreading fear and false information. He also referred pointedly to his track record as Finance Minister and the reforms he initiated during the global recession of 1991, and said “strong resolute steps” then had come to India’s rescue then.

The Prime Minister said that hard decisions have to be taken to protect the interests of common man and restore investors’ confidence in country’s economy.

Explaining the reasons for recent economic policy decisions taken by the government, Dr. Singh said the difficult decisions were taken to raise the revenues to finance programmes in eduction, healthcare, housing, rural employment and to generate jobs for the youth.

Saying that the world economy including China, the US and Europe are struggling to deal with an economic slowdown, the Prime Minister asserted that India has been able to limit the effect of the global crisis. He pointed out that revival in investor confidence domestically and globally is needed to check the fiscal deficit and price rise .

Justifying the rise is diesel prices and the cap on LPG Cylinders, Dr. Singh said that almost 80% of oil is imported and oil prices in the world market have increased sharply in the past four years. Explaining that these increased prices were not passed on to the people to protect them from hardship, he disclosed that as a result the subsidy on petroleum products grew enormously to 1 lakh 40 thousand crores rupees last year. He pointed out that if diesel prices were not hiked, the burden of subsidy on the government would have been over two lakh crore rupees this year, resulting in higher fiscal deficit. He said that this would have lead to a further steep rise in prices and domestic and foregin investors would have been reluctant to invest, interest rates would have risen and unemployment increased.

Making a case that much of diesel is used by big cars and SUVs owned by the rich and by factories and businesses, Dr. Singh asked as to why should government run large fiscal deficits to subsidise them. He said that the price of diesel was raised by just 5 rupees per litre instead of 17 rupees that was needed to cut losses on diesel. He said that taxes on petrol were reduced by 5 rupees per litre to prevent a rise in petrol prices as it is used by crores of middle class people who drive scooters and motorcycles.

Justying the cap of 6 subsidised cylinders per year, Dr. Singh said actually only this number of cylinders are used by the needy people. He said that the price of kerosene was not touched as it is consumed by the poor. He said that even after the price increase, the prices of diesel and LPG in India are lower than those in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The Prime Minister said that the total subsidy in petroleum products will still be 160 thousand rupees which is more than what is spent on health and education.

On allowing foreign investment in retail trade, the Prime Minister said that the opening of organised retail to foreign investment will benefit the farmers. He said that according to the regulations those, who bring FDI have to invest 50% of their money in building new warehouses, cold storage and modern transport systems. This will help to ensure that a one-third of our fruits and vegetables, which at present are wasted because of storage and transit losses, actually, reach the consumer. He asserted that now the wastage will go down, prices paid to farmers will go up and prices paid by the consumers will go down. He further added that the growth of organised retail will also create millions of good quality new jobs.

The Prime Minister said that though the state government are free to decide whether they want to allow FDI in Retail or not, he however cautioned that one state should not stop another state from seeking a better life for its farmers, for its youth and for its consumers.

The Prime Minister said that under UPA government for two terms, country’s economy has grown at the record annual rate of 8.2 per cent. Asking the people not to get misled by those who want to confuse them by spreading fear and false information, he said that he needs their trust and understanding to take hard decisions.

Indian Haj pilgrims to get better deal this year

According to the Consul General of India in Jeddah Faiz Ahmad Kidwai  for the first time accommodation arrangements have been made in advance for all the pilgrims.

The Haj pilgrims from India have started arriving in Madina and Jeddah. The first batch of Hajis arrived in Madina from Kolkata and in Jeddah from Ranchi on Monday. About 45,000 pilgrims will come through private tour operators.

Around 400 flights would be ferrying the Indian pilgrims from different parts of the country between 17th of September and 21st of October.

For the first time Indian Haj pilgrims are being provided with economical SIM cards with contact number of all concerned officials of the Consulate and the important numbers so that pilgrims could get all the assistance.

479 buildings have been hired to accommodate 1.25 lakh pilgrims coming through the Haj Committee of India. 60,000 housing units have been hired in Makkah and 70,000 housing units have been hired in Azizia for their stay.

For the Mina-Arafat-Muzdfalifah-Mina route, Indian pilgrims are likely to avail the train facility this year. City Check in arrangements for baggage will continue. State Bank of India, Jeddah has launched Prepaid ATM card in Saudi Riyal, the Vishwa Yatra Travel card available at all embarkation points.

In addition to a 50 bed hospital in Makkah, a 30 bed hospital has been set up in Azizia to meet the medical needs of around 70,000 Haj pilgrims who will be staying in Azizia. Bed sheets, pillow cover, bucket etc. would be supplied through an agency rather than the individual landlord.

During the Haj 2012, refilling of gas cylinders will be carried out through branch offices. A reputed agency services have been hired for cleaning, plumbing and Air Conditioning services. Online Complaint system has been put in place to redress their grievances quickly.

The Chairperson of the Haj Committee of India, Mohsina Kidwai visited Makkah, Madina and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia between 14th and 16th September to oversee the arrangements for the Haj pilgrims from India. Expressing satisfaction, she instructed the officials to ensure the service and welfare of Indian Hajis.