In a major setback to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday directed the ruling BJP to stop organising government functions en route her ‘Gaurav Yatra’ being held in the run-up to the State Assembly elections due in December this year. The court termed the holding of public functions during the yatra as an “abuse of power”.Allowing a public interest writ petition, a Division Bench led by Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog ruled that no public functions sponsored and financed by the State would be held during Ms. Raje’s yatra, which has so far covered the Mewar and Marwar regions and will resume from Bikaner district on Thursday.The PIL, filed by lawyer Vibhuti Bhushan Sharma and social activist Sawai Singh, alleged misuse of the government machinery and challenged the expenditure from the treasury for the yatra which is a BJP programme ahead of the Assembly elections. BJP president Amit Shah had flagged off the yatra from Charbhuja temple in Rajsamand on August 4.Taking note of an August 1 order issued to the Public Works Department for making arrangements, which has since been withdrawn, the court said the initial attempt by the government was a “palpable abuse of the State’s executive power to directly help a political party, i.e. the BJP”.The court observed that the State-financed programmes were so intermingled with the ‘Gaurav Yatra’ that it was impossible to segregate one from the other. “If the leader of a political party who happens to be the Chief Minister inaugurates public functions, the understanding would be glorification of the political party and not the achievements by the government.”The 12-page judgment relied on the Supreme Court’s decisions in two cases related to public-funded government advertisement campaigns, while holding that under the cover of the notices inviting tenders without listing works to be executed with detailed description, the State government was spending money for erecting public platforms from where the CM was addressing the political rallies.Caught on wrong foot The BJP government was caught on the wrong foot during the hearing, when the petitioners had claimed that a tender of ₹23 lakh was floated for the yatra in Sirohi district on the pretext of a “development exhibition for a VIP visit”, even when the matter was sub-judice. The court had sought a reply from the State government on the issue.The State government had earlier claimed during the hearing that the yatra was being organised by the BJP and no public money were being spent on it. It stated that the administration was only providing security to the CM and her Cabinet colleagues as per the protocol during the march, which was being taken out to apprise the people of the government’s welfare schemes.The BJP had also submitted an affidavit in compliance with the high court’s direction with the details of expenditure made during the yatra’s first phase. The affidavit stated that an expenditure of ₹1.10 crore was undertaken for the yatra.The Congress has welcomed the high court’s judgment, describing it as a “historic verdict [which] has shown mirror” to the BJP government. Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot said Ms. Raje’s yatra was a “gimmick”, on which the public money had been wasted for reaping political benefits. The issue of alleged misuse of public money during the yatra was also briefly raised on the opening day of the Rajasthan Assembly’s monsoon session on Wednesday.
Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Camson willing to apologize to Almazan, says elbow wasn’t intentional PBA IMAGESMagnolia used a late run to escape Phoenix, 97-91, and keep its winning streak going in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Saturday night at Cuneta Astrodome.The Hotshots closed the game on a 13-2 in the last 3:01 to erase an 89-84 deficit and chalk up their third consecutive victory.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was all about mental toughness to win, perseverance and desire in the end,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “We knew Phoenix will bounce back after their loss and we expected this kind of game.”Rafi Reavis was instrumental in just his second game back from injury as he wound up with 11 points, all of which came in the final frame, 11 rebounds and three blocks for Magnolia, which climbed to 4-1 just half a game behind idle league-leader San Miguel Beer in the standings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutReavis was at the right place at the right time for the game-sealing basket after picking up Paul Lee’s air ball and laying it in for a 95-91 lead with only 12.8 seconds left.The Hotshots held the Fuel Masters, who blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, to without a field goal in the final three minutes. View comments Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers LATEST STORIES MOST READ Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Lee led all scorers with 20 points while Ian Sangalang added 16 points and seven rebounds for Magnolia, which out-rebounded Phoenix, 55-39, thanks to Marc Pingris’ game-high 17 boards.Sangalang put his team ahead, 91-89, with a jumper from the free throw line with 1:05 remaining before Lee made it a four-point game, 93-89, with 42.1 ticks to go.Magnolia also drew a stellar showing from Rome dela Rosa, who contributed 17 points and four rebounds.Gelo Alolino had 19 points while Matthew Wright scored 17 for the Fuel Masters, who slipped to 2-3 after suffering their second setback in a row.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
Real Madrid The Neymar effect: Real Madrid slap astronomical buyout clauses on stars to avoid Barcelona’s fate Alberto Piñero Last updated 2 years ago 21:28 30/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(22) Getty composite Real Madrid Primera División Isco Marcelo Karim Benzema The Blancos are taking steps to ensure a big-spending side can’t catch them off guard – like PSG did to their rivals in August Real Madrid have signed several big-name players to contract renewals in September – and have taken a significant step to avoid the fate of rivals Barcelona while doing so. Barca were caught off guard by Paris Saint-Germain when the French club activated Neymar’s buyout clause of €222m – a figure the Catalans thought to be prohibitive. PSG 9/2 to win Champions League Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. It shocked the football world, more than doubling the existing world record-transfer fee and left Barcelona in transfer disarray as they frantically tried to replace him in the last three weeks of the summer window.Their rivals weren’t unaffected either. They realised that European clubs’ riches could lead to them being caught unawares in future and, in the following eight weeks, signed several of their top stars to new deals that include astronomical release clauses. During September, the Blancos signed Isco, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Karim Benzema, Marcos Llorente, Raphael Varane and Marco Asensio to new deals.Asensio was the most recent to pen fresh terms, as he inked a contract through 2023 on Thursday. With those new contracts came buyout clauses that are designed to turn back even Europe’s most extravagant spenders. Benzema’s release clause was set at an eye-watering €1 billion, with Isco and Asensio at €700m each, Carvajal at €350m, and Varane, Marcelo and Llorente all at €200m.All seven players are now tied to Madrid through at least 2021 and with their release clauses set, they all appear destined to stay at the Bernabeu for the long haul. PLAYER BUYOUT CLAUSE CONTRACT EXPIRES Karim Benzema €1 billion 2021 Isco €700m 2022 Marco Asensio €700m 2023 Dani Caravajal €350m 2022 Raphael Varane €200m 2022 Marcelo €200m 2022 Marco Llorente €200m 2022 Madrid are off to a lacklustre start in La Liga, but will look to get their second league win in a row when they host Espanyol on Sunday. Meanwhile at Camp Nou, Barcelona are still waiting for Lionel Messi to put pen to paper on his new contract, which has been verbally agreed but not signed.Messi’s buyout clause on his existing contract is €300m, far less than many of his Santiago Bernabeu rivals and potentially exposing him to a January bid from a Champions League rival.
Buyers of petrol and diesel vehicles may have to pay an extra green cess as the government is planning to tweak its electric and hybrid vehicles promotion strategy.The government plans to revamp the Fame-India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicle) scheme to shift the focus away from subsidies, according to reports.The scheme under which the government has disbursed Rs 305 crore to about 2.6 lakh vehicles is set to end on March 31, 2019. The government launched it on April 1, 2015, initially for two years. It extended the scheme four times, each time by six months, after the initial period ended on March 31, 2017.The scheme has so far helped save 3.75-crore litres of fuel preventing the release of 9.37-crore kg of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.Though the government earlier indicated it would launch Fame-2 once the current period of extension end on March 31, 2019, it is yet to release the details. Instead, it has been pushing the production of lithium-ion batteries that are necessary for electric vehicles.The new approach will be to use the funds raised from the green cess to provide infrastructural incentives to producers of electric and hybrid vehicles, news reports say. The calculation is that increasing cost of owning petroleum-fuelled vehicles will encourage prospective owners to look at electric and hybrid options.This will help the authorities reduce the direct subsidy on electric and hybrid vehicles, including two and three-wheelers, under the Fame scheme.”Instead of increasing the finance department’s burden of providing subsidies to electric vehicle buyers through a timeless scheme of incentives, the government is actively considering putting a green tax on all petrol and diesel cars,” MoneyControl website reported quoting a source.The subsidies that the government pays range from Rs 7,500 on low-power electric scooters to Rs 61 lakh on hybrid buses and nearly Rs 1 crore on fully electric buses.The sales of electric vehicles have begun to pick up only from mid-2017. Automakers have been reluctant to launch bigger cars and SUV powered by an electric motor because of the high initial cost that might deter buyers.”An additional Rs2,000 or Rs2,500 on a car or Rs300 on a two-wheeler will not put any significant burden on the buyers, but will generate a huge corpus for the government,” the source said.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Thursday proposed to provide buses for schools in DhakaFinance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Thursday proposed to provide buses for schools in Dhaka.He told the parliament, students using their family cars contribute to the traffic jam in the capital. “Most of the schools in Dhaka do not provide buses.”He expressed hope that the dedicated bus service would promote safer and easier commute as in developing countries.Muhith added, “Concession or exemption of duties will be considered on importation of school buses”.
Baltimore’s City Council has given final approval to $660 million in public financing for Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s mixed-use waterfront development.Artist’s rendition of what the Port Covington Project would look like after completion. (Courtesy photo)The council voted 12-1 on Sept. 19 to approve the public financing package for Port Covington. The $5.5 billion development will have offices, homes, restaurants, green space and a new campus for Under Armour, a sportswear company.Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is expected to sign the legislation.