Government to boost public spending on infrastructure

Chennai, Jan 19 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday (January 19) said that the government will increase public spending on infrastructure in months to come. The government estimates the country needs to spend $800 billion on infrastructure to grow seven percent per annum, sharply higher than around 5.5 percent projected by the Reserve Bank of India for the current fiscal year that ends in March. Addressing Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) summit in India's southern Chennai city, Jaitley said that the public spending on infrastructure would have to increase because the old Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) model was under stress and needed to be revived. Jaitley had promised imminent changes pushing ahead key reforms such as the introduction of a nationwide sales tax. Jan 19, 2015

Entrepreneur takes up revival of wooden ceiling artwork in Kashmir

Srinagar, Jan 19 (ANI): In a bid to keep heritage of wooden ceiling art or 'Khatamband' alive in Jammu and Kashmir, a young entrepreneur revived it by using polystyrene. 'Khatamband' is an art in which small pieces of wood are fitted into each other in patterns to form the ceiling. The process is hand crafted and without using nails. Small floral or geometrical squares are fitted through tiny grooves and the entire structure then is fitted on the ceiling. However, now the art is slowly dying and entrepreneur Yaseen Yousuf Khan has taken up its revival, using polystyrene and machines instead of wood. Jan 19, 2015

Low production, high export demand ups prices of cumin

Rajkot, Jan 19 (ANI): Prices of spice cumin have shot up due to less production and high demand in foreign countries, merchants in Gujarat said. Merchants predict a further hike in cumin prices in the coming days as they foresee a sharp drop in production. They said the prices could increase by another 10 percent. The crop was severely affected due to scant rainfall in the western belt of the country. The increase in demand of Indian spice in countries like US, UK and Singapore also led to rise in prices. While consumers are net losers who are forced to pay much higher prices, farmers are happy that the low production has been offset by good prices. Jan 19, 2015

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera meets PM Modi

New Delhi, Jan 19 (ANI): Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his office on Monday. Reportedly, Samaraweera is carrying an invite for PM Modi to visit the island nation. On Sunday, Sri Lanka and India had pledged to deepen their relations and had agreed to work "closely and extensively".Ahead of his visit, Sri Lanka released 15 Indian fishermen and now no Indian fishermen are in island nation's custody. Jan 19, 2015

Salman Khan hit-and-run-case: Doctor seeks police protection

Mumbai, Jan 19 (ANI): The public prosecutor in the 2002 hit-and-run case of Bollywood actor Salman Khan said the doctor who had collected the blood samples of the actor has requested the sessions court for police protection. Gharat also said the defence advocate was not well and asked for a new date for the next hearing. He also said that two witnesses were supposed to depose in the court, but they would be present on January 22. Jan 19, 2015

Congress releases booklet of 'U-Turn' targeting Kejriwal

New Delhi, Jan 19 (ANI): Congress party on Monday released a booklet of 'U-Turn' targeting AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal on the promises which he made but failed to fulfill. Congress leader Ajay Maken said that a booklet has been compiled mentioning the u-turns taken by Kejriwal during his government. Maken said that Congress wanted the people of Delhi to decide if they wanted to give the responsibility of running the government to an irresponsible man who can only sit on protests. Maken further said that a complaint has been filed with the Election Commission from Congress' side over Kejriwal's 'bribe' statement which was like defaming the voters of Delhi. Jan 19, 2015