Trump slams India for high import tariffs on Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are on display at the company’s headquarter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US, February 7, 2018.

President Donald Trump today criticised India for imp\Ro sing high import duty on the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycles and threatened to increase the import tariff on “thousands and thousands” of Indian motorcycles to the US. | Today’s Paper

During a discussion with members of the Congress on the steel industry, Trump said the recent decision of the Indian government to reduce the tariff from 75 per cent to 50 per cent was not enough and asked that it should be reciprocal, as the US imposes “zero tax” on the import of motorcycles.

“We have so many countries where we made a product, they make a product, they pay a tremendous we pay a tremendous tax to get into their countries motorcycles, Harley Davidson it goes into a certain country. I wont mention the fact that it happens to be India, in this case,” the US president said amidst laughter from the audience.

Trump also indirectly referred to the recent conversation he had with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

“And a great gentleman called me from India and he said, we have just reduced the tariff on motorcycles, reduced it down to 50 per cent from 75, and even 100 per cent,” Trump said, in an apparent reference to his last week’s conversation with Prime Minister Modi.
“.. If you are Harley Davidson, you have 50 to 75 per cent tax, tariff to get your motorcycle, your product in. And yet they sell thousands and thousands of motorcycles, which a lot of people dont know, from India into the United States. You know what our tax is? Nothing,” he told the lawmakers and his Cabinet colleagues.
Trump once again pitched for a “reciprocal tax” on countries that he says “abuse” their trade relationships with the US.

“So I say we should have reciprocal taxes for a case like that. Im not blaming India. I think its great that they can get away with it.

I dont know why people allowed them to get away with it. But theres an example thats very unfair. And I think we should have a reciprocal tax,” the US president said.
Trump has floated the idea of a reciprocal tax in the past, promising to slap it on countries, including allies, that take advantage of the United States and its huge market.

“That’s called fair trade. It’s called free trade. Because ultimately, what’s going to happen — either we’ll collect the same that they’re collecting, or, probably, what happens is they’ll end up not charging a tax and we won’t have a tax. And that becomes free trade,” Trump said.

Imported motorcycles from high-end brands, including Harley Davidson and Triumph, are set to get cheaper as the government slashed customs duty to 50 per cent.

Earlier, import of motorcycles with engine capacity of 800cc or less used to attract 60 per cent duty, while those with capacity of 800cc or more attracted 75 per cent duty.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), through a notification on February 12, has slashed the duty on both these variants of motorcycles imported as completely built units (CBU) to 50 per cent.

Indian industry experts said the import duty rates have been rationalised for these motorcycles as it has been an industry demand for long and such high-end bikes are not manufactured in India currently.

In Pics: On Army day, three service Chiefs pay tribute to martyred soldiers

Army Day is celebrated annually on January 15

army day

On the 70th Army Day, Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Naval Staff Sunil Lanba, and Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa paid tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti in New Delhi on Monday.

The day commemorates the valiant soldiers for their sacrifice to the nation and its citizens.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to extend greetings to the soldiers and their families and paid salute to the army.

army day

“On  Army Day, I convey greetings to the soldiers, veterans and their families. Every citizen of India has unwavering trust and pride in our Army, which protects the nation and is also at the forefront of humanitarian efforts during times of natural disasters and other accidents,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

In another tweet, he said, “Our Army always puts the nation first. I salute all those great individuals who sacrificed their lives while serving the nation. India will never forget our valiant heroes.” | Today’s Paper

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also honoured the courage and bravery of the soldiers.

“On #ArmyDay we remember the indomitable courage and supreme sacrifices of our soldiers & salute their exemplary dedication & bravery. #ArmyDay2018,” Jaitley wrote on Twitter.

Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore posted, “Salute to band of brothers.

Nation first, always and every time. #ArmyDay.”

Paying tribute to the soldiers, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi wrote, “We salute the valour, courage and sacrifice of our brave jawans on #ArmyDay. Your perseverance defends our freedom; your dedication shields our liberty. It’s because of your sacrifices a billion hopes and dreams can take shape.”

Union Minister Smriti Irani posted, “On Army Day, a grateful Nation salutes the courage and spirit of selfless service of our armed forces personnel.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also took to Twitter and wrote, “Let’s salute our real heroes for their indomitable courage, valour, ultimate sacrifice and dedication towards the NATION. #ArmyDay.”

Army Day is celebrated annually on January 15.

PM Modi flags off first Hyderabad Metro train from Miyapur, takes a ride

Commercial operations of the Metro project will begin November 29, Hyderabad Metro Rail officials said

PM Modi flags off first Hyderabad Metro train from Miyapur, takes a ride

Today’s Paper : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated first phase of 30-km stretch Hyderabad Metro Rail project, touted as the world’s largest public-private partnership (PPP) in the sector. Commercial operations of the Metro project will begin November 29, Hyderabad Metro Rail officials said.

After inaugurating the first leg of Hyderabad Metro project from the Miyapur metro rail station on Tuesday, PM Modi took a ride in the metro.

The project has overcome many hurdles such as default by the first concessionaire Maytas Infra-led consortium and subsequent developments, crucial land acquisition by the state government and logjam for some time over route alignment, among others.

Here is the timeline of the project.

May 2007: Formation of Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited.

September 2008: Concession Agreement signed between Andhra Pradesh Government (undivided) and Maytas Metro Ltd (MML).

July 2009: Termination of CA with MML and invoking of Bank Guarantee for Rs 60 crore (plus Rs 11 crore).

July 2010: Financial Bids (RFP) opened for the second time.

September 2010: Concession Agreement signed with LTMRHL (L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited).

January 2011: Allotment of 104 acres of land at Uppal.

March 2011: Financial Closure, submission for Escrow, Substitution Agreement, Common Loan Agreement.

March 2012: Handing over of Miyapur Depot land (104 acres) to LTMRHL.

April 2012: Commencement of ground works by the concessionaire.

May 2012: Appointment of Keolis as O&M contractor by LTMRHL.

November 2012: Formal inauguration of Metro Rail works by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh (undivided).

May 2013: Final approval of Viability Gap Funding of Rs 1,458 crore by the Centre.

September 2014: Notification of the alignment of three corridors of Hyderabad Metro Rail project under Central Metro Acts by the Centre.

January 2015: Approval of Signalling and Telecom system of HMR project by Railway Board.

Click here to read → Hyderabad Metro Train

Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls: BJP, Cong slug it out for 68 seats today

Political observers say the contest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is neck and neck as there is no clear wave in favour of any party


Today’s Paper : Sixty-eight Assembly seats will on Thursday go to the polls in a single phase in Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP is determined to take power. Officials said everything was in place for a smooth conduct of the polling in 7,525 booths.

A total of 5.025 million electorate, including 1.9 million women and 14 transgenders, will decide the fate of 338 candidates including 19 women. The vote count will be held on December 18 along with those of Gujarat.

The CPI-M has fielded candidates on 14 seats while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which made its debut in the hill state in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, has preferred to stay away.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017

Political observers say the contest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is neck and neck as there is no clear wave in favour of any party.

It is literally a do-or-die battle for both the Chief Ministerial faces. Both are struggling for their political survival.

One is veteran Congress leader and incumbent Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, 83, who is pushing hard to get to the helm for the seventh time.

The other is the BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal, 73, who is making a strong bid to ensure the party’s win with a record margin to silence his detractors within the party.

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017

 For almost two decades, both the parties in the state have fought almost every Assembly and Lok Sabha polls under their leadership.

“This time, Virbhadra Singh is fighting on two fronts — one is to establish his son Vikramaditya Singh, who is contesting his maiden Assembly election, and the second is to ensure the party’s repeat as he forced the Congress to announce him as the Chief Ministerial candidate despite all odds,” a political observer told IANS.

PM launches Gujarat’s Ro-Ro ferry: Here’s why it’s revolutionary for India

By linking South Gujarat and Saurashtra and allowing vehicles with passengers aboard, the service will save travel time and fuel and clear congested roads

Narendra Modi

Today’s Paper : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of the the Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service between Saurashtra and the South Gujarat region.

Here are the highlights of Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service:

  1. Ghogha-Dahej Ro-Ro ferry service is a Rs-615 crore project, covering 31 km between Ghogha in Bhavnagar and Dahej in Bharuch district across the Gulf of Khambhat.
  2. The idea of the ferry service was first conceived in early 1960s. The foundation stone for current works was laid by Modi in 2012 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
  3. When operational, the service is expected to reduce the travel distance between Saurashtra, locate in the western region of the state and South Gujarat by 360 km, saving time and money for people frequently travelling between the two regions.
  4. The facility will also reduce travel time by at least five hours.
  5. Many working in the diamond cutting and polishing hub of Surat in South Gujarat belong to the Saurashtra region and the service is expected to come as a boon for them.
  6. In the first phase, only passenger services would begin, while after the completion of the second phase, light vehicles can also be carried aboard the ferries.
    Official sources claim that the second phase will be commissioned by the end of January 2018.
  7. In the final phase, the ferries would also have facility to carry trucks between the two regions.

Ghogha (Gujarat), Oct 22 (ANI): On his third visit in a month to Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched Gujarat’s RO-RO ferry service . PM Modi described the RO-RO ferry service as his dream project, which will cut down the travel time between Ghogha in Bhavnagar district and Dahej in Bharuch to over five hours. He will be launching a slew of other development projects during the day.

Sitharaman’s charm may break India-China ice after Doklam: Chinese media

The light-hearted exchange saw Sitharaman greeting Chinese soldiers ‘Namastey’, to which they responded with ‘Ni Hao’


Today’s Paper : The state-run Chinese media has hailed the recent friendly exchange between Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Chinese troops at the Sino-Indian border in Nathu-la on Saturday, terming it as the most ‘warmhearted scene’ ever since a truce was called on the Doklam stand-off.

The Global Times, in an editorial, titled ‘Nirmala Sitharaman greeting sends warm signal’, said that the Indian Defence Minister’s traditional ‘Namastey’ greetings to the Chinese soldiers conveyed her hope for peace along the border and “unwillingness to see a new stand-off,” adding that this was an attitude of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government at the Centre.

ALSO READ: Ready to maintain peace at frontiers: China on Sitharaman’s visit

“Sitharaman’s greeting to the Chinese soldiers conveys her hope for peace on the Sino-Indian border and unwillingness to see a new stand-off. This is commonly regarded as the attitude of the Narendra Modi government,” it said.

“This is a realistic and responsible attitude for the country and its people. Both before and after the Doklam crisis, the Chinese government hopes for border peace with the broad support of the Chinese people. But Indian society’s understanding of their country’s border policy seems ambiguous and chaotic. Some Indians believe New Delhi will take tough measures to crush Beijing’s will,” it added.

ALSO READ: Sitharaman teaches ‘namaste’ to PLA soldiers

The light-hearted exchange saw Sitharaman greeting the Chinese soldiers ‘Namastey’, to which they responded with ‘Ni Hao’. | Readmore…

Demonetisation greatest money-laundering scheme integrated by govt: Shourie

Modi govt is only about 300-feet statute, bullet trains: Arun Shourie


Today’s Paper : Banging the Narendra Modi authorities over sliding monetary development and increasing job deficits, former Union Minister Arun Shourie has likened demonetisation with suicide, saying these is too “a daring step”.

He also called it the major money-laundering scheme.

“It was the major money-laundering scheme ever, conceived and implemented completely by the government, ” It was an “idiotic jolt” this individual continued, “everyone who black color converted it into white, ” he said.

“This is a government by ‘ilhaam’ (revelation). The Primary Minister has the ‘ilhaam’ one night that demonetisation should be done and he does it. In any case it was a bold step. Need to remind you suicide too is a bold step, ” Shourie said within an interview with NDTV when asked why in his view, the authorities went in for demonetisation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs you, 000 currency notes on November 8 last season.

“Which argument (offered by the federal government in defence of demonetisation today survives? Black money? All of it converted white. Terrorism? Terrorists are still coming into India. At the end they have nothing to say, ” he added.

Shourie also took a dig at BJP President Amit Shah who has said that current slowdown is “due to technical reasons”, terming him “that famous economist? ” and underscoring that official figures simply cannot be brushed under the carpet….READ MORE 

Beyond bullet train: Will India gift Japan’s Abe the diamond of his dream?

For over a decade, Japan PM Shinzo Abe has been courting India to join his proposed ‘security diamond’ quad for countering China’s might in the Asia-Pacific waters

USS Nimitz, INS Vikramaditya and JS Izumo in close formation during Malabar 2017. Photo: @indiannavy

Today’s Paper : Japanese top Minister Shinzo Abe’s India visit earlier this month could be remembered, amongst different matters, for the release of the bold bullet educate task. Even as the visit showed his dedication to his united states of america’s ties with India, it also highlighted India’s significance, notably, in another of his key commitments – constructing a counterweight to China’s growing would possibly in the Asia-Pacific waters, an exercising he started out greater than a decade ago.

In 2007, during one in all his visits to India, Abe had courted New Delhi to shape a coalition of democracies securing ‘broader Asia’ – a geographic and financial assemble that might evolve right into a community spanning the whole Pacific Ocean, and incorporating the us of america and Australia.

At some point of his speech in India’s Parliament, Abe had known as for the two nations to work collectively and ensure the Pacific and Indian Oceans have become “seas of freedom and prosperity”. specifically, he had spoken of India and Japan’s shared interest inside the security of sea lanes.

In a December 27, 2012, oped piece that he wrote, days before securing a 2d time period as Japan’s prime minister, Abe constructed upon his ‘Confluence of the two seas’ speech brought inside the Indian Parliament five years earlier. Titled ‘Asia’s Democratic security Diamond’, the oped known as for “a approach whereby Australia, India, Japan, and the usa kingdom of Hawaii shape a diamond to protect the maritime commons stretching from the Indian Ocean vicinity to the western Pacific”. even as the 2007 speech had no longer explicitly named China, the 2012 oped made it clean that China’s naval would possibly and movements had to be challenged. | Readmore…

Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh’s state funeral today; nation mourns air warrior

The national flag will fly at half-mast on Monday as the funeral is held in Delhi

Arjan Singh funeral

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lays a wreath and pays her tributes to Marshal of Air Force Arjan Singh at his last rites ceremony.

Today’s PaperThe funeral procession of the sole Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Arjan Singh, began on Sunday in the national capital.

The procession was followed by the last rites, which were performed at the Brar Square. The wreath laying ceremony was to take place at 9:00 am.

Though no state mourning was announced, the Home Ministry said the national flag would fly at half-mast on the day of the funeral in Delhi on all buildings where it is flown regularly.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday stated that along with a state funeral and an appropriate gun salute, a flypast might take place, depending on the weather conditions, to honour the contribution of the Air Force Marshal.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday led the nation in mourning the death of Marshal of IAF Arjan Singh.

Remembered for his role in leading the fledgling IAF in the 1965 war with Pakistan, Arjan Singh died in a hospital in New Delhi on Sunday after a massive heart attack. He was 98.

His mortal remains were kept at his residence 7A, Kautilya Marg for people to pay respects to the war hero — the first five-star officer of the IAF. | Readmore…

35 trains a day: India to get first Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train by 2022

The train, to run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, will be commissioned a year before the original deadline of December 2023

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train

Today’s Paper : India’s first bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is likely to be completed by 2022, the year marking 75 years of India’s Independence.

Railway Minster Piyush Goyal told the media on Monday that the India’s first bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai project would be completed by 2022, much before the earlier deadline of December 2023. The foundation stone of the project, which will get a soft loan of Rs 88,000 crore from Japan, will be laid on September 14 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The first tranche of the loan, Rs 6,000 crore, will be released immediately, while the remaining tranches will come after the completion of land acquisition. Japan is providing the loan at a minuscule interest rate of 0.1 per cent, and the repayment will begin only after 15 years. The interest on the entire loan will be Rs 7-8 crore a month.

“The initial tranche of Rs 6,000 crore will mainly be for the dedicated high-speed rail training institute and for building the Sabarmati station. We are confident about completing the acquisition of 825 hectares of land within a year,” said an official close to the development.

Initially, the route is expected to have 35 trains per day. This might increase to 105 by 2050. The trains are set to run at a speed of 320-350 kilometres per hour and will cover 12 stations — Bandra Kurla Complex, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.