Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) has returned to Korean shipbuilder Hyundai with an order for four product tankers. The company inked a contract with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard for the construction of four 48,000 dwt product carriers on April 24.As stipulated in the USD 167.6 million deal, the delivery of the quartet is planned for 2020, the final ship being scheduled to join KOTC’s fleet in May.The latest contract is part of KOTC’s ambitious fleet build-up plan, under which the company aims to more than double its fleet by 2040, bringing it to 60 ships.As disclosed, the company plans to add eleven product tankers, six VLCCs and one more LPG vessel to its ordering tally.KOTC already ordered three LPG tankers from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in January and one VLCC from Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry in March, 2018.World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: KOTC
zoomImage Courtesy: Maersk Four container shipping giants, Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express, established the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) on April 10, 2019 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.The parties said that the aim of the association is to create common information technology standards to make the industry more efficient for both customers and shipping lines.The plan to create a neutral, non-profit association for ocean carriers was first announced in November 2018. The association, focusing on driving standardization, digitalization and interoperability in container shipping, is now starting operations with a leadership team made up of industry veterans, including Thomas Bagge from A.P. Moller – Maersk, who was appointed CEO and Statutory Director of the DCSA.“For the first time in twenty years, the container shipping industry has come together with a common goal to move the industry into the digital era. With the regulatory approval in place, we look forward for the association to take up work and to begin to collaborate with multiple stakeholders from the entire value chain,” André Simha, Chief Information Officer of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DCSA, said.To create value quickly and to overcome some of the biggest pain-points in the industry, one of the first projects of the association is focusing on standards to overcome the lack of a common foundation for technical interfaces and data.Additionally, the association is creating an industry blueprint for processes, which will be another significant part of the future of shipping. The work undertaken will be for the benefit of the entire industry, as all standards will be openly published and available free of charge to interested external parties, the companies informed.DCSA is in discussions with multiple other container shipping lines around the globe who are interested in joining. Preparations for two more companies to join are already in process.
Adult Nova Scotians are functioning with literacy levels that meet the Canadian average and are better than the other Atlantic provinces, according to the Statistics Canada 2003 International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey released today, Nov. 9. “The results are a testament to Nova Scotians and the successful programs and initiatives like the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning, workplace education programs and community-based literacy initiatives,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir. “It’s also largely due to the ongoing efforts of our literacy and workplace partners.” The survey measured four skill areas, including prose literacy (continuous text such as books and newspaper articles), document literacy (discontinuous text such as graphs and charts), numeracy and problem solving. All skill areas are measured on a scale of zero to 500 points, with scores divided into five levels of proficiency. Level three (276-325 points) is the score considered necessary to function effectively in the modern knowledge-based economy. In 2003, 61.6 per cent of working age adults (16-65) in Nova Scotia had the prose literacy levels needed to effectively function in a modern, knowledge-based economy. Nova Scotia scored higher on all four scales when compared to the average for Atlantic Canada and when compared to scores for Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. The average overall literacy score for Nova Scotia was the same as the average scores for Norway and Bermuda, the two highest scoring countries in the survey. Nova Scotia also achieved higher average scores than the United States in prose literacy. “As one of Canada’s smaller provinces, it’s quite notable that we met the national average and performed better than more than half of the Canadian provinces and territories,” said Mr. Muir. “Literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills are profoundly important to individual Nova Scotians and to the future of the province.” Mr. Muir said that while government is pleased with the results, there is still work to do to help more Nova Scotians achieve the literacy levels they need to succeed in the province. The new data will be used to help develop future policies and procedures and will act as a baseline to help the Department of Education and its partners measure future literacy development efforts. The Department of Education is planning a provincial literacy and essential skills summit for January 2006 to assess its progress to date, inform partners of the international survey results and look at ways to collaboratively move the literacy and essential skills agenda forward in Nova Scotia. The International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey was last conducted in 1994. The Canadian and Atlantic region results have not changed significantly during the 10-year period. The 2003 survey included 20,000 Canadians and 1,272 Nova Scotians. This is the first year that specific Nova Scotia results have been available. Government is working with its partners to support programs and initiatives that help Nova Scotians of all ages improve their literacy and essential skills. Through Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning, the Department of Education provides more than $6.6 million in annual funding that helps nearly 5,000 Nova Scotian adults improve their literacy and essential skills levels. The department also provides more than $500,000 to support about 1,200 adults annually within Nova Scotia workplaces through the Workplace Education Initiative. More information about the International Adult Literacy and Skills Survey is available at the Statistics Canada website at www.statcan.ca/english/dai-quo . A full report on the survey results will be available from Statistics Canada on Nov. 30.
The province of Nova Scotia has created an arms-length agency to administer four Nova Scotia public sector pension plans, Finance Minister Peter Christie announced today, Feb. 13. The Nova Scotia Pension Agency will provide administrative services to support the Public Service Superannuation Plan, the Teachers’ Pension Plan, the Members Retiring Allowance Plan, and Sydney Steel Superannuation funds. To date, these have been managed by a division of the Department of Finance. John Traves, a senior government solicitor, has been appointed interim chief executive officer of the special operating agency. He will oversee creation of the new organization over the next few months. “The Nova Scotia Pension Agency will be better positioned to provide services to a variety of pension plan members and clients,” said Mr. Christie. “It will have a more flexible operating structure, able to meet the unique needs of each pension plan at about the same cost.” The pension and investment branch at the Department of Finance currently oversees investments for the pension plans and delivers a broad range of pension-related services to public sector employees and pensioners. Staff will perform the same functions at the new agency. Pension plan revenues will continue to fund administration for the pension plans. The special operating agency will be able to keep costs down by drawing on existing government administrative systems, such as payroll, information technology, and financial services. Mr. Traves will work closely with the governing bodies of each pension plan to set up the agency. It will have an operating charter and service level agreements with partner agencies and each pension plan. Most services familiar to pensioners and other clients will be the same, although the offices will be relocated. The changes will be accomplished with as little inconvenience as possible to clients. The four pension plans represent some 50,000 current and former Nova Scotia public sector employees, with assets of $7.8 billion.
N.S. BUSINESS INC. – Ouverture officielle d’Acrobat Research Les résidents de la région de Chéticamp ont célébré aujourd’hui, le 14 août, l’ouverture d’un centre de services qui créera de nouvelles possibilités d’emploi dans le comté d’Inverness. Le premier ministre Rodney MacDonald s’est joint à Marlene Usher, directrice générale de la Société d’expansion du Cap-Breton, Roger Cuzner, député, Roland Klassen, président d’Acrobat Research Ltd., Angus LeFort, président du Conseil coopératif de Chéticamp, et Stephen Lund, président-directeur général de Nova Scotia Business Inc., pour l’ouverture officielle d’Acrobat Research Ltd. « Acrobat est un excellent exemple de l’utilisation de la technologie pour créer des possibilités et encourager la croissance dans les communautés de toute la province », a affirmé le premier ministre MacDonald. « La technologie a un effet égalisateur et, grâce à sa main-d’oeuvre qualifiée et instruite, la Nouvelle-Écosse continue de se distinguer. « Je sais que ce projet connaîtra du succès parce que les résidents de la région y ont investi tellement d’eux-mêmes. Je remercie les gens de Chéticamp et du comté d’Inverness, ainsi qu’Acrobat Research et les autres partenaires, de nous avoir permis de réaliser ce projet. » Le nouvel établissement d’Acrobat est le résultat de près de trois ans de travail communautaire, dirigé par le Conseil coopératif de Chéticamp, et appuyé par ses partenaires en matière de développement, ainsi que par l’entreprise. Le Conseil coopératif a déterminé qu’un centre d’appels représentait une excellente occasion pour la communauté. Le Conseil a acheté et rénové un ancien couvent avec l’appui financier de 307 000 $ du gouvernement fédéral par l’entremise de la Société d’expansion du Cap-Breton (SECP). En mai, Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) avait annoncé qu’elle offrait à Acrobat Research Ltd. une remise sur les salaires de 850 000 $ sur une période de six ans. Cette remise sera versée annuellement à mesure que la compagnie créera jusqu’à 115 postes à temps plein pendant la durée de l’entente. L’Office du développement économique a également prévu un prêt de 350 000 $ pour contribuer aux coûts de démarrage de l’infrastructure d’Acrobat. « Cette initiative locale est un témoignage de la force de la communauté, du Conseil coopératif et de ses partenaires en matière de développement », a déclaré Peter MacKay, ministre des Affaires étrangères, ministre de l’Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique (APECA) et ministre responsable de la Société d’expansion du Cap-Breton (SECB). « Le gouvernement du Canada tient à s’assurer que les communautés ont la possibilité d’évoluer et de se développer. » Acrobat a déjà embauché 17 résidents de la région et a déjà entamé leur formation. « La main-d’oeuvre bilingue et de qualité supérieure était un facteur décisif dans le choix de l’établissement d’Acrobat Research à Chéticamp », a souligné M. Klassen. « L’aide de la province nous permettra de renforcer notre main-d’oeuvre et de poursuivre notre succès dans une autre communauté rurale de la Nouvelle-Écosse. » « Il s’agit d’un excellent exemple de collaboration entre la communauté et les différents ordres du gouvernement », affirme Richard Hurlburt, ministre du Développement économique. « Chéticamp est un modèle de développement économique communautaire en action. » NSBI a offert à Acrobat une remise sur les salaires en avril 2003 afin de l’aider à ouvrir un centre de services à Canso, dans le comté de Guysborough. « Le centre de service d’Acrobat a permis de créer des emplois et d’autres possibilités dans la région de Canso, et la région de Chéticamp a décidé qu’elle pourrait également appuyer un tel centre », a souligné M. LeFort, président du Conseil coopératif de Chéticamp. « Il a fallu beaucoup de travail et de planification pour préparer notre analyse de rentabilisation, mais la communauté s’est ralliée pour permettre l’ouverture officielle de ce centre aujourd’hui. » Les nouveaux emplois créés à Chéticamp s’ajoutent aux emplois existants saisonniers et dans le secteur des services. Le centre offre des possibilités d’emploi à temps plein et à temps partiel, ainsi que la possibilité d’un deuxième revenu pour de nombreuses familles. « NSBI est fière de faire partie de cette initiative communautaire qui a permis à Acrobat de s’établir à Chéticamp », a souligné M. Lund. « La technologie et la mondialisation sont deux des facteurs clés qui nous permettent de développer les entreprises et de profiter d’une main-d’oeuvre diverse dans des régions rurales. » Acrobat, dont le siège social se situe à Toronto, a été fondée en 1994 afin de fournir des services de collecte de données de sortie et d’entrée transférées. L’entreprise a acquis une expertise considérable dans l’exploitation et la gestion de centre d’appels à distance dans une configuration en étoile. Nova Scotia Business Inc. est l’organisme de développement des entreprises dirigé par le secteur privé de la Nouvelle-Écosse. NSBI est la branche du gouvernement provincial qui attire les investissements et qui aide les entreprises de la Nouvelle-Écosse à atteindre leur potentiel de croissance en offrant des conseils en matière d’affaires, en développant l’exportation et en offrant des services financiers.
The first round of testing for radon gas in public buildings, part of a three- to five-year program outlined in February, found results that varied widely but were within expectations. In recent weeks, 581 tests were conducted across the province. Fifty-two results exceeded the proposed national guidelines. Pat Wall, chair of the interdepartmental advisory group on radon, said that the tests were conducted as part of the province’s proactive approach to radon management. “We looked at a sample of public housing, hospitals and schools, based on the surrounding geology,” Mr. Wall said. “We found most sites below the proposed new national guideline, and a few that were high enough to require re-testing.” “We are also looking into an anomaly in an office at a school where readings ranged from below the proposed national guideline to unusually high in the same day.” Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive soil gas that increases the risk of lung cancer when people are exposed to high levels over a lifetime. It does not pose an immediate health risk. Radon typically seeps into buildings through cracks and openings in foundations. Nova Scotia began a program of testing all public buildings in February in anticipation of a new national guideline. About 300 rooms were tested at 11 schools; 18 rooms had levels above the proposed national guideline of 200 becquerels per cubic metre. The 18 rooms will be re-tested when the fall heating season begins, as required by the testing protocol. An administrative office at Atlantic Memorial Consolidated School, in Whites Lake, had radon levels that ranged widely depending on activity at the building, with lower levels during working hours. The room has been closed while the source of the radon is located and sealed off. Ten nearby rooms were above 200 Bq/m3 and will be retested in the fall. Dr. Robert Strang, deputy medical officer of health, said students and staff are not at risk for short or long-term health concerns, but the varying results emphasize the need for Nova Scotians to test their homes. “If results can vary from room to room in a school, then you clearly cannot make assumptions about your home, and that’s where the potential for long-term exposure is greatest,” Dr. Strang said. The three hospitals that were tested — Buchanan Memorial in Neils Harbour, Sacred Heart Hospital in Cheticamp, and Victoria County in Baddeck — were all below 200 Bq/m3. Thirty-four of 191 units administered by the Department of Community Services tested above proposed national guideline. In accordance with the testing protocol, eight will be retested immediately and 26 in the fall. The results are available online at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/airlandwater/radon.asp .
a risk-management process consistent with provincial child protection and children in care standards training, as required, to reaffirm and reorient staff to provincial child welfare standards work with the board, staff and regional resources to develop an action plan to address all of the issues identified in the review The integration of Family and Children’s Services of Kings County and the Department of Community Services will provide consistent service delivery for children and families, Judy Streatch, Minister of Community Services, announced today, May 21. “Community Services, along with the board of directors of Family and Children’s Services of Kings County, feel it is in the best interest of local children, families and staff, that they integrate with the department,” said Ms. Streatch. “Our priority is to protect children and families who need help and support.” Community Services staff will work with the Kings County agency to manage and provide support throughout the integration process, which will become final when their board and agency status is dissolved on Dec. 31. The department will be responsible for service delivery and the staff will become civil servants on Aug. 31. “The board members of Family and Children’s Services of Kings County will continue to be strong advocates for children,” said Mark Mander, president of the board of directors. “By moving the agency over to the Department of Community Services, board members will be able to concentrate their efforts more on the needs of children and community development.” A recent audit on the agency’s files by child welfare staff from Community Services found management and direct practice concerns that included poor documentation, inadequate assessments and inconsistent response times. The audit results were presented to the agency’s board of directors and they decided, in recognition of other agencies integrating with the department, it would be an appropriate time to amalgamate. Effective today, May 21, Leonard Doiron, former acting director of child welfare for the province, will manage the Kings County office on an interim basis to address concerns identified in the audit. In addition to the appointment, these measures will be implemented immediately: The department’s overall objectives are to ensure the province’s standards, policies and guidelines under the Children and Family Services Act are followed, and to review the abilities of professionals assigned to each file. The Department of Community Services is auditing all child welfare offices and agencies in the province.
Highway 104 from Exit 4, at Amherst, South Albion St., to the Nova Scotia – New Brunswick border has been reopened to most traffic, however empty tractor trailers are still not allowed on the road. Winter conditions continue and whiteouts may develop suddenly. Drivers are advised to proceed with caution. -30-
More workers and unemployed people will have access to more skills training and upgrading through improvements to two federal-provincial agreements. Minister of Labour and Workforce Development Mark Parent and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Minister Diane Finley, signed amendments today, May 1, to add about $50 million to federal funding through the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement (LMDA) and the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Agreement (LMA). “This additional funding will enhance the province’s ability to help unemployed or low-skilled workers across Nova Scotia, while adding flexibility to help people who are at risk of losing their job,” said Mr. Parent. “Groups who are under-represented in our workplaces will continue to benefit from Labour Market Agreement funding, as well.” The two agreements, originally signed in 2008, provide more than $500 million in federal transfers to strengthen Nova Scotia’s workforce over six years. “We want to make certain that everyone can participate actively in the training or other employment initiatives that they need during difficult times,” said Ms. Finley. “These investments will help workers develop new skills for today’s labour market and forge new futures for themselves and their families.” Under the Labour Market Development Agreement, the province will take over current federal responsibilities for skills development and employment programs delivered under the Employment Insurance Act, effective July 1. Under the amended agreements, Nova Scotia will receive $98 million per year for the next two years for programming, up from $81 million per year. The Labour Market Agreement is designed to help low-skilled workers who lack a high school diploma, workers who are at risk of losing their jobs as a result of the economic downturn, or groups who are under-represented in the workplace. Under the amended agreements, the province will receive $22 million per year for the next two years for programming, up from $14 million per year. “Funding from these agreements will help drive the province’s Building for Growth initiative and the Poverty Reduction Strategy. The monies will be used to further industry sectors where there is strong demand for skilled workers — such as the aerospace, finance and health-care sectors — while supporting workers whose jobs are threatened by the economic downturn,” said Mr. Parent. Additional information on the agreements, and examples of LMA programming, are posted on the Labour and Workforce Development website at www.gov.ns.ca/lwd/lmda . FOR BROADCAST USE More workers and unemployed people will have access to more skills training and upgrading through improvements to two federal-provincial agreements. Labour and Workforce Development Minister Mark Parent and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Minister Diane Finley signed amendments to the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement and the Labour Market Agreement today (May 1st). The improvements add 50 million dollars in federal transfers to earlier agreements to provide more than half a billion dollars to the province to support workforce development. -30-
The May 1st nomination deadline for Nova Scotia’s Medal of Bravery is close at hand. This is the third year for the medal, which is awarded to people who put themselves at risk to protect the life or property of others. Any Nova Scotian can be nominated, not just individuals in law enforcement and public safety sectors. Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia centres, offices of members of the legislative assembly, and on the Medal of Bravery website at www.gov.ns.ca/bravery. An advisory panel, chaired by former Chief Justice of Nova Scotia Constance Glube, will select this year’s medal recipients. For more information, contact Nadia Gardin at the Department of Justice at 902-424-5941 or e-mail email@example.com . Completed nomination forms should be sent to: Provincial Secretary, Medal of Bravery, Department of Justice, 4th floor, 5151 Terminal Rd., Halifax, N.S., B3J 2L6.
The province is following up on a commitment in the province’s new natural resources strategy to help Nova Scotia woodlot owners manage their properties ecologically and increase the wood supply to industry. The province is providing $350,000 to help independent woodlot owners in eastern Nova Scotia develop management plans and receive training that meets the Maritime Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. The work will be carried out by the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association under an agreement signed this week with the Department of Natural Resources. “This agreement benefits the small private woodlot owner, the forest industry and the environment,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. “Small, private woodlot owners play a key role in supplying wood fibre for the forest industry, who in turn will be able to find new markets and verify the sustainability of their forestry practices.” The funds extend an agreement the province signed with the association in 2008 and increase the acreage of land that is FSC certified in eastern Nova Scotia. “This is a major incentive to any buyer of the NewPage mill because it provides access to more demanding markets and an acclaimed landowner-run program to the highest sustainability standard in the world,” said Wilma Stub, executive director of the Nova Scotia Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association. The funds are part of the $5-million investment announced in May to help the province achieve its target of reducing clearcutting to 50 per cent of the total harvest over the next five years. There are more than 30,000 private woodlot owners in Nova Scotia. The timber in small, private woodlots makes up two-thirds of the province’s wood supply.
VICTORIA COUNTY: Englishtown Ferry The Englishtown ferry is out of service due to high winds, slush and ice blocking the channel. Call 511, visit http://511.gov.ns.ca, or follow @NS_TIR on Twitter for updates. -30-
Provincial government offices will delay opening until noon, today, Jan. 13, in Annapolis, Digby, Kings, Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough, Hants and Halifax counties, including Metro Halifax, and all of Cape Breton. Conditions will be reassessed at 11 a.m. and an announcement made shortly after. Provincial government offices in Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth will open as usual. -30-
clarify that PTSD is presumed to be a result of an incident during employment define who is eligible for presumptive PTSD benefits. This will include police, paid and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, nurses, continuing care assistants, 911 and emergency dispatch workers, and provincial and federal correctional officers with workers’ compensation coverage allow coverage for other occupations to be added by regulation outline that new regulations will establish who can diagnose PTSD and time limits for eligibility. Government is making it easier for front-line and emergency response workers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to access benefits. Amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act introduced today, Sept. 25, will ensure covered workers no longer have to prove their PTSD diagnosis was caused by a workplace incident. “Our front-line and emergency response workers have often witnessed great tragedy, sadness, and loss when helping those in need,” said Labour and Advanced Education Labi Kousoulis. “We want to make it easier for those who suffer from PTSD to access benefits and treatment. These changes are a step in the right direction.” “I’m pleased that the Nova Scotia government has listened to the concerns of front line and emergency response workers and is addressing them through these amendments,” said Vince Savoia, founder and executive director, Tema Conter Memorial Trust. “This will help ensure police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other frontline workers get the care they need when they need it.” During the summer, government talked to employees and employers about barriers to coverage and treatment for workers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The consultation involved nurses, first responders, correctional services, paramedics, psychiatrists, health sector workers and other organizations. Feedback helped shape the amendments and will inform the upcoming regulations. While occupational stress due to traumatic events, including PTSD, has always been covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act, for all workers, it currently requires covered workers to prove their diagnosis is a direct result of a workplace incident. Some PTSD sufferers avoid getting help because of this process. The proposed amendments will: The province is committed to addressing workplace mental health, and the introduction of these amendments is part of this effort. The amendments will take effect one year from royal assent to allow time for government to work with stakeholders to develop the supporting regulations. A summary of consultations can be found at https://novascotia.ca/presumptive-ptsd-consultation.
The first tender for design services for a major expansion of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital was awarded today, June 20. This expansion is part of the CBRM Health Care Redevelopment project. Government awarded the contract to EXP, to design the new 190,000 square foot building that will be constructed at the back of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Work is happening now to get the site pad-ready for the expansion. As announced in March, the expansion will be connected to the existing hospital via pedway. “The expansion at Cape Breton Regional Hospital is a key part of the redevelopment project to upgrade Cape Breton’s health care system making it stronger, sustainable and reflecting the needs of Cape Bretoners,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “This is exciting progress in Cape Breton’s largest health-care infrastructure project. “When complete, the regional hospital will have a new emergency department, cancer centre and critical care department, which will transform health care services.” The new emergency department will be twice as large as the current one, with more exam and patient rooms, as well as teaching and education space for staff and students. The new cancer centre will more than double in size, with twice as many chemotherapy seats and new space for counselling and group sessions. The new critical care department will more than triple in size and have the intensive care, coronary care and intermediate care units all under one roof. There will also be more patient rooms and new family and support spaces. The CBRM Health Care Redevelopment Project also includes renovating and expanding the Glace Bay Hospital emergency department, inpatients beds and operating rooms, and building new, modern community health centres and long-term care facilities in North Sydney and New Waterford. This will replace the New Waterford Consolidated and Northside General hospitals. For more information about the project, visit https://healthredevelopment.novascotia.ca/cbrmhealth .
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the 2018 Hapur lynching victim to bring to the notice of the trial court the statements of two crucial witnesses recorded by a judicial magistrate. The trial court will decide the plea seeking direction to the Uttar Pradesh police to file a supplementary charge sheet in view of the statements recorded by two brothers of the deceased Qasim Qureishi, said a vacation bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoCWhile declining to direct trial court to ask the state police to file supplementary charge sheet in the case, the bench allowed the petitioners — Samaydeen and Mehtab — to bring the statements of the two brothers, Saleem and Nadeem, to the notice of the Hapur trial court. Saleem and Nadeem recorded their testimonies on May 15 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate under section 164 (judicially admissible statements recorded before judicial magistrate) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citationsSamiuddin and 45-year-old Qureishi were assaulted at Hapur on June 18 last year by a mob of alleged cow vigilantes. While Samiuddin survived, Qureishi succumbed to his injuries. Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for the victims, said that the statements of the two witnesses have been recorded by the judicial magistrate and the state police be directed to file a supplementary charge sheet to bring them on the records of the trial court. Senior advocates V Shekhar and Aishwarya Bhati, appearing for the state government, said that since the statements of the witnesses have already been recorded, the plea be disposed of. However, the plea was declined by the court. The top court was hearing two separate petitions filed by Samiuddin, the survivor of the alleged mob lynching, and Mehtab, son of deceased Qureishi. The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier informed the apex court that it had filed a fresh status report on investigation in the Hapur lynching case. The court had on April 8 asked the state government to file a status report of the investigation in the case in which a person was killed and another brutally assaulted in the name of cow vigilantism in June last year. The apex court on September 5 last year directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Meerut range to supervise the investigation in the Hapur lynching case. Earlier, Samiuddin had sought setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to ensure “an impartial, competent and fair investigation” into “the barbaric incident of mob lynching on June 18 last year in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh. The plea had alleged that Samiuddin and Qasim, both belonging to the minority community, were targeted and mercilessly assaulted by a mob of the majority community from the neighbouring village, in the name of cow vigilantism. It had further sought a direction to the state government to compensate the victim for his medical treatment. It had said Qasim had died as a consequence of the lethal mob lynching, while Samiuddin survived the attempt on his life but suffered multiple fractures, wounds and injuries.
New Delhi: The taxman will “suo motu” allot a fresh PAN to a person who files I-T returns with only Aadhaar as part of a new arrangement to link the two databases, the CBDT chief said after the Budget proposed that only the biometric ID is enough for tax purposes. The PAN (permanent account number) is “certainly not dead” and the recent Budget announcement of interchangeability of the two databases is an “additional facility” to ensure their linkage, which is now mandatory under the law, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Chairman, Pramod Chandra Mody, said. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in Jammu “In cases where Aadhaar is being quoted and PAN is not there, we could possibly think on the terms of allotting a PAN to the person (who is filing income tax return),” he told PTI in an interview. Mody was asked if the Income Tax (I-T) Department issued permanent account number will be dead after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech announced that PAN and Aadhaar are being made interchangeable as the government will allow those who do not have PAN to file I-T returns by simply quoting their Aadhaar number and also, use it wherever they are required to quote PAN. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps, 20 launch pads along LoC “This is a wrong way of looking at the issue. PAN is certainly not dead. PAN is very much alive. It is just a question of providing an additional facility to the taxpayer that if he is not quoting PAN and only has Aadhaar, his filing and processes do not get affected,” Mody said. The assessing officer of the department will use his powers to allot PAN to an entity, he said. “The law provides that the assessing officer can suo motu also allot PAN. So, if Aadhaar is being quoted without PAN, I give him the PAN. It becomes linked,” the CBDT chairman said. ‘Suo motu’ is a Latin word that means ‘on its own motion’. Linking of the two databases is now compulsory and backed by law, the CBDT boss said. While Aadhaar is issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to a resident, PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the tax department to a person, firm or entity. Tax experts said the assessing officer of the department is empowered under Section 139 of the I-T Act to suo motu issue a PAN to anyone whom they deem appropriate should have the ID, from the point of view of their financial transactions profile. Both the I-T department and the UIDAI have linked their PAN and Aadhaar databases, so having the latter’s data will enable the taxman to get vital identity information of the individual to simply allot a new PAN without any hassle and quickly, the experts said. Aadhaar holds all vital information of an individual like name, date of birth, gender, photo and address, and also biometrics. The same set of information is required to get a new PAN. Currently, while over 120 Aadhaar numbers have been issued in the country, about 41 crore PAN numbers have been generated. Out of these, 22 crore PANs are linked with Aadhaar. Section 139 AA (2) of the I-T Act stipulates that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017, and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate their Aadhaar number to tax authorities. After the Supreme Court upheld the section 139AA, the government in March this year declared that the deadline for linking PAN-Aadhaar was available till September 30. The apex court, in September last year, had declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid and held that the biometric ID would remain mandatory for filing of I-T returns and allotment of PAN.
Mumbai: Vidya Balan is all set to turn producer with a socially relevant short film titled Natkhat, in which she will also act. The actor has collaborated with producer Ronnie Screwvala to back this film, a statement issued on behalf of the actor read. As per the press release issued by the makers, Natkhat addresses several issues such as patriarchy, gender inequality, rape, domestic abuse, compartmentalisation by men in different relationships with women; and in doing so surpasses all possible barriers, be it age, gender, urban-rural divide and nationality. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”It’s a beautiful and powerful story that called out to me in a way that made me want to act in it and also turn producer. And who better than RSVP to do it with,” Vidya said in a statement. Screwvala said he is looking forward to work with Vidya. “When I first heard the script of Natkhat, I immediately knew this film had to be made. The film addresses so many issues and gives out a powerful message too,” he added.
Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Monday extended former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister’s remand by 10 days in the fake accounts case, according to a media report. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented the 63-year-old Pakistan People’s Party leader and his sister Faryal Talpur in the accountability court amid strict security, Geo News reported. The Bureau pleaded to the court in Islamabad for an extension of two weeks in Zardari’s remand in the case. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe court, however, extended the remand by 10 days only and ordered that the suspects should be presented before it again on August 10. According to NAB, Zardari is being investigated for his alleged involvement in extending loans and other misappropriation by Parthenon Private Limited, Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others. Zardari is the husband of the country’s first woman prime minister Benazir Bhutto. He was arrested by NAB officials in the Park Lane case on July 1. He was already in NAB custody since June 10 after the Islamabad High Court dismissed his pre-arrest bail petition in the fake accounts case. Zardari, the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, has denied any link with the fake accounts. He has said the allegation was part of a vilification campaign by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party to malign opposition leaders. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHis political career has been overshadowed by the allegations of corruption due to which he has spent several years in custody although he was never convicted. Meanwhile, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Monday that his father was not using an air conditioner (AC) facility in prison. Bilawal said the former president was not using the AC facility after Prime Minister Imran Khan during his recent visit to the US announced that A-class jail facilities for jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Zardari would be withdrawn.
Kolkata: Bandhan Bank, that started operations less than four years ago, now has a total of 1,000 bank branches. The bank opened a new branch today at Haltu in Kolkata which was inaugurated by the General Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission and Ramakrishna Math, Swami Suvirananda. With a network of 3,014 Doorstep Service Centres that the bank already has, the total number of banking outlets now stands at 4,014 across 34 of the 36 states and union territories in India. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, MD & CEO, said, “This is a big milestone for Bandhan Bank. We started the bank with 501 bank branches in August of 2015. In just about four years, we have doubled that count to 1,000. We have always aimed at making banking accessible to all, and this landmark of 1,000 branches is another step in that direction.” The announcement of the 1,000th branch coincided with the inauguration of the bank’s new state-of-the-art Head Office in Salt Lake City, Kolkata. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostAbout Bandhan Bank Bandhan started in 2001 as a not-for-profit enterprise that stood for financial inclusion and women empowerment through sustainable livelihood creation. It turned into an NBFC a few years later but the core objective remained financial inclusion. When Bandhan Bank started operations on August 23, 2015, it was the first instance of a microfinance entity transforming into a universal bank in India. On the day of launch itself, Bandhan Bank started with 2,523 banking outlets. Bandhan Bank is driven by a constant desire to serve better. It offers world-class banking products and services to urban, semi-urban and rural customers alike. In the last few years of operations, Bandhan Bank has spread its presence to 34 of the 36 states and union territories in India with 4,014 banking outlets serving 1.73 crore customers, as on June 30, 2019.