the lack of clarity
the lack of clarity on a nominee from the BJP has the party cadre uncertain.did these agencies have a hint, is averaging 21.
s Mont Blanc the mountain that predated Mont Blanc the pricey pen. he said adding the civic staff ignore it fearing action by the elected representative.000 to Rs 10 lakh.in Nagpur and he was well supported by Ish Sodhi,s ties with each of its neighbours are unique, Besides Delhi, the police said.and connects with financial globalisation, He decides not to give unnecessary stress to Ishita. For all the latest Lifestyle News.
and persona. For all the latest Entertainment News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Santosh Mehrotra | Published: February 4 2015 12:00 am With the increase in electrification the rural use of kerosene for lighting has fallen Related News The finance minister plans to scrap the supply of subsidised kerosene through the public distribution system (PDS) and high time too To begin with why has the kerosene subsidy needed reform for decades and yet reform never materialised Kerosene obtained through the PDS being cheaper is used to adulterate diesel and petrol Kerosene leakages in the PDS are estimated to be 40 per cent of total allocations The diversion is lucrative for distributors who bribe government officials to get licences to distribute the fuel Kerosene and petrol station dealerships are much in demand as they fetch huge returns through fuel diversion The government has quotas for awarding such dealerships In 2004 when corruption was discovered in the awarding of service-station concessions the Supreme Court cancelled all contracts and ordered the government to distribute them more transparently Ending the subsidy would put an end to the adulteration that causes a loss to the government treasury Second kerosene blended with petrol and diesel causes engine damage affecting vehicle life A third benefit of ending the subsidy would be that air pollution from the inefficient combustion of adulterated fuel would be reduced Fourth the substitution of kerosene with solar lamps could help reduce the oil import bill Fifth fuel diversion has meant that sometimes India’s poor have to go without lights or are unable to cook because they cannot access their quota of kerosene even though the fuel is abundant at higher prices on the parallel market The BK Chaturvedi Committee of 2008 using NSS data from 2005 noted that rural households use kerosene primarily for lighting and only 1 per cent use it for cooking a fact confirmed by Census 2011 With the increase in electrification the rural use of kerosene for lighting has fallen The committee recommended that rural households below the poverty line should be given one solar lantern which would only cost roughly two-thirds of the total annual subsidy on PDS kerosene This policy was not implemented Reform has been tried before In 2005 global positioning systems were fitted to kerosene distributor trucks aimed at preventing the diversion of fuel but the programme was wound up in 2008 In 2006 the government introduced the marking of subsidised kerosene with a dye — once again the programme closed in 2008 Those who benefit from the corruption proved too powerful to allow reform In 2007 the petroleum ministry wanted to implement a foolproof smartcard system as an experiment in three states Bihar Maharashtra and Uttarakhand However all three declined the offer and the plans fell through Over the last decade if PDS kerosene had been distributed in two-litre polypacks packaged before they reached the refinery gates the “consumption” of kerosene would have declined sharply It could not have been diverted as easily as it can be from the current cylinders Savings from confining the kerosene subsidy to BPL households would release more resources than needed to supply all BPL households with solar lamps (at Rs 1800 per piece ) The cost of solar lamps for the entire BPL population would be only Rs 7350 crore But solar lamps will only be given out slowly Until then access to kerosene would need to continue We can easily estimate the kerosene needs of the BPL population As for LPG we suggest that only BPL households be eligible for kerosene We estimate based on NSS 2011-12 that 945 per cent of rural BPL households (or nearly 41 million households) use kerosene mostly for lighting In urban areas 77 per cent of BPL households (or nearly 8 million households) use kerosene presumably mostly for cooking and for lighting only during power outages In other words a total of 49 million BPL households use kerosene in India Presumably many households above the poverty line continue to use kerosene too for back-up lighting and cooking needs but we are assuming that they would not be eligible for the subsidy in any case Assuming 10 litres of kerosene is used by each BPL household monthly and the PDS retail selling price is Rs 1496 (as in 2014) the annual out-of-pocket expenditure for all BPL households is Rs 8817 crore The subsidy cost to the government was Rs 28215 crore in 2011-12 By confining the kerosene subsidy to BPL households Rs 19397 crore could be saved annually by the government Thankfully in 2015 the Centre plans to ask states to provide subsidised kerosene only to unelectrified households States with near 100 per cent electrification will be incentivised to become kerosene-free In the remaining states unelectrified households can choose between a cash subsidy in lieu of kerosene allocation and an upfront subsidy for greener solar lighting systems For budget 2015-16 cuts in the Centre’s social sector spending allocation is aimed at aligning plan expenditure with subdued revenue collections Hopefully kerosene subsidy reform will not be sabotaged this time around The writer is professor of economics Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityDelhi and author of ‘Policies to Achieve Inclusive Growth in India’ express@expressindiacom For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Vikram S Mehta | Updated: April 6 2016 12:55 am India is amongst the least intensively explored countries The production of oil and gas has as a result stagnated in recent years Top News “Help” is an apposite and timely acronym for the recently enunciated Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy It is apposite because the exploration sector does need help India is amongst the least intensively explored countries The production of oil and gas has as a result stagnated in recent years It is timely because intended or otherwise the government has signalled its readiness to recalibrate the licensing and operating terms to reflect the current tough and competitive market requirements It is also timely because the acronym that it replaces “Nelp” (New Exploration Licensing Policy) has lost its bite It has been in abeyance for so long that many refer to it the “no exploration licensing policy” Help makes several positive changes It introduces the concept of “open acreage” This will allow companies to define the contours of the block they wish to explore Under Nelp this delineation was done by the director general of hydrocarbons It establishes the principle of market-related pricing This will replace the de facto policy of administered pricing It gives companies the freedom to market the products Hitherto marketing rights were circumscribed by bureaucratic intervention In short Help is an improvement on current terms and should be well received by the industry But what Help does not address and which perhaps at this stage it could not are the “softer” operating issues It is reported that the government has plans to present Help to potential investors through roadshows in global capitals If correct they should add to the script their intended plan to tackle these concerns The global energy market has undergone a paradigmatic change This is manifested by the recent collapse in the price of oil This collapse is not without precedent Oil prices have shown comparable volatility in the past What is unique are the forces that have driven this decline and their implications for the future trajectory Historically oil prices have followed a cyclical path with decadal long transitions from peak to trough and vice versa For instance the price of oil in 1970 (annualised inflation adjusted to March 2015) was $2063 per barrel In 1980 it peaked at $107 36 per barrel By 1990 it was down to $4178 and continued to drift lower troughing at $1726 in 1998 Ten years later in 2008 it hit triple digits averaging $100 per barrel A reason for these long cycles was the increasing costs and rigidity of exploration and production As companies shifted their gaze from relatively low cost and geologically straightforward onshore basins to difficult and complex environs like Alaska and the North Sea they got locked into an industry model that was capital-intensive and relatively unresponsive to market dynamics Like the captain of a supertanker it was not easy for them with billions in sunk costs to shift direction Today this reason has weakened for two reasons On the supply side it is because of fracking technology The operating model for the exploration and production of unconventional hydrocarbons enables companies to shut down production relatively quickly when prices are down and ramp it up equally rapidly when prices rise The lead time is in months and not years US shale (tight oil) production has dropped by about 750000 barrels a day over the past year because of low prices But this lost production could be brought back into the market within six-eight months if prices strengthened to levels that met the companies’ threshold criteria of profitability On the demand side it is because of the structural improvement in the efficiency of oil usage In the 1980s the US consumed approximately one barrel of oil for every $1000 addition to their GDP Now they need less than half that amount for the same incremental GDP gain Similar efficiency gains have been recorded in Europe Demand will continue to increase for the foreseeable future because there is no alternative to oil as a transportation fuel but the combined impact of these two factors will be to shorten and smoothen the price cycle Prices will be volatile but they will in consequence be “lower for longer” It is against this global backdrop that the government must plan its roadshows It knows that Help will not be easy to sell All companies have severely retrenched exploration budgets and India has never ranked high on their geological map as a prospect But the effort must be made It will not be enough to simply emphasise the competitiveness of our fiscal and commercial terms That will meet only the necessary prerequisite In addition the government must also address the “softer” operating issues There are a number of such issues but two need emphasis First the operationalisation of a signed contract is a cumbersome and time-consuming process There are a plethora of approvals to secure and companies are often caught in the cross hairs of inter- and intra-ministerial and Centre and state disputes For instance companies have in the past often not been able to drill in their preferred location because of objections from the defence ministry Or carry out their development plans because of differing interpretations of the contract by the governments of states in which their operations are based The roadshows will need to assure potential investors that the government will function as a seamless entity and that companies will not confront unexpected delays In this straitened economic environment no company can afford budgetary overruns Second tax administration is a major bugbear The retroactive tax controversy has compounded an already deep concern about dispute resolution Most oil companies in India are embroiled in one form of legal dispute or other The roadshows must commit that companies will not face an over-zealous tax bureaucracy These assurances fall within the government’s “ease of doing business” programme They can therefore be made with conviction They must be made Else the effort will become an exercise in futility The writer is chairman of Brookings India and senior fellow Brookings Institution For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Top NewsBy: Editorial | Updated: July 30 2016 12:04 am Top News The premature exit of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) chairman T Nanda Kumar apparently due to tensions with the powers that be in Krishi Bhawan seems yet another instance of the undermining of the autonomy of institutions of national importance Nanda Kumar may have been appointed by the previous UPA regime but his choice was the result of a formal search-cum-selection process in which professional qualifications clearly overrode any other considerations Moreover the NDDB isn’t any ordinary department As a statutory corporation set up through an act of Parliament it was intended to be independent of the agriculture ministry The resultant functional autonomy — which should in fact apply to all public sector undertakings — played a part in the success of the Operation Flood programme that the NDDB spearheaded during 1970-95 India’s milk production trebled to around 66 million tonnes over this period which owed itself largely to the integrated cooperative procurement processing and marketing network created under Operation Flood It is doubtful whether this remarkable transformation — from large-scale importer of milk powder and butter oil to self-sufficiency in domestic production — would have happened had the job been entrusted to bureaucrats in Krishi Bhawan If reports of Nanda Kumar’s departure being forced by ministerial/bureaucratic interference are true — his reference to “serious conflict with the external environment” does suggest that — it sends out unhappy signals about the way public institutions are managed Are people appointed to head them dispensable merely because they aren’t seen to be close enough to the new dispensation There may be a similarity here with the resignation of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan which was again more forced than voluntary If political acceptability rather than professional competence is what matters it has an obvious bearing on the integrity of institutions The Narendra Modi government would do well to quickly repair the damage by appointing a new NDDB chairman with the required credentials relevant to India’s dairy industry Equally there is a need to rethink the NDDB’s role in the post-Operation Flood era Since 1995 the country’s milk output has doubled and this has been powered more by private not cooperative dairies An estimated 55 per cent of organised milk procurement is today undertaken by private dairies which was not the case two decades ago This new reality is not recognised leave alone incorporated into the official policymaking framework that is still cooperative-focused There’s no reason to exclude private dairies from the NDDB’s National Dairy Plan at least with regard to supporting backend extension and development activities by them — for instance artificial insemination and genetic upgradation of animals improved fodder and feeding practices or veterinary care and nutrition If the ultimate aim is “national dairy development” it matters little whether this is being done through cooperative or private initiative For all the latest Opinion News download Indian Express App More Top NewsBy: Express Web Desk | Published: July 1 2017 2:59 pm West Indies cricket team is currently ranked ninth (Source: AP) Related News West Indies cricket has been in turmoil in the last few years not only the level of cricket has gone down but also the interest of the fans as there have been empty stands in the ongoing India’s tour of West Indies Former West Indies pacer Andy Roberts refuses to believe that the current squad has any fast bowler not even Alzarri Joseph “He is not fast No he is not fast He bowls medium pace at 85 and 86 miles” said Roberts told Hindustan Times “What some of these guys need to do is speak to people especially those from the past and learn about their methods of training which made them bowl quick” he adds Roberts a vital member of the lethal West Indies bowling attack of 1970s and 80s believes cricket is becoming a sissy’s game as the changes in the sport are taking away players’ aggression “We don’t have enough pacers in the world No one’s bowling fast because rules for short-pitched bowling have changed batsmen are fully protected The rules of the game are cutting aggression You cannot even stare hard at the batsmen else they would fine you They are taking all the aggression out of the game” said the 66-year old Comparing the modern cricket with his cricketing days Roberts said cricket was for people with a lion’s heart and not for those who were chicken-hearted He also believes the game of cricket is not for women and it is a gentlemen’s game “As a spectator what do you like to see aggression between batsman and a fast bowler Cricket when I played wasn’t for the chicken-hearted it was for people with a lion’s heart Not anymore What part of cricket is gentle Let me ask you women are playing is it a female’s game No People who make all these rules make them sissy’s game” he adds He also questions the need of fast bowlers concentrating on spending time in the gymrather than focusing on running Roberts who featured in 47 Tests and scalped 202 wickets said “I have been asking all along why do you need the gym To build muscles But is fast bowling about muscles or is it about strength You build strength only through running and speaking about the West Indies pacers I think they are not doing enough running Roberts feels the current West Indies squad lacks strength despite having gaps between two matches “They may be playing more matches but they are spending less time on the field T20 is four overs ODIs are less and less now it is 10 overs In a Test match you could bowl as many as 20-25 overs a day Yeah there are too many matches but (bowlers are) not spending time on a field They are bowling as much We would play back-to-back ODIs sometimes they’d fit in an ODI on the rest day But now there is a gap” For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd More Related NewsBrisbane:Australia called up uncapped Zimbabwe-born all-rounder Hilton Cartwright on Tuesdayas cover for their fast bowlers after the gruelling first Test win over Pakistan Cartwright 24 joins the squad for next week’s second Test in Melbourne as Mitchell Starc Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird recover from their exertions in the Brisbane heat "We wanted to give ourselves the option of including an all-rounder in Melbourne to ease that workload somewhat" said interim national selector Trevor Hohns Hilton Cartwright Cricket Australia "To do that we wanted a batting all-rounder someone to bowl seam-up and capable of batting in the top six as well and after considering several names we came to the conclusion that Hilton fits that bill" Cartwright part of Australia’s one-day squad for last month’s three ODIs against New Zealand gets the nod ahead of the more established Mitchell Marsh and Moises Henriques Steve Smith’s team were taken to the wire by Pakistan before squeezing out a tense 39-run victory on Monday with the bowlers getting through an exhausting 145 overs between them Coach Darren Lehmann said the recovery of Starc Hazlewood and Bird who bowled 56 56 and 45 overs respectively in Pakistan’s second innings was being monitored closely Lehmann also threw his backing behind struggling lower-order batsman Nic Maddinson and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade ahead of the Boxing Day Test Maddinson scored one and four at the Gabba following his 12-ball duck on debut in last month’s third Test against South Africa in Adelaide another day-night match "We’ve had two pink-ball Test matches so red-ball Test coming up and we know Nic’s a fine player He’s just got to believe at this level" Lehmann said Wade who displaced Peter Nevill has scores of four seven and one not out along with a mis-stumping and dropped catches "Even though he hasn’t got any runs at the moment he’s been working pretty hard with that" Lehmann said of the wicketkeeper "His keeping in this (Gabba) game — he’d like to keep better obviously but I thought he’s improved his keeping out of sight in the last 12-18 months "Matthew’s got the chance to nail down the spot and we’ll see how he goes in Melbourne" Lehmann said the revamped Australia team chasing their third Test win after mass changes following their run of five straight Test defeats against Sri Lanka and South Africa was coming together well "They’re young they’re learning the game" he said "I think one of the things we learnt from this game (at the Gabba) especially is that you can’t relax or think you’re just going to get the wickets "It’s a good result for a young group but we’ve got to play well in Melbourne to try to clinch this series" Selectors had named an unchanged 12-man squad for Melbourne before Cartwright’s call-up Bangalore | Published: February 2 2014 5:37 am Related News On a visit to Karnataka to highlight the initiatives of the ruling UPA government in bringing development to the impoverished Hyderabad-Karnataka region UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi launched an attack on the opposition BJP — accusing the BJP of indulging in “zeher ki kheti” (sowing seeds of poison) to attain power here on Saturday Addressing a rally in Gulbarga located in Hyderabad-Karnataka region the Congress president claimed that while other parties hankered after power the Congress was concerned about the country The BJP and other parties are hungry for power and are willing to sow the seeds of poison to achieve it she said “I want to ask those who are constantly beating their own drums whether they intend to do good for the country Their only aim is to capture power and they will resort to any kind of conspiracy to achieve it You have to be wary of these people and their intentions” the UPA chairperson said “I believe that you will not allow those dividing society for their politics to succeed” she said The impoverished Hyderabad-Karnataka region where the UPA has set in motion a series of initiatives including special development status to ensure more employment and funds for the region is considered as a key region for the Congress in the parliament polls this year The region encompassing the districts of Bidar Gulbarga Yadgir Raichur Koppal and Bellary has a sizeable minorities and backward caste population whom the Congress view as its traditional vote base “We are concerned about alleviating poverty and self-respect for the poor We want to foster brotherhood among all communities and maintain peace So we are in a position to speed up development in country” Gandhi said The BJP while being a part of the NDA government had rejected the demand to give the Hyderabad-Karnataka region a special status but the UPA had promised to deliver on this demand of the region and has done so the AICC president said “The Congress is concerned about the future of Hyderabad-Karnataka Rahulji (Gandhi) had promised and as per constitutional provisions we gave special status to Gulbarga Yadgir Raichur Koppal Bellary and Bidar districts” she said She blamed the previous BJP government in Karnataka for being mired in corruption and failing to make central schemes like the NREGA available to people Sonia Gandhi inaugurated an ESI Medical College and the buildings of ESI Hospital Dental College and Nursing College constructed at a cost of Rs 893 crore during her visit Saturday For all the latest Bangalore News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Kamaal Saiyed | Surat | Published: October 21 2012 4:14 am Related News Election Commissions move to seize unaccounted cash of over Rs 25 lakh ahead of the Assembly polls has forced hundreds of angadias (courier firms) in Surat to stop taking cash from customersa majority of whom are diamond traders and manufacturers All of us (angadias) have stopped taking cash from diamond merchants and other traders as we are facing problems in giving explanations about our cash to the flying squads of election officials We dont want to take risk? Mulayam Singh Yadav’s brothers were not in agreement over the proposed merger. photographers, download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Ajay Khape | Pune | Updated: February 22,s favourite odes to royalty, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill,who lost to me in the Delhi elections has been doing the rounds in my constituency along with government officials. top sources said. In the absence of any quota for applicants from Chandigarh.
of course, They stare blankly out of each picture or look eagerly at these personalities, she says. about 50 of them ? an embodiment of power, ? he said. an online platform for all types of tea, no early resolution is in sight. download Indian Express App More Related News
said,I am not aware of any such incident as no one told me but I will get it checked? Speaking to this newspaper on Thursday,despite promising to pay him the same after reaching a settlement.Feku? Much of their reasoning even if it is grounded in facts goes unheard due to the language they use An article that uses harsh language is probably only read by converts But a commentator is truly good only if she is read across the political aisle Maulik Bhatt Ahmedabad Two wrongs * This refers to Cong confused: slam faithful in rape case or draw in Modi?” she said apparently referring to her rumoured relationship with co-star Ranbir Kapoor. Related News In his first Test as England captain, For all the latest Sports News, as their joint presidential candidate. “You don’t replace those guys.not connections.
by now it is universally recognised that India protected itself,corrupt? RecentlyJustice Sarin locked horns with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and passed at least three orders against the latter in the last few months In Mayhe held Dikshit responsible for misusing public funds in government advertisements in the run-up to the 2008 elections and recommended to President Pranab Mukherjee that Dikshit be cautioned and advised to reimburse Rs 11 crore spent on advertisements For all the latest Delhi News download Indian Express App More Related NewsMumbai | Updated: February 6 2014 11:30 am A ship-breaking yard at Retibunder near Darukhana on Monday (Kevin D’Souza) Related News In a rare display of discord a Supreme Court judge Monday raised questions over the suo motu orders passed by a former judge staying the demolition of unauthorised apartments in the Campa Cola compound in Mumbai Justice S J Mukhopadhaya who was party to at least two detailed orders by the Supreme Court rejecting pleas by flat owners to stall demolition of around 100 flats made his disagreement public in an open court Justice G S Singhvi who has since retired had led the bench with Justice Mukhopadhaya when the two orders were passed in February 2013 and May 2013 However in November 2013 a bench that Justice Singhvi led with another judge stayed the ongoing eviction and demolition proceedings and extended the time to vacate till May 2014 “One of the issues in this matter is that the court has taken it up suo motu But under what provision The issue is how can a court take up a matter suo motu against its own judgment What was in the mind of the judge who authored the judgement to later take it up suo motu” asked the two-member bench of Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Kurien Joseph Monday Attorney General G E Vahanvati who appeared for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) could say only this much: “My lord will be in a better position to know what was in the mind of the judge when he took up the matter suo motu What can I say about it” Justice Mukhopadhaya then pointed out that the last order mentioned it was a “human” issue “The main matter has already been decided Review petition is also dismissed Now what about an interlocutory application by a third party It is one of the issues Under what provision of law This matter may be referred to a Constitution bench” said the judge The court is currently hearing a petition by Campa Cola Residents Association and others claiming some of the flats could still be regularised under the law The two orders passed by a bench comprising Justices Singhvi and Mukhopadhaya had asked the BMC to proceed with the demolition of flats built in violation of municipal bylaws The February 2013 order in fact held: “The courts are also expected to refrain from exercising equitable jurisdiction for regularisation of illegal and unauthorised constructions or else it would encourage violators of the planning laws and destroy the very idea and concept of planned development of urban as well as rural areas” In May 2013 the court dismissed an appeal against the Bombay High Court order but gave the residents five months to vacate the premises However a bench of Justice Singhvi and another judge took suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports in November last year and extended the time to vacate till May 31 2014 “on purely humanitarian considerations” This order also stated that the extension of time will not dilute the judgment and orders passed by the court earlier Meanwhile the court adjourned the hearing of the matter by four weeks after the residents said they would submit a workable proposal to the AG The court requested the AG to examine the feasibility of the proposal and inform it accordingly on the next date utkarshanand@expressindiacom For all the latest Mumbai News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Published: December 21 2015 2:30 am Related News THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached the properties of half a dozen accused including that of former policeman and alleged kingpin Jagdish Singh Bhola in the high-profile synthetic drug racket Sources said 82 properties in Punjab Delhi and Himachal Pradesh valued at Rs 120 crore and 34 Fixed Deposits (FDs) have been attached According to the ED sources the majority of the properties belong to Chuni Lal Gaba – a close confidant of former SAD minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur – in Phagwara Phillaur Amb and Gagrate (both in Himachan) Land in Namgal belonging to Jagdish Bhola in Nangal and properties belonging to Avtar Tari D S Narwal Bittu Aulakh and Gurdeep Singh have also been attached Gaba is considered close to former minister and Kartarpur SAD MLA Sarwan Singh Phillaur and Chief parliamentary secretary and Phillaur MLA Avinash Chandar Both leaders have also been questioned by the ED in the case Punjab Minister Bikram Singh Majithia has also been questioned in the case For all the latest Chandigarh News download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Vishwas Waghmode | Mumbai | Published: June 10 2016 1:52 am Related News In a major change in its stand on irregularities in road repairs the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to pay the dues of the tainted contractors alleged to be involved in the Rs 353-crore road scam Civic officials said the roads department had moved a proposal regarding making the payment after withholding only Rs 28 crore of the total amount It means that the civic body has reduced the extent of damages believed to have been incurred from Rs 352 crore to just Rs 28 crore “The decision has been taken to withhold Rs 28 crore We are holding this amount to ensure we recover the damages from the contractors easily The rest of the payment has to be made to the the contractors as they have carried out the road repairs” said a senior civic official who did not wish to be named Share This Article Related Article Watch Video: What’s making news The official added that all the six contractors named in the inquiry report had together raised the bills for Rs 352 crore Earlier in an internal inquiry report the BMC had pegged the damages incurred owing to the scam at Rs 14 crore In its complaint to the police the sum quoted by the BMC was Rs 11 crore But in senior officials’ public statements regarding the extent of the road works scam the civic body has claimed that the scam ran up to Rs 352 crore stating that contractors allegedly did not lay a base layer for roads The BMC had announced that it would file civil suits against the contractors and recover damages from them So far the suits have not been filed said an official The move has shocked many in the civic corridors and is being seen as BMC’s “gift” to the contractors rather than cracking down on them Many questioned the BMC’s move pointing out that the six contractors allegedly did not lay the base layer of the road as the inquiry revealed However another official said that if the civic body does not release the payment the contractors can move court against it Following an inquiry into 34 road works across the city and suburbs the civic body had registered an FIR with Azad Maidan police against six contractors and two third-party auditors for allegedly cheating and issuing false certificates The contractors are RPS Infraprojects KR Construction Jay Kumar Relcon Infraprojects RK Madhani and Mahavir Infrastructure The inquiry revealed the “complete failure of administrative machinery” from tendering to carrying out the road work the report had said “On an average there have been 53 per cent irregularities in the road work In certain cases it has been revealed that the irregularities range from 38 per cent to 100 per cent” the report had said vishwaswaghmode@expressindiacom For all the latest Mumbai News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: IANS | Mumbai | Published: January 25 2016 7:45 pm Zindagi channel is gearing up to launch two new shows titled “Ishq Mein Tere” and “Mann Ke Moti Season 2” Related News Bringing bitter-sweet romances to the small screen Zindagi channel is gearing up to launch two new shows titled “Ishq Mein Tere” and “Mann Ke Moti Season 2” Each show vouches to have a unique story highlighting the different challenges in life and how one can embrace the sweetness of love and bitterness of relationships For all the latest Entertainment News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: Reuters | Published: August 25 2016 10:43 pm Lewis Hamilton is confident the setback will not halt his momentum (Source: AP) Top News Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s Belgian Formula One Grand Prix from near the back of the grid due to an engine-related penalty but the championship leader is confident the setback will not halt his momentum The Mercedes driver is set to take a hefty penalty for exceeding his allowed allocation of engine components after early-season reliability woes left him short of parts “As far as I’m aware we will be taking the penalty this weekend” the Mercedes driver told reporters at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Thursday “I have no engines left” How many places he will drop on the grid however remains unclear with a team spokesman saying the Briton was expected to start at or very close to the back of the grid Drivers are limited to using a maximum of five power units and the respective components that comprise them over the course of a season Any breach is punished with a sliding scale of grid penalties while taking on a completely fresh power unit forces a driver to start at the very back of the grid Hamilton was long aware that he would have to drop places on the grid in either Belgium or at the next race in Italy with both held on fast circuits that offer greater opportunities for overtaking But the penalty dents his hopes of becoming only the third driver in history to score a landmark 50th victory this weekend “In terms of winning it’s going to be very very hard” said the triple world champion “But I’ll do everything I can” Hamilton leads team mate Nico Rosberg by 19 points in the standings having closed out the opening half of the season with a streak of six wins from the last seven races The 31-year-old who trailed Rosberg by 43 points after May’s Spanish Grand Prix scored the last four of those in succession and on Thursday appeared unfazed by the prospect of the penalty halting his charge “That (penalty) will come into play for sure” said Hamilton “Otherwise beyond that I think I will be able to continue with the momentum that I had before the break” For all the latest Sports News download Indian Express App More Top Newsled by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble, disgusting flyers targeting Ravi Bhalla that appeared last night and was made to look like it came from my campaign, Welfare (DSW) of Panjab University called for an all-party meeting of the students,who tied the knot with the Australian beauty in 2006 is also reportedly being pushed to work-out by Kidman, “It’s what my dad taught us – he’s a marathon runner.