Daily Bulletin: Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh to assume office today, GDP at 5-yr low, unemployment at a 45-yr high; day's top stories

Narendra Modi Cabinet 2.0 announced, Amit Shah appointed as Home Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman gets Finance Ministry

Amid much speculation and anticipation, the portfolios of the Cabinet ministers of Narendra Modi's second term as prime minister were announced on Friday. BJP president Amit Shah was appointed as the Home Minister, while former Home Minister Rajnath Singh got the defence ministry. Both Shah and Singh will official take charge of their ministries on Saturday.

Nirmala Sitharaman was appointed as the Finance Minister, making her the first woman to be a full-time Finance Minister. She will also be the Minister of Corporate Affairs.

Former foreign secretary-turned-minister S Jaishankar got the External Affairs ministry while Smriti Irani was given the charge of the Women and Child Development Minister along with retaining the Textile Ministry, according to an official communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

 Daily Bulletin: Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh to assume office today, GDP at 5-yr low, unemployment at a 45-yr high; days top stories

Narendra Modi at the Central Hall of Parliament after being declare the leader of the NDA. Twitter/BJP4India

Nitin Gadkari will continue to be the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, while Piyush Goyal has been given the charge of the ministries of Railways and Commerce. Ravi Shankar Prasad will also continue to helm the Ministry of Law, Telecom as well as the IT Ministries.

The Budget Session of the Parliament is scheduled to be held from 17 June to 26 July.

Nirmala Sitharaman tasked with steering economy out of slowdown

Nirmala Sitharaman, as Finance Minister in the NDA-II government, will present Modi 2.0 government's maiden Budget that should look to take out the country from slowing growth, create jobs, attract investments and tackle banking sector woes.

Sitharaman, on her first day in office, was greeted by GDP growth rate slowing down to a five-year low of 5.8 per cent in January-March quarter, slower than even China, and unemployment rate rising to 45 year high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.

The two-time Rajya Sabha MP, Sitharaman was the full-time Defence Minister in the Modi government's first term and in the second term she has been tasked with managing the Finance portfolio, which is considered the most important in the functioning of government after Home and Defence.

Prior to this, Indira Gandhi, as Prime Minister, held additional charge of Finance Ministry in 1970-71. Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, Sitharaman, 60, is considered to be a protege of Jaitley.

Cabinet rolls out PM-KISAN, defence scholarship scheme in first meeting

In the first Cabinet meeting Friday, the government decided to extend PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers, costing Rs 87,000 crore a year, and also announced an over Rs 10,000 crore pension scheme for 5 crore farmers, thereby fulfilling the BJP's poll promise.

Announcing the two key decisions, new Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the Narendra Modi 2.0 government has announced the landmark decisions for the farming community in the first Cabinet meeting.

"The Union Cabinet has approved to extend the ambit of the scheme by including all land holding eligible farmer families under the scheme, subject to the prevalent exclusion criteria," Tomar told reporters after the meeting.

The Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Siddhi (PMKSS) was announced in the interim Budget under which the government decided to provide Rs 6,000 per year (in three equal instalments) to an estimated 12.5 crore small and marginal farmers holding land up to 2 hectares.

Modi on Friday also approved a hike in scholarship given to widows and wards of deceased or ex-service personnel of armed and paramilitary forces from the National Defence Fund and extended its ambit to include wards of state police officials martyred in terror or Maoist attacks. The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs 2,000 per month to Rs 2,500 per month for boys and from Rs 2,250 per month to Rs 3,000 per month for girls, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

Gunman shoots 12 people dead in US' Virginia Beach

A longtime city employee opened fire in a municipal building in Virginia Beach on Friday, killing 12 people on three floors and sending terrified co-workers scrambling for cover before police shot and killed him following a “long gun-battle,” authorities said.

Four other people were wounded in the shooting, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera. The city’s visibly shaken mayor, Bobby Dyer, called it “the most devastating day in the history of Virginia Beach.”

The shooting happened shortly after 4 pm when the veteran employee of the Public Utilities Department entered a building in the city’s Municipal Center, and “immediately began to indiscriminately fire upon all of the victims,” Cervera said. Authorities did not release the suspect’s name, instead choosing to focus on the victims during a news conference.

Unemployment is at 6.1 percent, highest in 45 years

Confirming the unemployment rate projected in a pre-election leaked report, the government Friday said joblessness in the country was 6.1 per cent of total labour force during 2017-18, the highest in 45 years.

The data released by the labour ministry on a day when Modi 2.0 Cabinet took charge, showed 7.8 percent of all employable urban youth being jobless, while the percentage for the rural was 5.3 percent, PTI reported. The joblessness among male on all India basis was 6.2 per cent, while it was 5.7 per cent in case of females.

Australia vs Afghanistan, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka in first double-header of Cricket World Cup 2019

On the third day of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Steve Smith and David Warner will return to international cricket as Australia is set to take on Afghanistan in first of the two encounters scheduled to be played.

This match will be begin at 3 pm (IST). In the second contest, which starts at 6 pm (IST), 2015 finalists New Zealand will be prepared to launch their campaign for World Cup glory against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

Govt fixes price for sovereign gold bonds

The government has fixed the price at Rs 3,196 per gram for the new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs) opening on Monday. The Centre in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to allow a discount of Rs 50 per gram from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode, the central bank said in a statement.

"For such investors, the issue price of gold bond will be Rs 3,146 per gram of gold," it said. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 30 May announced calendar for issuance of SGB for the first half of the current financial year.

Mouni Roy dropped from upcoming film

The producers of the Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer Bole Chudiya, have replaced Bollywood actress Mouni Roy, charging her with "unprofessional behaviour", as reported by IANS. Producer Rajesh Bhatia said in a statement: "We have invested a big amount of money and if asking someone in a civil manner to be professional and be committed to the role is being rude, then, sorry, we are in the serious business of making movies with high stakes and it's not a hobby.

From the time we have signed her, she and her agency have been highly unprofessional and irresponsible, even after signing the MOU and paying her. Even for the final narration held two days back, she walked in at 5.30 pm for a 3 pm narration, embarrassing the producers, director and actor. As for the role, it's one of the best scripts. The role of the girl in the film is central.

It is amusing to hear her complaining. Frankly, I think she knows she is guilty and (is) just trying to defend herself and be in the news." Firstpost has reached out to Mouni Roy for a comment.

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has shut down

A highly popular instant messaging of its time, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has finally shut down its consumer business. However, the company will continue the services to its enterprise customers. The reason behind this move was the lack of users on the service.

At its launch, it was exclusively available for BlackBerry users but it was later launched on other mobile operating systems including Android and iOS.

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Updated Date: Jun 01, 2019 11:45:08 IST