Daily Bulletin: Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in India; SC to hear petition challenging Maha Vikas Aghadi; day's top stories

Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to hold talks with Narendra Modi during three-day maiden visit to India

In his first overseas tour after taking reins of Sri Lanka over a week ago, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Delhi on a three-day visit, signalling his intent to deepen bilateral ties with India on Thursday.

On Friday, Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold extensive talks to explore ways to further expand the already close ties between the two neighbouring countries. A plethora of issues including fulfilling aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, the situation in the Indian Ocean region and steps to boost trade and investment ties are likely to figure in the talks.

The Sri Lankan leader will also meet President Ram Nath Kovind. Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary who is credited with ending the country's long civil war, was sworn in as the island nation's new president on 18 November a day after he won the closely fought presidential election in the island nation.

Three days later, he appointed his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister. The newly-elected Sri Lankan president was received at the airport by Union minister V K Singh.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar travelled to Colombo last week as a special envoy of Modi to convey his greetings to Rajapaksa. There have been apprehensions among the minority Tamil and Muslim communities about the new government's policies towards them after the Rajapaksa clan tightened its grip over the country.

SC to hear petition challenging Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance today

The Supreme Court will on Friday hear a petition seeking the post-poll alliance between Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress in Maharashtra to be declared unconstitutional and null and void.

The petition has been filed by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha spokesperson Pramod Pandit Joshi.

 Daily Bulletin: Sri Lanka president Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in India; SC to hear petition challenging Maha Vikas Aghadi; days top stories

Supreme Court of India. Reuters

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana and comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Ashok Bhushan will hear the matter tomorrow.

The same bench had heard the plea of three parties against the decision of Maharashtra Governor to swear-in BJP's Devendra Fadnavis as the chief minister and NCP's Ajit Pawar as his deputy last week.

The bench had asked for a floor test to be conducted in the Assembly, following which the two leaders tendered their resignation, paving way for the 'Maha Vikas Aghadi', comprising the other three parties, to stake claim to form the government.

Nirmala Sitharaman to move Taxation Laws Bill in Lok Sabha today

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is to move the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha for further amendment. According to PRS Legislative, The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill provides for the reduction in rates of corporate income tax as an additional fiscal stimulus to attract investment, generate employment and boost growth and provides for the establishment of an authority to develop and regulate the financial services market in the International Financial Services Centres set up in Special Economic Zones in India.

The bill was introduced in Upper House by the Piyush Goyal, on 12 February  2019. This bill was slated to be introduced in the Lok Sabha only after its withdrawal from the Rajya Sabha. Approval for the same was granted by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

In Rajya Sabha, V Muraleedharan is to to make a statement regarding the government business for the week commencing on 2 December, Monday.

Impasse over TSRTC ends; workers to resume duty starting today

Ending an impasse over Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) workers' strike that lasted for nearly two months, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Thursday said that the employees can happily resume their duties starting tomorrow (Friday).

"The employees can happily join the services from tomorrow," the Chief Minister said after a cabinet meeting, which was held in Hyderabad.

Since October, around 48,000 employees were on strike urging to merge TSRTC with the government along with other demands like a revision of pay.

Announcing compassionate jobs to the kin of RTC employees who died during the strike, Rao said, "The government will sanction Rs 100 crores to the RTC for immediate working capital. We will also increase ticket fare by 20 paise so that it will help the RTC in generating more revenue."

"I am going to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Soon after, I am going to meet RTC employees and I will speak to them personally. We will not let any union speak to us. We will set up a 'Workers Welfare Council' with a senior minister in charge," he added.

While criticised various unions, parties, especially Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state, for inciting the employees, the Chief Minister said, "Oppositions have used RTC employees for their politics."

Moreover, he said that the Telangana government has decided to release Rs 571 crores to repair the roads which got damaged in the rains.

Paytm in talks to raise another $1 billion in funding finds report

Digital payments major Paytm is looking at raising another round of funding of $1 billion, and is in discussion with multiple investors, including former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, according to sources, a PTI report said.

Sources close to the development said the discussions are on and might take a few weeks to get finalised.

They added that the funds will be used to expand the merchant offerings across India to equip them with technology and various other services.

Paytm declined to comment, while a response from Cameron could not be elicited immediately.

Paytm had earlier this week announced a $1 billion (around Rs 7,173 crore) fundraise led by US-based asset management firm T Rowe Price. Existing investors Alibaba, Softbank and Discovery Capital had also participated in the funding round.

Interestingly, Paytm founder and Chief Executive Officer Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted a photograph of him and Cameron on Thursday.

Arvind Swami, Prem Chopra, Ilaiyaraaja felicitated at IFFI 2019 closing ceremony

Prem Chopra along with veteran Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj, film composer Ilaiyaraaja, Tamil actor Arvind Swami and Manju Norah was honoured at the closing ceremony of the 50th International Film Festival of India.

Pandit Birju who was not in attendance physically said in a video message played at the ceremony, "I am receiving this award for my contribution to the film industry and I wish to continue the same."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Nov 29, 2019 07:56:23 IST