Here are some amazing financial gifts for your parents

April 13, 2018 10:29 AM

Parents are the greatest gifts you ever received. They work all their life and fulfil all your dreams. It is but natural to have a desire to do something for them when you can. Giving back to parents will make them happy not only because they’re receiving a gift, but also because it’d mean they raised you right and you are truly independent now. Nothing else would make parents happier than seeing their children independent and thriving.

Your parents value your time and their money the most. With growing age, depleting health and income, they find themselves at a stage where it’s hard for them to look for investment options that can maximise the returns on their hard-earned savings and help them fight inflation. Doing something to help them financially would be a gift they’d cherish. Here are a few ways you can show your concern and affection for your parents:

Talk finances with your parents

This is where you start – by talking to your parents to determine how much help they’re going to need. Your parents may have saved enough to cover their expenses post-retirement or conversely, they may not be in such a sound financial situation and may require help.If it’s the latter, you need to help them create a plan that will help them live affordably and well within their means. You could suggest them moving to an area with a lower cost of living, moving in with family, or finding a way to earn money even after they’ve retired.

Plan a budget to help them

Planning a budget to help your parents is crucial. This could mean setting aside money for medical emergencies. It could also mean having them over for meals or making time to do grocery shopping for them.You can make a stressful situation less-stressful by setting aside some money for these expenses. However, you should always discuss these matters with your spouse and not spend money without your partner’s knowledge.

Gift Health Insurance to your parents

As our parents’ age advances, their good health becomes one of our major concerns.With rising medical costs and increasing dependence on private hospitals for quality healthcare, health insurance has become an absolute necessity. By gifting the best health insurance policy in the market to your parents, you can help them live a stress-free and secure life in their retirement days.

With an increase in age, the chances of falling ill also increased. Medical insurance for your parents will ensure good medical treatment for them without worrying about healthcare expenses. You can also add a super top-up policy to the current health insurance for parentsand expand the health cover. A super top-up policy helps in expanding the current medical cover at easy premium rates.

Moreover, in this Union Budget, the government has increased the tax benefit on senior citizen health insurance policies from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. It means, you can secure not only the health of your parents but you can save your tax as well.

Help your parents in their investment

Once you have discussed your finances with your parents, the next is to help them with their investment. There are various investment products where you can make investments in the name of your parents and help them enjoy its returns. For instance, you can invest in post office monthly income scheme for your parents. Monthly Income Scheme (MIS) promises guaranteed returns at an interest rate of 7.7% per annum. Your parents can avail these returns as fixed monthly income. This is a scheme that’s much better than instruments that are debt-based.

Similarly, for a short-tenure, you can invest in liquid funds which have a very low maturity period. For most of the parents, investment is all about fixed deposit only. As the children, it is your responsibility to help themwith their investments.


Your parents have worked hard to provide world’s happiness to you. Now it’s your turn to reciprocate the same. While, for any parent, the time of their kids is the most beautiful gift, this time go one step ahead and secure them financially.



Misconception that India is subsidising exporters: Prabhu

July 07, 2018 03:24 PM

KOLKATA: Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said there is misconception that India is providing subsidies to its exporters, noting what the government gives is to minimise the adversities they suffer in entering the global markets.

"This is a misconception that we subsidise our exports... actually we don't subsidise the exports. What we give to the exporters in India is not any subsidy or incentive to promote exports but in a way, (to) partially offset the inadequate infrastructure support that they have.. the high interest cost in the system," he said.

"We are trying to minimise the adversities they suffer from. This is not actually exports subsidy but in a way it is actually reducing the burden which they suffer to enter the global markets," he said at SHEFEXIL (Shellac and Forest Products Export Promotion Council) Awards for Export Excellence in association with The Economic Times.

Rich countries are providing more subsidies to their farmers that India is giving, he said.

"We are actually in a way not at all violating or not even trying to infringe any of the global trading system," he added.


Life of Yuvraj and the lessons it has for all of us

June 18, 2018 07:45 PM

The man with the history of six sixes has fought a battle that many of us will not be able to compete even in our nightmares. Yuvraj’s life has a lot to teach us and sets an example for all cancer patients who are battling in their lives against this deadly disease.

It is not just about the health insurance policies that a person buys to secure his/her family but also about the courage to fight this battle like a winner. Yuvraj Singh, as his name literally translates, fought like the son of a king and achieved victory over his illness.

Here are few lessons that we all should learn from the man with a rampaging hand in cricket- “Yuvraj Singh.”

  1. Struggle and Struggle till You Make It Happen

Yuvraj thoroughly believes that it is not just about your strength, but it is your struggling power that matters. Strength is something that can be developed enroute your struggling path.

He strongly feels that hardships are part and parcel of life but being bold and able to face all hardships with strength is the essence of life. He believes that life is not easy, and everybody is not born with a golden spoon. Hence,you must make yourown means to survive rather than surrender.

  1. Pursue the Targets for The Team

Yuvraj isthe man amongst the men in blue who has been there with the team in the most challenging times. Like life and health insurance policies which promise to hold your hands in the toughest of times, this man has been there to win matches for the team and chase the high targets set by the opponents.

The middle order duo of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj have worked wonders for the team and have worked forward for pursuing the targets in a never-ending manner.

  1. Fighting the Pains and Making It Happen

Yuvraj’s tear-filled eyes in 2011 at the Wankhede stadium were enough to narrate the story of his sufferings. Hefought like a warrior. He played 2011 world cup in immense pain yet never backed off.

This brave man was set with a target, and in no case, he could turn back without achieving it. Yuvraj is an example for all of us as he teaches us to be strong in all our hardships and make things work out despite facing pains and agony.

He teaches us to overcome all our pains and achieve our conquest. Yuvraj’s story is a story that is quintessential and will be in the hearts of all cricket lovers throughout their life. His determination, enthusiasm and consistency and quench for cricket was the reason behind his success.

  1. The Moral of The Story- Never Give Up

Yuvraj never thought of sitting back and just taking the treatment. He had a motive of making a comeback even after fighting his disease and problems.

He had a never say die outlook, and despite being trolled and faced with oppositions, he fought like a lion and accepted all the challenges that came his way.

  1. Having A Self-Possessed Personality

Yuvraj has created many unforgettable moments for us. Remember the ‘six sixes’?It is one of the unforgettable performances that any cricket lover will ever forget.

This living saga,despite being tormented, kept hitting back and made his way using his dynamic and unflappable personality. It is not everyone’s cup of tea to have an attitude that is so positive despite facing miseries.

But Yuvraj Singh is a true player who showed that cricket is a game of gentlemen. With his tranquil approach, he proved that life might give you thousand chances, but you just need one to prove yourself. 


It is not about how your life is, butabout how you plan to live it. It is either you fight or back out; the call is totally yours. Yuvraj chose to fight and is a living example for all such people who back out.

To conclude, it’s all about fighting back until and unless you achieve your goals.





Top 5 Life insurers in India You Should Consider

Punjab News Express/Swati Walia
April 06, 2018 02:10 PM

Did you know that in India, there are 57 insurance companies? (Source: IBEF) Out of those 57, there are 24 are life insurance companies while the remaining 33 are non-life insurance companies? That means there are at least 25 insurance policies to choose from, especially if you are buying only a primary life cover. Selecting one insurer over other is a challenge. However, this article will talk about the most important factors that matter for an insurance buyer by comparing them with the top five insurance companies. It should help decide between buying the best online term plan hassle-free.

Financial Strength (solvency ratio)

It is the best way to determine how a company is doing. It is the capital size that the company declares depending on the asset it has and its liability. Although it sounds simple, the calculation is a little complicated.

Max Life


Aegon Life

SBI Life

ICICI Prudential Life







Source: Max Life; Value Search, IPO Analysis; Aegon life; IIFL; CEICdata

Incident/Persistency Ratio (talking about customer service)

How do you know that a school or a college is right for your child’s admission? You analyse the consistent results of various schools. Similarly, persistency ratio is the ratio to determine how persistent insurance customers are when it comes to renewing their old insurance. It helps you know which insurer is better than the other. This ratio determination happens in every 13th month, 25th month, 37th month, and 61st month.

Max Life


Aegon Life

SBI Life

ICICI Prudential Life






Source: Max Life; Max Life PDF; Aegon Life; IIFL;

Claim Settlement Process

To ensure that you have the life cover you want to buy, you need to know if the insurer has the provision of smooth and hassle-free claim settlement process. Max Life, HDFC Life, Aegon Life, SBI Life, and ICICI Prudential have an easy settlement process. Customer service is a priority. They like to settle the claim of the claimants as soon as possible so that they live up to the expectations of the customers. They pay your dues in a stipulated time. Let us have a look at their claim settlement ratio to have more clarity on the claim settlement process.


Number of Policies

Claim Settlement Percentage

Max Life






Aegon Life



SBI Life



ICICI Prudential Life




Source: Basunivesh, IRDA Claim Settlement Report 2016-17

Ease of Buying

This point is self-explanatory; however, what do we mean by ease of buying? It is the ease of which you have access to buy insurance. Online plans come handy as everything is available online. You also save money. The top five insurers have online plans such as Cancer plan, Term plan, Health Insurance and more. The best part about buying a term plan or any plan online is that you can make comparison quickly and take a decision. Choosing these companies, you get cancer plan comparison, critical illness plan comparison, and term plan comparison in a few clicks. You either buy a plan online or even call for an insurance agent at your home; the choice is yours!

Other Factors

The above four factors are essential for you to consider. After these, you cannot ignore other factors such as Add-On Covers and maximum term cover. Add-on covers or riders are those products that can add value to your insurance. These top five insurers have the best riders that can make the life insurance you buy more worth it. Term cover is another aspect to consider. Most companies promise to pay a sum of money for sudden death; however, the cover lapses, if the person insured, survives. You get maximum benefits from these insurers.

Happy Buying!

Insurance is a product that we do not feel the need in the beginning; however, with the passing of years, we understand its importance. Can you buy any insurance plan from any company? You cannot! If you think that a plan of different insurers sounds similar, there is a difference in the features.The difference can be a minor one to a major one. Already made up your mind to buy one life cover? Keep the points in mind and proceed with a full-proof insurance buying process.


Punjab Politics

Amarinder follows Badals, legitimises unelected cong leaders in Punjab : Mann

Bhagwant Mann
October 20, 2017 03:50 PM

CHANDIGARH: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Punjab president and Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann has strongly condemned Captain Amarinder Singh led congress government in Punjab for forcibly imposing the rejected leaders on the people of Punjab just the way SAD-BJP government did during its previous tenures. 
Mann said by asking the rejected congress leaders who have lost in the Punjab assembly polls to distribute cheques in various constituencies Capt Amarinder was trying to legitimise the practice which was common during the SAD-BJP regime and against the spirit of democracy. 
Mann said while during the Badals' regime these rejected political leaders were dubbed as Halqa In charge Amarinder has rechristened them as ' social observers' . 
Mann said before forming the government early this year Capt Amarinder used to criticise Badals for unleashing the unelected leaders on the people of Punjab which he used to term as absolutely unconstitutional. 
However barely six months have gone by since the congress government came to power that Amarinder began to follow the same unconstitutional practice of the previous SAD-BJP government which he once so vociferously criticised. 
Mann while giving an example said the Akali government had imposed former bureaucrat and unelected leader Darbara Singh Guru on the people off Bhadaur constituency in Sangrur district and now Capt Amarinder has brought his one time close associate & former MLA Kewal Singh Dhillon in Barnala assembly segment to distribute cheques which was completely against the spirit of democracy. 
Mann said since these unelected leaders have no constitutional authority and accountability they often indulge in illegal and undemocratic practices and their excesses in the constituencies were conveniently ignored by the incumbent state government. 
Meanwhile, on the eve of Diwali festival, AAP, Punjab president and Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann has wished a very happy and safe Diwali for the People of Punjab hoping that the lights of Diwali will also bring peace and prosperity in their lives. 


Sharif, daughter, son-in-law indicted for graft

Mariam Nawaz
October 19, 2017 09:25 PM

ISLAMABAD: Ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Mohammad Safdar were indicted by an accountability court on Thursday in a corruption reference pertaining to the London properties owned by the family.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three references against the Sharif family related to their Avenfield properties in London, the Azizia Steel Mills as well as another 16 offshore companies. One reference was filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The references were filed by the NAB in the National Accountability Court in the light of Supreme Court orders in so-called Panama Papers case. The apex court had disqualified Sharif from holding office on July 28.

All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and vowed to contest the case. The court indicted the former Premier through pleader Zafir Khan as Sharif is in London with his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. The charges against Maryam and Safdar were framed in person, Dawn online reported.

The former Prime Minister was also indicted in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment references as well. His sons -- Hassan and Hussain -- were named co-accused in the chargesheet in the references.

The court proceeded with the verdict after rejecting applications filed by Sharif, Maryam and Safdar requesting suspension of their indictment.

Maryam Nawaz told reporters as she was leaving the court: "One day there would be accountability of the accountability process her family is going through. Injustice and atrocities cannot continue together."

She said this was the first case of its kind "in which the verdict had been announced first and the trial was being held later."

Commenting on reports that a NAB team has gone to London to collect evidence about Sharifs' properties, Maryam wondered how NAB could now be entrusted with the investigation when the Supreme Court had criticised it for being ineffective during the Panama Papers case hearings.

"Has the JIT's fraud been exposed or has NAB suddenly woken up?" she asked.

Speaking to Geo News about Maryam and Captain Safdar's indictment, Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid said: "The law has truly been implemented today."

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesman Fawad Chaudhary said his party was satisfied with the progress of the case.

"We are happy this case is proceeding correctly and at a swift pace. This indictment has come in just one case, there are two other cases as well.

"All the money involved in these cases belongs to the people of Pakistan, and this money will be brought back to Pakistan," Chaudhary said.

A number of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and workers were present outside the court complex. They held a protest after the police did not allow them to enter the premises.

Online Business

Five tips to start your new online business this Diwali

Photo Curtesy:
October 18, 2017 01:24 PM

NEW DELHI: Diwali is a great time to start your new online business or to take your existing business online.

So what is your next step? You've created your online store, taken some amazing photos of your products and activated an appropriate payment platform. Congratulations, you are up and running. Now you just need to sit back and wait for the customers to come pouring in, right?

Well, yes, in an ideal world -- but with the explosion of growth in e-commerce, you still need to make your store stand out from the crowd, grab your customers' attention, hold it and keep them returning for more. Here are five golden rules to start a successful business this Diwali.

1. Make your site clear and simple to use: When a customer reaches your site it should be obvious what you sell. Use a clean and professional template design that is simple in its message. Don't allow the customer to be distracted by countless and un-needed information. Show your most popular and best-selling products first as a way to draw people in to start exploring your site. Consider using a "carousel" picture collage so that they can easily scroll through the images and see what's on offer.

2. It's the little extras that make a big difference: Free shipping, great returns policy (or free returns over a certain purchase value), a toll free number -- making use of incentives to attract users is a great way to encourage loyalty. If you are able to offer these great advantages, make sure you shout about them loud and clear on your homepage.

3. Testimonials and reviews: Take one of your glowing references and put it somewhere obvious on your homepage. If you can accompany this with a picture, it reinforces the fact that real people trust and use your products and services. Customer reviews are trusted 12 times more than marketing by a company

4. Daily deals and other discounts: Daily deals are another hugely popular idea. By selling a limited quantity of products for a short amount of time you can generate new interest and increase your client base. Once you have drawn them in -- invite them to preview your other products.

5. Make a connection: Try to re-think your site as a content site that happens to sell products. Talk to your customers as you would to a friend and engage them so that they keep coming back for more. If you can demonstrate that you are passionate about your products and give tips and ideas on ways to use them, such as a demonstration video or a pinboard using your products, it adds more value to your site.

(Anurag Avula is the CEO of The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at

Punjab Crime

Jalandhar Police Commissionerate launches 'City Patrol; scheme to curb crime

October 17, 2017 03:48 PM

Jalandhar, Oct.17-  In a step aimed at enhancing vigil in the city to keep a check over law and order situation in the city besides strengthening Police-public connect, the Jalandhar Police Commissionerate today launched the ‘City Patrol’-  a foot patrolling scheme in the city.

Launching this unique initiative from Model Town market, the Police Commissioner Jalandhar Praveen Kumar Sinha today said that the step was aimed towards enhancing better Police-people connectivity. He said that this effort was aimed at checking the petty crimes besides instilling a sense of confidence and trust amongst the people. Sinha said that this initiative was the brainchild of the Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Suresh Arora who has directed that this should be started in six big cities of the state
including Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bathinda, Patiala, and Mohali.

The Police Commissioner said that under this scheme 12 teams of the Police officials have been constituted with a male and female Police official. He said that these teams would patrol on foot in the congested areas of the district along with the interior bazaars.  Sinha said that in case of any sort of emergency in these areas these teams would ensure rapid action by immediately reaching the spot of crime.

The Commissioner of Police said that these officials would be equipped with ultra-modern gadgets and equipment to deal with any sort of urgency. He said that besides a weapon, baton and handcuff these officials would also have an armband to show their identity. Likewise, Mr. Sinha said that these officials would also have a Tab with VAAHAN and Beat Book App loaded in it for their facilitation, better communication and performance.

The Commissioner said that these Foot Patrolling or Beat Patrolling has been an intrusive part of policing and perhaps was the oldest tradition in policing. He said that this patrolling would increase Police visibility in urban areas, and hence, ostensibly deters crime adding that it would also enhance citizens’ feeling of safety. Likewise, Sinha said that it would also encourage greater contact with the community and facilitates relationship-building between officers and community.

The Commissioner of Police also said that this system would also be fruitful for improving Police Officers’ job attachment besides enhancing enforcement and problem-solving capacity of Police officers.

Likewise, he said that it would also reduce citizen complaints and frivolous lawsuits besides increasing legitimacy of Policing. Prominent amongst another present on the occasion included Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajinder Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police  D Sudarvizhi, Assistant Commissioner of Police Deepika Singh, Harwinder Singh, Sameer Verma, Parminder Singh, Kailash Chander, and others.

Punjab Government

Punjab cabinet clears Industrial and Business development policy, puts off tourism, agri policies

Punjab Newsline Network
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh holds cabinet meeting in Chandigarh
October 16, 2017 08:44 PM

Chandigarh, Oct.16- In order to boost industrialization and revive economic activity in the state, the Punjab Cabinet today approved the new Industrial and Business Development Policy-2017, paving the way for fixing of industrial power tariff at Rs 5 per unit w.e.f November 1 and a one-time settlement of industrial loans.

A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, put its stamp of approval on various important salient features of the policy, including provision of fixed tariff for five years to the existing and new industries.

The cabinet in the meantime puts off the agriculture policy and tourism policy even though state government had promised to introcude the policies. There is no tourism and agriculture policy in Punjab since the time so SAD-BJP government. Tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was very enthusiastic about the tourism policy but it seems he would have to wait long for nod from Chief Minister.

An official spokesman said that besides providing for incentives for expansion, modernization and upgradation of existing units at par with new units, the new policy envisages a one-time settlement for industries against loans taken from the Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation (PSIDC), the Punjab Financial Corporation (PFC) and the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Ltd. (PAIC).

According to an official spokesperson, the One Time Settlement (OTS) Policy, 2017, would help in releasing the blocked industrial investments and assets to put the same into productive use so as to revive the existing industries in Punjab. It will also result in reducing the burden of litigation of these Corporations and generate revenues for their developmental activities.  

Power Minister Rana Gurjit abstained from discussion on the one-time settlement of loans as his company would also benefit from the move, said the spokesperson.

Giving details of the new industrial policy, the spokesperson said industrial infrastructure development is also high on the priority agenda under the provisions, which provide for development of border districts, extreme border zone and Kandi areas. The Chief Minister, at the cabinet meeting, proposed hiking the incentives for existing industry in border areas from 125% to 140%.

The new policy, formulated by the Department of Industries and Commerce as per the mandate given to it at the first cabinet meeting of the Captain Amarinder government on March 17, has been prepared in consultation with all stakeholders, including Industrial Associations and the Departments concerned. It is centered on the `Business First’ philosophy, with a single-window approach to provide simplified and easy clearances and approvals at every stage.

Aimed at promoting ease of business, the new industrial policy is founded on the eight strategic pillars of Infrastructure, Power, MSME, Startup and Entrepreneurship, Skill Development, Ease of Doing Business, Fiscal & Non-Fiscal Incentives, Stakeholder Engagement & Policy Implementation Unit and Sector Specific Strategies.

Strongly focused on the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), it seeks to facilitate implementation of various central and state government policies for the development and growth of MSME units. It envisages establishment of 10 technology centers, 10 common facility centers and 10 clusters for development in first phase. Besides, the State would set up MSME Facilitation Councils under MSME Act 2006 at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, SAS Nagar and Patiala to provide remedial measures to Micro and Small units for delayed payments by Medium and Large industries.

Single window facility to existing industries/MSMEs at the District Level and special relief for sick MSME units are other important features. The latter will involve deferment of recovery of arrears of Electricity Duty, Power Bills, House Tax and Water Charges for a period of five years. These units shall also be exempted from minimum charges for electric connection during closure period and incentive of exemption from electricity duty for two years shall also be provided.

The state would also provide One Time special relief package for BIFR registered/declared sick Large units by reimbursement of 75% of net VAT/net SGST for a period of five years for border district and 50% of net VAT/net SGST for a period of five years of other districts and deferment of recovery of arrears of Electricity Duty, Power Bills, House Tax and Water Charges for a period of five years. These units shall also be exempted from minimum charges for electric connection during closure period and incentive of exemption from electricity duty for three years shall also be provided.

Upgradation of PSIEC as a statutory authority, with all industrial estates to be maintained by it, is another highlight of the policy. Development of 14 new industrial parks and standardisation of all estate management policies and procedures have also been provided for in the industry. It also provides for establishment of exhibition and convention centres in Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar in the first phase.

The policy provides various incentives such as investment subsidy by way of reimbursement of net SGST, exemption from electricity duty, property tax and other incentives. MSME units have been given more incentives than large industries, including access to finance, access to infrastructure, access to market, access to technology, access to facilitation.

Additional fiscal incentives have been given to industrial units in the thrust sectors across Manufacturing and Service industries. While the manufacturing thrust sectors include E-vehicle, Medical Equipment, Apparel, Footwear, Electronics, Food Processing Industries, Aerospace and Defence, and Biotechnology, among others, the Service Industry thrust sectors identified by the government are IT and ITES, Life Sciences, Skill Development Centers, Healthcare, Tourism & Hospitality, Media and Entertainment, as well as Logistics.

Other highlights of the policy include creation of Rs 100 crore fund to promote start-up culture in the state, besides establishment of a Skills University and industry specific skill development centers. All skill training schemes will be brought under one agency namely Punjab Skill Development Mission.

To promote stakeholder engagement and governance mechanism, it is proposed to set up Punjab Industrial and Business Development Board under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister and comprising of other relevant Ministers, Chief Secretary and other Administrative Secretaries.

Specific strategies will be formulated for specific sectors to address their respective problems and promote their growth.

Canada Politics

Trudeau defends NAFTA, calls for labour improvements

Punjab Newsline Network
Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
October 14, 2017 10:50 AM

Mexico City, Oct 14- Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and called for changes to the deal that ensure workers across the region enjoy better labour standards and compensation.

"Our challenge lies in ensuring that everyone benefits from economic growth. And we do that by pursuing an ambitious vision of what the future can - and should - look like," Trudeau said on Friday in a speech before the Mexican Senate, Efe news reported.

He said the economies of the US, Canada and Mexico had been tightly integrated by NAFTA and that integration was more important than ever.

Speaking on the second and final day of his official visit to Mexico, he noted that the North American free trade area was the world's largest and represented more than a quarter of global gross domestic product.

Trade between Mexico and Canada exceeded $20 billion in 2016 and has increased nine-fold since NAFTA took effect in 1994.

He said the two countries should use that relationship as a springboard for close collaboration on the great challenges of our time, including climate change and respect for human rights.

Trudeau also urged the lawmakers to use their influence to effect change that helps women in Mexico and elsewhere.

"As a gender-balanced Senate, I challenge you to use your position and power to strongly push for the rights of women and girls in Mexico and around the world," he said.

The Prime Minister furthermore called for strengthening the middle class to ensure people are prospering in a globalised world and are certain that employers and governments are looking out for their wellbeing.

To that end, NAFTA -- which US President Donald Trump is seeking to renegotiate and possibly scrap in favor of bilateral agreements - must contain stronger protections for workers.

"Progressive labour standards are how we ensure that a modernized NAFTA will also bolster not just free and fair trade, but will enjoy long-lasting popular support," he said.

Trudeau also alluded to a key element in current NAFTA renegotiation talks -- low Mexican wages relative to the US and Canada.

"We must pursue trade agreements that are win, win, win, helping workers across North America achieve better standards, wages and working conditions," he said.


Congress seeks Amit Shah's resignation over spike in turnover of son's firm, BJP hits back

October 09, 2017 11:21 PM

Punjab Newsline Network
New Delhi, Oct 9- The Congress on Monday stepped up its attack over Amit Shah's son Jay Shah's business demanding resignation of the BJP chief and Rahul Gandhi bringing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the line of fire accusing his government of practicing crony capitalism.

The Congress also sought a probe into the "sudden spurt" into the turnover of a company belonging to Jay Shah by a two-member commission of Supreme Court judges, questioned the timing of the closure of Jay Shah's company weeks before demonetisation and the move of Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta deciding to fight the case for Jay Shah.

The BJP hit back accusing Rahul Gandhi of being anti-progress and terming Congress as "sultanate of corruption." Party leader Smriti Irani also said that Jay Shah's business was perfectly legitimate and legal and rejected allegations of crony capitalism.

She accused the Congress of attempting to divert attention "from their own scams and misdeeds."

Uttar Pradesh minister Siddharth Nath Singh also took potshots at Rahul Gandhi, saying "this leader fails to come out of his diaper as he does not even pay attention to the fact that the company he is referring to had closed before demonetisation".

The BJP had on Sunday rubbished the allegations and Jay Shah issued a statement saying the article carried by the website 'The Wire' had made "false, derogatory and defamatory imputations" against him.

The Congress offensive on Monday had a national footprint with Rahul Gandhi leading the attack in Gujarat during his tour of the election-bound state and the party holding press conferences at New Delhi, Lucknow and Jaipur. The Kerala unit of the party also issued a statement.

Gandhi spoke to enthusiastic crowds in Nadiad district of Gujarat and took pot shots at the Modi government.

"When it comes to helping, they help only a handful of industrialists. For 10-12 years, Amit Shah's son's company had nothing, but started earning only after 2014. 'Ajeeb duniya hain' (It's a strange world).

"He (Jay Shah) started with Rs 50,000, and in a year it jumped to Rs 80 crore. This is 'Start Up India', 'Make in India'," he said, mocking the Prime Minister's pet schemes.

"Complete my sentence, 'Na khaunga, Na khaney dunga. Kahan gaya chowkidar? Ye hain Gujarat ki sachchai (I will not indulge in corruption, nor let others indulge in corruption. Where is the gatekeeper? This is the reality of Gujarat)," Gandhi added, as the cheering crowds repeated after him.

He also made a tweet, describing Jay Shah as "Shah jada" and asking Modi if he was "chowkidar" (gatekeeper) or bhagirdar (participant)" in the former's fortunes.

Congress leader Anand Sharma held a press conference in the national capital and asked why Temple Enterprises, a firm owned by Jay Shah, shut down four weeks before the November 8 demonetisation.

"We are not levelling any allegations (of criminality) in this. But it should be made public which commodities were exported/imported by Jay Shah's firm Temple Enterprises and to which countries so that they earned Rs 51 crore from foreign countries and their turnover swelled by 16,000 times," he said.

On Sunday, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said at a media briefing that Temple Enterprises had recorded losses in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 of Rs 6,230 and Rs 1,724, respectively but showed a profit of about Rs 18,000 in 2014-15.

But the following year (in 2015-16), the company's turnover jumped to Rs 80 crore, he said.

Sharma said it was " beyond comprehension" why persons who had raised company's turnover 16,000 times in a year would suddenly decide to shut it down.

The Congress also continued to raise questions over Rs 10.35 crore loan given to Kusum Finserve, a company owned by Jay Shah that dealt in shares and stocks before getting a contract to build a 2.1 MW windmill in Madhya Pradesh.

"We request the Prime Minister to break his silence over this issue and constitute an inquiry commission consisting of two sitting judges of the Supreme Court," the Congress leader said.

"We are not levelling any allegations. And for the sake of fair and impartial inquiry, Amit Shah must resign as the BJP President as well as from the Rajya Sabha," Sharma said, adding that former BJP chiefs including L.K. Advani, Bangaru Laxman and Nitin Gadkari had resigned in the wake of allegations against them.

Irani, in a statement, said the Congress aggression against Jay Shah was "clearly off tack". "Jay Shah's business is perfectly legitimate and legal. TDS is paid, loans are repaid and company closed after losses. Does this reek of cronyism?" she asked.

"Instead of seeking answers on 80 crores of transactions that are within the purview of the law, it would be more prudent for the Congress to give an account for the more than 80 scams and the Rs 1,80,000 crore that India has lost due to corruption and cronyism of successive Congress governments," she said.

She alleged that the Nehru-Gandhi family "was pressuring banks to give loans to Vijay Mallya in return of airline upgrades is now questioning others."

Irani said Congress attempt to divert attention "from their own scams and misdeeds will not work" and added that "people of India comprehensively rejected the Congress' 'Sultanat' of Corruption".

Dera Sacha Sauda Cases

Lies, half-truths, secrets -- all from Khattar government!

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar
August 28, 2017 02:27 PM

CHANDIGARH:  In the past over 100 hours of the Dera Sacha Sauda mayhem, the BJP government in Haryana led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar relied on lies, half-truths and secrecy to defend itself in the face of the mayhem which left 36 people dead and over 250 injured.

The Khattar government, which has come under attack for its inept handling of tough situations leaving the common people at the mercy of marauding mobs, be it the Jat agitators in February last year or the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) followers on Friday, has chosen to brazenly pat itself on its back for "controlling the situation within three hours" and even claiming that things could have been worse.

What the Khattar government is not wanting to admit is that its "achievement" was at the cost of 36 lives lost in these three hours.

While Khattar chose to remain silent for several hours before and after the violence, his chosen officers, comprising Director General of Police (DGP) B.S. Sandhu, Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas, Advocate General B.R. Mahajan and others, continued to mislead the Punjab and Haryana High Court, media and the public with unabashed lies and half-truths.

Khattar, who visited the Panchkula General Hospital just hours after the violence, had no idea as to how many people died in the incident. In front of TV cameras, he turned to some "IG saab" (Inspector General) and said 15 had died. The media said it was 22. Khattar replied: "Aap keh rahe ho toh 22 maan lete hain."

For Khattar, even the virtual insinuations by the High Court against his government's mishandling of the build-up of Dera followers and the violence seemed to have little effect.

DGP Sandhu was centerstage during the entire episode in covering up for the actions, or the lack of it, of the Khattar government and his own force.

He denied vehemently that the Haryana Police ran away when the violence started after the verdict went against the Dera chief and he was convicted of rape by the CBI special court here on Friday.

Video and photographic evidence and personal accounts of reporters on the ground belied the DGP's claims that the Haryana Police did not run away.

When the DGP was asked how the so-called daughter, Honeypreet, of the Dera chief was allowed to get into the helicopter, specially arranged by the Haryana government to transport the convicted self-styled godman to Rohtak, he feigned ignorance.

He later said he will investigate and that he did not know about it. Honeypreet, a close aide of the controversial godman, accompanied him with several bags and suitcases till the prison near Rohtak.

The DGP also denied the incident inside the court complex immediately after the sect chief's conviction in which one of his own senior officer was slapped allegedly by security personnel of the disgraced godman and another one was shoved around.

Chief Secretary Dhesi too covered up for the actions of the state government which continued to be soft towards the sect chief and his followers. He denied that any VIP treatment, including an air-conditioned room and a water purifier, was given to the sect chief in prison.

Both officers were on the defensive when asked how the sect chief came with a motorcade of nearly 200 vehicles, including several of his Lexus and Mercedes SUVs and Z-plus security vehicles, to Panchkula despite court orders to the contrary.

After the media highlighted the lapses and VIP treatment, the Haryana government ended up sacking law officer (Deputy Advocate General) Gurdas Singh Salwara, who had picked up a suitcase of the sect chief after his conviction, and suspended senior police officer Ashok Kumar (Deputy Commissioner of Police) for not issuing proper orders to prohibit assembly of Dera followers in Panchkula.

The DCP's suspension was questioned by the High Court.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court bench of Acting Chief Justice Surinder Singh Saron, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Avneesh Jhingan took the Haryana government and its Advocate General B.R. Mahajan to task for misleading the court on various occasions.

"The administrative decisions were paralysed because of the political decisions," the bench observed.

The High Court didn't mince words to accuse the Khattar government of succumbing to "vote bank politics" (the Dera had supported the BJP in the 2014 elections) and letting the Dera followers gather and create mayhem. It held that the Khattar government was in collusion with the DSS.

The bench even questioned Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, who was recently seen touching the feet of the sect chief and prostrating before him, for giving a grant of Rs 51 lakh from the state funds to the DSS.

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