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Nirmala Sitharaman, US Treasury Secretary Discuss Combating Terror Funding – dot newz

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her American counterpart Janet Yellen.

New Delhi:

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her American counterpart Janet Yellen on Thursday discussed among other issues fighting illicit finance, money laundering and combating terrorism financing.

The two dignitaries had a wide-ranging discussion during the eighth India-USA Economic and Financial Partnership meeting.

The importance of fighting illicit finance and the need for continued cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the terror funding was underpinned by Ms Sitharaman and Ms Yellen, the Finance Ministry said in a tweet, as the two countries issued a detailed joint statement after the meeting.

“We continue to strengthen our cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and coordination,” said the joint statement.

“Both sides agree on the importance of fighting financial crimes and on the effective implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards to protect our financial systems from abuse,” it added.

During the first India-US Economic and Financial Partnership meeting since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries also agreed on further engagements on emerging financial sectors such as cross-border payments, payment systems and the development of an International Financial Services Centre.

Ms Sitharaman and Ms Yellen were also joined by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das, during the meeting.

Ms Sitharaman and Ms Yellen affirmed their commitment to continue engagement both bilaterally and multilaterally to address global economic issues.

“During the ministerial meeting, we took stock of the extensive efforts that have already been undertaken by both sides to deepen mutual understanding and highlighted new elements of the vital bilateral relationship,” the joint statement said.

“We had productive discussions on a range of subjects, including the macroeconomic outlook and recovery from the pandemic, financial regulatory and technical collaboration, multilateral engagement, climate finance, and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT),” it said

The two leaders acknowledged the unprecedented impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on lives and livelihoods.

“We also addressed the importance of maintaining supportive policies until a strong and inclusive recovery is firmly entrenched,” it said.

According to the Joint Statement, the meeting featured the Economic and Financial Partnership’s first session dedicated to climate finance, reflecting their respective commitments to driving urgent progress in combating climate change and the critical role of climate finance in achieving this shared global goal.

“We shared views on the re-energized global efforts to increase climate ambition as well as our respective domestic efforts to meet our publicly expressed climate goals,” the statement said.

“We agreed that public finance, when paired with enabling policies, can promote private finance,” it added.

The two countries reaffirmed the collective developed country goal to mobilise USD100 billion annually for developing countries from public and private sources, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.

“We intend to engage further on addressing climate change between our two ministries, as well as through the Finance Mobilization pillar of the recently launched Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) under the US-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership,” it said.

Reemphasizing their commitment to the central role of multilateral cooperation in addressing global challenges, both sides affirmed their commitment to debt sustainability and transparency in bilateral lending.

Acknowledging the importance of working through multilateral development banks to help India access and mobilise available funds to support development objectives, including for climate, the two leaders welcomed the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework political agreement on October 8 as representing a significant accomplishment for updating the international tax architecture to reflect the modern economy and establish an international tax system that is more stable, fairer, and fit for purpose for the 21st century.

“We take note of the progress made in sharing financial account information between the two countries under the Inter-Governmental Agreement under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA),” it said.

“The two sides should continue to engage in discussions on the full reciprocal arrangement on FATCA. The two sides look forward to continued collaboration for increased cooperation in sharing of information for tackling offshore tax evasion,” the statement added.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)





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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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