Credit Unions Urge CFPB to Reduce HMDA Regulatory Burden

first_img March 15, 2016 722 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Credit Union HMDA Home Mortgage Disclosure Act 2016-03-15 Staff Writer The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced in October 2015, the finalization of a rule that will improve information about consumers’ access to residential mortgage credit by updating reporting requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).The revamped rule appears to be weighing heavy on the minds of many in the mortgage industry as is brings about several new data point requirements that must be fulfilled by lenders.According to the CFPB, lenders are required to report information about home loans for which they receive applications or that they originate or purchase under the HMDA, which was enacted in 1975. The information reported is used by both the public and regulators to monitor whether the housing needs of communities are being met by financial institutions, to assist in distributing public-sector investment in order to attract private investment where it is needed, and to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.The National Association Federal Credit Union (NAFCU) Regulatory Affairs Counsel Alexander Monterrubio wrote a letter to the CFPB urging the agency to lift some of the regulatory burden on credit unions by revising the HMDA resubmission guidelines.Monterrbio pointed out that a considerable number of data points were added to the HMDA requirements at the CFPB’s discretion, and the data set grew to roughly 38 total data points, which is more than double the current reporting requirement.“NAFCU remains concerned that the tidal wave of regulation related to mortgage lending has significantly altered the market in unintended ways,” he wrote. “The HMDA final rule has undeniably required credit unions to revise their mortgage origination and servicing operations, setting off a chain of high-cost and time-intensive system upgrades.”Monterrubio specifically recommended that the CFPB “mitigate the burden of HMDA data reporting by increasing the error percentage thresholds to reduce the likelihood of triggering the requirement to resubmit data in addition to creating a safe harbor for institutions reporting few entries on their loan/applicant register (LAR),” he wrote in the letter. In addition, he also suggested improving the submission process overall and developing stronger procedures to protect sensitive borrower information.”As the CFPB has repeatedly acknowledged, credit unions have not engaged in the type of practices that the Bureau is seeking to prevent through a modified and expanded Regulation C,” Monterrubio stated. “And yet, the rule’s compliance requirements will undoubtedly add to the regulatory burden felt by credit unions, which drains resources and limits their ability to serve their members. Therefore, NAFCU and our members urge the Bureau to address the overwhelming regulatory burden by increasing the error percentage thresholds to reduce the likelihood of triggering resubmission and creating a safe harbor for institutions reporting few entries on their LAR.”Click here to view the full letter.center_img Credit Unions Urge CFPB to Reduce HMDA Regulatory Burden Sharelast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter ZUMA celebrating its

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterZUMA, celebrating its ninth anniversary in Hong Kong this year, has reinforced its position as an award-winning drinks destination by sweeping two of the top awards in the Asia region. In the first half of 2016, ZUMA’s bar and lounge was named number 39 on the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Bars List and was awarded Best Bar at the Asian Club & Bar Awards this spring.ZUMA’s Bar Development Manager Arkadiusz Rybak has also earned multiple awards since joining ZUMA in 2013 including Drinks World Asia’s 2015 top 25 bartenders in Hong Kong and Macau and Foodie Forks’ 2014 Master of Mixology Award. His passion for travel, books, experimentation and cooking has helped him to develop a sophisticated palate for unique ingredients and flavours, which he incorporates into his cocktail list. Arkadiusz ensures that not a single detail is overlooked behind the bar, right down to the 60 ice balls that are hand-carved at ZUMA each and every night.Arkadiusz’s unique summer-inspired cocktails incorporate the highest-quality ingredients handpicked from around the world. The Shoko Lada, a Japanese twist on the Pina Colada, is made with distilled rum with pandan leaves, homemade white chocolate liqueur, yuzu juice and fresh homemade pineapple puree served in a natural coconut shell from Hawaii. Arkadiusz created the Amazon-inspired “Nekuta” and The Venus Fly Trap after a trip to Brazil where he saw locals drinking water from fly traps. The resulting cocktail, made with coconut rum, clarified Japanese mango and yuzu, is served inside a real fly trap plant.Classic favourites at ZUMA include the Green Apple Fizz, made with Tanqueray gin, green apples, shiso and prosecco and the Zumanuka, a blend of Manuka honey vodka, basil, pineapple, lime and apple. Cocktail connoisseurs also love the Aged Cocktails, a unique offering in Hong Kong made from barrel-aged drinks from 2013.To ensure that the vibes at ZUMA are always right, the Hong Kong establishment has tapped the award-winning ZUMA Dubai’s resident DJ and group music director DJ Adrien Callier to create an energetic backdrop of fresh and funky beats.Later this summer, guests can expect a slew of new offerings including Japanese-inspired cocktails and an innovative selection of specially distilled low ABV martinis, giving guests another reason to see and be seen at the award-winning destination.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

New York New York – Reported by Elite Traveler t

first_imgNew York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineFollowing the spectacular $30 million renovation of its 176 luxury guest rooms and suites, Trump International Hotel & Tower® New York today announced that it has initiated a total renovation of its concourse level. Reopening this May, it will comprise an expanded Trump Spa(tm), reconfigured TechnoGym fitness center, a new fully equipped meeting room and business center, and waiting rooms. The 55-foot, heated lap pool will be embraced by new walls of backlit Jerusalem stone.The new Trump Spa is designed by Ivanka Trump, executive vice president of development of acquisitions of The Trump Organization, who is overseeing the renovation and was also responsible for the recent rooms renovation. The spa will feature three luxurious treatment rooms, including a couple’s treatment room, with the therapist’s sink and cabinet concealed behind a sliding walnut wall. Beautifully dramatic and inviting, the reception area will pair warm walnut with sleek, polished Palissandro marble from Italy. The hallway walls leading to the treatment rooms feature stone inlaid with a serpentine pattern, while stones laid in a scalloped pattern will adorn other areas of the spa. The new manicure-pedicure room will boast a hand-painted, cherry-blossom wall covering.The new men’s and women’s locker rooms will each have a steam room and sauna, backlit mirrors, and full-length lockers. The walls will be tiled in shades of blue and gray, while the floors will have carpet and hardwood – darker in the men’s, lighter in the women’s. The women’s locker room will also have a vanity area for hair and makeup.When the spa reopens in May, a selection of new treatments will debut alongside the classic treatment menu. The Trump Spa is available only to registered guests of Trump New York.The ideal venue for small group looking for convenient meeting facilities, or local businesses in need of an offsite location, the new Trump Conference Room will be outfitted with state-of-the art video conferencing technology and offer gourmet catering by Jean Georges, the hotel’s signature Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant.The new business center will be open to guests 24 hours a day/seven days a week, accommodating up to eight people and featuring four individual computer stations. In addition, the hotel’s signature Trump Attaché(tm) service will be available to guests, providing comprehensive business and personal services.www.trumphotelcollection.comlast_img read more

Committee approves Rep Webbers bill to streamline autonomous vehicle technology

first_img01May Committee approves Rep. Webber’s bill to streamline autonomous vehicle technology Categories: Webber News The Michigan House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Michael Webber to make vehicle platooning easier for semi-trucks in Michigan. Vehicle platooning refers to cars or trucks that are electronically linked to coordinate speeds in order to enhance safety, save time and energy, and reduce emissions. It is already legal on Michigan roads.Webber’s bill exempts semi-trucks operating in a platoon from a requirement that they keep a certain distance between each other.“As Vice Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve seen how autonomous vehicle technology continues to advance and how there will be various portions of the law that need to be updated to reflect changes,” said Webber, of Rochester Hills. “This legislation embraces the use of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roadways and streamlines the process of vehicle platooning.”Webber said the legislation keeps the Michigan Vehicle Code consistent with new technology.House Bill 5749 moves to the full House for consideration.###last_img read more

Roma is now a major producer with hits such as Th

first_imgRoma is now a major producer, with hits such as The Bible.But the star admitted she still misses her home city.“While I’ve spent most of my career in the United States, I’m a Derry girl at heart, and I’m delighted to be home” she said. Derry director Stephen Fingleton picked up the Rising Star award for his film The Survivalist. Roma Downey picks up her Irish Diaspora Award in DublinACTRESS Roma Downey was toasted by blues legend Van Morrison as the two stars attended the glitzy Irish Film and Television Awards.The Derry-born star was celebrating again with family last night after she was handed the inaugural Irish Diaspora Award at Dublin’s Mansion House.The 55-year-old former Thornhill College pupil from the Bogside is now one of Ireland’s richest women. “So what I miss is the past, you know – when my mum and dad were alive.” ShareTweet DERRY’S ROMA DOWNEY RECEIVES IRISH DIASPORA AWARD FROM VAN MORRISONLIAM NEESONSTEPHEN FINGLETONTOUCHED BY AN ANGEL During the awards, Downey paid tribute to the other big Northern Irish winner of the night, Liam Neeson. The Ballymena star of Schindler’s List and the Taken series was presented with the award for he Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Award presented by Irish president, Michael D Higgins. Downey hailed Neeson as “a true inspiration”. She has carved out a successful career in which she won the hearts of Americans as Monica in hit CBS TV show Touched by an Angel. “I do miss home, but sometimes when I come home, I still miss it. DERRY’S ROMA DOWNEY RECEIVES IRISH DIASPORA AWARD FROM VAN MORRISON was last modified: April 11th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

Amazons Whole Foods Deal Will Remake Strip Malls

first_imgAmazon Add to Queue What happens to small businesses if grocery stores shut down? Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals –shares The implications of Amazon’s $13.7-billion Whole Foods Market purchase will go significantly beyond the world of grocery stores, potentially reshaping retail districts in downtowns and suburban shopping areas across America.Not long ago, the typical American strip mall had a video store, music store and a supermarket. However, Napster and iTunes slayed the neighborhood music store, Blockbuster’s 9,000 video stores were killed by Netflix, and now the local grocery store will get a makeover. It’s a change that will reimagine how we shop and create commercial real estate investment opportunities.Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods dramatically changes the $674-billion U.S. grocery market. On the day the deal was announced, competitors across the board — from Walmart and Costco to Kroger and Sprouts Farmers Market — lost a combined $22 billion of market value. That loss came because investors expect Amazon to utterly transform the grocery business.Related: The Winners and Losers in Amazon’s Whole Foods DealWhat’s so scary about Amazon? It makes every business it competes with efficient, squeezing waste out of the supply chain and compressing margins for the entire industry. Now, Whole Foods’ 450 stores in 42 states will form the start of a nationwide distribution center for groceries that will build upon the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery unit, founded in 2007.All Whole Foods’ stores won’t close, but they will change. Yes, customers will always want a neighborhood store for the touch, smell and feel of certain things — to pick up steaks for a dinner party, for fresh pastries and crisp lettuce. However, Amazon won’t stock high-priced downtown real estate with excessive amounts of paper towels and floor cleaning products, or even dry goods such as pasta or canned beans. The mass of these items will instead be stored and distributed from regional warehouse facilities, perhaps automatically shipped directly to customers using predictive models. As a result, the average size of a typical Whole Foods store most likely will shrink, as will the average grocery store across America.Some supermarkets will stay the same, for people who don’t like shopping online or prefer a trip to the store. Most competitors, however, will adapt to the Amazon model, shrinking their footprint and bolstering online capabilities to become more efficient and automated. Large grocers must now change their business model or go the way of the dinosaur.Related: 8 Interesting Tidbits From Whole Foods’ Town Hall Following the Amazon AcquisitionThis will create significant disruption in commercial real estate as countless supermarkets go out of business, others remodel to occupy a smaller footprint, and some move to new premises. We saw similar disruption after the 2008 financial crisis when thousands of car dealers across America went bankrupt as credit dried up and countless supermarkets closed as property prices crashed. A repeat of that dynamic in the grocery sector will be a significant opportunity for investors in distressed assets. At Northstar Commercial Partners, for example, after the crisis we bought five vacated Albertsons stores in Colorado for less than 10 percent of their replacement value. Each of these were repositioned into alternative uses at attractive prices.Investing in such properties, when they become available, requires a creative approach to what could work in the space, whether it’s a single business or remodeling the space to create a series of smaller units. In the case of those Albertsons stores, for example, one is now occupied by an antique dealer, another by a college that wanted a neighborhood presence.In the coming years, spaces now occupied by supermarkets will become children’s play centers, business incubators, leisure centers and even charter schools. Real estate developers and investors attuned to what will appeal to the local officials charged with revitalizing retail districts will find powerful investment opportunities. The properties vacated by the coming grocery transformation will be sold by real estate investment trusts that are overexposed to assets with declining cash flows, companies selling property to invest in operations, as well as by banks that will foreclose on unprofitable businesses.Related: With Whole Foods Purchase, Amazon Just Bought a Playground for Big DataGrocery stores that shut down will dry up foot traffic that helped nearby nail salons to coffee shops stay profitable, further adding to the real estate disruption. The good news is that as countless big box grocery stores close, we should see a rise in the prevalence of specialty stores such as Tony’s Meats & Market in Denver, Wegmans on the East Coast, and Trader Joe’s nationwide. Chains like these (and other newcomers) will expand and can help anchor and revive many developments.For real estate investors, this evolution will create lots of opportunity as developers and town planners rethink the best use for retail square footage. Investors that buy distressed assets will find plenty of properties coming on the market at 50 percent of their replacement value all the way down to pennies on the dollar.Investors in REITs, funds and other investment vehicles should take a close look at the underlying assets in those portfolios. Some may be overexposed to big box grocery stores and those that have not insulated against this coming risk should be re-evaluated. Conversely, investment groups that have cash on hand and a strategy to take advantage of the coming wave of distressed assets may offer a better investment alternative. Register Now » Brian Watson Chairman and CEO at Northstar Commercial Partners 5 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. June 27, 2017 Guest Writer Next Article Image credit: NoDerog | Getty Images Amazon’s Whole Foods Deal Will Remake Strip Mallslast_img read more

Erasing memories could reduce relapse rates among drug addicts

first_imgWhile we’ve always known that the brain forms these cue-associated memories, the specific circuits have never been clearly identified. We’ve found a central piece in the cue-memory puzzle, and we also show that taking out that piece in a substance use scenario can help reverse relapse-like behaviors.”Dr. Mary Torregrossa, Senior Author For the study, the team analysed cue-associated relapse in rats. Upon pressing a lever, the animals received an infusion of cocaine and were also exposed to audio-visual cues in the form of a tone and a light.As the process was repeated, the rats learned to associate the audio-visual cues with the cocaine reward and started to display drug-seeking behavior by continuing to press the lever.The team also simulated exposure therapy by repeatedly exposing the rats to the light or tone, but without providing the cocaine high, which eventually reduced the drug-seeking behavior.However, the exposure therapy failed to work as effectively once the rats were placed in a different setting.Electrical recordings of the rat brain tissue showed that connections between an area of the brain involved in sound perception called the medial geniculate nucleus and another region called the lateral amygdala were essential to the formation of memories that link the cocaine reward with external cues.First author Matthew Rich said this made sense, since the amygdala is where emotional memories are formed: “[The amygdala] receives sensory input and associates that input with what we feel when the cues are presented to us.”To demonstrate a causal relationship between the cue-linked memories and the drug-seeking behavior, the team used optogenetics to erase cocaine-cue memories in some of the rats, which resulted in them pressing the lever significantly fewer times on exposure to the audio-visual cues.This reduction in lever pressing persisted even when the rats were subjected to a different environment, suggesting that it was removal of the cue-associated memories that dampened the tendency to relapse in a new setting.Torregrossa hopes that the findings will help the team to develop drugs or therapies such as deep brain stimulation that will target the cue-associated memories and increase the effectiveness of exposure therapy aimed at preventing relapse. By Sally Robertson, B.Sc.Jan 22 2019Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Erasing memories that link environmental cues to drug use could represent a potential new treatment for drug addiction, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.Fer Gregory | ShutterstockExposure therapy, which aims to break associations between cues and memories, is a well-established approach to treating conditions such as PTSD and phobias. However, it is not particularly effective at treating addiction.Although some positive effects may be seen in a controlled environment, once a person is confronted with the outside environment, the brain responds to the cues by activating the same neurons involved in the original drug-seeking behavior.center_img Source:Erasing memories associated with cocaine use reduces drug seeking behavior.last_img read more

UK MPs pressure Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook data breach

British MPs threatened Tuesday to issue a formal summons to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg for him to testify over a major privacy row, after he declined to appear. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by the US Congress last month but sent one of his executives to answer questions posed by the House of Commons culture and media committee Zuckerberg was grilled by the US Congress last month but sent one of his executives to answer questions posed by the House of Commons culture and media committee.MPs are investigating the use of Facebook data by a British political consultancy, Cambridge Analytica, as well as the phenomenon of “fake news” and Russia’s involvement in spreading misinformation online.In a letter to Facebook, committee chairman Damian Collins cited unconfirmed reports that Zuckerberg would testify to the European Parliament in May and asked him to come to London during the same trip.”We would like the session here to take place by 24 May,” he wrote.”It is worth noting that, while Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country.”We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK.”Ignoring a formal summons could invite action by the House of Commons, although in the past, the threat has usually been enough to make a witness appear.Facebook has admitted that up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign.Collins noted that there are more than 40 million Facebook users in Britain “and they deserve to hear accurate answers” from Zuckerberg.A spokesman for the European Parliament said last week that an invitation had been sent to Zuckerberg to appear before MEPs “but we still wait for an answer… nothing has been decided yet”. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. UK MPs ask Facebook’s Zuckerberg to testify on data row Citation: UK MPs pressure Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook data breach (2018, May 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-uk-mps-pressure-zuckerberg-testify.html Explore further © 2018 AFP read more

Investors will eye cash production in Tesla 1Q earnings

© 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Then Tesla forecast 10,000 Model 3s per month at the end of the first quarter. As it turned out, just under 9,800 were assembled from January through March, Tesla said in April. The Fremont factory was shut down for four or five days last month to clear production bottlenecks, Tesla said.The Palo Alto, California, company predicted in April that production will climb rapidly through the second quarter and reach about 5,000 vehicles per week—which would return Tesla to its originally promised 20,000 per month rate—around the end of June. It predicted high sales and strong cash flow in the third quarter. “As a result Tesla does not require an equity or debt raise this year, apart from standard credit lines,” the company said.The Model 3 is the most important piece of Tesla’s plan to become a mainstream automaker. At one point it had more than 500,000 potential buyers on a waiting list. But in April the company conceded that some had canceled, although it refused to give numbers. Tesla said reservations “remained stable” through the first quarter.Jeffries analyst Philippe Houchois will be watching for gross orders of the Model 3 to look for growth. “If there is underlying demand, funding and manufacturing issues and therefore (stock) valuation can be addressed,” he wrote in a note to investors.Tesla also has to deal with two federal investigations into crashes of its vehicles, at least one of which was operating on the company’s semi-autonomous “Autopilot” system. In that crash on March 23 near Mountain View, California, the driver was killed when his Model X SUV hit a lane barrier. In the other crash near Los Angeles in January, a Model S sedan hit a parked firetruck on a freeway. The driver wasn’t hurt.Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent investigators to the crashes.Tesla was kicked out of the Mountain View investigation team by the NTSB for making details of the probe public, adding to its troubles.Shares of Tesla have suffered on all of the bad news, falling nearly 16 percent from this year’s peak closing price on Feb. 26 to $300.82 in midday trading Wednesday. They’ll want to see how much cash the company burned during the quarter as well as its free cash flow, which is cash generated minus capital spending. Those numbers could either allay or increase fears that Tesla will run out of money this year and have to borrow more or sell additional stock.In last year’s fourth quarter, Tesla burned through $162 million, or roughly $1,200 per minute, knocking its available cash from $3.53 billion down to $3.37 billion. For the full year, Tesla burned up almost $640 million. Free cash flow in the fourth-quarter was a negative $276.8 million.Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Tesla’s debt into junk territory back in March, warning at the time that Tesla didn’t have cash to cover $3.7 billion for normal operations, capital expenses and debt that come due early next year. At the end of last year the company had a total of $9.5 billion in long-term debt.”The negative outlook reflects the likelihood that Tesla will have to undertake a large, near-term capital raise in order to refund maturing obligations and avoid a liquidity shortfall,” Moody’s wrote in a note to investors.Tesla Inc., which has had only two profitable quarters in its nearly eight years as a public company, is expected to lose millions again in the critical first quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet predict a net loss of $713 million, or $4.04 per share. That would be Tesla’s worst quarterly loss. Excluding one-time items the company should lose $3.54 per share on revenue of $3.28 billion.The key to raising cash to cover expenses is production of the Model 3 mass-market electric car, which starts at $35,000 but can easily top $50,000 with options. Tesla has had trouble ramping up its factory in Fremont, California, near San Francisco—so much so that Musk has tweeted he’s sleeping at the plant and that automation is overrated and more humans are needed to build the cars. More humans would cost more money, increasing the cash burn.The plant has wildly missed Musk’s forecasts. When production started last summer he promised to build 20,000 Model 3s during the month of December. Instead, Tesla made only 2,425 during the entire fourth quarter. Explore further Tesla raises production but falls short of Model 3 goals (Update) Citation: Investors will eye cash, production in Tesla 1Q earnings (2018, May 2) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-investors-eye-cash-production-tesla.html When Tesla releases first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Wednesday, investors will be scrutinizing more than the bottom line. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Vellappally threatens counter agitationagainst protests over Sabarimala verdict

first_img COMMENT October 09, 2018 Our Bureau Vellappally Natesan, the vocal chieftain of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, has thrown in his lot with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the Sabarimala issue. The SNDP Yogam is also the ideological parent of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a member of the State unit of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). ‘Campaign against govt’Natesan charged that the ongoing protests against the Supreme Court verdict — allowing women of all ages access to the Sabarimala shrine — is a veiled campaign to oust the CPI(M)-led government. He disapproved of the Nair Service Society (NSS) and the BJP’s campaign against the verdict. “Nobody is winning here,” Natesan said.Observers say that the rivalry between two leading communities in Kerala might come to the fore again after several attempts in the past to cobble up a united front.‘Exclusive mindset’He faulted the upper caste Hindus for not consulting other denominations, including the Ezhavas and other backward communities. “It is not that the Tantri family (traditional high priests at Sabarimala) alone represents the Hindu pantheon,” he said. The Chief Minister had invited the family for conciliatory talks.“Other Hindu denominations should also have been called,” Natesan said. The SNDP Yogam will soon call a meeting of office-bearers. Ezhava women of the restricted age will not enter Sabarimala; but those who wish to, may choose to go. Natesan’s reaction comes at a time when the BJP which is under pressure ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The BDJS did not comment on latest developments. Meanwhile, MT Ramesh, General Secretary, BJP, Kerala, has said in Kochi that the party will not prevent those women from visiting the hill shrine. But said he was convinced that no firm believer of the restricted age would do that. SHARE Published on COMMENTS Vellapally Natesan – The Hindu religion and belief SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more

Rafale verdict gives govt breather ammo

first_imgSHARE COMMENT Vindicated Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday – Kamal Narang courts and legal COMMENTS Rafale Published on SHARE SHARE EMAILcenter_img RELATED Rafale deal: Govt moves SC for correction in judgment order December 14, 2018 Truth has won, says Jaitley; Cong insists judgment based on wrong data in CAG report Our Bureau The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed all the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the ₹58,000-crore Rafale deal. It said there is no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.The verdict was a source of relief to the ruling party, which has been accused of corruption by the Opposition over the defence deal.“Truth always holds together…falsehood is bound to fall apart,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference here on Friday that he held with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.Dubbing the allegations as a ‘fiction writing’ that compromised national security, Jaitely said: “Falsehood has a very short life. In this case, it was a few months. Falsehood lowers the credibility of its creator.”If honest deals are questioned, civil servants and armed forces will think twice before undertaking such a process in future, he said, adding: “The Rafale deal has protected both the security and commercial interest of India.”Asked about the various figures quoted by Congress President Rahul Gandhi alleging corruption in the purchase of the fighter jets, the Minister said those figures are false, and those provided by the government are correct.“Truth has only one version and falsehood has many. That is why Rahul Gandhi quoted several figures,” he said.The government would again press for a debate on this issue in Parliament, Jaitley said. He added that there is a tradition in democracies worldwide of leaders quitting their positions when their lies are caught. The apex verdict is conclusive and leaves no scope for doubt, he said.Three areas of probeSitharaman said the apex court has gone through each of the three broader areas — the decision-making process, pricing and offsets — and clearly dismissed all the petitions.“The UPA government didn’t conclude any aircraft deal for 10 years. To make up for lost time, we added two squadrons to ensure and maintain readiness,” she added.BJP President Amit Shah said the verdict is a ‘slap on Rahul Gandhi’s face’. “An attempt was made to mislead people using lies. Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the nation and the Army. He has put the national security at risk,” he said. “All thieves had gathered to call the chowkidar a thief, but the country never believed it.”The Congress, however, maintained its position that Rafale is a corruption issue involving Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Reliance Defence chief Anil Ambani.It’s wrong: CongressThe party said the “foundation” of the Supreme Court judgment was based on wrong information that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had submitted in a report on the deal. The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had examined the report.“I don’t know if Modi has created his own PAC in the PMO,” quipped Rahul.He demanded that the Centre show the CAG report to the Opposition. “I am not able to understand why there’s such a glaring problem in the foundation of the Supreme Court’s verdict,” he said.PAC Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge added that even the CAG does not have any information on this. “I even doubted that someone might have forged my signature. But there is no such report before either the CAG or the PAC. From where did this report appear? The PAC has been dragged into this matter,” he said. government defencelast_img read more