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 Citing upside risks to the Reserve Bank's inflation target for March 2017, Governor Raghuram Rajan today maintained status quo on key rates at his last policy review meeting, as was widely expected, but underlined that the central bank continues to be accommodative.

"It is appropriate for the Reserve Bank to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at this juncture, while awaiting space for policy action. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative and will continue to emphasize the adequate provision of liquidity," he said in the third bi-monthly review of the monetary policy for the current fiscal.

Accordingly, the overnight repo rate at which RBI lends to the system has been retained at 6.5 per cent, while the reverse repo rate which is paid to banks has been maintained at 6 per cent. The Cash Reserve Ratio will be at 4 per cent.

Rajan said risks to the March 2017 target of 5 per cent for headline inflation --- which climbed to a 22-month high of 5.8 per cent in June --- "continue to be on upside" on factors like food inflation, services and the effect of the seventh pay panel implementation to government employees.

The strong sowing and the positive progress of the monsoon augurs well for the food inflation, RBI said, adding that prices of pulses and cereals are rising.

On growth, RBI maintained its projection of 7.6 per cent on a gross value addition basis, saying the favourable monsoon which is 3 per cent above the average which raises agricultural growth and rural demand and higher consumption on the back of the 7th Pay Commission implementation will be aiding it.

Rajan, who will return to academia after his current three-year at RBI tenure ends on September 4, had started-off his stint here with a couple of rate hikes, which earned him blame from certain quarters as an inflation hawk.

Signing of the inflation targeting framework between the RBI and the Government based on the recommendations of a committee headed by his Deputy Governor Urjit Patel only cemented the reputation.

With the Monetary Policy Committee framework on the anvil, wherein shaping of the policy will shift to the panel, this might also be the last of the Governor-led policy announcements at Mint Street.

RBI today welcomed the passage of the Constitutional amendments for transition to the Goods and Services Tax saying it "augurs well for the growing political consensus for economic reforms.
-Source PTI


Rajan leaves rates unchanged; warns of inflation risks
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday said that the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become a "threat to the democratic and federal structure of the country".

"The examples of Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and very recently of Puducherry show that Modiji has no faith in democracy and the federal structure of the country," AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.

"He (Narendra Modi) wants to run the government by force," he added.

He also demanded that Parliament should discuss the issue of the misuse of post of Governors and Lt. Governors on an urgent basis.

"The Parliament should discuss the issue and make a strong law so that the posts of Governor and Lt. Governor are not misused to topple any elected government," Singh said.

He also attacked Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi for interfering in the functioning of the elected government of the Union Territory.

"She (Kiran Bedi) is giving orders on WhatsApp, summoning the officers and instructing them to follow her orders. She is behaving in the same manner as Najeeb Jung (Delhi Lt. Governor)," he said.
-Source IANS


Modi government serious 'threat' to democracy: AAP
The highly anticipated augmented reality game Pokemon Go finally launched in Thailand on Saturday, along with 14 other countries in the Asia-Pacific.

"Gamers in 15 new countries and regions across Asia and Oceania can now officially download Pokemon Go from the Android Play Store or the Apple App Store," the Bangkok Post quoted Niantic, the game's developer, as saying in a statement.

Apart from Thailand, the countries and regions included in Saturday's launch are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.

The game uses GPS to track a player's location and overlays "monsters" that can be hunted in that location on his mobile screen. The captured monsters can then be trained for battles.

In Thailand, there have been mixed responses from authorities on the news of its launch, the Bangkok Post said.

The Information and Communication Technology Ministry (ICT) earlier said it was considering regulating gameplaying.

However, the Tourism Ministry said it wanted to promote some sites by submitting them to the game's developers in an attempt to attract larger groups of tourists.

Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry said players might be so absorbed in the game that they act inappropriately or inadvertently damage ancient places such as temples in their wake. It will send a letter to the ICT Ministry regarding the issue, the Bangkok Post noted.
-Source IANS


Pokemon Go launched in 15 Asia-Pacific nations
 Tone the skin daily with chilled rose water, using cotton wool pads. Keep rose water in a bowl in the fridge with cotton wool pads soaking in them. First use them to wipe the skin. Then, stroke the skin with them. On the cheeks, use outward and upward movements, ending each stroke at the temples and applying gentle pressure. On the forehead, start from the centre and go outwards on each side, again ending at the temples. For the chin, use circular movements. Then, pat the skin briskly with the rosewater-soaked cotton wool pads.

A “pick-me-up” face mask can leave your skin clean and glowing. Mix honey with egg white and apply it on the face. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. For those with very dry skin, mix honey with egg yolk and a little milk. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with water. After washing off the pack, give the skin a compress with the rose water soaked cotton wool pads.

Use a facial scrub twice a week. It can work wonders on the skin, helping to remove dead skin cells and making the skin brighter. Make a facial scrub with walnut powder and one teaspoon each honey and curd. Apply the mixture on the face and leave on for a few minutes. Then, rub gently, with small circular movements, washing off with water.

Dried and powdered curry leaves (kari patta) can also be added to face packs, as it is said to add a glow to the skin. It can be mixed with two teaspoon oats OR wheat bran (choker), two teaspoons rose water and one teaspoon yogurt. It should be a paste that does not drip. Apply on face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.

Fruit packs are great for adding radiance to the skin. They can also be applied daily. Mix grated apples with ripe papaya pulp and mashed banana. Yogurt or lemon juice can be added to the mixture. Apply it on the face and leave it on for half an hour. Wash off with plain water. It not only adds a glow, but also removes tan and softens the skin.

For oily skin: Mix Multani Mitti with rose water into a paste and apply on the face, avoiding the lips and area around eyes. Wash it off when it is dry. For combination skin, apply the mask on oily areas of the skin.

For normal skin: Mix multani mitti with honey and yogurt into a paste. Apply on the face and wash it off after 20 to 30 minutes.

An ideal way for glowing skin on the body is to tie ingredients in a clean cloth, wet slightly and then rub the cloth bag on the skin while bathing. Mix powdered milk, ground almonds (badaam), rice powder and rose petals. The ingredients work on your skin, gently cleansing it and leaving it soft, smooth and vibrant. It also leave the body naturally perfumed and refreshed, feeling as smooth as silk.

 Shahnaz Husain
The author is international fame beauty expert and is popularly called as herbal queen of India


Glowing Skin for Friendship Day , Herbal Queen Shahnaz Husain Tips
The Queensland Supreme Court will today reveiw Indian minining giant Adani's controversy-hit 21.7 billion dollar Carmichael coal mine project in Australia after a green group challenged the state government's approval to one of the world's largest coal mines projects.

Conservation group Coast and Country, which had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court for a judicial review, will argue that the state government's approval to the controversial project was not made lawfully and should be overturned.

The green group's spokesperson Derec Davies said, "C&C is of the view that the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection made an error of law and did not comply with an important environmental obligation when approving construction of one of the world's biggest coal mines."

He said the department failed in its obligation under state Environmental Protection Act to determine whether its decision would best achieve ecologically sustainable development.

CEO of Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld), the state's non-profit community legal centre for environment and lawyers for C&C, Jo-Anne Bragg said, "The licence, called an environmental authority, was granted by the state government department on February 2, 2016, and is one of two main Queensland Government licences the project for Central Queensland's Galilee Basin needed before it could commence operation."

"Our government is entrusted by the community to make lawful decisions, yet an examination of the reasons for deciding to grant this licence has revealed they failed to comply with Section 5 of Queensland's Environmental Protection Act (EP Act). This is a matter of law and it is very important government gets it right," Bragg said. .
-Source IANS


Aus court to review Adani's mine project
 Asserting that terrorist in one nation cannot be a martyr for another, India has asked SAARC nations including Pakistan to take effective steps against state and non-state actors supporting terrorism and extradite persons involved in it.

In a suo motu statement on his visit to Islamabad to attend the 7th SAARC Home Ministers Meeting on August 4 in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he had urged the members not to glorify terrorism or give patronage to it.

"A terrorist in one nation cannot be a martyr or freedom fighter for anyone," he said.

"They should not make the mistake of distinguishing between good terrorism and bad terrorism," he said. "It is necessary to take all effective steps against states or non-state actors encouraging or supporting terrorism."

To ensure that terrorism is not encouraged, it was necessary that stringent action is not just initiated against terrorists but also against persons, organisations, institutions and states supporting them, Singh said.

He said he had suggested to the SAARC Ministers that sanctions and bans imposed against terrorists by the global community have to be honoured.

Stringent action should also be taken against persons involved in terrorism and their extradition should be ensured so that they can face the law, the Home Minister said.

"It is important for nations who have not ratified SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters to do it," he said, adding Pakistan has so far not ratified this Convention as well as SAARC Terrorist Offenses Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and SAARC Drug Offenses Monitoring Desk (SDOMD).

"I was told on behalf of Pakistan that they will soon act on ratifying these. And I hope that 'soon' is actually soon," he said.


Terrorist for one nation can't be martyr for another: Rajnath
Twitter shares surged by over 7 per cent to close at $17.61 on Wednesday following a rumour saying that former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer was buying the micro-blogging website.

There were multiple reports, saying that Ballmer and Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal were getting ready with a bid to buy Twitter.

Last year, Ballmer announced that he had acquired 4 per cent stake in Twitter which has market cap of nearly $12 billion, SiliconBeat reported on Thursday.

Twitter was yet to respond to the rumour.

Earlier, although it added three million users -- one million more that what analysts had expected -- the not-so-promising second quarter earnings results led to the shares of micro-blogging website Twitter tumbling.

The company posted quarterly revenue of $602 million, up 20 per cent year-over-year and reported $107 million GAAP net loss ($0.15 per share) with quarterly non-GAAP net income of $93 million ($0.13 per share).

A year ago, the year-over-year growth was 61 per cent and two years back, it was a whopping 124 per cent.

The average monthly active users (MAUs) were 313 million for the quarter, up 3 per cent compared to 310 million in the previous quarter.

The micro-blogging website was now looking at the video and news streaming space to revive its fortunes.
-Source IANS


Twitter shares spike after buyout rumours
In a move to make its Pages feature valuable for businesses online, Facebook on Thursday announced two new Page sections - Services and Shop - for emerging markets including in India where 57 per cent of people on Facebook are connected to a business.

The Shop section provides businesses with a new way to prominently display the products they are selling on their Page.

It allows people to easily discover, browse and make offers to purchase products through messaging from the businesses they care about, Facebook said in a statement.

The Services section allows service businesses to showcase a list of their offerings on their Page.

If we look at the Indian small and medium businesses (SMB), over 1.99 billion interactions are being generated between businesses and people in the country.

There were two million SMB Pages on Facebook in India as of October last year.

"With the Shops and Services sections on Pages, businesses around the world can help people discover the products and services they care about in a more visually appealing way," said Adrian Nam, a product marketing manager at Facebook.

Facebook launched Pages to help people market their businesses and make customers learn about products and services for free.

Services section makes it easier for people to find the information they are looking for and decide whether to work with the business.

Globally, more than one billion people on Facebook are connected to at least one business.

"The Shops and Services sections are a continuation of our efforts to make Facebook Pages the most valuable online presence for the more than 60 million businesses around the world that use Pages each month," added Ryan Ebanks, another product marketing manager at Facebook.
-Source IANS


Facebook rolls out new features for Indian businesses