The rupee shed 11 paise to 64.61 against the US dollar in early trade on Wednesday following fresh demand for the American currency from banks and importers.Moreover, the US dollar’s gains against some currencies overseas put the rupee on backfoot, forex dealers said.However, a higher opening of the domestic equity market capped the rupee’s fall .Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose by 50.47 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 29,838.82 in the opening trade.Yesterday, the rupee had recovered some of the lost ground and advanced by 6 paise to end at 64.50 against the US dollar amid mild selling of the American currency by exporters.
A 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the center of Mindanao island in the Philippines on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.0, struck at 5:21 a.m. on Wednesday (2121 GMT on Tuesday). It was very shallow, at a depth of 4 miles (6 km), which would have amplified its effect. Its epicenter was 47 miles (75.5 km) northeast of Cotabato on the large southern island of Mindanao.A magnitude 5.6 quake is considered moderate and is capable of causing considerable damage.
Mechanised and motorised fishing boats have ventured into the Bay of Bengal for the last voyage, as the 61-day ban on fishing in the Indian waters is coming into vogue from the early hours of April 15 to facilitate the breeding season of the fish.At a time when the fishermen are eagerly waiting for their dues of the ex gratia towards the ban period for the last year and the year before that, officials of the Fisheries Department are now focussing on imposing the ban in a strict manner, besides clearing the pending bills on a war-footing.Of the 974-km-long coastline in Andhra Pradesh, East Godavari accounts for 161 km, along which over 3.5 lakh people belonged to fishermen community are residing in about 100 villages and hamlets. Though the official records indicate that 66,777 people are eking out a livelihood from seawater fishing, at least half of them are going to get affected by the fishing ban, with 2,168 motorised boats and 469 mechanised boats venturing into the sea for fishing. Besides imposing the ban, the government has announced an ex gratia of 4,000 for each fisherman for the 61 days and the amount will be credited directly into their bank accounts.
‘Lopsided seeding’ .Admitting that there were discrepancies in the distribution of ex gratia in the previous years, Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department S. Angeli attributes the chaos to improper maintenance of bank accounts and lopsided seeding of the accounts with Aadhaar. “The accounts are with different banks and we are on the job of meeting the bank officials and rectifying the mistakes,”.The department has made registration of the boats mandatory to make the fishermen concerned eligible for the ex gratia from this season. “An ex gratia of a mere 4,000 for a 61-day period won’t serve any purpose. Our counterparts from the neighbouring Union Enclave are withdrawing 8,000 for the same period, and the government should make uniform payment to all the fisherfolks,” points out Kamadi Matha Raju, former president of the Kakinada Mechanised Fishing Boat Owners’ Welfare Association.
Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said that the former Indian Navy official, Kulbhushan Jadhav, accused of espionage, can appeal against his sentence to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and President Mamnoon Hussain.Addressing the Senate on Kalbushan conviction by the military court, Mr. Bajwa said Kulbhushan Jadhav acted on behalf of Indian government and there was no doubt that he was involved in subversive activities.He also said that Pakistan will not bow before any pressure on the issue.A Pakistani military court on Monday sentenced to death the former Indian Navy official, accusing him of espionage and working for the India’s external intelligence agency, R&AW.The sentencing of Mr. Jadhav (46), was confirmed by army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) found him guilty of “all the charges”, said the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).Indian embassy officials have been repeatedly refused access to Mr. Jadhav throughout the trial process.
Former defence minister - Nawaz Sharif