Sat, 07 November 2015
Live! Death toll rises to 39 in Romanian nightclub fire

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23:10   Death toll rises to 39 in Romanian nightclub fire
Seven more people succumbed to burn-related injuries today, just over a week after a fire broke out in a Bucharest nightclub, authorities said, bringing the death toll in the tragedy to 39.

Many in Romania have blamed lax government safety standards for the deadly blaze. Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Cabinet resigned on Wednesday after mass protests.

Adrian Stanculea, spokesman for the state burns hospital, said three men died at that facility today, while the manager at University Hospital, Catalin Cirstoiu, said a man there died of his injuries.

Raed Arafat, an emergency situations official, said two patients who had been sent to the Netherlands for specialized burns treatment had died, including a 20-year-old Italian woman. Eight patients were transported by military plane to the Netherlands for treatment, he said.
22:48   20 militants killed in Pakistan
At least 20 militants were killed today after their hideouts were pounded in aerial strikes carried out by Pakistani fighter jets in the country's restive
northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The air strikes were conducted in Rajgal and Tirah areas of Khyber district, one of the seven tribal districts.

A security official said 15 militants were killed Rajgal and another five in Tirah. 

The identity of the killed militants was not known but the area is infested with militants linked to the Lashkar-e-Islami group led by Mangal Bagh, who is an ally of Taliban and al-Qaeda.
21:42   Ministry of defence issues notification for implementation of OROP
'OROP notification issued. Most contentious issue of VRS has been removed addressing major concerns of d veterans,' BJP leader Ram Madhav tweeted tonight seemingly putting an end to the much contended issue. 

According to an MOD statement, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years in the future.

All family pensioners including those getting special liberalised family pension and gallantry award winners to get arrears in 1 installment. 

Govt. will appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies & submit its report in 6 months.

Pension of past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of 2013 and the benefit will be from July 1, 2014. P
21:14   Indian culture goes beyond tolerance, says PM Modi
Amid the raging intolerance debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that Indian culture goes beyond tolerance and talks of acceptance. 

He said this when a delegation of 51 artistes and writers led by veteran actor Anupam Kher met him and expressed concern over protests by a section of the people while describing them as one with a "political agenda".

"The Prime Minister stated that Indian culture goes beyond tolerance, and talks of acceptance," a PMO statement said after the meeting.

The delegation of artistes earlier in the day submitted a memorandum to the President, after they marched to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to counter the protests by writers, artistes and others against alleged "rising intolerance", which they felt projected India in bad light.

The Kher-led delegation described the protests by writers and others after return of their awards as a bid to "tarnish" the image of the country and derail the development initiatives of the Prime Minister.
20:46   Nearly two years later, Sierra Leone declared Ebola-free
After 1 years and more than 14,000 cases, Sierra Leone is finally free of Ebola.

The World Health Organization made the announcement Friday, marking the fact that two Ebola virus incubation cycles have passed since the last person confirmed to have the disease had a second negative blood test.

Months have gone by since the outbreak peaked last year, when patients were dying by thousands. Nonetheless, Saturday marks a major milestone in the Ebola fight, though the challenge is making sure that the good news continues.

"We now have a unique opportunity to support Sierra Leone to build a strong and resilient public health system ready to detect and respond to the next outbreak of the disease or any other public health threat," said Dr. Anders Nordstrom, WHO's representative in Sierra Leone.

According to Nordstrom's organization, Sierra Leone had about half of the 28,000 documented Ebola cases tied to the recent outbreak. Some 4,000 people in the West African nation died as a result, tearing apart many families.

Read more HERE.
20:19   Somnath Chatterjee criticises Modi on the 'issue of intolerance'
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi today saying that he maintained "silence" on the issue of
intolerance in the country.

"The biggest crisis is the silence of the Prime Minister. His silence proved that he has nothing to say on this issue and he has tactic support. Silence also speaks," he told a programme here to protest against intolerance.

Condemning the Dadri lynching incident, the veteran leader said "This kind of incidents have been taking place and the PM only said sorry and described it as a matter of a state. This is not an incident relating to a state, nor it is a law and order issue. It is a matter of humanity."

Chatterjee also alleged that the Modi government is controlled by RSS which is "issuing diktats who will eat what".
19:51   Anupam Kher, artists' delegation meet PM Modi
A delegation of artists led by actor Anupam Kher met PM Narendra Modi on Saturday evening.

In a counter to the protests by writers and artistes against "rising intolerance", Anupam Kher on Saturday led a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan alleging that the "award-wapsi" campaign was to defame the country by projecting a "wrong" picture of the situation.
19:41   19-year old dies after clashes in the suburbs of summer capital Srinagar
A 19-year old youth who was critically injured during clashes in the suburbs of summer capital Srinagar this evening succumbed to injuries, reports Mukhtar Ahmed

The clashes in the Zainakote area erupted hours after the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi left the valley after addressing a public rally in the heavily guarded Sheri Kashmir cricket stadium where he announced a Rs 80,000 crore package for the state.
19:16   Hand severed TN maid arrives, Jayalalitha announces Rs 10 lakh aid
Enduring harrowing days after her right hand was chopped off allegedly by her employer in Saudi Arabia, domestic help from Tamil Nadu, Kasturi Munirathinam arrived here today with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announcing a financial aid of Rs 10 lakh for her.
She arrived in a Saudi Airlines flight and was brought out in a wheel-chair by waiting paramedics to an emotional welcome by family and friends.
"Thanks for all," the 55-year old woman muttered as she was taken in a waiting ambulance to the Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital here for higher medical treatment in the presence of senior State officials.
19:14   Planned refugee centre burned down in Sweden
A planned refugee shelter was burned down in Sweden today with police saying the fire may have been started deliberately, the latest in a string of
suspected arson cases targeting a huge influx of migrants.

"Several buildings were burnt, including one which witnesses say has been destroyed completely," police said in a statement.

"For the moment the cause of the fire is not certain but as there are reasons to suspect it may have been started deliberately, a preliminary arson inquiry has been opened." 

The planned shelter, on the outskirts of the town of Floda in southwest Sweden, had yet to welcome its first residents. There were no injuries and there have been no arrests.
19:01   IS frees 37 kidnapped Syrian Christians
The Islamic State group today released 37 Syrian Christians, most of them women, who were among more than 200 people kidnapped more than eight months ago, an NGO said.

The Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights said the group of freed Assyrian Christians included 27 women and 10 men, most of them elderly.

They arrived today morning in the town of Tal Tamr in the Khabur region of Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria, the group said.

The releases were confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor, which said most of those freed were from other towns elsewhere in the Khabur region.

The former hostages were among a group of 220 Assyrians captured by IS when they overran parts of the Khabur region in February.
18:54   Modi govt out to elimnate Nehruvian legacy of tolerance: Sonia
Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accused the Narendra Modi government of posing a threat to the Indian ethos of pluralism and trying to wipe out the Nehruvian legacy of tolerance.

"Narendra Modi Government wants to eliminate the name of Jawaharlal Nehru from all memorials so that the Nehru legacy of tolerance vanishes from the country," Sonia said at a public meeting here in an apparent reference to strong concerns voiced by several writers, filmmakers, scientists, historians and others over "growing intolerance" in the

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making "false" promise of "Acche Din" to the people, Sonia said the masses feel cheated now as they are still waiting for good days.  

"The Modi govenment has failed to rise to the expectations of people," she said.

She also spoke against the Centre for changing the funding pattern for Uttarakhand in centrally-sponsored schemes from a ratio of 90:10 in the past to 50:50 at present saying this had dealt a blow to the state government's efforts towards empowerment of women and welfare of children. 
18:43   Anupam Kher leaves to meet PM Modi
Just in: Actor Anupam Kher has left to meet PM Narendra Modi. 
17:17   Marathi writers, artists oppose 'intolerance' protests
Several Marathi writers and artists today gathered here to protest against the voices being raised over "intolerance" in the country. 

Those who attended the meeting, held to condemn these protests, included Sachidanand Shewade, Abhiram Bhadkamkar and artist Suhas Bahulkar among others. Noted artist Vasudeo Kamat was to participate in this event but he attended a similar event in New Delhi today, an organiser told PTI. 

Noted industrialist Shriram Dandekar was also present at the gathering, organised by Vivek Jagaran Manch. Convener of the Manch, Shirish Deshpande, alleged that the intolerance debate is an attempt to malign the image of the country and is intended to target the government at the Centre.
17:08   Didn't get Nobel Prize because I am black: Baba Ramdev
In a bizarre statement, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Friday claimed that he was denied a Nobel Prize because he is 'black'.According to a ETV report, 

Ramdev during a yoga event in Ranchi stated that he would have been honoured with the Nobel Prize by now if it wasn't for the colour of his skin.

After meeting President Pranab Mukerjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday, Bollywood veteran actor Anupam Kher said that the former has conveyed to him that the Constitution must be revered at all costs and those who are returning the awards must remember that it had been bestowed upon them by the people of the nation, not the government.

"As far as the Award Wapsi is concerned the President said that these awards were not given by the government, instead, it was given by the people of the country," Kher told reporters.

"The President also said that the Constitution of the country was designed on a secular fabric and we all should all respect that," he added.   Kher announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to meet the delegation in the evening at his residence.  
PM lays foundation stone of 4 laning of Udhampur-Ramban and Ramban-Banihal sections of Jammu-Srinagar national highway to be constructed at a cost of Rs 4,306 crore.
15:55   Counting of votes tomorrow in high-stakes Bihar polls
Counting of votes in the high-stakes close-to-call Bihar assembly elections, billed as a hot battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, will take place tomorrow.

The counting for the 243 seats of the assembly will begin at 8 A M and the verdict for a majority of seats is expected by the early afternoon.             

Most of the exit polls have predicted a close contest between the BJP-led NDA and the grand alliance of JD-U-RJD- Congress with a slight edge to the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led grouping.

However, two of them, including Today's Chanakya and the one done by Hansa for NDTV, have given a clear majority to the NDA.

While Kumar is not in the fray, among the prominent faces in the battle are MahaDalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has fought from two seats, and two sons of RJD chief Lalu Prasad have also made their electoral debut.

The five-phased elections, which started on October 12 and ended on November 5, saw the lead campaigners from both the sides trading bitter accusations that at times turned personal.
15:53   Indian-origin Singapore woman sues hospital after losing limbs
A 51-year-old Indian-origin Singapore woman has filed a lawsuit against a hospital here and its doctors, claiming 8.72 million dollars in damages after complications from a urological procedure caused amputation of her limbs.

Sarina Kaur has accused Singapore General Hospital and two of its doctors of going ahead with the procedure to treat recurrent urinary tract infection, even though she had tested positive for a type of bacteria.

She is suing them for about 8.72 million Singaporean dollars to cover costs, including the loss of future earnings and prostheses, media reports said today. Kaur has multiple sclerosis and has been receiving treatment at SGH since 1979.

She was admitted to SGH on November 20, 2012 for the procedure. After the procedure, she developed fever and low blood pressure.

Kaur later went into septic shock and her limbs turned gangrenous. She had her legs amputated at the knees in December, 2012, and lost her forearms in January, 2013.

Kaur also underwent three more procedures to remove "thread buried in the wound" at the amputation site on her left arm. She "suffered numerous surgeries and pain following the urological procedure when bacteria from the bladder spread and led to septicaemic shock", according to a medical report provided by her lawyer Jenson Lee.

The report also noted that she now has to rely on her domestic helper "to do the simplest of things", including answering her phone calls.
15:30   Major traffic snarl in Delhi due to NH-8 congestion
Commercial vehicle drivers, caught unaware of Supreme Court's imposition of an 'environment tax',remained stranded on National Highway-8  today for around five hours which led to a massive traffic jam in the area.

The vehicles coming from Jaipur and Gurgaon were stoppedat Srihall toll plaza, Rajeev Chowk and the bordering area ofDelhi at 12 am to pay environment tax.

However, most of the drivers claimed that they were not aware of the new guidelines by the apex court and failed to pay the tax, Manveer Singh, DCP, Gurgaon Traffic police said.

Some drivers also protested against the move, while others didn't have the amount. They parked their vehicles on the main Delhi-Jaipur road, resulting in a massive jam, he said.

The stretch between Sirhaul toll plaza and Rajiv Chowk in Gurgaon was packed with vehicles till early morning today, he said.

The traffic was cleared at around 5 am after diversion was put in place by senior traffic cops, Singh said.

The Supreme Court recently imposed an 'Environment Compensation Charge' on commercial vehicles entering Delhi, in addition to the toll tax, from November for four months on a trial basis, in a bid to check high pollution levels in the city.

Photograph courtesy: @kaskumar/Twitter
14:23   China and Taiwan leaders start historic meeting with handshake
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to shake hands, hold talks and share dinner with Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Saturday in a landmark meeting that could reboot relations between the two rivals or drive them further apart.Separated by a sea channel and decades of mistrust, the leaders of China and Taiwan -- officially the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China -- haven't met since the two sides split in 1949 amid a bloody civil war.

The meeting, which takes place in Singapore, will be governed by complicated protocol reflecting the bitter history between the two. How they greet each other and what gestures they make will be closely scrutinised. 

Image: Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou during a summit in Singapore. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Read this story HERE
13:55   PM Modi weighing J-K in rupees: Omar
Lashing out at the 80,000 crore rupee package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Jammu and Kashmir, former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday slammed the former saying he had repeated his mistake of trying to solve the 'Kashmir issue' with money.

"PM Modi has made the same mistake of weighing the Kashmir issue in Rupees & Paise!!!! I will address a press conference at 3 PM today on behalf of @JKNC to respond to the PDP BJP rally in Srinagar," Omar tweeted.

Modi today announced an 80,000 crore rupee package for all-round development for the state, saying this was just the beginning, which will change the state's fortune, give strength to its youth and build a modern Kashmir.
13:49   Elvis Presley tops UK album chart for 12th time
Almost 40 years after his death, Elvis Presley has topped the UK album charts for a 12th time. If I Can Dream, a collection of Presley's songs reworked by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, shot to the top of the countdown with the second-best opening week sales of 2015, reported BBC online. 

Meanwhile, Adele kept her hold on the singles chart, staying at number one for a second week with "Hello". The song is the fastest-selling single of 2015 and has already been certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry.

Presley claimed the top album spot with 79,000 chart sales, giving him the second-fastest selling album of the year behind Chasing Yesterday by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
13:26   Army successfully test-fires Brahmos land attack missile
The army today successfully test-fired the nearly 300-km-range Brahmos supersonic land attack cruise missile "At 10 am today, the Indian Army fired Brahmos land-attack cruise missile successfully against a designated target at Pokhran test range in Rajasthan, demonstrating the weapon's supreme operational capability," defence officials said.

The missile was test launched by a Mobile Autonomous Launcher deployed in full configuration. The test-fire, carried out in the user-deployment configuration by trained army personnel, met all the mission objectives, they said.

"BRAHMOS missile system, the most lethal and potent weapon system for precision strike available with Indian Army, has proved again its effectiveness in today's successfullaunch," said Sudhir Mihra, Chief of BrahMos Aerospace.

The Army has already inducted three regiments of Brahmos in its arsenal. All are equipped with Block-III version of missile, which was tested on May 8 and 9 this year.
12:38   Modi announces Rs 80,000 cr package for overall development of J&K
Announcing a package of Rs 80,000 crore for the state, he said it was not the final figure, but just the beginning. He said that it would change the future of the state.

He added that it was for the overall development of the state
"Today, I want to congratulate the youth of Kashmir. In all the competitive exams in our country in the last few years, the youth of Kashmir are faring the best," he says.

"Jamhooriat, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat, these are important," he says.
"Sachin,Sehwag or Dhoni, whoever hit a six, they did it with the willow from Kashmir," Modi says.
12:32   India is not only catching up, but moving ahead of China: Modi
"Some people said India would never catch up with China. But today, they say India is not only catching up but moving ahead of China," he says.
"I want to bring back those days when rest of India used to look forward to come and visit Kashmir," he says.
12:26   Didn't celebrate b'day lasy year because Kashmir floods pained me: Modi
"Kashmir has suffered a lot over the years, generations have seen their dreams being crushed," Modi says.

"When Diwali came last year, it would have been easy for me to celebrate with friends in Delhi, but I decided to come to J&K," he says.

"My mother used to give me Rs 5 or Rs 11 on my birthday, but last year she gave me Rs 5,000 for the flood-affected people of Kashmir," Modi continues his pitch.
"When Diwali came last year, it would have been easy for me to celebrate with friends in Delhi, but I decided to come to J&K, Modi makes an emotional pitch.
12:15   Mobile internet services blocked for PM's Kashmir visit
Mobile internet services in Kashmir Valley were blocked on Saturday morning as a precautionary measure in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Srinagar.

"Mobile internet services have been temporarily discontinued in the Valley in the wake of the PM's visit," officials said. They said it was a precautionary measure in view of the high profile visit.

The officials said all service providers had been directed to disconnect the mobile internet services from 10 am until the prime minister leaves the Valley. However, broadband services on BSNL were working.
12:04   Modi@Srinagar mega rally: Kashmir keeps calling me
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Srinagar amid unprecedented security arrangements, and has started his rally at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium.

"My love for Kasmir keeps forcing me to come here," he said in his opening lines.

10:58   MLA Engineer Rashid arrested for raising black flags ahead of Modi rally
JUST IN: Independent MLA Engineer Rashid has been arrested in Srinagar for raising black flags.

It may be recalled that a handful of activists allegedly belonging to a right-wing organisation had blackened the face of independent MLA of Jammu and Kashmir assembly, popularly known as 'Engineer Rashid' using paint, ink and mobil oil protesting against his hosting a beef party in Srinagar last month.

Modi's rally is scheduled to begin shortly at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Sringar

More details awaited.
10:43   Kunal Ghosh's condition deteriorates
The health condition of Kunal Ghosh, suspended Trinamool Congress MP who is an accused in Saradha chit fund scam, deteriorated late last night on the 29th day of his hunger strike following which he was admitted to the jail hospital.

Ghosh, who is lodged at the Presidency Correctional Home, complained of breathlessness, muscle cramps, severe stomach pain and shivering following which jail doctors attended to him and described his condition as "very critical".

They suggested that be shifted immediately to a hospital, preferably state-run SSKM hospital, a senior jail official told PTI.

Ghosh is on hunger strike demanding the arrest of others who were involved in the scam. The jail superintendent did not shift him to SSKM hospital as there was no order to that effect, the official said. Three doctors from SSKM were summoned to the correctional home to attend to Ghosh.
10:37   Nobody has the right to call our country intolerant: Anupam Kher
Kher will lead his 'March for India' in a short while in the national capital against the literary icons and artists returning their awards. He has invited all Indians to head to the Rashtrapati Bhawan to protest the voices being raised over "intolerance" in the country.

"Our message to the President is that India is a very tolerant country," he said.

"We are secular people, we don't believe in pseudo-secularism or selective outrage," he added.

His march comes in the wake of several filmmakers, writers and historians raising their voices against the rising intolerance and threatening the government with 'Award Wapsi' to vent their ire.
10:15   Kerala local body polls: UDF leads in 62, LDF in 61
Counting of votes for the local body elections in Kerala began at 244 centres across the state on Saturday morning. Polling was held at 1,199 three-tier local bodies on November 2 and 5.

Elections were held for 1199 local bodies, which includes 941 village panchayats, 152 block panchayats, 14 district panchayats, 86 municipalities and 6 corporations.

Read this story HERE
Just in: Kerala local body elections counting underway, and the LDF is leading as per initial trends.
09:42   CBI gets custody of Chhota Rajan
JUST IN: The CBI now has the custody of underworld don Chhota Rajan. 

Rajan was deported to New Delhi early on Friday from Indonesia by a joint team, headed by the Central Bureau of Investigation officials, to face trials in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling against him in Delhi and Mumbai.
09:16   Anupam Kher invites Modi for meet during march, changes venue
Anupam Kher has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be an audience to share with him the thoughts of "millions of Indians".

Kher, who is all set to lead an anti-awards wapsi march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to protest against artistes who have returned their awards, has tweeted that the venue has been changed to the National Museum from India Gate.

"Due to overwhelming response d location of #MarchForIndia has been shifted from #Indiagate 2 National Museum,Janpath. Pls share this info.:)", he tweets.
09:01   Govt hikes excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.6 per litre, diesel by 40 paisa
The government tonight hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.60 per litre and the same on diesel by 40 paisa a litre to mop up additional revenue to meet budgetary targets.

The basic excise duty on unbranded or normal petrol was increased from Rs 5.46 per litre to Rs 7.06 a litre, according to a CBEC notification. After including additional and special excise duty, the total levy on petrol will be Rs 19.06 per litre as against present levy of Rs 17.46. Similarly on unbranded or normal diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 4.26 per litre to Rs 4.66 a litre.

After including special excise duty, total incidence of excise duty on diesel will be Rs 10.66 per litre as against present Rs 10.26. The excise duty on branded petrol has been hiked from Rs 6.64 to Rs 8.24 per lire.

Special and additional excise duty of Rs 12 per litre will continue as before. On branded diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 6.62 to Rs 7.02 per litre. Additional excise duty of Rs 6 per litre will continue as before.
01:36   Russian plane black boxes point to bomb attack, Putin halts flights
An analysis of black boxes from the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt point to a bomb attack, sources close to the probe said today, as Moscow halted flights to the country.

The flight data and voice recorders showed "everything was normal" until both failed at 24 minutes after takeoff, pointing to "a very sudden explosive decompression," one source said.

The data "strongly favours" the theory a bomb on board had brought down the plane, he added. 

Another source said the plane had gone down suddenly and violently. 

Meanwhile, British airlines were scrambling to evacuate passengers in Sharm el-Sheikh after cancelling flights to the Red Sea resort from which the doomed Airbus had taken off Saturday.

One of the black boxes recovered from the crash site showed that the plane suffered "a violent, sudden" end, a source close to the case in Paris told AFP.

The flight data recorder showed that "everything was normal during the flight, absolutely normal, and suddenly there was nothing".
01:23   Railways doubles ticket cancellation fee, new rule applies from November 12
The railways has doubled the ticket cancellation charge as it has proposed to change the refund rules to help genuine passengers getting confirmed tickets.

There will be no refund after the departure of train and one has to get the refund four hours before the departure, according to the new refund rules.

The revised refund rules will be effective from November 12.

While cancellation fee of of second class confirmed ticket in 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the train will be increased from Rs 30 to Rs 60, the Third AC ticket will cost Rs 180 as against Rs 90 earlier.

For waitlisted ticket and reserve against cancellation (RAC), one has to avail the refund upto half an hour before the scheduled departure of the train and there will be no refund after that, as per the new rules.

The Second Sleeper class cancellation has been increased from Rs 60 to Rs 120, the Second AC has doubled up from Rs 100 to Rs 200, according to the notification issued today.
01:21   Excise duty on petrol hiked by Rs 1.6 per litre, diesel by 40 paisa
The government has hiked excise duty on petrol by Rs 1.60 per litre and the same on diesel by 40 paisa a litre to mop up additional revenue to meet budgetary targets. 

The basic excise duty on unbranded or normal petrol was increased from Rs 5.46 per litre to Rs 7.06 a litre, according to a CBEC notification.

After including additional and special excise duty, the total levy on petrol will be Rs 19.06 per litre as against present levy of Rs 17.46. 

Similarly on unbranded or normal diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 4.26 per litre to Rs 4.66 a litre. 

After including special excise duty, total incidence of excise duty on diesel will be Rs 10.66 per litre as against present Rs 10.26. 

The excise duty on branded petrol has been hiked from Rs 6.64 to Rs 8.24 per lire. Special and additional excise duty of Rs 12 per litre will continue as before. 

On branded diesel, excise duty has been increased from Rs 6.62 to Rs 7.02 per litre. Additional excise duty of Rs 6 per litre will continue as before.
01:21   India positioned more favourably for future than China: WEF
In the coming years, India is positioned much more favourably than China in terms of growth, the World Economic Forum has said though it observed that it is not entirely smooth sailing just yet. 

"There is now a consensus among analysts that there are only a few bright spots in the global economy, and India is one of them," Viraj Mehta, head of India and South Asia for World Economic Forum, said in an op-ed on its website. 

Based on pure fundamentals, India's outlook is promising; the art is in navigating the inevitable social, political and cultural complexities of the world's largest democracy, he wrote.

"From a macroeconomic perspective, India is positioned much more favourably for the future, even when compared to China," WEF said. 

Growth accelerated this year to around 7.5 per cent, putting the country on course to overtake China by the end of 2016. It is no wonder that India jumped 16 places in the World Economic Forum's latest competitiveness index to 55. 

China remained steady at 28, whereas Brazil fell 18 places to 75, the WEF article noted.

"In order to continue on this path, India must carry on building foreign investor confidence, something that has been more variable in recent months," Mehta wrote.