APTN National NewsOTTAWA–The Conservative government unveiled its priorities Friday with a Speech from the Throne that pledged to “renew and deepen” Canada’s relationship with First Nations by removing the “barriers to social and economic participation that many Aboriginal Canadians face.”The speech, read by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, laid out the agenda for the recently elected Conservative majority government which largely focused on the economy and getting the country’s book back in the black.In a section of the speech titled, “Here for communities and industries,” the government said it wanted to better integrate Aboriginal people into the Canadian economic and social mainstream.“Canada’s Aboriginal peoples are central to Canada’s history, and our government has made it a priority to renew and deepen our relationship,” said Johnston. “The contribution of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples will be important to our future prosperity. Concerted action is needed to address the barriers to social and economic participation that many Aboriginal Canadian’s face.”The government pledged to “promote access to clean water” and use more clean energy technology in Aboriginal and northern communities.The government also promised to build on the work of the blue-ribbon panel announced by the Conservatives in their previous incarnation as a minority government tasked with studying ways to improve on-reserve elementary and secondary education.The government also said it planned to improve and expand adult basic education in the territories.“Our government will engage with partners to make concrete, positive changes to give First Nations children a better education so they can realize their dreams,” said Johnston.New investments are also planned for First Nations Land Management, a legislative-based program created to allow First Nations to develop codes and laws to govern and manage reserve lands.The government is also planning to introduce legislation on matrimonial real property rights to govern the handling of on-reserve assets following a divorce or death.“Our government will also introduce legislation to ensure that people living on reserve have the same matrimonial real property rights and protections as other Canadians,” Johnston said.The government also said it would complete the complete the last leg of the Dempster Highway, finally linking Inuvik, NT., to Tuktoyaktuk, NT.“Thereby realizing (former prime minister)John Diefenbaker’s vision,” said Johnston.The North would also continue to be a “cornerstone” of the government’s agenda, said Johnston.“The strongest expression of our sovereignty comes through presence and actions, not words,” he said. “Our government will continue to exercise leadership in the stewardship of northern lands and waters.”There are also plans to create an urban national park in the Rouge Valley of eastern Toronto.“In this, the 100th anniversary year of our national parks system, our government will create significant new protected areas,” said Johnston. “It will work with provincial, regional, municipal, Aboriginal and community stakeholders toward establishing an urban national park.”The speech made no mention of any plans for a meeting between Harper and First Nations leaders.Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo has been calling for a meeting.The event, held in the Senate Red Chamber, was momentarily upstaged by Senate page Brigette Marcelle, 21, who stepped onto the chamber floor with a red, “Stop Harper” sign for a few seconds before she was escorted away.“Harper’s agenda is disastrous for this country and for my generation,” said a statement from Marcelle sent to APTN National News. “We have to stop him from wasting billions on fighter jets, military bases and corporate tax cuts while cutting social programs and destroying the climate.”She has been fired.
APTN National NewsWith the Truth and Reconciliation Events now wrapped up in Vancouver, this weekend, the residential school survivors were treated to a special concert featuring some of Canada’s top talents.APTN’s Tina House was there and has this story.
The Canadian Press OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada will look at the process used to determine compensation for former residential school students.The high court has agreed to hear the appeal of an Indigenous man – known only as J.W. due to privacy considerations – who claims he was sexually assaulted by a nun while attending a residential school in Manitoba.At issue is whether the decisions of adjudicators in such cases can be reviewed by the courts.For over a century, tens of thousands of Indigenous children were required to attend residential schools, primarily run by religious institutions and funded by the federal government.Students were not allowed to use their languages or cultural practices.Former pupils provided accounts of physical, sexual and emotional abuse as part of an independent assessment process to determine compensation _ a program that flowed from a major 2006 settlement agreement aimed at ensuring a lasting resolution of the residential schools legacy.J.W.’s claim was rejected by an adjudicator on the grounds that he had failed to show the nun’s alleged act – grabbing his penis while he was in line for a shower – had a “sexual purpose.”His efforts to have the decision overturned by other adjudicators failed.However, a Manitoba judge found fault with the internal reviews and sent the case back to the initial adjudication phase.The federal government successfully challenged the judge’s decision in the Manitoba Court of Appeal, which ruled that, under the terms of the independent assessment process, there can be no judicial review of adjudication decisions.As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for agreeing to hear J.W.’s case.
APTN is celebrating 20 years of being the world’s first national Indigenous network. Some of the highs and lows are shared in this special report, commemorating two decades of independent story-telling by the Winnipeg, Man.,-based broadcaster.
TORONTO – The Bank of Nova Scotia says its offer to buy a sizable stake in a Chilean bank for $2.9 billion has been accepted.Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) said Tuesday that Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) agreed Tuesday to sell its 68.19 per cent stake in BBVA Chile and its interests in certain subsidiaries.The deal, which is expected to close in June 2018, would double the the Canadian lender’s market share in Chile to approximately 14 per cent and make Scotiabank the third-largest private sector bank in the country.“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with BBVA to acquire their shares of BBVA Chile,” said Scotiabank president and CEO Brian Porter in a statement.“BBVA Chile has a proven track record … and this transaction demonstrates excellent synergy between both banks with customer-centric cultures.”BBVA Chile has $29 billion in assets and has 4,000 employees at 127 branches. Scotiabank says it intends to merge BBVA Chile with its existing Scotiabank Chile operations, subject to regulatory approvals.When the deal was initially announced last week, Scotiabank said the transaction is in line with its goal of increasing scale within the Chilean banking sector and the Pacific Alliance countries.Chile’s Said family, which owns 31.62 per cent of BBVA Chile, has waived its right of first refusal to acquire the share being sold to Scotiabank, but is willing to spend up to $650 million to own up to 25 per cent of the combined business when Scotiabank Chile and BBVA Chile are merged.“We will combine Scotiabank’s high-scale, high-sales productivity and retail portfolios with BBVA Chile’s capital markets expertise and cash management capabilities,” said Ignacio Deschamps, Scotiabank’s group head of international banking and digital transformation told analysts on a conference call Tuesday. “We have a strong cultural fit drawn from 2 leading international banks with an established local presence in Chile for several decades.”Deschamps added that Scotiabank expects pre-tax cost synergies of between $150 million and $180 million by 2020. As well, the lender expects the transaction to be accretive to its earnings per share in the first year after completion, he added.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version stated that BBVA had agreed to sell its 69.19 per cent stake in BBVA Chile.
EDMONTON – Alberta’s crown-owned bank, ATB Financial, has chosen its chief customer officer Curtis Stange as its new president and CEO.Stange will replace current president and CEO Dave Mowat, who is set to retire from the Edmonton-based financial institution at the end of June.He was selected after a North American search following Mowat’s retirement announcement in January.Stange is currently ATB’s chief customer officer, heading up all the bank’s customer-facing services, but also has more than 30 years of experience in banking.The Alberta government has formally approved Stange’s appointment.ATB has more than 5,000 employees and 750,000 customers across Alberta.
CALGARY – The president and CEO of WestJet says the threat of a strike by its pilots is over.Ed Sims said the Calgary-based airline and the union that represents the pilots have agreed to a settlement process that will involve a federal mediator.If necessary, WestJet and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have agreed to use final and binding arbitration.“We are pleased with the removal of the threat of strike action, we are grateful for the role played by the government, both with their mediation services and with the offer of support with arbitration,” Sims said Friday at Calgary International Airport.“The message I can give all Canadians is that they can continue to book in 100 per cent confidence that no strike action will threaten their travel plans.”The two sides had resumed contract talks on Tuesday.The pilots were legally able to launch a strike last Saturday, but committed not to disrupt passenger travel plans over the Victoria Day long weekend as a goodwill gesture.The ALPA represents about 1,500 pilots at WestJet’s main service.Sims said WestJet hopes to reach a deal with the union no later than the end of June.He said the uncertainty about a possible strike has cost the company “tens of millions of dollars.”WestJet has said its bargaining team was focused on getting a sustainable agreement that benefits pilots, WestJet customers and the company as a whole.The airline had promised to refund tickets if flights were cancelled in the event of a strike.WestJet has said that its bookings have slowed since the union said it would seek a strike mandate, which was supported by 91 per cent of its members.WestJet’s planned launch of its Swoop ultra-low cost carrier has been a source of contention between pilots and the company.Earlier this year, the union won a Canada Industrial Relations Board challenge to the company’s proposed policy to offer pilots a two-year leave of absence if they go to fly for Swoop.The ALPA complained that the policy was a significant change in the company’s terms of employment and an interference with the union’s right to represent the pilots.Companies in this story: (TSX:WJA)
TORONTO – Torstar Corp. had a $4.8-million profit attributable to shareholders and improved adjusted earnings in the second quarter, partly because of cost reductions and partly due to a provincial tax credit that offset labour costs.In the comparable period last year, Torstar posted a loss of just under $7 million.Net income in the three months ended June 30 was equal to six cents per share, which compared with a loss of nine cents per share in last year’s second quarter.Adjusted earnings from continuing operations equalled 16 cents per share, compared with a loss of three cents per share a year ago.The year-over-year improvements were due primarily to lower operating costs.Salaries and benefits were down $20.9 million from a year ago, mostly because of the digital tax credit. Excluding the credit, salaries and benefits would be down $5.1 million.Revenue was down 11.5 per cent to $143.2 million in the second quarter from $161.7 million a year earlier.Year-over-year comparisons are complicated by a number of acquisitions and divestitures, including a publication exchange between Torstar and Postmedia Network Canada Corp.Their deal is being investigated by the federal Competition Bureau. The companies say they complied with the law and they’re co-operating with the competition watchdog.Like most traditional newspapers, magazines and broadcast media, Torstar has been undergoing a years-long decline in advertising revenue due to competition from digital media and changing consumer habits.“While we are in the early days of a comprehensive multi-phased transformation plan, signs of progress are clear.” John Boynton, Torstar’s president and CEO, told analysts in a conference call.He said Torstar is pleased with the stability of its subscriber revenue, which he described as a “large and more resilient part of our business.”Boynton said its data about consumers and advertisers is key.“Already we’re using some of the data to help us make decisions and start to figure out how to serve customers better. And the same with the client side,” Boynton said.Torstar is also going to make more use of subscriptions for its digital media, in order to provide more relevant advertising to consumers in a more efficient way.___Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with a subsidiary of the Globe and Mail and the parent company of Montreal’s La Presse.Companies in this story: (TSX:TS.B, TSX:PNC.B)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said net income per share was for six months instead of three months.
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – New Brunswick’s Green leader says his party would end the use of public money for loans, grants and payroll rebates for wealthy corporations.David Coon says the Greens’ economic development strategy would redirect that money to local enterprises.He says they would create a small business loan guarantee program to support start-ups and expansions of existing businesses.The provincial election is Sept. 24.Speaking in Saint John, Coon said a Green government would develop an import substitution strategy that would increase the local production of essential goods and services.He says a 10 percent shift in consumer spending on imported goods and services to New Brunswick-made products would create 14,000 jobs and add $1.8 billion to the provincial economy each year.Coon says he would consolidate the various economic development agencies into a Department of Community and Rural Development.
BEIJING — Most Asian stock markets gained Thursday after Wall Street fell and Britain’s Cabinet endorsed a draft agreement to leave the European Union.KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 per cent to 2,659.12 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1 per cent to 25,907.26. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 per cent to 21,803.62 and Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.4 per cent to 2,077.41. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 3 points to 5,736.00. India’s Sensex rose 0.4 per cent to 35,286.91. Bangkok and New Zealand retreated while Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets rose.WALL STREET: U.S. markets were dragged down by losses for tech companies, banks and insurers. Apple Inc. lost 2.8 per cent. Bond prices rose as traders shifted money into low-risk assets. That pulled yields down, which hurts banks by driving interest rates on loans lower. Energy stocks rebounded as crude oil prices snapped a 12-day losing streak. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.8 per cent to 2,701.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8 per cent to 25,080.50. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.9 per cent to 7,136.39.BREXIT: Prime Minister Theresa May persuaded the British Cabinet to back an agreement to separate from the European Union, triggering the final steps toward Brexit. May said the decision is a “decisive step” toward finalizing the exit deal with the EU within days, though it was unclear whether Parliament will go along. The deal would allow Britain to stay in a customs union, bound by EU rules, while the two sides negotiate a trade treaty. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the two sides agreed to avoid a “hard border” between Ireland, a member of the trade bloc, and Northern Ireland.ANALYST’S TAKE: “Despite the U.K. Cabinet backing the new Brexit draft plan, the boost for markets had been short-lived with the sea of worries overruling sentiment,” said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report. Asian markets are “taking after the poor leads from Wall Street” due to “little data” due out in the region.AUSTRALIAN JOBS: Government data showed employment rose by 32,800 in October, above market expectations for a gain of 20,000. The jobless rate stayed at 5 per cent. The annual rate of job creation rose to 2.5 per cent.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 12 cents to $56.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 56 cents on Wednesday to close at $56.25. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 1 cent to $66.11 per barrel in London. It gained 65 cents the previous session to $66.12.CURRENCY: The dollar weakened to 113.47 yen from Wednesday’s 113.63 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.1323 from $1.1309.Joe McDonald, The Associated Press
WINDSOR, Ont. — General Motors says it has rejected various proposals by Unifor to keep the Oshawa Assembly Plant open past 2019.The company, which met with Unifor president Jerry Dias today on the future of the plant, says the options suggested by the union would mean substantial incremental cost increases and hurt the company’s competitive position.The union had proposed several options to extend production at the plant including extending the life of vehicles currently produced there, and shifting production planned for Mexico to Oshawa.GM says it has instead asked Unifor to work with the company on transition support for the close to 3,000 Oshawa assembly workers who will lose their jobs when the plant shuts.The company says it’s ready to discuss support packages and transition packages for workers.Unifor’s Dias is set to hold a press conference shortly on the meeting.The Canadian Press
BERLIN — The German version of the news and views website HuffPost is shutting down after more than five years.German publisher BurdaForward said Friday that HuffPost Deutschland will cease operations on March 31. BurdaForward had licensed the German version of the site in 2013, running its news and revenue streams.The company said its partnership with HuffPost International “was always results-oriented and constructive” but the two sides have decided to end their co-operation “because the partners are now pursuing different business strategies.”The Associated Press
VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. government and Halfway River First Nation have agreed to work together to recommend that a 6,000-hectare conservancy known as Tsaa Nuna be established in an area of cultural significance to the community.The agreement also calls for the two governments to collaborate on land and wildlife stewardship in the First Nation’s territory.A news release says there will be joint planning in a portion of Tsaa Nuna and the two sides will seek to agree on development of natural gas resources. Halfway River is to receive a share of annual resource revenue. The First Nation is to receive one-time funding of $5.8 million for health, education, language and culture, community infrastructure, economic development, human resources and environmental stewardship programs.The Halfway River First Nation is located about 100 kilometres northwest of Fort St. John and has about 280 members.
DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The City of Dawson Creek says it has hired a new Chief Financial Officer.The City’s Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn said in a release that Ms. Flavia Rossi Donovan will be stepping into the position effective July 16th. Donovan will be relocating to the City of Dawson Creek from Mackenzie, where she is currently serving as the District’s CFO.Redfearn said that Donovan brings a wealth of international experience including working for The Coca-Cola Company & Group in Greece and India, Ernst & Young LLP in Brazil and volunteering at the United Nations – Migration Agency in Switzerland. “I think Flavia will be an excellent addition to our team”, says Chief Administrative Officer Duncan Redfearn, “we are very fortunate to have found someone with such a unique background in Corporate and Government operations.”“My family and I are very excited to be moving to Dawson Creek,” said Donovan in a statement. “The community has so much to offer and I am really looking forward to working with the staff and Council at the City of Dawson Creek.”
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC) has taken a leadership role in the detection and mitigation of seismicity associated with oil and gas development through expanding its seismic monitoring in the northeast.Enhanced regulations and an expansion of the regional seismographic grid in northeast B.C. were put in place as a result of earlier seismic reports and findings to monitor and improve the detection of induced seismicity triggered by oil and gas activity.In conjunction with Natural Resources Canada, the BCOGC has recently expanded the public regional seismographic network from 11 stations to 19 stations with firm plans to add one more station in the fall of 2019; bringing the total public stations to 20. Through a partnership with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and with direct input from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the new stations are spread out along the Montney trend and provide seismic oversight for the Commission in the most active oil and gas areas.In B.C. until 2013 there were two seismic stations, then from 2013 to 2016, the BCOGC in partnership with Geoscience BC, OGRIS and Natural Resources Canada, installed nine additional seismic stations from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson and formed the BC Seismic Research Consortium.
Sentani (Indonesia): A baby trapped under rubble after flash flooding destroyed his home in Indonesia has been reunited with his father after the disaster killed the rest of their family, officials said Monday, as the death toll hit 77. The five-month old was plucked Sunday from debris inside a house where his mother and siblings were found dead in the hard-hit northeastern town of Sentani. The tot has since been returned to his surviving father. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”We took the baby to the hospital and had him treated,” Papua military spokesman Muhammad Aidi said. “He was in stable condition and has been released. The father was distressed but happy to be reunited with his baby.” The news came as Indonesia’s disaster agency raised the official death toll from 58, with more than three dozen people still missing. Scores have been injured in the disaster, triggered by torrential rain and landslides on Saturday. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”The death toll could still go up with 43 people unaccounted for,” said national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho. Rescuers battled mud, rocks and fallen trees in the hunt for survivors, as medical personnel treated the wounded in makeshift tents. The military said 5,700 people have been evacuated from the hard-hit area. “We have over 1,000 personnel searching for more victims,” Aidi said. Indonesia has issued a 14-day state of emergency in response to the floods. Papua shares a border with independent Papua New Guinea on an island just north of Australia. Flooding is common in Indonesia, especially during the rainy season which runs from October to April.
G B Nagar: In a major set back to Aam Aadmi party (AAP), the nomination of their candidate for Gautam Budh Nagar Lok Sabha seat was disqualified on Tuesday. Official cited the reason to be technical errors in the nomination form. However, the AAP leaders alleged the ruling party in state to have used their powers illegally to pressurise the DM cancel the nominations.A K Singh, AAP district spokesperson, Gautam Buddh Nagar said that rejection was done under pressure from ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). “The Bhartiya Janta Party was afraid of our candidate so they chose to eliminate her by wrongfully using their powers. They pressurised the District Magistrate to cancel our nomination which amounts to denying our democratic rights,” said Singh. Shweta Sharma, AAP candidate from Gautam Buddh Nagar said that she was not given time to correct the errors on the scrutiny day. “As when the Magistrate highlighted some mistakes in the form, we asked just half an hour to correct all the errors. However, the Magistrate didn’t listen to us and cancelled the form. It looks like he was under some pressure,” said Sharma. Meanwhile, the returning officer, District Magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar, B N Singh said that AAP is not recognised as a national or state party in Uttar Pradesh and thus, has to provide the name of 10 proposers but had submitted the name of only one. “Ten mandatory proposers are required for any candidate who is not from a recognised national or regional party in a state. However, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not a recognised regional party in Uttar Pradesh neither it is recognised as a national party by the Election Commission. If it was recognised in UP only one proposer was required in that case. The AAP candidate came up with none of the required documents while she had only one proposer. The decision to reject her nomination was taken on this basis,” said Singh. However, A K Singh claimed that the Magistrate didn’t listen to any of their plea and cancelled their nominations. “If time was given to us, we could have fulfilled all the formalities. We will not keep quiet, while the matter is already reported to the election Commission. We will take legal advice and will take the matter to court” said Singh. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is in power in adjoining Delhi and had last week announced fielding three candidates in Uttar Pradesh, but with cancellation of Sharma’s nomination, it will be fighting only on the other two — Aligarh and Saharanpur. In 2014, the Aam Aadmi Party had fielded Kishan Pal Singh as its candidate from this seat who got 32,358 votes, a 2.70 per cent share of the total votes polled. Gautam Buddh Nagar goes to polls on April 11 during the first leg of the seven-phased general elections.
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress on Thursday gave a big push to its social media campaign before the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, with its new music video titled Ma Mati Manush. The video was launched by party supremo Mamata Banerjee on her Facebook page.”I am very happy to share the new music video Maa, Mati, Manush for the forthcoming #LokSabhaElections2019,” Banerjee wrote in the Facebook post, sharing the 2 minute 38 second video on all her social networking pages. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe video presents the picture of a peaceful and harmonious Bengal and at the same time, takes a dig at the Narendra Modi government by claiming that it has not been able to fulfill its promises. The title of the video Ma Mati Manush (literally translating to Mother, Motherland and People), is a Bengali political slogan coined by Banerjee herself. It depicts the development that Bengal has witnessed under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. More than 8.5 lakh people are getting rice at the rate of Rs 2 kg under the Swastha Sathi scheme. The several people-friendly schemes of the state government like Kanyashree, Rupashree, and Sabuj Sathi have also been highlighted through the video. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIt also lambasts BJP for creating an atmosphere of anarchy and riot in the country, through their efforts of trying to create division among people on religious grounds. It further reiterates that Bengal is a place where people of all caste, creed and religions live amicably. The video is a visual treat with beautiful imageries of rural Bengal, a man rowing a boat with a smile on his face, a group of Bengali women praying by the riverside, schoolgirls riding on bicycles and dancers performing wearing Chhau masks. A cheerful tune plays in the background. The song sung by Rupam Islam and Somlata Acharya has already gone viral on social media, through several shares with comments and likes pouring in abundance. It may be mentioned that TMC has already launched a web series called Pradhan Mantri Hisab Dao on social media recently, which compares various welfare schemes of the Narendra Modi government with those launched by Trinamool Congress in the state. It points out the failures of the Modi government in these schemes and demands an explanation from the Prime Minister regarding the same.
New Delhi: Indian capital market outperformed several major global markets, including the developed ones like the US and the UK as well as developing economies such as China and Brazil, with double-digit returns in the fiscal ended March 2019 despite numerous global and domestic headwinds, data shows. The Indian market benckmark indices also improved on their own performance in the previous fiscal, with the BSE’s Sensex (17.3 per cent) giving relatively better returns than the NSE’s Nifty (14.9 per cent) in 2018-19. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThis is much better than the equity market returns recorded in the US (7.6 per cent), the UK (3.2 per cent), China (minus 2.5 per cent), Brazil (11.8 per cent), Japan (minus 1.2 per cent), South Korea (minus 12.5 per cent) and Hong Kong (minus 3.5 per cent) in 2018-19. An analysis of equity market returns for these countries shows that the Indian benchmark indices had underperformed those in the US, Brazil, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong in 2017-18, though the performance was better than the UK and China even in that year. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostWith positive performance by benchmark indices and increasing fund raising from the market, the size of the capital market in India also continued to expand during 2018-19, with the market capitalisation rising by over 6 per cent to over Rs 151 lakh crore. Besides, mutual fund asset under management grew by 11.4 per cent to nearly Rs 24 lakh crore and Foreign Portfolio Investors’ asset under custody expanded by 8.6 per cent to close to Rs 30 lakh crore. This is despite the fact that 2018-19 was relatively a difficult and challenging year on account of global and domestic headwinds. Fundraising from the capital market also continued its positive trend during 2018-19, with funds raised through debt and equity rising by 5.3 per cent to nearly Rs 9 lakh crore. The double-digit returns came in despite subdued sentiments at times in view of certain negative developments since September 2018, particularly on the fixed-income securities front. On the mutual fund front, debt-oriented funds witnessed net outflows on the back of certain developments in debt market since September 2018. But, equity-oriented mutual funds continued to receive positive net inflows across all months during 2018-19 and other mutual funds received positive net inflows in 10 out of 12 months of the financial year. Net fund inflows in equity-oriented and other types of mutual funds together were to the tune of Rs 1.58 lakh crore in 2018-19 as against Rs 2.84 lakh crore in 2017-18 and Rs 1.30 lakh crore in 2016-17. The year also saw the much-awaited REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) finally taking off in India. REITs have been used worldwide as a vehicle for monetisation of assets by real estate developers. As an instrument class, it provides to investors stable and predictable returns, matching those and often exceeding returns from other alternative investments. Capital market regulator Sebi had issued REIT regulations in 2014 to give impetus to this instrument and, in turn, to the real estate sector in the country. The government has also provided pass-through tax status to REITs registered with Sebi. In March, the first REIT public offer came and it has listed units worth about Rs 4,750 crore. The issue was well received with oversubscription of two times in institutional category and upwards of three times in retail category. This is the largest listed REIT in Asia in terms of area of assets. pti
New Delhi: A man hurled shoes at BJP leaders addressing a press conference at the party’s headquarters here on Thursday and was detained by police.The middle-aged person identified himself as Shakti Bhargava and claimed to be a doctor by profession, but he did not speak about the reason behind his action as he was being bundled out by BJP staff and security guards. The Delhi Police, which questioned him for several hours, said they were letting him off as no complaint was lodged against him. Nothing incriminating was found against him and he just wanted to grab attention, they said, adding that he hails from Kanpur and is facing legal cases related to property and Income Tax. The incident took place when a scheduled press conference of BJP leaders Bhupendra Yadav and G V L Narasimha Rao was on. The person threw a shoe and flung another after stepping close to the dais when Rao was attacking the Congress, accusing it of “defaming” the Hindu religion by linking it to terrorism during its rule at the Centre in 2004-14. It is an attempt by a “Congress-inspired” person but it will not deter the BJP, Rao said and carried on with his attack on opposition parties after being left momentarily surprised as one of the shoes brushed past him. Though it is unclear if the person involved in the incident had any political motivation, shoe-throwing has often been a show of protest, political or otherwise, by people seeking to bring attention to themselves or their issues. Jarnail Singh, then a journalist, had thrown a shoe towards the then Union minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram in 2009 to protest against the party’s ticket to anti-Sikh riot case accused Sajjan Kumar, now convicted. Though he lost his job, Singh went on to become an MLA on a Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket. Political leaders cutting across party lines have been at the receiving end of show-throwers.