Archive for ‘power’


BJP preparing for return to power after surprise exit polls: sources

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is preparing to meet coalition partners to discuss a new government, two BJP sources said on Monday, after exit polls predicted a better-than-expected result for it in a general election.

The talks would most likely be held on Tuesday afternoon, the two sources in the BJP said. They declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak about the meeting.

Nalin Kohli, a spokesman for the BJP, declined to comment.

India’s seven-phase general election, billed as the world’s biggest democratic exercise, began on April 11 and ended on Sunday. Votes will be counted on Thursday and results are likely the same day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is projected to win anything between 339-365 seats in the 545-member lower house of parliament with the Congress-led opposition alliance getting only 77 to 108, an exit poll from India Today Axis showed on Sunday.

A party needs 272 seats to command a majority.

Indian stock markets and the rupee were sharply higher on expectation the business-friendly Modi would stay on at the helm.

The benchmark NSE share index was up 2.8%, its best single day since March 2016.

“I expect another 2-3% rally in the market in the next three to four days based on the cue,” said Samrat Dasgupta, a fund manager at Esquire Capital Investment Advisors.

Congress spokesman Sanjay Jha cast doubt on the exit polls, saying on Twitter he believed they were wrong.

“If the exit poll figures are true then my dog is a nuclear scientist,” Jha said, adding he expected the next prime minister would come from outside the BJP alliance.

Modi and his BJP faced criticism in the run-up to the election over unemployment, in particular for failing to provide opportunities to young people coming onto the job market, and for weak farm prices.

But Modi rallied his Hindu nationalist base and made national security a central theme of the campaign after a surge in tension with Pakistan in February following a suicide bomb attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir by Pakistan based militants.

Modi ordered air strikes on a suspected militant camp in Pakistan, which led to a surge in tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

But many Indians applauded Modi’s tough stand and he was able to attack the opposition for being soft on security.

Ram Madhav, a senior leader in the BJP, told Reuters partner ANI the results would be even better for the party than the exit polls were suggesting, particularly in West Bengal state.

West Bengal has the third largest number of members of parliament and has been hotly contested between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress, one of the most powerful parties in the coalition trying to unseat Modi.

“Bengal will surprise all the pollsters, we are hoping to do extremely well there,” Madhav said. “Everyone has seen the tremendous support for PM Modi and the BJP in Bengal.”

Source: Reuters


India election 2019: Bringing power to the people

A farmer walks through a lush rice field in rural India with electricity pylons in the backgroundImage copyrightAFP

The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said last year that his government had reached its target of providing every village in India with electricity.

“Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be changed forever,” Mr Modi tweeted in April 2018.

In the run-up to the Indian election, which gets under way on 11 April, BBC Reality Check examines claims and pledges made by the main political parties.

So does this claim stand up to scrutiny?

Let’s start by looking at villages.

There are almost 600,000 villages in India, according to the 2011 census.

The government defines a village as fully electrified if 10% of its households, as well as public places such as schools and health centres, are connected to the grid.

By this definition, all villages have now been electrified, according to official data.

However, much of the work had been done under the previous governments.

When Mr Modi took office, 96% of all the villages in India were already electrified. That left about 18,000 villages to go.

Before the BJP came to power, India had the world’s largest electricity access deficit – 270 million people.

That accounted for just under a third of the overall global deficit, according to the World Bank’s 2017 State of Electricity Access report.

The World Bank estimates that nearly 85% of the entire population now has access to power supply – that’s slightly higher than the government estimate of 82%.

What about households?

The project Mr Modi launched in September 2017 aimed to provide electricity to all Indian households by December 2018, covering 40 million families, primarily targeting rural India.

Virtually all Indian households have now been electrified, according to the government’s data. As of March, just 19,753 households are left.

Two Indian women sat opposite each other on the pavement in an Indian village. A boy runs behind them in the background.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe quality of the electricity supply is weaker in the northern and eastern states.

The current government has suggested it has been electrifying villages at a faster rate than the previous one.

However, using central electricity authority data, we found that under the previous Congress-led government, an average of more than 9,000 villages a year were being electrified compared with the Modi government’s average of more than 4,000 villages a year.

Problems with supply

Although substantial progress has been made to electrify Indian villages – both by the current and previous administrations – the quality of the supply remains a problem, especially in rural areas.

Only six out of 29 states receive a 24-hour power supply, according to a government response to a question in India’s parliament.

Just under half of villages have more than 12 hours of domestic electricity a day and a third receive between eight and 12 hours, according to government data.

States with the highest percentage of villages that receive between just one and four hours of electricity a day include Jharkhand, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

Source: The BBC


China to expand mixed ownership reform to more than 100 SOEs

BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) — China will expand the mixed ownership reform to more than 100 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), an official with the country’s state-asset regulator said Saturday.

“There will be more than 100 SOEs in the fourth batch of mixed ownership reform, which will be pushed ahead in key areas,” Xiao Yaqing, head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session.

Since 2016, China has selected 50 SOEs in three batches to conduct the pilot reform in fields including power, energy, civil aviation, telecommunications, and defence.

The first three batches have done a good job in exploring and experimenting with the means, equity ratio and governance structure of mixed ownership, Xiao said.

Next, China will create a sound environment for the reform so that enterprises of all kinds of ownership can realize integrated and common development, he added.

Source: Xinhua

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