Monday Morning News Brief, July 31

Monday morning brief Jul 31 2017
Good morning!
Here’s everything you need to know to start your day…
Iran has said that it has no obligation to award the Farzad B gas field contract to India. In May, Iran had signed an agreement with Russian company Gazprom for development of the gas field, which was discovered by a consortium of Indian state-run companies. This was seen as a retaliation against what Iran saw as a threat from India to cut purchase of Iranian oil if the commercial contract for Farzad B didn’t happen. India had offered to invest $11 billion to develop the gas field, earlier this month.
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Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) yesterday gave the Centre a 10-day deadline to intervene in the Gorkhaland issue. GJM threatened to intensify the agitation in the plains and the Hills if Centre fails to intervene in the statehood issue. Gorkhaland supporters threw petrol bombs at cops yesterday, 200 metres from the Bhutan Gate, prompting retaliatory measures by police. The clash came a day after pro-Gorkhaland activists engaged with police in the foothills of Darjeeling, which left six police personnel and several activists injured.
Congress accused BJP of offering Rs 15 crore to each Gujarat MLA. “The BJP has resorted to low-level politics and is using money, muscle and state machinery to win polls,” national spokesperson of Congress and Gujarat MLA Shaktisinh Gohil said. The Congress yesterday “paraded” 42 legislators backing Rajya Sabha candidate Ahmed Patel before the media, at a resort close to the one where they have been staying since Friday, following the criticism that the party is holding the MLAs hostage.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that RTI cannot be used for commercial gains. The order came after the complaint filed by the editor of a magazine against the public information officer of Dargah Khwaja Sahib Ajmer, who had denied him information on complaints filed against employees of the dargah and the status report of the inquiry conducted by the dargah. The CIC, while directing the dargah to furnish the information to the appellant, observed that RTI Act could not be used for personal gains.
Starting next month, the Indian government will gather information from social media sites as it looks to match peoples’ spending patterns with income declarations Officials will be able to spot those who pay little tax without raiding offices and homes as they currently do, the people familiar with the matter said. Built over seven years at a cost of about Rs 1,000 crore, ‘Project Insight’ will complement the world’s largest biometric identity database and India’s most ambitious tax overhaul as policymakers try to get more people to pay up.
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