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Respect Indian laws if you want to do business: Govt tells Twitter, Facebook

(Asian News Hub) – The Centre on Thursday categorically said in the Rajya Sabha that action will be taken against Social Media platforms if fake news and violence is spread through it.

‘There is freedom of speech but Article 19A says that this is subject to reasonable restrictions,’ said Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

‘We respect social media a lot, it has empowered common people. Social media has a big role in the Digital India programme. However, if social media are misused to spread fake news and violence, then action will be taken on the misuse of social media in India whether Twitter or else,’ said Prasad.

Adhere to constitution of India

He said all the social media platforms will have to adhere to the constitution of India. The Indian constitution allows criticism of the government and the Prime Minister, but spreading fake news will not be allowed, he said.

Prasad said, ‘We have flagged certain issues to Twitter and social media has to take into consideration of the Indian Laws if they want to do business in the country.

‘Different parameters can’t be allowed for different countries. It can’t be different for the Capitol Hill incident and some other parameters and for the Red Fort incident.’

The Indian government on Wednesday expressed displeasure over Twitter’s delayed compliance on its order to remove ‘provocative’ tweets amid the ongoing farmers’ protests.

IT Secretary

IT Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney expressed Centre’s displeasure to Twitter’s management.

An official statement issued late Wednesday night said the Secretary told Monique Meche, Vice President, Global Public Policy and Jim Baker, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President Legal of Twitter that delayed compliance to lawfully passed orders are ‘meaningless’.

‘Lawfully passed orders are binding on any business entity. They must be obeyed immediately. If they are executed days later, it becomes meaningless,’ Sawhney was quoted as saying in the statement.

The official expressed his deep disappointment to Twitter leadership about the manner in which Twitter has unwillingly, grudgingly and with great delay complied with the substantial parts of the order, the statement said.

He also told Twitter that in India its Constitution and laws are supreme.

IANS

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95% tourists cancelled bookings for summer season amid 2nd wave of COVID-19

(Asian News Hub) – Following the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in India, tourism bookings in the valley have plummeted, with around 95 percent of tourists cancelling their trips.

Officials in the tourism department estimate that the number of tourists has considerably gone down with only 32,594 tourists visiting the valley in the month of April.

According to the official figures the first 15 days of April has recorded around 25,956 tourists in the valley, while as in the last 15 days of the month the numbers dipped to around 6,638.

​Manzoor Pakthoon dealing with the tourism trade told KNO that they had full bookings and were sold out till May end, but the recent spike has come like a shocker for them.

“After the promotional program in different parts of the country, the first twenty days after it’s opening Tulip Garden, witnessed a record footfall of around two lakh visitors, but spurt in Covid-19 positive cases in different parts of the country lead to the mass cancellations, and we don’t know how to react to this situation,” he said.

A Prominent hotelier of the valley and chairman Hoteliers Association Mushtaq Chahya told KNO that the situation across the country is not good, as the Covid cases are coming in lakhs.

“Right now priority should be to save life. Economy can get a hit, but can be worked on, if people live,” Chahya said.

In April a high level delegation of top officials from the Ministry of Tourism, which also included the delegates from Kenya, Vietnam and Georgia, visited the valley under the theme of “TAPPING THE POTENTIAL OF KASHMIR, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE”.

However, in a recent order, the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha ordered the closure of all paid parks.

“Due to the prevailing COVID situation in J&K, State Executive Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 24 of Disaster Management Act, 2005, hereby orders that all paid public parks in the UT of J&K shall remain closed for visitors till further orders”.

KNO

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WhatsApp May 15 Deadline for Accepting New Privacy Policy Terms Scrapped

(Asian News Hub) – WhatsApp spokesperson said that no accounts will be deleted on May 15 for not accepting the policy update.

WhatsApp has scrapped its May 15 deadline for users to accept its controversial privacy policy update and said not accepting the terms will not lead to deletion of accounts. WhatsApp had faced severe backlash over user concerns that data was being shared with parent company Facebook.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI that no accounts will be deleted on May 15 for not accepting the policy update.

“No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” the spokesperson said in an emailed response to a query.

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Parliament approves bill to increase FDI in insurance sector to 74%

(Asian News Hub) – A bill to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent was approved by Parliament with the Lok Sabha giving green signal to the legislation by a voice vote on Monday.

Piloting the Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that hiking the FDI limit in the insurance sector will help insurers to raise additional funds and tide over financial problems.

The Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was earlier passed by the Rajya Sabha last week.

The minister said that the government will provide funds to the public sector insurance companies but the private players will have to raise capital on their own.

Observing that insurance companies are facing solvency related issues, she said, “if growth capital is hard to come by, there will be a stress situation. In order that the stress situation is not left unattended, we need to raise the FDI limit.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, Sitharaman said, has further added to the woes of the insurance companies.

The minister further said that the FDI limit was being raised on the recommendations of the regulator IRDAI which had extensive consultations with stakeholders.

The FDI inflow in the insurance sector, the minister said, had increased significantly after the government decided to raise the cap from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in 2015.

As much as Rs 26,000 crore has come as FDI in the insurance sector since 2015, she said, adding the asset under management (AUM) in this sector has grown by 76 per cent during the last five years.

PTI

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