India announced seven-phase national elections to be held in April and May

India announced seven-phase national elections to be held in April and May

The number of registered voters stood at around 900 million, Sunil Arora said. This is around 84.3 million more than in the 2014 elections, he said, adding that there are around 15 million new voters in the 18-19 years age group this time.

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Sunil Arora announces dates for the general elections, in New Delhi on March 10.Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg

The election commission of India (ECI) on March 10th declared dates for a seven-phase national elections.

The polls to form the 17th Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, will be held on April 11, 18, 23, and 29, and May 06, 12, and 19, the ECI has said. The results of the elections will be declared on May 23, Sunil Arora, the chief election commissioner, said at a media briefing in New Delhi, the national capital.

Phase Date

Constituencies

I April 11 91 constituencies across 20 states (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep)
II April 18 97 constituencies across 13 states (Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Puducherry)
III April 23 115 constituencies across 14 states (Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu)
IV April 29 71 constituencies across 9 states (Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal)
V May 06 51 constituencies across 7 states (Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal)
VI May 12 59 constituencies across 7 states (Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, National Capital Territory of Delhi)
VII May 19 59 constituencies across 8 states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh)

Of the 545 seats in all, two are reserved for the Anglo-Indian community, to which the president of the country nominates members.

The number of registered voters stood at around 900 million, Arora said. This is around 84.3 million more than in the 2014 elections, he said, adding that there are around 15 million new voters in the 18-19 years age group this time.

There will be approximately one million voting booths during these elections and around 11 million personnel who will be part of the electoral machinery.

“VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will accompany EVMs (electoral voting machines) in all polling booths this election,” Arora said, referring to the EC’s chosen method of providing feedback to voters.

The announcement of the election dates also immediately brings into effect the ECI’s model code of conduct. essentially rendering the Modi government lame duck. This code is a set of guidelines and rules to ensure free and fair conduct of elections and the campaigning preceding it. The code will remain effective till the day the results are announced. These guidelines includes a bar on the use of religious and caste sentiments to seek votes and announcement of fresh projects and schemes by the government.

“Any violation will be dealt with in the strictest manner,” Arora said.

There will be approximately one million voting booths during these elections and around 11 million personnel who will be part of the electoral machinery.

“VVPATs (voter verifiable paper audit trail) will accompany EVMs (electoral voting machines) in all polling booths this election,” Arora said, referring to the EC’s chosen method of providing feedback to voters.

The announcement of the election dates also immediately brings into effect the ECI’s model code of conduct. essentially rendering the Modi government lame duck. This code is a set of guidelines and rules to ensure free and fair conduct of elections and the campaigning preceding it. The code will remain effective till the day the results are announced. These guidelines includes a bar on the use of religious and caste sentiments to seek votes and announcement of fresh projects and schemes by the government.

“Any violation will be dealt with in the strictest manner,” Arora Said.

Source: Quartz India

– TFM Watch

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Ecuador inks $4.2 billion financing deal with IMF: President Lenin Moreno

Reuters: Ecuador inks $4.2 billion financing deal with IMF: President Lenin Moreno

Moreno said the maturities on the loans extended “up to 30 years” and that the interest rates “on average” did not exceed 5 percent.

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Ecuador has reached a $4.2 billion staff-level financing deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Lenin Moreno said on February 20, as the Andean country grapples with a large fiscal deficit and heavy external debt.

The country will also receive $6 billion in loans from multilateral institutions including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the CAF Andean development bank, Moreno said in a message broadcast on national television and radio.

Ecuador’s sovereign bonds surged last week after the IMF confirmed it was engaged in formal talks with Moreno over a possible financial arrangement. Staff-level agreements between the IMF and member countries are subject to approval by the Washington-based lender’s executive board.

The OPEC nation’s debt grew under former leftist President Rafael Correa. Moreno earned Correa’s support during the 2017 election campaign, but has implemented more market-friendly economic policies since taking office.

Moreno said the maturities on the loans extended “up to 30 years” and that the interest rates “on average” did not exceed 5 percent.

“This money will create work opportunities for those who have not yet found something stable,” he said.

Moreno has begun to implement an austerity plan that includes layoffs of workers at state-owned companies and cuts to gasoline subsidies, also plans to find a private operator for state-run telecoms company CNT and other state-owned firms.

In his address, Moreno said most of the money would be dedicated to “social investment,” citing a rising number of police officers and promising retirees they would not lose out on an annual bonus.

Skepticism of the IMF runs strong in Ecuador and throughout Latin America, where many blame Fund-imposed austerity policies for economic hardship.

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Indian economy fundamentally sound, set to reach $5 trillion soon: PM Modi

PTI @moneycontrolcom: Indian economy fundamentally sound, set to reach $5 trillion soon: PM Modi

PM Modi said no other large economy in the world has grown at 7% year after year.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 21 said fundamentals of the Indian economy are sound and it is on the way to becoming a $5 trillion economy soon.

Addressing the India Korea Business Symposium here, he said India is now a more open economy and has attracted $250 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last four years.

He said no other large economy in the world has grown at 7 percent year after year.

India, he said, has jumped to 77th spot on the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking on the back of reforms and is determined to break into the top 50 next year.

The role of the government is to provide a support system, Modi said, adding that India has emerged as a land of opportunities. 

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