⚡️Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that government was confident and would strictly maintain the 3.3 per cent fiscal deficit target. Speaking to reporters after Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the economic situation, Jaitley said the government was confident of surpassing the 7.2-7.5 per cent GDP growth rate projected in the Budget for 2018-19.

⚡️“As far as capital expenditure is concerned, already we have spent about 44 per cent of the budgeted expenditure till August 31 and we will end the year without any cuts and will maintain the 100 per cent capital expenditure,” Jaitley was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Indian Express. 

⚡️PM Modi met with students of a Delhi school and later cleaned a small part of the campus. (Source: Narendra Modi/ Twitter)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign, urging people to rededicate themselves in realising the dream of a cleaner India. The PM joined a group of students of Baba Sahib Ambedkar Higher Secondary School in Delhi’s Paharganj area and picked up a broom to initiate the cleanliness drive.

The Indian Express. 

⚡️Chennai: The Indian space agency expects to fly its first small rocket with a carrying capacity of about 500-700 kg sometime next year, according to a top official.
“The developmental work for our small rocket that can carry satellites weighing around 500 kg is on. The first flight of the small rocket is expected to happen sometime next year,” ISRO Chairman, K.Sivan told IANS.

⚡️He said the small rocket will be launched from the existing rocketport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

⚡️In a recent interaction with IANS in Bengaluru, S.Rakesh, Chairman-cum- Managing Director, Antrix Corporation said the low-cost small rocket requires a dedicated launch pad with a simple vertical launch mechanism.

DtNext.

⚡️Kolkata: The rupee is close to its intrinsic value of around 72 per US dollar and the time is ripe for policy intervention to check further depreciation of the Indian currency, according to Yes Bank.

⚡️Speaking at the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s India Economic Forum 2018, Rao said that according to the bank’s view, intrinsic value of the rupee is around 72 against a US dollar taken on a base of 2011-12.

⚡️International Monetary Fund (IMF) India resident representative Andreas W Bauer also said according to their latest report, the rupee was around its Real Effective Exchnage Rate (REER).

DtNext.

⚡️China is “looking forward” to bullet train services connecting Kunming in south western China and Kolkata in Bengal, Chinese consul general in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu, said on Wednesday.

⚡️“We are looking forward to bullet trains from Kolkata to Kunming. The whole Asia will be connected,” said Zhanwu while addressing a conference on connectivity and trade relations between China and India.

⚡️“It will only take a few hours to reach Kolkata from Kunming if the rail link becomes a reality,” he asserted.

⚡️However, the Chinese diplomat did not divulge the details of the route and whether it would follow the proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor that is projected to run through Mandalay in Myanmar, Chittagong and Dhaka in Bangladesh terminating in Kolkata.

Hindustan Times. 

⚡️NEW DELHI: In an all-out attack against the Congress, the BJP on Thursday alleged that the previous UPA government had given a “sweet deal” to the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines to keep it afloat and suggested that the airline was perhaps owned by the Gandhi family.

⚡️Attacking Rahul Gandhi at a press meet, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesperson Sambit Patra, showing a purported confessional statement of a hawala trader, who alleged that the Congress chief had links with a shell company.

⚡️He claimed that Rahul Gandhi was on the backfoot in the case of Kingfisher Airlines and its promoter Vijay Mallya as well as the entire Gandhi family travelled on the airline and their travel was upgraded to business class for free.

TOI.

⚡️The Kerala police have filed a new affidavit in the Kerala nun rape case on Thursday, purportedly detailing why rape-accused Jalandhar Bishop Father Franco Mulakkal has not been arrested even after 79 days after the rape survivor nun filed an FIR against him, and six days after a group of nuns began protesting police inaction in the case in front of the Kerala High Court.

⚡️In the affidavit filed this morning, police claimed that the delay in arresting the bishop was due to “discrepancies” in the statements by the bishop, the complainant and the witnesses questioned by police in this case. Apparently, the police are working hard to solve these discrepancies in the statements and are in the process of collating strong evidence against the bishop.

The News Minute. 

⚡️Director Ponram’s third collaboration with Sivakarthikeyan is the celluloid equivalent of a multi-cuisine restaurant. There’s comedy, action, period drama, romance…I’m probably forgetting to include a few genres. Sivakarthikeyan plays Seema Raja, a jobless youth (no surprises there), from a zameen family that has ruled over Singampatti. As his sidekick, there’s accountant Kanakku (Soori) who has three wives named Jil, Jung, and Juk. Pretty normal for “family films” in Tamil cinema, so take that BP tablet already.

⚡️The film doesn’t take itself seriously except for the “flashback” portion, that appears to be a fusion of Baahubali and Padmavat (Keerthy Suresh makes a cameo here). So, you should be well advised not to look for logic anywhere. After all, we’re speaking of a film where the hero paints spots on a lean dog and expects people to believe it’s a leopard on the loose (fun fact – they do).

The News Minute. 

⚡️UNION Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government chose to procure only 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France in 2015, instead of the 126 being negotiated by the previous government, as infrastructure and other technical requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) do not allow for greater induction.

⚡️“Every time you induct one squadron (standard fleet of 18 aircraft), there is a requirement for a lot of other paraphernalia to come in. Given a set of parameters, if you quickly want to induct, two is the ideal,” Sitharaman told The Indian Express in an interview.

The Indian Express. 

⚡️Arun Jaitley, who was the finance minister in 2016 when Mr Mallya left India, emphatically denied his claims. “Since 2014, I have never given him any appointment to meet me and the question of his having met me does not arise,” he wrote on Facebook.

⚡️”He misused that privilege (of being an MP) on one occasion while I was walking out of the House to go to my room. He paced up to catch up with me and while walking uttered a sentence that ‘I am making an offer of settlement’…Having been fully briefed about his earlier ‘bluff offers’, without allowing him to proceed with the conversation, I curtly told him ‘there was no point talking to me and he must make offers to his bankers’,” Mr Jaitley said.

⚡️”The finance minister talks to an absconder. He tells the minister I am going to London and the finance minister didn’t even tell the CBI or police. Why not,” Rahul Gandhi said.

NDTV.