Qualified charitable distributions extended through 2014 after failed efforts to make them permanent

first_img 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Dennis Zuehlke Dennis is Compliance Manager for Ascensus. Mr. Zuehlke provides clients with technical support on tax-advantaged accounts (including individual retirement accounts, health savings accounts, simplified employee pension plans, and Coverdell education … Web: www.ascensus.com Details In the waning hours of the lame-duck session, the House and Senate passed the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 to retroactively extend a host of temporary tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013—including qualified charitable distributions from Traditional and Roth IRAs—after efforts to make the provision permanent failed. The one-year extension, from December 31, 2013, to December 31, 2014, means that the provision has sunset and qualified charitable distributions are no longer permitted under current tax laws.Qualified Charitable DistributionsQualified charitable distributions are tax-free distributions of Traditional or Roth IRA taxable assets paid directly to a qualified charity after the IRA owner (or IRA beneficiary) reached age 70½. A qualified charity is a charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code Section 170, which generally is a charity for which a taxpayer could claim income tax deductions.Qualified charitable distributions also satisfied the IRA owner’s required minimum distribution (or IRA beneficiary’s required distribution (e.g., single life expectancy payments)).Prior LegislationQualified charitable distributions were created by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and were effective for tax years 2006 and 2007. This temporary provision was extended through 2009 by the Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008. The provision then expired at the end of 2009 when the Senate failed to act on a House bill to extend the provision. Several attempts were made in 2010 to extend qualified charitable distributions, but it was not until nearly a year later that President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, which provided for a two-year extension of qualified charitable distributions through December 31, 2011. The popular tax break then expired at the end of 2011 when Congress failed to act on bills in both the House and Senate to extend the provision.The provision was not again extended until January 2013 when President Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which made permanent the Bush-era tax rates and extended qualified charitable distributions for two-years through December 31, 2013. The provision then again expired at the end of 2013, when the House and Senate adjourned after passing a two-year budget deal to avoid another government shutdown, but failed to act on legislation to extend qualified charitable distributions.Temporary Extension Through 2014Qualified charitable distributions are popular and enjoy bipartisan and bicameral support in Congress, but that has not made it any easier to make qualified charitable distributions permanent. In the post-election lame-duck session, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reached a tentative agreement on a tax-extenders package that would have made permanent a number of expired tax provisions, including qualified charitable distributions. When the Obama administration threatened to veto the package, it became clear that chances to permanently extend any of the expired tax provisions—even with bipartisan support—was unlikely.The House of Representatives then approved the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 by a vote of 378-46, to provide a one-year extension of most of the expired tax provisions, including qualified charitable distributions. The Senate on December 16 by a vote of 76-16 approved the House-passed version of the Tax Increase Prevention Act that includes the qualified charitable distribution provision, and sent the bill to President Obama for his signature. The President signed the bill into law on December 19, extending qualified charitable distributions through December 31, 2014. As a result, qualified charitable distributions had a short life and are no longer permitted under current tax laws.Future Extension UncertainIRA owners now must wait to see whether the 114th Congress will extend the legislation or make it permanent. But failure to make the provision permanent last year means that the future of qualified charitable distributions may now be tied to comprehensive tax reform.There is a general agreement in Congress that continually extending these tax provisions on a temporary basis leads to uncertainty and is not good tax policy. At the start of the second session of the 113th Congress, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) pledged to address the tax extenders issue, but they did so in very different ways. Chairman Camp’s approach was to review all of the tax provisions, and either make them permanent or eliminate them. Chairman Wyden’s approach was to extend expiring tax provisions through 2015 and then focus on comprehensive tax reform. Despite intense work in both committees, no action was taken on the tax extenders until the post-election lame-duck session, where the House and Senate agreed to a one year extension of expiring tax provisions.The 114th Congress is now in session, and both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have new chairmen. In the wake of the November elections, which resulted in an increased Republican majority in the House and the Republicans taking control of the Senate, both the President and congressional leaders have pledged to work together. President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) both have stated that trade and tax policy are areas of potential bipartisan cooperation. Whether this includes action on qualified charitable distributions remains to be seen.last_img read more

COREdinating technology solutions to empower employees & engage members

first_imgIn light of technological disruptors coming from every angle, you may be feeling overwhelmed, confused and intimidated. After all, you’re simply trying to provide the best financial service possible, whenever/wherever it’s needed – and doing it compliantly in the eyes of examiners. But instead of asking why it can’t be like the good old days, it is wise to keep the focus on one core purpose – improving the financial lives of your members.Starting with coreThe core has always been the technology backbone, but now also allows for tighter integration with third-party vendors in an open architecture environment. For so many years, though, some institutions have thought technology first and everything else secondary. You can no longer afford to think this way, given our highly competitive landscape within all areas, internally with employees and externally with members.More than coreThe same features and benefits of an open and integrated core are still there: reliability – functionality – connectivity – flexibility – compliancy – security. Now, with so many non-traditional financial technology third-party providers promising better, faster, stronger solutions, you’ve had to start worrying more about vendor management, due diligence and longevity in an ever-changing world.Beyond the necessary technological aspects which only level the playing field, it’s necessary to ask yourself some important questions in order to compete.How are you differentiating yourself in our market place?What tools do your employees really need to perform their best? Is it a great place to work? If your employees aren’t happy and loyal, how can you expect your members to be?Do your members look to you first for all of their financial needs? Have you asked them lately?Once you’ve dug deep to find these answers, you can being the process of building the technology platform that best coordinates internal performance with external engagement. Keep in mind, balancing high-tech and high-touch experiences is key within an omni-channel environment.Starting at the topWe all know this won’t work unless every top executive is on board, focused on the same goals. Working in an environment of silos, however, slows down the process, creates confusion and hinders effective decision making. Of course, the board of directors must also first trust the CEO and the senior leadership team. When everyone’s on board, moving forward in selecting the right core and integrated solutions becomes more easily focused on solving problems and exploring opportunities, instead of on internal, territorial battles.Partnering for successAdditional resources are sometimes needed when researching and deciding on the best solutions for both employee and member experiences. This could be from both internal and external sources depending upon the level of integration and depth of involvement. Just remember that when asking for help from external sources, your institution will ultimately be responsible for your successes and failures. They leave – you stay.On the other hand, a technology solution provider who truly becomes a trusted partner by knowing your team, members and purpose will be a wonderful asset for many years, providing non-biased information that helps your employees make the best decisions for your members – and for your employees.How would you rank these top reasons at your financial institution? Are there others that weigh more heavily than some? Perhaps you even have one or more additional reasons to consider.Depending upon your strategic priorities, aligning them with the right technology solutions will help narrow down specific integrated solutions for achieving short and long-term goals.Know what you don’t knowHow do you know what you don’t know when it comes to core and more solutions? Some seek advice from consultants who can see things from a different perspective (they see challenges from other institutions firsthand and can offer similar solutions). Some feel that the consulting fee is worth the investment of uncovering the unknown and learning from other clients’ experiences.Others prefer to trust their intimate knowledge of their internal team through member research to come up with choices and solutions themselves. Keep in mind, this method takes much longer and takes away time from the team executing other already-planned strategies for the year. Keeping your options and mind open to new and different perspectives will allow your team to evaluate and finally choose the technological solutions that integrate well, giving your team (and eventually your members) the synergy needed to succeed. See how one financial institution does this.In the end – it’s end-to-endMost will agree that incorporating an end-to-end technology solution has many advantages, with a few disadvantages that are mostly mitigated with proper enterprise risk management strategies. Your internal culture must be firmly in place before attaching a technological set of solutions within your organization. After the necessary research, finding that true technology solutions provider is key, a true long-term partner going forward. 20SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Stan Cowan Stan Cowan works at D+H, a global technology solutions provider for the financial industry as a Senior Solutions Marketing Manager. He’s also spent over 17 years as a … Web: www.dh.com Detailslast_img read more

Sustainable South Africa fact file

first_imgThe theme of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development was ‘People, planet, prosperity’. Here are 30 fast facts on how South Africa is giving substance to this slogan.Did you know that …PEOPLEEducation. Adult literacy is up from 87% to 92%. 23% of South Africans have passed the matric examination, compared to 14% in 1994. Unisa’s Graduate School of Business is the largest in the southern hemisphere. (Source: SA Advertising Research Foundation)Electricity. 69.8% of South African households have electricity. In rural areas, electrification has increased by 218%, or 1.98 million households, in seven years. This means that over half of rural households have electricity at their disposal, compared to just 17% in 1994. (Source: SA Advertising Research Foundation)Employment. South Africa’s labour legislation is among the most progressive in the world, providing for nine institutions to settle disputes and ensure fairness in the workplace.Empowerment. The South African business landscape has changed rapidly over the last decade as large companies have merged with their black counterparts, formed joint ventures or sold stakes or entire companies to black consortiums. The Employment Equity Act is recognised as one of most progressive empowerment laws in the world.Gender. With three out of every 10 members of Parliament, nine of 27 Cabinet ministers and eight of 14 deputy ministers being women, South Africa ranks eighth in the world for women’s representation in government. Women also occupy 20% of seats in the country’s nine provincial legislatures, and 18% of seats in local municipalities. Women account for 6.6% of directors on boards of South African companies, one of the highest in the world. (Source: Business Day)Health. South Africa’s malaria control programme was recognised by the World Health Organisation as the best in the Southern African region in 2001/2002. (Source: Department of Health)HIV/Aids. Dr Debbie Glencross of the University of the Witwatersrand devised a new method for testing the immunity of Aids patients. The innovation is more accurate, cuts testing costs by more than a third, and has received worldwide recognition. (Source: The Star)Housing. More than 70% of South Africans live in formal housing. Home ownership has increased from 66% to 77% since 1994 – an increase of 1.5 million family homes. Home ownership in urban areas has increased from 55% to 71% in the same period. (Source: SA Advertising Research Foundation)Nobel Peace Prizes. The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace Prize winners is in Soweto, south-west of Johannesburg. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West in Soweto.Water. 83.4% of South African households have access to clean water. Since the beginning of 1999, four million more South Africans have got access to clean running water, with a 62% improvement in rural households with running water available either in the house or on the plot. (Source: SA Advertising Research Foundation)PLANETAlien vegetation. South Africa’s Working for Water project is the biggest conservation endeavour on the continent, tackling the scourge of alien vegetation head-on while employing in the region of 18 000 people.Biodiversity. South Africa has the third-highest level of biodiversity in the world, and is the only country to contain an entire floral kingdom. The Cape Peninsula National Park has more plant species within its 22 000 hectares than the whole British Isles or New Zealand. Some 18 000 species of vascular plant (plants with vessels for bearing sap) occur within South Africa’s boundaries, of which 80% occur nowhere else.Coastal care. South Africa’s Coastal Management policy is one of the best in the world, with the country being the first outside Europe to gain Blue Flag status for its coastal management. (Source: Department of Environmental Affairs)Drinking water. South Africa is one of the only 12 countries in the world to supply safe, drinkable tap water.Elephant conservation. There are approximately 12 000 elephants in South Africa. Since 1994 no elephants have been culled, thanks to a new elephant management plan.Kruger National Park. The Kruger National Park supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent.St Lucia. St Lucia on the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999. It includes a remnant of a primordial forest, and has five separate ecosystems: coral reefs, coastal dunes, lake systems, swamps, and extensive reed and papyrus wetlands. The lake supports some 600 hippos and 2 000 crocodiles. Two years ago the world’s most accessible population of coelacanths – the famous ‘fossil fish’ – was found off the St Lucia coast.Transfrontier parks. The Transfrontier park that spans South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe is the world’s first conservation initiative of its kind. The 38 600 square kilometre park will be bigger than the Yellowstone National Park in the US, and even bigger than Switzerland, Belgium or Taiwan. (Source: Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park)Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. The Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park is a World Heritage Site – one of just 23 sites worldwide granted this status on the basis of both natural beauty and cultural significance. The 230 000 hectare protected area contains 500 known sites of San rock art.Urban forest. The trees of Johannesburg form one of the largest urban forests in the world.PROSPERITY Conference destination. The International Convention and Conference Association places South Africa 20th on a list of top convention countries, and rates SA as the leading conference/meeting destination in Africa. For every eight tourists, one permanent job is created for a South African. About 30% of jobs created from tourism in South Africa are derived from conferencing.Exports. Japanese researchers acknowledge that South Africa’s export performance in the last four years is better and broader that that of Japan in the fifties and sixties, considered their boom years. (Source: INSIG Magazine, August 2002)Fruit export. South Africa is the second largest exporter of fruit in the world. (Source: The Embassy of South Africa in Jakarta)Foreign debt. South Africa today has one of the lowest ratios of gross foreign debt to GDP of any developing or semi-developed country. South Africa also has the most advanced economy of any country on the African continent. (Source: The Embassy of South Africa in Jakarta)GDP per capita. The 2002 World Competitiveness Yearbook notes that South Africa has the sixth biggest increase in GDP per capita, compared to ninth place in the previous year.JSE. The JSE Securities Exchange is the most traded stock exchange of any emerging country. At least nine of the 22 developed country stock exchanges are smaller than the JSE. (Source: INSIG Magazine, August 2002)Productivity. In the past 15 years, South Africans have become 50% more productive. In the same period, American productivity has improved by 30%. The pace of improvement in South African labour force productivity is among the four highest improvement rates globally. (Source: INSIG Magazine, August 2002)Small business. Small businesses in South Africa absorb more than half the people formally employed in the private sector and contribute about 42% of the country’s GDP. (Source: Department of Trade & Industry)Vehicle manufacture. South Africa is the sole producer of Mercedes Benz Class C right hand drive vehicles, and BMW of South Africa (a subsidiary of BMW AG Germany) provides more than 70% of the leather requirements of BMW AG’s worldwide production. (Sources: Dr Roelof Botha, Gordon Institute of Business School and 2002 Initial Quality Study, JD Powers & Associates)Wine. South African wines win international awards every year, and we have the longest wine route in the world. (Source: Fair Lady Magazine, April 2002) Source: International Marketing Councillast_img read more

Trailblazer: David Kramer

first_imgCEO: Sci-Bono Discovery CentreWhy is David a Trailblazer?David Kramer is not your average museum curator. Flying in the face of convention, he has been heralded as a modern-day pioneer at the forefront of preserving and showcasing the best that maths and science has to offer.Thanks to David, what used to be the Electric Warehouse in Newtown, Johannesburg has been transformed into the revolutionary Sci-Bono Discovery Centre – the largest of its kind in Africa.Characterised by hands-on exhibits, science stage shows and innovative workshops, Sci-Bono Discovery Centre provides uniquely designed “edu-tainment” for people from all walks of life.Unlike the traditional static museum model of “look but don’t touch”, the Sci-Bono centre guarantees a tangible experience – typified by the incredible 1 200 square metre Science Tunnel.In his own words .“Our job is to change both attitudes and capacity in maths and science. We’ve got to get kids enthusiastic about what maths and science can do for them in the future.Fast FactsSci-Bono Discovery Centre is comparable to similar centres across the globe, such as the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, and the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris.It is aligned with national and provincial priorities and initiatives to promote science, engineering and technology among learners – particularly girls and previously disadvantaged individuals.It bridges exciting contemporary science and technology, plus the numerous scientific achievements that shape our lives.Sci-Bono (“bono” is the Venda word for “vision”) is primarily about interactivity.How can I help?Find out more about the centre and when you can visit by logging on to the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre website or calling (011) 639-8400.Story published on SAinfo on 19 June 2008.Source: Brand South Africalast_img read more

South Africa’s competitiveness up

first_imgA section of the massive Absa Bank call centre in Johannesburg. South Africa’s business efficiency ranking improved significantly from 38 in 2008 to 30 this year, overtaking countries such as mainland China (37) and France (42). (Image: Chris Kirchhoff,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.)Wilma den HartighSouth Africa has moved up five places in the IMD Business School and Productivity World Competitiveness Yearbook ranking, outperforming a number of developing as well as developed countries to be ranked at 48th place, up from last year’s position of 53.Each year the global survey sets out to rate 57 countries’ competitiveness in a range of areas, such as infrastructure, business efficiency and government policy.South Africa’s business efficiency ranking improved significantly from 38 in 2008 to 30 this year, overtaking countries such as mainland China (37) and France (42).In the economic performance category, South Africa ranked high for its trade and cost-of-living index, but lower for its unemployment rate, particularly for youth and long-term unemployment.Certain areas of government efficiency also received a good ranking. South Africa was placed at 26th place for the general extent to which government policies are conducive to competitiveness, slightly ahead of countries such as Germany the United Kingdom.It was also highly rated for effective personal income tax rates and employee’s social security contribution rate. But the country ranked low in the areas of exchange rate stability and equal opportunity legislation that encourages economic development.Its infrastructure ranking, which measures the extent to which basic technological, scientific and human resources meet the needs of business, improved from 55 in 2008 to 54 in 2009. South Africa was also ahead of India in this category, which came in at 57th position.Sello Mosai, executive manager of knowledge management and research at Productivity South Africa, said infrastructure investment is positive for any country, especially during an economic downturn. “It is the foundation of a growing economy and when an economy is in a slump, the only way to save a country is to give it an infrastructure investment injection,” Mosai said. Infrastructure investment also creates more jobs.He said South Africa’s infrastructure investment for the 2010 Fifa World Cup gave it a competitive edge over India. “We’ve seen massive developments in many areas such roads, airports and ports.”In comparison, he pointed out that India’s physical infrastructure such as roads and railways is struggling to keep up with the country’s growth – congestion on roads is still a familiar sight. India’s improvements have been mainly in telecommunications, information technology, research and development and its capacity to generate products.South Africa could fare even better on its infrastructure ranking in the future if it were to provide faster and cheaper broadband internet access, Mosai said. “Investment is starting to flow in for this. The latest technology is becoming more of a possibility.”Dr Azar Jammine, chief economist at Econometrix, said South Africa’s good economic performance ranking in the cost of living area is hardly surprising. “The cost of living in South Africa is fairly low and this encourages foreigners to relocate here,” Jammine said.He added that those who move here for jobs are mostly skilled professionals, and that the country is considered to have attractive working conditions, he said. Even though crime is a concern, the South African lifestyle remains pleasant.Jammine pointed out that the lower cost of living also has the important function of dissuading South Africans from leaving the country. “This could have a positive effect of keeping skills here.”The services sector in South Africa has also contributed to the country’s growth, Jammine said. “It is quite possible that this is where some of the biggest growth in the economy has occurred.” The country is particularly well known for its good medical and education facilities, he said. Medical tourism, where foreigners come to South Africa for medical procedures while simultaneously taking a holiday, is becoming increasingly popular.The 2009 World Competitiveness Yearbook also listed the problems South Africa must overcome: protecting the poor, building capacity for long-term growth by accelerating investment spending, sustaining employment growth and expanding training opportunities, addressing sectoral barriers to growth and investment, and maintaining a sustainable debt level.Jammine agreed that employment is a major issue to overcome. Although the growth in the services sector is beneficial for the country, he said it doesn’t create many lower-skilled jobs, where the greatest need is. “But this type of growth is still positive for South Africa.”He added that foreign asset managers continue showing interest in investing in South Africa. “South Africa is still seen in a positive light,” he said.Related articlesSA hosts World Economic Forum Top marks for SA auditing South Africa upbeat on economy SA leads continent in prosperity SA’s competitiveness steady Doing business easier in SA Useful linksIMD World Competitiveness Centre Productivity South Africalast_img read more

US mission helps out in rural KZN

first_imgHealth workers in KZN will receiveassistance from US specialists.(Image: Ambulance)MEDIA CONTACTS• Chris MaxonCorporate CommunicationKwaZulu-Natal Department of Health+27 83 285 0567RELATED ARTICLES• Rural health gets R9m boost• Malaria cases halved in SA• Massive HIV-testing drive for SA• Swaziland to wipe out malariaBongani NkosiAbout 50 US healthcare volunteers have arrived in KwaZulu-Natal to offer specialist services in some of the province’s disadvantaged rural areas.The group, invited by the Seventh Day Adventist Students Association (SDASA), is here for a week to help out in communities such as uThungulu, Jozini and uMkhanyakudei in the far north of the province and other areas.“They want to make a contribution to largely disadvantaged communities,” said Chris Maxon, spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, in an interview.The team – which includes doctors, dentists, eye-care specialists, nurses, psychologists and physiotherapists – represents the United Hands Project, an NGO formed in 1995 that enables US healthcare professionals to travel abroad to offer free medical care to people in need.Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, MEC for health in KwaZulu-Natal, will welcome the delegation on 26 July 2010 at a ceremony at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital. The volunteers will take up their posts the following day and work with local practitioners in state clinics and other facilities run by the health department.“They’ll be augmenting what the department is doing,” Maxon said. “They’ll be putting up tents and visiting our clinics.”The aim of the week-long mission is to reach out to as many residents as possible, the department said. “Depending on conditions, in a community where a clinic is far away, they’ll come with a mobile clinic.”‘Spreading the light’Dhlomo said the volunteers will literally and figuratively enlighten some of KwaZulu-Natal’s rural areas, because they’ll assist community members with eyesight problems.“The team of healthcare workers coming to the province will help those partially blind and awaiting cataract surgeries, to see more clearly,” said Dr Dhlomo in a statement.“There are two ways of spreading light – to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it,” he added. “They will really spread light in the rural communities of our province.”Members of SDASA and local residents will also be involved in the project. The association’s Advocate Boyce Mkhize said they will run week-long awareness programmes to promote healthy lifestyles among the rural population.They are hoping to draw many volunteers from the Seventh Day Adventist church and the community, Mkhize added.last_img read more

Web-Connected Bathroom Scale Gets Set For Launch

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Tags:#Internet of Things#web I’m sure we’ll see many more such products, everyday objects that connect to an accompanying website, over the coming months. As the Internet of Things continues to slowly but surely ramp up, we’re beginning to see more everyday ‘objects’ being connected to the Internet. One which caught our eye is a new web-connected bathroom scale. The company behind it is called BodyTrace and the product has been labeled ‘eScale.’ It wirelessly and automatically uploads a user’s weight to the BodyTrace website, creating charts and recommendations from the data. The company claims that no softwareconfiguration is required from the user to get it to work – perhaps because it relies on mobile technology (specifically the GSM cell phone network) rather than WiFi. The BodyTrace eScale and accompanying website will be launched in September 2009. The eScale will retail for $119 and signing up to the website costs $19.99 / 3 months.The website will be focused on weight monitoring. Features will include interactive weight and BMI charts, and a food diary and intake calculator. Of course there is a social networking component (almost goes without saying these days!) – users can create groups, upload pictures, have discussions, and so on. The website boasts a self-described “motivational interface,” to encourage users to share their weight loss progress, exercise ideas, and recipes.The BodyTrace blog makes for interesting reading, as it details the history of the product and how it evolved. From recent updates about privacy (you don’t have to upload or share photos) and Twitter (there’s been a lot of demand, so you’ll now be able to “tweet your success” when the product launches), to beginnings and first drawings… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… richard macmanus …to product design …and the final products Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Dal Khalsa to hold march against temple demolition

first_imgUpset over the demolition of the Guru Ravidas temple in Delhi’s Tughlakabad, Sikh radical outfit Dal Khalsa along with two other political parties have announced to hold a protest march in Jalandhar on September 3.The temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court. ‘Reconstruct temple’“We would be holding the march to express solidarity with the Ravidasia community and to send a message to the Delhi government that nothing short of reconstruction of the temple would soothe the hurt sentiments of the aggrieved community,” said Kanwar Pal Singh, spokesperson of the Dal Khalsa on Sunday.Mr. Singh said the demolition of the temple was as painful to the Sikhs as it was to Ravidasia community. “Bhagat Ravidasji’s hymns are part of Guru Granth Sahib, hence both the communities have shared bonds. Moreover forceful demolition of any holy place, irrespective of religion, leaves followers in pain and stress,” he said.‘Mann to lead march’The spokesperson said the march will be led by Simranjit Singh Mann of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and Harpal Singh Cheema of Dal Khalsa.“We will support Ravidasia community in their future action plan to build the temple in case the government fails to reconstruct the same at the original location,” he said.last_img read more

Delhis Sunday air quality best of the year so far

first_imgNew Delhi: Delhiites on Sunday breathed the cleanest air of the year so far, thanks to widespread rainfall in the National Capital Region over the past few days, officials said. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality index in the city on Sunday was recorded at 47, which falls in the ‘good’ category. The AQI improved from 49 on Saturday, the CPCB said. An AQI between 0 to 50 is considered ‘good’ air quality. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder “Sunday’s was the best AQI this year so far,” an official said, adding the air quality will remain in the ‘good’ category for the next three days. For major part of the year, the city witnesses poor air quality. The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) attributed the improved air quality to widespread rainfall in and around the NCR. “Increased west to North rainfall activity in association with the interaction between western disturbance and monsoon low is ensuring longest spell of best air quality of the year. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings “It will continue for today also. Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall and isolated heavy rainfalls are also expected. Delhi Air quality is predicted to be in good category for next three days,” it said. The Delhi-NCR has received widespread intermittent rainfall over the past few days. Delhi received 1.4 mm rainfall from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm on Saturday, while in 24 hours ending 8.30 am on Saturday it received 7.3 mm rainfall. Some parts of the city received rains on Friday and Thursday as well. An AQI between 51 and 100 is considered ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’. The level of PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre) was recorded at 26 and the PM10 level was recorded at 17 on Sunday, the SAFAR said.last_img read more