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India to impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 American goods

Move comes after a year of talks on trade barriers to Indian steel, aluminium

India has decided to impose retaliatory tariffs on 29 goods imported from the U.S. from June 16, a year after it initially decided to do so, officials in the Commerce Ministry told The Hindu.

The tariffs will apply to $220-290 million worth of goods and will have about the same impact as the tariffs imposed by Washington on India last year.

The official notification will be issued before June 16 by the Finance Ministry, an official added.

June 16 deadline

“India has decided to go ahead and impose the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. items,” the Commerce Ministry official said. “The deadline after which the tariffs would be imposed was supposed to be June 16. The notification to impose the tariffs will be issued by the Finance Ministry before then.”

The tariffs on the 29 goods — including walnuts, apples and some pulses — were initially announced in June 2018 in retaliation for U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in March that year to impose higher import tariffs on Indian aluminium and steel. India had repeatedly asked for exemption from these higher tariffs.

However, negotiations continued for about a year, with India repeatedly extending the deadline for retaliatory tariffs. These talks, as well as negotiations on granting India duty-free imports of certain items under the U.S. Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), seem to have fallen through.

Modi, Imran exchange pleasantries at Bishkek

At SCO summit, PM hints at Pak. role in backing terror

Warm reception: Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov greets PM Modi before a meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in Bishkek on Friday. AFPAFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan exchanged greetings during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. The informal exchange came in the backdrop of Mr. Modi’s strong pitch for a regional and global drive to eliminate terrorism.

“The Prime Minister exchanged usual pleasantries with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in the Leaders’ Lounge,” said a source.

‘No meeting’

However, the sources said, the interaction did not amount to a meeting or a “pull-aside” and was just an exchange of pleasantries.

Friday’s exchange, though brief, is the first since the Pulwama terror attack, which led to a dramatic escalation of tensions.

Earlier, addressing the summit, Mr. Modi hinted at Pakistan’s role in supporting terror elements and highlighted the importance of peace in Afghanistan for the overall security situation in the region.

“Last Sunday, during my trip to Sri Lanka, I visited St. Anthony’s church. There I was reminded of the hateful nature of terrorism that can destroy innocent lives anywhere in the world. There is a need to hold those countries that support terrorism accountable,” he said.

Medical services hit as doctors’ agitation spreads

IMA calls nationwide strike for June 17 against assault in Kolkata hospital

Up in arms: A protest at Nair Hospital in Mumbai against the attack on doctors at a hospital in West Bengal. Emmanual YoginiThe Hindu

Hospital services were affected in different parts of the country on Friday as a doctors’ agitation that began in West Bengal following an assault on medical professionals spread to the national capital, Kerala, Telangana, Chandigarh and even Jammu and Kashmir.

While 300 doctors in West Bengal quit on Friday evening, demanding additional security and assurance of a safe work environment, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) sought to intensify a nationwide protest over the next two days and called for the withdrawal of all non-essential health services on June 17.

“The gruesome incident in NRS Medical College, Kolkata, is of barbaric nature,” the IMA said in a statement on Friday.

“The IMA condemns the violence perpetrated on a young doctor,” it added.

Maharashtra boy tops JEE Advanced-2019

Kartikey Gupta

The results of the Joint Entrance Examination (Advanced)-2019 were declared by the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee on Friday.

Seventeen-year-old Kartikey Gupta from Ballarpur in Maharashtra emerged the all-India topper scoring 346 marks out of 372. Himanshu Gaurav Singh of Allahabad was second overall, followed by Archit Bubna of Delhi.

Gillella Karthikeya and Battepati Karthikeya, both from Madhapur, a suburb of Hyderabad, were ranked four and five respectively.

Among the girls, Shabnam Sahay from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, topped with 308 marks, securing the 10th rank.

For the JEE Advanced, a prerequisite for admission to all IITs, 38,705 candidates qualified, of which 5,356 are girls.

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