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October - November 2007


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Dispatches & Reports

NLC FINALISES NATIONAL LOTTERY LICENCE WITH CAMELOT GROUP PLC

The National Lottery Commission has announced that it has finalised terms and signed an Enabling Agreement for the third National Lottery licence with Camelot Group plc. The Commission received two strong Bids from Camelot Group plc and Sugal & Damani UK Ltd which both met the seven Required Standards outlined in the Invitation to Apply.

After rigorous scrutiny, Camelot Group plc was selected as Preferred Bidder2 having submitted the Bid that is better able to maximise returns to good causes. Dr Anne Wright CBE, Chair of the National Lottery Commission said:

“Following the completion of a hard-fought competition we are pleased to have finalised terms with Camelot Group plc and to award them the third licence for the National Lottery.”

“The Commission unanimously decided that Camelot’s Bid is better able to maximise returns to good causes. Our job now is to work with them to ensure a smooth transition to the new licence whilst maximising returns over this current licence period.”

The third licence starts on 1 February 2009.


MoD announces improved pensions for Gurkhas and a review of the mechanism for INCREASING gurkha pensions

Gurkha pensioners will benefit from an average increase of 19% to their service pension under new measures announced by Under Secretary of State for Defence Derek Twigg.

The significant increase to the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS) is in line with changes to Indian Army pensions set by the Indian Pay Commission, and follows on from an increase of 7% announced earlier this year as part of the annual inflationary uplift.

All Gurkha pensioners of the rank Warrant Officer Class 1 and below will benefit from the increase – representing 95% of all Gurkha pensioners.

Mr Twigg also announced that the Government will be conducting a review into how Gurkha Pensions should increase annually. The review will look at how best to measure the cost of living in Nepal, where an estimated 25,000 Gurkha pensioners live.

Mr Twigg said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this substantial increase in pensions to retired Gurkhas in the Gurkha Pension Scheme. This increase will sustain Gurkha Pension Scheme payments at an appropriate level and demonstrates our continuing commitment to the retired Gurkha population in Nepal.

“The bravery and heroism of the Brigade of Gurkhas is world renowned and they are fully deserving of this reputation. Their continued significant contribution to operations around the globe has been and will continue to be greatly appreciated.”

The 1947 Tripartite Agreement between Nepal, India and the UK established the linkage for pensions between British Army Gurkhas and those recruited to serve in the Indian Army. The Indian Pay Commission reviews Indian Army pay every 10 years.

A Gurkha Rifleman with 15 years service currently receives approximately £110 per month. This will rise to approximately £131 per month.

The increased benefits to the Gurkha Pension Scheme have been included in the Gurkha Offer to Transfer to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme which was announced on 8 March this year.


41st Ahmadiyya Muslim Annual Convention in Hadeeqatul Mahdi, Hampshire.

World Leader instructs that message of Islam to be spread peacefully.

The three-day international Ahmadiyya Annual Convention commenced on Friday,27th July 2007 in the 200 Acre grounds of Hadeeqatul Mahdi. His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association urged members of the Community to maintain full discipline as the effects of the recent flooding took its toll. Furthermore in his afternoon speech His Holiness stated that Promised Messiah (Founder of Ahmadiyya Community) had taught that the message of Islam was to be spread by pen and not by sword.

In his Friday Sermon, His Holiness said that due to the poor weather organisers of the event had been extremely worried and that guests were worried about the homes they had left behind. He further commented that there was a particular problem with the parking facilities and people had been severely inconvenienced.

However he instructed members of the Community to show patience and discipline. He said that last year the local Police and public had been extremely impressed by the discipline shown by the members of the Community and thus this year our standard should be even higher.

Later in the afternoon His Holiness raised the Flag of Ahmadiyyat as thousands of people stood and watched from the side. The scenes were watched by hundreds of thousands of people around the world on the Association’ 24 Satellite Channel, MTA (Muslim Television Ahmadiyya).

Following the Flag Hoisting His Holiness addressed the gathering once again and stated that Ahmadi Muslims are truly fortunate for they have accepted the Promised Messiah, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be upon him). However His Holiness counseled that to be truly blessed members of the Community must practice the teachings of the Promised Messiah not just accept him by name.

His Holiness spoke about how the Promised Messiah had delivered the message of the true Islam and that this message he taught was to be spread by the pen and not the sword. Jihad was not a Holy War with other people but in fact a struggle with one’s own conscience.


David Cameron: It’s time to fight back

Speaking about crime in Britain, Conservative Party Leader, David Cameron said:

“Gordon Brown was right.We have to be tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime.That was his soundbite. But tragically for our country, that is all it was.

“Over the last ten years, any way you look at it, the causes of crime have got worse. Family breakdown worse, educational failure worse, welfare dependency worse. And over the last ten years, any way you look at it, our response to crime has got worse.

“The police are catching fewer criminals under Labour, detection rates have fallen, and less than a quarter of all crimes are now solved. Meanwhile prisons have got worse because Gordon Brown wouldn’t fund extra places. Re-offending rates have gone up from 57 per cent to 65 per cent in the last 10 years, that’s a terrible record. And because of Britain’s crime crisis and Gordon Brown’s refusal to build more prisons, he’s having to let criminals out early. 25,000 prisoners are going to get early release because the Government didn’t plan properly.

“I have said before, and I repeat again that in my view, Labour’s record on crime is their biggest broken promise. They have shown that they have no substantial or effective response to the growing problem of crime and disorder on our streets. They have no substantial or effective response to the growing social breakdown that is steadily diminishing the quality of life for so many of our citizens. Indeed their principal response has been to deny that the problem exists.,denying the scale of social breakdown in our country, denying the scale and extent of crime and anti-social behaviour and denying even that gun crime has gone up.

“In the last few days, we have seen ministers distorting statistics, hiding the truth and even congratulating themselves on their response, claiming it is better than in America. Their attitude is arrogant, complacent and out of touch when what this country needs is new ideas and effective action, what we get is the same old Labour and the same old spin.

“I think the country deserves better than this. It’s time to draw a line in the sand. It’s time we said enough is enough. Whether an election comes in two months or two years, today we are showing that only the Conservative Party has the ideas and the determination to make our streets safe.

“We are setting out in our document what a Conservative Government will do to fight back against crime. What is new about this approach is that it sets out the changes that need to be made across the board: in homes, in schools, in police forces, on the streets and in wider society.

“It represents what I have called the Social Covenant - a collective agreement, on the part of all of us, to help make our communities places of safety. We need real school discipline, licensing that stops underage drinking, swift, effective justice and prisons that work. For my part I want to focus on the long term.

“Ultimately it is social change that will deliver a real and sustainable fall in crime - families and communities policing themselves, and bringing young people up in a culture that is loving, fair and firm. A lot of that is down to the parents.But it’s not all down to the parents. The state and wider society are surrogate parents too, fixing incentives, sending messages, holding up standards of behaviour for the young to follow.

“We all have a responsibility -politicians, parents, neighbours, businesses - to make a society that is safe for our country’s children.

“I am calling on the country to fight back. We must fight back against the gangs, the guns and the graffiti. We must fight back against the drugs, the danger and the disorder.

“Above all, we must fight back against the attitude that treats rising crime as inevitable, that treats social breakdown as an irreversible fact of modern life. That despairs of ever making our streets safe and civilised places to be. It is time to fight back against crime.”


HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE RATED BEST FOR ECONOMIC FREEDOM, ZIMBABWE AND MYANMAR RANK WORST.

Hong Kong once again tops international rankings for economic freedom, with Singapore a close second and New Zealand in third spot, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2007 Annual Report, released by the Fraser Institute in conjunction with the Institute of Economic Affairs.

The United Kingdom ranked joint 5th with the USA and Canada, after ranking 6th in last year’s report. However, the higher rank results from declining economic freedom in the USA and Canada rather than an improvement in the UK’s score.

Zimbabwe and Myanmar had the lowest economic freedom ratings of the 141 countries measured.

The annual peer-reviewed report uses 42 different measures to create an index ranking countries around the world based on policies that encourage economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete and security of private property.

Research shows that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms and longer life spans.

“This index measures policies that are part of a fundamental base needed to build a free and prosperous nation. A quick glance at the names of countries scoring lowest on the index quickly shows that without protection of property rights and judicial independence, there is little individual freedom and little in the way of prosperity,“ said Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the IEA.

The UK scores in key components of economic freedom (from 1 to 10 where a higher value indicates a higher level of economic freedom):

• Size of government: remained at 6.7, as in last year’s report

• Legal structures and security of property rights: declined to 8.7 from 8.9

• Access to sound money: remained at 9.4

• Freedom to trade internationally: declined to 7.7 from 7.9

• Regulation of credit, labour and business: increased to 7.9 from 7.6

The data suggest that the high level of government spending in the UK is limiting the country’s economic competitiveness. Declining scores in the legal structures and freedom to trade categories are also a cause for concern.


Global Spread of Economic Freedom

The 2007 edition of the Economic Freedom of the World report also includes new research from Russell Sobel, Professor of Economics at West Virginia University and Peter Leeson, Professor in the Study of Capitalism at George Mason University, showing how economic freedom spreads between countries.

Sobel and Leeson note that historically, many foreign policy decisions have been based on the notion that economic reforms in a few key nations would substantially improve the economies of other countries throughout the region – the so-called “domino effect“.

The authors conclude that while economic freedom changes in one country have only a modest impact on neighbouring countries, when multiple neighbours experience simultaneous changes in economic freedom, the impact is much greater. Broad regional changes in freedom can and do have significant impacts on surrounding countries. By liberalising trade with foreign nations, economically free countries can exert a positive, if modest, impact on economic freedom in less free nations.

“This research indicates that free-trade agreements allowing a number of nations to simultaneously coordinate trade liberalisation could have a sizeable influence on spreading economic freedom to economically repressed regions of the world,“ Sobel and Leeson said.

Economic Freedom of the World measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom.

This year’s publication ranks 141 nations using data from 2005, the most recent year for which figures are available. The report also updates data in earlier reports in instances where data have been revised.

The annual report is published in conjunction with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in over 70 nations.


National Congress of Gujarati Organisation - Election 07/09

The Executive Committee was elected on at the AGM on Sunday 2nd September 2007 at Brent Council Chamber, Forty Lane, Wembley, Middlesex.

NCGO Executive Committee 2007 - 2009

Trustee Officers

Mr Pravinbhai N Amin Chair 77, Brockenhurst Avenue

Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7RH

Tel: 020 8337 2873 (H)

Mr Anantbhai R Patel Secretary General 18 Wychwood Avenue, Canons Park, Edgware Milddlesex, HA6 6TH

0208951 3521

Mr Sumantrai D Desai Treasurer

Miss Anita Ruparelia Vice Chair

Mr Jayantbhai Patel Joint Secretary

Mr Harshadbhai M Desai

Joint Treasurer

Trusstees (14)

Mrs Bhartiben P Vora, Mr Bhaskerbhai Patel, Mr C. B. Patel, Mr Dhirajlal Parekh, Mr G. P. Desai, Mr Ghanshyambhai M Patel, Mr Jayantibhai F Patel, Mr Jitubhai M Patel, Mrs Kalaben Patel, Mrs Krishna Pujara, Mr Manubhai D Patel, Mrs Nirmala D Parekh, Miss Ranjanbala Patel, Mrs Rashmiben Amin.


Bhartiya Society to conduct a conference on Employment (Labour) Laws, National & International Arbitration in India

Bhartiya Society is organizing a conference on Employment (Labour) Laws, National & International Arbitration on 12 October, 2007 at Hotel Radisson in India.

Bhartiya Society works for the socio-economic development in the Global Arena. It has got the remarkable record of organizing various high level successful conferences and seminars on the subject matter of Corporate and Labour Laws informing about bilateral investment opportunities and trade relations. The society’s motive is to inform, educate and also to pressurise Indian government to amend laws to felicitate foreign investments. It has been successful in providing a common platform for discussion and forum where everybody can interact and discuss.

At the conference, minister for Labour Sh. Oscar Fernandez and the Chief Minister of Delhi Smt. Sheila Dixit are the Chief Guest and Guest of Honor respectively. Experts and eminent speakers are invited to speak on the subject such as Mr. R. Krishnan, Founder President, Institute of Company Secretaries of India; Mr. K.M. Naik, Labour Law expert and High Court Advocate of Bombay and Labour Law Advisor of Tata Sons (holding company of Tata Group), Mr. Burke Maurice, Partner, Herbert & Smith LLP, Expert International Arbitration etc. The Planning Commission of India and International Labour Organisation (ILO) are expected to officially support this conference. The conference will be joined by the senior executives of Corporations, Banks, National and Multinationals corporates etc.

As the conference is organized by Bhartiya Society, the technical supporters of the conference are ASC (Alok Sinha & Co.), Solicitors and Advocates. Mr. Alok Sinha is the president of Bhartiya Society and Advocate of Supreme Court of India.



Registration Fee :

Foreign Delegates:USD 550.00

For further information and registration contact :

Conference Secretariat:

Ms. Monika Kalra Tel : 011 - 41643417, 41824349

Mobile: 91-9312661252, 9891600235 Fax : 011 - 24325938

Email: monika@aloksinhaco.com

Mr. Bharat Bhushan Tel : 011 - 41643417, 41824349

Mobile: 9868219371 Fax : 011-24325938

E-mail : conference@bhartiyasociety.com


SHARE YOUR IMPRESSIONS AND STAND A CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE SINGAPORE

A unique new contest will offer non-Singaporeans and non-Singapore Permanent Residents living abroad a special opportunity to take an all-expenses paid trip to the island state, meet some of its luminaries, and have an in-depth experience of the exciting developments here.

The unique feature of the “Your Singapore Experience Contest” (http://www.your-singapore-experience.sg) is that apart from getting a genuine taste of Singaporean lifestyle and culture, the winner will also get to meet prominent people in Singapore in specific fields of interest, ranging from scientists and captains of industry to artists and other public figures.

The “Your Singapore Experience Contest” seeks to enable those who are keen to find out more about Singapore beyond the tourist sights to gain authentic insights into the many ongoing dynamic changes in Singapore. This contest is one of many programmes aimed at increasing international awareness of Singapore as a leading global city.

The contest will run from 27 August to 27 December 2007 and is open to non-Singaporeans residing abroad above the age of 18. Contestants have to submit an entry about an aspect of Singapore that they admire or find interesting, in the form of a text essay, photo essay or a video clip.

For more detailed information on how the “Your Singapore Experience Contest” will run, please refer to Annex A.

Annex A

THE YOUR SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE CONTEST

What is it?

The “Your Singapore Experience Contest” is a four-month contest which will run from 27 August to 27 December 2007, and is open to individuals who are non-Singaporeans and non-Singapore Permanent Residents residing abroad who are above the age of 18, as at the date of entry submission.

2. Contestants will need to tell us an aspect of Singapore that they admire or find interesting and would like to experience for themselves in Singapore in the format of a text essay, photo essay or a video clip.

3.The winner will receive a 5-day, 4-night trip to Singapore, inclusive of a pair of round-trip business class tickets on Singapore Airlines or tickets of equivalent value, double occupancy accommodation at a five-star hotel or accommodation of equivalent value, airport transfers and daily breakfasts, as well as meetings with up to two prominent Singapore personalities in specific fields of interest.

How does it work?

4. Contestants should visit http://www.your-singapore-experience.sg to enter the contest. Terms and conditions apply, and full details are available on the website.

5. Contestants will need to complete the official entry form and submit an essay according to the format of choice, along with their full name, passport number, postal address, telephone number with area code and email address. Contestants should submit their contest entry online at the contest website.

6. Each contestant may submit only one entry. At the end of the contest period, the winner will be chosen by a judging panel.

Winners will be notified no later than end January 2008 and travel is to be completed by end-March 2008.


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