However, cash raised at black-tie dinners, auctions, charity football matches and a clay pigeon shoot went into Sodje bank accounts, prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said.In once instance, in 2011, there was a gala dinner at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester for the SSF and the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.The £150-a-head black-tie event raised almost £11,500, but Mr Christopher said “not a penny” went to the hospital.Judge Michael Topolski QC told the defendants: “You have brought shame upon yourselves and your family.”He said “at least £63,000 can be shown to have been received by the fund”, and added that this did not include cash donations.The defendants “went out of their way” to ensure that proper records were not kept, he said.Any good works done in the past would be “forever tainted by their dishonest and disreputable conduct”, he added.Stephen Sodje, of Bexley, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for receiving £30,000 in charity funds.Efe Sodje, of Cheadle in Greater Manchester, who was “the face” of the charity, was given 18 months in jail for receiving £7,500 from the SSF and an unknown amount from a clay pigeon shooting event.Bright Sodje, of Sale in Greater Manchester, was jailed for 21 months for receiving £3,000 from the charity and signing cheques to other family members totalling £18,000.The Charity Commission worked with the National Crime Agency to secure the prosecution.Tracy Howarth, the commission’s head of regulatory compliance, said the defendants had “misused their privileged position to exploit donors and supporters, and their financial gain came at the expense of the children and causes the charity was supposed to support”.She added: “The outcome of this case sends a strong message that the deliberate, wilful and cynical abuse of charity for private financial gain will be investigated and will not go unpunished.”Reporting restrictions meant the brothers’ convictions could only be reported following the conclusion of the separate money-laundering case.Efe Sodje was cleared of money laundering at the Old Bailey in January 2018 but Emmanuel Ehikhamen, 53, of south-east London, and Andrew Oruma, 50, of Bexley, south London, were convicted.The case against Sam Sodje collapsed and his retrial began on 7 January 2019.Mr Sodje, who also played for Charlton Athletic, Brentford and Leeds United during his career, was charged with four counts of taking part in a fraud in which bank accounts were used to channel money from companies around the world.He was found not guilty of two of the charges on 14 January and cleared of the remaining two counts earlier yesterday.Another of the brothers, Akpo Sodje, 37, moved to Dubai and refused to return to Britain for questioning.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Former Super Eagles defender, Efe Sodje, 46, and his brothers, Stephen Sodje, 43, and ex-rugby player Bright Sodje, 52, were found guilty and jailed for the fraud in 2017.According to British judicial authorities, the case can only be reported now following the conclusion of a separate trial involving the former Reading and Nigeria footballer Sam Sodje, 39.Earlier yesterday, he was cleared at the Old Bailey of money laundering. But it was a case of sporting family siphoned off cash from their own charity set up to help African children.The fraud trial in 2017 had heard how the family set up the Sodje Sports Foundation (SSF) in 2009, ostensibly to help provide facilities in Nigeria.
Perhaps only a scientist, or a kid, would worry about how a plant doesn’t get sunburn, but it took elaborate scientific work for six months to find the answer. EurekAlert told about research at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State that found how plants get rid of excess solar energy. They use carotenoids, molecules responsible for the yellow color of fruits and vegetables, like electrical wires to convey excess electrons safely away from their light-harvesting machines: “Carotenoids act as ‘wires’ to carry away the extra sunlight energy in the form of unwanted electrons, somehow wicking away the extra electrons across long distances from locations that could damage plant tissues and photosynthesis.” It’s no wonder these wires were not found earlier. They are a “miniscule 2.8 nanometers long and less than a single nanometer thick, or about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.” Carotenoids are not particularly conductive, but exceed the specifications required by the plant. The surprise was that these molecules are able to shuttle the electrons across their surfaces without becoming oxidized themselves. The new work sheds light on the process of photoprotection, “an intricate internal defense mechanism, … which acts like sunscreen to ward off the sun’s harmful rays.” See also our 01/24/2005 entry on photoprotection, “one of Nature’s supreme examples of nanoscale engineering.”Do a word search in this article for anything about evolution. We got “word not found.” The research was not motivated by or benefited by evolutionary speculation. The scientists just wanted “to more fully understand how photosynthesis works.” Students use similar motivation in auto shop without assuming car engines evolved from rocks. Notice where this research came from: the Biodesign Research Institute at U of A, whose starting point is “exploring the remarkable structure and function of living systems…. Inspired by nature and powered by collaboration, our bold new approach ensures that discoveries are rapidly translated into real-world benefits.” (We left out the sentence in the middle that made no sense: “From microbes to man, these systems have been honed by thousands of years of natural selection.” At least thousands is down from millions, and the sentence could be interpreted to mean that the systems were already present.) Anyway, good research is flowing from another of the popular new interdisciplinary academic centers seeking to understand and apply biological design (05/13/2006, 06/25/2005). The Darwin Party has nothing to offer this new trend in biodesign research and should get out of the way. This is intelligent design science at work: stimulating and productive.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Presndent Jacob Zuma addresses business leaders during his state visit to China in August 2010 (Image: GCIS) South Africa’s invitation by BRIC (Brazil, the Russian Federation, India and China) to join the bloc as a full member will propel the country to new heights. “It can expect to boost investment and trade opportunities for the country, as it has done for the other four states comprising the informal grouping,” said the International Marketing Council of South Africa’s CEO, Miller Matola.South Africa, which received an invitation to join the powerful group of emerging economies, had a combined GDP of R18-trillion (US$2.6-trillion) late in December.BRIC will account for 61% of global growth in three years’ time, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).“The fact that South Africa has the opportunity to be affiliated to this group of powerful emerging economies underlines two main points. The country is recognised as a developing economy of significance in its own right, but also that it is the gateway to the continent of Africa – the next growth superstar,” said Matola.Matola expressed his belief that this is a good step for South Africa, not only economically but also politically. He said a new world order is unfolding where economic clout – and therefore political power – is shifting from West to East, with the BRIC countries as the visible face of this movement.South Africa, along with other emerging economies, has long been punting for a greater role in international organisations like the IMF and the World Bank.Enhancing South Africa’s influenceMatola added that the invitation to join BRIC, combined with South Africa’s renewed membership of the UN Security Council, will enhance the country’s influence in this regard too.He predicted important opportunities opening up on the investment and trade front, with private companies possibly finding it easier to gain a foothold into BRIC markets. Partnerships with BRIC-based companies may also bloom.“This might become particularly important as South Africa is already the biggest emerging economy investor in the continent and its companies are active in at least half of all African countries,” Matola said.Joining BRIC – soon to be BRICS – will also mean that South Africa must use these new opportunities to increase its competitive edge.Last year, the country’s ranking in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum dropped, but its performance has in fact remained stable. Rather, the decline reflects improvements from other countries and their ability to spur growth.“South Africa will play in a different league and as such, will have to improve its delivery and performance,” said Matola.“To draw South Africa into this powerful club underlines the country’s growing international role and its future significance for those who want to make use of the expanding African opportunities.“It is, in fact, an association that does not only benefit the group, but the emerging world as a whole and Africa, in particular,” he said.It is expected that South Africa will be accepted formally as a new BRIC member at these emerging powers’ next summit in April.
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But this season was when everything materialized for Lyceum, completing one of the biggest turns in the local collegiate scene after sweeping the eliminations and establishing itself as a legitimate title contender.Perez was also a key cog in making that shift a reality, matching his hype with a Season Most Valuable Player after averaging 19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals.The Pangasinense forward continued that tear in the Finals, where he anchored the surprise top-seed Pirates in the tussle against the Red Lions and averaged 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 steals.Unfortunately, Lyceum settled for second place.However, the 23-year-old Perez argued that the Pirates have nothing to be ashamed about with how they fared this year.ADVERTISEMENT “When we’re winning, we didn’t let go of each other. The change started in all of us and that culture will not change. Even though our season is over, we won’t leave each other,” he said.And rather than be down, Perez noted that these hardships will just make the Lyceum bond stronger as it seeks to bounce back strong next season.“We won’t promise anything, but we’ll just continue playing our game. After this, tomorrow will be the start of Season 94 for all of us,” he said. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Tankoua wins NCAA Finals MVP in comeback season Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netIt may come as a surprise, but CJ Perez still had a smile on his face as he exited Smart Araneta Coliseum Thursday nightAnd he had every reason to still feel happy despite the Finals loss, seeing how big of a turnaround Lyceum pulled off this NCAA Season 93.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ View comments CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next “We’re happy because we gave it our best,” said Perez said in Filipino after the Pirates ended their perfect 18-0 season with a runner up finish, losing to San Beda, 82-92 in Game 2.Failing to cap off the historic eliminations romp with a title seems like a disappointment, but Perez said Lyceum can still hold its head high knowing that the result of coach Topex Robinson’s culture change exceeded everyone’s expectations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We don’t regret anything. Even though we lost, at least we gave it our all. We failed, but it was a good experience for us,” said PerezJoining the NCAA in 2011, the Pirates paid their dues going from cellar-dwellers to dark horses. Even up until last year, their 6-12 finish came with the ignominy of being the lone squad to lose to erstwhile-winless St. Benilde.
A summer house transforms into a boutique resort on the hills of Dhanachuli, an unfrequented village that seduces you with an unhurried pace of life, moments of solitude and abundant sunshine. Text by Aditi SenGupta; photographs by Subhojit PaulLittle Miss Sunshine. The Hollywood drama from the last decade occupies a special place in my humble collection and is a surefire recipe for turning your mood from murderous to happy and even generous. But my mood is not dark as I stand on a white deck facing a valley dressed in various shades of green. It’s the sun, in fact, that brings to mind the laughter-filled movie and I quickly borrow the title (barring the word ‘little’ of course) for myself. I feel every bit of a Miss Sunshine as I enjoy the warmth of an early May morning up in the hills of Dhanachuli, a near unheard-of village near Mukteshwar. The sunshine spreads across the valley as smoothly as butter on a hot toast, allowing me an unparalleled view of the densely forested slopes and a glimpse of Himalayan peaks behind them.The geometry of the entire picture before my eyes fascinates me. At one level I find the hills. Small stone houses in the surrounding villages punctuate the heavy greenness, columns of smoke from their chimneys adding a vertical dimension of sorts. The vegetation, too, follows a pattern I find most intriguing. The arrangement of oak and cedar trees, not to forget the many varieties I don’t know the names of, reminds me of the Mexican wave. Stacked behind the hills–coming to the next level of natural geometry–are the majestic peaks, sporting signs of winter. The view of the peaks, notwithstanding the abundant sunshine, is sadly unclear. Through the haze, I manage a glimpse of the fabled Nanda Devi peak as well as the Panchachuli.I indulge my newfound interest in geometry with a tour of Te Aroha, a boutique resort in Dhanachuli that is less than two months old. It’s my home for the weekend and also the reason to drive into this village that most tourist maps of Uttarakhand don’t show. For those following the tried-and-tested circuits, the journey ends at Bhimtal, about 30 km below Dhanachuli.Only a few of those who drive up to Mukteshwar, the other well-known neighbour, make a detour to Dhanachuli. It was one such detour that led to the birth of Te Aroha, which means ‘a place of love’ in the language of Maoris. Sumant Batra’s summer house, built 12 years ago after he fell in love with the little village, is now a resort with 10 rooms and suites.I start from Level One. Going up a flight of wide wooden stairs, I am instantly attracted by the yellow roofing. The sloping roofs are arranged at different levels, giving, once again, a strange beauty to the planned haphazardness. My first stop is the reception, a wood-and-glass structure where everyone is greeted with a glass of rhododendron juice. Continuing the walk up to the resort, I stop to admire the little birdhouses at the landscaped gardens. The grass is just sprouting and several wild blooms have begun to make an appearance. A patch has been devoted to fruit trees, with the aim of wooing back the birds who flew away during the construction. And I am delighted to see the sparrow, a bird that I haven’t seen in the city for years now.The spacious lobby at Te Aroha transports you to the colonial era. A fireplace, piano, a cosy poker room on the side… everything put together runs high on nostalgia. On my way to the sunny, cheerful restaurant–a glasshouse with two trees in the middle–I get distracted by a door on the left. It reads “Three Steps Down”. Quite literally three steps down I go and find myself in the prettiest of suites. Hints of purple blend beautifully in the cosy bedroom with a white, very French-looking bed. Facing the bed is a French window that is almost twice my height. A tea table and a couple of chairs on the deck complete the picture of indolence. The other rooms and suites, too, are alluring but Three Steps Down bowls me three times over. Onward to the restaurant, I am drawn to a flight of stairs that goes down to a spacious room. There is nothing much here other than a low table and two benches one of which, interestingly, comes from the Parliament in Delhi. This is where I come for a glass or two of red wine in the evenings followed by sumptuous meals of Kumaoni Palak, Mutton Stew and Fowl Curry.The new wing of the summer house is one level higher, the best part of which is what the owner calls The Attic. It is what I would call a combo of a library and a recreation room. It is the kind of place where you can sit for hours and do just nothing. The Attic deserves at least one lazy afternoon but I have none to spare on this trip. Sunset beckons me to a hilltop behind Te Aroha and I prepare for the climb by getting my forty winks. The drama in the sky takes a backseat as a bevy of village lasses catch our attention. Each of them has stunning features and obliges my camera-wielding friend with smiles that could make any toothpaste company hunt them down for brand endorsements. I return with the promise of catching up with the girls next morning at the jungle. Bedtime comes early, simultaneously with thunder, lightning and rain. The temperature drop brings out the jacket and woollen socks. I literally climb to the bed, thanks to a footstool, and sink into a cocoon of quilts. Interestingly, I am in a room named Morning Sun–a complete mismatch for a night owl like me.A firm knock on the door at 5 a.m. and I jump out of bed to keep my date. Fit-as-fiddle Vinod leads the way as our group of four takes to a jungle path that villagers use for collecting firewood. The walk is simple and within 45 minutes we are out in the open. Sunlight filters through a canopy of tall, moss-laden trees and it becomes warm enough for me to get out of my heavy jacket. The village girls, however, are nowhere in sight. Ah well. It’s not the first time I have been stood up on a date.Hot poori bhaji for breakfast helps me banish regrets of the failed meeting to a corner of the mind. I spend the last two hours at Te Aroha lolling on the deck. I watch the hills change colour with the slow movement of the clouds. A ride through the congested towns of Uttar Pradesh is only a few minutes away but I am far from done with Dhanachuli. A trip to this small but once prosperous village (some say the name comes from the words ‘dhan’ as in wealth and ‘chulha’ or the hearth) is a lesson in getting everything out of nothing.advertisementadvertisementAt a glanceGetting there: The most convenient way to get to Dhanachuli from Delhi is to take an overnight train to Kathgodam, 90 minutes from the village. By road, Dhanachuli is 7-8 hours from Delhi. Start at the crack of dawn to avoid nightmarish traffic at Rampur.When to go: This is a year-round destination. The best mountain views, however, can be enjoyed in winter.Must doStay: Te Aroha, Dhanachuli Bend, District Nainital; tel: (05942) 214 377, (0) 87550 80735; www.tearoha.inEat: Kumaoni fare at the Te Aroha restaurant. Request the chef for mutton stew and rotis made from the locally grown atta.Shop: Apricot preserve and orange marmalade from NGO-run shops.See: Spend a day at Bhimtal, 30 km from below Dhanachuli.FYIOff to Mukteshwar: About 12 km from Dhanachuli is Mukteshwar, which is famous for its Shiva Temple. Set on the highest point in town, the temple is architecturally insignificant. What is interesting is a path at the base of the temple’s steps. advertisementIt leads you to a rocky outcrop with some beautiful rock formations. It requires some nerve to climb up and peek over any of the ragged edges. If you manage to, however, you’d get a breathtaking view of the valley.Hot dealBreak away: For Rs. 17,900, get 2 nights’ stay at Te Aroha for 2 people. Offer includes all meals and free stay for children below 5 years of age. Valid till July 15.
GATINEAU, Que. – Owners of Quebec-based ticket reseller 514-BILLETS have agreed to offer $10 rebate coupons to 7,500 clients in the first application of Canada’s anti-spam law involving unsolicited messages sent to mobile phones.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission alleged that 514-BILLETS violated the law by sending text messages without the consent of recipients.It also alleged the ticket reseller didn’t identify the person who sent the messages or provide information so that recipients could contact the sender.The 514-BILLETS service primarily resells tickets for sporting and cultural events.It is owned by two numbered companies — 9118-9076 QUEBEC INC. and 9310-6359 QUEBEC INC. — which have agreed to pay $75,000 in rebates and $25,000 to the federal government to settle the case.The CRTC says the companies will also appoint an officer responsible for making sure the organization complies with Canada’s anti-spam law, which lays out the conditions for sending electronic communications.“Today’s announcement demonstrates our comprehensive approach to reduce unsolicited communications sent to Canadians, whether via email or text message,” said Steven Harroun, CRTC chief compliance and enforcement officer.
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to cut taxes and boost France’s growth. A year and a half after he came into power, he is facing violent protests over rising taxes, a high cost of living and policies criticized by some as favouring the rich.The country’s economic indicators don’t always match the public’s perception of how the country is doing, but do help understand the popular anger.Here is a look at the taxes that have become central to the so-called “yellow vest” protesters’ claims.___TAX BURDENOne of the protesters’ big complaints is that they are heavily taxed.Official statistics support that claim. France was the most heavily taxed of the world’s rich countries in 2017, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The French government’s tax revenues last year reached 46.2 per cent of annual GDP.Prime Minister Edouard Philippe acknowledges that taxes “have steadily risen” since 2000 and that Macron’s government wants to reverse that trend.In particular, social security expenses — which pay for the generous health care system and pensions — are higher in France than other wealthy countries. As a result, France’s poverty rate is also lower than in most European countries.Overall, taxes are expected to decrease this year after Macron’s administration agreed on cuts. The protesters, however, complain specifically about a tax on fuel that Macron wanted to increase.___FUEL TAXApproved in 2014, under Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande, this tax is part of government plans to wean France off fossil fuels via small but regular tax increases. Taxes represent about 60 per cent of the price of fuel in France.The next tax increase was due to be implemented on Jan 1. In the face of the sometimes violent protests, the government said this week that it would suspend the fuel tax increase.Among the complaints by protesters is that the fuel tax hurts people in rural areas who rely on vehicles for work and transportation, compared with wealthier city dwellers who tend to rely more on public transportation.___MIDDLE CLASS GAINSIn response to the protests, Macron’s government notes it has actually cut taxes for French people. However, they will mostly benefit middle class people with jobs, according to the Institute of Public Policies, a watchdog.This year’s tax cuts focus on businesses, payroll and housing. The government is trying to raise awareness of its efforts: every employee salary slip must now have a line —written in large letters— detailing how much extra money the worker received thanks to the tax cuts.While most employees benefit from the tax cuts, almost all retirees are worse off. Macron has said pensioners must make “a small effort” to help workers.___PURCHASING POWERMany protesters say they can’t pay their bills due to the higher cost of living.Consumers’ purchasing power in France fell sharply after the 2008 global financial crisis. But since 2014 it has been growing again, according to statistics agency Insee. This year, a small increase of 0.6 per cent is expected, largely thanks to the tax cuts.Yet the figure is an average that hides disparities across society.Macron’s first reforms, like a cut to taxes on wealth, largely benefited the well-off, and this is cited frequently by protesters decrying inequality.___WEALTH TAXThe decision to slash a special tax on households with assets above 1.3 million euros ($1.5 million) was meant to attract foreign investors. Macron was quickly labelled by critics as the “president of the rich”.Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux lamented that the wealthy often decided to invest outside France because of taxes. “We want the money to come back,” he said.The Institute of Public Policies says that budget measures for years 2018-2019 overwhelmingly benefit the 1 per cent richest people due to the wealth tax cut.It says that the poorest 20 per cent of households will see their real incomes fall because while social benefits remain stable, the prices for goods like energy are rising.Sylvie Corbet, The Associated Press
New Delhi: Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved has increased its bid value by around Rs 200 crore to Rs 4,350 crore for bankruptcy-bound Ruchi Soya, and the revised offer is likely to be considered by lenders soon. Adani Wilmar, which emerged as the highest bidder in August last year after a long drawn battle with Patanjali, has withdrawn from the race citing delay in completion of the insolvency process. “We have revised our bid to Rs 4,350 crore from earlier offer of Rs 4,160 crore. We are ready to bail out Ruchi Soya which has biggest infrastructure for soyabean. It’s a national asset,” Patanjali spokesperson S K Tijarawala said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHe said the decision has been taken in the interest of all the stakeholders including farmers and consumers. The Committee of Creditors (CoC) could meet next week to consider the revised offer of Patanjali, sources said. In December 2017, Indore-based Ruchi Soya Industries was referred for the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. Shailendra Ajmera was appointed the resolution professional (RP) by NCLT on the application of creditors Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsRuchi Soya has a total debt of about Rs 12,000 crore. The debt-ridden firm has many manufacturing plants and its leading brands include Nutrela, Mahakosh, Sunrich, Ruchi Star and Ruchi Gold. In December last year, Adani Wilmar had written to the RP regarding significant delays in resolution process, leading to deterioration of the assets. Adani Wilmar had said the process was getting delayed as Patanjali moved National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) Mumbai, challenging the lenders’ decision. Patanjali Ayurved had approached NCLT challenging the decision of Ruchi Soya’s lenders to approve Adani Wilmar’s Rs 6,000 crore takeover bid. Patanjali group came second with around Rs 5,700 crore bid, including the infusion of about Rs 1,700 crore in the edible oil company.
Srinagar: Militants killed a woman Special Police Officer (SPO) on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said. The terrorists shot dead Khushboo Jan from close range while she was on her home village, Vehil. “She suffered critical bullet injuries around 2.40 p.m. and was rushed to a hospital where she succumbed,” the police added. A cordon and search operation was underway to trace the assailants. SPOs are engaged by the state police on fixed monthly remuneration to fight militancy in the state. They are neither imparted training to handle firearms nor are weapons issued to them. The SPOs represent the lowest rung of police officials below the state constabulary that is adequately trained to handle weapons and are also issued service weapons.
NEW DELHI: India will launch $5 billion of transmission-line tenders in phases, beginning in June, to route a targeted 175 gigawatts (GW) of power from renewable sources into the country’s grid by 2022, the secretary at the ministry of renewable energy said. India, the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to cut emissions and have clean energy account for at least 40 percent of its installed capacity by 2030, up from 21.4 percent now, while looking to manage its energy appetite as its population becomes more prosperous. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe renewable energy targets would require investment in feeder lines and infrastructure upgrades. India has awarded tenders for 12 GW of transmission lines since December, while bids for a further 16 GW will be launched by the end of June. Another 38 GW will be bid out before March 2020, he said. Building transmission lines for 66 GW worth projects would need an estimated investment of 430 billion rupees, the secretary for renewables, Anand Kumar, said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIndia, which receives twice as much sunshine as European countries, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion as part of the fight against climate change. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has set a goal to raise solar power generation to 100 GW and wind to 60 GW by 2022. The other 15 GW would come from biomass and hydropower. Research analysts have been sceptical about India meeting its ambitious targets. Consultancy firm WoodMac and research firm CRISIL have said India would not meet its renewable energy target due to policy issues, including cancellations of auctions of tenders, rights to land use and tariffs. India has cancelled tenders for renewable energy projects with a capacity of at least 5 GW, saying the bid prices were too high. Solar and wind energy developers have also complained about the difficulty of leasing land and duties on solar equipment imports. But Kumar says the government must be careful not to buy power at any cost. “The mandate of the government is that we should buy power at a competitive price which is affordable,” he said. The government is determined to overcome roadblocks, and is in talks with states to ensure easy land availability. It has asked distribution companies to borrow from the government-run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency to ensure timely payments to power producers. Modi’s government changed rules for the awarding of renewable energy projects in 2017, leading to higher competition, lower prices and greater acceptance of renewable energy.