India yesterday deplored the letter written by the United States vice president, Al Gore, to the Khalistan National Council leadership and has taken up the matter strongly at Washington and New Delhi levels. External affairs minister I K Gujral told the Rajya Sabha during zero hour that the contents of the letter were highly objectionable and written without proper knowledge. The US vice president in his letter to America-based Sikh extremists had reportedly referred to Punjab as Khalistan.
Responding to the concern expressed by members over the letter, Gujral said the high voter turnout in the recent Punjab Assembly election was sufficient proof that things were perfectly normal in the state now.
The minister said the United States had regretted the misunderstanding and clarified that it never supported Khalistanis.
NBFCs: The government will soon bring in a legislation to regulate non-financial banking companies (NBFC) engaged in the business of accepting deposits from people, the finance minister, P Chidambram, informed the Rajya Sabha yesterday.
The bill, replacing the Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on January 9 this year, will come up for discussion in the current budget session of Parliament, Chidambaram said answering supplementaries during question hour.
TATA-SIA: Civil aviation minister C M ibrahim today categorically said in the Rajya Sabha that no pressure was on the government to clear the proposed Tata-Singapore Airlines (SIA) joint venture project.
Foreign banks: The functioning of some foreign banks in India yesterday came in for sharp criticism in the Rajya Sabha with members demanding that they should be asked to follow reserve bank guidelines.