Latest live news updates: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a scheme to provide bank loans at lower rates to distilleries producing ethanol for doping in petrol, with a view to raising India’s ethanol production capacity to suck out surplus sugar as well as cut oil imports. The Cabinet also approved the export of Akash Missile System aiming to achieve the target of $5 billion of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.
In another news, initial trends indicate that the candidates backed by the BJP have won a majority of panchayat seats in Karnataka as the counting of votes progressed on Wednesday.
Elections were announced for a total of 91,339 seats in 5,728 Gram Panchayats of 226 talukas in the state, out of which candidates have been elected unopposed for 8,074 seats. Elections were held for 43,238 seats in the first phase on December 22, while voting took place for 39,378 seats in the second phase on December 27. A total of 2,22,814 candidates were in the fray.