The Government has approved 63 proposals of foreign companies, including Louis Vuitton and Marks and Spencer, for retailing in single brand in the country so far, the Consumer Affairs Minister, K V Thomas, said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The single-brand labels that plan to strengthen include Dolce and Gabbana, Christian Dior Couture, Marks and Spencer, Louis Vuitton and Hermes International. On Monday, the Government said it had received six proposals from foreign brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Promod and Damiani.

GANGA WATER : Groundwater in key Ganga river basin states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has residues of different pesticides, the Government told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Quoting an IIT-Delhi study, the Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Jairam Ramesh, said the groundwater in Palla Burari region near Delhi was found to contain moderately high levels of pesticides — some of them residues of long-banned pesticides such as DDT.

“HCH, a by-product of insecticide Lidane, was detected mostly in mountainous stretch of Uttarakhand. The water in Uttar Pradesh contained more of Endosulfan residues, while the Bihar region contained more of Aldrin group of pesticides,” he added.

NEW TIGER RESERVES : The Centre has given in-principle approval for creation of five new tiger reserves in the country. The Environment Minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, said in the Rajya Sabha these reserves are in Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), Ratapani (Madhya Pradesh), Sunabeda (Odisha) and Mukundara Hills (Rajasthan) and Satyamangalam (Tamil Nadu). The proposed Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve constitutes three wildlife sanctuaries including Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambal, she added.

FARMER SUICIDES : A total of 152 farmers committed suicide due to various reasons, including crop failure and drought, in 2012-13.

While 118 cases of suicide by farmers were reported from Maharashtra, in Andhra Pradesh 33 farmers ended their life due to various agriculture reasons, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Harish Rawat, said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. In Karnataka, too, there was a case of suicide by a farmer in the current year, he added.

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