UP traders to strike on Monday

Lucknow, April 2 (IANS) Traders across Uttar Pradesh is set go on a strike on Monday to express solidarity with the ongoing protests by jewellers against the additional excise duty levied by the union finance ministry.

UP Udyog Vyapar Mandal officials informed that cloth merchants, food grain traders will also join the strike.

Over 300,000 jewellery shops owing allegiance to more than 300 associations across India went on strike since the excise duty announcement in the budget presented on February 29.

More than 1,200 jewellery shops in the state capital have remained shut since the strike began.

Late Friday, angry jewellers demanded Union Ministers Manoj Sinha and Sanjeev Baliyan for a rollback in the additional excise duty.

The ministers were in Lucknow to attend a state executive meet of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Australia experiences hottest March

Canberra, April 2 (IANS) March 2016 has become the hottest March ever on record in Australia, the country’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), said in its monthly climate report.

In the report released on Friday, the BoM said in March 2016, the average temperature was 1.7 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

This overtook the 1.67 degrees above the average in 1986 to make March 2016 the hottest March in Australia, BoM said in its report.

The unusual heat was particularly noticed in the northern and tropical part of the country, known as the Top End, where the failure of the monsoon allowed temperatures to soar.

March 2 became Australia’s hottest day on record with the mercury reaching 38 degrees Celsius for average top temperature across Australia.

The hottest March came after the hottest February globally, and the hottest year for 2015.

A strong El Nino weather pattern prevailed at the start of the year, which has traditionally been associated with hotter weather, the report said.

Although the El Nino is weakening, the heat effects are expected to persist for a few more months.

Climate change is thought to be adding to the unusual heat, the report added.

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