TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 JANUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR IRAN STOCKPILING MISSILES IN LEBANON, SAYS NETANYAHU ANOTHER OVER-STEP NO CASE FOR IMPEACHING CJI, SAY EX-SC JUDGES P5 SENSEX 36,283.25 +232.81 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Shallow/moderate fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 25 and 9 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.100% Min: 7°C (-2) SUN SETS 17:59 hrs MOON SETS 06:45 hrs TEMPERATURE GOLD 29,265.00 -90.00 Economy picking up nicely: Survey PRASHANT MUKHERJEE NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY A THUMBNAILS Vijay Gokhale assumes charge as Foreign Sec(REPORT ON PAGE 5) retary on Monday. More than 36 killed as bus falls into Murs river: At least 36 people, including women and children, were feared drowned on Monday morning when a state bus in which they were travelling, plunged into a river here at Daulatabad area in Murshidabad district. Earlier in the day, police and local boatmen fished out four bodies and rescued eight passengers while the rest of the victims could not be traced till the bus was taken out with 36 more bodies P7 trapped inside it. Bypolls in Rajasthan and Bengal: Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan witnessed a voters' turnout of 65.2 and 61.86 per cent while the Mandalgarh Assembly seat registered 78.78 per cent as voting in the bypolls for these constituencies involving battles between the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress's candidates took place on Monday. In West Bengal, the by-elections in Uluberia Lok Sabha constituency and the Noapara Assembly seat saw 76 and 75.3 per cent voters' turnout respectively, where the ruling TMC is locked in a fight with the BJP and the CPI-M. HC transfers disqualified AAP MLAs' plea to division bench: The Delhi High Court on Monday transferred to a division bench the pleas of the AAP MLAs seeking quashing of their disqualification from the Delhi Assembly for holding office of profit. Single judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru fixed the matter before the Acting Chief Justice on Tuesday, who may either set up or refer it to an existing division bench. The High Court also extended its interim order of January 24 issued to the Election Commission (EC) asking it not to issue any notification for holding by-elections in Delhi for the constituencies represented by the 20 AAP MLAs conP3 cerned. fter touching a low of 5.7 per cent GDP growth, India's economy is "picking up quite nicely" , the annual Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in Parliament on Monday said. It predicted that India would clock a growth of 6.75 per cent this fiscal and will rise to 7 to 7.5 per cent in 2018-19, which would be the election year for the government. Addressing the media, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, the author of the Survey, said India will be the world’s fastest growing major economy as it shakes off the disruptive effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The numbers projected in the Economic Survey are not very different from that estimated by theWorld Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “With world growth likely to witness moderate improvement in 2018, expectation of greater stability in GST, likely recovery in investment levels, and ongoing structural reforms, among others, should be supporting higher growth. On balance, the country’s economic performance should witness an improvement in 2018-19,” Subramanian said, though he cautioned on rising oil prices and sharp correction in elevated stock prices as factors that could feed inflation and keep interest rates elevated. With the effort to recapitalise banks, HIGHLIGHTS GDP to grow 7-7.5% in FY19; India to regain fastest growing major economy tag GDP growth to be 6.75% in FY2017-18 Policy vigilance required next fiscal if high oil prices persist or stock prices correct sharply Policy agenda for next year -- support agriculture, privatise Air India, finish bank recapitalisation GST data shows 50% rise in number of indirect taxpayers Tax collection by states, local governments significantly lower than those in other federal countries Demonetisation has encouraged financial savings Insolvency Code being actively used to resolve NPA woes Retail inflation averaged 3.3 pc in 2017-18, lowest in last 6 fiscals India needs to address pendency, delays and backlogs in the appellate and judicial arenas Urban migration leading to feminisation of farm sector Rs 20,339cr approved for interest subvention for farmers in current fiscal FDI in services sector rises 15% in 2017-18 on reforms Fiscal federalism, accountability to help avoid low equilibrium trap India's external sector to remain strong on likely improvement in global trade Technology should be used for better enforcement of labour laws Swachh Bharat initiative improved sanitation coverage in rural areas from 39% in 2014 to 76% in January 2018 Priority to social infrastructure like education, health to promote inclusive growth Centre, states should enhance cooperation to deal with severe air pollution Suvey 2017-18 in pink colour to highlight gender issues Indian parents often continue to have children till they have desired PTI number of sons popularly called the solving of twin balance sheet problem will help the economic growth, the Survey said. The government, which is about to present its last full Union Budget before the 2019 general election, has reverted to the tradition of bringing outVolumes 1 and 2 at the same time. Volume 1 of the Economic Survey contains the analytical overview and more researchcum-analytical material. Volume 2 provides the more descriptive review of the current fiscal year, encompassing all the major sectors of the economy. The Survey has a pink cover instead of the earlier blue. Subramanian noted that “the colour of this year's Survey cover was chosen as a symbol of support for the growing movement to end violence against women, which spans continents and addressing the deep societal meta-preference in favor of sons”. The Survey cautioned that persistently high oil prices remained a key risk for a country that relies on imports for much of its fuel needs. The Modi-led BJP government was lucky to have taken charge at a time when global business environment was favorable and depressed global crude oil prices placed at his disposal lakhs of crores of rupees. Subramanian admitted that the government had misread the oil price projections completely. He said, “We have misread oil prices completely.We had thought that NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY For the first time ever, the Economic Survey 2017-18 highlighted that the Indian desire to have a male child has created an estimated 21 million unwanted girls. The Economic Survey released on Monday pointed out that most parents continued to have children until they get the desired number of sons. The Survey gave details of various scenarios leading to skewed sex ratios and also gave a comparison on sex ratio by birth between India and Indonesia. The Survey highlighted that Indian parents still prefer having a son over a daughter. The Survey included a chapter dedicated to Gender Issues "Gender and Son Meta-Preference: Is Development Itself an Antidote?" also began with #MeToo BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 69.84 -0.68 President calls for consensus on simultaneous polls STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY oil prices will not go above $55 or maximum $60 per barrel. We have proven wrong on that.We thought that shale oil will come back at about $50-55, so far it has not come back. We have discovered that the shale producers are more concerned about their profit margins than about expanding activities. A completely unforeseeable thing that has happened in Saudi Arabia is the Aramco listing is pushing oil prices higher than it is expected.” The Economic Survey also noted that though the plan has been to reduce the fiscal deficit from an estimated 3.2 per cent this year to 3.0 per cent in financial year 2018-19, a pause in the move toward a lower deficit could be merited in order to give the economy momentum. This also has a bearing on how the government finds itself in a place where it needs to revive the economy in the year leading up to a general election. Subramanian explained how demonetisation delivered a shock to the economy, reducing demand and hampering production especially in the informal sector. According to him, the shock had largely faded away by mid-2017, only for the government’s roll out of the GST to hit the economy, “affecting supply chains, especially those in which small traders (who found it difficult to comply with the paperwork demands) were suppliers of intermediates to larger manufacturing companies”. President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said a “sustained debate” was required on holding “simultaneous elections” to Lok Sabha and State Assemblies, and all political parties need to arrive at a consensus on the issue. Addressing a Joint Sitting of Parliament at the beginning of its Budget Session, the President touched on the subject of frequent elections, and said such elections not only impose a huge burden on human resources but also impede the development process due to promulgation of the model code of conduct. In a speech marked by loud thumping of desks by MPs, Kovind enumerated the government’s several initiatives towards strengthening economic democracy and social justice, and said there was a new-found respect for India internationally. He said while internal security had improved significantly, the government had “kept open the path of dialogue with those who wish to shun violence and join the mainstream, while reposing faith in the Constitution of India.” Terrorist violence in the interiors of Jammu & Kashmir was directly related to cross-border infiltration, Kovind said. “With better coordination, our Army, paramilitary forces and Jammu-Kashmir Police are giving a befitting response to the per- Prez, PM for Parl nod to triple talaq Bill petrators,” he said. The North East had witnessed an improvement in the security situation, the President said. There was reduction in incidents of Naxal-Maoist violence. In the past three years, maximum number of youth influenced by the Naxal-Maoist ideology had surrendered and joined the mainstream. The policy related to strategic partnership in defence manufacturing sector has been given a final shape, Kovind said. “This will encourage maximum participation of private sector in the manufacture of major defence platforms and equipment and would provide a fillip to employment generation,” he said. Referring to India’s growth rate, he said it had remained impressive despite global economic slow-down. On the diplomatic front, President Kovind said, India was able to secure representation in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, International Maritime Organisation and Economic and Social Council. In a keenly contested election to the International Court of Justice, India emerged victorious, he added. Infant raped in Capital NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY On the first day of the Budget Session of Parliament Monday, both President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch for early approval of the instant triple talaq Bill ~ called the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill ~ by Parliament, making the point that there should not be politics on "crucial issues" like triple talaq for the sake of Muslim women's rights. During the Winter Session of Parliament last month, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill which makes instant triple talaq a criminal offence and proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife by resorting to it. The Bill, however, could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha due to standoff between ruling BJP-led government and the Congress-led Opposition over the latter's demand that it should be sent to a Select Committee for detailed examination due to various concerns regarding it.The government did not push the Bill in the Upper House as it does not enjoy majority there. In his customary address to reporters outside Parlia- ment House before the commencement of a Parliament session, PM Modi on Monday morning raked up the triple talaq issue, telling reporters, "In the last Session it was our effort and the nation had high hopes that there won’t be any politics on crucial issues like triple talaq so that the Muslim women will get their rights. However, despite the orders of the Supreme Court, the triple talaq Bill could not be passed by Parliament." He went on to say : "I hope and appeal to the political parties across the country to join hands in passing the triple talaq Bill to protect the rights of Mus- Fetish for male child widens gender gap STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE SILVER 39,550.00 -350.00 7.5 per cent growth predicted next fiscal; caution sounded on high oil prices, stock boom Min. 38% Max: 23.9°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:10 hrs MOON RISES 16:46 hrs ` vs $ 63.58 -3 PAISE P15 P13 P8 NIFTY 11,130.40 +60.75 ‘LIKE VIV RICHARDS, KOHLI WILL LEARN TO CALM DOWN’ inscribed on top of the page. “This ‘meta-preference’ leads naturally to the notional category of 'unwanted' girls with reduced access to resources. Another phenomenon of son meta preference, which involves parents adopting fertility 'stopping rules' ~ having children until the desired number of sons are born,” the report said. In some sense, once born, the lives of women are improving but society still appears to want fewer of them to be born. India has some distance to traverse because development has not proved to be an antidote,” said Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian at a media interaction after the Survey was tabled in Parliament on Monday. The Survey noted that the government’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Sukanya Samrid- hi Yojana schemes and mandatory maternity leave rules are all steps in the right direction to recognising the long-run objective of elevating the role and status of women. Son preference is giving rise to skewed sex ratios at birth and beyond, leading to an estimate of 63 million "missing" women, it said in the report. In a first, the government has used a pink cover for the Economic Survey 2018, stressing on its “commitment to women's empowerment”. The findings come at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme on Sunday, spoke at length about women's empowerment and how they are moving ahead in all fields. Modi mentioned the achievements of Flying Officers Bhavna Kanth, Mohana Singh and Avani Chaturvedi, who became the first women to be commissioned as fighter pilots. The Survey noted that the North-Eastern states have been consistently outperforming others on the development parameters related to women, while hinterland states are lagging behind. However, surprisingly, some southern states such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu fare worse than expected given their level of development, it said. The percentage of women who did not experience physical or emotional violence also increased from 63 per cent to 71 per cent, whereas the median age at first childbirth also increased by 1.3 years over ten years. lim women. It will indeed be the best gift in the New Year 2018 for Muslim women." President Kovind also highlighted the triple talaq bill in the beginning of his maiden address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament. "For decades, the dignity of Muslim women has remained captive to political cost-benefit. Now the nation has an opportunity to emancipate them from this situation," President Kovind said. "My government has tabled a Bill on triple talaq in Parliament. I hope that Parliament will soon pass it into a law. The law on triple talaq, once enacted, will also enable Muslim sisters and daughters to live a life of self-respect with courage," he said. Meanwhile, stressing on the significance of the Budget Sesion, PM Modi told reporters : "Entire global community is very optimistic about the Indian economy. It comes at a time when the world is looking at us, be it the global credit rating agencies, World Bank, IMF which have been , very positive in their opinion about the growth of India and the road ahead." He said the upcoming Budget would "provide a new energy to the fast growing economy of the country". In a shocking incident, an eight-month-old infant was allegedly assaulted sexually on Sunday by her 28-year-old cousin at Shakurpur Basti area of Northwest Delhi. The infant sustained severe injuries to her vital organs, police said. She had been admitted to a hospital where her condition is said to be "critical".Bothherparentshadgone out to work and had left their baby with other relatives when the incident occurred. The accused, Suraj, took the infant away on the pretext of playing with her.When her mother, a maid, returned home, she found the baby in a pool of (MORE ON PAGE2) blood. SNS Border row with India should be resolved in a calm way: China PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BEIJING, 29 JANUARY Defending its military infrastructure build up in Dokalam, China on Monday claimed that the area falls within its sovereignty and said Sino-India differences over the border should be resolved in a “calm way” through the existing mechanisms. Commenting on Indian envoy to China Gautam Bambawale's interview to state-run Chinese daily 'The Global Times' where he said the status quo should not be changed along the sensitive areas of the 3,488-km border, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that differences can be addressed through existing mechanisms. “I believe that you are blowing it (Dokalam standoff) out of proportion. I believe that in the postDokalam period, India and China need to be talking to each other and conversing with each other much more than in the past” at different levels including at the leadership level, Bambawale had told the daily. India and China ended the 73-day standoff on August 28 last year at Dokalam area after the People's Liberation Army (PLA) stopped building a strategic road close to India's narrow Chicken's Neck area connecting the northeastern states. “Indeed, we have noted that the ambassador talked about it while addressing the issue,” Hua said when asked about Indian envoys remarks. “The two sides should look at border issues in a calm way and resolve relevant issues through the existing border related mechanisms so that we can create conditions and enabling environment to properly solve our differences,” she said.
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