FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 FEBRUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 SENSEX 34,413.16 +330.45 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature to be around 29 and 19 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.81% Min. 32% P7 NIFTY 10,576.85 +100.15 ` vs $ 64.26 +2 PAISE Min: 20.3°C (+4) SUN SETS 17:30 hrs MOON SETS 12:20 hrs First moon quarter on 10 February THUMBNAILS Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman receiving the Defence Minister of Tajikistan, Lieutenant General Sherali Mirzo, in South Block,in the capital on Thursday. SNS Andhra bandh : A state-wide bandh over Andhra Pradesh being overlooked in the Union Budget on Thursday affected normal life with almost all parties but the BJP supporting the call given by the Left parties. There were no incidents of violence, but the bandh elicited a good response, with business establishments and educational institutions remaining closed and state transport buses remaining off the roads. Ruling TDP, whose MPs have raised these issues vociferously in Parliament, supported the bandh. GOLD 28,860.00 -280.00 FM slams Cong over allegations STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 FEBRUARY F inance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday accused the Congress leadership of manufacturing allegations of corruption and “seriously compromising India’s security” by asking details of the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, which should always remain classified. Replying to the discussion on the General Budget 2018-19, the Finance Minister said when the Opposition could not find any case of corruption against the Modi government, they were indulging in manufacturing allegations of corruption against the NDA government. “The new trend is to manufacture allegations of corruptions against the NDA,” Jaitley said referring to Rahul Gandhi’s recent charges. Citing statements made by former Defence Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony, he said it was in the larger interest of the country’s security not to disclose the price of defence transactions. “So please ask your party president to go back to Pranab Mukherjee and take certain lessons from him,” the Finance Minister said without taking Rahul Gandhi’s name. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor interrupted Jaitley and said ,”You are accountable to Parliament to disclose expenditure of public money”. Amid disruptions made by several Congress leaders, Jaitley responded quickly "NDA is as accountable as UPA”. The Finance Minister also hit out at the Congress Close shave for SpiceJet passengers: Passengers of budget carrier SpiceJet had a narrow escape after rear tyres of its Delhi bound plane burst soon after taking off, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing at the airport in Chennai. There were no casualties or any injuries to the 199 passengers due to the incident, the SpiceJet said. The flight scheduled for New Delhi suffered a suspected tyre burst at the time of take off, the airlines said. “The crew decided to turn back and landed safely at the Chennai airport.’’ Draft auto policy in 2 months likely: The government will release in the next two months the draft of a new auto policy aimed to address issues faced by the industry in the wake of emergence of new technology such as EVs and demand for eco-friendly mobility, Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete said on Thursday. Speaking at the inauguration of the 14th Auto Expo, the minister said suggestions P8 from all stakeholders will be taken. government for not making any structural reforms from 2004 to 2014. He said demonetisation, use of Aadhaar card and GST implementation were major reforms which would pay dividends in the coming years. "Finance ministers of Congress-ruled states were aware of benefits of GST and we managed to stabilise the situation within a few months which in other countries took several years," Jaitley said. He said despite this India’s growth is fastest in the region, fiscal deficit is under control, and government is following the fiscal discipline to check fiscal deficit and currency stabilisation. Even IMF and World Bank have recognised India as one of the fastest growing economies among its peers .On the disinvestment front, he said the government would only keep PSUs which have strategic importance and the rest should go to private sector. The money received from disinvest- Khaleda jailed for 5 years in graft case CCI slaps Rs 136 crore penalty on Google: The Competition Commission imposed a fine of Rs 136 crore on internet giant Google for unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search. After a detailed probe on the complaints filed in 2012, the regulator through a majority order said the penalty is being imposed on Google for “infringing antitrust conduct”. On the CCI ruling, a Google spokesperson said the company is “reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess our next steps”. P8 AGENCIES DHAKA, 8 FEBRUARY Khaleda Zia was today sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment for corruption, a body blow for the exBangladeshi prime minister who may be disqualified from contesting general elections in December, as thousands of her supporters staged protests against her jailing. The 72-year-old three-time former prime minister and main opposition leader was sentenced by Dhaka's Special Court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician. The verdict simultaneously sen- tenced Zia's “fugitive” elder son and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP's) senior vice president Tarique Rahman as he was tried in absentia. Rahman and four others have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Judge Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, who delivering the judgement, said: “The case was proved beyond any doubt against the accused”. The case is one of dozens pending against Zia, who has been a rival of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for decades. The charges against her had already led to her boycotting polls in 2014, which triggered widespread protests at the time. Zia, wearing a white sari, appeared in person in the heavily-guarded courtroom amid heightened political tension. Sentencing Zia to rigorous imprisonment, the judge read out the abridged version of the 632page verdict in 10 minutes. He said that though all the convicts played identical role in the crime but Zia was given a lesser term taking into account her “age and social status”. The court also said that the defence tried their best to hinder the trial proceedings as they sought time for 35 occasions in the name of changing the court. The other convicts are former lawmaker Kazi Salimul Haque Kamal, businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, expremier's principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddiqui and her nephew Mominur Rahman. India ‘declined’ to host envoy of Maldives Prez ASHOK TUTEJA NEW DELHI, 8 FEBRUARY Amid the turmoil in the island, the Maldives on Thursday claimed that it wanted to send a special envoy to India to brief New Delhi on the current crisis but was informed that the dates of the visit were not suitable for the Indian leadership. ‘‘India was, in fact, the first stop planned and proposed for a visit of a special envoy of the President of Maldives. However, the dates proposed were not suitable for the Indian leadership,’’ Maldives Ambassador to India Ahmed Mohamed told The Statesman. He said, ‘’we understand the External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) is out of the coun- P8 India’s growth is fastest in the region, fiscal deficit under control: Jaitley TEMPERATURE Max: 28.1°C (0) SUN RISES 06:11 hrs MOON RISES 00.56 hrs SPENCERS TO SET UP 6 NEW OUTLETS IN WEST BENGAL INDIA AND VIETNAM MUST CREATE GREATER SYNERGIES ‘TMC LEADERS SHOULD LOOK INTO THE MIRROR’ try and the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is leaving for the UAE during the week.’’ Mohamed said his country would now send its envoy to India on a mutually convenient date. The Maldives Embassy in New Delhi also issued a statement describing as ‘grossly misleading’ reports in the Indian media that the special envoy of the Maldives President has bypassed India. It is understood that New Delhi indeed declined to host the Maldivian envoy since Male did not give any advance notice and also because democratic institutions and the judiciary continue to be undermined in the island. The Maldives has sent envoys to three ‘friendly’ nations — China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — to explain the situation arising from the recent Supreme Court verdict asking the government to free nine political prisoners, including former President Nasheed, and the subsequent declaration of emergency by President Abdulla Yameen. The apex court on Tuesday reversed its ruling after President Yameen moved to reassert his authority and ordered the arrests of the Chief Justice and former President M A Gayoom. India has been under intense pressure from the Maldivian Opposition to intervene in the archipelago. While it weighs various options, New Delhi has said it was disturbed over the developments and asked Indian nationals to avoid non-essential travel to the neighbouring country. Male says it is committed to its ‘India First’ policy and, therefore, its Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim was himself scheduled to travel to New Delhi on Thursday as the President’s envoy. Saeed was on board a flight for his visit to New Delhi when he was informed that India would not be able to host him since both the PM and the EAM were busy. ment should go for public welfare activities, he said. The Finance Minister also responded to Opposition members demand to give relief on long term capital gains tax. “Last year nearly Rs 3,67,000 crore earned from equity were not taxed, most of them were large corporate houses, and high earners. We have only sought 10% tax on the earnings and give relief to the small investors for earnings up to Rs 1 lakh,” he said. Former FM P Chidambaram on Thursday said the economy was limping, investments falling, jobs growth sluggish and exports failing, and there was little hope of “course correction” because the Union Budget for 2018-19 had only empty promises. Initiating a General Discussion on the Budget in the Rajya Sabha amid constant disruption from Treasury Benches, he said the Economic Survey before the Budget had given ample diagnosis of the problems. HOW INDIANS CAN RUN RINGS ROUND ENGLAND P12 SILVER 38,000.00 -650.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 64.89 -0.62 SC to deal with Ayodhya case as land dispute Great-great-grandson of the last Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar. Prince' Yakub Habeebuddin Tucy with (C) Mahant Dharam Das and (L) Mahanth Ram Das outside the Supreme Court. The apex court fixed 14 March 2018 as the next date of Ayodhya hearing. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 FEBRUARY The Supreme Court on Thursday said it will deal with the Ram MandirBabri Masjid case as a “pure land” dispute and refused to hear it on dayto-day basis. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer refused the appellants' plea for day-to-day hearing, saying "over 700 poor litigants are waiting for justice, we have to hear them". Scheduling the next hearing for 14 March, it asked parties in the case to file translated copies of the documents before it. The apex court was hearing a batch of cross petitions challenging 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict that had divided the disputed Babri MasjidRamjanmabhoomi site between the Nirmohi Akhara, Lord Ram deity and the Sunni Waqf Board. The apex court was moved challenging the High Court verdict by petitioners M Siddiqui represented by his legal heirs. Cong cries foul over PM jibe at Renuka NEW DELHI, 8 FEBRUARY The Congress was Thursday up in arms against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his allegedly "derogatory" remark against its senior MP Renuka Chowdhury, which the party described as "sexist and distasteful". The Congress MPs created an uproar in the Rajya Sabha on the matter, disrupting the proceedings of the House briefly. The row made waves outside Parliament too. As soon as the Upper House resumed its sitting this morning, Congress members were on their feet protesting against PM Modi's jibe at Renuka during his reply to the debate on motion of thanks on President's address Wednesday. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu chided the protesting MPs for their "unbecoming" behaviour and adjourned the House till noon. During his reply in the Rajya Sabha yesterday, PM Modi had questioned the Congress's claim of conceiving the biometric national ID Aadhaar during its previous UPA SNS regime.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.